Monthly Archives: April 2015

How internet of things simplifies everyday life

47107729.cmsInternet of Things (IoT) is the new buzzword in the tech community but it is still jargon for others. At a TechGig.com webinar, Jyothi Bacche, GM, Mindtree, explained how IoT can simplify and change people’s lives. “We have moved into an era when it isn’t just the computer that can be connected to the internet, it is also household appliances, security systems, home heating & lighting and automobiles,” said Jyothi.

Some examples of emerging focus areas for tech solution providers, as per Jyothi:

1. Smart window blinds that know exactly when to go up or down based on whether you are sleeping or awake or which day of the week it is.

2. A smart coffee maker that can say, read the expression on your face and know how you are feeling and the kind of coffee you need.

3. A smart oven that has the intelligence to bake, say the chicken just like you want it, rare or medium rare.

4. A smart fridge that sends you an SMS telling you that you have exhausted your milk supply and you need to stop by the store in the evening

5. Preventive health maintenance, less congestion on roads and lesser accidents are some of the other uses of a connected world.

All this is triggered by IoT – an ecosystem of everyday physical objects connected to the internet and capable of identifying themselves and communicating with other objects in the network. But IoT is more than connecting things. It is about the machines sensing, perceiving, learning and relating the real world needs and then responding at the right time in the right context in the right fashion,” explained Jyothi. Sharing another example, Jyothi said: “Imagine your intelligent fridge sends you a SMS that milk is over in the middle of the day while you are at work which you are bound to find irritating. The timing of the SMS has to be such that it is around the time when you are driving home so it remains at the top of your mind”.

In bringing such intelligence within machines, the technology industry is hunting for IoT specialists. TechGig.com data shows that companies such as Dell, Intel and SAP Labs are currently looking for IoT engineers in India who have strong domain knowledge and hands-on experience in building connected devices. Jyothi also talked about technologies and tools that are becoming popular in the industry and are useful for budding technologists interested in IoT and who want to upskill themselves.

Some popular machine learning algorithms for IoT:

1. Neural networks for figuring out regularity in a data pattern

2. Data classification algorithms such as random forests and Bayseen classifiers

Streaming data tools

1. Kinesis from Amazon that enables process streaming data on the cloud

2. Algebird, a data streaming mining kit

3. Xmp, a real-time pattern recognition kit

4. Feature stream, a machine learning on streaming data

5. SAMOA, Yahoo’s distributed streaming machine learning framework.

Source: Economic Times

Hiring goes innovative at e-commerce firms

xphoto_1430392563_temp.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ZuAN7YVtX6MUMBAI|NEW DELHI: They comprise the crack team responsible for luring key candidates from competition and getting employee pipelines ready. Recruitment teams of startups and e-commerce firms consist of information technology specialists, analysts, marketing professionals and staffing heads who previously hired in large numbers for the BPO and aviation sectors.

“Competition is so fierce that positions have to be closed in 3 weeks as compared to a turnaround time of three months in other industries. Diversity of profiles, sheer volume and pace is the challenge,” says Saurabh Nigam, VP (HR) of Snapdeal.

Snapdeal, now four times the size it was a year ago in terms of staff strength, has a recruitment team which is divided according to profiles like technology, supply chain, and customer support.

The tech recruitment team at Snapdeal has 35 employees who are former employees of companies like Microsoft and Adobe.

Those from DHL and shipping companies look at supply chain openings and recruiters with BPO and KPO experience have been hired to take care of customer support posts.

According to earlier reports of ET, the e-commerce industry is expected to hire more than 50,000 in the next couple of years.

To ensure they remain motivated and net the best candidate, some firms have even created special incentives for their recruitment teams. To encourage aggressive strategies, companies such as TinyOwl Technology and Knowlarity have decided to incentivize their recruitment team.

Last quarter, TinyOwl announced that for every candidate placed exclusively by the team of 10, there will be monetary rewards over and above salary and variable pay. “In one quarter the turnaround time dropped by 25-30%. This will keep the firm motivated to work within the budget and get 300 more on board,” said Tanuj Khandelwal, co-founder.

At Knowlarity, for every outstanding hire, the recruiter will get twice the amount of variable pay or bonus he or she was entitled. This was started a quarter ago. “It is only fair that recruiters are judged and incentivized for the quality of talent they bring in,” says Anu Yadav, HR head. From this year onwards, the company is also linking hiring to managers’ KRAs.

These incentives do help in getting the best on board. “We have to sift through diverse profiles as compared to larger firms where there is a herd mentality while selecting the right candidate,” says Kanchan Singh, people ambassador (recruiter) with Housing.com. Singh, till two months ago, was in an established MNC and realized that recruiters at start ups and internet firms need to be at the top of their game.

The online real estate portal’s team of 40 include handpicked software programmers who know how to marry technical abilities with talent search. On board are a group of special recruiters who have worked with the BPO, aviation and insurance sector during the boom and know the strategies to hire in large numbers when the sector is on an upswing.

It is this team that came up with the idea of an external referral system where job openings will be put up online. Anyone can refer a candidate and if successful will get monetary benefits. External referrals are thrown open to public and will start in next two months. “We need to hire another 500-600 in this year and this will help us save the 8-30% cut that consultants charge,” says Ajay Nair, CHRO of Housing.

Paytm’s recruitment team of tech hiring experts too have been given a larger chunk of their salary as variable pay that is directly linked to their recruitment targets.

The mobile payments and e-commerce platform’s recruitment team originates from consulting firms and to beat competition, will be given bonus on a milestone basis.

Internet companies want recruiters who have sales and marketing experience and can convince candidates to leave plush jobs.

The big heads of the large teams can get up to Rs 1 crore, says GC Jayaprakash, executive director for RGF International. Then there are others like Jombay who prefer their business leader to do the hiring and not depend on recruitment teams.

Online restaurant locator, Zomato for example, will hire 10 more recruiters to their team of 25, while ShopClues is looking forward to another six to seven appointments to add to their team of 10 and is exploring role enlargement and expansion for key performers, says Sanjay Sethi, co-founder and CEO.

“Our HR team is incentivized with quarterly incentive programmes based on hiring targets,” he adds. The company is planning to double its staff strength from the current 700 to around 1,500 by March next year.

Then there are others like Jombay who prefer their business leader to do the hiring and not depend on recruitment teams. “The business heads speak the language, they are the face of the teams and hire with support from staff,” says Mohit Gundecha, CEO and founder. In some cases, the bosses decide to get into the game. A third of Snapdeal’s hiring is through social media with founder Kunal Bahl posting key openings through platforms like Twitter.

Google wants to buy your inventions

Google Inc said it would launch an experimental portal that allows interested patent holders to sell their patents to the company.

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Patent holders can tell Google about the patents they’re willing to sell and the expected price through the portal, the company said on its blog.

The Patent Purchase Promotion programme will remain open from May 8 to May 22, the company said on Monday.

Google said it will let the submitters know of its interest in buying their patents by June 26 and expects to pay the sellers by late August.

Source: Economic Times

The truth about Google’s famous ‘20% time’ policy

One of Google’s most famous management philosophies is something called “20% time.”
Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin highlighted the idea in their 2004 IPO letter:

“We encourage our employees, in addition to their regular projects, to spend 20% of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google,” they wrote. “This empowers them to be more creative and innovative. Many of our significant advances have happened in this manner.”

Tech AnnouncementHuge 20% products include the development Google News, Gmail, and even AdSense.

However, whether or not 20% time actually exists anymore has been a matter of debate. In 2013, Chris Mims wrote for Quartz that 20% time was “as good as dead” because it became too difficult for employees to take time off from their normal jobs.

Yahoo CEO and formal Googler Marissa Mayer once bluntly denied its true existence.

“It’s funny, people have been asking me since I got here, ‘When is Yahoo going to have 20% time?'” she said on stage during an all-employee meeting at Yahoo. “I’ve got to tell you the dirty little secret of Google’s 20% time. It’s really 120% time.”

So, what’s really going on with 20% time?

Only about 10% of Googlers are using it, last time the company checked, but it doesn’t really matter, as long as the idea of it exists, according to Google HR boss Laszlo Bock in his new book, “Work Rules!”

Bock says that the use of the concept has “waxed and wanted,” over time. It’s not technically something that gets formal management oversight – Googlers aren’t forced to work on additional projects and there are no written guidelines about it. Typically, employees who have an idea separate from their regular jobs will focus 5 or 10% of their time on it, until starts to “demonstrate impact.” At that point, it will take up more of their time and more volunteers will join, until it becomes a real project.

“In some ways, the idea of 20 percent time is more important than the reality of it,” he writes. “It operates somewhat outside the lines of formal management oversight, and always will, because the most talented and creative people can’t be forced to work.”

 

TCS: Mega bonus likely to help reduce attrition

MUMBAI: Country’s largest software exporter TCS has said it hopes the Rs 2,628-crore bonus to its lakhs of employees will help contain the high attrition level.

The IT major, however, clarified that the 11,000 employees of its recently merged subsidiary CMC will not be eligible for the payout.

Tech Announcement“The bonus does not cover some of the subsidiaries and it is primarily for TCS staff. CMC employees will not be within this,” TCS global HR head Ajoy Mukherjee told in an interaction.

He also denied that the rising attrition levels, which he described as “high”, had anything to do with announcing the bonus.

“The bonus payout should have a benefit (on reducing attrition), but that is not the intent why we did it,” Mukherjee said, adding, the primary aim is to celebrate value creation.

TCS, which employees the largest workforce in the sector and had 3.19 lakh employees as of March-end, has been facing high attrition of late, which touched 14.9% in the March quarter.

Last October, TCS had merged CMC with itself, which it had bought in the early 2000 from the government through a disinvestment, wherein CMC shareholders will get 79 TCS shares of Re 1 face value for every 100 equity shares of Rs 10 each of CMC.

Mukherjee said the payment for employees within the country will be at a gross level, including the basic pay and statutory payments, while for those outside the country, it is a separate one which would also include their bonuses.

The Tata Group company, which contributes over 60% to the group’s net income, announced the hefty bonus of Rs 2,628 crore to celebrate 10 years of listing, during which its market capitalization has grown more than ten times to over Rs 5 trillion — the only company to attain such a feat.