Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ref- Knowledge at Wharton

Managing Technology
Information Security: Why Cybercriminals Are Smiling

With Internet usage forecast to grow 45% globally over the next four years, the web has become a paradise for cybercriminals. Many people don't yet fully understand the enormity of the threat -- to individuals, their families and the companies that they work for, warns Andrea M. Matwyshyn, professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton and editor of a forthcoming book titled, Harboring Data: Information Security, Law and the Corporation. In an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, Matwyshyn and two of the book's contributors discuss the major risk management gaps that are leaving valuable data assets unprotected.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

News udpates

France out of recession and Japan follows suit- its outlook on the business and economy scene is still shaky though, as per Business Standard.

LIC plans to open up a VC firm soon.

Sony India- have shortlisted four product categories around which it would heavily invest in sales and marketing and product development.

BSE tanks more than 600 points on global queues and monsoon worries....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy Birthday OBELISK

Today we have completed one year of operations officially.

Congratulations and a big thank you to everyone connected with Obelisk, for supporting us through our first year. It has been a long and exciting year and we wish all a very happy & productive year ahead.


Team Obelisk

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What you sell and how you sell is important.

Understanding your market and segmenting it always helps you to focus better on “who to sell” and “how to sell”.

A more recent example is cars- Honda Jazz (Honda known for its efficiency) and Fiat Grande Punto (The Punto engine known for its innovation and uniqueness). Both these are launched for the Indian Roads and for Indian conditions, yet they are not the cars for everyone and anyone. The price range for these cars is also in a certain bracket and carry with them their respective values and company legacy.
This is a simple example of how two companies, when competing for market share in a country, project and offer their value to prospective customers.

When I decided to jump into entrepreneurship and started Obelisk with my Partners, we too were faced with this challenge- we knew the space and the service, but had to work on our positioning, segmentation (though I would admit this is still Work-in-progress) and creating the “Wow Factor” for the prospective partners. What one needs is a long-term thinking process, keeping one’s eye on the future, innovating and most importantly “Partnering”.
Partnering has its pros and cons but the overall experiential value and steep learning curve can be very exciting and challenging.

I have always been very perplexed (coming from a non AEC/ Design background) about why is it (and based on my limited understanding of this industry) that anyone would want to outsource their drafting/ drawing production, be it CAD or Revit. We spent days on research and weeks in discussions, to finally understand- “No sane business person, now or in future, would like invest heavily in personnel and infrastructure and would not mind/ look forward to, outsourcing to earn more value from the money spent there on and focus their attention in areas of creativity and designing, leading to more money for their businesses. As far as the routine drafting and drawing production is concerned, they can leave it with the specialists and experienced, trained resources, which just focus and do that. This made sense to me and I started selling it. I would admit- it has been no mean task, but the daunting realisation of the necessity to keep a lean structure, boot strapping, outsourcing any non-core but essential activities, is finally settling in their visionary business minds.

My mentor tells me- Entrepreneurial aspirations and projects are not based on what you were or on what you are, but on “What you want to become”. This always guides us in stormy nights. I would love to hear back from you- the reader on your comments, thoughts, ideas, suggestions or any reaction- good or not so good. Reaction is important and confirms life. Cheers.

Paper to CAD ..................... CAD to BIM

Remember the days when all the drawings and drafting was done on paper and to make one simple change required the whole drawings to be redrafted or scratching of old sheets & redrafting over them. What a waste of time and effort.

Then CAD came along and took over as an effective drafting tool. To change a wall just required typing 2-3 commands and, WOW!!! It was done. However, the transition was not that easy. There was a lot of resistance from the architecture community and it took a lot of time to be widely accepted.

I remember in architecture school some of us who were proficient on CAD were not allowed it to use for submissions by our professors and we ended up taking plots on CAD and then extended lines with our drafting pens to make it seem as hand drafted.

In the present day scenario we can't think of life without CAD. CAD helped us improve our efficiencies but it still was a tool and not what you can call an intelligent platform.

PRESENT DAY: ENTER BIM (Building Information Modeling)

Again to define it simply BIM is an emerging technological and strategic approach for the AEC industry. It has positioned itself as an approach to address many of AEC’s numerous inefficiencies.

But, do we see the same resistance as we saw for CAD.......................... maybe more.

What a lot of us have not realized is that shifting from paper to CAD in principal was much simpler. You were doing the same thing on the computer which you initially did on paper. It was more of a platform and technology shift. Putting it very simply, CAD just facilitated your drafting.

BIM on the other hand is just not about drafting or documentation. BIM IS NOT A DIRECT REPLACEMENT TO CAD.

To move to BIM is just not about a CAD upgrade but more like a strategic and business decision by the firm’s principals. A firm needs to understand how BIM will impact it at all levels. The primary aim of the platform however is to create, share, contemplate and apply knowledge and to take the concept of 3-d modeling to an infinite number of dimensions.

In my subsequent posts I would be discussing effective pointers on understanding & implementing BIM within organizations, let me know your views and suggestions.