LinkedIn Invites

May 6, 2014

I have received invites from various folks on LinkedIn – people I know and those I haven’t met or heard from. This made me think about the different types of people who make connections on LinkedIn – how many types are they?

  • Extremists – these are the profiles who are interested to meet and link to as many people they want. These are the possible ones who want to use their connections to grow in their professional lives
  • Socialists – They may not be sure of what they want to do with their connections but they like the number of connections they have on the account. It is like a ego-boost to them – the fact that they have 500 connections signify that they are well connected, as per them.
  • Regulars – These are the folks who accept connections as they receive as well as use the ‘People You may Know’ to connect to their friends (not anyone that they have met).
  • Un-socialists – These are the folks who have created an account but login once in a while to check and accept invites from those they know only. They will not send any invites on their own!
  • Loners - They are not on LinkedIn and probably have never heard of them. They don’t intend to join too unless they see the benefits. Also, it includes people who are circumspect of social media and feel that it intrudes on their privacies.

Do you see any other categories? Let me know.

Is your smartphone really smart?

March 21, 2014

Wikipedia definition of Smartphone is that

Smartphone is a mobile phone with more advanced computing capability and connectivity than basic feature phones.

The image that one gets on looking at a smartphone is not that of computing capability or connectivity but more in terms of the activities one gets to do with – it has effectively replaced a watch, an alarm-clock, music-player, diary and so on. The smartphone also became one with which you could save a lot of data (contact details, messages, videos, songs, etc.). With the advent of cloud, I feel that the smartness has kind-of reduced! Why do I think so? Let me explain.

I have an Android phone and what has happened post that?

  • My contacts have been synced with my Google account.
  • Google Auto-Backup runs regularly to copy all photos and videos to Google Drive.
  • Messages are now synced with Hangouts

While this is good in one way (that I dont lose my data if my phone is lost), I feel then that my smartphone has become more like a browser – an entry-point, nothing more.

Of course, it has all the numerous apps that I can play and browse. For the main reason I bought a smartphone though, there is not much smartness left on the phone though! Agree?

Technology Predictions for 2014

December 23, 2013

Time of the year when we need to look at what will be hot next year. As I tried to do last year and 2012, I will attempt the same exercise for 2014 also. 

  1. Interesting to see that I had predicted Mobile Payments for 2012. I feel that for 2014, Financial institutions will accelerate initiatives on payments on alternate channels (mobiles, tablets, etc.)
  2. Another prediction for 2012 was Analytics. I have a slight change here. Social Media Analytics with the help of Big Data will be in focus for organizations who try to predict customer behaviour better. Acquisitions will be high in this space.
  3. Private cloud adoption will reach mainstream proportions. Even traditional organizations like Banks will increase investment in Private clouds
  4. Data Scientists will increase in their population and organizations will see the requests from existing employees increase for a shift to the sexy job of a data scientist.
  5. Gamification (my favourite) will make its impact in Enterprise – a tool similar to Yammer will make its presence felt.

What do you think? Do you have any other trend that you feel will make a mark in 2014? What is it?

Gaming Infographics

November 6, 2013

Thanks to OnlineUniversities for the graphic below.

The Neurology of Gaming

Bank branches redesigned

September 22, 2013

Branches of banks all around the world are getting a revamp based on the technology upgrades. The primary motive is to save costs while continuing to provide their customers with additional value-added features. After 40 years of branch building, Celent forecasts that the US will witness reduction of 30-40% in the number of branches over the next decade.

Though the new generation likes online features, there are security concerns among many customers as well. The elder generation has a massive bridge towards moving to online features (Banks have been trying to address this aspect proactively)

Let us look at how Banks are evolving their branches:

  • Bank of America spent 2012 remodeling and modernizing 2,000 of its American branches – new features include virtual ATMs, online click to call & online budgeting tools, rooms with video-conferencing capabilities, and more specialist staff members.
  • BNP Paribas has launched a new online bank ‘Hello Bank’ with heavy integration with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The online bank has a team working six days a week to answer queries via chat, email, tweet and voice phone.
  • Wells Fargo launched mini-branches earlier this year.
  • Ukraine’s PrivatBank has tied up with the new trend of Google Glasses
  • Metro Bank to launch drive-through branch – are Banks the new McDonalds?
  • Denmark’s JyskeBank branches have been developed to offer a destination for both customers and the community. ‘Sensory marketing’ allows the comforting aroma of coffee to pervade the atmosphere of branches, where the whole community – not just bank customers – are welcome to use the cafe and leisure facilities
  • In 2010 DBS launched ‘I Designed A Bank’ that invited young people to design their ideal branch. Based on the winning entries, the bank then opened couple of branches to cater to the Next Generation. This year, Barclays has launched a crowdsourcing micro-site called Your Bank, inviting customers to share ideas about how it can improve its service.
  • PNC Bank has opened its first pop-up branch in Atlanta, having consultants who will help customers with more complex transactions and show off mobile and online services.
  • Wells Fargo plans to open a series of technology-packed mini-branches in neighborhoods that cannot support full-sized outlets.

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