Posted by admin | Filed under Milestones
Fulcrum Worldwide, an emerging global IT player will be moving its Software Delivery & Operations center in to its Knowledge Campus based out of Hinjewadi Phase III in January 2013.
Fulcrum is a CMMi Level 3 appraised global business and IT consulting firm with offices in New Jersey-USA, Reading-UK and software delivery centers in Mumbai and Pune in India. Fulcrum’s new knowledge campus will be rolling out new SaaS products powered by Cloud for customers in the Higher Education, Insurance and Health care verticals. Fulcrum Offerings include: Enterprise Architecture consulting, Portal and Content Management solutions, Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing implementations, Quality Assurance and Testing Services as well as Turnkey Application Management services
Speaking on the occasion Rajesh Sinha CEO Fulcrum Worldwide said that currently the Aundh center has a capacity of 450 seats. With our ambitious expansion plans and growth prospects we are excited to move to this new center at Hinjewadi. The new center will have a capacity of 2000 people. We have planned an investment of 30 million dollars over the next five years. The center will serve the customers with Cloud based products for next generation applications. Five verticals we are concentrating are Higher Education, Health Care, Insurance, Mfg-Retail & Logistics and Media-Entertainment. Our strength has been Business objective pricing and not resource based pricing normally seen in the market. Our target market primarily remains US, UK/EU & APAC. But we will soon be expanding to other markets including South Africa and Middle East. Apart from Pune we have a center in Mumbai which has 100 employees which caters to high level product engineering architecture and serves the needs of local customers.
Dhana Kumarasamy (COO & EVP Global Delivery) mentions, “Fulcrum is a rare breed of software consulting firms, which has blended its niche technology competencies with business consulting within specific industrial domains to create value for customers beyond solving the problems. In the next two years, we now expect to increase the employees from current global strength of 700 to over 1500 employees. Fulcrum is already planning for additional land procurement within the Hinjewadi Phase III-IT Park, Pune”.
Posted by admin | Filed under Technology
Traditionally, the culture of ‘conservatism’ and the ‘governance’ or ‘independence’ of Universities has created high cost of sales. Each University has ended up building a unique architecture and level of experience and such complexity means services and processes have tended to be tailored/bespoke at every different institution and resulted in silo based approach often creating an over engineered environment that results into higher cost of ownership.
Now, more than ever before, the IT department in Higher Education sector is increasingly under pressure to explore how best to utilize the emerging trends in technology to lower costs and broaden student base.
In this article we take a look at some of the common challenges faced by the IT department of the Universities across the globe and how imbibing some of the recent technology trends can help mitigate some of the issues around data standards, governance and lack of interoperability.
Higher Education Sector – Typical IT Challenges
- Current IT landscape at many universities comprise of set of large, disparate, complex applications built on product stacks procured from multiple vendors that lack strategic business alignment or allow easy exchange of information, knowledge and collaboration both within & outside.
- New anti-terrorism legislations require Universities in many of the developed nations to be able to monitor international students who have obtained a Visa to attend an educational course. IT systems in Universities are not currently geared up for Identity Federation to prevent duplicating such checks every time students change universities.
- Given the proliferation of virtual learning environments and need for online learning options spanning across multiple time zones, there is increasing need for IT to provision for high availability systems to support 24 by 7 window.Also there is an ever-growing need to embrace newer technology channels that provide seamless and personalized experience for student and faculty interactions.
- A percentage of students fail to complete their studies each year. This is a waste of money/time for the student, the University and/or the funding body. If it were possible to identify students who are showing signs of ‘dropping out’ then remedial steps might be taken which could keep the student on their course. In order to do these, there needs to be a framework that allows systems of different universities to easily exchange student records and student information.
- Due to Funding cuts from federal sources (Government) there is a growing pressure on CIOs to provide an IT ecosystem that is efficient, effective and provide value for money. CIOs are also exploring greener alternatives to traditional data canters.
Usage of technology trends in Higher Education sector:
The current challenges faced by the Higher Education sector across necessitate standardizing of the processes around enterprise architecture, master data management and data governance.
The Higher Education consortium needs to create of a common framework for Enterprise Architecture based on concept of shared services and by adapting to some of the recent technology trends to scale up their offerings and provide a more interoperable environment.
The key focus areas for the Higher Education IT evangelists in coming years will be
1. Enterprise Architecture Assessment
In a recent interview, Dhana Kumarasamy, CIO for a global systems integrator called Fulcrum Worldwide, mentioned that “As a CIO, it is very important for me to align the IT infrastructure within my organization in a way that best promotes the business goals, while maximizing the benefit of IT dollars spent. I consider an Enterprise Architecture Assessment as a very important starting point towards this process of IT & Business alignment. Every organization must conduct an EA assessment at least once in every 3 years to ensure that IT remains an enabler for business rather than a bottleneck”.
Likewise CIOs of Higher Education consortiums should take a cue from it and plan to conduct a holistic assessment of the enterprise architecture of the different universities within their domain to assess how well the current architecture is aligned with the needs and goals of the university and determine the current maturity level. This will provide a good insight into gaps against industry recommended standards and help formulate a roadmap and vision of a future state architecture with an end goal of lowering total cost of operation year over year.
2. Shared Services in Cloud
Cloud is a metaphor for provisioning of dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources as a service over the Internet. Investing in purchase-and-install software is falling by the wayside as institutions catch onto the value of using “cloud” applications that are housed (and accessed) online. Not only are these options more affordable and easier to implement, but they also include vast storage capacity that can be used for centralized data store to track student activity and conduct portfolio assessments across the student’s entire education career.
Universities should develop a framework of shared services in cloud to package student centric applications and information as a suite of inter operable and loosely coupled services, which promotes interoperability across multiple university domains.
3. IPad and tablet devices
Proliferation of new generation tablet devices like Apple’s IPad is increasingly replacing laptops and personal computers. There’s no doubt that students have become more mobile in terms of the technology they’re using, and universities now need to keep up with that trend. Universities will need to create alternative learning environments to web channels, in form of IPad/tablet apps or smartphone applications.
4. Web 2.0& Portal
Online learning is on the upswing and will be most popular means in coming years for student education. Universities need to integrate sophisticated versions of virtual learning environment in its infrastructure to help students learn without face-to-face interaction with the faculty.
Recently Digant Shah, Director of Portal Practice for a Global IT Services company mentioned that “We are seeing an increasing trend from Higher Education providers of investment in Portal framework and Web 2.0 technology to provide personalized and seamless user experience for student and faculty interaction”
Universities need to build a strategy on unifying content and infrastructure and delivering it through Portal like framework. Few strategic features that universities need to focus on integrating in their Portal framework are:
- Identity Federation: help universities to identify a student with aim of providing personalized and seamless experience while moving across university domains.
- Content Management: provides ability for course administrators and faculties to create and publish information easily into a central portal.
- Ecommerce : help universities provide an online channel for providing a catalog of their services and courses for selection in real-time with options to remit tuitions & fees.
- Collaboration tools: promote increased collaboration and provide personalized interaction between students and faculties.
- BI & Analytics: track usage patterns and make informed business decision.
A sample architecture pattern combining few of the above principles has been published below.
Universities that embrace emerging technology trends will gain competitive advantage over those that are slow to react to change.
Posted by admin | Filed under Knowledge
What do you think is the most important factor in today’s world to be a successful organization? Is it employee strength or building a brand? If you ask me, I truly believe it’s the brand that brings you more customers independent of the number of employees you have in your organization. Brand building today is the most extensive exercise carried out by all the organization, may it be by email campaigns, blogs, news articles, or any other form of advertisement. The core of these entire activities remains the same – BRANDING!
For those, who are not aware of what exactly is branding, here is my definition: Branding is a process of creating a unique identity that distinguishes your products and services from others in the market. It may in the form of any Logo, Signature, Image, name, etc. The main purpose of branding is to differentiate your organization from your competitors in the market.
Saying all this, what are the most modern ways of branding? And here comes the answer “Social Media Marketing”. Today, the advancement of social media (facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, etc) has definitely impacted the way organizations communicate with the whole world. With the emergence of Web 2.0, the internet provides a set of tools that allow people to assemble social and business connections, share information and act as a team on projects online. Social media marketing tools usually focuses on efforts to create content that drives attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and apparently resonates because it is coming from a trusted source, as opposed to the brand or company itself.
I hardly know anyone, who is not used to access all the above mentioned social media tools. People are going crazy and want to share each and everything they do with their friends, relatives and gradually with the globe. This is valid even at the corporate level. Every company today wants to tweet about their recent solutions, services, offerings, job openings, etc, with everyone else. This also helps them in increasing the traffic to their website via search engines.
Yet not mentioned, the other important source of such marketing is through Blogs. Try searching for a CEO who doesn’t have his own blog. I bet you won’t get any. All the executives want to share their experiences from personal and professional life with the others. This can prove to be a great learning for those who never had such experiences and can avoid committing the similar mistakes.
Mark my words friends, this method of social media marketing will definitely give new heights to the definition of branding and will prove beneficial for all the organizations from mid size to large size.
Posted by admin | Filed under Health
Not many would disagree with the age old aphorism – “Health is Wealth”. But with hectic schedules, especially for IT guys like us, it becomes very difficult to tend to our health. And with the sedentary lifestyle that we have, it becomes all the more important to exercise. There are more ways than one to squeeze in some time to exercise. Here’s an awe inspiring testament. Read on.
Our CEO, Rajesh Sinha, puts in an excellent example of this. Rajesh recently participated in New York Road Runners’ event held in New York City, USA. New York Road Runners is dedicated to promoting the sport of distance running, enhancing health and fitness for all, and responding to community needs. This important annual event raises money for youth fitness programs at the Armory Track and Field Hall of Fame. This money then goes to a charitable organization for a good cause. A sanctioned New York Roadrunners race, The Coogan’s Salsa, Blues & Shamrocks 5K Run is a also celebration of the strong community ties and rich cultural diversity of northern Manhattan. More than 4,000 runners of all ages, including world-class competitors, participate in the race. More than a dozen different musical groups, including gospel, bagpipes, meringue, klesmer, salsa, and brass bands, serenade the runners along the route. Rajesh, who we all know is very cognizant as far as health is concerned, decided to participate in this event and run 5 km. Believe it or not, but he managed to finish this race in 28.50 minutes, something which most of us can’t even think of! But that’s the fact.
To say that this is inspiring will be an understatement. When our CEO can find time for exercising from his hectic schedule, why can’t we? Please start planning your day in such a way that you allocate some time for gym, swimming, Table Tennis or any other exercise and do not regret for your health in your old age. We are very soon starting off with events like cricket tournament, Badminton tournaments and TT tournaments. So, keep playing and stay healthy! Or keep running and shed those extra pounds.
Global Business and IT Consulting firm with offices in NJ, SFO, Reading UK and delivery centers in Mumbai & Pune India. Fulcrum is focused on solving business challenges of medium to large scale organization by blending cutting edge technologies with in-house domain expertise and collaborating with a strong network of functional industry experts. Core expertise lies in Insurance, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Retail, Life Sciences and Media. Solutions expertise across a gamut of practices including: Custom Framework Development (Java, .NET, Opensource), Business Intelligence & DW, Platform Integration/Migration/Upgrades, Managed Services (NOC, 24/7/365 Support), Testing Services and Niche expertise in Collaboration Technologies (IBM Websphere Portal, MOSS, JBOSS, LifeRay).
Posted by admin | Filed under CSR
On occasion of World Environment Day, Fulcrum employees took baby steps towards environment conservation.
Polythene bags are a curse to the city’s drainage system. They do not get decomposed and clog all the drainage and nullas. How can anyone forget their infamous contribution to the Mumbai floods of 2005. But many still continue to use them. Despite the legal ban, the small shopkeepers find it convenient to give away and educated citizens do not have any second thoughts before accepting them. This has to stop, else it will spell doom to the city dwellers one day.
Taking forward the same thought, we at Fulcrum, had newspaper bag making event on June 4th 2010.
The bags made by Flites were quite attractive and the makers were proud of their creation.
We will be circulating these bags to the outlets which give out polythene bags, to markets, hospital chemists and the likes.
This is a small but significant beginning. We would like to take this initiative a step ahead and propagate it across schools and societies for wider reach through our Green Volunteers.
P.N. : We are glad to announce Fulcrum Scholarship- a corporate initative, wherein, we would sponsor the education of needy students at St. Catherine school, Andheri, Mumbai
Posted by admin | Filed under Events and Conferences
RS3G (Rome Student Standards and Systems Group) is a self-established group of software implementers and stakeholders in the European Higher Education domain which is focused on contributing to the definition and adoption of electronic standards for the exchange of student data. This is supported by European University Information Systems organization (EUNIS). EUNIS Congresses are international events that attract a large audience from Higher Education Institutions (HEI). It is a chance for international specialists, users, researchers, decision–makers and academic teachers from all over Europe to share their experience. This edition of the annual EUNIS Congress, hosted by the University of Warsaw, took place on 23-25 June 2010 in Warsaw, the capital of Poland.
Fulcrum’s CEO, Rajesh Sinha, was invited in this event as a speaker. Rajesh walked an audience through the pioneering solution developed by Fulcrum for Higher Education sector. The solution developed has the capability to track various activities of students who are migrating to UK to pursue higher education. The solution Fulcrum thus developed was collaboration between two different Universities that run on completely different applications / systems. The challenge was to implement two completely different Enterprise Services Buses in the Universities and implement connectors to 4 different types of applications and then to demonstrate that a SINGLE reporting program could retrieve data from two Universities WITHOUT any change to the logic of the report. This solution is termed as one of the ground breaking solutions by Microsoft. Rajesh got lot of appreciation from the audience for the solution thus developed by Fulcrum. He also focused on Interoperability of services across Institutions over the Cloud environment, thereby leading the discussion to the need of Standards and Protocols within HE Sector. This was highlighted by some of the solutions that Fulcrum is building around ‘Enterprise Service Bus in the Cloud’ as ‘Internet Service Bus’.