Archive for June, 2003

Americans say NO to Cold Calls

June 30, 2003

Last Friday (27th June 2003) USA passed a legislation that bars database
marketers from disturbing consumers, if the consumers exercise the option of
NOT allowing cold calls. Consumers can register on a Website if they want cold
calls barred. Within hours, nearly a million people have registered their
numbers for barring cold calls! What impact it will have on Call Center
operation? Will it impact India? Time alone can tell. Understandably most of
the Indian call centers are customer service, tech support oriented; hopefully
Indian Call Centre companies should be unaffected. Yet, I keep my fingers

Windows Mobile – power of brand

June 29, 2003

On June 23, 2003, Microsoft launched a new version of its software for
mobile devices.
Many companies including HP simultaneously launched
products running on this software. What is interesting is the decision of
Microsoft to christen this product as “Windows Mobile”.

IC need not be Integrated Circuits alone, it can be India & China too

June 28, 2003

With the historic visit of Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee to China and the
warm reception he had, the possibility of India & China working together to
grab the world IT market comes closer to reality. Indian software prowess is
widely acclaimed. China’s hardware skills are universally admired. With most
hardware (computers, phones, entertaiment electronics, automobiles, airplanes,
and healthcare equipments) getting lots of software embedded in them, China
needs Indian software skills; India, in turn, can learn lessons in
manufacturing from China. We might fight each other in the home markets;
Chinese invasion of Indian stores is a sight to see. But instead of crying
over the “lost” opportunity, we should seek a “coopetitive” way to work with
China to capture the rest of the global markets. That would be a sure “win
win” for both

Celebrate a new benchmark

June 27, 2003

My Column in Financial Express today (27th June 2003) carries an abridged
version of my earlier post

Library Backoffice Outsourcing – Opportunity for India

June 26, 2003

Listening to many presentations, particularly from large libraries such as
NSF, NSDL, Newspaper Archives etc., it appears that digitizing (not mere
scanning & storing) with metadata creation, XML tag creation, automated
summary, abstract etc., for the published information (as well as those who do
not use the full power of digital medium to index content automatically) can
be a big opportunity that India should consider. The EQQ advantage (English
language skills, reasonable qualiy graduates in significantly large quantity,
produced every year by our higher education system) can come in handy for this
activity too. Add the huge competitive advantage of a tradition of Library
Science (of Ranganathan fame) and large Library Science programs, this can be
achieved over a near term too. Will NASSCOM consider this?

Digital Library should get into the class room

June 25, 2003

A lot of work goes in the Digital Library area. While the Digital Library
contents are great, we need more tools that can integrate the class room
materials into a searchable and universally accessible Digital Library. I
presented this idea in the NSF funded Indo US Digital Library Conference in
Washinton DC during June 23-25, 2003

E-Learning should embrace Digital Library

June 24, 2003

Listening to a number of speakers on Digital Library (Indo US Digital Library
Conference, Washinton DC, June 23-25, 2003) sent off this idea. While Digital
Library researchers are putting a lot of emphasis on contents, e-learning
researchers focus primarily on processes. A synergy between these two would
really enrich education. If Digital Library contents are integrated into
e-learning processes, the courseware would benefit. Similarly if the course
delivery processes are incorporated, Digital Library would become dynamic
learning environment instead of mere “digitized books”- a sure “win win”

Web services in Libraries

June 23, 2003

One of the presentation in DL Conference today, talked of Web Service offering
in the Library context. The author talked of linking Amazon search results
into the local library catalog (order only those books that are NOT in your
local Library); the trick is to use a Web Service that uses ISBN. OCLC has an
experimental Web Service that can provide details of a book, given its ISBN
number or to search for ISBN, given author, title details. Interestingly, this
service links multiple ISBN’s associated with a book (paperback, regular
edition, multiple editions). This is a very interesting application of Web
Services, outside enterprise domain.

How to marry Google & Libraries

June 22, 2003

As I travel to USA to attend a Digital Library Conference, I wonder as to why
the structured search approach of Library does not benefit from the amazing
ability of Google to search even unstructured data. In the process, I discover
the Google API and the interesting text “Google Hacks” (O’Reilly).

Travel forces you to think of unusual possibilities indeed. I need to work on
Google API’s after reading the book (I will grab it in US Bookstores tomorrow)

Open Archives Initiative – will it be Digital Information nirvana?

June 21, 2003

OAI seems to be a rage in the Digital Library world. I am still not clear as
to what exactly it means. If it means everything is open, freely published and
dished out of Web sites, I doubt it can deliver anything. Even professors are
greedy when it comes to royalties. Publishers of course have to squeeze profit
out of publishing activity. If it means standardization, opening up databases,
and shared metadata, so that contents can be searched without knowing the
individual structure, it will be a great boon. Let me discover it all in the
conference (I am travelling today to attend it)