Page 36 - IACC Newsletter March-April 2014 Issue 03

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IBM's move to help start-ups comes on the back of similar announcements it made for small - and mid-sized firms.
On 15 July, the firm announced an exclusive partnership with Apple Inc. to introduce a new class of business apps.
On 30 October, IBM said it plans to offer Twitter data as part of select cloud-based services, including IBMWatson
Analytics-a new cognitive service that brings intuitive visualization and predictive capabilities to business users.
Google, Microsoft and AWS, though, have a clear lead in the start-up segment.
As part of programme called 10,000 Start-ups launched by software lobby Nasscom in March 2013, Google offers up to
$20,000 total credit for its Google Cloud platform. Also, based on eligibility, start -ups can use Google Apps free for six
months.
Microsoft offers Azure Credits, and BizSpark subscribers are eligibl e to a $150 monthly amount of cloud computing
resources through Microsoft developer network subscription benefits free from the Windows Azure Platform.
And AWS offers $100-$3,000 in credits, valid for two years, besides $5,000 worth of premium AWS business support for
one year bundled with some other freebies.
While analysts agree these announcements are good for start-ups, they caution such announcements restrict the use of
cloud to the technology solutions or platforms of the companies that offer them. "Moves such as these (the IBMstart-up
announcement) offer a lot of potential in building the cloud ecosystem. IBM will face competition from cloud
infrastructure firms but there are many opportunities in developing applications and services for the cloud p latform," said
Shree Parthasarathy, senior director, enterprise risk service at consulting firm Deloitte India.
He added, though, that "all organizations are trying to push their cloud platforms to start -ups".
Alok Shende, founder and principal analysts of Ascentius Consulting, corroborated that IBMwill face competition fromthe
likes of Google and Microsoft "that have a lead in this space, and offer a suite of services to start -ups".
Shende and Parthasarathy also pointed out that offering credits to start-ups for a limited period, say a year or two years,
does not help them. "Pricing is to be taken with a pinch of salt. Value of the credits is not important for start -ups. What
matters is for how long since most start-ups need nurturing for a long time since they need to last for the long-term and
do not have the resources to do so," said Shende.
"It's important to understand the period forwhich start-ups will be allowed to use the free software or credits, and when
licensing will start since sustainabil ity is a major issue for entrepreneurs," Parthasarathy said.
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'Rs 299 corner': Google gears up for Great Online Shopping Festival
Google has roped in 300 offline and onlineretailers and consumer companies for its Great Online Shopping Festival that is
expected to reach 100 million consumers this year, riding on the frenzy of online shopping in recent weeks. The Great
Online Shopping Festival (GOSF), to be held from December 10-12, is expected to see participation of various consumer
durable, FMCG and e-commerce firms in India.
The organizers will also run a two-week run-up campaign by reserving each day for a single company to partner in a day-
long offers and contests for consumers, said top executives of some ecommerce companies participating in the event.
Google and various e-commerce partners plan heavy-duty online advertising while consumer brands will do offline
campaigns such as hoarding and other outdoor activities, said a seniorexecutive of an e-commerce company. "On that day
they are trying to getmore exclusive launches. They are talking to companies likeSamsung, Philips andMotorola to launch
products during these days," the person said.
Nitin Bawankule, director for ecommerce at Google India, declined to comment.