Expanding businesses are going in
for new PCs and business applications are driving peripheral
The computerization of businesses
across all segments in the past has led to increased
demand for PCs/Peripherals. Although overall PC sales
were sluggish last year, a large chunk of PC sales came
from enterprises. Rapidly expanding businesses (like
banks and call centers) went in for connected PCs.
That's why this segment of
enterprise hardware witnessed the highest purchasing
activity with many companies in all verticals making
investments. Of the total respondents who invested in
enterprise hardware, 89 percent invested in PCs/Peripherals.
It's the business applications
that are driving the need for Peripherals. For instance,
CD-writers, tape drives and hard-disks are in demand
as enterprises have increased requirement for backup
or archival storage. ERP applications require flexible
printing options for printing documents like invoices,
forms, purchase orders etc.
59 percent of respondents plan
to invest in PCs/ Peripherals this year. The investment
will come mainly from Govt./PSUs, and Telecom/IT/ITES
companies. State governments are moving towards e-governance;
so PCs/Peripherals will be required for various administrative
departments. To supplement expansion plans new and existing
players in the telecom space will require additional
PCs/Peripherals that will be used for billing, service
desk and other customer-centric services. The ITES companies
will also need additional PCs/Peripherals as they scale
up operations this year in the wake of an expected increase
employees going mobile
Indian enterprises are getting more mobile. This is
driving increased usage of laptops in enterprises, which
are no longer tools for only top management. That's
why more than half the respondents (56 percent) said
they have invested in laptops in the past. And most
of these are the tech-savvy companies from the Telecom/IT/ITES
Laptops are now replacing desktops
in international companies and the trend is catching
on here as well. Technologies like wireless networking
and desktop performance in laptops will drive sales.
This year 33 percent of the respondents plan to invest
PDAs are known more for their
calendaring and scheduling functions. The two major
platforms are Palm and Microsoft Pocket PC.
Although the current generation
of PDAs incorporate features like wireless communications
and digital photography, it is really customized applications
like sales force automation, that are driving PDA usage
in enterprises. Besides the Telecom/IT/ITES vertical,
many FMCG companies are also using PDAs for capturing
data either from the supply chain or from retail outlets,
especially in rural areas.
But PDAs are expensive and
so their usage in enterprises is low. Overall 15 percent
of respondents are already using PDAs while the same
number will invest in PDAs in 2003-04. And these are
mainly the large companies.
| 1. The importance of good
planning cannot be stressed enough. Since technology
is evolving at a rapid pace, think long-term when
buying or upgrading new PCs/Peripherals. Buy the
latest and don't compromise on capacityyou'll
need all that excess capacity in the near future.
2. Buy in volumes to avail of vendor discounts.
3. Don't upgrade software applications unnecessarily.
New versions of software require more hardware
resources or capacity. So if you must update software,
plan for hardware upgrades too.
4. Make sure the vendor has a solid post-sales
Power conditioning mainly consists of UPS, voltage
stabilizers and diesel generators (DG sets). DG
sets are essential for servers and networking
components, especially in zones where power infrastructure
Naturally it will be mainly the medium and large
enterprises that invest in DG sets. UPS is essential
for all companies that use mission-critical servers
regardless of the state of power infrastructure
in their respective zone. And voltage stabilizers
protect PCs used in workgroups.
Overall, 63 percent of the respondents have
invested in Power conditioning equipment. Of these,
75 percent are from medium-sized companies, 65
percent from large-sized companies and 56 percent
from the small-sized companies. A large number
of companies from the Auto/Auto Components vertical
have invested in Power conditioning. This is because
most of the manufacturing units are located in
zones (particularly in the north) where power
infrastructure is weak.
Looking at planned investment, overall 34 percent
of respondents said they will invest in Power
conditioning equipment this year. Most of these
are from large enterprises (42 percent), but medium-sized
companies (38 percent) and small-sized companies
(28 percent) also plan to invest in this area.
It's mainly Auto/Auto Component and Services companies
that will invest in Power conditioning equipment.
More Services companies are moving to smaller
towns and cities where power is not stable.
Honda Motors has reworked on its server architecture
to provide dedicated platforms for applications,
storage, mail, backup, and database management.
Hero Honda Motors deployed applications on Oracle
to create a single data repository and make it
accessible to authorized users. These new entities
demanded higher throughput and better scalability.
"To address this issue of running bandwidth-hungry
applications efficiently across the LAN, we decided
to strengthen the existing server infrastructure,"
says S.R. Balasubramanium, CIO, Hero Honda.
The company deployed IBM RS/6000 midrange servers
(the H70 and F50 series) for running Oracle, and
IBM RS/6000 SP servers for running the SAP modules.
Says Bala, "The RS/6000 is a very reliable
and scalable system. IBM AIX which is shipped
with the boxes also performs very well."
As a part of server consolidation and database
growth, they migrated from SSA (Special Storage
Architecture) box to ESS (Enterprise Storage Structure)
and plan to migrate to SAN. For controlling database
growth, archiving of documents have also been
Tivoli Storage Management (TSM) has been implemented
for taking automated backup of all servers and
desktops. Other modules of Tivoli, ie Netview
& Tivoli Enterprise Console are being implemented
for monitoring health of network and servers respectively.
The company runs Lotus Notes Domino Version 6.01
(to manage its messaging needs) on IBM's X-Series
servers. It has employed a range of devices to
handle backup, bridging, firewall, modem, RAS
(Remote Access Server), and mail gateway functions.
Nerolac Paints Limited or GNPL has a robust network
that supports ERP, Data Warehousing, and 750-odd
users nationwide. The HO (Head Office) LAN runs
ERP, a data warehousing suite, 300 nodes, and
connects to the nationwide WAN. To ensure a trouble-free
LAN traffic GNPL deployed Cabletron SSR 8600 and
Enterasys Matrix E5 switches.
J.S. Gonsalves, Senior Manager, IT says, "Our
data center at the HO is very critical to our
business as it is the heart of the organization.
It's from here that we distribute ERP data and
maintain communication links to our 70 locations
nationwide. It is important that the data traffic
in this location is absolutely smooth and error-free."
The LAN switching
In 2000 the company implemented SAP R/3, the ERP
setup was connected to 70 locations nationwide
and served 750-odd network users.
The 300-odd desktops in the HO LAN access various
ERP and warehouse applications from different
areas in the LAN. The Enterasys Matrix switches
handle data access.
"Each switch is configured and used like
a Layer 2 device. These also have the capability
to be upgraded to Layer 3 or 4 to support more
business-critical applications. The switches can
also be managed remotely," said K.V. Ranganathan,
Senior Manager, IT.
"The superior features and design of the
switching solution, and the fact that it was future
proof made us opt for the technology. Only four
switches meet the requirement of the entire organization
over a campus-wide network, and also provides
100 percent redundancy in the network," said
Factories at various cities use Cabletron ELS
100 switches as the core switch over a fiber backbone.
The company has plans to deploy storage consolidation
and disaster recovery solutions. "Our LAN
infrastructure gives confidence to introduce new
applications without worry of LAN performance
issues," claimed Gonsalves.