Industry News

Why investors are putting funds into budget hotels like Stayzilla and OYO Rooms

posted Jun 3, 2015, 10:52 PM by Samarth Homey

Within the heating travel industry, one particular segment seems to be growing at breakneck speed - that of budget shortterm accommodation. Two fledgling companies in the space, Stayzilla and OYO Rooms, have raised $20 million and $25 million respectively so far this year; while Tiger Global is looking at investments in players such as Zo Rooms and Nestaway, ET reported last week. 

Why budget hotels? "With the emergence of middle class and tier II/III cities, budget travel is at an alltime high," said Paavan Nanda, cofounder of backpacker hostel chain Zostel, which launched Zo Rooms earlier this year as a branded budget hotel aggregator. "The demand-supply gap of budget rooms in India is widening and there lies a massive opportunity in providing a well standardised, branded stay to these travellers," he said.

His instinct is not unfounded - in India, there is a massive dearth of short-term rooms on offer for under Rs 2,000 a night, while occupancy rates at the below Rs 1,000 range are at an abnormally high 85%. Meanwhile, new lodging properties are largely priced above the Rs 2,000 mark, owing to soaring real estate costs. This leaves a gaping shortage in budget options for both leisure and business travellers. 

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Millions of voiceprints quietly being harvested as latest identification tool

posted Oct 14, 2014, 3:40 AM by Samarth Homey

Over the telephone, in jail and online, a new digital bounty is being harvested: the human voice.

Businesses and governments around the world increasingly are turning to voice biometrics, or voiceprints, to pay pensions, collect taxes, track criminals and replace passwords.

“We sometimes call it the invisible biometric,” said Mike Goldgof, an executive at Madrid-based AGNITiO, one of about 10 leading companies in the field.

Those companies have helped enter more than 65m voiceprints into corporate and government databases, according to Associated Press interviews with dozens of industry representatives and records requests in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

“There’s a misconception that the technology we have today is only in the domain of the intelligence services, or the domain of Star Trek,” said Paul Burmester, of London-based ValidSoft, a voice biometric vendor. “The technology is here today, well-proven and commonly available.”

And in high demand.

Dan Miller, an analyst with Opus Research in San Francisco, estimates that the industry’s revenue will roughly double from just under $400m last year to between $730m and $900m next year.

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Clash of the Titans: MakeMyTrip vs. ClearTrip vs. Yatra

posted Jul 25, 2014, 4:24 AM by Samarth Homey   [ updated Jul 25, 2014, 4:25 AM ]

Although the online travel industry in India has been growing rapidly from 2005 onwards, the industry is still to consolidate and mature. Air travel dominates the current scenario, with 60% market share ahead of railways which contributes 15% of the market (solely from IRCTC). Hotels constitute 13% and the rest is split between buses and cars. The ecommerce industry in India, currently pegged in the range of $11-16 billion, has over 70% of the numbers coming from the online travel sector, with the rest coming from retailing. By the end of 2015, the Indian online travel market is expected to hit a gross online bookings number of $12.5 billion, with a huge push coming from mobile traffic. ... read more on

Red Hat bets $95 million on OpenStack dominance

posted Jun 19, 2014, 9:40 PM by Samarth Homey

On the face of it, Red Hat's near-$100-million purchase of eNovance is all about making Red Hat a go-to outfit for those who want to buy, build, or run an OpenStack solution. But it may also be about how Red Hat can keep some of the best and brightest OpenStack innovations close to its vest.

Founded in 2010, eNovance is best known for being a creator of OpenStack solutions for companies like Cisco, Comcast, Alcatel Lucent, Ericsson, and many others. The folks at the company are deeply proud of their work, especially the CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous delivery) development model they created for OpenStack. They also stressed eNovance is a devoted open source shop -- the company won't provide patches for a customer unless it had already been merged into the upstream for OpenStack.

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Cloud Infographic: Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

posted Jun 9, 2014, 9:49 PM by Samarth Homey

Many people have heard of cloud computing. There is however a tremendous number of people who still cannot differentiate between Public, Private & Hybrid cloud offerings.  Here is an excellent infographic provided by the group at iWeb which goes into greater detail on this subject.

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IT under pressure: McKinsey Global Survey results

posted Mar 29, 2014, 2:52 AM by Samarth Homey

Recognition of IT’s strategic importance is growing, but so is dissatisfaction with its effectiveness, according to our eighth annual survey on business and technology strategy.

Enterprises building openstack clouds

posted Mar 3, 2014, 11:40 PM by Samarth Homey   [ updated Mar 3, 2014, 11:58 PM ]

This is not a question simply of number of employees or revenues, he told me when we met last week at Cloud Expo Europe in London. What matters is that you have a business need for IT that operates at scale:It’s logical for larger enterprises to build their own cloud, according to Nick Barcet, VP of products at eNovance, a French consultancy that is a leading authority on OpenStack architectures.

“You need to have a business model where scalability is a requirement.

“You need to realize that your ability to survive depends on your ability to master this requirement — either directly or indirectly.

Magic Quadrant

posted Feb 27, 2014, 1:38 AM by Samarth Homey   [ updated Feb 27, 2014, 1:45 AM ]

Bringing cooperatives to the online platform

posted Feb 25, 2014, 9:14 PM by Samarth Homey

Most members of cooperatives have the ability and the will to produce more but don't do so because their reach is limited and producers cannot ramp up when they want, unless required.

How technology can drive the next wave of mass customization

posted Feb 11, 2014, 9:29 PM by Samarth Homey

Seven technologies are making it easier to tailor products and services
to the wants of individual customers—and still make a profit.

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