Friday, September 30, 2005

IMF to write off debt

In one of the landmark decisions taken by IMF, close to $ 55 bn of debt to 18 poor countries will be written off in the coming future.

“The world has come together,” said British FM Gordon Brown who has championed the debt write-off and chairs the IMF’s steering group, the International Monetary and Financial Committee. The plan will be in operation by the end of the year.

The World bank share holder’s will follow the IMF’s lead and also cancel the 18 countries which are included in the above list, which are mostly African countries, debts to it. Initially the amount is expected to be $ 40 bn but it can go upto $ 55 bn as more countries become eligible for the debt write off.
African nations welcomed the deal but wanted to ensure there would be no extra strings attached to receiving the money and called for more nations to become eligible.

Aid campaigners were relieved that the plans that have been floated for years finally appeared to be turning into reality

The World Bank said the debt deal could boost recipients’ annual economic growth by half a percentage point. The deal that has been sealed by the Fund this weekend will provide urgently needed money for education and health care,”

Now only World Bank has to approve the deal since IMF has already crossed the barrier.


Today one of the pioneers and major players of global outsourcing takes a new name.

GECIS has now taken a new name reflecting both its GE heritage and outlook for the future - GENPACT. This change in name has come, following a change in ownership from GE to General Atlantic and Oak Hill Partners.

In an official statement, the authorities said that the new name communicates generating value, commitment, partnership and impact; and the tagline - Global Business ImpactSM - summarizes our value proposition. The GENPACT logo includes a symbol in the form of a red arrow impacting a blue field. It conveys pushing the envelope, higher margins through better efficiency and effectiveness, re-engineering, and business impact. The symbol also reflects out-of-the-box thinking that is core to our work philosophy.

When GE commercialized its GE Capital International Services unit on December 30, 2004, it began searching for a new name to communicate its heritage and value proposition.Employees and customers suggested names by the hundreds. One of the brainstorms surfaced GENPACT. “We chose it because it so aptly communicates our brand promise - generating value, commitment, partnership and impact,” said Pramod Bhasin, president and chief executive officer.

The company’s tagline is Global Business ImpactSM .

“Global enterprises today want impact,” Bhasin said. “They want partners they can trust to work with them and through process excellence measurably improve their margins, cash performance, and speed to market.”
The GENPACT logo, developed by Interbrand, includes a symbol in the form of a stylized arrow impacting a blue field. “It conveys pushing the envelope, aiming higher, and, of course, business impact,” Bhasin said.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Google Earth in Trouble

Something which is very innovative which is totally new and has an element of distinctiveness has to be in news either for good or for bad reasons. Google Earth on the 7th Anniversary of Google is in trouble with countries like India, Korea and England objecting the satellite pictures which feature on the website.
Google Earth puts a planet's worth of imagery and other geographic information right on your desktop. One can download the software Google Earth from the website and install it on the computer view every finest detail of a place or a building. By using google earth one can view the North Block, The south block the dock yard of mumbai the Prime minister's residence and numerous other places which are humanly inaccessible and come under Z+ security.
Google Earth is an innovation in itself and is perhaps the best way to see the earth other than seeing the place in reality. Its a huge application and is very memory and bandwidth intensive.
The controversy was raised today on the star news channel when it mentioned that google website is capturing all the high security zones of the country with the help of a satellite and this is posing a serious threat to the country on a whole. Nothing is happening intentionally but seeing the technology advancements happening, this kind of tool can be a boon to the people involved in anti social activities.
Lets see what is the Google's Take on this news.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Brazillian Grand Prix - A Moment of Ecstasy

The post on a formula one race comes after a very long time. The last post on a formula 1 race was on European Grandprix way back in June.
The Grande Premio De Brasil became the grand prix, which perhaps Fernando Alonso will cherish for his life. Held in the Interlagos circuit in Brazil the Grandprix made Fernando Alonso the youngest formula 1 champion at the age of just 24 years.
The other highlights of the Grand Prix was the 1, 2 finish for the Mclaren team after 4 years. Juan Pablo Montoya took the chequered flag followed by Kimi Raikkonen in the second place 2 seconds behind. It was a great victory for Montoya keeping in mind his failure in the last moments of the race in the last Grandprix. Well Mclaren will cherish this moment for their life. They are leading the Constructors table now with 164 followed by Renault at 162. The driver’s championship is over now. But the constructor’s championship is still on. The next race is the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. It’s the world’s fastest track with speeds of 350 KMPH.
The good part of the race was the return of Ferrari to performance with Schumi finishing on 4th and Barrichello finishing on 6th. This was very important for Ferrari seeing their declining performance in the recent races.
At the end of the day both the campaigns Mclaren and Renault had celebration in their crews. It was a win-win situation for both although the Mclaren’s superb finish could not stop Alonso from becoming the world champion.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Computer Upgrade

The title of the post says it all. I had absolutely nothing to write about except for my boring weekend which got a little spiced up because of a major upgrade or call it migration I did for my 5 year old computer.

I, rather we, got our computer 5 years back on 18th October 2000 exactly the day when KBC got its first Crorepati in the form of Harsh Vardhan Nawathe. That time I was absolutely mad about KBC and some how I managed to catch up with both KBC and computer arrival. I know how much of effort had gone into getting the computer, since my requests at home are never entertained so easily, neither are they given any importance. The things now have changed very much. Initial expense on the computer was Rs. 52000. In this rate now perhaps I will get the best of the breed PCs. But I was pretty satisfied at that time since it was one of the best branded PCs available in the market with the latest configuration and hardware.

For more than 3 years my PC was functioning very well until I started tinkering with it. As with SAP, if you tinker wth it, you will be in trouble kind of situation. Slowly problems started cropping up in the PC with the first problem cropping up concerning to the slowness of the PC. That time I was in Manipal and we were using Win ME only since our PC could not support Win XP. After I came for the summers in April 2004 I did the first major upgrade for the PC by moving from 64 MB RAM to 192 MB RAM and from a normal CD Drive to a DVD + CD Rewritable drive. Cost of this upgrade was close to 4500 Rupees since the memory for a P III computer costs you more than a memory of a P IV computer. Thereafter a series of other enhancements took place for example a LAN card for the broadband connection and a USB Port for the digital camera and the laser printer.

With ever increasing amount of data in the computer and scarcity of the disk space leading to extreme slowness in the computer, I decided to upgrade the hard disk from Quantum 15 GB to a Seagate Barracuda 80 GB. Surprisingly my motherboard supported the new hard disk. The cost of the new hard disk was 2600 which is perhaps the lowest price in the market. Now I have plenty of space to store whatever I want. I also migrated the entire data from the old hard disk to the new hard disk in a NTFS partition. The best part of upgrade is that even with NAV 2005 the system start up time has reduced considerably and their are no hang ups which use to happen with the old hard disk.

In the future I do not see any major upgrade happening for my computer since there are no parts left which need any enhancements. for the first time, in this weekend, I have not stepped out from my house. Waiting anxiously for the homecoming where I will meet all my TAPMI pals.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Oracle buys Siebel

Within a month later after the most hyped acquisition of I-flex solutions, Oracle has yet again proved its mettle in mergers and acquisitions by acquiring world's number 1 CRM solution company SIEBEL.
On monday 12-SEP-2005 Oracle Corporation (Nasdaq: ORCL) announced that it has agreed to buy Siebel Systems, Inc (Nasdaq: SEBL) for $10.66 per share. The offer is valued at approximately $5.85 billion, or $3.61 billion net of Siebel's cash on hand of $2.24 billion. This makes this deal of Oracle next only to the peoplesoft deal which was valued at $ 10.8 billion.
The deal within one shot makes Oracle the World's no. 1 CRM solution company as said by the CEO Larry Ellision. Siebel has close to 4000 customer and close to 3,400,000 users use the Siebel Solution in North America. This acquisition will help Oracle scale new heights in the area of CRM applications.
"Today is a great day for Siebel Systems' customers, partners, shareholders, and employees," said Thomas M. Siebel, Chairman of Siebel Systems. "The combination of Siebel applications with the development capacity of Oracle to enhance our CRM product set assures our customers continuing success. This is a very beneficial business combination that will allow us to be even more effective in delivering high quality, leading edge solutions into the hands of satisfied customers."
The most important advantage for Oracle from this acquisition is the enhancement of the Project Fusion architecture wherein it will deploy the best in class practices of Siebel to enhance the application. The Oracle President Charles Phillips was once again in the limelight after the recent acquisition of I Flex.
Keeping in mind the size of Oracle and its extensive R & D capabilities, it is expected that substantial efficiencies will be seen after the combination of two businesses. The acquisition will get reflected only in the 2007 US GAAP report of Oracle.
The CRM applications capture and streamline all customer interactions which enables the CRM users to better understand, service and anticipate their own customers' needs. Of all major segments of the enterprise applications business, CRM is the largest and fastest growing - estimated to be more than $8 billion in 2004 and expected to grow to $10 billion by 2009, according to IDC. Siebel's CRM and Oracle's enterprise applications and middleware share an architecture that embraces industry standards, and a significant majority of Siebel's implementations run on the Oracle database. This is the quite the similar case as of I Flex.
The financial implications of transaction in terms of the shares is as follows: Siebel shareholders will receive $10.66 per share in cash for each Siebel share held, unless they elect to receive Oracle common stock, but no more than 30% of Siebel's common shares may be exchanged for Oracle common stock. In the event that Siebel shareholders holding more than 30% of Siebel common stock elect to receive Oracle common stock, the equity consideration will be pro-rated.
Earlier this year, Oracle closed its PeopleSoft merger, which began as a hostile takeover attempt and took almost two years to complete. The Siebel deal, however, is expected to wrap up by early 2006.
This deal could actually be a major problem for the partners of Siebel like Microsoft and IBM. It is expected that Microsoft will roll out its own CRM product and will stop supporting the Siebel product. Analyst's are saying that IBM seems to be standing still while Oracle is building an application stack. Another competitor in this market is the SAP which is having a share of $ 1.7 billion in the $ 11.4 billion market.
The challenge which lies ahead of Oracle now is to integrate the best practices from PeopleSoft, Oracle and Siebel. The answer I think lies in the Fusion Architecture.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Ganesh Chaturthi

This post is dedicated to Ganesh Chaturthi which was today. Its been two long years since I had attended Ganesh Pooja at home. The last two years we had poojas in TAPMI itself. It was fun there but usually it was an affair between a few people only. This time I am fortunate enough to be at home with my family on this pious occasion.
Ganesh festival starts today and continues for the next 10 days. Its a very popular festival here in Hyderabad. When we were in Gwalior I never saw the kind of excitement which I see in the people here for Ganesh festival. Close to about 6800 ganesh pandals are being put up in the city. But rains are playing spoilsport as always. The main day occurs when the visarjan ceremony of the ganesha takes place. Its exactly 10 days from the day of chaturthi that is on 17th of September. I read in the newspaper a comment by Deputy Commissioner of Police saying that the visarjan is on saturday and its a great relief for the police for making arrangements. Numerous arrangements have to be made in concern to the traffic diversions and arrangement of special buses and arrangement of cranes on tank bund. Close to 20000 police personnels have been deployed at various locations in the city.
Let's hope the visarjan ceremony happens peacefully and successfully as always.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

My New Blog

This post is dedicated to my new blog which is on quizzing. Long time back I had posted some stuff on this blog related to punchlines, adlines and taglines of companies. I thought it would be unfair to mix my personal blog with this info which can be a very good resource for quizzing. Hence I decided to start a new blog dedicated only to punchlines, adlines, taglines and adslogans of companies and brands.

The web address is:

Every week I will be posting one quiz on this site which will cover one topic. The first one in the series is on Global IT industry and includes Indian and foreign companies. Have a look at it. Comments and Suggestions are welcome.