Friday, September 5, 2008

Hyderabadi Harley!

This post is an eye-opener to all the stunt bikers who think they are the only dare devils. There are others too who have breathtaking talent.

I happened to go out with my colleague for a meeting. I avoided my bike and we decided to go by car as the temperatures were soaring high. As we were moving through the Greenland flyover, we spotted an unusual vehicle.
At first sight, it took me a few moments to recognise the type of vehicle that just zipped by. With eyes wide open I was trying to grasp the fact that it was a bike. I asked my colleague to follow the biker so as I can understand what exactly that entity was. One thin that we noticed about the vehicle was that it was fully overloaded. I have no words to explain how the vehicle was put to test and loaded in such a way that its appearance was deceptive.
It seemed to be a perfect transformation of the bike from an absolute case of malnutrition to a fat beast. The bike was loaded in such a way that its appeared HUGE.
I suggest you see it with your own eyes.

A word about the biker, "over skilled". Hats off to the rider who was managing the vehicle with such an ease. It seemed to be a cake walk through the busy dense traffic. I wonder how he was controlling the stuff.
He proved to be a show stopper as everyone whom he overtook was looking at him with dilated pupils even in the brightness of scotching afternoon.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Change Governance: Critical for businesses today

The only thing constant in this world is change. No matter, how much global or local in its outlook, every organisation encounters Change. No organisation can escape it. Adopting Change Governance is the need of the hour..
Everything is bound to Change,
Constancy alone is Strange
CHANGE CAN BE triggered by various external factors or forces like Globalization, Compliance to Regulations, mergers and acquisitions and pressures due to competition.

In today’s business and enterprise world, factors initiating change are ambivalent. They enforce conditions leading to consumption of time, money and resources, in addition to increasing risk and also pose a challenge to the business operations. Even a minute change can grow and make an impact over a whole enterprise and can have unexpected consequences.

Organisations or businesses must always be on their toes to foresee change. If an organisation is aware of the onset of change and is well prepared to anticipate and channel its potentially destructive energy, they can capitalize on the change through ways that can transform their businesses.

That poses a pertinent question that needs to be answered. How can an organisation foresee change and take advantage. In today’s distributed enterprise where the impact of a single minute change occurring in one of the modules of the organisation can have a significant impact on the organisation as a whole? The wider impact of any change, and its subsequent management, is not appreciated until it is too late. With the result other parts of the organisation find themselves unexpectedly caught off guard by changes that had their first impact elsewhere in the enterprise.

Considered to be a constant entity, Change is a part of business environment that confronts modern enterprises at all times, on every front. Every company deals with change on its own terms and has its own unique way of dealing with the change. How it responds determines the final critical difference between costly miss or translating an advantage out from it.

Company that have inbuilt strategy meant for monitoring and controlling change will have a much greater chance of success. On the other hand, an enterprise lacking strategy will assume the change to be an unavoidable and unnecessary risk without really doing anything about that.

Broadly termed, companies operate at different maturity levels when dealing with change across their IT organizations. They either overreact and suffer loss or use calm heads and profit from it at the other.

Change is omnipresent and pervasive in competitive markets. There are many issues and aspects related to change that are debated the most in business like the necessity of change, factors driving change, its value and so on, but in reality, the impact of change is often negative.

Triggered, enforced and endorsed by the increasingly complex nature of the enterprise and evolving change events that present new and unique challenges to today’s enterprises, change is happening faster than ever.

Changes such as growth and best practice implementation are termed as beneficial changes. Even these can interrupt the flow of business and strain company resources. While responding to the forces driving change, the companies may find that the way in which they respond may in turn fuel more change.

Change comes from many directions. Responding to external change requires internal change, which is a period of adjustment, acceptance and transition. Change events impact an organisation from all directions and become themselves a catalyst for yet more change. Generally companies see change as a threat instead of an opportunity. But controlling change proactively, instead of reacting to it defensively, can make all the difference.

Change can have a catastrophic impact or transformative benefit. While change can be effectively managed within a given parameter, the lack of understanding of its broader implications can expose the entire organisation to a negative outcome.

In today’s global, distributed enterprise, change often starts in silos. These silos may occur within business units, geographies, job roles, and even individual technologies. While a specific change event may be contained and managed within a silo, the common frame of reference that enables the company to see the impact of the change outside the silo, or to integrate the change with other activities outside the silo, is missing. If an organization approaches change in isolation, serious and damaging consequences may follow.

Companies which are unable to adequately foresee or anticipate change are forced to reach to it. They realize the impact most after the effects have filtered through the organisation and expensive cleanup is required. Downtime can cost companies millions per hour. Also a downturn in quality can badly hit an organization and eat away the customer base. Exposure to uncontrolled costs, excessive risk, and poor quality can also lead to missed revenue opportunities or even spell financial disaster.

Change is never easy, and its effects can be far-reaching and little understood in a large organisation. Trying to minimize the impact of change is therefore a common mind-set which is ultimately futile.

Change ripples outwards from its epicenter with effects beyond its immediate impact.

Even if change is anticipated by some, its consequences will be felt by many who, not being at the site of the initial change event, are unprepared to deal with it. Change therefore must be approached holistically, by the whole organisation, not in departmental or functional silos. Rather than reacting and trying to limit the impact of change, Change Governance is an approach that seeks to understand change as it ripples across the organisation and in doing so harness its power for business advantage.

Change Governance
The idea of governance itself involves a change in mindset. Change Governance is an approach to integrating and coordinating the development, implementation, and adoption of enterprise-wide policies and processes so that organizations can successfully embrace change and handle it in a way that results in a successful business outcome. Change Governance is an effective response to the change that mitigates the risks and reduces the costs associated with not having a proactive, defined and coordinated means of managing change events. It allows organisations to envision the impact of a change before it happens, devise an effective organizational response to it and put into effect consistent change processes and policies across the business. Unlike traditional change management approaches, Change Governance effectively bridges “silos of change” within the enterprise and creates a common frame of reference for business and IT. As a result, IT is better positioned to deliver strategic value to the business.

There are three key steps which have to be taken if organizations are to move towards Change Governance.

The first step involves providing the organizations with tools and techniques to better understand change before it strikes or has an impact over them. It involves a thorough review of the potential change that is going to be made and have an understanding before implementation whether it is harmful or beneficial for the enterprise.

The second thing to do is to have a process for coordinating the dialogue across the organisation.

And the third step is to ensure that once the organisation is set to implement the policy, it should actually do so. This involves visualising the change upfront, orchestrating the implementation and ensuring that it is complied with.

It is clear that Change Governance approach is made possible through a shared, transparent, end-to-end process-driven framework that enables companies to:
Visualize change: Understand the potential impact and interdependencies of a change before it happens
Orchestrate change: Translate that understanding into effective change policies and processes.
Enforce change: Drive adoption of change policies and processes across the enterprise to ensure changes are efficient, consistent, and successful.

A good Change Governance solution can remove the risk of change and turn change events into business advantages such as improved business practices, increased profitability, competitive advantages, and more.

Change Governance and Software Change Management (SCM)
Software Change Management is a subset of Change Governance. While SCM products may be appropriate for managing change as a discrete project within “silos” such as business units, geographies, job roles, specific platforms, Change Governance solutions enable companies to holistically view, integrate, and control change across the entire enterprise.

Change management is complicated, yet for most enterprises, it is business as usual. Budgets, processes, and personnel are commonly tied to separate solutions in isolated departments. Change management typically happens within these “silos,” and complexity often increases as processes and agendas conflict. It also tends to be an IT-driven activity and can miss opportunities to contribute to potential business benefits.

Change Governance has a strategic approach as compared to the Software Change Management, enabling an organisation to control change consistently, efficiently, and successfully, eliminating the fear of disruption and negative outcomes. With the help of Change Governance a change is transformed from a threat to an opportunity becoming a strategic asset that can advance the business, improve profitability, and gain an advantage over companies that still react to change in an isolated or defensive manner.

By approaching change as an integrated, enterprise-wide activity, Change Governance enables IT to deliver greater strategic value to the business. As a result, the high costs, poor quality, and excessive risks that often result from traditional methods of dealing with change are eliminated.
Change management is very localized and particular, and change governance is more strategic, more comprehensive.
There are a few companies that provide Change Governance solutions. These solutions are aimed at providing business and IT with a common frame of reference, helping them to think about the business benefits of a change, coordinate responses across change lifecycles and put into effect effective business processes to more effectively govern change.

Companies all over the globe are adopting Change Governance which in turn is turning out to be a knight in shining armor for them.
Published on 22nd April, 2007 on
Majid Pandit

Friday, August 29, 2008


Last Sunday, while on our way to a Cricket match, me and Aagam (my batch mate at the cricket club) stopped by a roadside tiffin centre for a cup of tea. It was early morning and not much bustle around. Sipping that Irani tea I saw an old man - probably a beggar coming towards us. With a commanding voice, he ordered three glasses of tea and sat on the table next to us. Aagam went aghast!!!, "Bhaya what was that, I heard 3", uttered he. I told him that it was 3 indeed.
Fiddling and checking his pockets frequently, he was looking for something. We were watching carefully, each moment of his.
Then came another surprise. Somewhere from the suburbs of his clothes, he pulled out a cloth and placed it on the table. Opened it carefully as we were watching each and every move. Suddenly he gave us a look with his piercing eyes. Aagam was damn scared.
Finally the old man unfurled the cloth and took out lots and lots of coins. All kinds of coins, I mean all possible denominations available.
My friend whispered saying that he has not seen that many coins in his entire life.... he he...
The beggar started sorting the coins and simultaneously sipping cups of tea. Started to make scrapers of coins. We were mere spectators.
I took my camera phone and asked Agam to shoot a pic but he was damn scared with the look, the old man gave him. I took the initiative to click a pic and finally i managed to do so. It is worth watching.
We decided to move on and join our team that has been waiting for us on the field. But it was quiet a good memorable moment that i wanted to pen down and share with you.
He was a "big beggar" indeed...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Fast and the Furious - Hyderabad Express

This post is not the story of the bollywood bash …Dhoom 2, this is a post dedicated to the Autos of Hyderabad (yes the auto rickshaws). I have been to many cities of India including Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Agra, Jaipur, Ahmedabad but autos from Hyderabad, what a wonder they are!

Firstly the colour of South Indian Autos is completely Yellow apart from the rest of India where it is a combination of Yellow and Black. But it is not merely the colour that is the differentiator. Here the drivers and owners decorate their autos with beautiful custom-made designs. Many people must have seen the Bollywood film – “Hero Heralal”…. They are exactly the same here…

I doubt about a place in India that has faster Autos than Hyderabad. They drive it so fast that if it is fitted with Jet Engine, it is capable of defying the gravity and shattering all speed records.
Interestingly, the meter runs faster than their speed.
Next time you come to Hyderabad, don’t forget to have an Auto ride. It will be a feast and I can bet on that!

Ain't it fun!!! "Chindiyaa hai" (Superb)!!!
“lite le mamu”

The art of PR and the Tech World

"If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations." - Bill Gates

Organizations are the subsets of society and cannot remain dumb. They necessarily need to communicate and actively interact with other clusters of the society in order to make their way upwards on the success graph. It is not an easy job as the clusters are heterogeneous and the nature of interaction with the people outside the organization is diverse. So, to manage this tricky task, a professional approach known as Public Relation is employed by the organization.

Public Relation involves supervision and assessment of public attitudes in addition of maintaining mutual relations and understanding between an organization and its public. An organization needs to interact at constant rate. As the channels of communication have multiplied drastically, its main function is to improve those channels and making out new ways of setting up a full duplex, two-way flow of information and understanding.

Public Relations and Technology World
Recent decade has witnessed a massive growth in High Tech Sector. A large number of Tech firms, all around the globe, over the time have adopted and occupied this field. Hundreds are still budding out in developed, developing as well as under-developed parts of world. High tech industry has turned out and evolved into a huge marketplace. An enormous number of reasons count for growth of such organizations. Large scale Automation, expanded businesses, innovations, advancements in science and technology can be a few major drivers.

The Tech industry is dynamic, fast moving and has constant new product or upgrades and above all fierce competition between brands. In addition to that, disruptive technologies are impacting the world in which we live. Today, all kind of technologies rely on public awareness and support. High tech companies are not only required to prove their technologies to customers, but media and analysts as well. If they misunderstand the value of technologies, these business entities will struggle for support. It can have a drastic impact on the existence of an organization. Jobs will be eliminated, budgets cut, and support will be directed elsewhere. Public relation prevents and eliminates the risk of getting entangled in such situation.

A good Public Relation program practice can help out the Tech firms to have clear messages and distinctly articulate their vision. It can help the organization in becoming industry leaders by advancing their technologies. It can help out the organization in making the statistics and numbers more understandable and meaningful so the audience comprehend the message and supports the initiatives.

Technology is all about innovations. But it is complex too. The people who are the ultimate users of these innovations cannot easily understand what an innovation means for them. It is the job of public relations department of that organization to make the end users really understand what benefits are in a particular innovation. And this can be done by them through events, shows, trade fairs and may be through publications like trade journals, etc.

PR can play a very vital role for the Tech Industry in branding. It is known for dominating the art of branding in the technology industry. It is considered the most effective at building brands as it delivers credibility. It can be a “lifeline” to the early-stage high tech companies. Instead of investing in advertisement and other forms of marketing, these companies can put all of their money meant for marketing, in Public Relations. With limited resources, PR delivers the most value for the buck while also delivering the highest level of credibility and understanding.

PR is effective at building and sustaining buzz. A well designed PR program for a High Tech firm gives it a competitive advantage. It can build an image and generate visibility. A good healthy media relation with the relevant key media person, securing story opportunities and responding well to media inquiries as interest in your company builds momentum. It can place the unit under the spotlight, making it stand out in a crowded market. Other PR programs can take the form of industry relations with trade associations, marketing communications, trade shows/special events, analyst relations, and awareness campaigns designed through award recognition and speaking opportunities.

Another interesting thing prevalent in the Tech industry is the concept of “Technology Partnering”. A company produces a specialized component, partners with other system providers which in turn comes out with an integrated offering to the market. One can hardly point out a single Tech company without having technology partners. PR performs the role of regularly coordinating and communicating with these partners. To come out with a single offer to the market, coordination is a vital element for success.

Managing PR for such a sector has been and shall remain a challenge. Since the growth has been limitless horizontally as well as vertically, the publics associated have grown to an extent which is beyond imagination.

Though PR lends a helping hand to the tech companies and helps them to meet their objectives, they have some inherent flaws that need to be corrected.

Most PR personal are not too tech savvy and get lost while explaining technology to their audience. They are not knowledgeable enough about the tech field hence communicate a message that is misconveyed. They use the same methods to market or communicate a tech product as they market other conventional product which is a big problem.

Another thing that is quiet noticed is that PR takes time and does not necessarily work on the schedule. Planting new ideas or changing minds is a slow process. But when a PR program rolls out over a longer period of time, prospects have time to adjust their attitudes. Brands that take this approach are longer lasting, too.

Past, Present and Future (Trends)
Lessons from the past reveal that the Tech industry has been built on successful Public Relations. There are examples of plenty of mega players in the present High Tech world. Among them renowned companies like Amazon, Yahoo, eBay, Google, Microsoft, Intel, BlackBerry are some of those companies that built their initial identities via PR. Other tech giants like SAP, Cisco and Oracle also built positions via public relations before spending big bucks on ad campaigns. There are countless others.

Nowadays, Public relations employs diverse techniques such as opinion polling and focus groups to evaluate public opinion, combined with a variety of high-tech techniques for distributing information on behalf of their clients, including the internet, satellite feeds, broadcast messages, and blogs. With the advent of Internet Technologies and the need to get online on the web a new form of PR known as Interactive Online PR has come into existence. It includes blog monitoring, Web conferences, online press rooms, news and online monitoring, social networking strategies etc. But the Internet is yet to become a mass medium, it is all about niches. Hence it may take some time to evolve but it has a great future there.

Recent trends to organize regular in-house meeting between the board and employees are catching up, so as both the parties can interact and put forth their ideas and complaints, if any, so as to streamline the operation as well as ensure the growth. Coming-up with regular in-house journals also gives the employees a feeling that they are being heard in the organization and that they are taken seriously. This gives them a feeling of relationship with the organization.

The future of public relations is going to be more complex and no organization can really afford to remain in the business without a proper and optimum public relations wing. The department will be doing most of the marketing for the organization and this would force organizations to have a team of professionals from varied backgrounds in their public relations departments. The team would be comprising of not only communications experts but marketing guys, sales engineers and may be organizational behaviorists who can really interact with publics from across nations with different cultures, languages and what not.

In view of PR companies, the Tech industry is considered as a goldmine. It has definitely got something in it for these organizations.

Majid Pandit
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...