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Among all the other achievements of IT/BPO industry, Sri Lanka has won the ‘Off-shoring Destination of the Year’ at The National Outsourcing Association Awards (NOAAs). The NOAAs is the only award ceremony dedicated to the UK outsourcing sector and the award ceremony was held on Thursday 24th October 2013 at the Park Plaza Riverbank in London. Other shortlisted destinations for this award included Serbia and Fiji.

The judges have compare the how well each destination has performed in the 2 key criteria namely strategy (40%) and results (60%). Strategy of the destination which was evaluated with 40% weight included sub criteria such as overall strategic vision of the destination, approach to differentiation, target markets and approaches to them, focus on skills development and talent management, approach to building an innovative continual collaborative environment. Sri Lanka’s IT/BPO industry has set its vision to achieve USD 5 billion in exports by 2022 while generating 200,000 jobs and creating 1000 startups in this process. Various plans have been put into place to achieve these goals by various stakeholders.

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Eric Selvadurai(Advisory Board Member SLASSCOM and MD of European Business for WNS )who received the award on behalf of SLASSCOM poses with Devapriya Perera Senior VP, Head – Sri Lanka & Trivandrum,Global Outsourcing RR Donnelley. (Image courtesy Imran Furkan)

Results criteria which was evaluated at 60% weight included various sub elements such as country’s focus on and commitment to best practice, country’s contribution to the on-going development of the global outsourcing industry, top line projects of UK companies who have recently invested in the country, UK client testimonials that are currently active in the country. Sri Lankan IT/BPO industry is penetrating into the UK market at a rapid phase and the results of such efforts have brought this award for the industry. This achievement is expected to result in a heavy lime light for the IT/BPO industry of Sri Lanka in the global market place, especially in the European region.

Link to full list of winners at NOA Awards here

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- Interview with J. F. Fazna: An Award Winner of Ideamart – Digit Awards 2013

Digit IT Magazine partnered with Dialog Ideamart to recognize the best performing mobile application developers cum entrepreneurs on Ideamart and the award ceremony was held on 12th October at Dialog Future World Auditorium. There was one particular app developer who was able to stun the gathering, when she was awarded for the most number of application submissions. She has developed 16 applications on Ideamart within a limited time period and today; we are interviewing Jifry Fathima Fasna to explore her story behind the success.

Q:  Hello Fazna! Congratulations on your award at Ideamart – Digit Awards 2013. Tell us about yourself.

A: I’m from the east part of the island. My hometown is Oddamavadi, which is in Batticaloa. I started my school life at BT/BCC/FathimaBalika M.V. and did my A/L at BT/BCC/Oddamavadi Central College.  Currently I’m doing my second year of the degree in Computer Engineering at University of Peradeniya. About my family, my father is an electronic technician and my mother is a homemaker. I have three sisters and a brother.

Q: Give us a brief introduction to your presence on IdeaMart?

A: I got to know about Ideamart from a friend before Ideamart team came to our university and did a session on Ideamart and how it works. Then, I decided to do apps on that platform and started the work. Now, there are 16 active applications on Ideamart developed by me. Some of them are service type and others are contact type.Under service type, there are few subscriber-based apps such as Girl Facts(Ultimate facts about girls), Health Tips, Sports Quotes (famous quotation for sport people by famous sport persons) and etc.

In contact based applications, there are several apps. Some of them are: Biorhythm, Sleep Calculator, Donate Blood, Know Your Blood Group, Future Job, EB Calculator. Biorhythm and Future Job use user’s birthday to produce the results while the other apps have their own specific inputs.

Users can find the full details of the apps on allapps.lk, or in our FB page https://www.facebook.com/toroidz

Q: 16 Applications! That’s amazing effort! What motivated you to develop applications for IdeaMart?

A: I just love programming. When I get an idea to do an app, I just do it. At the time I heard about diGIT-Ideamart competition, I had already finished 16 apps. So, I applied for them all. Yes, there is a motivation for me. My colleague Fawzan was already doing these kinds of work and he has won some awards in a recently held award ceremony and it impressed me a lot. So, I decided to follow his way and do some apps.

Q. How do you reach out to your target market? What are the marketing channels you use?

A: I initially target the people at my university. I prepared some posters and put them in every faculty’s student notice boards. Other than that, I have a plan to put some advertisement on newspapers and magazine also.Currently, I’m creating a Facebook page for all of my apps to reach the people since it is the mostly used media by everyone today.

Q. What are the challenges you face being a developer?

A: Challenges?? Hmm.. I don’t think being a developer is a challenge. May be it is because I love to be a developer. But, my family members worry about me, specially my parents because, I start everyday with a coffee in front of my laptop and end the day with the dinner in front of my laptop. So, they feel that I should move somewhere else and do some other works also.

Q: Do you have any role models? Who inspire you?

A: Yeah, as I already mentioned my colleague Fawzan is my inspiration for being a developer. He is doing lots of work on web development and application development. He was the one who showed me the way to do some creative work. I started my work as a content creator on his websites, Tip4theday.com and ezmodem.com and now reached this level. I’m really thankful to him for what I’m now.

Q: Where do you see yourself in another 10 years time? Tell us about your future plans.

A: I like to see my self as a successful software engineer in the future. I’m not sure whether I’m going to be a freelancer or work under a specific company. Whatever I do, I like to do my best.I think being a freelancing software engineer would be sound nice ;) . So, I can do my favorite work independently without any pressure. Other than the job, I want to do some more creative work in the field of application development and web development.

Q: We do not see many female developers/entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. What is your message to potential female developers/entrepreneurs?

A: Nowadays, women achievers are in every field. Women can achieve a good place as developers/entrepreneurs, because we are more creative and innovative. These two qualities help us to shine as a developer/entrepreneur.My opinion is being an entrepreneur is a very good profession for women. Not this one, for any profession, if they love the profession they can do it well.

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National Association for Outsourcing (NOA) has shortlisted Sri Lanka for its Offshoring Destination of the Year Award. This award is to be delivered during its prestigious award ceremony – The National Outsourcing Association Awards (NOAAs) 2013. The NOAAs is the only award ceremony dedicated to the UK outsourcing sector and takes place on Thursday 24th October 2013 at the Park Plaza Riverbank in London.

Commenting on the NOAAs 2013, National Outsourcing Association Director, Kerry Hallard said:
“2013 is a monumental year for the NOAAs, as it’s our 10th Anniversary, and yet again we have seen a growing number of submissions – all of outstanding quality. The shortlist truly represents the best of the best in outsourcing, and I am extremely proud to see that so many organizations clearly value the positive association of participation.”

Expressing his views on Sri Lanka’s Short listing for this year’s NOAAs in the Offshoring Destination of the Year Category ,SLASSCOM Chairman Madu Ratnayake stated that” Sri Lanka offers a unique advantage for UK and EU companies, especially for software product engineering and accounting outsourcing. Early movers have been able to generate significant competitive advantage for their business in Sri Lanka. We now see many UK and UK companies are setting up their operations in Sri Lanka to take advantage of the synergies. The NOA shorting of Sri Lanka among the top 3 counties is a great testament to the value Sri Lanka offers for UK/EU companies and we look forward to the growth of the thriving UK/Sri Lanka partnership”.

Ranked among the Top 25 Global Outsourcing destinations by AT Kearney and among the Top 20 Emerging Cities by Global Services, Magazine, the Sri Lankan environment is highly conducive for allowing global enterprises to enjoy premium access to a high quality talent pool for small to medium scale engagements whilst establishing high-in-demand niche competency centers. Sri Lanka acts as an off-shore development centre and joint venture development centre to several Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders from the North American continent, Great Britain, Australia, Sweden, Norway, and Japan.

Foreign entities that have invested in Sri Lanka have already begun to tap the local talent; HSBC, Industrial & Financial Systems (IFS), Amba Research, RR Donnelley, WNS,Virtusa, Pearson,Valista, Millennium Information Technology (owned by London Stock Exchange), and Innodata Isogen are overseas investors that have become firm believers. However, there are also over 300 other Local IT companies such as Informatics, hSenid, John Keells, DMS that also operate within a fiercely competitive environment. Among Globally recognized customers of Sri Lankan ICT products and services are names such as JP Morgan, Google, Microsoft, Qatar Airways and Emirates.

About NOA:

The NOA operates as a not-for-profit trade association and aims to promote best practices in outsourcing, lobbying government and regulators, and provide research and information to companies and managers using outsourcing. Now in its tenth year, and firmly established as the awards all outsourcers want to win, the NOA Awards recognizes the success of an organisation’s outsourcing projects and contracts.

About SLASSCOM:

SLASSCOM acts as a catalyst of growth of the Sri Lankan IT and BPO industry by facilitating trade and business, propagation of education and employment, encouragement of research and innovation, and by supporting the creation of a progressive national policy framework.

In a quest to scale and better tap into real-time sentiment and mobile targeting, Twitter has gone on an acquisition spree with the purchase of Trendrr, a social-TV analytics company, as well as MoPub, the world’s largest mobile ad exchange. Both moves solidify Twitter’s desire to bring together and own, particularly vis-à-vis Facebook, three key spaces: TV and online multi-screening, mobile, and programmatic buying.

Today, many advertisers use Twitter to support their TV ads and as a consequence the social network has been developing its analytics platform to help. Twitter also added a TV slant on its targeting when earlier this summer it rolled out a TV Ad Targeting in the US. This product allows advertisers to target their ads towards users who are likely to have seen the shows where their ads ran based on what individuals have tweeted or the hashtags they have used.

The acquisition of Trendrr adds two key products to Twitter’s stable: Trendrr.TV and Curatorr. Trendrr.TV provides TV networks, publishers and media agencies with tools to track TV engagement across social networks, including Twitter. Curatorr allows those same parties to sort through social streams to visualize data and to help them identify high-quality tweets. These tweets can then be re-tweeted by a TV show’s Twitter account or show up on air during a live show that includes Twitter conversations as part of their show format.

With these two key products, the ability to now insert MoPubs technology into the equation becomes even more powerful; according to Twitter “they plan to use MoPub’s technology to build real-time bidding into the Twitter ads platform so our advertisers can more easily automate and scale their buys.”
As Twitter points out in the release “The two major trends in the ad world right now are the rapid consumer shift toward mobile usage, and the industry shift to programmatic buying. Twitter sits at the intersection of these, and we think by bringing MoPub’s technology and team to Twitter, we can further drive these trends for the benefit of consumers, advertisers, and agencies.”

These recent acquisitions actually compliment a third major trend occurring with TV and mobile which is two screen viewing and conversations, especially around live events. The ability to track and target real-time messages to relevant users more accurately is being reinforced with these acquisitions.
Finally, there is widespread speculation of a forthcoming Twitter IPO next year; these acquisitions should further improve its attractiveness to advertisers, and therefore Twitter’s financial performance and profitability.

Implications

These acquisitions will not only allow Twitter to offer deeper audience insights and functionality to marketers, networks, publishers and other organizations, it will also bring in-house a competing service. Trendrr was the last independent player in the social TV chatter space; Twitter bought Bluefin Labs in February and Nielsen bought SocialGuide in November. This is all notable as Facebook has been evolving its platform to become more of a contender in the real-time conversation market with the development of new tools like Trending Topics and hashtags. Facebook has also indicated that it’s looking at its association with TV much more closely. Facebook announced in July (coincidentally from the results of a Trendrr research piece) that it has more TV chatter than Twitter just behind “closed doors” due to its users’ ability to restrict access to their content. By absorbing Trendrr, Twitter has not only bolstered their appeal to advertisers, but they have also ensured Facebook have limited options for future acquisitions.

Summary

For many users Twitter is the place where real-time conversation happens. This engaged audience and stream of real-time data has attracted advertisers and has started to turn into much needed advertising revenue.
The additional functionality and expertise Twitter gains as result of this acquisition will add to its second screen credentials and give advertisers more tools to better target their consumers across whatever screen they are engaging. No doubt we will see much more development in this TV, social, and mobile intersection.

Source: http://www.dailymirror.lk/tech/digital-media/35252–twitter-goes-on-the-offensive.html

Microsoft sent out invitations to a “Surface 2.0″ event in New York City on September 23, at which it’s expected to unveil next-generation versions of its Surface Pro and its flatlining Surface RT tablets. The products appear likely to be renamed the Surface 2 Pro and the Surface 2, respectively.

Microsoft will also reportedly unveil new Surface accessories, including a docking station and a “power keyboard” featuring its own batteries that can prolong battery life of the Surface itself.

Source : http://readwrite.com/2013/09/09/microsoft-surface-2-0-invite#awesm=~oh6zX6r76hBTAX

CEO Jeff Weiner wants his company to play a role in “professional identity.” That has implications for Microsoft and Salesforce.

At a tech conference in San Francisco Monday, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner dropped tantalizing hints about the future direction of his company.

He dismissed the notion that the professional network, once known primarily as a site for recruiters and jobseekers, would challenge Microsoft and Salesforce head-on in the market for collaboration tools.

Weiner did say, though, that LinkedIn would show “a greater emphasis on professional identity” and noted that his company is “building tools that let us”—LinkedIn’s own employees—”get more value from our own platform.”

A Détente With Microsoft And Salesforce

Today, LinkedIn is designed for public sharing, and the network has grown enormously by emphasizing the sharing of work-related content.

But Weiner has been talking about the potential for LinkedIn to build tools for internal collaboration since at least 2011. Last year, he revealed that LinkedIn had built such tools—broadly similar to Microsoft’s Yammer or Salesforce’s Chatter, from the way he described them—for its own employees’ use.

So let’s assume those tools will be slow to come—or may simply be armaments held in reserve, to keep Microsoft and Salesforce from trying to venture onto LinkedIn’s turf of public professional identity. (It’s easy to imagine parts of a workforce’s Yammer or Chatter activity getting intentionally published to users outside a company, and thus becoming public representations of an employee’s work persona, in competition with LinkedIn’s profiles.)

A Security Badge For The Web

Barring that, what could LinkedIn do?

As Weiner said at Disrupt, LinkedIn already has the pieces he’s describing. The technological piece that carries LinkedIn’s professional identities across the Internet is a product called Sign In With LinkedIn. Not unlike Facebook Login, this piece of software lets users sign in with a LinkedIn account, rather than create a new account for every website that comes along.

While far less visible than Facebook or Google’s identity efforts, Sign In With LinkedIn has been gaining traction, particularly with recruiting sites, where it’s a natural fit, and business-to-business sites. More mainstream media sites like Business Insider have also included it in their login options.

But it would be far more interesting if LinkedIn started courting the burgeoning sector of Web-based productivity tools.

One big flaw of Yammer and Chatter is that they are designed around company domain names. Inviting anyone who doesn’t have an email that looks like @yourcompany.com is awkward at best in Yammer and impossible in Chatter.

That doesn’t match the new world of work. As Weiner noted, “Jobs are increasingly fragmented.” Some are full-time, some are part-time, some are contract or freelance work. LinkedIn, which maps professional connections inside and outside the walls of a company, could be particularly well suited for authenticating workers in this post-Coase-ian world.

A Host Of Apps For A New World Of Work

It’s not even necessary for LinkedIn to build these apps itself. It could simply be the identity layer that undergirds them. For private sharing, it could identify users—badge them in, as it were, to the virtual buildings where most work happens these days. For public sharing, it could pipe relevant updates to LinkedIn users’ feeds, as apps do on Facebook and Twitter.

To be clear, these are the merest hints we’ve gleaned from Weiner’s comments at Disrupt and over the years. But it’s clear that he’s thinking about what to do with the enormous asset of some 250 million members’ professional identities. The biggest opportunity isn’t in LinkedIn’s app. It’s in an army of LinkedIn apps.

Source : http://readwrite.com/2013/09/10/linkedin-ceo-jeff-weiner-techcrunch-disrupt#awesm=~oh6zTgBUcO7fBx

It’s hardly a secret that Apple will unveil an upgraded iPhone at its Cupertino event on Tuesday. But that one phone could just scratch the surface of what shows up. Here’s what you should — and shouldn’t — expect from Apple’s announcements tomorrow at 1PM ET / 10AM PT.

 

IPHONE 5S

Apple’s next flagship iPhone is expected to physically resemble the iPhone 5, while including a couple of new features. The biggest of those could be a fingerprint scanner that’s built directly into the home button, which could be used for securely unlocking the device. Rumors suggest that it’ll be covered with sapphire crystal for durability, and have a silver ring around it, which would for the first time change how the home button looks.

Image credit: AppAdvice

Camera upgrades are expected to be minor, if much happens at all. The main update expected is a dual-LED flash, featuring different light colors to help improve color balance in photos. Some rumors have also pegged a new sensor with a higher megapixel count — around 12 or 13 — and others have suggested that the camera’s lens could receive a wider aperture, opening up to F/2.0.

A GOLD IPHONE AND SOME NEW PHOTOGRAPHY TRICKS

Apple is also expected to branch outside of its traditional color schemes by adding a new gold color with white accents. The rest of the iPhone’s big changes should be internal. That’ll likely mean an improved processor, a slightly longer-lasting battery, and potentially more storage, which would bring the base model up to 32GB.

While it’s been rumored that iPhones with displays as large as 6 inches are on the way, don’t expect them just yet. If those make it to market, it’ll certainly be down the road.

IPHONE 5C

This year, Apple is expected to debut a brand-new iPhone line that’ll sell at a lower cost than its flagship smartphone. It’s rumored to be called the iPhone 5C — though that name is far from official for now. The rumored name is indicative of what we might see: the device is expected to be an iPhone 5 repackaged into a slightly thicker plastic case, instead of its standard aluminum. It’ll otherwise be just about identical, including LTE and a 4-inch display.

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Image credit: Sonny Dickson (Twitter)

It’s also expected to come in a variety of bright colors, similar to the current iPod touch lineup. It would be the first time that Apple has added colors outside of white, black, and silver, and it could help to set the low-cost device apart in a fun way.

Don’t expect it to get all of the upgrades that come to the iPhone 5S, though. Big features like the fingerprint scanner will likely be used as a major way to set the two devices apart.

IPODS

Apple has long held music-focused events in early fall, but the iPhone has come to dominate those announcements of late. While the iPod touch should see an upgrade to iOS 7, the nano and shuffle may well be left as they are.

There’s one thing we may not see after Tuesday, however. The iPod classic has sat around unchanged for years now, and rumors of late have predicted that this may finally be the year that Apple retires it for good. However, it’s been rumored before to no avail, so there’s no saying how much time the old MP3 player has left.

OS X MAVERICKS

The next version of Apple’s desktop operating system is slated to be unveiled this fall. Rumors have pegged it for arelease in late October, which will likely make it a no-show at what should be a primarily iOS-focused event. Though details on the new operating system have been slim since its initial announcement, our first impressions are that it’s looking pretty good.

IOS 7

The world got its first glimpse of iOS 7 back at WWDC in June, and on Tuesday, Apple is likely to set its official release date. The new iPhones should ship with iOS 7 by default, and if Apple follows its usual release scheme, existing iPhone owners may even get it a few days before any new devices go on sale. While the company may not have any big software features still up its sleeve, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Apple give a tour of some visual design tweaks that have been made over the past few months.

Ios7-photos

APPLE TV

While there have been conflicting reports on the possibility of new Apple TV hardware,some software improvements may be in store. Among those could be a way for iPhone and iPad owners to stream content to their friends’ Apple TVs without having to log in on their own accounts. Whether this will be the year that Apple finally opens the platform up to developers, however, remains to be seen.

MACBOOK PRO AND IMAC

Less than a week after Intel launched its Haswell processors, Apple added them into the MacBook Air. But months later, the Air is still the only Mac to get them. Rumors have predicted this year’s processor updates may happen around September, so something should be in the works soon. Apple often issues its processor upgrades quietly — by simply replacing the product in its online store — so it’s possible an upgrade could even come without a proper announcement.

IPAD AND IPAD MINI

A flurry of leaks have started to give us an early look at what a new iPad and iPad mini might look like. The iPad mini is believed to be on track for a Retina display, and the full-sized iPad is believed to be slimming down into a body that looks just like that of the iPad mini. Our best look yet came just this weekend from Sonny Dickson, who appears to have cases for both upcoming devices (as seen below). Last year, iPad updates came in late October, so it’s possible that we’ll have another month to go before they’re properly announced.

Image credit: Sonny Dickson

MAC PRO

Though Apple rarely announces its hardware plans ahead of time, the company revealed back in June that a completely redesigned Mac Pro was on the way. The new machine is surprisingly tiny and comes in a sleek black finish, and it’s supposed to ship this fall. Fall doesn’t start for another few weeks though, so while the Mac Pro should be released in the next few months, an announcement isn’t expected for tomorrow.

IWATCH AND ITV

Both an Apple-made smartwatch and television set have been rumored for years. And both  are almost certain to be rumored for a little while longer. Though details of a so-called iTV quickly heated up following the publication of Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs, they’ve cooled down just as quickly. As for a smartwatch, the story could be slightly different: rumors targeted the release of an Apple smartwatch for 2013, though recent reports suggest that the date has shifted into 2014.

WRAP-UP

So what should you expect? Most likely: two iPhones, a release date for iOS 7, and a software update to the Apple TV. But there’s almost certainly a lot more on the way in the near future. We’ll soon know what’s really in store, and we’ll be sharing all of the details the moment they’re unveiled over at our liveblog.

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Source : http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/9/4710870/what-to-expect-from-apples-iphone-5s-5c-event