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IBM, Birla Sun Life Ink 9 Yr Deal

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IBM on Thursday (05 January) announced that Birla Sun Life Insurance (BSLI), the life insurance arm of the Aditya Birla Financial Services Group, signed a nine year IT outsourcing deal with IBM to consolidate, redesign in-scope applications and use analytics to provide client insights that build competitive advantage. BSLI will leverage mobility and cloud solutions developed by IBM Research and the IBM India Software Lab to achieve increased revenues, reduce costs and enhanced profitability.
Speaking on the occasion, Mayank Bathwal, Dy CEO, Birla Sun Life Insurance said, “We at Birla Sun Life Insurance are committed to offering an enhanced experience to our customers while improving on efficiencies and profitability of the business. We believe that this winning partnership with IBM will help us excel and stay ahead of the curve in this fast evolving life insurance industry, while addressing all business needs. IBM’s vast experience and technology capabilities will add tremendous value to our business.”
This deal could help BSLI realize a cost reduction advantage from consolidation of IT vendors. IBM’s flexible pricing model will enable dynamic ramp up/down and consumption based operational spending along with a roadmap to modernize, consolidate and rationalize the application portfolio, bringing in speed and reduced time to market.
Intex At No 3 In The Indian Smartphone Market
Intex Technologies, one of the fastest growing mobile company sets another benchmark by acquiring the third position in the Smartphone handset market in the last quarter (October – December 2014), as per the latest Counterpoint Research report.
Witnessing growth of 70 per cent quarter on quarter, Intex sold 1.7 million of Smartphones in the last quarter (Oct-Dec) in India with an objective of keeping this momentum high. The Smartphones sales have gained huge thrust last quarter from the previous quarter (July-Sep).
According to Counterpoint, Intex has got mammoth growth last quarter by reaching the third position in Indian Smartphone market capturing around 6.5 per cent of the market share during the quarter.  Intex enjoyed a strong demand in sub $100 Smartphone segment especially for its Aqua 3G and Y Pro models.
Sanjay Kumar Kalirona, Business Head, Mobiles, Intex Technologies said, “With years of innovation and hard work, we have established Intex itself as a trusted name in the industry today. From April to Dec 2014, we have achieved sales of 10 million feature phones and 4 million Smart phones in India with aim of doubling the same. While our vision is to make Intex a globally respected name, our approach is to work towards improving the quality of life of our customers by providing them superior quality handsets at unique price points.
Autodesk's Desktop Subscriptions
Autodesk, Inc announced that new commercial seats of most standalone desktop software products will be available only by Desktop Subscription beginning February 01, 2016. Through these changes, Autodesk is continuing its transition to subscription-based offerings for its products, which provide customers a simplified product management and deployment experience, and makes it easier to introduce new tools and technology into the workflow with lower upfront cost and the ability to pay as you go.
"How the world is designed and made is changing, and how software is delivered is changing as well. The companies that embrace these changes will lead their industries toward a more nimble, connected and richer future,” said Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk senior vice president of Industry Strategy & Marketing. "Our customers have long asked for greater flexibility and more value from their software investments. The shift to subscription allows Autodesk to deliver both, as well as an improved user experience and easier access to a broader portfolio of technology.”
Autodesk Desktop Subscription offers a simplified installation, management and upgrade experience, flexible payment terms, and broader access rights across multiple devices. Autodesk plans to continually innovate and improve Desktop Subscription products to more tightly integrate them with Autodesk cloud services and reduce file compatibility issues.
TCS Receives Honors At Brandon Hall Group Awards
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, on Thursday announced it has wonthree Brandon Hall Group awardsunder the Excellence in Learning category: Gold for Best Custom Content; Silver for Best in Competencies and Skill Development; and a Bronze for Best Use of Blended Learning. TCS also won a Gold award in the Excellence in Sales and Marketing category for Best Sales Leadership Development Program.
Now in its 20th year, the Brandon Hall Excellence awards are presented annually by Brandon Hall Research, a leading research firm in training and development. Each entry is evaluated by a panel of industry experts based on four key criteria, including design of the program, functionality, innovation, and overall measureable benefits.Winners will be honored at Brandon Hall Group's HCM Excellence Conference 2015, to be held from January 28-30at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
"The Retail business analysis training program equips our associates to understand complex business problems and equips them with the tools, methodologies, soft skills and in-depth domain concepts to capture business problems and translate them into requirements accurately and holistically. Driven by case studies, this training helps our associates recommend practical solutions for our customers, enabling them to achieve their business and IT goals." said TCS' Pratik Pal, President and Global Head, Retail CPG, Travel, Transportation and Hospitality.
Line Collaborates With Freecharge
LINE, one of the the world’s leading life platform with 170 million monthly active users globally, tied up with FreeCharge offering users up to 200 per cent extra talktime exclusively for its users in India.
In a week long campaign, LINE users shared FreeCharge stickers with groups to win Cashback of Rs 60 on a recharge of Rs 30 by FreeCharge. The metrics received between 7th to 16th January include 6.3 Million stickers which were sent and 3,00,000 vouchers which were distributed through LINE.
The partnership reflects LINE’s commitment to working closely with Indian brands to provide more effective way of engaging consumers. The campaign drove remarkable expanse of engagement and is a first of its kind activity in the world using a messaging service as a marketing platform. LINE aptly helps brands to connect with consumers which is also becoming the most cost-efficient way to build a significant user benefit experience.
“In the last few months, the use of LINE by companies has shot up swiftly. With millions of users, LINE has become the perfect opportunity for brands to attract their target audiences. When LINE started out, it was simply a way to communicate with family and friends. However, in the last few years LINE has proven to be an effective platform to reach and attract consumers. Consumers engage with brands through visuals, and short messages in chatting format. Consumers are a brand’s greatest advocates and are a great way to tell its story from the perspective of someone outside the company. They want a personal experience with a brand that is engaging and accessible. LINE allows a brand to do this in real time while giving users a diverse experience," says Daman Soni, Business Head, LINE India.
Dassault Systèmes Announces SOLIDWORKS World 2015
Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, world leader in 3D design software, 3D Digital Mock Up and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, today announced that SOLIDWORKS World 2015, its 17th annual conference dedicated to the 3D design and engineering community, will take place from February 8-11, 2015 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. 
In today’s age of experience, the design world is more social, conceptual and collaborative than ever before. SOLIDWORKS World 2015 will assemble more than 5,000 engineers and designers from across the globe to network, learn, share and discover the latest in SOLIDWORKS 3D applications and engineering technologies that help millions of users innovate in product design, simulation, technical communication and data management.  
“At the very heart of SOLIDWORKS are the concepts of collaboration and innovation, which are driven by our creative and passionate user community,” said Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO, SOLIDWORKS, Dassault Systèmes.  “SOLIDWORKS World 2015 offers them the opportunity to build relationships and access tools that help nurture imaginative ideas and develop them into tangible realities.  We are excited to once again discover fresh perspectives and share design technologies of the future at this unique global event.”
Ford Launches Vehicle Personalisation Centre
Ford became the first auto manufacturer to launch a Vehicle Personalisation Centre in India, enabling new EcoSport buyers to customise their favourite urban SUV. The centre will offer a host of superior quality, premium vehicle personalisation options to give Ford customers the ‘power of choice’ that further enhance the great value proposition of the Ford EcoSport.
Located in the vicinity of Ford India’s Chennai factory, the Vehicle Personalisation Centre is spread over 35,000 square feet. The center was inaugurated by John Cooper, vice president Customer Service Division at Ford Asia Pacific and Nigel Harris, president, Ford India.
Ford Vehicle Personalisation Centre in Chennai, India is the first such Ford-operated unit in Asia Pacific region.
“Customers today view vehicles as an extension of their own personalities and are keen to customize their cars to stand out from the clutter. Our customers today are socially conscious who don’t compromise and want things done their way. They desire for enhanced levels of personalisation to make vehicles look distinctly theirs,” said Cooper. “Adding to the overall brand ownership experience, we will provide customers peace of mind through premium quality customization options that they can trust without compromising on safety, quality or vehicle warranties.”
Acer Brings 5th Gen Intel Core Devices
Acer on Thrusday announced it will be expanding support for 5th Generation Intel Core processors, adding the CPU to its hugely popular line of Aspire E5-571 notebooks in India. The move makes Acer the first PC vendor in India to retail notebooks powered by the 5th Generation Intel Core processors. The 5th Generation Intel Core processors have been designed to improve performance, graphics and battery life over previous versions.
“Acer continues leading the industry in computing innovation by enhancing the user experience. Consumers will now be delighted working on the E5-571 which now comes with the latest 5th Generation Intel Core i7 processor. Intel’s 14nm process delivers premium performance, stunning visuals, and battery life which take the device’s performance to the next level of computing.” said S Rajendran, Chief Marketing Officer, Acer India.
Snapdeal Launches App For iPad Users, India’s largest online marketplace has launched its native shopping application for iPad users. This app will enable easy access for consumers to thousands of brands across 500+ product categories which are showcased on the Snapdeal platform, through their iPads. Owing to the growing number of Apple products’ users in India, iOS is currently the second most popular browser on Snapdeal’s mobile platforms. The launch of an application specifically for iPad users aims to provide richer shopping experience to the device users than that was possible earlier where they were accessing the Snapdeal platform via either the m-site or the iPhone application.
The company which already has mobile applications for Android, iPhone and Windows users, with the launch of its native application for iPad users, will further extend its leadership in the mobile shopping/m-commerce domain. Over 65 per cent of the sales on Snapdeal’s platform come via mobile based transactions. With this launch, the company continues to further its efforts in building browser and device specific experience on its mobile platforms.
The application provides a great user experience along with features which are specifically designed for the iPad users. Speaking about this, Ankit Khanna, Senior Vice President, Product Management, said, “Our aim is provide our users a seamless experience regardless of the device that they use to access our platform. The launch of Snapdeal’s new application for iPad users is in line with this. Given that the next wave of e-commerce customers will come via handheld devices, we will continue to build excellent features to deliver a best-in-class mobile shopping experience.”