What's Special About India's Latest Notification On Information Technology Rules?

After not addressing the flak for years from governments across the globe, the Department of Information Technology (DIT), Government of India (GoI) has introduced new rules earlier this year. Coined as the Information Technology (IT) Rules, 2011, the notification is freely available to download from the DIT website (http://www.mit.gov.in/content/notifications). With more than handful new additions, I believe this move does well to address long pending issues.

Data Protection Act likely to put few BPOs out of business; help address Data Privacy concerns of cloud users

I was impressed to read through the broad list of information the act included as part of sensitive data. The DIT has also been mindful to include the clause on access of data being only restricted to what is “freely available or accessible in public domain or furnished under the Right to Information Act, 2005."

This is a brilliant move to curb illegal trafficking of data in the BPOs (both domestic and international). Given the nonchalant attitude towards data protection by many Indian BPOs and the nature of business being based on the loop holes that have traditionally existed, I believe (in theory) the rule on data protection can be limiting for many, and a few might even go out of business. This will particularly be true for the BPOs catering to the domestic business in India. This rule will also provide additional confidence for those willing to use cloud offerings but have had concerns around data privacy.

Having said the above, I would like to call out the need for stringent enforcement policies – something that has been a sticky issue for us in India – to ensure Indian citizens can make the most from this.

There are real reasons for the organizations to join

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Amdocs Agrees To Purchase Bridgewater Systems For $215 Million

Yesterday, Amdocs, a leading provider of customer experience systems, agreed to acquire Bridgewater Systems, a provider of policy, subscriber management, and network control solutions for mobile and convergent service providers, for US$215 million. The combined solution resulting from this acquisition will combine Amdocs’ existing BSS/OSS and customer experience solutions with network level information from Bridgewater’s solution. The integrated organization will provide service providers with an enhanced ability to monetize data services and to support complex pricing strategies across multiple devices, users, and networks. From a customer perspective, Amdocs and Bridgewater share some key service provider customers including Bell Mobility, Sprint, and Telstra. 

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It's The Network! AT&T Marks Their Territory

During the recent AT&T Analyst Conference, we analysts were all treated to 2 great shows - a tour of Yankee Stadium’s ICT systems (followed by an opportunity to watch the Yankees beat the Royals) and Kevin Peter’s annual spectacle of spherical geodesic references to make sure we all got one thing straight - AT&T’s network delivers value. 

Following last year’s event, I referred to the clear presence of AT&T Labs innovations (http://blogs.forrester.com/henry_dewing/10-05-24-att_business_solutions_drives_technological_innovation_practical_use) delivering value to customers. Keith Cambron, President and CEO of AT&T Labs, focused more this year on the importance, value, and urgency of the IPV6 transition, before Kevin delivered another rousing speech declaring “IT’S THE NETWORK!” more frequently and more emphatically as he went. While Kevin’s presentation was all style, he is a serious technology executive having received a master's degree in Information and Technology Management from the Stevens Institute of Technology. Kevin’s stump speech was followed by technical topics and serious presentation styles that illuminated his points. 

John Donovan, AT&T’s CTO, settled the audience down describing AT&T plans to deliver solutions using

  • AT&T’s Network as a ubiquitous, reliable, intelligent platform.
  • AT&T’s Cloud featuring multitenant, location aware, interoperable services.
  • AT&T’s Software meeting business and industry demands for value.
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Ericsson Enhances OSS Service Capabilities By Acquiring Telcordia

Ericsson made a $1.15 billion offer to acquire Telcordia, a provider of operations support systems/business support systems (OSS/BSS) for telecom service providers. The Telcordia acquisition enables Ericsson to establish a leading position providing service fulfillment, service assurance, network optimization, and real-time charging services to wireless and wireline operators worldwide. Ericsson will gain Telcordia’s 200+ customers in 55 countries, including AT&T and Verizon in North America. The acquisition will also augment Ericsson’s managed service capabilities, which are currently used by firms including Sprint and Telefonica Brazil.

BSS/OSS solution demand is increasing due to communication service provider requirements to deploy a variety of converged services and applications to customers across fixed and wireless networks in a seamless manner. Telcordia’s OSS software solutions, combined with Ericsson’s global position, marketing clout, and existing billing services will enable the combined organization to offer a more comprehensive range of BSS/OSS solutions. This acquisition will also change the competitive and fragmented BSS/OSS vendor landscape. Ericsson will be in a better position to compete against key BSS/OSS vendors, including Amdocs, Huawei, and Nokia Siemens Networks, as well as systems integrators, including Accenture, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard, that also offer BSS/OSS solutions.  

Forget About Security's Impact On Business -- What About Business' Impact On Security?

These days, it’s not just modern-day Willie Suttons behind cyberattacks. While financial motivations still drive the mindset of most hackers, we’re seeing a renaissance of high profile attacks perpetrated for political and ideological purposes. Hactivism isn’t new, but combined with the rising likelihood of success and the greater damage from successful attacks, we should expect to see it more often.

What it means:

Just as security decisions have a business impact, we are now seeing business decisions have a security impact. Some organizations will always be a target: governments, banks, and as we’ve recently seen NGOs like the IMF. But other organizations step into the line of fire: Anonymous attacked PayPal, MasterCard, and others because of their actions against WikiLeaks and Assange, while Sony’s legal actions against George Hotz (for jailbreaking the PS3) led to the spate of LulzSec attacks against it.

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What IS Telepresence?

Whenever vendors talk about videoconferencing today, they use the term telepresence.  Come on guys – do yourself and your potential customers a favor – let’s be more careful with our terminology.  Immersive telepresence should only be used to describe a meeting experience that leaves participants believing they were really in a live meeting – similar to the suspension of disbelief that occurs when watching a Pixar movie like “Toy Story” where viewers willingly forget the technology and become immersed in the experience.

  • Telepresence: When Cisco launched their initial telepresence offers in 2006 (was it that long ago, really?) they were adamant that it only referred to solutions that replicated life-like meeting experience with multiple screens, dedicated rooms, and high-speed connections.  Existing vendors like Teliris were all too happy to agree and reinforce that definition.  Today, most clients I talk to think that telepresence refers to the classic 3-screen configuration but are willing to include larger deployments like Polycom’s RPX, which can accommodate up to 28 participants in 3 rows – and I think that should be the definition of a telepresence endpoint. 
  • Personal telepresence: At first blush, this seems like a non sequitor, but I call a dedicated videoconferencing screen that is roughly equal to the size of a human head and shoulders (so that the remote participant appears near life-size on the desk/table where the endpoint is positioned) a personal telepresence unit.  Distance from the camera, lighting, and alignment must be managed carefully by the participants on both ends to maintain the meeting continuity. 
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Polycom Doubles Down On Its Video Bet

Polycom today announced:

  • Its intention to acquire HP’s Visual Collaboration Business — adding to the rich set of endpoints and capabilities Polycom has developed internally.
  • The formation of a group of service providers to be called the Open Video Communications Consortium (OVCC) — dedicated to making intercompany video communication as easy as intercompany telephone communication.
  • The continuation of joint development and go-to-market activities with Microsoft.
  • A two-for-one stock split.
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