MTN's India affair continues; ties up with IMImobile for content delivery
 MTN has tied up with software and managed services provider IMImobile Pvt Ltd to provide mobile and online content to its subscribers across Africa and the Middle East. No financial details were provided.
"IMImobile's value proposition and technology solutions will enable MTN to reduce the time-to-market for new services, boost average revenue per user (ARPU) and keep MTN at the forefront of innovative services," said Nozipho January-Bardill, group corporate affairs executive, MTN.
In a release, MTN said this tie-up would enable it to launch new income-generating voice and data services across its global footprint, with revenues from mobile content and services estimated at around $150.20 billion in 2011, up from $89.30 billion in 2006, worldwide.
One of MTN's new content streams will be the 2010 FIFA World Cup of which the mobile operator has exclusive global mobile content rights. Accordingly, MTN will leverage its IMImobile partnership to deliver exclusive 2010 FIFA World Cup content on subscribers' handsets, including soccer match news, fixtures, match results as well as team and group profiles, the release added.
India-based IMImobile provides converged mobile and online technology platforms and content services to mobile operators and media companies around the world. Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile, Google, Reuters and Yahoo! are some of its major clients.
-Yogesh Sapkale [email protected]
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    MindTree launches customer-centric solutions for retail industry

    The software solutions company is also ready to offer operating expenses based model for Indian retailers

    Software solutions company MindTree Ltd, which has launched multi-channel software for retailers, has said it is ready to offer software solutions based on operating expenses model for Indian retailers. The new 24x7 software solution would cost around $1 million.

    "We are aware of the spending capacity of Indian retailers so we are offering a lot of flexibility with our solutions. We are also looking to provide a demo solution to retail customers," said Babuji Abraham, vice president and head for retail industry group, MindTree.

    The Indian retail industry, valued at about Rs400 billion, is likely to spend around Rs24 billion on retail technology service solutions, during the current financial year, according to industry analysts.

    At present, many retailers are using technologies based on fixed monthly fees rather than buying the software or technology, rather than buying the technology as a one-time investment.

    “Our solution will accelerate mobile shopping among Indian consumers. Smart phones have already grabbed the Indian market and through our technology, retailers can reach their target audience,” said Abraham.

    The solution will help the retailers to reach out to specific target audiences by sending messages which contain specific product details and use appropriate marketing strategy. For example, if a retailer is running a promotional offer for teenagers in which you get a branded accessory free with a branded dress, the message will be sent to teenage female shoppers who are the perfect target audience for such offers.

    The promotional massages sent to the customers will also have a uniform resource locator (URL) which will take the customers directly to the page where the details of the promotional offer is mentioned and even will identify the unique customer in any channel of purchase.  

     "Indian retailers are still not using such solutions because they are very costly and the domestic consumers are not yet into multi-channel buying," said Arun Gupta, group chief technology officer, Shoppers Stop Ltd.

    Abraham said that besides offering a bouquet of multi-channel commerce solutions, MindTree also provides flexibility to retailers to opt for specific solutions based on the Internet or mobile module. This way the retailer can get the solution at lower cost compared with the complete bouquet, he added.

    "Online shopping is slowly increasing in Indian middle class families and the solution will help retailers to manage their inventory better and at the same time satisfy online shoppers," said Abraham.
    - Pallabika Ganguly [email protected]

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    Gartner vs NASSCOM: A tale of two predictions
    Gartner says that world IT spending (IT market size) will grow by 3.3% to $3.3 trillion in 2010. The market size given by Gartner is twice the market size given in the NASSCOM Strategic Report 2009. The report says that world IT market size is only $1.6 trillion. Gartner is an international IT consultant. NASSCOM represents the Indian association of IT companies. With real time data availability, why do these two organisations differ on this crucial statistic?  
    Earlier, Gartner had said that IT spending could drop 6.9% but now it is likely to rebound in 2010. It also cautioned IT leaders not to be overly optimistic. It confirmed that the IT industry may return to growth in 2010 but it may not recoup the 2008 market size before 2012.
    The hardware market could see decline of 16.5% to $317 billion in 2009 which will be recouped in 2011. Worldwide telecom spending worth $1.9 trillion could see 4% decline in 2009 and is likely to grow by 3.2% in 2010. IT services spending of $781 billion in 2009 could grow by 4.5% in 2010.
    Server, PC and printer purchases have slowed down and it is expected that 1 million servers have had their replacement delayed by a year in 2009 and another 2 million servers could be delayed in the next year comprising 10% of the total installed server base.
    NASSCOM’s break-up of $ 1.6 trillion comprised IT services ($557 billion), BPO ($115 billion), packaged software ($295 billion) and hardware ($594 billion).
    Dhruv Rathi [email protected]   
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