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KaHa to Open Innovation and Research Lap in Singapore

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Internet of Things (IoT) and smart wearable company KaHa announced plans to open a multipartite innovation and research lab in Singapore, modelled after the network philosophy of IoT and created in response to market demands for faster development and commercialization.

Public and private partners across the IoT development value chain including A*STAR SIMTech, Bridgestone, Curtis Australia, MHA Manufacture de Haute Accessoirie Partners, Tex Line and Titan, will come together under-one-roof to streamline development resulting in faster prototyping, testing, and go-to-market.

Designed for efficient multi-party collaboration, the various development stations will be onsite and in close proximity – from business to project management, hardware to software, prototyping to testing, and from remodification up to delivery. Development time and costs will be greatly reduced, for instance speeding up schedules of weeks into just days. Whereas in conventional processing, work is done piecemeal and transported partially and gradually at intervals, and delays occur frequently and are exacerbated by minor changes.

The lab’s core infrastructure is the KaHa platform and its AI capabilities. KaHa has over the past 3 years developed an architecture which is unparalleled and optimised for consumer-centric experiences like health and wellness, fitness and sports, digital payment and safety. The company has big data architecture and tools for artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and recently its proof-of-concept on natural language processing (NLP). The company has also created a Network Operations Lab (NOC) that facilitates the proof-of-concept process through real-time testing of available/simulated data with live demonstrations all within the same space. Regular reviews at the NOC will ensure data integrity and projects timeliness.

The lab is located at the vibrant one-north technology hub of Singapore and the launch is targeted for initial projects in healthcare and wellness, smart apparels, sensor hub and power consumption. The lab will also work with KaHa’s brand partners and co-plan their roadmap and play the role of bringing all stakeholders towards achieving these use case on smart wearables, as well as the building of a comprehensive healthcare IoT ecosystem capable of integrating medtech and public-private healthcare and related service providers. The pioneering partners are:

  • KaHa: Singapore-based and the region’s only end-to-end IoT and smart wearable platform company with patents in IoT platform architecture. KaHa possesses deep industry links, including being the strategic partner for A*STAR SIMTech and EAC flagship industry programmes.
  • A*STAR SIMTech: Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology develops high value manufacturing technology and human capital to contribute to the competitiveness of Singapore industry.
  • Bridgestone:  A Hong Kong-based watch manufacturer with International reach including its own production base in China.  The company specializes in creative design, production and sales of lifestyle and fashion watches.
  • Curtis Australia: With a heritage from the 1890’s, an international jewellery, watch and pen atelier known for its distinctive, handmade and desirable luxury products crafted in solid carat golds and precious gems.
  • MHA Manufacture de Haute Accessoirie Partners: A division of Niklaus LNI SA, established over 110 years ago on the foundation of swiss watch manufacturing, MHA is the premier Swiss designer and manufacturer of private label luxury accessories.
  • Tex Line: A one-stop apparel and sportswear sourcing supply chain and service provider, with reliable capability in overseeing sourcing to production and delivery.
  • Titan Company Limited: The fifth largest integrated own brand watch manufacturer in the world. Over the last three decades, Titan has expanded and explored into under penetrated markets and created leading brands across categories.

IoT and the smart wearables industry will touch the lives of over a billion people in the next 5 years with a market value of close to USD120B. With  KaHa’s proprietary platform coupled with the presence and expertise of local and international partners, the lab will be a driver of growth for the Singapore IoT and wearable ecosystem having a global impact. KaHa plans to hire and train locals talents and create a  strong local capability and know-how, and help strengthen the Singapore core and competitive edge for Industry 4.0.

Managed by a head of lab with end-to-end IoT experience, the lab will provide opportunities for jobs and upskilling The lab will also host hackathons and release software development kits (SDK), with the latest tools in areas including AI, Machine Learning, NLP, Big Data and health-oriented algorithms, digital payment, enabling participants to problem-solve real use cases and understand how their work contributes towards building the ecosystem.

CEO and founder of KaHa, Pawan Gandhi comments, “As a home-grown company committed to the development of the local IoT and wearable ecosystem, it’s important that we have core development capabilities here in Singapore that can capitalize on opportunities and respond to market demands quickly. We are also actively engaging ETPL, the commercialization arm of A*STAR to harness local industry expertise to boost the nation innovation engine. We have taken the philosophy of IoT and connectivity to heart, ensuring we have oversight and responsibility each step of the way, while becoming even more nimble and flexible to cater to manufacturers’ needs faster.”

Dr. Lim Ser Yong, Executive Director of SIMTech added, “SIMTech has had a long history of collaborating with the industry. We have partnered KaHa in our emerging applications programmes over the past years, and I am happy to see that it has yielded innovative breakthroughs in IoT and smart wearable technology that will significantly contribute to the local ecosystem. We are pleased to take our partnership to the next level and work together with COVE R2C IoT Innovation Lab to speed up the development and commercialization of emerging technologies to drive Singapore’s advanced manufacturing industry.”

Vice President of Bridgestone Watch LTD, Ray Lin added “Providing the best quality products and services to our customers has always been our formula of success.  Therefore it is an honour to be able to join hands with so many industry leaders and together, and continue to innovate and create some of the best watches in the world.  We look forward to contributing our expertise and also bring these innovation to our customers and the market.

CEO of Curtis Australia, Glenn Curtis comments “The high-end luxury timepiece and jewelry market is seeing an evolution as even the most discerning ultra-high networth clientele develops interest in smart wearable technology functions simply because they have become ubiquitous and improve living habits. As a partner in the research center, Curtis will contribute design knowledge through years of handcrafting the finest timepieces and writing instruments and gain first-hand understanding of the most efficient ways of incorporating smart technology.”

CEO of MHA, Andy Ras-Wok added “With decades of private-label specialist manufacturing experience in luxury accessories from jewellery to writing instruments, we are keenly aware of the exciting opportunity IoT and smart wearables present to the international luxury market. This is a great opportunity to enhance our value network internationally and work with specialist partners. We are especially excited to represent the Swiss brand of manufacturing in this collaboration, and are already thinking of further bringing on fellow Swiss partners to the lab.”

CMO of Titan, Suparna Mitra comments “As the global wave of wearable and digital innovation continues to rise, Titan too is proactively creating new lifestyle products and experiences for everyone, especially today’s millennial consumers.  The success of many of our smart watches powered by KaHa IoT technology confirms our investment into smart wearables. Participation in the lab will further our partnership with KaHa as our technology collaborator and strengthen Titan as the leader in watches and accessories.”

Product Manager of Tex Line, Justin Tan added “Through our years of building up expertise and relationships in the apparel and sporting goods industry, we pride ourselves on our constant ability to offer our customers cost-competitiveness and quality. As the highly-competitive sports apparel market moves into smart wearables, we must stay ahead of the curve by re-thinking how we can accelerate product development and cut go-to-market time. COVE R2C IoT Innovation Lab will provide our industry an important advantage.”

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Enterprise News

Tata Tele business service hosts a Successful discussion with CXOs for resilience & business growth in Post COVID world

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Tata Tele Business Services (TTBS), hosted CXO Round Table Discussion with industry leaders on building a new mindset for business resilience and growth. The discussion centered around Respond, Reboot and Reinvent as key imperatives; with large Enterprises reinventing their business models as they continue to respond effectively to the aftershocks of the crisis.

 While the potential requirement for many organizations is to build digital competency, the larger goal is to be data-driven and leveraging the cloud capabilities. Moreover, witnessing variable cost structures, agile operations, and automation which could create stronger capabilities with digital presence and security.

According to an IDC report, ‘By 2022, 70% of all organizations will have accelerated use of digital technologies, transforming existing business processes to drive customer engagement, employee productivity, and business resiliency.’

Industry representatives such asUpkar Singh, Director IT, Fidelity Information Services India Ltd., Raj Neravathi – Head of Technology, Titan, Yogesh Kothari – Sr. Vice President, Quatrro Business Support Solutions shared their expertise upon business agility, examples from their professional career and how they are successfully driving the digital transformation journey for their organization.

Addressing the session, Mr. Shibhu Davies, Sales Head – North and East, Tata Communications Ltd. said, “There is a plethora of technology available in the market, understanding the most suitable one for a particular business is the key factor. To thrive in the next normal, companies must be data driven to make critical and timely decisions. While there is an uptick in the businesses investing in data and nimble technologies like cloud and AI, many are still struggling to maintain momentum. Businesses need to get out of cultural obstacles, address data privacy and governance challenges to enhance their degree of business transformation.” 

Elaborating further on increasing adoption of Cloud communication, Mr. Shibhu Davies explained, “Cloud Communication suite like Smartflo being offered by Tata Teleservices are inherently designed for a digital or hybrid environment and is well-equipped to deal with the growing overlap between digital technology and enterprise operations. Besides enhanced efficiency and operational flexibility, it offers more robust security to your business with a pre-configured unified threat management system.”

Mr. Upkar Singh, Director IT, Fidelity Information Services India Ltd said “Covid has created an unprecedented impact across all regions – organizations that are flexible both from technology and operational perspective have been able to RESPOND in time, REBOOT their functions and are now REINVENTING result oriented approach”

Mr. Raj Neravathi – Head of Technology, Titan said, “During times of catastrophes, leadership plays a very important role in adoption to change. Composure, calmness, honoring and supporting every internal and external stakeholder through thick and thin helps revive business and defines leadership by example.” 

Mr. Yogesh Kothari – Sr Vice President, Quatrro Business Support Solutions said, “Challenges that enterprises are facing in the current times is resistance to change. There is a lack of vision for creating a digital journey for the customer and technology know how for their business” 

Highlights of discussion: 

Challenges in Technology Adoption 

The key challenges faced by enterprises for adopting new technologies extend both towards the changing customer experience along with employee pushback. Merely purchasing and implementing a solution in response to a localized issue does not equate to technology adoption and agility. Organizations are considering two key points, recognizing and responding to the shifting trends in consumer behavior and avoiding the initiatives that target specific issues.

The post-covid world has led to unexpectedly increased customer readiness towards trying new channels for interacting with businesses. 

Organizations adopting to technology, lead to driving changes strategically through an ongoing process where being receptive to changing consumer trends helps in the formulation of effective roadmaps. These roadmaps can then be used to build better value propositions by leveraging the right technological advancements, leading to business growth and benefits.

Role of Leadership In Bringing Organizational Change

Leadership plays a very critical role while dealing with catastrophes. From healthcare solutions to virtual classrooms, from facilitating remote work and learning, from re-imagining online business models and digital revenue lines, to stepping up the cyber security, organizations are working on new challenges.

The pandemic has accelerated transformation multifariously for businesses in India. Organizations are re-imagining their business models, relooking at talent management strategies, and fast-tracking digitalization efforts to be more resilient to disruption. 

Organizations are simplifying and enhancing their IT landscape, architecting systems for integration, balancing operational and capital expenses using the cloud. Investments are being made towards intelligent systems that provide incremental learning abilities. 

Technology Investments for a Digital Future

Over the last couple of months, it has become increasingly evident that digital adoption is not negotiable. Having the right technology to power up digital strategies is fundamental in today’s business world. It is a business requirement without which organizations are not able to grow in a rapidly evolving market landscape.

A good business continuity solution that delivers digital workspaces to access critical applications, have accelerated the performance of organizational applications on remote connections. With right platform and solutions clubbed with excessive trainings, organizations have managed to continue with their operations without major loss in productivity or efficiency.

Digital technologies have caused a shift in customer expectations, resulting in a new kind of modern buyer. Today’s consumers are constantly connected and aware of what they can do with technology. Bringing the employees up to speed to cater to the new age customers has been one of the key form of investments for various organizations. 

Respond, Reboot and Reinvent – The New Mindset for Growth

Organizations have taken immediate actions focused on keeping people safe and essential business functions operating. This has been relatively marked with high effort and possibly chaotic activity.

Organizations are adopting to the wholistic approach, recognizing evolving customer demand, channels of information consumption, building continued incremental intelligence including technology that provides agility. Agile decision making and strategy setting by enterprises have outsized performance and established a lead over the competition that sustains long after the initial disruption. By reinventing themselves, organizations have learnt to conduct operational processes and workflows in new, repeatable, and scalable ways.

Key Takeaways

  • Gaining New perspectives, relooking at business models and embracing new models of harnessing technology have become business priorities.  
  • Reinvent on an ongoing basis to build an agile, adaptive & resilient enterprise for a sustainable future. 
  • Uninterrupted connectivity between all stakeholders, internally within employees and externally with customers and vendors across platforms and touch points is of critical importance.

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Networking

Bharti Airtel Announces 5G Ready Network

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In a major landmark, Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) announced that it has become the country’s first telco to successfully demonstrate & orchestrate LIVE 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad city.

Airtel did this over its existing liberalised spectrum in the 1800 MHz band through the NSA (Non Stand Alone) network technology. Using a first of its kind, dynamic spectrum sharing, Airtel seamlessly operated 5G and 4G concurrently within the same spectrum block. This demonstration has emphatically validated the 5G readiness of Airtel’s network across all domains – Radio, Core and Transport. 

Airtel 5G is capable of delivering 10x speeds, 10x latency and 100x concurrency when compared to existing technologies. Specifically, in Hyderabad, users were able to download a full length movie in a matter of seconds on a 5G phone. This demonstration has underlined the company’s technology capabilities. The full impact of the 5G experience, however, will be available to our customers, when adequate spectrum is available and government approvals received.

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel said: “I am very proud of our engineers who have worked tirelessly to showcase this incredible capability in Tech City, Hyderabad today. Every one of our investments is future proofed as this game changing test in Hyderabad proves. With Airtel being the first operator to demonstrate this capability, we have shown again that we have always been the first in India to pioneer new technologies in our quest for empowering Indians everywhere.” 

“We believe India has the potential to become a global hub for 5G innovation. To make that happen we need the eco system to come together – applications, devices and network innovation. We are more than ready to do our bit.” added Gopal Vittal.                  

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Networking

Airtel Xstream Fiber Rolls Out Gigabit Wi-Fi Experience

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Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) has kicked off the New Year with some exciting news for customers with the launch of hyper-fast Wi-Fi experience. 

Airtel Xstream Fiber customers can now enjoy 1 Gbps data speeds over Wi-Fi and no longer have to be constrained by a dedicated LAN cable. The Airtel Xstream Fiber Rs 3999 plan now comes with a complimentary 1 Gbps Wi-Fi router to go with unlimited data quota and massive bundled content.  

The highly advanced 4×4 Wi-Fi router, will enable seamless 1 Gbps Wi-Fi coverage across Homes and Small Offices. This will unlock a great experience for online gaming and animation and for work or study from home with large number of concurrently connected devices. Small Offices will be able to deploy multiple high speed connections for applications such as stock trading and online collaboration that requires reliable high speed connectivity with zero downtime.      

Says Vir Inder Nath, CEO – Homes, Bharti Airtel: “Reliable high speed connectivity is a lifeline in today’s digital first world and Airtel is proud to be at the forefront of India’s broadband revolution. A key ask from our customers was liberation from the LAN cable to enjoy the 1Gbps experience and we are delighted to make that happen.”        

Airtel Xstream Fiber’s 1 Gbps broadband plan at Rs 3999 also comes with a complimentary Airtel Xstream Box that offers 550 TV channels and OTT content from the Airtel Xstream app library that includes over 10,000 movies & shows aggregated across 7 OTT apps and 5 studios. It offers subscription to premier video streaming apps such as Amazon Prime Video and ZEE5, all accessible through the Airtel Xstream Box.

Airtel is India’s largest private sector broadband service provider with presence in over 150 cities. 

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