Are You Ready?

With ev­ery com­pany en­ter­ing the mar­ket­place with its unique of­fer­ing, are you ready to pop the tablet?

Voice&Data - - TABLET - Shilpa Shanbhag

It’s rain­ing tablets. If you think the mar­ket is over­crowded, con­sider what Gart­ner has to say. Ac­cord­ing to the re­search firm, the IT spend­ing in 2011 it­self will be largely driven by me­dia tablet sales. It projects that the tablet sales would reach $29.4 bn in 2011, up from last year’s sales of $9.6 bn. That is more than 200% growth. It is ex­pected to grow at an an­nual av­er­age rate of 52% through 2015. Unit-wise, 64 mn tablets are likely to sell this year, which will go up to 326 mn by 2015.

Ap­ple (ipad), Dell (Streak), Sam­sung (Galaxy Tab), CISCO (Cius), Len­ovo (Idea­Pad Tablet K1 and A1 and Thinkpad Tab- let), RIM (Black­berry Play­book), etc, are just some of the bet­ter known names. Go to any shop­ping sites and you will see a plethora of such prod­ucts; many com­pa­nies you would not even have heard about.

Com­pared to the de­vel­oped na­tions, In­dia is at a nascent stage but is a fast grow­ing mar­ket that has wit­nessed in­creas­ing de­mand if sales of 158,000 tablets (Cy­ber­me­dia Re­search) till date are con­sid­ered. Fac­tors like in­creased in­ter­net us­age, lower tar­iffs, and avail­abil­ity of rel­e­vant con­tent for the In­dian cus­tomers will ac­cel­er­ate the adop­tion of tablet PCS in In­dia.

Clearly, a new cat­e­gory of consumer elec­tronic de­vices has emerged and this wave of me­dia tablets will dom­i­nate the en­tire ecosys­tem of ap­pli­ca­tions and me­dia. Over the past one decade, tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments and their ap­pli­ca­bil­ity have had an in­evitable and ir­re­versible im­pact on the evo­lu­tion of busi­nesses. Tech­nol­ogy is evolv­ing at a very fast pace. It is im­por­tant not to fo­cus on the tech­nol­ogy it­self, but more on the ap­pli­ca­tion of a tech­nol­ogy for meet­ing busi­ness needs.

“In­dia is a fairly nascent mar­ket for tablets but fast grow­ing and there is an im­mense po­ten­tial for all play­ers. While

there is stiff com­pe­ti­tion with the in­flux of new play­ers, our strat­egy is to ed­u­cate the cus­tomers about the util­ity of a tablet, its fea­tures, and unique at­tributes thereby in­crease pref­er­ence for the Black­berry Play­book,” says Su­nil Lal­vani, di­rec­tor en­ter­prise sales, RIM In­dia.

Tablets have their own dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing ease of use which in the long run re­sults in the user vouch­ing for the prod­uct. With many play­ers in the mar­ket, an in­di­vid­ual consumer may pre­fer a known la­bel while an en­ter­prise may opt for gad­gets that are close to the known la­bels in us­abil­ity fac­tors. Even the price fac­tor would play an im­por­tant role in the game of choice.

But the tablet mar­ket is ex­pected to eat into the pie of the e-reader mar­ket, which ac­cord­ing to the mar­ket es­ti­mates re­ported ap­prox­i­mately 6 mn e-read­ers off the shelf in 2010. This trend is on the back of re­ports by For­rester that by the end of 2012 the num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als flaunt­ing tablets will over­take the own­ers of e-read­ers.

With the phe­nom­e­nal growth ex­pected in the tablet mar­ket in In­dia, the prices of the gad­get and con­nec­tiv­ity (3G) is ex­pected to go on a south­ward drive. Apart from that, there is also ex­pected to be new feath­ers to be set aflut­ter with the in­tro­duc­tion of 4G and also greater pen­e­tra­tion of Wi-fi. Just like the hand­set mar­ket, there is ex­pec­ta­tion of tablets be­ing a mar­ket­ing bat­tle­ground. The bat­tle is go­ing to in­crease with in­crease in 3G pen­e­tra­tion and im­prove­ment in the In­dian back­bone in­fra­struc­ture and in­tro­duc­tion of 4G and greater pen­e­tra­tion of pub­lic-wi-fi.

“To­day, the mar­ket for ex­pen­sive smart­phones it­self is sig­nif­i­cantly high. There is no rea­son that the tablet mar­ket would not wit­ness high growth. There

With the phe­nom­e­nal growth ex­pected in the tablet mar­ket in In­dia, the prices of the gad­get and con­nec­tiv­ity (3G) is ex­pected to go on a south­ward drive

would be large re­duc­tion in prices go­ing for­ward. Or­ga­ni­za­tions like Re­liance In­fo­tel are al­ready toy­ing with the idea of rolling out a tablet cost­ing 3,000. It would be re­ally in­ter­est­ing to watch how the scene pans out in the fu­ture,” feels Sandip Biswas, di­rec­tor, Deloitte In­dia.

User’s Choice

A tablet PC has en­ter­prise ca­pa­bil­ity to sup­port work func­tions such as in­te­grat­ing the reporting sys­tem, time man­age­ment, and all busi­ness ca­pa­bil­i­ties. “The Play­book has taken our ex­pe­ri­ence from the Black­berry smart­phones and am­pli­fied them. It’s a de­vice that fits the life­styles and needs of pro­fes­sional users, pro­duc­ers, artists, etc. It is a de­vice that helps me do what I love right from gam­ing, pro­fes­sional use, web brows­ing, and so­cial net­work­ing. And, I have op­tions of the kind of con­tent I want to con­sume,” shares Lal­vani.

“I found the ex­pe­ri­ence to be quite user-friendly and con­ve­nient, both for en­ter­tain­ment and pro­fes­sional pur­poses. At­tach­ment of the key­pad to the tablet makes it a lap­top and more,” feels Biswas.

Dif­fer­ent Notes

A tablet is no longer the stan­dard piece of priced pos­ses­sion but a mat­ter of in­no­va­tive use as re­flected by Mar­ket Xcel. Mar­ket Xcel has tied up with cluetec, a Ger­man firm, to uti­lize tablets for data col­lec­tion. This en­ables Mar­ket Xcel to track lo­ca­tion, bring qual­ity and ef­fi­ciency in data col­lec­tion, and at the same time save time and cost. This pro­ce­dure was put in place in Septem­ber 2011 and is cur­rently be­ing tested on var­i­ous types of projects. This ser­vice can be used for all types of seg­ments rang­ing from farmer in­ter­views to B2B au­di­ence.

“The use of tablets in mar­ket re­search for data col­lec­tion will elim­i­nate the use of pa­per and pen ap­proach over a pe­riod of time. There are paid apps avail­able that can help you in data col­lec­tion us­ing both IOS and Android plat­form. Tech­nol­ogy helps us to cre­ate a bet­ter case in front of the clients with re­spect to the qual­ity of data and the lo­ca­tions where data was col­lected. It also fa­cil­i­tates additional fea­tures like tak­ing pho­to­graph of the re­spon­dent, record­ing of in­ter­view us­ing dual cam­eras,” says R Vishal Oberoi, CEO, Mar­ket Xcel.

In an­other ma­jor de­vel­op­ment VIA Tech­nolo­gies Inc, en­tered into a strate­gic part­ner­ship with Simmtron­ics Semi­con­duc­tors for the man­u­fac­ture of tablets pow­ered by Won­der­me­dia PRIZM SOC (Sys­tem-on-chip) plat­forms in In­dia to tar­get the In­dian tablet projects. Simmtron­ics will man­u­fac­ture the de­vices in Noida, Ut­tar Pradesh, to ser­vice par­tic­u­larly the ed­u­ca­tion seg­ment.

Even the govern­ment move to cap­i­tal­ize on the use of tablets is also in line with in­dus­try moves. Re­cently, un­der the National Mis­sion on Ed­u­ca­tion through In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy (NME-ICT), Datawind will sup­ply 100,000 Android based tablets at an allinclu­sive price of 2,250 per unit.

En­ter­prise Ap­pli­ca­tion

If there has been an in­no­va­tive use of tablets, enterprise­s are also not lag­ging be­hind. How­ever there could be an in­creased use in the ed­u­ca­tion seg­ment, dur­ing air travel, and spe­cific sec­tors namely ed­u­ca­tion, busi­ness world, mu­sic per­for­mances, etc, are ex­pected to ben­e­fit. “Con­sumer­iza­tion is a fast mov­ing trend that or­ga­ni­za­tions are strug­gling to keep pace with,” re­marks Steve Dur-

The bat­tle is go­ing to in­crease with in­crease in 3G pen­e­tra­tion and im­prove­ment in In­dian back­bone in­fra­struc­ture and in­tro­duc­tion of 4G and greater pen­e­tra­tion of pub­lic Wi-fi For more re­lated ar­ti­cles go to voicen­data.com

bil, global vice pres­i­dent, In­for­ma­tion Se­cu­rity Fo­rum.

“Me­dia tablets have been in the mar­ket for the past few years; how­ever the adop­tion of the same for enterprise­s has grown at a very slow pace due to process, con­trol, and se­cu­rity gov­er­nance is­sues. Poli­cies are be­ing de­fined un­der the am­bit of ISO and is­sues on main­te­nance are also cov­ered un­der ITIL frame­work. Adop­tion of tech­nol­ogy has never been a chal­lenge but the stan­dard­iza­tion of de­vices would help or­ga­ni­za­tions to a large ex­tent,” in­forms Subra­manya C, CTO, Hin­duja Gobal Ser­vices.

“With the evo­lu­tion of busi­ness mod­els and chang­ing busi­ness pro­cesses com­pa­nies to­day are em­brac­ing tech­nolo­gies for ef­fec­tive col­lab­o­ra­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. There is a grow­ing de­mand for ad­e­quately man­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion and train­ing peo­ple on the ben­e­fits of us­ing these IT propo­si­tions/mod­els,” feels Ashok Sethi, CIO, Sapi­ent In­dia.

“The lead­ing con­cern with BYOPC is re­duced se­cu­rity. The sec­ond most im­por­tant is­sue is around com­pat­i­bil­ity with ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture. How­ever these is­sues will be ironed out over a pe­riod of time. Glob­ally, Bar­clays is very much cog­nizant of the de­mand of resur­gent tech­nolo­gies and is en­sur­ing that we are able to lever­age on them. How­ever there is a strong fo­cus around en­sur­ing that we carry out a strong as­sess­ment of in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity model, us­age, and data porta­bil­ity on these de­vices. There is a ded­i­cated team in­cepted to run with this and we are in the process of do­ing in­ter­nal staff roll­outs and test­ing. Based on these analy­ses, poli­cies and guide­lines are be­ing put in place,” in­forms Chan­dra Gupta, di­rec­tor and head of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, Bar­clays Cor­po­rate In­dia.

On a Fi­nal Note

On a fi­nal note, while there are con­sumers who will go for com­pet­i­tive pric­ing and de­cent tech­nol­ogy, how­ever a great de­mand for tablets with cut­ting edge tech­nol­ogy will con­tinue.

shilpas@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

—R Vishal Oberoi CEO, Mar­ket Xcel

“The use of tablets in mar­ket re­search for data col­lec­tion will elim­i­nate the use of pa­per-and-pen ap­proach over a pe­riod of time”

—Ashok Sethi CIO, Sapi­ent In­dia

“There is a grow­ing de­mand for ad­e­quately man­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion and train­ing peo­ple on the ben­e­fits of us­ing these IT propo­si­tions”

—Su­nil Lal­vani di­rec­tor, en­ter­prise sales, RIM In­dia

“In­dia is a fairly nascent mar­ket for tablets but fast grow­ing and there is an im­mense po­ten­tial for all play­ers”

—Chan­dra Gupta, di­rec­tor and head of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, Bar­clays Cor­po­rate In­dia

“The lead­ing con­cern with BYOPC is re­duced se­cu­rity. The sec­ond most im­por­tant is­sue is around com­pat­i­bil­ity with ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture”

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