IDG News Service - Japanese conglomerate Hitachi on Monday launched a new data center business that includes everything from planning to construction to IT support.
Hitachi said its new "GNEXT Facility & IT Management Service" will cover consulting on environmental and security issues, procurement and installation of power, cooling and security systems, and ongoing hardware maintenance. It will expand to include outsourcing services for software engineers and support for clearing regulatory hurdles and certifications.
The company targets $1.25 billion in orders from the new business by the fiscal year that ends in March 2016, or about 10% of total revenue, based on its forecast for the recently ended fiscal year.
As Japanese companies gear up to build and support the growing trend for cloud-based services that require large data centers, Hitachi has opted to leverage its broad collection of subsidiaries. The company produces everything from nuclear power plants to bulldozers to mobile phones.
The company will offer standardized rack layouts for existing facilities, as well as all-in-one container data centers. It said the goal is to offer an all-in-one outsourcing service for clients that want to host their own data centers on site.
Hitachi said it will initially focus on Japan, China and the ASEAN countries, which include Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam, looking to grow the business with local regional partners.
Japanese hardware and consulting firms are increasingly focusing on server farms and "big data," which refers to the huge sets of information generated by websites, social networks, and physical networks of sensors in the field. Last month Fujitsu, which also offers servers for data centers, announced a new suite of software for the sector, saying it will eventually target over $1 billion in annual sales.
Cloudera, a U.S. provider of open-source software based on the Hadoop platform, has announced that it opened a subsidiary in the country, partnering with local IT giant and data center operator NTT Data.
Source: Computer World
Is the Philippines destined to become an Asian economic growth leader, matching China, India and Vietnam?
Yes, according to a set of statistics in the draft document “Asean, the PRC and the Great Transformation?” put out by the Asian Development Bank at its recent annual meeting in Manila.
The ADB is forecasting the Philippines’ annual average gross domestic product growth of 7 percent between now and 2030. This is in the same projected growth league as China, India and Vietnam, and it is way ahead of Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.
Is this anything more than wishful thinking on the part of the Asian Development Bank Institute, the ADB’s Tokyo-based research arm, or could the Philippines become the first populous developing country to use the services sector as a basis for an economic takeoff?
The investment climate in the Philippines has improved significantly since the advent of the Aquino administration two years ago. Its commitment to attack corruption, smuggling, tax evasion, inflexible labor laws, cozy insider deals which profited well-connected businesses but deterred competition and foreign investment has been noted at home and abroad.
There is a chance that four more years of the Aquino administration could permanently raise standards of governance and put in place some of the physical and educational infrastructure needed to raise the long-term growth rate. But government revenues remain low and some is spent on subsidies to keep the poorest in school, leaving very little for roads and ports. Public-private partnerships are in the works but must overcome a history of regulation and political interference.
It will take time to build a base from which an industrial economy can grow and take workers from very low value-added services and farming to labor-intensive manufacturing.
The Philippines’ failure to develop its manufacturing sector, which accounts for 21 percent of GDP compared with 34 percent in Thailand, has long been a curse which kept the nation poor and forced workers overseas. But now this weakness may be a strength as global markets for low-technology manufacturers are glutted by a combination of over-investment in China and the almost boundless availability of labor in South Asia. It is to the Philippines’ advantage that most of its foreign exchange now comes from remittances ($20 billion a year and rising) and business process outsourcing, now at $13 billion. These dwarf physical exports, led by electronics which are around $35 billion. Both are more stable income sources than manufactures or resources.
BPO, which requires educated people but little financial capital, is creating a significant class of educated lower-middle income salary earners who have spawned building and consumption booms. Though their numbers — about 450,000 directly employed by the industry — are relatively small in the context of a nation of 90 million, and BPO success has scant impact on the poorly educated masses, the middle-income class is expanding and, with it, an appreciation of the value of education and of expectations of standards of government.
Even the birth rate is falling and families are taking to the use of contraception, so while other East Asian nations face the challenge of rapidly aging populations, the Philippines will be less burdened than in the past by a rapid increase.
Tourism is also beginning to acquire some momentum, helped by the expansion of domestic and international air services. Though still far behind, it has become a favorite destination for South Koreans.
Even the Scarborough Shoal dispute could be a benefit, raising the country’s international profile and strengthening its often fragile sense of national identity.
Eventually all the gains from services and remittances will have to be reflected in the creation of manufacturing industries, but the infrastructure can be laid from the existing income streams.
The ADB projection of 7 percent a year until 2030 looks optimistic. But the tables may finally be turning as the Philippines begins to catch up with the likes of Thailand and Indonesia.
Philip Bowring, a former editor of The Far Eastern Economic Review, is a founder and consulting editor of Asia Sentinel.
Source: The Jakarta Globe
Hewlett Packard is establishing a software development center in Silicon Valley that the company describes as "a single community" for its management, automation and security software teams.
Under a leasing agreement unveiled Wednesday, HP will set up shop early next year at Moffett Towers, a 1.8 million-square-foot office complex in Sunnyvale, Calif. HP will consolidate software development assets from its multiple Bay Area offices at this location, including the security expertise acquired in its acquisitions of ArcSight and Fortify.
HP CEO Leo Apotheker has made building out HP's software business one of his top priorities and the company intends to use the new facility to develop "important information management capabilities" for specific vertical industries.
"Software is the cornerstone of HP’s vision to provide seamless, secure, context-aware experiences for the connected world," said Bill Veghte, executive vice president of HP's enterprise software business, in a statement.
Moffett Towers "soars above its surroundings to provide unobstructed views of San Francisco Bay and Silicon Valley. Each of its seven towers is an architectural masterwork of gleaming steel, stone and glass," according to a description the facility's Web site.
Moffett Towers, developed by San Francisco-based Jay Paul Company, features buildings that are LEED certified and built in an environmentally friendly, energy efficient fashion. "Wired for today and ready for future expansion, all buildings can be easily connected via conduit infrastructure," according to the Web site.
The green aspects of the new software development facility fits nicely into HP's green IT strategy. Last week, HP opened a research facility in Fort Collins, Colo. that's dedicated to sustainable data center technologies, including HP's Converged Infrastructure portfolio. HP's goal is to cut power consumption for data center cooling and boost data center capacity while using less equipment.
After nearly five months of construction and a cost of approximately US$1.1 million, the new solar power station is expected to supply about 30 per cent of Intel’s total electricity consumption in a year for the next 20 consecutive years.
This new solar power station, comprising of 1,092 solar panels and 21 adapters, can directly provide the company with around 321,000KWh of electricity per year without using rechargeable batteries, equivalent to electricity consumed by 500 households in Vietnam.
This is the first and only solar power station built by Intel Corporation in Asia, many times bigger than the ones assembled by Intel in Israel and in Oregon, in the US.
In related news, on April 23, Nokia Corporation began construction of its mobile phone factory in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park in the northern province of Bac Ninh.
The 17-hectare factory is expected to become fully operational by the beginning of next year. To be built at a total investment of $302 million, it will produce around 180,000 mobile phones per year and provide jobs for more than 10,000 workers with an average income of $300 per person per month.
Consider this; in one of the largest web based data theft cases, 45 million credit cards were affected. In another case over 40,000 USD mysteriously disappeared from two bank accounts, thanks to a hacker group. In yet another case, when clients of ABC Company and other prospective customers tried to login to company’s website, they were redirected to a competitors page, and the company loses the customer! Apart from direct losses, there are many other indirect losses. According to a whitehat security report in 2008, 9 out of 10 websites are vulnerable or already infected by one or more security threats.
It has become increasingly important to make your website secure, and the first step towards making it secure is to get a thorough website security scan.
Below are the characteristics of a good website scan tool:
• Should be designed to understand the business/website model.
• Should be able to evaluate website security risks.
• Should be updated regularly.
• Should have easy to use website scan dashboard.
• Should provide detailed technical information.
• Should provide easy to understand reports.
• Should provide detailed risk analysis.
• Should provide feasible technical solutions.
There are many benefits that you can reap using these security tools:
• Keep data secure from any infections.
• Increase website availability.
• Gain visitor trust by providing a safe and secure environment.
• Proactive approach against security threats.
• A security assurance seal from a reputed website security provider helps you enhance brand reputation.
• Websites that are more secure gain higher rankings in search engines.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung approved the Science and Technology Development Strategy for the 2010-20 period which targets boosting the value of high-tech and applied science products to about 45 per cent of GDP by 2020.
Under the strategy, the value of the science and technology (S&T) market will increase by an average of 15-17 per cent per year.
The development strategy also requires an increase in the ratio of scientific researchers and professional staff in information and communication technologies (ICT) to nine or ten people per ten thousand. Up to 5000 highly skilled engineers will be trained to manage and operate high tech production lines in Việt Nam's spear-headed fields by 2015.
Việt Nam aims to have 60 internationally qualified basic and applied science research centres by 2020 which are capable of tackling the country's vital S&T issues. The number of S&T organisations will eventually reach 6000.
During the 2010-2020 period, Việt Nam will prioritise S&T development in the areas of communication and information technology, bio-technology, material technology, automation, mechanic – machinery technology and environmental technology.
For managers wishing to appear dynamic and cost-conscious, outsourcing, near-shoring and off-shoring seem to provide the perfect solutions. All entail moving services or production to other countries which boast a charming combination of talented staff and lower labor costs, usually located in emerging markets such as Romania or Vietnam. Basically, outsourcing means having an external company do some activity instead of your own company. Near-shoring is when this is done by a country in proximity to the home country, such as Mexico is to the U.S. Off-shoring is when this is done by a country further away from the home country, like when a French manufacturer off-shores its IT work to India. The whole idea is to enable the home country to reduce costs, something which inevitably produces broad smiles on shareholders' faces. The point is to get results, cheaper. Sounds simple. So why does it often go wrong?
In reality, outsourcing projects are often badly planned and mismanaged, resulting in project delays, rising costs, soaring frustration levels and cross-cultural misunderstandings. In the end, cheap is expensive.
Why? Indians, Czechs, Poles and other nationalities that are considered outsourcing-friendly are usually extremely well-qualified and speak excellent English, albeit with an accent. This means that qualifications and language cannot account for the delays and misunderstandings so common in outsourced projects. The answer very often lies in the major but little appreciated aspect of cultural differences, and the different ways of "signaling" to business counterparts things such as importance, emotion and urgency.
Generally stated, international business cultures can be categorized into "task-oriented" (Scandinavians, German speakers, parts of the U.S. and the UK, for instance), and "relationship-oriented cultures" (India, Asia, Latin American, Southern and Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, parts of the U.S. and the UK, for example). Crudely, task-oriented cultures tend to focus onthings -- contracts, facts, deadlines, etc -- rather than people. Relationship-oriented cultures consider people -- business dinners, small talk, sharing emotions -- of greater importance thanthings or even time itself.
Germany is a classic task-oriented culture. German managers often believe that their outsourced partners can be managed via email, with the occasional phone call thrown in to stress the urgency of some matter, followed up -- perhaps -- by an in-country visit once a year. All their home-based staff has to do is provide their Romanian or Indian counterparts with clearly stated data and milestones. Job done. For them, clearly defined parameters, deadlines and detailed contracts guarantee project success. How do business partners build trust? Through reliable, measurable behavior -- a deadline is universally understandable, right? Who needs to go to dinner? Besides, that would simply increase business expenses and result in nothing tangible.
But most of the world's seven billion people -- from Asia to the Middle East, Latin America to Southern Europe and beyond -- live in relationship-oriented cultures. Here, a handshake is of equal or greater importance than a contract, dinner with your business partner of more significance than some milestone. For relationship-oriented cultures, people are more important than things. "If a deadline is missed, come over, we'll talk about it and work things out. But tell me, how is your cousin doing..?"
In managing outsourced projects, task-oriented managers often prefer to use email, because it is quick, efficient and cheap. Often they believe that words such as URGENT!!! in the subject line -- bright red, of course -- means "please do now." A relationship-oriented counterpart, however, located in California or Mumbai often simply ignores or deletes this message. For them, "urgent" indicates factory on fire, boss kidnapped, war has broken out -- thus if it's urgent, don't email me -- burst into my office. Email, they reason, is cold, impersonal and thus unemotional; if something were truly "urgent" my counterpart would call, or better yet Skype or, best of all, fly out to talk to me -- or fly me to his headquarters.
Furthermore, task and relationship oriented cultures often possess different ideas of what "ASAP" signifies. My German clients believe it's synonymous with "immediately"; my British partner, in contrast, tells me it means "as soon as it is possible for me." Thus, it could take up to a week for him to do an "ASAP" task. In other words, for relationship-oriented cultures, the more important something is, the greater the need to have a face-face-meeting; if it is of lesser importance, email is fine. Just don't expect a reply.
In the end, the intangible costs of these subtle yet crucial cultural interpretations and "signaling" often offset the initial financial gains of outsourcing. Which type should defer to the other? Well, just looking at population figures, relationship-oriented cultures, including 1.1 billion Chinese, 350 million Arabs and 1.2 billion Indians, far outnumber, say, five million Finns. To ensure deadline commitment and on-time, in-budget, smoothly running international projects, the basic rule is: spend quality time with your relationship-oriented partner. Eat with him. Ask about his family. And remember: relationships get results.
Under the draft decree on Internet and information content service management, foreign institutions which provide public information services across the border, attracting many users in Vietnamese territory, have to set up representative offices in Vietnam.
Once the draft decree gets approval and takes effects, the “big guys” in the field of digital content, such as Google and Facebook, would be officially present in Vietnam.
Representative offices not only help collect tax
The fact that Google and Facebook can make big money in Vietnam but do not pay tax has become a hot topic in discussions. Competent agencies have been many times urged to set stricter control over the big guys and force them to pay tax on the earnings in Vietnam.
However, experts have pointed out that if the draft regulation is applied, Vietnam would get many more benefits from the presence of the big guys rather than the tax collection.
Vo Do Thang, Director of Athena, a center for network management and security training, said that the presence of Google and Facebook in Vietnam would help popularize Vietnam’s image in the world’s information technology market.
“Their presence would also help attract their partners to Vietnam, thus creating more opportunities to Vietnamese software outsourcing companies,” Thang said.
Also according to Thang, some big guys not only simply provide digital content services, but also have jumped into other business fields. Google, for example, also manufactures tablets and smart phones, i.e. it has jumped into the hardware sector. As such, this may lead to a new wave of investment and new technology import to Vietnam, the thing that happened in Intel’s case.
Under the current regulations, with representative offices in Vietnam, the big guys would not be allowed to do business, while they can only act as consultants and technical supporters. Some manufacturers would try to orient the market through training and investments. If so, according to Thang, the domestic infrastructure and labor force would benefit from the programs.
“Besides, when entering Vietnam, foreign groups would bring with themselves professional management procedures, which are very useful for the sectors with hot development, including digital content,” Thang said.
Vu Thai Ha, Director of EXA, the company specializing in providing online backup services, said cloud computing remains an unfamiliar concept for domestic computer users, therefore, if Google sets up representative offices in Vietnam, this would be a good signal, showing that Vietnam is market with great potentials.
Ngo Dac Thuan, Managing Director of Hat Giong So, a mobile app service provider, said the presence of Google in Vietnam would support the developers of Android-based mobile apps
The cooperation and competition
It’s clear that if Google or Facebook set up representative offices in Vietnam would bring benefits to partners and the domestic users, but would be the hindrances to the enterprises in the same sectors. The foreign giants would become even stronger, once they have technical support staff right in Vietnam.
However, domestic firms keep optimistic about the presence of the world’s giants in Vietnam. Andy Dang, Creative Director of Phan Viet Media Company, said that he can see the opportunities for cooperation for mutual development.
Meanwhile, Phan Anh Tuan, Director of go.vn network, said in the digital world, there is no geographical distance. Therefore, the competition has always existed, even if Google or Facebook do not set up representative offices in Vietnam. Tuan stressed that Vietnamese businesses always have to struggle with the two big guys and other rivals to survive already.