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What Work Does a PMP®..
Posted 2019-12-06 by iCert Global.
How to get PMP Certified..
Posted 2019-12-06 by iCert Global.
Different Modes of PMP Training..
Posted 2019-12-05 by iCert Global.

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Weekend Motivation To Never Give Up On Your Learning Goals

Weekend motivation to never give up on your dream. Wish you all the best for achieving your learning goals. 

Images Courtesy: BrainyQuote.com

Motivational Quote for the weekend. Keep on learning and never give up on your learning goals.

Motivational Quote to never give up on your learning dreams

Motivational Quotable Quote

Motivational Quote to continue your education and to never give up on your dreams.

Motivational Quote

Motivational Quote and Quotable Quote for the weekend. Keep on smiling. Keep on shining.

Motivational Quote. Weekend Motivation to achieve your learning goals.

Motivational Quote to never give up on your dreams.

Motivational Quote to continue upskilling and learning.

Never Stop Learning. Motivational Quote.

Wish you all the best for achieving your learning goals. Visit www.icertglobal.com to see how we can help you in accelerating your career with professional certification training courses. 
Have a great weekend. 


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Enterprise Training | Corporate Training | Onsite Instructor-Led Classroom Training for Enterprise Learning Worldwide

Professional Certification Training courses worldwide for enterprises to empower their workforce. 

iCert Global provides professional certification training courses in Project Management, Quality Management, Business Analysis, DevOps, Agile and Scrum, Cloud Computing, Data Analytics and more. The company's Enterprise Training portfolio encompasses 75+ courses across 15+ categories. Download Enterprise Training Brochure

Professional Certification Training Courses in Project Management, Quality Management, Business Analysis, Agile and Scrum, DevOps, Cloud Computing, Data Analytics and more. More than 75+ courses across 15+ categories. Download our Enterprise Training Brochure. Onsite instructor-led classroom training in your office premises. 

Corporate training to upskill your employees. Instructor-led training classes for Project Management, Quality Management, Business Analysis, DevOps, Agile and Scrum, Cloud Computing and more. Live Online Training also available on demand as per your training schedule. 

Onsite Classroom and Live Online Training. Multiple modes of training to achieve your company's learning and development objectives. Enterprise Workforce Development that accelerates growth by preparing your employees for professional certification exams.

Choose from 75+ courses across 15+ categories. Popular corporate training courses include PMP®, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, CBAP®, CCBA®, CAPM®, PMI-ACP®, Agile and Scrum, DevOps, and Cloud Computing among others.

Impart consistent training from certified trainers and accredited courseware created by subject matter experts. Onsite classroom training provided at your office premises across the globe. 

Certify your employees and upgrade their skills to bag more projects and get more client wins by showcasing qualified resources with globally recognised certifications to potential clients to win those important projects.  

Our course content is created by Subject Matter Experts and our professional certification trainings are conducted by certified instructors with training and real-life consulting experience.

Enable your employees to gain knowledge and also prepare for International certifications through a mix of in-house instructor-led classroom training and e-learning to practice and reinforce the concepts learnt in class. Learn from certified trainers and engage your employees in interactive training sessions that develops their intellectual curiosity.

Motivate your employees by providing them opportunities of upskilling themselves and as a by-product get qualified professionals with globally recognised certifications to showcase in your team when bidding for innovative and challenging projects.   

Enable Enterprise Workforce Development to accelerate company and employee growth. 

For more information about our instructor-led classroom and live online training professional certification Corporate Training courses worldwide, please fill-in the form from the link below. 


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This day marks the SIXTH Anniversary of the iCertGlobal

This day marks the SIXTH Anniversary of the iCertGlobal.

We, at iCertGlobal celebrate Six successful years greatly appreciate and value the hard work and success of our customers, employees, instructors, vendors, and well-wishers. We wish to thank them for being part of our company's success over the years.  

We have through the years with steadfast efforts strove towards in surpassing excellence and succeeded in scaling. 

Reflecting on our returns – from that humble start to the present state, we are humbled to note that today iCertGlobal has conducted more than 150+ courses engaging  1000 instructors, operating in  3 continents and 150 locations having  Headquartered in United States.

Signing off the sixth. Stepping on the seventh, iCertGlobal true to the spirit will light up a thousand lights. 



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The Top 15 High Paying IT Certification Courses | Professional Certification

The Top 15 High Paying IT Certification Courses | Professional Certification

Fast track your career by enrolling in one of the top 15 courses identified as the “highest paying” certification courses. Professionals, professional certification and pat are closely connected and interrelated. 

According to the 15 Top Paying IT Certifications In 2019 listed in  forbes .com,  here there are some of the highest paid certification

•   Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect is the highest paying certification of 2019, paying an average salary of $139,529.

•   Certifications in virtualization and cloud computing pay an average salary of $127,494 this year, up from $112,955 in 2018, a 12.8% increase in just one year.

•   Five of the top 15 highest paying certifications of 2019 are for cybersecurity expertise, and they pay an average of $115,867.

•   Project Management Professional (PMP®) certifications increased in value by 18.6%, jumping from a median salary of $114,473 in 2018 to $135,798 in 2019.



Key insights on the 15 top paying IT certifications in 2019 include the following:

•   Average salary across all 15 certifications is $121,514 for 2019. Virtualization and cloud computing certifications pay an average salary of $127,494 in 2019, soaring over the median salary of $112,955 in 2018. 

•   The five cybersecurity certifications pay an average salary of $115,867.

•   Network certifications pay an average salary of $111,555. 

•  Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect, Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified ScrumMaster, AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate and AWS Certified Developer – Associate all have salaries above the median of $121,514.

•  Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) – Server Infrastructure certification pays an average salary of $121,288, up from $100,656 in 2018. 

•  The two highest-paying AWS certifications in 2019 have an average salary of $131,605, $6K higher than $125,591 which is the average of the five highest-paying AWS certifications of 2018.  The following table provides a breakout of the top 15 IT certifications in 2019 according to  latest survey.


Here are some of the top fifteen courses that you can select in propelling in your professional growth.

1.Artificial Intelligence (AI)

2. PMP

3.Google Cloud Certified Professional

4.Certified Scrum Master

5. ITIL Foundation

6.Machine Learning

7.Robotic Process Automation or RPA

8. Blockchain

9. Internet of Things 

10. Data science 

11. Cyber Security

12. Edge Computing

13. Big Data Certifications

14. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

15. Networking



1. Artificial Intelligence



What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. Some of the activities computers with artificial intelligence are designed for include: Speech recognition. Learning. 


Who should take this Artificial intelligence (AI)?

Software analysts and developers.

Computer scientists and computer engineers.

Algorithm specialists.

Research scientists and engineering consultants.

Mechanical engineers and maintenance technicians.

Manufacturing and electrical engineers.


How much Salary can I Expect once I am a Certified Artificial intelligence (AI)?

According to Indeed.com, the average IT salary – the keyword is "artificial intelligence engineer" – in the San Francisco area ranges from approximately $134,135 per year for software engineer to $169,930 per year for machine learning engineer.


What are the Top Companies hiring Certified  Artificial intelligence (AI  )?

The Top 15 Employers Hiring Artificial Intelligence Talent 

1. Amazon

2. Nvidia

3. Microsoft

4. IBM

5. Accenture

6. Facebook

7. Intel

8. Samsung

9. Lenovo

10. Adobe

11. MoTek Technologies

12. Uber

13. PCO Innovation

14. Rakuten Marketing

15. Wells Fargo


What are the Top Industries Hiring Certified Artificial Intelligence?

E-commerce, Health and Power industries, Logistics, Mobility Solutions, Computer and computer related.


What's the Career Path to Become  Artificial intelligence (AI)   Professional?

6 Easy Steps To Get Started Learning Artificial Intelligence

STEP 1.) Learn Python & SQL

STEP 2.) Learn Machine Learning from some of the below courses.

STEP 3.) Learn basics of probability theory, statistics, and Maths.

STEP 4.) RECOMMENDED BOOKS to READ

STEP 5.) PRACTICE FEW EXERCISES

STEP 6.) Practice—Learn—Practice on your own, step by step you will slowly become AI programmer.


What's the Demand for Certified Artificial Intelligence Professionals by 2020?

With AI projected to create 2.3 million jobs by 2020, according to a Gartner report, it's safe to assume that machine learning will remain an in-demand skill for the foreseeable future.

Artificial intelligence (AI) skills dominated the list of the fastest-growing jobs in 2018—a trend that is expected only to grow in the future. Machines and algorithms are predicted to create 133 million new jobs by 2022, 


Where can I get trained for the Artificial Intelligence?

You can get trained at iCertGlobal. They offer one of the best courses on ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND DEEP LEARNING CERTIFICATION, MACHINE LEARNING AND ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION


What are the eligibility requirements to take up this Certified Artificial Intelligence?

Educational Requirements for Careers in Artificial Intelligence

•   Various level of math, including probability, statistics, algebra, calculus, logic and algorithms.

•   Bayesian networking or graphical modeling, including neural nets.

•   Physics, engineering and robotics.

•   Computer science, programming languages and coding.


How much does the Exam Cost?

Artificial Intelligence at Columbia University (Price: Content is FREE; Certificate Is $300) Machine Learning at Columbia University (Price: Content is FREE; Certificate Is $300)


Why do Companies Hire Artificial Intelligence Professionals?

The followings are the reasons companies hire Artificial Intelligence:

•   Encourage more creative artistic jobs

•   New customers means more jobs 

•   More data analysis

•   Encourage entrepreneurship

•   Programming.


Roles and responsibilities of Certified Artificial Intelligence professional

The roles and responsibilities of Artificial Intelligence are:

1. AI architect

This position focuses on individual business operations—along with the big picture—to determine where AI can be most successfully executed, the report said. The person in this role is responsible for measuring AI performance and maintaining AI sustainability.

2. AI product manager

Working alongside the AI architect, the AI product manager coordinates between business teams to make sure solutions are integrated correctly, according to the report. They also determine what organizational changes need to be made for optimal performance between employees and AI.

3. Data scientist

Data scientists have consistently appeared on top AI jobs lists, and these professionals typically earn an impressive salary. These employees are experts in analyzing data and gaining meaningful insights from the information for the business, said the report.

4. Software engineer

Scalable deployment is one of the biggest obstacles in AI adoption, according to the report. Software engineers are the ones working directly with data scientists to execute AI in a way that best works towards the company's goals. 

5. AI ethicist

AI brings about many ethical and social issues, especially in regards to bias and taking jobs away from human workers. AI ethicists are the designated representatives who establish AI plans that align with the company's codes of ethics and standards, the report noted. 



2. PMP



What is PMP?

Project Management Professional is an internationally recognized professional designation offered by the Project Management Institute


Who should take PMP?

Project Manager, (Unspecified Type / General)

Project Manager, Construction.

Operations Manager.

Project Manager, Information Technology (IT)

Project Engineer.

Construction Project Manager.

Senior Project Manager, IT.


How much Salary can I Expect once I am a Certified PMP?

At the lower end, a travel services PMP project manager in 2017 can expect to make $83,000-$90,000, according to PayScale. In the financial and insurance industries, PMPs typically make between $114,000 and $144,000. Both salary ranges represent a 20-22 percent increase over non-PMP project manager salaries.

To provide an idea of how lucrative this field can be, take a look at these job titles and average salaries for these project management jobs, collected from a leading online job website:

Job Title                                               Average Salary

IT Project Manager                               $113,038

Senior Project Manager                          $111,691

Construction Project Manager                  $110,988

Technical Project Manager                       $113,276

Project Manager                                       $110,342



What are the Top Companies hiring PMP?

These five jobs for project management professionals pay the most. 


1. Pharmaceutical project management professional

Average U.S. salary: $131,833

Globally, the pharmaceutical industry is expected to breach $1.1 trillion in sales by 2022. So it’s no wonder that pharmaceutical project management professionals make more money, on average, than in any other industry.

The job: Pharmaceutical PMs work with doctors, researchers, and engineers to ensure that research and development stay on schedule and on budget. A successful project means overseeing the development of new medication for the treatment of diseases or other health problems.

Pros/cons: A pharmaceutical project manager can literally help find a cure for cancer and save millions of lives. Talk about a rewarding career! On the flip side, pharmaceutical PMPs will need an advanced healthcare degree or experience to approach top-tier salaries. Also, pharmaceutical research can move at a frustratingly slow pace to ensure compliance with necessary quality and safety regulations.

Top pharmaceutical companies:

1.   Roche

2.   Pfizer

3.   AbbVie


2. Resources project management professional

Average U.S. salary: $129,368

Resources project managers work in industries such as mining, petroleum, and agriculture that extract and grow natural resources.

The job: Resources PMs work with farmers, mining, and oil companies to make the process of extracting and growing natural resources as efficient as possible by eliminating waste and improving communication. A successful project means overseeing the procurement of natural resources for efficient delivery to end consumers.

Pros/cons: Resources project management offers plenty of opportunities to travel and be outdoors. Because of the specific processes related to each natural resource, background as an engineer in a given field (farming, mining, drilling) may be required to become a resources project manager.

Top resources companies:

1.   ExxonMobil (oil)

2.   BHP Billiton (mining)

3.   Cargill (agriculture)


3. Consulting project management professional

Average U.S. salary: $129,208

A consulting project management professional is different from a project management consultant—the first works as a project manager for a consulting company while the second works as a consultant who specializes in project management. We’re talking about the first of the two.

The job: A consulting project manager is the chameleon of the project management universe. The consulting PM could work with environmental engineers one month, and sales managers the next. A consulting project manager’s goal depends on the industry of the company they are working with on a case-to-case basis. In general, the goal is to furnish industry expertise and advanced knowledge to the client so that they can be successful in their project.

Pros/cons: A career as a consulting project manager is especially rewarding for someone who enjoys variety, as they will be asked to wear every hat from a construction helmet to a computer technician’s computer hat? However, that same unpredictability could be dizzying for someone who works best in a defined environment.

Top consulting firms:

1.   McKinsey & Company

2.   The Boston Consulting Group

3.   Bain & Company


4. Aerospace project management professional

Average U.S. salary: $121,923

If you were the kind of kid who built model airplanes and dreamed of flying, but became a project manager instead, a job as an aerospace project management professional might be what you’re looking for.

The job: Aerospace PMs work with engineers and designers to make sure that new aircraft is delivered on time and on budget. Focus areas include risk management and quality control. A successful project means overseeing proposals leading to the development of new aircraft and aerospace systems.

Pros/cons: An aerospace project manager gets to work with airplanes and some of the most advanced technology on the planet. Because aerospace projects have a lot of moving parts (like, a lot) there are lots of opportunities for something to go wrong if something is missed.

Top aerospace companies:

1.   Boeing

2.   Airbus

3.   Lockheed Martin


5. Engineering project management professional

Average U.S. salary: $121,769

Anyone who knows an engineer knows that they are some of the smartest people on the planet, but they can sometimes get caught up in the minutiae. An engineering project management professional is responsible for keeping the engineers focused.

The job: Engineering PMs work with, you guessed it, engineers. They also communicate with clients to make sure that the end product is what the client wants. A successful project means guiding the development of a product (often a complicated product) to completion within a specified timeline and budget.

Pros/cons: An engineering project manager has the satisfaction of seeing something very real, useful, and tangible at the end of their project—a large bridge, a new computer chip, or a satellite. On the other hand, the engineering PM must have extensive knowledge of the product they are overseeing, so experience as an engineer in that field is a prerequisite.

Top engineering companies:

1.   Google Inc.

2.   Microsoft

3.   Apple


What are the Top Industries Hiring Certified PMP?

E-commerce, EdTech, Engineering, IT, BFSI, Pharmaceuticals, Health and Power industries, Logistics, Mobility Solutions, Computer and computer related. PMP is applicable across all verticals and platform or domain independent.


What's the Career Path to Become PMP Professional?

PMP® CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

What's the Demand for Certified PMP Professionals by 2020?

The Project Management Institute (PMI) expects the future to be bright, with the global gross domestic product (GDP) in projectized industry anticipated to increase in the United States by $4.5 trillion by 2016.


Where can I get trained for PMP?

You can get trained at iCertGlobal. They offer one of the best courses on  PMP .


What are the eligibility requirements to take up this Certified PMP?

The criteria stipulated by PMI ®  clearly states the education background and number of hours of experience required in order to become eligible to apply for PMP ®  exam. 


How much does the Exam Cost?

The PMP Certification exam fee is 555 USD for the people who are not a member of PMI and for the members it is 405 USD. If you choose to become a PMI member at the time of your application, you will just have to pay 555 USD for the exam fee and the membership fee combined.


Why do Companies Hire PMP Professionals?

The followings are the reasons companies hire PMP:

•   Encourage more creative artistic jobs

•   New customers means more jobs 

•   More data analysis

•   Encourage entrepreneurship

•   Programming.


Roles and responsibilities of PMP

The roles and responsibilities of PMP can be explained with some examples:

•   Launching a new product for a pharmaceutical firm

•   Developing a new mobile application for a telecommunications company

•   Implementing an internet-based banking system for a financial institution

•   Standardizing testing procedures for an environmental organization

•   Rolling out a new brand for a global retailer

Project manager job descriptions will reflect the specific needs of the company, the project manager will generally plan, coordinate, implement and finalize projects according to the specifications and deadlines, all while keeping the project within budget.

Depending on the industry and specific initiative, project managers may put together teams of personnel from a number of departments, such as information technology, purchasing, product development, marketing or distribution.

Project management professionals oversee projects from the planning stage through implementation, testing and reporting. They typically choose and manage the project team members, and are ultimately responsible for the project’s success or failure, based on objectives set by project stakeholders. Success may depend on whether the project is completed within the financial budget allocated or the established time frame – or whether it is completed at all.



3. GOOGLE CLOUD CERTIFIED Professional Cloud Architect



What is GOOGLE CLOUD CERTIFIED Professional Cloud Architect?

A Professional Cloud Architect enables organizations to leverage Google Cloud technologies. With a thorough understanding of cloud architecture and Google Cloud Platform, this individual can design, develop, and manage robust, secure, scalable, highly available, and dynamic solutions to drive business objectives.


How much Salary can I Expect once I am a GOOGLE CLOUD CERTIFIED Professional Cloud Architect?

The average pay for a Cloud Architect is $129,171 per year as per payscale.com


What are the Top Companies hiring GOOGLE CLOUD CERTIFIED Professional Cloud Architect?

Cloud Platform Architect - Google

IBM - United States 3.9

Consult with clients on how to best design Cloud High Performance and High Throughput Computing in the Google Cloud Platform.

Estimated: $120,000 - $170,000 a year 10d


Cloud Systems Architect - Connected Aircraft

Honeywell - Atlanta, GA 3.8

Amazon, Google, or Microsoft). 25 Connected Aircraft Cloud Architecture. Join a team assessing and driving cloud enabled initiatives within Honeywell's.

Estimated: $110,000 - $160,000 a year


Google Cloud Architect

Arth Consulting - New York, NY +3 locations

Google Certified Professional – Cloud Architect or Azure, AWS equivalent preferred. Amazon, Google, or Microsoft).

Estimated: $130,000 - $180,000 a year 5d


Cloud Solutions Architect

Center For Internet Security - Remote 4.6

The Cloud Solutions Architect position will work closely with the Cloud Product Owner (PO). Develop and implement cloud migration strategies.

Estimated: $120,000 - $160,000 a year


Solutions Architect, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Google Cloud

Google - San Francisco, CA +2 locations4.3

Your relationships with customers are crucial in helping Google grow its Google Cloud business and in bringing our product portfolio into companies around the.

Estimated: $120,000 - $170,000 a year


Cloud Architect - AWS / Google Cloud

Slalom Consulting - Silicon Valley, CA 3.7

Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Cloud. Be versed in Google Cloud Platform and/or Amazon Web Services cloud solution, architecture, related technologies and their.

Estimated: $120,000 - $160,000 a year


Google Cloud Infrastructure Architect

Neudesic LLC - United States +2 locations

We are currently seeking a Google Cloud Infrastructure Architect, to become a member of Neudesic’s Cloud Infrastructure Team.

Estimated: $120,000 - $170,000 a year


Cloud Integration Architect

Sierra-Cedar - Remote 4.0

Hands-on Public Cloud (IaaS) – One or more of AWS, Google, Azure, OCI, etc. Sierra-Cedar is seeking a bright and motivated Cloud Automation Architect.

Estimated: $130,000 - $160,000 a year 12d


Google Cloud Platform Architect

Nerdery - Chicago, IL +2 locations3.3

Experience with at least one cloud orchestration tool such as Terraform or Google Deployment Manager Templates.

Estimated: $140,000 - $180,000 a year


Partner Engagement Manager, Google Cloud

Google - New York, NY 4.3

Provide best practices and accelerated support for Google Cloud Platform and G Suite Solutions. Google Cloud helps millions of employees and organizations.

Estimated: $110,000 - $160,000 a year


Multi-Cloud Solutions Architect

World Wide Technology, Inc. - Remote 3.6

Mid-Level Industry Certifications such as AWS Associate Level, MCSA - Cloud Platform or Google Associate Cloud Engineer.

Estimated: $130,000 - $170,000 a year


What are the Top Industries Hiring GOOGLE CLOUD CERTIFIED Professional Cloud Architect?

Telecommunication, Analytics, Pharmaceutical, Security, Networking


What's the Career Path to GOOGLE CLOUD CERTIFIED Professional Cloud Architect?

Required Education. Individuals will need a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related discipline to work as a cloud architect. 

Required Skills. Excellent technical abilities are the most vital asset for cloud architects. 


What's the Demand for GOOGLE CLOUD CERTIFIED Professional Cloud Architect by 2020?

It’s estimated that by 2025 the datasphere will grow to an incredible 163ZB, that’s over a trillion gigabytes! With such an enormous amount of data being created it needs to be stored somewhere for people to access. In recent years, cloud computing has become a popular data storage solution for both personal and business use.

Unfold Labs, an innovative product and service company based in San Diego, predicts that ‘in 2018 at least half of IT spending will be cloud-based and that by 2020 roughly 60-70% of all software, services and technology will be cloud based.’


Where can I get trained for GOOGLE CLOUD CERTIFIED Professional Cloud Architect?

You can get trained at iCertGlobal.


What are the eligibility requirements to take up this GOOGLE CLOUD CERTIFIED Professional Cloud Architect?

Career Requirements

STEP 1.) Earn a Degree. Systems architects usually need a bachelor's degree or higher related to information technology, software engineering or computer science. 

STEP 2.) Consider Certification.

STEP 3.) Obtain Relevant Experience and Advance Your Career.


How much does the Exam Cost?

About this certification exam

This exam objectively measures an individual’s ability to demonstrate the critical job skills for the role. To earn this certification you must pass the Professional Cloud Architect exam. The format is multiple choice and multiple select. The exam has no prerequisites. This exam must be taken in-person at one of our testing center locations.


Locate a test center near you.


Length: 2 hours

Registration fee: USD $200

Language: English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese


Why do Companies Hire GOOGLE CLOUD CERTIFIED Professional Cloud Architect?

According to CRN, Apple will pay Google between $400 and $600 million for access to the platform. In other words, Apple is spending big with a company typically thought of as its chief rival.

Now, if a company of Apple’s magnitude will pair up with a direct competitor to power its own services, it’s a pretty good sign that cloud adoption is growing at a breakneck pace. Which means: jobs in cloud computing are a hot prospect right now (they pay well too, with a median salary of $124,300)

You could still be a cloud computing analyst or engineer for a traditional organization. Banks, IT companies and automotive manufacturers, as well as the government and military, are looking to hire cloud specialists in roles like cloud computing analyst, cloud administrator, cloud architect and cloud engineers.

These positions often demand ability with specific programming languages like Python, Java and Ruby on Rails, as well as experience with different operating systems (specifically Linux), and a database querying language like SQL. A company may already be committed to a specific cloud provider, so your resume may need to show you already have experience working with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform or another product in their vein.



Roles and responsibilities of GOOGLE CLOUD CERTIFIED Professional Cloud Architect

A Cloud Architect is an IT specialist who is responsible for deploying overseeing a company's cloud computing strategy. This includes cloud adoption plans, cloud application design, and cloud management and monitoring. Cloud architects oversee application architecture and deployment in cloud environments.



4. Agile Certified Scrum Master



What is Agile Certified Scrum Master?

An Agile Scrum Master certification is a designation given to Scrum Masters who understands the agile project methodology and scrum practices.


Who should take this Certified Scrum Master?

The Agile Scrum Master Certification course is recommended for:

•   Project Managers

•   Team leaders

•   Scrum Team Managers

•   Scrum Masters 

•   Developers and Product Owners.


How much Salary can I Expect once I am a Certified Scrum Master?

The annual average salary of a Certified Agile Scrum Master salary is $86,305 per year.


What are the Top Companies hiring Certified Scrum Master?

Many companies all over the world are using Agile to react to change, develop collaboration, raise the quality bar and produce happier employees. Such companies include Banks, Data services, IT companies, Energy supply firms, Marketing firm, etc.


What are the Top Industries Hiring Certified Scrum Master?

The top industries hiring Agile Scrum Masters are the Tech industry, Finance industry, and banking industry.


What's the Career Path to Certified Scrum Master?

To become an agile scrum master, you must have:

•   3+ years of experience in implementing Scrum for organizations

•   Over 6 years of overall project management experience

•   Attend a Certified Scrum master training program

•   Take the exam, pass and get certified as an Agile Scrum Master.


What's the Demand for Certified Scrum Master by 2020?

The PMI® Talent Gap Report showed close to 16 million new project management jobs will be created by 2020 in 7 project-intensive industries. Since Agile Scrum Master is part of project management, there will a huge demand for Agile Scrum Master professionals with certification.


Where can I get trained for Certified Scrum Master?

You can get trained at iCertGlobal. It is a detailed course that teaches you how to:

•   Become skillful in Scrum applications

•   Organize daily Scrums, sprint planning and reviews

•   Produce different Scrum artifacts, spring and product backlog

•   Get the ultimate benefit from the Scrum methodology ntrol

•   Create and carry out projects on a JIRA cloud site.


What are the eligibility requirements to take up this Certified Scrum Master?

There is no requirement to take the Agile Scrum Master certification. It is designed for any professional who wants to undertake a career in management.


How much does the Exam Cost?

The cost of the Agile Scrum Master exam is included in the course fee.


Why do Companies Hire Certified Scrum Master?

Companies hire Agile Scrum Master professionals because:

•   Scrum masters improve customer satisfaction

•   They improve organizational processes to lessen time to market.

•   They ensure that better quality products are developed

•   They improve progress visibility

•   They improve team participation and ownership of tasks to establish a secure environment for teams to work.



Roles and responsibilities of Certified Scrum Master

The Agile Scrum Master takes care of development process and also serve the business, product owner, team, and individuals.

The roles and responsibilities include:

•   The scrum master creates a safe environment that encourages collaboration.

•   The scrum master helps in product planning and ensure that scrum techniques and practices are adhered to.

•   The scrum master guide, coach, support and help to get rid of any stumbling block that teams may face along the line.

•   The scrum master backs up individual efforts, solve any issues and get rid of problems that individuals may face



5. ITIL Foundation



What is ITIL Foundation?

ITIL, formerly an acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of detailed practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business.

The Foundation level is the entry level certification which offers you a general awareness of the key elements, concepts and terminology used in the ITIL service lifecycle, including the links between lifecycle stages, the processes used and their contribution to service management practices.


Who should take this ITIL Foundation?

•   IT Managers/Support Teams

•   IT Architects, Planners and Consultants

•   System Administrators/Analysts

•   Operations Managers

•   Database Administrators

•   Service Delivery Professionals

•   Quality Analysts

•   Application Management Team/Development Team

•   Process Owners/Practitioners.


How much Salary can I Expect once I am a ITIL Foundation certified professional?

The average pay range for an ITIL Foundation varies modestly (up to $66,000) per year.


What are the Top Companies hiring ITIL Foundation certified professional?

Intel

McAfee

AT&T

Urbanpro.com

Computer Power Inc

HCL

British Telecom

Hitachi Consulting

American Express

Capgemini


What are the Top Industries Hiring ITIL Foundation certified professional?

The top industries include Telecommunication, BFSI, Service based industry, Operations, Manufacturing, computer and computer related, Analytics, any industry where service is a critical facet in running an opereation.


What's the Career Path to ITIL Foundation certified professional?

Achieve AXELOS-accredited ITIL® Foundation certification by following these steps:

STEP 1.) Appear for the ITIL Foundation exam after completing the training

STEP 2.) Score 65% on the exam [i.e. 26 out of 40 questions] in 60 minutes

STEP 3.) Earn two ITIL credits on successful completion of ITIL Foundation exam


What's the Demand for ITIL Foundation certified professional by 2020?

Businesswire predicted that the ITSM (IT service management) industry will increase from $4.4 billion in 2016 to $8.78 billion in 2021.


Where can I get trained for ITIL Foundation certified professional?

You can get trained at iCertGlobal. It is a detailed course that teaches using the IT Resources (IT Professionals, IT Infrastructure) in such a way that the customers get better service and the business gets profit out of it.


What are the eligibility requirements to take up this ITIL Foundation certified professional course?

There is no defined eligibility criterion for the ITIL Foundation exam. ITIL Foundation certification is in itself a prerequisite for other levels of ITIL certifications.


How much does the Exam Cost?

As of Dec'17, the costs for the exams for ITIL Foundation level is about $250 (about INR 15500/- or 210 EURO).

ITIL (foundation) certification costs

Country                                ITIL-F Certification exam fee

United States                          US $314

United Kingdom                      £269.00

Canada                                        US $314.00

Australia                                    AU $395


Why Companies Hire ITIL Foundation certified professional?

ITIL Foundation certified professional have a solid understanding in

•   IT service management best practices, concepts and principles

•   The purpose, aim, and scope of the service strategy, service design, service transition, service operations and continual service improvement

•   Application of lean principles and automation of standard tasks to enhance efficiency of ITSM processes.

•   Cost reduction by centralizing activities and teams using the right processes.

•   Using ITIL® services to meet the needs of your organizations.



Roles and responsibilities of ITIL Foundation certified professional

Increase your contribution to ITSM in your organization by: automating standard tasks; identifying alignment opportunities of IT services with the business; cost optimization; taking a customer-centric approach to ITSM; and more.


 

6. Machine Learning



What is Machine Learning?

Machine Learning is the learning in which machine can learn by its own without being explicitly programmed. It is an application of AI that provide system the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience.

A definition. Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed.

The basics of machine learning:

Machine Learning algorithms can be classified into: Supervised Algorithms – Linear Regression, Logistic Regression, Support Vector Machine (SVM), Decision Trees, Random Forest. Unsupervised Algorithms – K Means Clustering. Reinforcement Algorithm.


Who should take this Machine Learning?

•   Programmers, Developers, Architects, Technical Leads

•   Developers who want to be a ‘Machine Learning Engineer’

•   Analytics Managers leading a team of analysts

•   Business Analysts who want to understand Machine Learning (ML) Techniques

•   Business Analysts who want to understand Artificial Intelligence (AI) Techniques

•   Information Architects who want to gain expertise in Predictive Analytics

•   ‘Python’ professionals who want to design automatic predictive models


How much Salary can I Expect once I do Machine Learning?

The average pay for a Machine Learning Engineer is $42.50 per hour. The median Machine Learning Engineer has a base pay of $111,453. Salaries generally range from $76k to $153k as per payscale.com


What are the Top Companies hiring Machine Learning?

10.  Salesforce – Intelligent CRMs

9.   IBM – Better Healthcare

8.   HubSpot – Smarter Sales

7.   Baidu – The Future of Voice Search

6.   Edgecase – Improving Ecommerce Conversion Rates

5.   Google – Neural Networks and ‘Machines That Dream

4.   Twitter – Curated Timelines

3.   Facebook – Chatbot Army

2.   Pinterest – Improved Content Discovery

1.   Yelp – Image Curation at Scale


What are the Top Industries Hiring Machine Learning?

Telecom, Healthcare, Social Media, Analytics, Search Engines, neural Networks, e-Commerce


What's the Career Path to Machine Learning?

Here are the skills needed to begin and advance your machine learning career path:

•   Basic Skills. As a conglomeration of math, data science and software engineering, machine learning will require you to be proficient in all three fields. 

•   Programming Skills. 

•   ML Programming Languages.


What is the best language for machine learning?

Top 5 best Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence

1.   Python. Python is considered to be in the first place in the list of all AI development languages due to the simplicity. 

2.   R. R is one of the most effective language and environment for analyzing and manipulating the data for statistical purposes. 

3.   Lisp. 

4.   Prolog. 

5.   Java


What's the Demand for Machine Learning by 2020?

Machine Learning focuses on the development of computer programs, and the primary aim is to allow computers to learn automatically without human intervention. Google says "Machine Learning is the future," and the future of Machine Learning is going to be very bright.


Where can I get trained for Machine Learning?

You can get trained at iCertGlobal, which offers Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation.


What are the eligibility requirements to take up this Machine Learning?

Prerequisites

•   Mastery of intro-level algebra. You should be comfortable with variables and coefficients, linear equations, graphs of functions, and histograms.

•   Proficiency in programming basics, and some experience coding in Python. Programming exercises in Machine Learning Crash Course are coded in Python using TensorFlow.


How much does the Exam Cost?

Machines Learning with Python will costs you less than $400.


Why Companies Hire Machine Learning?

Machine Learning Engineer responsibilities include: Designing and developing machine learning and deep learning systems. Running machine learning tests and experiments. Implementing appropriate ML algorithms.



Roles and responsibilities of Machine Learning

Machine Learning Engineer responsibilities include: Designing and developing machine learning and deep learning systems. Running machine learning tests and experiments. Implementing appropriate ML algorithms.



7. Robotic Process Automation



What is Robotic Process Automation or RPA?

Robotic process automation (RPA) is the application of technology that allows employees in a company to configure computer software or a “robot” to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems.

Robotic process automation (or RPA) is an emerging form of business process automation technology based on the notion of software robots or artificial intelligence (AI) workers. These tools also automate interactions with the GUI, and often do so by repeating a set of demonstration actions performed by a user.

 

Who should take this Robotic Process Automation or RPA?

There are no such prerequisites to learn RPA. From freshers to experienced professional, this technology is open for all. To master the concept of RPA, you need to have basic understanding of:

•   Basic programming knowledge of using if/else and switch conditions

•   Logical thinking ability

  

How much Salary can I Expect once I do Robotic Process Automation or RPA?

Average Salary of Robotic Process Automation Specialist is $126,094 (Indeed.com salary data)

 

What are the Top Companies hiring Robotic Process Automation or RPA?

Leading Players involved in the development of Robotic Process Automation:

•   Automation Anywhere (U.S.)

•   UiPath (Romania)

•   Blue Prism (U.K.)

•   Celaton Ltd (U.K.)

•   IPSoft (U.S.)

•   Nice Systems Ltd. (Israel)

•   Pegasystems (U.S.)

•   Redwood Software (U.S.)

•   Verint (U.S.)

  

What's the Career Path to Machine Learning?

One of the most straightforward careers for an RPA expert is to become an RPA developer. With all the training and skills that one gain in their programs, this might be the best option for anyone. 

The job of an RPA Developer is to build systems that can help to get a complete Robotics process automation work. For any professional, this would be something that they have trained in for months. These types of jobs pay well but sure they are time-consuming too. The projects are lengthy but all things considered being an RPA developer pays off well.

  

What's the Demand for Robotic Process Automation or RPA by 2020?

According to Forrester wave Q1 2017 Report, RPA Market Will Reach $2.9 Billion By 2021

 

Where can I get trained for Robotic Process Automation or RPA?

You can get trained at iCertGlobal.

 

What are the eligibility requirements to take up this Robotic Process Automation or RPA?

Prerequisites.

There are no such prerequisites to learn RPA. You don’t need any knowledge of programming language to use it to implement RPA.

 

How much does the Exam Cost?

RPA certification training costs $300.


Why Companies Hire Robotic Process Automation or RPA?

Here, we list top-5 benefits of implementing RPA software for your company.

1.)   Reduced costs: By automating tasks, cost savings of nearly 30% can be achieved over the output of productivity. Software robots also cost less than a full time employee.

2.)   Better customer experience: Deploying RPA frees up your high-value resources for them to be put back on the front line defining your customer success.

3.)   Lower operational risk: By eliminating human errors such as tiredness or lack of knowledge, RPA reduces the rate of errors thereby providing a lower level of operational risk.

4.)   Improved internal processes: In order to leverage AI and RPA, companies are forced to define clear governance procedures. This in turn, allows for faster internal reporting, on-boarding and other internal activities.

5.)   Does not replace existing IT systems:  One of the biggest advantages of using a virtual workforce, or an RPA bot is that it does not require you to replace your existing systems. Instead, RPA can leverage your existing systems, the same way a human employee can.


 

Roles and responsibilities of Robotic Process Automation or RPA

An RPA approach to streamline internal processes, where people and technology play their part in synchrony, enables better insight into trends and opportunities for business. Robotics process automation (RPA) works best with rule-based, regular tasks that require manual inputs.



8. Blockchain



What is Blockchain?

A global network of computers uses blockchain technology to jointly manage the database that records Bitcoin transactions. That is, Bitcoin is managed by its network, and not any one central authority.

 

Who should take this Blockchain?

Software Developers, IT Professionals, Engineers, Analysts, Technical Leads

 

How much Salary can I Expect once I do Blockchain?

Average yearly salary for "Blockchain Developer" ranges from $85k for Application Developer to $115k for Sr. Software Engineer as per indeed.com

 

What are the Top Companies hiring Blockchain?

Dell, vmware, Cisco, Honeywell, wipro.

 

What are the Top Industries Hiring Blockchain?

Telecom, Healthcare, Social Media, Analytics, Search Engines, neural Networks, e-Commerce

 

What's the Career Path to Blockchain?

For a Blockchain Developer, technical skills in the distributed ledger technology form the backbone of their career. A good place to start is Solidity for the development of Smart Contracts, and JavaScript for the development of a website.

 

What's the Demand for Blockchain by 2020?

According to the World Economic Forum, 18% of the world's GDP will be on Blockchain related technologies by 2025

 

Where can I get trained for Blockchain?

You can get trained at iCertGlobal.com. 


What are the eligibility requirements to take up this Blockchain?

There are no prerequisites as such for this Blockchain Online Course. However, development experience on an object-oriented language, fundamentals of networking, and basic knowledge of command line & Linux would be advantageous. Further to brush up your skills, 

 

How much does the Exam Cost?

The exam cost is $299 and it tests participants based on 100 questions spread across topics such as technical understanding, monetary implications, practical use, and regulations of cryptocurrencies. If you wish to take the training for this certification before you take the test, then it will cost you $2,995.

 

Why Companies Hire Blockchain?

Many industry leaders have already achieved significant business benefits, including greater transparency, enhanced security, improved traceability, increased efficiency and speed of transactions, and reduced costs. Read how blockchain provides these benefits to learn more about using blockchain in your industry


 

Roles and responsibilities of Blockchain

Responsibilities may include developing and implementing items like accelerators and assets, assisting with an organization's infrastructure setups utilizing technologies like Ethereum, and ensuring applications are secure. Blockchain engineers may analyze code artifacts and provide training to junior personnel.



9. Internet of Things



What is Internet of Things (IoT)?

The Internet of Things, commonly referred to as IoT, is the network of physical objects, devices, vehicles, buildings, and other items that's been integrated into the technology of modern electronics, software, sensors, and other “things” with network connectivity that enables them to collect and exchange data.

 

Who should take this Internet of Things (IoT)?

Software Developers, Engineers, Data Analysts, Big Data Professionals

 

How much Salary can I Expect once I do Internet of Things (IoT)?

Average salary of IoT Developer is $150k - Glassdoor.com

 

What are the Top Companies hiring Internet of Things (IoT)?

Dell, VMware, Cisco, Honeywell, 


What are the Top Industries Hiring Internet of Things (IoT)?

Sensing — IoT endpoints

Communicating — IoT communications

Securing — IoT security

Understanding — IoT data and analytics

Acting — IoT artificial intelligence (AI)

 

What's the Demand for Internet of Things (IoT) by 2020?

By 2020, we will have over 50 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things.

The IoT will have an economic impact of up to $11 trillion by 2025 – McKinsey Global Institute.

There will be 250 million IoT connected automobiles creating new advancements in transportation by 2020.

 

Where can I get trained for the Internet of Things (IoT)?

You can get trained at iCertGlobal.com. 

 

What are the eligibility requirements to take up this Internet of Things (IoT)?

There are no prerequisites for taking up this IoT training course.

IoT Certification Training on Azure demands an intermediate knowledge of the following:

Linux Fundamentals

Basic Python Programming

Working Knowledge of Azure IoT Hub and Azure Storage

 

How much does the Exam Cost?

The training cost works out to $400

 

Why Companies Hire Internet of Things (IoT)?

Internet of Things IoT for Businesses. Internet of things (IoT) is emerging as the next big revolution in the world of technology. A place where devices are smartly connected to communicate with each other. It can be anything; your smart phones, smart TVs, smart watches and smart homes.

Much of the IoT information will be stored in the cloud, so experts in providing cloud-based solutions will need to create storage big enough to host this volume of data, as well as enabling accessibility to facilitate a two-way process so that the provider of the data (you or me) is also able to consume the data. Hence, we will see an increase in SAN and server consultants.

Security professionals will be needed to guard against breaches in data protection, and to offer us some peace of mind that our data is not being accessed by those we would prefer not to access it.

Back-end developers will be required with skills in languages like NoSQL and, as we accumulate greater amounts of unstructured data in the form of sensory information, in developing non-relational databases.

Mobile app developers will have the opportunity to create apps that can harness data to provide live, up-to-date information that can inform our daily decision making.

Drones are set to be central to IoT, replacing sensors that would have been at rest on buildings, bridges or other infrastructure. Drones offer flexibility in information gathering due to their mobility. They have data collection and processing software, and GPS, built in for geo-processing. They are of huge benefit to organisations in the utility, transport, mining, mapping and energy sectors. They will require infrastructure to host data – usually in the cloud – which in turn will generate more work for the aforementioned storage and server consultants.


 

Roles and responsibilities of Internet of Things (IoT)

Dashboards play a big role in the internet of things. An IoT developer will be responsible for data processing, data storage, data preparation and dashboard development. A huge amount of data on countless different formats will be the standard in the world of an IoT developer.

Since Internet of Things involves communication between applications and physical devices, an IoT development team tends to be large, and different developers are assigned in different areas, among these software programming, hardware programming, security implementation, networking, and systems engineering.



10. Data science



What is Data science?

Data science is a field of Big Data geared toward providing meaningful information based on large amounts of complex data. Data science, or data-driven science, combines different fields of work in statistics and computation in order to interpret data for the purpose of decision making.

 

Who should take this Data science ?

Software Developers, Engineers, Data Analysts, Big Data Professionals

 

How much Salary can I Expect once I do Data science?

Despite a recent influx of early-career professionals, the median starting salary for a data scientist remains high at $95,000. Mid-level data scientist salary. The median salary for a mid-level data scientist is $128,750. If this data scientist is also in a managerial role, the median salary rises to $185,000.

 

What are the Top Companies hiring Data science ?

Angel Broking, Deloitte, HDFC, Ford Automotive, VM Ware, Exponentia, Clover Infotech, Value Direct, Virtusa, Credit Vidya, Guppy Media, Shzertech, Loginext, Persistent, L & T Finance, Whizminds, Mii app, K2 Analytics, Eclerx, Mobiliya, Emmfer, Suzlon, Infrasoft, Impact Analytics, IBM, Eigen Technologies, Intelenet, Pentation, Light app, Ixsight, Aangan NGO, Softcell, Nelsen etc.


What are the Top Industries Hiring Data science?

Make sure you don't overlook compact online Data Science courses that will provide exactly what you need to start your career in Data Science.

5 career options for graduates of Data Science.

Statistician. 

Business intelligence reporting professional. 

Data Analyst. 

Data Mining or Big Data Engineer. 

Program/Project Manager.


What's the Demand for Data science by 2020?

The number of Data Science and Analytics job listings is projected to grow by nearly 364,000 listings by 2020 - Forbes.

 

Where can I get trained for Data science?

You can get trained at iCertGlobal.com. 

 

What are the eligibility requirements to take up Data science?

The prerequisites to learn data science:

You will find many data scientists with a bachelor's degree in statistics and machine learning but it is not a requirement to learn data science. However, having familiarity with the basic concepts of Math and Statistics like Linear Algebra, Calculus, Probability, etc. is important to learn data science.

Technical Skills: Computer Science

Python Coding. Python is the most common coding language I typically see required in data science roles, along with Java, Perl, or C/C++. 

Hadoop Platform. 

SQL Database/Coding. 

Apache Spark. 

Machine Learning and AI. 

Data Visualization. 

Unstructured data.

 

How much does the Exam Cost?

The training costs is around $300.

 

What is the career path to become a Data Scientist?

There are three general steps to becoming a data scientist:

1.)   Earn a bachelor's degree in IT, computer science, math, physics, or another related field.

2.)   Earn a master's degree in data or related field.

3.)   Gain experience in the field you intend to work in (ex: healthcare, physics, business).

 

Why Companies Hire Data science?

Data Science and Its Growing Importance – An interdisciplinary field, data science deals with processes and systems that are used to extract knowledge or insights from large amounts of data. With advancements of so much of data, many aspects of data science are gaining immense importance, especially big data.


 

Roles and responsibilities of Data science

A data scientist is someone who makes value out ofdata. Data scientist duties typically include creating various machine learning-based tools or processes within the company, such as recommendation engines or automated lead scoring systems. People within this role should also be able to perform statistical analysis.



When it comes to programming, here are the list of courses are that quite in demand that draws attractive pay too.

Programming:

Most popular programming languages certification:

•   Python

•   Java

•   C#

•   Swift

•   Scala

•   R

•   SAS

•   JavaScript

•   Typescript


We, at iCert Global offer you a wide array of courses and our Lead- Sales Consultants would be more than happy to clarify any concern you might have with regard to course offerings. We request you to spend time in checking our course catalog .  www.icertglobal.com 



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One Skill Is Not Enough. The Opportunities Are More.

The human capital, with the exponential growth in population, is immeasurably huge. Today the talent pool is just terrific. Paradoxically, the skill gap persists despite the overwhelming numbers of resources. The issue, as always, is the fitment. The question is: do you fit? 

An organization needs vary from time to time, and that’s why the insistence of skills upgrades. Stopping at a place in today’s pace Is walking backward. That spells something about the competition – which means you have to have always in your guard, keep your eyes and ears open and be ready on your toes. 

The physical attributes aside, the mental faculty needs to be brushed up and stepped up. Now comes the key question? What are your skills? Everyone is gifted with a primary skill. Problem is we don’t know what we are good at. We just follow the crowd and flow with the tide and knock on doors that have good opportunities – that pays you well offering good positions. So it’s more about aligning your skills towards the direction of boom and bucks.

Win-win for You and your Company
These days, a company is known for its workforce. Clients are setting the minimum requirement of ‘PMP certified’ for a manager, and hiring companies either enforce or set as their basic requirement even at the shortlisting stage. Hence, the certification on your profile is not only a value-add to your person but with the company, you are associated as well. That said, when one key certification used to suffice, today along with the demand, the expectations too have spiraled. “what else?” this goes both ways for the employers and employees.  For the investment made on an asset, in the forms of pay and perks, what are the returns on investment (ROI) is a claim rightfully stated by the employer. Likewise, for investing so many hard hours and armed with skillsets, ‘what do I stand to gain in terms of compensation and growth?’. So, it’s a fair expectation both sides with an eye on the bottom-line.

Multifaceted Profile.
There are many a professional who despite experience are unable to stand out for the fact that they aren’t certified. Hence, there is ‘that’ distinguished factor that sets one apart. So, a professional certification can make a huge difference. Compare a PMP certified with that of a non-certified professional/ doesn’t it make a difference. Now add more certifications to your profile aligned with your skill set. Maybe PgMP or PMI-ACP.

Job Opportunities
Many doors will be opened. The job market is skewed with an imbalance in supply versus demand. Skilled professionals are scarce in the industry, and hence the difficulty in sourcing. The niche professional certification holders are fewer in the industry.

Career Advancement
The competitive edge, undoubtedly, stems from the knowledge acquisition. Advanced certification is the measure of depth and applied across a domain. The principles and concepts are applicable to varied industry. You can move places and scale up the ladder, and always the threshold will be an acclaimed and accepted qualification and certification.

There are many such professional certifications depending on the subject matter and areas of interest. The common thread that sews up is the success factor: professionally certified profiles are head above shoulders.



image: www.pexels.com


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Our Tailor-Made Training Are Unique And Inimitable



This might be a regular word in the IT industry offering products and solutions. The definition states “made or done to order for a particular customer.” Today, custom-made is cut across the industry fitting to customer specifics.  

Just imagine a customer walking into a restaurant and reading through the menu, and calls on the waiter to order something that’s not part of the menu. The Customer doesn’t take NO for an answer if you are really keen on customer service.  If it is not listed on the menu, then better cook it – that’s the sense of service in the industry. This is just an analogy that can be applied to any vertical or horizontal.

There is no ‘one size fits for all’ – all these might sound  cliches, but the spotlight is back on the customer beaming more brightly than ever before. The customer is king. True, if not for the customer, what will happen to business eco-system? Who drives business? If not for the patronage of the customer, who pays the bills – and that includes salaries.

“We got to think more along the lines of doing something exclusively for the customer.”

The distinct factor and differentiator in an industry dominated by the best in business is your ability to make the customer feel special.  Right from sundry stuff to sophisticated schooling, think more along the lines of doing something different that is exciting and exactly meets the customer's requirement.

Interestingly, training too have seen the swing when institutions go out of the way to offer tailor-made training, which is unique and inimitable to the customer in the picture.

The engagement has gone one-notch above.  Now customers brief a scenario to exact a solution. It’s like turning a use case into an application – which may sound like an exaggeration. Not anymore.
   
In a recent inquiry, a customer came out with a specific need that was not part of our offering. In fact, they pinned the scope so neatly that the subject sought was close to 'cherry picking' and bundled as one course, and refusal to entertain their inquiry will make them shift and  shop elsewhere. So, what do we do? Either make them understand, which they wont or find some middle ground where both of our objectives are met. 

“You must be willing to go as far as you can”

Today, the choice for a customer has grown manifold. If you aren’t ready, move aside, and the next one in line will be inquired. So to a bag a business order, that connects directly or loosely, it’s both important and imperative to make most of the opportunity and drive hard for a closure. It will be foolhardy to dismiss with a ‘sorry, we don’t have that in our catalog”. The missed opportunity could cost us dear. From experience, its always the missed opportunity prove to be the worst casualties.  Unless it's completely beyond your strength, you must be willing to go as far as you can. Chances aren’t easy to come by these days with competition throttling and scuttling at the first instant possible. Customer service is evolving. The service provided will be the game changer and excellence will result in the clincher. 

One of our customers had an interesting anecdote. He was visiting a gift shop to buy something in particular. The shop owner heard his order, and declared his helplessness as “not available’ and turned his attention to the news on television. The customer moved on to the next door, which too was a gift shop, and that owner too didn’t have the article, but instead of flatly refusing with a  ‘No’, he was interested to offer the customer with alternatives of ‘maybe you would like this or try  that one.” The spirit of engagement impressed the customer, and even more impressive were the choices presented that the customer never thought of, and in the end, he purchased one and promised to come back. While leaving the shop, he looked at the previous shop and noticed the distinct difference in entrepreneurship. One was willing to go way go way beyond, while the other just sat and did nothing much. The customer left a thank you note to the shopkeeper saying “that looks like it’s just made for me”.  

Custom-made, perhaps.


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Who Is Right | Team management

Have you ever experienced the conflict within yourself? Many of us would have experienced without realizing what it is. I would like to share few scenarios of my life where I have contradicted myself and how it helped to create the self-awareness within me.

From a personal perspective:
What is Right to me may not be “RIGHT” to my spouse?

I always want my son to do things perfect in his studies and sports which is my primary concern all the time, whereas my spouse always wants to take care of my son’ interests and happiness emotionally. Who is wrong here? None. Who is right? Perhaps, both.  We both have very different standpoint but the same mission in the upbringing of our son. Hence, it’s obvious that we get into conflict when I try to impose do things against his interest. To avoid confrontation, which might escalate to arguments, she tends to downplay when I am around and makes the child to complete school work and studies before my return from work.

It is like racing on thin ice. Most of the times, we do our best to avoid the situation that might result in conflict/argument.  My spouse' maxims in managing my son need to be balanced with my own principles to instill discipline. Eventually, we respect the institution of marriage/family rather than self. The more we kill the self, the better will be our family life. Is that right? I agree.

From a professional point of view:
What is Right to me may not be “RIGHT” to my employer?

Moving onto a professional realm, what appears right to you may not be so with your colleague or manager. There are always differences in opinion. As the saying goes, “ When two partners always agree, one of them is not necessary."

When the crew has the same objective, there can be a different approach in accomplishments. Conflict or difference of opinion arises in the professional life when the objective, level of urgency and priority differs.  Rifts can be resolved when we align, with an open mind that there exist different ways and means to achieve the goal.  There is a streak of self-righteousness in all of us, making us ‘Right’ always. Is that right? Certainly not. You must be willing to listen to others’ opinion and perspective and for all you know, they might be right or you can be proven wrong. Its all about objectivity and a sense of rationality.

What I learned so far in my professional life: get your objectives aligned with your Stakeholders' objectives/Vision/Mission to avoid most of the conflicts. When we work in an organization, there could be more ways to achieve the mission and not necessarily only one way. Always focus towards the end results without allowing yourself into petty squabbles of who is Right. It’s alright if you are not right. No one is, for that matter all the time correct. We are not picture perfect with a vision of 20/20.  Don’t get deviated. The less we spend on proving self, the more we focus on our objectives & goals and eventually become productive and promising.

We always welcome feedback, and your review will be very much appreciated.  Please leave your thoughts here…..

image courtesy: goo.gl/xyWQQ1

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Identify Your Skills

The human capital, with the exponential growth in population, is immeasurably huge. Today the talent pool is just terrific. Paradoxically, the skill gap persists despite the overwhelming numbers of resources. The issue, as always, is the fitment. The question is: do you fit? An organization's needs vary from time to time, and that’s why the insistence of skills upgrade. Stopping at a place in today’s pace Is walking backward. That spells something about the competition – which means you have to have always in your guard, keep your eyes and ears open and be ready on your toes. The physical attributes aside, the mental faculty needs to be brushed up and stepped up. Now comes the key question? What are your skills? Everyone is gifted with a primary skill. Problem is we don’t know what we are good at. We just follow the crowd and flow with the tide and knock on doors that have good opportunities – that pays you well offering good positions. So it’s more about aligning your skills towards the direction of boom and bucks. 

Have you ever tried to identify your own talents or primary skills and pursue a career where you can flourish given your natural abilities and gifted talents? Today, most of us want to try our hand in IT. Why? Because it pays handsomely, and the scope is just superb. What if you are good at writing? Or painting or fixing wheels or any other vocation? The sense of job satisfaction is a far cry these days because our occupation is marked by demand in the market. What happened to your skills? Either untapped or unused.  

So how to identify your skills?
  • Whatever you can do with relative ease 
  • Whatever you are extremely confident
  • whatever keeps you going
  • Whatever you enjoy doing
  • Whatever people come to you often for aid/assistance/assignment

Once you know what you are really good at, nurture. Try getting advice from peers and superiors. Mentoring helps. Remember, there are primary skill and secondary skills. In today’s competitive world, you need to wear more than one hat as a performer. So, learn more skills. Become multi-talented. Versatile. And that makes you more in demand, rather than following the demand of the market. Make them come to you, instead of you approaching them. You know well where lies the bargaining power. job satisfaction is when you really enjoy what you are doing. The feeling of fulfillment or contentment. So identify your skills, initiate in grooming and capitalize on your competency. 

Thank you for reading this blog and please leave your thoughts here.

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The Catch Of Only The Best And Brightest Has Been Ringing In The Valley

If the new H-1B Visa Bill is anything to go by, then soon there will be  visa cap per country issued purely of on merit regardless of the origin. The catch of “only the best and brightest” has been ringing in the valley ever since there was a change of guard in the leadership.  This is only fair so that Companies don’t shortchange the unsuspecting employee by undercutting wages. So to book yourself a berth, better ensure you are the best in the list. So, professionally, unless you have a proven track record that’s superior and surpasses the set expectations, chances to be counted in is going to be grim.

Just read out the latest reports as extracted and the enormity of reality will dawn on you. The good days are gone? It can be a lament or do you hear someone shout-out “good days are back”. Your caliber and competency can be vouched by you alone as it will be you who will be subjected to the litmus test in proficiency. 

Quoting verbatim from the source:
“The High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017 introduced by California Congressman Zoe Lofgren prioritises market based allocation of visas to those companies willing to pay 200 per cent of a wage calculated by survey; eliminates the category of lowest pay; and raises the salary level at which H-1B dependent employer are exempt from non-displacement and recruitment attestation requirements to greater than $130,000.
This is more than double of the current H-1B minimum wage of $60,000, which was established in 1989 and since then has remained unchanged. 
“My legislation refocuses the H-1B programme to its original intent — to seek out and find the best and brightest from around the world, and to supplement the US workforce with talented, highly paid, and highly skilled workers who help create jobs here in America, not replace them,” said Mr. Lofgren.

Here comes the zinger: when the message is loud and clear about scouting talent that the best and brightest, what makes one best and bright? In simpler terms, you can’t nudge or elbow your competitor but win the race by a mile. The hunger to excel and exceed expectation is the basic expectation. You can take it from here as the baseline and figure out the challenges that lie ahead and criteria to be met. Nothing less than outstanding can help you outshine as a luminary in the global pool of star players. 

If you feel tempted to ask ‘what talents will take me through?’, then walk through the Job Responsibilities and measure yourself in terms of the weightage, and ask yourself “are you there?” if yes, what’s your standing when lined up with strongest of contender? Certifications, of course, lend currency and expertise arises from the virtue of experience. What happens, if the shortlisted candidates possess the certifications and areas of expertise? Well, that its typical Darwinism “fitter than the fittest”.  Better than the best. Prove that and take home the trophy. The winner gets it all. 

We wish to hear from you. Please leave your thoughts here.....

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iCertGlobal Awarded India Education Awards 2018 | Success Story


 "The India Education Awards is a celebration of excellence "



Awards are telling reminders – to let us know what we are and who we are. 

iCertGlobal Pvt Ltd was presented the India Education Awards -2018 in a star studded ceremony on      April 8, 2018 organized by Blindwink Solutions Private Limited. The India Education Awards 2018, conceived and initiated by Blindwink  is aimed at felicitating excellence, reputation and exemplary work in the Education Sector.



CEO Speak

“Awards are true inspirations that acknowledges to the world that we are worthy of recognition through our consistent results and outstanding contribution for all-round excellence in academic pursuits.  We accept it as an appreciation of our continual commitment and dedicated service in the realm of education.

 

“We take this moment to thank our people and patrons; our colleagues and clients; staff and stakeholders.  They are the ones to push the edge of the envelope, move the needle to beat projections and forecasts and continue to inspire us to strive to do better.  Their dedication and support has contributed to our success. Our heartfelt congratulations to the team, and sincere thanks to all those who made this possible” said Irfan Sharief, the CEO of the company.


Company Profile

iCertGlobal, is one of the leading professional certification training providers, offering several programs to corporate and consumers. Based out of Houston, Texas, US, and operations in UK, Australia, APAC and India, iCertGlobal has a global imprint across the globe.


iCertGlobal conducts professional trainings on varied and diverse list from Project Management, Service Management, Quality Management, Agile & Scrum and Niche technologies. They are active in both B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumers) models, and successfully trained more than 75,000 professionals with more than 3,000,000 quality hours of active training, spread across strategic locations like Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, India, Australia, UK and US.



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2018 – Is Yours. Believe. Blossom.


When the clock chimed 12, and crackers burst open ushering the new year , greetings galore and goodies strewn around, it was a moment to reflect about the past and look right ahead with renewed hope.  How did we fare and what’s the forecast for 2018? This probably is deliberation of many a minds both from a personal and professional perspective. 2017 witnessed some great happenings which will make a geek beam with pride – gadgets, gizmos, apps and what not. The World observed with heightened expectation the numerous startups, the growing number of entrepreneurs, the tectonic shift in technology that makes the ground beneath the feet shake: ‘happening today, history tomorrow’ proved so plausible. And in all these, the overriding factor and dire demand proved to be the digital presence and exceptional soft skills. Just as we are increasingly online and extremely mobile, the medium and means have changed dramatically. 

As much as technology is becoming the key differentiator, technologists are the game-changers. Brick and mortar gave way to online offerings and our niche product offerings to professionals saw a surge in Live Virtual Class and e-Learning. The  corporate accounts in our clientele upsurged in number. In all it was a successful year, having posted results close to the projections. So the ride was bumpy sometimes and smooth as well. 

Farewell 2017.

The road ahead is full of opportunities if one knows how to count and capitalize. There is going to be exciting and engaging times ahead. ‘Education never ends’ – it’s for a lifetime.  Knowledge is the key and Technology-enabled services will be the touchstone.

There is indeed a growing gap – from both the employers and employees standpoint. The fitment is really a hard-find. Hence, grooming the greatest asset – human capital – is the critical need as exponential growth in technological developments makes it a mandate to embrace existing and emerging technologies. 

We will have to rejig our offering by stacking with latest technologies that was announced yesterday  or this morning and impart  with a conviction that we communicated the message across. Training cant be 'touch and go'. It is telling by the performance of the participants long after they have completed their course. So, their success is our saving grace.  The focus will be on serving a new age courses that will enable developing new skillset to compete in the market and tap opportunities successfully. The spotlight will  be mainly on  cloud, Big data, Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, Automation, and Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud (SMAC).

2018 – is ours to make it big. Let us get ahead.

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eLearning - the Gateway to Growth

First, it’s an efficient educational system, and inexpensive as well.

It’s self-driven and hence the sense of admission and accountability is all-time high.

It’s not bound by anything – be it place or time. So you can do-it-yourself anytime, anywhere.
The freedom is unrestrained and unhinged. You are absolutely free in apportioning your time according to your convenience.  The same is applicable for both the employers and employees.

Many are well-acquainted with e-Learning, and the positive highlights.  The rapid rise in technology removes any hassles with regard to the reach. Access is not the issue. It’s the approach. Just because it can be accessed anytime, there is a tendency to procrastinate. Since there is no one to monitor, complacency creeps in making one lethargic and even lazy and listless. We expect self-discipline, and regretfully, the instances of utter disregard to discipline are just incredible. 

So, what makes e-Learning as an important tool for  learning and development?

Transform your training 
Think Technology, think mobile. Empowering your employees in enriching their education in the way forward would be, naturally, mobile. You can choose your training modules and create it in an interesting and engaging manner to make the learner more involved and absorbed. It increases the attention span and greatly improves retention.  The present and the future belong to mobile.  Highly advanced companies, as much as 18% of all training is now delivered through mobile devices’.

Close the gap
It is often the case of ‘learn what we want you study’ without much emphasis on the content and packaging.  Learners prefer a more personalized content that’s relevant and fast paced. Instead they are made to study subjects that best befits classroom setup. So there clearly exists a gap – that needs to be closed. E-Learning will help you in customizing to the crowd, and also identify and individual needs. That’s the flexibility made possible – kind of custom made or made to order. Its basically “to get them on your side”. And for that ‘you need to see their side.’

Promote a strong learning culture
For a company to report growth, it is imperative to nurture talent and promote a platform for knowledge acquisition and upgrade. Companies need to look beyond the conventional classroom and look for means that can effectively leverage technology in advancing the workforce skills.  E-Learning should be viewed as complementing knowledge and development. 

Technology is the trump card, and you play smart to emerge triumphant. 

image source: goo.gl/F5p84X


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Unlearn and Relearn.| Upskill

How long can you dwell in the past? Dust up and wipe the cobwebs for the mind needs fine-tuning and freeing up the bandwidth these cobwebs occupy.  It’s going to be a hard-shell.  We need to step up to sync with the trend that’s fast changing like shifting sands. Steam engine won’t work in 2000 and electric engine will be powerful enough to pull a bullet train.  Just as we change with times and arise to the calling, learning is no different.
 
We have an understanding about illiteracy. But, ‘The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn’ – Alvin Toffle

The threat of robots replacing jobs looming large just like the long shadows on an overcast skies. This is not the challenge per se. This is just a part. For the algorithm in the robot can be reworked to make it more intelligent. But what about you?  If much is expected from a robot, the expectations for sure will surge when it comes to man. We are stepping into an era which mandates man to be more dispensable. The endeavor is to eliminate the dependence on human – for instance, the driverless car, self-engaging instruments,  even flying cars in the future.  We are speaking the language of artificial intelligence with robotics gleaning away the role meant for humans. If the sky is no longer the limit, then those fancied becomes a possibility. That’s the philosophy now. 

It is challenging times – critically and constructively. Lethargic, lackadaisical, and laidback attitude won’t carry an inch forward. To be on your toes, you need to stay abreast with the rapid changes all over.  360 degrees. 

Your ‘value add’ for the day can be contested. Companies are extremely competitive that they only want ‘A’ players. How can you become the part of the A team? Confrontation with such uncomfortable poser might sound uncivilized, but then that’s inevitable. If not today, it’s going to pop tomorrow and you better brace yourself. You have to be significantly superior to justify your hire.

 How?

Unlearn and relearn. You will realize that your learning will help you winnow the wanted from unwanted. Its about reskilling and upskilling. When a product needs an upgrade, the mind needs more of it. 

So start enrolling for the latest workshops, boot camps, certifications, knowledge hubs. Pursue knowledge. Stay relevant.

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‘Handful of employees and few thousands’- an Entrepreneurial Journey by the founder and CEO,

iCert Global is the fastest growing Education Industry, both as an Accredited Training Organization (ATO) and Accredited Examination Centre (AEC).

Recollection
It was a humble beginning in a 1 BHK flat. A simple flat for soaring ambition, is by itself too ambitious. The founder and CEO, Irfan Sharief, recollects being very independent as a child, and quips “I guess it’s the self-reliance more than independence - the resolve to live on my own legs. That attitude perhaps strengthened my determination in the days to come. “.
He funded his own education by moonlighting and also gained a first-hand experience of the financial hardship in educating oneself. “Surely, there has to be some other alternative to college.” That was a nagging thought that trailed him long since he successfully graduated and got to work in the education domain.
Life, in a way, is more comfortable if you are salaried because you are taken care, well-fed, sheltered and most of the needs attended. Hence this guaranteed life is a good deal for many who just settle down pushing paper and changing chairs.

On my own
Entrepreneurship is about getting out of the comfort zone and come to face those insecurities and uncertainties with grit and gumption. Irfan always wanted to go on his own, and that nagging thought turned out to be the idea incubation. He aimed at providing alternate to brick and Mortar College by enabling the internet as the medium for knowledge transfer so that education is affordable and accessible.

He decided to break free and took the plunge. Soon he checked into a 1BHK flat which would be office cum home for months. Finance was from friends and family – it was not a gamble but a tug on the back or call of the hour that he decided to pursue his passion of ‘empowerment through education.’

Vital Statistics and Vision statement
The HBR 2012 stated in their survey done globally of managers and leaders, a compelling 67% felt the need to update their middle level management programs. Alarming was the talent gap even at graduate level with only 15% of potential students emerging out successfully. What happened to the remaining? So brick and mortar colleges won’t suffice and education space offered good scope and space to grow and scale.

Present day’s statistics of the surplus funding seen in the education stream almost to $208 million dollars might appear to connect the dots but 3 years back it was sporadic, with investors hard to come by. So the first statement to be written was the vision ‘To become most preferred organization in training, consultancy.”

The target market being educated professionals, the mission was to ‘enrich education and empower professionals’. And the mission was not just to retain talent but reach out to the unemployed or fresh graduates and train them to bolster their confidence in employment pursuits. Complementing the physical classroom, online or virtual classrooms found traction and the demand for organizing classes started to grow in numbers – for primary reasons of cost and access because comparatively the cost was much lower and the flexibility to plan study more convenient.

Handful of employees and few thousands
Registered in 2013, operational by mid of 2013, with a handful of employees and few thousands in funding, the company today caters to the education needs of both corporate and individual, offering their services across 3 continents and 150 nations.

With headquarters in Houston, United States, the Company is primarily into online Professional Certification training programs and successfully trained and transformed the lives of more than 50,000 professionals.

Industry experts with years of experience and domain knowledge design and develop the course ware, ably delivered by our capable Trainers, who themselves are renowned and recognized in their sphere of work.

The most significant aspect in this business is to understand the context and customize the offering. To make the engagement more meaningful and not business-like. The takeaway of the customer should make them reconsider. That’s the bottom line.

Different People, different Demands
Not everyone who walks in wants the same, and there were instances when a group enrolled for the same course. So, different people make different demand and the ability to rise up the ask calls for a kind of agility that sets one apart.

The market is ferocious, cut-throat and competitive. It’s the fighting spirit and survival instincts that enable to keep the head above the water. The endurance and perseverance in pursuit of excellence in any engagement is the differentiating factor. “The benchmark is set by the customer or consumers of our services and we find the yardstick rising, which in a way is healthy as it increases appetite and inspires to scale further. The world today has no boundary, and competition can crop from anywhere. We have seen some rough weather and sailed smooth. So those roaring waves and soothing water are nothing new to us. If anything, they grow in intensity and gear us to be more prepared,” remarked Irfan about the competition.

He added, “Other names in the industry make us to acknowledge they too have a space to share but our uniqueness is underscored by our competency and capacity to deliver as testified by the success rate of 99% with more than 50,000 professionals from various industry verticals all across the receiving quality tutelage in clearing certification” acknowledged the founder, who is still in his late twenties and already rich in work experience with more than 8 active years to his credit.


Irfan is buoyant about the market performance and the company’s growth has been positive and quite steady at the rate of 15-20 percent and sales forecast has climbed in numbers with the coming months expected to pick up steam and move the needles.


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The Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP® ) | Professional Certification

Professional certification is no more an alternative; it’s the benchmark. Professional certification is no longer restricted to a domain; its across business.

Professionals need certification today
To be counted;
To stay competitive;
To possess intellectual capital;
To present credentials.


Are you professionally certified? 

Be certified to expand career path 

Whatever be your chosen field, unless you excel and exceed expectations, you talent remain unharnessed. Certifications help you to amplify your skills and get the doors opened.

The overriding factor and dire demand proved to be the digital presence and exceptional soft skills. Over time, the medium has become mobile and so has the means. The key differentiator is technologists are the game-changers by delivering technology at doorstep. The road ahead is full of opportunities if one knows how to count and capitalize. Knowledge is the key and Technology-enabled services will be the touchstone.

Today there is a surplus in headcount There is indeed a growing skill gap – both the employers and employees standpoint. The fitment is really a hard-find. Hence, grooming the greatest asset – human capital – is the critical need as exponential growth in technological developments makes it mandate to embrace existing and emerging technologies. 

CBAP® is a certification for Business Analysts. Just the same we have for Programming or Networking.

Business Analyst, as a role and title, is often connected with IT industry given its dominating presence and dependence in the scope of business. This is not to discount or discredit Business Analysis in other industries but it’s more predominant and prominent in IT. 

In business, the most difficult part is to please is your customer. Try as you might, they are never content. It’s an uphill task and times, unreasonable too. The customer need not necessarily know all the requirements since they are evolving in nature. We start with something but end up elsewhere..   The information points can be obtained via different techniques like brainstorming, workshops, prototypes, tractions, face-to-face interviews and other means.  Still, we can’t conceive every single detail during the first call with the client. The unrecorded requirements arise in due course of development.

In startups a Business Analyst could double up as a PM. Even established companies don’t need one when the product is in maintenance state. Analysis is indispensable because it could endanger the progress of a project or leave it in a limbo. Much worse, there will be no life to the software lifecycle.

When we slip into the customer’ shoes and start listing the requirements, it gives us a fair idea about the customer’s expectations. Customers come well prepared, armed with data points and quite at ease in conversing about technology. What is new today turns out to be history tomorrow. Today’s most phenomenal innovation can become primitive in no time. Therefore Business Analysts are not just touch points but the interface between the organization and the customer, translating business needs and providing feasible solutions that can be implemented at the agreed cost – which effectively contains scope.

As a professional, you need to establish credibility and build trust. A CBAP® certification criterion makes it a mandate to possess 7500 hours of hands-on business experience which makes it extensive in terms of learning in terms of time and talent. It’s given to understand that CBAP® certified professionals are ‘experts in identifying the business needs of an organization in order to determine the best solutions’ as stated in iiba.org. Just like PMP® for Project Management, organization these days are stressing on the significant of a CBAP® certification for Business Analyst and is fast gaining currency as one of the best known benchmark for business analysis. CBAP certification enhances the human capital of an organization and builds competency in business analysis practice. Also the recognition and career advancement potential for the professional makes it a synergetic growth for the organization. It enables effective work with stakeholders associated and helps better understand the profession as an expert.

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Data Scientist | coming soon.....

We live in exciting times, taken over by technological dominance. Just imagine fuel delivered at your doorstep. Possible? Well, one may find it hard to accept, let alone believe but that’s exactly mission to achieve – beat all the odds. Man to mars – not as a cosmonaut but a commoner. Incredible, and  mind-blowing.

Are you aware how many photos gets posted, messages tweeted, videos made and posted? The social media is busy and gets busier by the day. And it does impact your business. If you care to look at the data accumulated, don’t panic if it looks like a deluge. What happens to this data? Think about it,  as its growing every day.

There can be data pile-up in your workplace. Imagine having multiple folders with hundreds of documents and completely clueless. Processed data becomes information. But who will process the data? Data Scientist. Something unheard a decade ago, is fast becoming the most sought after profile, and rightly so,  given the data produced in a day. 

To give you a glimpse, “According to computer giant IBM, 2.5 exabytes - that's 2.5 billion gigabytes (GB) - of data was generated every day in 2012”.

The total amount of data in the world was 4.4 zettabytes in 2013. 

So, how much data is produced per day? 2.5 Exabytes. That’s a whopping number. A colossal one.

And to deal with data, you need someone adept and hands-on in weeding out the unwanted and clean out the clutter. You need a Data Scientist. 

Data scientists are big data professionals who wrestle with enormous  data that can be structured or unstructured , and bringing to the fore their exceptional statistical skills , Data Scientists can assess, evaluate and organize them. On top of that, they apply their analytics prowess to bring out solutions for challenges crippling the business.

Typically defined, ‘” data scientist is someone who is better at statistics than any software engineer and better at software engineering than any statistician.” And they are placed in a prominent slot as a formidable force. Just check out the pay of a Data Scientist.

Image Courtesy: https://www.payscale.com


Watch this space for  more news about the launch of Data Scientist Course. Coming  soon.

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Data is the new Oil | Digital Marketing

The most powerful mode of marketing is the word of mouth.  

Is Digital marketing same as word-of-mouth marketing?  Yes or no? Well, what do you call ‘thing going viral on the social media’. The word spreads faster than a forest fire. We bank on referrals and trust the testimonies of our contacts before deciding on a service provider or business provider.

Today, it’s too expensive to try out the trial and error, and hence we follow footprints to be better safe and sure. Check and double-check. And that’s the reason why the online reviews are attached too much importance because you can’t collect all the information from your known sources, and hence, need to rely on unknown sources as well. Be it a travel or hotel booking or buying a car, we need to arm ourselves with facts, figures and Opinions. It matters more these days on others’ experience to get a perspective of ‘how it will be’, before doing it on our own for the ‘self-experience.’ Isn’t it? How many times have you checked a restaurant‘s reputation online before booking a table? And scrolled down all the way to sniff out foul smell? Yes, that one star rating which makes your face frown. Yes!

Word of mouth is more personalized. But in this digital era, where time is money, it’s impossible to knock on every door to get first-hand feedback. Technology has advanced. We speak of being ahead or behind the curve in technology. So the best way to pool in people’s views in one place would be the internet. And if that be, what’s stopping you from marketing using internet as a channel.

This could be the genesis of digital marketing. People prefer both brick and mortar shops and online shopping too. There exists a market share for both, and if you consider convenience, comfort, choice, online shopping is head over shoulder.

Times have changed and it’s wise to turn along the tide. So hoardings which do exist have shrunk in number and instead the online banners have risen exponentially in numbers. The medium of sale has shifted. Online transactions have spiked in numbers. Marketing of products and services using technologies through internet is otherwise known as Digital marketing, wherein the online space is used to provide the user experience to the best extent possible in promotions and pushing sales.

‘data is the new oil’

Why? Because that’s the most valuable resource. What moves the needle? Sales. And sales to happen, you need data. Refined. There, indeed, is an information overload. Looks like there is a data dump, and that’s why refined. 

Transparency is the key. Be it a website or a product/service promoted in a website. ‘how many users? how many likes? how many new users?  And that leads to the next poser ‘do you have the resource to refine?’ 

People are crunching the numbers and scrambling for data to dissect the demography in order to study and better understand the market conditions and customer behavior.  Anything that cannot be backed up with data becomes merely an opinion. Credibility is the cornerstone.  Data integrity. Everything centers on it.


Know your customer.

When a customer shops for a book, or a perfume or a laptop, or holiday vacation or anything for that matter, it gives a glimpse of the customer in terms of taste and take. Next time when the same customer visits the page, there will be “you might also like” with several  allied products or services listed. If that can bring a smile on customer’s face, then its good user experience.

Now this can be made possible only we have credible data.  Don’t let data sound so technical. It is information. How much you know about your customer to serve better and thereby improve your relationship. Relationship building is the ultimate key because that's how you earn the customer’s confidence. 

Data is the decisive factor.


Image credit: goo.gl/WmYFDt 


We will discuss more about this subject in the week to come.  Stay tuned.


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Are the curtains coming down on certification? NO


 
NO. The title was coined deliberately to draw your attention.  But the layoff and downsizing news is all over the media, especially IT sector, and some in the industrial sector too. During the appraisal week, its no surprise to hear about the pink slips. No performers has a place in the team. Typical chopping off the deadwood. Some companies follow clearing of bottom 10-20 percent workforce, but the figures read in the media seem to bamboozle as the layoffs is by hundreds and thousands. Accept the fact the market has changed. It’s a buyers’ market, and talent alone is spotted. Rest is not even counted.

Companies strategize by shrinking the workforce to keep the focus on their talent pool. Companies are increasingly scrutinising their human capital to compete, especially, in niche technologies and that’s when the certifications from reputed governing bodies really make cut above the crew. There was a time, when hiring was made on a particular technology or expertise. So if you are good in conventional development particularly waterfall methodology, then the typical hunt is for the profile fitting the requirement. Nowadays, even the profiles needs the resume revived has to be mixed-bag. Will this resource help us for an agile based project since the experience weighs heavily on waterfall? And that’s why and where the certifications count. Mentioning experience in a particular stream of technology won’t suffice. You need to be accredited. And that gives you the recognition to be at least considered as a candidate. PMI has its own certifications, of which PMP is their flagship, but the PMI-ACP has gained traction these days to lend the stress on your agile expertise.

Now you might question why the ‘flavors’? These days, project managers are expected to code. The managing, leading, supervision is the very job description, but coding has also become the minimum expectation. If the project manager starts coding, who will manage the project? Its an interesting poser. The project manager will have to manage time as well to apportion some for coding. It is something added to the job profile. Unless you are proficient in coding, how will can you assess your team’ productivity, or even trouble shoot by rolling up the sleeves when needed.

Resources must be so flexible that they can be placed anywhere – doesn’t matter what is the technology. Be it java or dot net; be it water fall or agile; be it proprietary of open source. And the expectation set is very clear: the quality cannot be compromised, and the learning curve cannot be steep. Mostly, its on the job, or beforehand.

Its tough. Yes, it is. ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets going’. So the shine of the verifications has not waned. In fact, it has become more of a necessity to possess, and the more you have, more are the chances for you to be identified and after that the interview process takes over. Even then, you will learn that all you spent in the time of certifications has made you more confident in facing the panel.

Good luck.

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Problem And Incident – Are They Same? | Problem Management

Problem is an unwelcome situation that has to be overcome. It is something we must deal, and solve. A solution that should purge the problem from persistence and recurrence.

Incident, is an occurrence. It’s more specific and confined to something that’s happening. 

While problems and incident are different, the similarities lie in their potential to trigger trouble and difficulties in our scope of work. The hardships imposed could very unsettling.

Let’s gets both these terms in a project perspective.

Incident management and problem management are critical areas to be concentrated and contained for the smooth functioning, streamlining, and success of any project.

Incident in a project mostly refers to a particular happening. It can be at a task level to a module level, whereas problem can be across the project and same problem can be encountered in many phases and many parts of the project cycle. 

Incident management and problem management are by itself exhaustive and quite complex. The severity may vary but every incident or problem calls for a thorough identification, analysis, solution and implementation. More than the fix, it’s even more important to avert recurrence. If there is Recurrence, then the fix or solution was only provisional and not a final resolution. 

Incident management
The primary aim is to identify the incidents which are adverse in its impact, develop the fix, test and deploy. If the incident severity is high, then the concerned stakeholders should be ‘on-call’ till issues is resolved. For sure, impact analysis will be conducted to ensure the fixes deployed are successful.

Problem management 
Problems ideally states that ‘system doesn’t work the way it has to’. So steps to recreate the problems will be enumerated to ascertain the validity and then identification of the root cause – using methods like fish-bone analysis etc., fix the bug (problem), conduct impact analysis, deliver and deploy.

Sometimes root cause of incidents can be a part of the problem and that’s how they are related.

You can get to understand more in-depth by enrolling for Project Management (PMP®) Courses. 

 For more details on PMP® Certification training course, click here. 

You can also know more about PMP® Exam cost and how to apply online for your information, Project Management Professional (PMP)®  is based on   A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) —Fifth Edition.

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Topline is Talent

The HI-B visa creating a ruckus and protectionism playing it out in the front  with full force, the parity in the pay that reckoned to be lopsided, the crunch now will be on the talent as the metric has been set for the minimum pay – be it native or foreign workers. Still, there exists a gap between the available with the desirable. The numbers simply don’t add up to it. The reason why foreign workers were  hired was to offset the numbers. Jobs were there in numbers but hand were fewer. With the new change in hiring policy and severe clamp in the Hi-B policies mainly aiming to guard the interest of the citizen.

Alright, enough said about safeguarding jobs of residents. The question now would be “are you employable?” as one of the leading online education service provider, we regularly conduct boot camps, workshops and training mainly to equip the professionals/participants in enriching their knowledge base, and confidence level in order to become capable of becoming counted first as candidates and then crack the number of interview rounds to be make it on top as ‘employee’. The grind is difficult. Its talent alone that takes you to the top of the heap. Remember, there is no shortage of resume, it’s the skill that suffers a shortage. The demand-supply is always skewed and very rarely have we witnessed the demand surpassing the supply. More often, vacancies remain vacant for want of the right talent.

You are an amazing resource – just showcase it. Most of us are unaware of our true potential. Tap it. How will you when they are hidden. That’s when mentoring helps. 

Consult . Especially the ones you respect and value their opinions. 

Mentoring. Everyone needs a mentor. A guide to show the path and lead them on. Not everyone can become your mentor. There has to be a connect and chemistry, the one who earns your confidence and you repose faith in them to groom and guide you.

Identify your natural skills.  The ones that comes to you naturally. May be writing is your forte, or painting  or some sports. Every individual is gifted with some ability. It’s all about sighting and sprucing up. Remember, that’s your primary skill.

Whatever be your chosen field, unless you excel and exceed expectations, you talent remain unharnessed. Certifications help you to amplify your skills and , get the doors opened. Talent is what takes you further to the top.

we value your feedback and your comments are important to us. Please post it to info@icertglobal.com.




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Where the Differently-abled Deliver | iCertGlobal


By the time Beethoven was in his prime, he was deaf. What about the greatest music compositions? The innate abilities will somehow find its way.

The creations are unique and unequalled. That’s the beauty of life. Mortals can be so different. The law of nature is such that any shortcoming or deficit is made up in its own way. 

I am reminded of the story when one night a blind boy walks beaming torch light in a dark lane. Two boys who happen to walk that way guffaw “why are you lighting that torch when you can’t see?”  The blind boy replies “the light is for you to see. I know this way well.” Stunned, that smirk on their faces was wiped off. That’s when they realized their stupidity and respected the blind boy.

How many of us think street-smart till someone physically challenged humbles us with their human dignity. Remember Hellen Keller’s emotional outpour “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet”. It’s awe-inspiring.  Every individual is incredibly talented. 

In this company where I work, the most incredible and impressive aspect are the opportunities provided for the “Differently-abled’ people. I shook hands with that new face and question about his native and he responded through gestures and sound “I have hearing problem and speech too” and for a moment I stood there transfixed. I warmly shook his hands and mouthed a “pleasure meeting you” and never miss to greet him whenever our paths cross. 

When the CEO announced the top performer for the month, , it was that person who went to collect the gift and certificate from the CEO and beamed me huge smile flashing a V sign. Moments like that can make one emotional. Oh yes, I was incredibly happy for him. Despite the physical difficulties. the sheer courage to overcome and become one among the equals. Call it fortitude. That moment of glory is frozen in my memory. They have to complete like any of the employees. My HR confided that we have many such ‘professionals’, An individual career path is carved and can carry oneself with pride as being ‘specially and significantly’ abled. And deliver too.

I was reminded someone saying “life is like a chess board. We cannot get into a white square without crossing the black”. Pearls of wisdom from all the corners of this place that enlighten me and continue to do so.

You don’t have to enlisted in the fortune 500  or rake in millions as turnover. In a small way, you still contribute to the society by hiring people who are ‘specially-abled’ and qualify to be recruited. To me this wasn’t just benevolence or CSR, but very noble to ’have such a heart’ to that you don’t have to big shot in business – just a big heart will do. Awesome!!!

And the company I am associated is iCertGlobal.   

Divya works as Business Manager, and is actively involved with NGOS and charitable institutions. Divya actively contributes to our blogs .She loves arts, music and fond of street-food. 




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Get Certified. Get PMP®. Gain the Edge.

The certification is no assurance of a ‘job in waiting with wings spread wide’ and not a down or flip side of certification –its ground reality. Surely and certainly, PMP® does equip you with the knowledge considered essential and emboldens with a positive spirit to take the ‘corporate bull by its horn’. Given a choice would you want to flaunt your certification or your crazy pay check with incredible numbers? My take? Simple: a judicious mix of both. It’s left to the discretion of the individual in the given circumstances to highlight which but there have compelling circumstances with dire straits in trying to cloak the pay over post. Market sentiments reek stronger of the smell that emanates when one reads headline as like ‘Certified PMPs earn 25% more than non-PMPs*. It can be dismissed as subjective bereft of substance but the market seems to buy that by gorging the plate dirt clean with no leftover. Such is the frenzy with respondents react in this space that any such comparison is lapped and when numeric data are inserted to drive home the message, the market feeds on it and never dumps.



Possessing a certification in not just a cosmetic facelift; it’s all about cognizance. It stamps your understanding of PMP concept in measurable data good enough for interpretation and thereby allows validation of your profile that’s close to correct. Globally recognized and demanded, the PMP® certification course is an accreditation clearly demonstrates you have the experience, education and competency to lead, manage and direct projects. PMP is a definite differentiating factor to distinguish you from peers. Very seldom an advertisement these days is placed without mentioning PMP as a mandate of skill and talent acquisition. A certified professional earns for sure 10k dollars more as compared to an uncertified one. You are better with it than without.


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Attrition Has Never Been An Issue To This EdTech Company - iCertGlobal

People are leaving. Dropping off like nine pins. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, stating he the people who quit was at 2.2% which translates to 3.22 million Americans. The highest seen since February 2001.

Does it impact the companies when employees leave? It depends on who is leaving. If it is a top performer, then it might rock the boat 

No Scarcity In Skills

iCertGlobal has faced a number of challenges, but never struggled with talent erosion. The ability to anticipate and manage expectations is one of its cornerstones. The company has risen in headcount steadily – not in leaps and bounds, but steady growth, just as their bottom line. “From that simple set-up with few heads” acknowledged their CEO Irfan Sharief “to where we stand today, I would say we have grown in numbers, increased our technology space but never compromised on core principles.” 

Attrition Low. So what’s the big deal? That speaks a lot that fails to meet the eye. For an industry that’s known for poaching talent, it speaks a lot about the stability of the company. 

It’s not a story by luck or chance that a company is started and survives and thrives in the digital transformation age when competition is fierce and you need to more than firefighting tactics. It’s one of audacity and ambition.

So, the challenge always is to enroll the employees in your mission. Unless, there is a buy-in from the staff, things will stall. 

Pay, Passion, Or Profession

Why do employees stay or quit? The same reason can be cited for staying or leaving – the corporate culture, may be suiting or stifling. Again, subjective. The likes and dislikes vary from person to person. As a professional, what drives you to work? Pay, passion, policies, principle, or perks or any other factor. It could also be the same for you to stick on. It may be difficult to pinpoint. It is imperative to retain key talent. Looking at workforce, some have chosen to stay since inception.remain since inception.

What makes them stay? This is a place wherein every hand is ‘deemed’ indispensable and the philosophy of the ‘leader is as good as the team” is perfectly embodied in spirit and letter.

The vision is to reach out to everyone wanting education – the level doesn’t matter. It’s the willingness to learn. One of the reasons to switch the knowledge transfer to electronic mode apart from connectivity is cost. When education became expensive, affordability raised too many concerns and the drop-out rate increased. To curb this drop rate and encourage to enrol, e-Learning met many objectives. It was swift in reach, affordable in cost, and powerful as a platform. And who will deliver them? Not robots?  So, it becomes even more important to retain the staff. Never undermine the check on attrition. When you take care of your employees, they will take care of business.

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iCertGlobal wins Business Leadership Award | Success Story

An award — for the Accomplishment

iCertGlobal was back in the news bagging their second award in the year.

During the International Achievers Summit, 2017, convened last week, iCertGlobal was awarded the Business Leadership for their outstanding contribution towards progress and development in the educational segment. The selection committee for the award included the Chairman-ASEAN Affairs, Thailand, President-IB Alliance, Russia, Vice-Chairman, Indo-American of Commerce (IACC). iCertGlobal emerged as the winner after a close scrutiny in terms of excellence in commitment, market strategy, business potential, financial stability, innovation and leadership outclassing its peers and rivals.

As one of the thought leaders and pioneers in Edtech Industry, iCertGlobal was acknowledged for its influence and involvement in shaping the career of many professionals by its dedicated drive to up-skill and thereby close the skill gap.

“The Business Leadership Award by the International Achievers Summit is a telling testimony of iCertGlobal’s outstanding performance and contribution in augmenting and enhancing soft skills of professionals in the region.”

Participating in the event that was graced with Diplomats, leading lights from various industries, other dignitaries and hundreds of delegates, Irfan Sharief remarked “we need to reinvent constantly and continuously, to stay relevant in this market where people compete for mindshare. We are pleased to receive the award and humbled by the recognition. It will be an honor in carrying the expectations forward.”

iCertGlobal, is one of the leading professional certification training providers, offering several programs to corporate and consumers. Based out of Houston, Texas, US, and operations in UK, Australia, APAC and India, iCertGlobal has a global imprint across the globe.

Microsoft, one of the major corporate, among many has partnered with iCertGlobal in recent times for nurturing more talents.

Success Streak

When queried for the success in winning this award, Irfan remarked “we have upgraded from traditional teaching to technology backed learning, but offer the choice to the customer to decide on the mode. As compared to the physical learning and current training, there exists a huge gap. Our job is to bridge. From classroom training to eLearning and then Instructor led Live Virtual classes, the customer has many a choice. Be it blended or dedicated mode, we strive to offer the best and scale as much as we can by staying competitive in cost, and to pass on the benefits to our customers. It has been a rewarding experience so far as we have never stopped in our efforts to strive and scale.”

iCertGlobal conducts professional trainings on varied and diverse list from Project Management, Service Management, Quality Management, Agile & Scrum and Niche technologies. They are active in both B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumers) models, and successfully trained more than 75,000 professionals with more than 3,000,000 quality hours of active training, spread across strategic locations like Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, India, Australia, UK and US.

Irfan further asserts “our charts have climbed ever since commencing operation in 2013. We have seen variations in some regions, and managed to keep the sales steadily rise up. We never saw any slump so far. “

Some insights about iCertGlobal

About The Company

Website:www.icertglobal.com— — -Industry: EdTech Services

US Headquarters: Houston, Texas — Growth: up by 200%

Headcount :up by 300% — — — — — No of Trainers:300

No of SME 200 — — — — — — — — — Founded:2013


‘What lies ahead of Successful run ‘

“Huge opportunities” noted Irfan.

Reminiscing the time of start, Irfan walked down memory lane “there are newcomers in the market with soaring ambitions. And that’s inevitable. Just the way we started, there will be new faces trying to explore. Today, the customers are spoilt for choice, and competition is real hard to outrun and outclass. So, it’s all about digging deeper and harder to keep pace with the changing expectations. What the customer want yesterday, may not remain the same this day. So in such a dynamic and volatile environment, one can’t be complacent. So to be successful, treat every day as special and significant. Keep igniting yourself with innovation in customer service. That is the edge. That zeal and passion should never waver or lower. It might be trite but so long you compete with the best, burning as much energy and enthusiasm, we can be successful.” iCertGlobal has posted remarkable growth year on year. On a concluding note, Irfan stressed “customer service is undergoing a paradigm shift. From my experience, it looks like the finish has been redrawn upfront to the pre-sales. You need to convince the client about your capabilities and move forward together. That’s the way ahead.”

About the Award

Achievers’ World Excellence Awards

There are people in the society for whom circumstances, lack of resources and setbacks are no hurdles. These individuals are people of strong will and dedication. Despite all odds, these champions polish their lives so much in their field of interest that they stand apart in society. Having achieved great heights in their respective domains, these individuals need to be encouraged, hence Achievers’ World Excellence Awards.


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Classroom Training Is Still Required And Relevant? What Do You Say?

The technology outreach is phenomenon today. In every sphere of life, there is impact of technology. That probably could spell the sophistication in learning approach and mode.
Nowadays, individual and more companies and corporate switching to online mode in training and knowledge transfer. all the more reason to leverage technology and its benefits. So given all the advantages, the need for more traditional learning is losing its touch? This point is subject to debate and deliberation. Why do we have classroom training still?

Have you stopped using a pen or pad?
Seriously. This is not some data point. If you look around, have we disposed all stationery? With the advent of touch-pads and novel laptops with touch-enabled screens, there is no need of pens. Why then pens around? The answer is obvious – a matter of convenience and reach. The classroom setting makes sense in some cases – what happens if the internet is down or beyond reach? Why do you need online classes when the team can be assembled in a room? Besides, the tutor-led instructional set-up is more conducive for brainstorming, sharing and dissemination knowledge. Learning can be different – with different kind of people.

Competitions compliments coaching
The positives of classroom training are the infusion a competitive streak, which is identified as healthy as it promotes learning. Constructive criticism is welcome. Where there is scope to exchange ideas and deliberate on thoughts, won’t you agree it is healthier? Only when you are challenged, can you expect real growth.

‘The more things change, the more they stay the same.’
It is a French quote by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, which is true in this context. So much has changed with regard to learning but the fundamental aspect of classroom still remains relevant. There is a need to retrain on new tools or learn new skills in the digital disruption. Agreed. But has technology good enough to do away with classroom? No, if at all, there is virtual classroom. Why? The system is hard to replace. We still need a white board for discussion and analysis. it is hard to dispense with the essentials. One doesn’t wish to tamper the time tested mode. May be chalk is replaced with marker, and white board to smart board. Call that incremental innovation, in terms of technological advances.

From generations to millennial to centennial, the system has preserved and persisted using conventional classroom mode for education, Man has witnessed the agricultural and industrial revolution and stands witness to scientific upheaval.  And with time, moved along the changes.  Some, though, remains.

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Turn the Threats to Opportunities Risk Management

 Sometime back GE’ CEO hit headlines with a zinger that threw even the reader off the rails.”If you are joining the company in your 20s, unlike when I joined, you’re going to learn to code, "GE CEO Jeff Immelt wrote in a LinkedIn post on Thursday. "It doesn’t matter whether you are in sales, finance or operations. You may not end up being a programmer, but you will know how to code. We are also changing the plumbing inside the company to connect everyone and make the culture change possible. This is existential and we’re committed to this."

Become multi-skilled. Expand career options.

One can’t figure out the relevance of code with someone handling compensation or making cold calls in the hope of a prospect. How does coding propel a career in finance, HR or Sales? It’s hard to connect and yet the call is to ‘code.’ Is that a threat or opportunity? Look at the plus side; if you become competent to code, hailing from a finance background or pursuing a sales career, isn’t that a shot in the arm, with ‘soft skills” making your profile more sophisticated. Besides, in terms of career choice, you have more than one option. The choices presented upfront are just wide and varied. Turn that threat to an opportunity.

Don’t rely on one individual. Transition.

From newly found start-ups to deep grounded companies, this curse of leaving the core knowledge in the hands of very few, or someone reliable and then totally rely on that person is a paradox that remains unsolved till date. Can Manager code? It could be the pitch to the millennial, but from experience, can senior-level managers ask the programmers to move aside and start coding? Then who will manage?

Some of the tools and even languages that were potent and popular during their times have either faded or obliterated, distanced or disappeared. You don’t get to hear about BASIC or FORTRAN or Pascal.  Where are they today? They had their hour of glory, shone in limelight and stepped offstage for some other language to become prominent. The show goes on; the actors change and so does the costume.

Besides, Managers have a higher calling than coding. They have to manage overruns and burn rate, keep cost within budget, cope with  scope, rein risk and always an eye on the bottom-line. Leaders are expected to extract the best/optimal outcome from the team. Lead the team with strategic vision. As long as leader keeps their next level or second-in-command motivated to take care of things, they can focus on other responsibilities. 

Today Leadership is about connecting with everyone and not the peers and reporting heads. That aside, isn’t it a threat to depend on someone or identified few? Over-dependence or too much reliance is harmful to the interest of any organization. It is a threat. Pooling all information in one server or maintaining multiple mirror servers spread across different geographical locations so that they will come in handy should one server crash - which makes more sense? Knowledge in the hands of one or concentrated  few is a serious threat. To mitigate this threat, start transitioning.  Disseminate. Distribute. Decentralize.

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Let Us Agree To Disagree Stakeholder Management

 Disagreements can turn toxic. Those who are confrontational by nature tend to handle disagreements differently and that usually is far from friendly. How do you handle disagreements?

 It can be a clash of ego when emotions run high and are not kept in check, resulting in aggression and confrontation, which can be potentially disastrous. How do you handle confrontations?

The best way to avert the head-on collision is to avoid the collision. Many a seasoned HRs would advise on the ‘discussion and dialogue’ mode, rather than ‘returning the fire’. One HR opined, “Confrontation takes you nowhere and leaves those involved with heartburn that’s going to take some time to heal. Instead resort to conversation which doesn’t get heated as altercation. There is a fine line between conversation and argument. Debate is encouraged and so is deliberation. Those who tend to be too argumentative are going to making things difficult for themselves and those around them."

Find resolution; not reasons to justify.

Meetings with pain points can drag on and on for hours together tossing back and forth with both parties either reasoning why ‘they are right” or typical cat fight to clamor for the attention. The lie when uttered the loudest becomes the truth kind of maxim. Don’t turn meetings to shouting matches, instead gain control and aim for closure at the earliest possible. If you don’t have the authority to take decisions, then collect data points and carry the conversation assuring action by escalating to the next level. There is always a way – when you are composed and collected unwilling to pick a fight, how can someone start a fight? Experience plays a critical role as profiling of employees is possible to a mature professional. They know how to give and take; accede and agree; identify common ground and settle as well. Typical trade-off.

Negotiate, but don’t negate.
What is meant by trade-off? Go for a win-win situation. Sometimes, the employee might be a valued asset and hence losing will not be a profitable proposition. In such cases, companies do tend to go for the mutually settlement whereby both the interests' are protected. There is no need to negate the grievance; hear it out and if and where possible, negotiate. And outright rejection is refusal to entertain any request or remedy. 

Leave room for Disagreement
The work place is made up of people, not puppets pulled by strings. So as individuals, everyone is entitled to their opinion and its highly likely there might exist difference in opinion. A progressive culture will call for debate and disagreements. If dissent is the essence of democracy, then disagreements should be heard and sorted. Sweeping aside or dismissing those disagreeing would make the culture regressive, suffocative and stifling. Everyone must feel that they have a voice – which may agree or disagree with the views/opinions presented. You can’t force someone to think on the same lines as you do, and you can’t be always right, and neither can you force someone to think right. Agreeing to disagree is a challenge and you better be up to it, if you want to be successful in whatever you are engaged.

Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress. -  Mahatma Gandhi


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As an Employee What Are The Returns On Your Investment ROI To The Company Stakeholder Management


You draw salary ever month, right? how it is accounted? as CTC – cost to the company. Everything comes at a cost. Be it a server or computers – all of these fixed assets or movable assets come at a cost. What about human assets? Of course, they come at a cost. But expensive as compared to any other.

As employees, there are so many expectations. Likewise, the employer too harbours much from the workforce. Harmony is when both the expectations are met. In many cases employees whine about a lot many things – some just need the perfect excuse to complain and the whining begins, and at times never ends.

When things are not to your satisfaction, accept and adapt.

Human psyche is such that nothing satisfies – ‘when one need is meet, another crops’- Maslow’s law and very much applicable in all places. We don’t live in a perfect world. So expecting a Utopian set-up is worse than wishful thing or simply aid ‘unrealistic’. From a small startup to established behemoth, there are always possibilities for people to complain.

Always contribute more than your job description.
When you work to your true potential, you can do more than that’s specified in the Job Description. Meeting expectation is breakeven. You are compensated to the services rendered and company CTC is justified. No loss. No gain. When the equation does become beneficial? When your contribution becomes more in scope and involvement on a higher scale.

Widen your horizon and Broaden your Base.
When do you, as an employee, exceed expectation? When you complete tasks ahead of time; when you rise far and above to the call of your duty; when you go out your way to accommodate more work. But if you are comfortable doing the same job, then get out of the comfort zone as you tend to become complacent and soon a replacement to fill you slot will be lookout.

Wear Multiple Hats and Multi-task.
The demand versus supply is skewed. The competition is cut-throat. The more skilled and more ways of skilled will make you outstanding. Now complementing a ‘specialist’ role with ‘add-ons’ draws more eyeballs as end of the day, like it or not, companies do tend to question ‘what more do I get from this resource?”. It was about primary and secondary skills. Since the competition has intensified, so have the expectations. So how many primary skills and how many secondary skills are calibrated by the recruiter in terms of proficiency: elementary, Limited Working, Professional Working, and Full Professional working. These metrics are just a sample and companies have their own systems of measurement to score marks for profiling. The more, the better are your chances to get past screening to selection.

The Budget on you should not become a burden.
The company apportions budget on its requirement. Spending on salaries is huge slice of the pie as it’s a recurring cost. The investment of other things can be a one-time or yearly (like renewals) but salaries are paid monthly. So unless, there is appreciable returns from the employee’s output companies will start bleeding and remain in red. Forget breakeven, the company is headed towards loss.

So what are we driving at?

Since you, as an employee, come at a cost, ensure your returns to the company IS ALWAYS HIGHER, else you become a liability. All those trainings and workshops and knowledge sharing are meant to shape you up for stellar performance, and the when you fail to deliver, what happens to the investment on you? Many companies ask such employees to leave or quit, and they come out and crib  as ‘injustice’ without justifying their cost to the company.  Increase you value-add. Become the game changer. Bring more to the table. Do more. Let your action-items increase in number, and add to the revenue.

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How Do You Really Manage Time Time Management


They say ‘it’s easier said than done’.  Truth be told, we are all pathetic in managing time. Take for instance, when you arrive at the Airport, and read the flight status as “Delayed”. The Project delivery is marked “Delayed”. No Project finishes on time without incurring some delay. Delay is now acknowledged as part of life and surprises springs when things happen on time.

Don’t take your time for granted

Its 24 hours –like it or not. Yes, these days, its hardly enough. Science changes many things but not the solar system. So 24 hours are all you have. How best to utilize without wasting? Then much depends on what is ‘waste’? But what is certain: time is limited. Life is short.

Time flies.  When it is ‘about Time’, then wrap it up. So work within the time limit set. That’s why estimation is essential. Though accuracy is something difficult to achieve, even with the advancement in techniques and thought process, historic data or past experience should at least provide you ballpark. When you plan a task or trip, what’s that you focus on? When will we complete / when will we reach? It’s the ‘when’ which is assigned the maximum weightage.

Likewise, where and whom you spend your time too matters. Professionals don’t work in line with the arms of the clock. Overstretching leads to early burnout. In reality, it impacts the productivity of the succeeding day. When you are dead tired after a hard day’s work, then you miss out on a lot many things, especially stress relievers like family time, rest and sleep. The hangover is carried forward. So the following day, your weariness pulls you down plunging the productivity. Consistency is the key, and for that managing time is the most important of all.

Some are sticklers to time. A minute late and tempers can be seen flying and epithets and expletives expressed unreservedly.  Why? Because the person values time so much, while the ones to go easy with are more likely to take time for granted.

“ Better appreciate what you HAVE before it turns out to be what you HAD! “


Don’t take others' time for granted

If your respect someone, you will respect their time as well. “Don’t waste my time and your time” – sounds familiar. Typically annoyed or totally disinterested. Why? Because the time can be spent on something worthwhile.

Besides, there are some characters with their own idiosyncrasy, who just take a sadistic pleasure in making others wait – for the heck of it. Since they sit on plum positions that offer the kind of cushion, comfort and the control, people wait. Wait as they have no choice – it can be anyone from a vendor to a stakeholder. Now is an employee a stakeholder? Of course, yes. And is it fair to make them wait just because your calendar for that day is crowded. Whose interest supersedes – an individual or company? Company. But without the ‘individuals’ will the company survive? And wont the individuals have their agenda for the day and ripping off their rationed time for family is fair just because you’re the Business Head or the Manager or the CEO? Those who wait might oblige grudgingly, but the payback can be expected in some form. Those ‘Heads’ must think about the possible ramification. Repercussions are bound to happen. When the suppressed spirit finds release, don’t expect it to behave benevolently. ‘You will be repaid in the same coin’ and ‘taste your own bitter medicine.’

Your agenda for the day might be jam-packed, and of course unknown or unexpected calls might spring up, which can’t be ignored.  They need to be accommodated without affecting the agenda adversely.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

Remember, just as your time important, so will it be for others you interact. Don’t abuse your position by taking their time for granted. That’s the worst form of injustice.


Your feedback is important to us. Please leave your thoughts here.

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Communicate with Clarity Stakeholder Management

 All us will agree to the need for greater clarity in communication – be it any form, verbal, or written. We say a lot and

really don't mean anything much.

Conflicts arise mainly due to poor communication. When words are minced, message loses its meaning. Basically, we failed to

make sense, and probably never realized.  Confusion is otherwise called as noise.

Let’s look into some real-time scenarios:

Despite a set agenda, meetings, at times, drag for hours not deliberating the issues tabled, rather a stray thought entertained finds resonance with someone seated and soon the discussion veers off in a direction that’s tangential. When the meeting is concluded, everyone leaves learning a lesson not to get distracted but fall into the same trap that was supposed to be safeguarded.

Likewise, a client call to collect requirements goes into an infinite loop of ‘back and forth’.  Why? Either the message is

not clear or the stakeholders are not in the same page for the lack of understanding. It’s as if the conversation is taking

place in a language that the attendees in the call are absolutely clueless. This, when Language is no longer a limitation

can be so ironical.

Or, the instance when a simple mail intended to communicate a message can be so misleading.

So, how do you bring clarity in communication?

You don’t have to be poetic. Just be precise.

There is no need to compose an essay. A 2-liner will be enough if the message can be conveyed.

Be verbal, not verbose. Compose crisp concise message using shorter sentences.


The second paragraph is this post itself is typical disclaimer as to ‘how not to write’. Rather, simplify. Make it easier

for the reader to understand. It should not be a test on IQ.  Is your message easy to understand? Assess the easiness. If

yes, post. If not, rewrite.

Clarity means simplicity. We often confuse that word as a business jargon. The challenge today that 'you might be possess

the knowledge of a professor' but can you explain in a way that a third-grade kid can understand?

There should not be any confusion at all; nor the need to refer the dictionary. Prose that is plain yet elegant; correct in

its context brings out greater clarity in communication.


It can be challenging. So is clarity in communication.

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Resignation / Retention: A Page In People Management


When resignations are rampant and the attrition rate spikes, all the eyes invariably turns on the eyes of the HR as scapegoats, when nothing concrete comes out as evidence for the exit . other than speculations flying thick and fast which twirls into wild rumours, the real reason for someone’ departure is never disclosed, for whatever reasons.

Some of the most heard is “blame the manager”. Fine. What happens if the manager quits? Blame the manager who managed the manager? We can keep going round in circles. The bottom-line – the person was either willing to go or forced to leave. The reasons can be anything – from conjectures to outright conclusions.

Pinning on a person fails to make sense. Rather look at the person leaving. Particularly HR. The HR derives no pleasure as they alone know better the ‘cost of hire’ right from advertising about openings to screening resume and shortlisting and hoping the candidate will clear the countless rounds of interview so that they can close the file or requirement. It can be daunting in cost and effort. And it gets tough on the Hiring manager to bring the ‘new hire’ to speed, the transition in timeline will sometimes roll into months. So overall, it is an expensive exercise that no one wants unless or otherwise forced to engage. Rather, it is far more prudent to retain than release. That’s why many companies consider to ‘talk it through’ the pain points that made the employee severe ties.

And what could be the pain points? The data points collected from various exit interviews and successful retention discussions were pooled and the most striking listed :

Stagnation. When an employee feels grinding the same stone with nothing new but regular, routine, monotonous work, frustration boils and resentment builds badly seeking a release. That’s when they look around. Everyone has an axe to grind. When you do something repeatedly, that’s called monotony or specialist?  Its your take. Somehow the passion in you has replaced with pressure.

 Stunning Offer:  something you can’t resist or refuse. Obviously, it far better than where you are that has made up your mind to move. A great work culture, exciting job responsibilities, eye-popping package with perks and all the freebies and holidays. Sometimes, the allure with the offer tantalizing which is hard to let go . money is a great motivator – the lure of CTC. Not many read CTC as cost, but as ‘package’. Not many realize the grass is just as green on the other side.

Sense of belonging: by far, what many fail to admit or accept is that the employee simply lost  the sense of belonging in in the work place . “I don’t fit in here anymore.” What made the employee draw such a conclusion could be attributed to any factor – may be the manager or the employee itself for underperformance or incompetent. But the unmistakable fact is unless one feels "I belong here", expecting to stay on is simply chasing the wind.

Erosion in trust. It works both ways. The employee loses or the employer. Trust is sacred. Trust is both strong and fragile. So long trust is upheld, it remains strong. But just like one stone to bring down a glass plane, its so brittle. Once doubt creeps, trust dilutes.

Unreasonable timeline. Overwork overburdens. When the effort estimation is not realistic then one has to wake up to reality. Pushing beyond the permissible limits can prove punishing. Expecting productivity is preposterous. Sometimes, one has set reasonable expectations. Stretching in grave situation is acceptable so long the stakeholders concerned are accommodative, failing which the situation simmers with hostility. The person in-charge can hammer about delayed deadline while the programmer under pressure  will cry foul about the fixtures.


The way out is a win-win. Earning confidence is the best way to build a relationship. Times have proved how the crew went beyond their call of duty to combat challenges only because of the confidence and faith placed in them. People management is a practice that many leaders are yet to perfect.


image courtesy: goo.gl/kkVniC
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Brace Yourself for 2017 Reskill Reinvent and Reboot

Why is that we tend to view cynically when concerned with future? Why cant the way forward be brilliant. The search for the predictions for 2017 yielded so many results that it was difficult which to discard. But something that met the eye was ‘Will It Be Easy to Find a Job in 2017?’ Finding a job , in the present scenario, packed with aspirants and applicants by the horde whereby the supply greatly exceeds the demand, is compounded in its woes with automation leading from the front. A bellwether company in the south asia has actually ‘released’ 9,000 employees because of automation. So battling out with other contenders for a key slot is going to be tough, and to qualify will be a major hurdle. The recruiters are smart to skim the top talent. The important question is: will you find your resume in that short list? It’s good to greet with good news. Some of the predictions stated were on a promising note “Tech jobs will continue to boom”, “Responsible workers will be in demand”, and “Hiring will be up for new grads.” Now if that fails to sound positive, what else then? These are all predictions and not prescient. So take it at face value and look into the future with renewed hope and rekindled spirit. As is the want in any case, preparation is the key. Its very much evident that in a fiercely competitive market, acute shortage of skill and desired talent for the demanding roles that comes with lucrative packages and high slaries, 2017 is expected to witness the same trends of ot the previous year. Clearly, data security, big data and cloud technologies emerge on the top. With massive breaches at Yahoo announced last December, security is a major concern, and at the same time presents a great opportunity to make good. Big Data dominated the news in recent times as “weaponized, it is essential that you reskill, reinvent and reboot. The opportunities are plenty. Be optimistic.
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Work life Balance possible Oh No We do tend to procrastinate Time Management

Work-life Balance possible? Sounds like a trapeze act. For most part of the day, working professionals spend more time at office. That 8+8+8 doesn’t really work out as it is difficult to apportion 8 hours to sleep, 8 hours to work and 8 hours family, friends and folks. In the present times, it is simply unimaginable. So, forget working it out. What matters most? work or life? Some state “family first”, while some “I want to make money”, and others quip “I want to learn more and move soon up the ladder.” Priorities differ from person to person. There is no question that present times are very demanding and challenging that many professionals, especially, in IT, scratch their head and tear their hair apart in time management. Don’t get surprised to hear like “I wake up before the kids and return when they are fast asleep at night.” From lament, it has become an accustomed line often heard in the corridors or the coffee-dispenser. Usually, task assignment is done after consulting the concerned professional about the time estimation. Now if you can complete the work in the estimated time, you are meeting expectations. If you complete ahead, then you exceed expectation. In case, you lag behind, you are below expectation. Thats the norm. Are we working to our optimum potential? Some days, yes. But, consistently? The total output in a day’s work doesn’t really justify your true potential. Our productivity is only as much, because as the day wears out so does our energy and focus. A proper time estimation will never utilize more than 8 hours in a day, if not, it’s not a proper estimation. well, then the onus is on the professional to whom the work is assigned, to complete it in 8 hours. Why then the delay? Though some are genuine like a minor bug unexpectedly burning hours to fix resulting in delay which sometimes shocks the developer and the project plan, one cannot dismiss the tendency to procrastinate due to confidence or complacency. "I will do after lunch or after a break or .." postponing is the most poorest and pathetic way of functioning by a professional, and we all will be guilty of committing this cardinal sin at some point in time. To a Project Manager, that exposes a chink in the armor, and thats why they moniotor closely not just the delay but the reasons behind the delay. A season project manager will attest no project plan will run as scheduled and if it is on course, then there is something wrong somewhere.'Slippage' is expected but not for reasons hat can be avoided or anticipated. Project manager, in fact, get the jitters to note that everything is proceeding as per plan that check and double-check. No project completes as planned and slippage is expected and accepted, only the time of delay is contested. That said, You can do your 8-hour stint at office and get home to attend on your personal matters. But why are you stretching hours at the office? Because concentration is compromised. And we end up burning more hours and eventually burn out. We might blame people, place and process, but self-admission will shift some of the blame on ourselves as well. Actually, we bite into a lot of hours meant for family by simply procrastinating. Delay! That’s a difficult word to digest. A flight delayed or a train delayed or anything that has to run on time gets delayed makes you restless. What happens when your deliverables are delayed? What happens when you are holed up at office at an hour meant to be with family? Who is to be blamed? Think about it.
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The year 2016 closed on a high note 2017 is greeted with high hopes

The year 2016 closed on a high note. The low-profile CEO of iCert Global went on stage to receive the “Arch of Excellence” award from AIAC. Collecting the award, he commented on the sidelines that, “the key behind the success is our openness to ideas and innovations, especially with customer is in the center stage. Expect the unexpected – be prepared always. Learn from the defense services – why do they do the drill day in and day out? That’s preparedness. Keep educating yourself. Reinventing – is learning new things and innovation is about ideation and iterations. Figure out your strength and try channeling in many ways – that’s what makes you versatile.” True. It was a fitting finale to a trying year filled with uncertainties and yet we prevailed. “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another.” So, the ultimate test will be who is the beneficiary of the training? Only when the customer is enabled through education, business grows, and not the other way around. The motive of any venture, undoubtedly, is to make money unless it is philanthropy. Absolutely. It’s the goal of any enterprise to make profit. But how do you make money matters? Money sounds crude, so replace with bottom-line to mask. But whatever words you wish to use, one can’t erase the ultimate objective of making dollars and cents in every engagement. So, how different are we then? Fair enough to question. We exist because of our customers. And the growth is synergetic. But who first? Customer always comes first. It might sound clichéd but that’s the age old truth which has stood the test of time. At the end of the day, if you have successfully transformed an individual life positively, that’s an incredible feat. Something to feel immensely proud as achievement. At iCert Global, our endeavor is to transform as many lives as possible. We must be futurist in our thoughts, take and toil. Complete customer satisfaction, prompt service, on-schedule and within-budget delivery are the company’s guiding principles. The soft-spoken, hands-on and low profile CEO signs off in a classic statement that’s inimitable. ‘The award makes us more conscious, now that we have been recognized for excellence. It motivates us to better ourselves, and strive to deliver more than we did before. There is always room for improvement and our performance will pay off eventually in the form of recognition. That’s as important and outstanding as this award. We have very high hopes of outperforming ourselves in 2017. Wish you all a prosperous New Year and success in all your undertakings.” Happy New Year – 2017 to one and all.
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When the stakes are high Stakeholder Management

Reputation management is critical to business interest. Customer experience is THE differentiator in moving the needles. Ensure the user experience in the superlative, lest your business interest would be superseded. Bad user experience is more than a frown. It can beat your bottom-line so hard to mark it purple and bleed crimson. You don’t need others to wreck your image: your action or inaction will do the damage, sometimes beyond repair. Googled is an acceptable word today replacing ‘searched’. Adults to kids are aware and very much convinced that the search engine has an answer for every query posed. Remarkable, more than a search engine, it becomes kind of a genie ‘to fetch the answer at your beck and call’. It’s no more an illusion of the Alibaba ‘open sesame’. But every tidbit pooled and served as ‘information’ – whether phony or perfect, anything on the net leaves a digital imprint. So it is imperative to be on your toes when it comes to customer service –regardless of the domain or industry as a customer is a customer. In as many languages possible. Period. What rattles a service provider – it’s the review. For 100 positive review, it just takes one nasty one to make you feel so negative. Like a pin-prick to a blown-up balloon. Why? Is it because bade vibes spread fast and leaves distaste? From your personal experience, check out how many time you have searched for ‘any negative comments’. Because we tend to believe others’ experience. Because we lend credibility to the bitter cry of wrong customer, without even validating the statement, assuming everything typed by an individual is true to the last letter. Because we are too lenient to offer ‘the customer’s experience the benefit of doubt’ rather than question the authenticity of the statement. If one cares to notice, more than ever new business boom big with growing interest and alarming consumption of the internet that people’s lives are impacted by internet, Google and social media – which seem inevitable and indispensable. Gone is a single day without a shy at the social media and as consumers, our appetite is insatiable. Our hunger to know is fuelled all the more. Our thirst for knowledge is never quenched. It’s for the good? No one is competent to address that poser, but admittedly inadequate to come out with a convincing answer. When business depends on the customer, then make sure the deal is fair, engagement positive and memories pleasant, else it will boomerang and knock you out of your senses. For the best brand out there, their best ambassador is the customer. The unofficial spokesperson. Any word spoken out of place from that spokesperson can erode your company’s credibility. We weigh in too much about the personal experience and too much reliance on anecdotes, which can be figment of imagination or statement of exaggeration or just someone settling scores. Words can be far from the truth, but who validates before your reputation is already in ruins.
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Certification Counts. But why iCert Global

image courtesy:https://www.roberthalf.com/sites/default/files/styles/blog_image/public/Media_Root/images/blog-fa/11-2_certifications.jpg?itok=5hBqW8zl

Before it sounds to be another sales pitch, let us be fair at the start with a clear disclaimer that facts must speak for itself, that in the face of evidence any vain claims can just fall flat. Are you content ‘scratching the surface’ or wish to ‘dig deeper’. The well isn’t dry till you try, be it a person or professional. Professional Certification proves to be in vogue as an important gradient to success not just adding another dimension but differentiates by its distinction. Given the changing patterns of commerce, information overload and plethora of choices available to the customer, the differentiation will be always be based on distinguished minds (Trainers) engaged in delivering the doctrine of intellectual quest. We wanted to reach out to the customer regardless of the destination to door deliver technology, particularly to a global audience, and the internet revolutionized connectivity by making the world very small. It’s no longer four corners but more like next door neighbor. The combination of brilliance complemented with exemplary course material delivered to the delight of the participant – the ‘fantastic’ user experience is the underscoring criterion for success and so far we seldom struggled but always strived with long strides to better our peers in terms of pace. We operate in nearly 3 continents, and successfully trained more than 100,000 professionals. iCert Global, most certainly and well deservedly, reserves its own place in this exclusive space.

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iCert Global Awarded the Arch of Excellence by AIAC 2016

iCert Global , the Startup from Houston, that stood top wining the ARCH of Excellence 2016 Award from AIAC Excellence 2016 award Some make news. Some find themselves in the news. iCert Global, a US-based Startup offering professional certification training, made headlines when AIAC awarded the ‘Arch of Excellence’. The company’s CEO Irfan Sharief’’, cited, “the key behind the success is our openness to ideas and innovations, especially with customer in the center stage. Expect the unexpected – be prepared always. Learn from the defense services – why is that the army does the drill day in and day out? That’s preparedness. Keep educating yourself. Reinventing – is learning new things and innovation is about iterations in ideas. Figure out your strength and try channeling in many ways – that’s what makes you versatile. Training is our core competency but where we made headway in the competition is the delivery with a personalized touch. I always admire this quote and live by it as a decree that ‘if you don’t take care of your customer, someone else will’. Its true for any business. The only way to standout is to shine in customer care.” Irfan further added, “First try to understand the customer’s requirements. Training is too broad, instead tailor it to every individual. It so happens that some individuals have common interest, it is to that collected group we conduct our workshops and boot camps. Yes, you can apply Stephen Covey’s principle of ‘Begin with the end in mind’, and so long you are committed to reskill and upskill every participant, you not only deliver but truly add value to their lives. Your learning will be tested in its application, and that’s the reason why we engage trainers rich in experience and domain expertise. The most fulfilling moment is when a participant calls or writes to us about the effectiveness of our services. This Arch of Excellence award humbles us as an organization and motivates us to move forward in furthering our customer’s interest. Out start was simple, and managed to post a modest figure in our first year and then on there was looking back. Presently we registered, 400% as year and year growth. On behalf of iCert Global, I wish to thank AIAC for recognizing our potential and appreciate all those involved, especially the corporate and individual practitioners for having placed their faith confidently in our capabilities.”
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iCert Global's CEO : The Norm Is To Outperform

There was something more assertive in the tone of the young entrepreneur who still in his twenties has nearly 8 years of work experience tucked under his belt. When posed how, he answered ‘well, I have been working since school days. I managed my own graduation and worked night shifts to support myself and the savings to seed fund my own company.” Was it tough? “Yes, but it was an amazing learning experience that helped me realize the hardships as education can prove expensive. I could sense that struggle in some of my classmates. Looking back, the entrepreneurial streak sparked during the discussion with fellow mates airing grievances about affording good education. The ground work would begin few years later though but that spark was definitely at college.” Irfan Sharief is the founder and CEO of iCert Global, a edutech startup with headquarters in Houston, Texas, United Sates and offers its services across the atlas, with prominent presence in 3 continents. Besides, United States of America, they are very active in the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, India, and United Arab Emirates. The company’s footprints gradually are all over the place. Initially the operations were limited to key geographical locations. Maintaining a very low-profile and prefer to let the results speak, he adds, ‘every role performed by a professional here is something I have dirtied my hands-on. I have cut my teeth in the industry by slogging for some years, more for the apprenticeship to learn the industry well before taking off on my own. It helps to be hands-on. To stay relevant in this industry, you must realign and reskill.” iCert Global is a Registered professional certification organization in the areas of Project Management [PMP®, PRINCE2®, MSP], Service management [ITIL Foundation, Intermediate, MALC and Expert Track], Quality Management [Six Sigma Green Belt & Lean Six Sigma Black Belt], Agile & Scrum [CSM, PMI-ACP®, CSPO], Citrix, Cisco and Emerging Technologies. The Reason and rationale Irfan Sharief founded iCert Global aiming at closing the competency gap by effectively using internet as a platform to provide quality education at affordable cost. Irfan countered “When internet sparked a revolution in ecommerce, why not education? In fact, the cost of education is significantly lower. If so, what stops them? What do you get in a college that would be missed in virtual classes? A certificate endorsing the education? Fair enough. What about getting something similar online as well? It was then the governing bodies stepped up and started issuing online certification. If one cares to look around, the pace and ease with which customers took to the change by ‘going digital’ is by far the best in market response. Brick and mortar options for college system are limited in number to cater to the ever growing educational needs. The best alternative can be provided by internet. The founding thoughts on iCert Global were primarily connecting the corners of the globe in imparting exceptional education at remarkably low-priced classes. When queried about the etymology or the reason choosing such a name for his company, Irfan came out candidly “ Many ask me, why name iCert Global? Well, that embodies and epitomizes our mission and vision statement. iCert means online certifications, and ‘Global’ represents ‘world-wide audience’. You just have to connect.” Starting from scratch Recalling the stint served in learning the ropes, Irfan accepts “Whatever earned during the stint as ‘apprentice’ was pooled as seed funding to start the company.” The concern was not capital but crew. The challenge right at the start was to enroll talent that can get behind him in steering ahead. “Admittedly, it was very difficult, and understandably, who would want to drop what they are doing to join me in a startup.” So known contacts that trusted his vision and versatility agreed to pitch in and joined aboard. It was a start from scratch with few who followed the founder. Back in 2013, it wasn’t neither crowded by competition nor funded with so many investors. The pick-up was slow and the pace sluggish. The company took a year to establish and by the second started gaining steam mostly by word of mouth. Was it prescient or path breaking? “Neither” responded Irfan “as there was not much leveraging of the online experience towards education. We had great difficulty to accept the concept of college empowered by internet. This certainly was something I chewed on endlessly.” When iCert Global became operational, the last two quarters reported on lead conversions and business was done. The first two were consumed with the typical activities in setting up, and bootstrapping. The need for skilled professionals led to the growth of the online. A professional feels incomplete without a ‘professional certification.’ So why not empower? One look at the growing user base will be a good start to uncover the startling growth realized in the years. On a year on year basis, the sales pushed the needles and still at it. The company initially riding on the big wave of the courses and slowly emerged from its own shadow banking on its strong word of mouth marketing, to outperform its own forecasts. “When I hear newly coined vocations like ‘new collar’, it might sound prescient but I wouldn’t feign prediction. Projection is the word. One could see the gap widen between the supply and demand. We have resources but not quality resources who qualify to the needs. That’s how the gap gets widened. And if you look into the investments, notably the footfalls that walk in ready to invest, the private equity firms’ readiness to fund nearly $208 million into the education sector presents the incredible scope to scale higher. And if you look into our offering, we have broadened in every category and the pipeline is lined up with the latest offerings ready to roll anytime.,” opined Irfan. From modest start to 400% Irfan isn’t taken in by surprise nor exudes overconfidence. “During our start, sales were in spurts. In fact even in those days of setting up office, calls started trickling in and I was quite sure and confident of creating an impact. The figures are for the record, but what really matters is the customer’s experience. Not one in the industry has a track record of 99% success rate, and this I state with humility. You may ask how? Once a participant completes the training, its not end for us, rather credibility is earned during post-sales. We follow-up with our customer (read a participant), and those who couldn’t, for some reason, clear in the first attempt is offered revision session to brush up the basics to advance without any charge. Likewise, the examination fee charged is makes the eligible to appear for one exam. In case candidate fails, we make them reappear after prepping up without charging for the examination. This was done without any publicity or fanfare and soon the word spread around and we saw our sales spike, and witnessed unprecedented growth year after year. That’s how, aided by our client’s expectation and desire to exceed their expectation, we set the norm and outperform” concluded the founder sounding upbeat about the year’s achievement and remains very optimistic about the outcome.
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How iCert Global empowers the Professionals across the Globe

iCert Global is the fastest growing Education Industry, both as an Accredited Training Organization (ATO) and Accredited Examination Centre (AEC). Recollection It was a humble beginning in a 1 BHK flat. A simple flat for soaring ambition, is by itself too ambitious. The founder and CEO Irfan Sharief, recollects being very independent as a child, and quips “I guess it’s the self-reliance more than independence - the resolve to live on my own legs. That attitude perhaps strengthened my determination in the days to come. “ He funded his own education by moonlighting and also gained a first-hand experience of the financial hardship in educating oneself. “Surely, there has to be some other alternative to college.” That was a nagging thought that trailed him long since he successfully graduated and got to work in the education domain. Life, in a way, is more comfortable if you are salaried because you are taken care, well-fed, sheltered and most of the needs attended. Hence this guaranteed life is a good deal for many who just settle down pushing paper and changing chairs. On my own Entrepreneurship is about getting out of the comfort zone and come to face those insecurities and uncertainties with grit and gumption. Irfan always wanted to go on his own, and that nagging thought turned out to be the idea incubation. He aimed at providing alternate to brick and Mortar College by enabling the internet as the medium for knowledge transfer so that education is affordable and accessible. He decided to break free and took the plunge. Soon he checked into a 1BHK flat which would be office cum home for months. Finance was from friends and family – it was not a gamble but a tug on the back or call of the hour that he decided to pursue his passion of ‘empowerment through education.’ Vital Statistics and Vision statement The HBR 2012 stated in their survey done globally of managers and leaders, a compelling 67% felt the need to update their middle level management programs. Alarming was the talent gap even at graduate level with only 15% of potential students emerging out successfully. What happened to the remaining? So brick and mortar colleges won’t suffice and education space offered good scope and space to grow and scale. Present day’s statistics of the surplus funding seen in the education stream almost to $208 million dollars might appear to connect the dots but 3 years back it was sporadic, with investors hard to come by. So the first statement to be written was the vision ‘To become most preferred organization in training, consultancy.” The target market being educated professionals, the mission was to ‘enrich education and empower professionals’. And the mission was not just to retain talent but reach out to the unemployed or fresh graduates and train them to bolster their confidence in employment pursuits. Complementing the physical classroom, online or virtual classrooms found traction and the demand for organizing classes started to grow in numbers – for primary reasons of cost and access because comparatively the cost was much lower and the flexibility to plan study was convenient. Handful of employees and few thousands Registered in 2013, operational by mid of 2013, with a handful of employees and few thousands in funding, the company today caters to the education needs of both corporate and individual, offering their services across 3 continents and 150 nations. With headquarters in Houston, United States, the Company is primarily into online Professional Certification training programs and successfully trained and transformed the lives of more than 50,000 professionals. Industry experts with years of experience and domain knowledge design and develop the course ware, ably delivered by our capable Trainers, who themselves are renowned and recognized in their sphere of work. The most significant aspect in this business is to understand the context and customize the offering. To make the engagement more meaningful and not business-like. The takeaway of the customer should make them reconsider. That’s the bottom line.

iCert Global – a profile

                  iCert Global at its inception offered training on select certification courses.
 Today, it has an array of courses and attractive catalogue that should meet most of your needs.

modes of Learning
3 modes of learning, namely Classroom which will be a face-to-face instructor led sessions, Live Virtual Instructor-led Training for those with a disadvantage to travel, and finally the self-paced e-Learning which you can take up anywhere, anytime. 

core Offerings

      iCert Global has heavily invested in programs like Project Management, ITIL    Practices, Quality Management, Cloud Computing, Agile & Scrum and Emerging  Technologies like Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Marketing, SalesForce and so  on.

Key features 

Some of the key features include money back guarantee, free revision session on request, career counseling, Professional Development Units (PDU), comprehensive course ware, assistance and arrangement while filling exam application forms (many are misled by the notion it’s a breeze. If anything, it’s arduous and quite demanding. You sure need assistance and that where you will appreciate our assistance). 

Accreditation 

                 iCert Global as one of the fastest growing edTech brand is accredited by           leading governing bodies and examination centres like Axelos, TÜV SÜD, IIBA,    PeopleCert, Acquiros

Clientele include some of the fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, hp, Capegemini, Cognizant, Accenture, Tata Consultancy Services, IBM, Infosys to name a few. And yes, that 1 BHk proved too small to occupy 200+ workforce. The company has shifted its premise to a vantage point, known to be the hub of learning. 

Different People, different Demands 

Not everyone who walks in wants the same, and there were instances when a group enrolled for the same course. So, different people make different demand and the ability to rise up the ask calls for a kind of agility that sets one apart. The market is ferocious, cut-throat and competitive. It’s the fighting spirit and survival instincts that enable to keep the head above the water. The endurance and perseverance in pursuit in excellence in any engagement is the differentiating factor. “The benchmark is set by the customer or consumers of our services and we find the yardstick rising, which in a way is healthy as it increases appetite and inspires to scale further. The world today has no boundary, and competition can crop from anywhere. We have seen some rough weather and sailed smooth. So those roaring waves and soothing water are nothing new to us. If anything, they grow in intensity and gear us to be more prepared,” remarked Irfan about the competition. “Other names in the industry make us to acknowledge they too have a space to share but our uniqueness is underscored by our competency and capacity to deliver as testified by the success rate of 99% with more than 50,000 professionals from various industry verticals all across the receiving quality tutelage in clearing certification” acknowledged the founder, who is still in his late twenties and already rich in work experience with more than 8 active years to his credit. Irfan is buoyant about the market performance and the company’s growth has been positive and quite steady at the rate of 15-20 percent and sales forecast has climbed in numbers with the coming months expected to pick up steam and move the needles.

'think about them' 
  
Every individually is talented and abled, and physical limitation is never a limitation to the one who can qualify on merits. And so far iCert Global has provided employment opportunities to those whose services have been on par and earned our appreciation and faith so that more such persons call follow their footprint. Hence, the most incredible and impressive aspect is the opportunities provided for the “Differently-abled’ people. We believe they are ‘special and significantly-abled’.

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The Cost of Employee Engagement may be a lunch HR Management

(an account by one of our staff) Personal stories really connect. One of the employees seeking a day off met the HR for sanction. When queried for the reason, the employee responded “wedding anniversary”. Offering her congratulations, the HR requested for 5 minutes time. And then came around "where would you want to take your wife out tomorrow?” The puzzled employee was taken aback by surprise and blurted “we don’t have any such plans. Just spend time together.” The HR persisted“will it be lunch or dinner? How about candlelight dinner?” Still in a daze, the employee politely declined the offer and thanked her thoughtfulness. “I am not sponsoring. It’s the company’s gift. Why don’t you call your wife and let me know.” “Thanks. Then we would prefer lunch.” “Where exactly do you stay? I mean, your residential address.” The HR made careful note and sought another 10 minutes. “A table for two booked tomorrow. The venue details messaged to you. Congratulations and hope you guys enjoy the lunch.” She greeted and parted. Reaching home, the employee shared the ‘luncheon’ with his spouse, who smiled “hey, that’s really nice. Which place?” “I don’t know but HR will message the venue.” And checked his phone. It was some name not that familiar “at least we can check it out and hope the food tastes good.” When the couple showed up at the place, they were taken in by surprise. It was not some non-descript restaurant as expected but star hotel. He would recollect “we were treated royally from the valet to the manager. First time I have ever been to a hotel like that and of course, it was quite an expensive lunch.” His wife was intrigued and unspeakably impressed “never expected it to be so grand. How come we never heard and that too within our vicinity.”The employee understood why the HR took pain to know about the address. The drive was less than 3 miles and the food fabulous. And the place close – unthinkable, even for a wedding anniversary lunch. Over that ‘umpteen’ course lunch, someone always waiting upon and filling the plate with something to munch, it was an amazing experience. Over ‘chow’ time, the wife queried “why this place? And why you? Do they do it for all the staff?” "I dont know. First time for me." responded the employee lost in thoughts. It was difficult a choice – which was more sweet? The dessert or the company’s decision. “You know what, you must stay here. Even the place I work could think of something as ‘personal’ like this lunch, “stressed the wife and surprised employee looked up “you mean, they just bought my loyalty for this table full of food?” “It’s not the food or star-studded hotel. It is how they treat you. The kind of personal touch that makes you feel truly special. Respect. It gives a sense of belonging. Come to think of it, why didn’t my company surprise me with such an invite? Because, the personal connect probably missed the preoccupied minds. I am planning to offer the same to my team. Your company left an indelible mark and I am going to remember this lunch for a long time. Terrific HR. I am amazed. Seriously. “ that was an awesome toast. She is right. Respect. You can’t buy anyone with a buffet. Commitment is a call within and how you a strike a chord matters. The company’ thoughtfulness in celebrating an employee’s milestone ‘measured in full’ their worthiness. Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington
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LEARN While you EARN Professional Certification

Haven’t we read that before? Yes, but it never hurts to read once again. How many times you would have watched the movie Godfather and still not enough! Much has been written about. So let’s look from a personal experience as narrated. The person, a close associate of the author, is presently serving as Vice-President in a prestigious firm. During one of our regular meeting, he reminisced, “If I were to begin all over again, I wouldn’t have accepted the offer made by the MNC. Instead I would choose a startup.” I didn’t interrupt and it turned out to be a monologue. “When I joined the company, everything that existed was set carefully in place and played on. My addition in the workforce was to execute the delegated task. The productivity, I must say, was amazing - machine-like efficiency. No doubt. The system was great. No complaints – whatsoever. It was indeed a privilege, and needless to mention, the pay, perks all the way to the pantry was fascinating. Somehow I sensed despite having everything, something was missing. I must have really done well at work, as I was never appraised less than ‘beyond expectation’. So I was pretty good in getting the job done and very confident about myself overall. That said, the feeling of confined and compartmentalized was overwhelming – even though I enjoyed complete freedom with a caveat: the canvas was neatly dotted for the boundary as if to inform ‘within the territory’. Ah! No trespassing allowed. Absorbed in my work, and moved ahead in my career as rank and file, I missed out on learning aspect other than on the job, being content by staying on the surface or at the most scratching. Never dived deep. Never explored what lies beneath. Because it wasn’t necessary then. We focused on what needs to get the job done. Even some overzealous attempt or any initiatives will be stricken with 'stick to the specific tasks please'. Learn First. Today is a different story altogether. Students brimming with ideas either set up something on their own or settle for a start-up. Money is not the motivation – may be they have back-up or supportive sponsors in their parents. Whatever, but they listen to their instincts – something I didn’t, and always investing in knowledge by enrolling for this program or that certification. So for them it’s ‘Learn First’. Their smirk is almost infectious when looking at your eyes to say “today I am after you guys, but tomorrow evaluating my net worth in knowledge capital, you guys will be chasing me. As such they are not broke or chewing their nails all the way to the finger bones figuring about the next meal. No, they are planning to upstage one another or usher in a revolution. It’s their fierce competitive spirit and dare to do the unthinkable. Fear doesn’t seem frighten them at all, and their risk appetite simply amazes me. Deep Pockets or Schools of Learning. MNCs are flush with funds and can hence afford to shop for talent. Also they hire 'dedicated' resource, meaning hire made exclusively to execute a set of tasks that calls for a particular skill set. All of my career, I would worn one hat that probably grew up in size. A Project Manager will have PMO to shift some of the responsibility attended by delegation and supervision. That’s a luxury in a start-up. Startups are cash strapped. Don’t be surprised even if basic amenities are lacking. If you get back to the industrial jargon of 'Job Rotation' which had every worker engaging in all the activities to get hands-on and dependence of any particular employee is cut down , but then it had its cons as you can’t become an 'expert' by doing all chores. So it boiled down to Jack of all trades or Master of one. In software, especially startup, you actually don many hats. It’s common to come across a Project manager who is also the Business Analyst, Customer Interface, Test Manager, and some even roll up their sleeves and code. That’s versatility. The ability to take up any position and perform. The pay may not be that glossy but the returns are measured in knowledge acquisition. One gains a toe-hold initially and working on different subjects provides a foot-hold. You can see them dress-up their resume with an array of certifications. From my experience switching from one lane isn’t that easy. A Microsoft player will find it difficult to migrate to opens-source languages, whereas a proficient Java programmer with some effort can soon dirty fingers in php, perl or python with little time spent on transition - because the need of the hour is immediate leaving not much time for learning. Some professionals actually learn 'on the go'. It’s a matter of perform or perish, and to keep the head above water they just do what needs to be done. So multifaceted is the word. Certifications really count. Once they are groomed and gained enough ground, then it’s time for making money. The logic offered is ' at the start of the career, expenses are for basic needs and there is enough time to study the trends and shape yourself. But once you get into married life, there are more responsibilities besides the expenses.' So to start, I prefer startup to reinforce your learning. Learn as much as you can. With passage of time, and the need of the hour to settle domestically, marriage and family, money, of course matters. Then on, employment and education must go hand-in-hand. That’s the mantra. I have all that figured out in hindsight and though i can reset the time, I do pass as tips to those who seek my advice. Learn and keep learning. Certifications really count. Had I earned a PMP® certification, the monetary incentives aside, the in-depth study of the subjects has been deprived. I still find myself shallow in terms of learning and understanding, and enrolling for such professional certifications could have altered the landscapes completely. The capital gains from learning are just great for not only you benefits but create so many beneficiaries. There are no walls or boundaries. The canvas is theirs to occupy. Guess that’s the defining moment and even the differing aspect when I relate the past to the present. “ Well said.
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Marketing Traditional Touch to Technology Transformation Digital Marketi

With the advent of internet originality became the first casualty? it might be contested, even disputed, but difficult to dismiss. Lets look at the brighter side – which is broadening. Internet ignited the creativity in a way as no other force before. Check out the innovations and the improvisation. Consequently marketing and promotion are also undergoing radical changes. Now direct marketing is addressed as ‘organic’ and referral leads as ‘inorganic’. The online presence used to complement’ brick and mortar’ or structural outlets. There are shops set up exclusively online with no ‘offline’ presence, meaning there is no shop or outlet to purchase. The only way is ‘shop online’. Of course, the fly-by-night operators might still exists, credibility counts. Integrity is at stake and also offered the best collateral to the customer. Customer comments or complaints can make or mar business. Reviews are treated respectfully When and where did the diversion happen? It would be interesting to note that the introduction and adaptation of plastic money was the game changer. This was even before Google became a juggernaut. But people stuck to traditional and conventional mode of shopping. The online ‘effect’ at its infancy didn’t promise much given the inexperience of the customer compounded with the insecurity. Online shopping was provided more ‘as a service’ initially as compared to the fast growing present day eCommerce, which is proving to be indispensable. Why the surge in online shopping? Anecdotal Narration. Today, the customer is spoilt for choices, and there are more areas and avenues opening. Competition always favors the customer. To generate traffic to the website, companies go all out …when we take pride in ‘eye for details’, marketing is driven on this paradigm of publishing details that will grab your attention – whichever way that will direct you to the company’s products or services or both. So you can avail by landing on the company’s home page or led from other sites by means of advertisement, usually stunning banners or striking slogans. An executive in our workforce applied for an unplanned leave. Surprised by the move, and all the more intrigued, the team queried “what happened?” “I am taking a vacation.” That’s like snow in summer. Thrilled, the team pushed “but then it seems unplanned?” “well”, said the executive “my wife just spotted this awesome offer of plane tickets that covers the hotel accommodation as well. The price is like a steal. Incredible. So we decided to jump on it and just booked the tickets“ “which website?” “its some advertisement that came upon while she was surfing for shopping. The travel portal is reliable and we checked the review comments and also visited the carrier’s home page but the discount offered wasn’t direct. The offer is valid when you book from the travel portal only.” He had the team's undivided attention now. “The carrier might be a no-frill carrier offering dirt cheap prices but numbers of visitors are comparably less to their website and hence, they smartly advertised in a portal where traffic is heavy and also tied up with hotels. If not now, then when? Can’t wait till the next one rolls out. So we decided to go for it. Time is money, in fact, that is the premium. So seize the moment. Make the most of the deal.” The offer is open to all, but not all can cash in the opportunity, and those could, they really would. It’s not serendipity but some smart marketing manoeuvring. Organic or inorganic, the sale was closed. Mission accomplished. We will cover more about Digital Marketing in subsequent posting. Stay tuned.
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The Big Three and the Bounty What you can learn for your career

‘Big Billion Days 2016’. ‘Amazon Great Indian Festival’. The headline grabbed as much attention as the conversation that went around it. It was a festival bonanza with the leading three e-commerce companies offering discounts at unbelievable rates which may not be possible offline. Questions of all hue and shades came flying thick and fast. ‘Who is offering the discount? The marketplace or the brand marketed?’ that’s interesting given two of the service providers in the picture commenced e-commerce by selling books online. And then the conversation veered off ‘what about the competition? How will the small business survive this onslaught of deep cuts engineered in the form of discounts that will leave many retailers bleeding? Won’t they be crushed under the might of the online companies that have the money and muscle to move around? And another inquired“Well, why would the west look at east?“ Apple teams up with Flipkart to sell iPhone 7 in India’, Wal-Mart Is in Talks to Invest in Indian Startup Flipkart. Does it mean the well has dried up? Not necessarily, just that another source of stream has been spotted and sellers want to make the most of the opportunity. Market research and consumer behavior might sound as marketing jazz and jargons, but closer scrutiny would help to analyze the information other than those matters that meets the eye. Bank of America estimated Amazon could increase its market share to 37 percent by 2019 from 31 percent now, approaching the 44 percent held currently by Flipkart. Essentially, looking east speaks about synergy. Apple teams with Flipkart for a win-win engagement. While online sales range from anything to everything, the festivity seemed to focus more on the consumer electronics and large appliances categories. Chinese mobile manufacturer Xiaomi reported selling half a million smartphones in just 72 hours by riding on the high wave of online shopping festivals. With the kind of financial backing or by virtue of their own strength, the top three can turnaround the game with a price pitch that others won’t be able to match. Is it all over for the small business? We have to accept that trade and commerce has evolved from wholesaler to retailer to E-tailers. Market penetration is still a challenge – and so is internet connectivity. For instance, Italy has one of the lowest internet penetration rates in Europe. It would be presumptuous to credit every sale to be online. There is market for offline or brick and mortar – apple store is a telling testimony. And market out there is big enough to accommodate but you have to bet on your brand as there is no guaranteeing your slice of the share. End of the day, does the consumer care about the competition? NO. It would be after-sales service. Read through the above passage as an analogy and place it in the perspective of your career. Corporate shop for talent – and your place of origin is irrelevant so long you deliver. You can be a native or expatriate – how does it matter when visa can be arranged, in case required. But the topline is talent.
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Layoff and Life After Not the end but a Beginning

Just like corporates announce their annual results, few companies decide to lose weight by shedding or offloading, which is marked metaphorically as ‘deadwood’. In some fiercely competitive employment, top 10% is generally booted out citing uncompetitive or poor performance. Some layoff in the recent days shook the very ground – just like blindsided. Hundreds of developers lost their jobs. The most perilous is the pink slip. Nothing scares the daylight of a professional, especially in the IT industry than the prospect of losing the job. A status of ‘looking for a job’ isn’t exactly tantalizing. It means ‘moving mountains’. The first thing to lose is not the job: it is confidence. And then the slow undoing of everything built thus far. A typical domino effect that comes down crumbling like a pack of cards. Nothing can be as disturbing, particularly when you didn’t see that coming or failed to detect those distress signals. Your credibility is on the line. Confidence erodes, confusion prevails. Like a vision becoming blur, the future looks bleak. Questions of survival and means for sustenance crops from all corners. The wherewithal withdrawn, individuals accustomed to a certain living standards will find it disturbingly difficult in being displaced. And that is to put it mildly. When the curtains are down in your services offered to a company, its not the end of your career – just that the engagement you were roped met its logical conclusion wherein your services are no longer required. Fine. Look elsewhere. Very early in the career, when someone close to the author of this article was ‘fired’, devastating as it was in having shattered dreams and aspiration that dies premature, the CEO commiserated ‘well, may be we don’t find a fitment here but this doesn’t mean you will not shine and succeed somewhere. Play up to your strength’. You might be initially dismayed and distressed. Of course dejected, but never get depressed. ‘Play to your strength’ – and that’s exactly what one should do in the given circumstances. We are in the edtech industry for some time and, Professionals walking into our premise for consultations with regard to professional certification and career counseling makes us under better the anger and unrest when such unexpected misfortune scuttles and chokes career path. ‘Expect the unexpected’ – be prepared always. Learn from the defence services – why is that the army does the drill day in and day out? That’s preparedness. Keep educating yourself. Reinventing – is learning new things and innovation is about iterations in ideas. Figure out your strength and try channeling in many ways – that’s what makes you versatile. Its not about hour hard you get hit – but to collect yourself and stand up to the challenge. You may be down but not out. There is always an opening for those who pursue relentlessly. The reason why we insist on professional certification – to be certified in as many as possible is to become recognized instantly. May be that company doesn’t need you, fine, but someone wants you. There is always someone.
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AI is another Competitor not Your Counterpart

Yet another splash of the waves. The news is about AI. Again. All along, the news beamed over the web had to stress this message to drive home the hard fact that machines are here to replace professionals. It sounds so artificial. Want your business to boom, add on AI. We can argue all day about the robots coming to the rescue, but replacing jobs altogether is something we can agree to disagree. Industrialization introduced the concept of automation – the first of the threat to replace human workforce. Before computers became really personal, typist was a typical occupation. That has been taken over or obliterated by software. Weren’t the threat of AI perceived real then? Yes, just that the impact was less, and man moved on. Today the business runs on a different lane. Cross-selling and upselling is rampant. Technology is making business thrive. A cancer patient can know the course of treatment, courtesy not a doctor but a biotech company. So, software coding for cancer cure? Well, Microsoft too has stated as its long term goals. Wakeup call At some point in time, we all tend to become complacent by becoming too comfortable at workplace – the cushion factor. And it takes something like that of a threat to shake us out of the comfort zone – competition is the ultimate threat. AI is another competitor, not your counterpart. How did farming take place before the advent of tractor? More hands in the field, and more time to till. The tractor proved to be a game changer. Was it warded off as a threat to uproot livelihood? Why is that robots would act as our replacement and wipe out employment? What happens if robots fail to function or malfunction? Even in the worst of cases, it’s the repetitive work that can be automated. What about creative? All your bets on an algorithm. Then try this read. It might help you to revise your opinion. Nothing like your instincts. And who is going to replace that as well? Certainly not algorithms – which has its pros and cons. AI and Writing The writing is on the wall about man’s dependence on AI but not its dominance. In fact, word from the industry has hinted instead of competing, AI can utilize the service of the human mind to complement. “When you talk to an AI chatbot, who do you think writes those professional, peppy responses?” was an interesting read. AI didn’t appear intimidating, rather impressing the significance of the mind power as if to suggest ‘ we can compete against each other and also co-exist.’
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Why You want to wait till they walk out Effective Leadership

As much as companies expect employees to upskill, the attrition rate in recent times has rocked the boat, and almost ran the ship aground. A large IT firm considered a bellwether in the Asian-pacific region witnessed unprecedented exits, especially in the upper management. Sources within cite “performance related issues’ for the departure. With so many legs to march out the door apparently was too much of a jolt, that the leadership itself came in to question as why talent, that too at the top of the pyramid, are hitting the bricks? Resignation are rampant. Job-hopping seems to be most happening that it is no longer a shocker to screen a resume with several companies chequered in the career path. Why? While the companies quote ,b>‘performance’, the employees have a different perspective that paints a different picture altogether. Expected and evident. Both parties need justification and play it out for the records. But the crux of the matter is ‘leadership failed’. Either it didn’t see it coming or perhaps caught off-guarded. Either ways, the executive cant be excused or exempted. Observations made from the key trends of human capital mention that ‘Only 30% of CEOs said they were confident that they would have the talent they needed to grow their organisation in the near future’. Companies have little idea or limited information behind the reasons of resignation of high-profiles despite digging on data available. At best, they turn out as conjectures and not conclusions. HBR.org offers insights in why employees choose to leave. Some of them aren’t sure of their call to quit, some chose to get out and some shunted out. If innovations are the guiding force of the future, then the best and brightest can’t be possibly let go just like that – which does happen when paths collide or for the sheer pride. Effective leadership is to know when to reign in and when to cut loose. Stop the flow and stem the tide. To influence beliefs and behavior to beget the best in result.
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Fix the Fix Technology making us tardy

We all misunderstand and misinterpret that technology can solve everything or rather it will eventually. While right and wrong, sometimes we lay too much emphasis on technology that faith on our own prowess fails or simply overlooked. Weren’t we able to memorize and remember a truckload of telephone numbers? Weren’t we able to do math mentally? Remember birthdays, anniversaries of near and far. The mailman was our main source of communication exchange. We had our own internal database – that can store number, words, equations, law and rules – and that’s why we call it ‘by-heart’. It was not a super computer, but it was superb processing unit. 

 With the advent of the sophisticated machines – starting the simplest calculator, to the latest scientific calculator, life of course became sophisticated – but at what cost. Today, kids seem to struggle to divide 1 divided by 2 and by instinct they reach out for the calculator. ‘That’s the way we are taught’. 

 Software coding used to be in notepad as the ‘tool’. Its more advanced in the present age. These modern gadgets, tools and techniques are welcomed and embraced. Inexplicably, the solid grounding one had with the ike of notepad is missing in the IDE (integrated development environment). We are indeed the torchbearers for technology. Codes are now reused, instead of writing from the scratch – after all it’s the same ‘Login’ module. So why reinvent the wheel. The public domain is full of that one has to trowel and one has tinker. If you give it back or make it open – call that open source. Certainly, computers have reshaped. Consequently, sophistication has slackened our skills instead of sharpening; allay instead of rending us active, dependent instead of dominating [we don’t even bother to get the spelling correct – why? The system will take care. The flip side is auto-correct can actually end up misleading. Such instance are one too many when correspondence of suffered when we leave it to the control or total mercy of the computer]. This is not just with business correspondence but in all our walk of life. No machine is immune to malfunction. But how does one detect the malaise before the damage is done. Advanced minds. This means less reliance and dependence. Self-sufficient. Get back to the basic. Use technology to supplement and complement, and not as the substance. Today robots are capable of creating blogs and write-ups – and did they get it right? Today robots can replace waiters in a restaurant – were they able to take the order or serve appropriately.

 Human endeavour is to make progress and be at it. The trade-off should not be our intelligence erodes or corroded. Not at the cost of dependence for anything and everything. They are supposed to improve our lives, help us overcome difficulties, but not own our sense and sensibilities. We are much more competent and capable but the bane of machines curbing the complexities had made inadvertently reliant that instead of masters, we are slave to the system. we are less communicative with each other, less inactive, less agile and less usage of our faculties , so when fail to exercise our body and mind its makes is overall unhealthy. are we getting back to the old times? life has gone on a full circle??

 A customer recounted a very hilarious encounter. This happened in India, where the three-wheeler called as ‘autorickshaw’ driven around manually without GPS or any such gadget but rely on the acumen of the driver. The customer with no idea about the geography and supremely confident of his ’GPS’ boarded for lack of a better transportation at that time, and instructed the driver the ‘destination with address’ but insisted in guiding as he had his ‘GPSs’. The thoroughly amused driver with a smirk on his face and a cynical ‘yes sir, as you wish’ complied with the “10 meters take left and 20 meters take right” and it just guided. The busy customer glued to the gps was horrified and jumped out of shock “we have come to the same lace we started.” 

 The driver threw a “you got it all wrong. You could trust my experience but went for some device that made us dumb”. Customer conceded “ok champ, you win. Now can you take me to my place?” with the vehicle swerving right, left, and sometime straight, they reached in 10 minutes. The driver didn’t sermonize but offered some unsolicited advice “sometimes we work better than that ‘device director’. His christening of GPS was really humorous and so was the narration. The customer concluded “I paid that guy twice the fare: one of the ride and the other for tuition.” Incredible lessons learnt.

 Technology should lead us. We should not be led by it.

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Whats stopping You from learning now Reskill Up skill

How long can you dwell in the past? Dust up and wipe the cobwebs for the mind needs fine-tuning and freeing up the bandwidth these cobwebs occupy. Its going to be a hardsell. We need to step up to sync with the trend that’s fast changing like shifting sands. Steam engine won’t work in 2000 and electric engine will not be powerful enough to pull a bullet train. Just as we change with times and arise to the calling, learning is no different. We have an understanding about illiteracy. But, ‘The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn’ – Alvin Toffle The threat of robots replacing jobs looming large just the long shadows on an overcast skies that met with differing and disastrous results. This is not the challenge per se. This is just a part. For the algorithm in the robot can be reworked to make it more intelligent. But what about you? If much is expected from a robot, the expectations for sure will surge when it comes to man. Man competing animals ( Jessie Owens raced), and later man versus machine(remember, Deep Blue). We are stepping into an era which mandates man to be more dispensable. The endeavor is to eliminate the dependence on human – for instance, the driverless car, self-engaging instruments, even flying cars in the future. We are speaking the language of artificial intelligence with robotics gleaning away the role meant for humans. If the sky is no longer the limit, then those fancied becomes a possibility. That’s the philosophy now. Its challenging times – critically and constructively. Lethargic, lackadaisical, and laidback attitude wont carry an inch forward. To be on your toes, you need to stay abreast with the rapid changes all over. 360 degrees. How will you able to negotiate despite the years of experience to your credit if you cant comprehend the latest appss launched by google yesterday? google is just a reference, to imply in vogue. Your ‘value add’ for the day can be contested. Companies are extremely competitive that they only want A players. Steve Jobs was known to be ruthless in flushing out those that didn’t add value in his team. How can you become the part of the A team? Confronted with such uncomfortable poser might sound uncivilized, but then that’s inevitable. If not today, it’s going to pop tomorrow and you better brace yourself. You have to be significantly superior to justify your hire. How? Unlearn and relearn. You will realize that your learning will help you winnow the wanted from unwanted. Its about reskilling and upskilling. When a product needs an upgrade, the mind needs more of it. Sounds surreal? Check this from the movie matrix: “As Morpheus says to Neo in the film: “What is real? If you are talking about your senses, what you feel, taste, smell or see, then all you’re talking about is electrical signals interpreted by your brain.” Don’t have to get psyched and worked out. The positive connotation communicate the simple truth - that you can better machines – for they too are just a bundle of wires that communicate through electric signals. So start enrolling for the latest workshops, boot camps, certifications, knowledge hubs – whatever it takes that will act as knowledge enabler. Desire to be one step ahead. Broaden knowledge. Stay relevant.
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What is the challenge for Organization and Individuals today Stakeholder Management

What is the challenge today? To keep stakeholders interested and engaged. Stakeholders are wrongly read as customers. Employees too are stakeholders, same goes for every participant in the business eco-system. Why is it so difficult to engage? That’s not much as an issue, rather keeping them engaged. It’s the attention span. For instance, observe the consumer behavior – a person visiting your website. More than 5 seconds, nothing on screen, the person fidgets, and 10 seconds later seeing nothing, the person move on to something else. So, whatever drew the person to your place was whittled in that 10 seconds to feel withdrawn, and shutdown. You just blew away a prospect – blame the bandwidth, or the brainstorming that sat on the site design, nothing can be done to salvage the damage. If you want to dismiss it as ‘website issue’, then remind yourself of the personal branding being pulverized. The site is your reflection. If you weren’t able to sustain the interest, how do you probably expect people to engage? Like writing, the stroke starts with a single dot, which often is either ignored or overlooked, we miss out on the basics and begrudgingly admit after the deck is done. Most companies do the product first and then look for customers. Apple did and succeeded. So, is that the template for achievement or tried model for accomplishment? Then its own iterations were based on the consumer behavior and customer response. You just can’t get everything right in your first attempt. Alright. But neither can you create something and then create a demand. It’s not reverse engineering. 

 An anecdote

 It’s a two-way street. What’s in it? Is asked by both the actors – employer and employee. For me to retain my position, what is required of me? The employer may seek an alternative if you are unable to meet the KRAs, or you might start shopping for openings if you feel dissatisfied at work. And that brings an anecdote in support of the statement. One of the fellow students, a prodigy, known for sheer brilliance, and silence, an extremely soft-spoken engineer. He was not just smart but super-smart. This is the incident that happened during a campus drive with a fortune-500 company. Posed with a typical challenging and complicated integration problem to solve, he rose up from his chair within minutes. When the interviewer approached “any doubt’, he just handed the paper gesturing ‘done’. The person stood transfixed and there were no further rounds or grinds. They offered him the ‘letter’ then and there, and expressed their keen intent in absorbing in the work force. Once on board, the company would periodically check with him for any ‘wants’ which they ready to fulfill. ‘you name it and you got it.’ Instead, it was met and returned with his trademark smile that said ‘thank you’. The attitude of ‘no airs and feet firm on the ground’ endeared him as the MVP – most valuable person. A telling testimony of talent.

The ground reality

The humor doing the rounds quoting an imaginative discussion between a CEO and CFO of “what happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave us?” and the CEO responding “what happens if we don’t and they stay” might bring a smile, but then that’s the reality as well. Isn’t it? The challenge today is all about expectations and engagement. Attrition or exodus of talent is the direct impact of engagement management. Why should I stay in this company? What must I do to find a fitment? Read it again and you will observe the difference in terms of perspective. The company questions your existence and you question the company’s prudence. Win-win alone can survive and sustain this eco-system. So long one needs to survive and thrive, then it’s by challenging oneself. Keep raising the bar. It takes two to tango. So validation in isolation wouldn’t be fair. How come an individual with an accomplished track record failed to deliver in the present organization? One cannot shine selectively, and that too when he nature of job demands excellences, yet we are witnessing burn-outs and drop-outs. So, an organization is as much accountable, just like the individual to meeting deadlines and delivery. Sounds like a lead pulled out of stakeholder management?

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e Learning for Employee Retention

Two decades before, aspirations ran really high in securing a seat in one of the prestigious colleges – which often was an analogy for ‘springboard to successes’ or the ‘launch pad’. A good and sound education ensured you can eke out a living that hopefully will enrich the future. You can’t be done with education, and you just can’t have enough. Knowledge never erodes. Back then, education was the primary means to meet your ends. To graduate, find a high-paying job and learn on the ropes and settle in life was the well beaten path, which has been stamped by worn out feet. That was then. Today is telling. The mindset of a millennial is interesting and intriguing. Hiring manager are witnessing a tectonic shift in the attitude and approach of youngsters, especially, ‘freshers’ out of colleges whose outlook has been completely influenced by today's’ trends and tomorrow’ expectation. There is a paradigm shift – as compared to ‘how much can I earn?’ they are questioning ‘what will I learn?” while the assurance then was “learn while you earn’, the audacity today is to challenge 'learn “what” while I earn.' The pride in joining a prestigious organization or fortune 500 company can be just about the same as working in the latest technology. It’s to the inquisitive mind that can ignite thoughts to touch zenith, and not only youngsters but those that are ambitious in giving whatever it takes uttering “if required sleep under the desk”. 

 The conundrum
 Downsizing, the companies are trying to eliminate ‘deadwood’; and at the same time sharpening its competitive edge to stay relevant and superior. So the question is often on the lines of “are you comfortable learning, or challenge learning?” That makes learning all the more exciting – and enterprising. “Why do wizards leave?” - should be the question when your top talent is treading towards the exit door. They leave because there is not much of competition or nothing to change status quo. So with the lack of incentives, the motivation to grind the same flour in a different flavor makes the occupation dull and engagement uneventful. Where went the education? And the extended use? Admittedly, the pace at which technology has accelerated is just incomprehensible. Generations in its times witnessed changes and resisted as well. But the way this generation has embraced and endeavored simply exceeds expectations. Star wars kind of things, were conceptualized and soon Self-driving cars becoming a possibility is no more a novelty. Well, that’s the reality. Soon flying cars and mission to mars. Impossible is nothing. What excites this generation is the gauntlet to take the future by its holds, emboldened with the education and endeavor to push the boundaries of resistance. “The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.” as stated by Naipaul. Call it savage or systematic or severe, that’s the world for you to survive. It’s ‘perform or perish’ ultimatum.

Fresh start and startups 
 We are familiar with startups mushrooming during the peak of the dotcom bubble, but the present valuation of the startups in the Asian-sub continent can be dumbfounding. And for varied reasons, we find more youngsters opting to kick-start their career in startups and one of the powerful pull cited is ‘fresh lease of life’ in the form of learning and working on new technologies. ‘Data scientist’ is a newly coined designation which didn’t exist a decade before. Big data, Hadoop, Robotics, Data analytics, AI, Space Programs, the internet of things – becoming the cynosure in the life of the curious geeks. Algorithm was more confined to Coding. But today technology is driving scientific progress, and algorithms are used in airline pricing, stock trading, ecommerce, transportation and what not.

eLearning will help in retention
 Companies take pride in what they are offering other than that specified in a job description. For a fresher, it doesn’t matter – or does it? The perks in present terms are more knowledge acquisition. E-Learning is a powerful tool to harness the potential in the talent acquired. Remember the shelf life of the talent is less than a banana. Some who reported in the morning failed to show up after lunch. Attrition can be so menacing that reining in manpower is almost magical. There are always aces up in the sleeves – the carrot dangling is the promise of pathway to learning. Try eLearning. In empowering your workforce through training, make effective use of eLearning. Just as you would light-up a runway for take-off during night, try stacking those novel and niche expertise in career pathway which must be hard-to-miss. Its not enticement; call it engagement. No matter how you wish to label, will it be strong enough to seize their attention to make them stay on? Its about managing their expectations. Surpassing will ensure their stay. To impress your workforce, it’s recommended to invest on them. Technology is an enabler; eLearning a tool. How you wish to leverage in retaining your talent – is left to you.

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eLearning the altruistic way of promoting learning

A learned person passed on wisdom and insight about eLearning – which itself was altruistic. The selfless act to dispel the darkness of ignorance by lighting the torch of education is perhaps the brightest of illumination. It’s a beacon of hope to the uninformed and underprivileged. The brilliant and beautiful quote of Durant ‘Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance’ characterizes our pursuit of knowledge and excellence as the more we learn, the more we confound our understanding. So when a deemed expensive education at one of the prestigious academic institution is beyond the possible reach of those who can ill-afford, e-Learning proved to be the panacea in making it possible. The educated are morally obliged to educate the uneducated. Hence, altruism is still a long way. 

Is it a catharsis for the curse or cleansing the system?
  Those dealt with a distinct disadvantage, are deprived of their due, that they see the door of admission ajar and yet accept the very odds that distances their prospects. Think of a person who lives in less than ‘advanced country’ standards, for whom aspiring to pursue a course would be to ‘shoot at the stars’, can only keep yearning . Illustrious institutions like “MIT’s open courseware ‘ offers its course without any charges. You may not be able to appreciate as much as that person vying for a spot. Isn’t altruistic? eLearning can be a powerful tool in philanthropy and business pursuits. It enables you and me to have a fair shot at success.

Are companies truly altruistic?
  Corporates are known to commercialize. Well, how do you expect it to survive otherwise? But with that cost comes some compassion or benevolence. Are companies truly altruistic? So, it’s just about self-gains? We tend to get washed away by public sentiment that a company that’s capitalist at the core can’t just find its footprint in philanthropy. Who foots the bill of your training? Who sponsors your certification? Who provides the platform for learning? When you are roped in as part of the workforce, the drill begins and never ends. For the rest of your life, you are on the bench – learning. When you stop learning, you cease to grow. Standing still, means, walking backwards. So step up with the crowd or as they say gain ‘appreciable head start’. All these glorious adjectives aren’t bequeathed at birth. You might be right in protesting “I have earned it.” Of course, all the stripes and stars. But do pause for a moment. Someone offered you an opportunity – now this applies for entrepreneurs too. Its not without reason ‘the customer is king’. If there is no audience, what good is the stage?

Isn’t there an Investment on YOU?  
 Every project – short term or long term you engage, is an education in itself. In fact, failures teach you far more than success. Bill Gates quote is telling “success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” So, isn’t it like ‘you can’t have the cake and eat it as well’. Well, you do. Don’t you? If the company is good, then the compensation should range from good to great, plus the perks and other goodies that go with the job. Sometimes, its swelling to feel seated on a trash of cash. You live the life. Again, ‘you earned it. Hence, entitled.’ Then in the race to glory, there are pit stops. Those are gentle reminders that you live on ‘borrowed time’ and ‘endowment’. The world is neither flat nor fair. Just as uneven, so in the inequality that exists. In this rat-race, instead of being privileged, find it a ‘privilege’ to be employed for many are called but few picked. And to ice the cake, the company gets to sponsor. Whoa! That’s the cherry on the top my friend, because you are the cream of the crop. So short-sightedness may not spell the motives to be truly altruistic, but in the longer run you will appreciate every dime and nickel that picked up your bill and paid in full.

Where are the Returns?
 Times have changed. There were the one your father decided to offer his services and retired from the very place joined years before. He would have aged along with the company – weathered the good and bad and seen it all. That was ‘loyalty’. Its always wise to invest because they are true, tested and trusted assets. Today, training an employee, at a cost comes with associated risks. Retention is the worst risk – the carrot on top theory is not for the prime donnas, better try elsewhere. Today talent is not just tapped; its poached. At a price – at times unreasonable and obscene. So where went all that training and certification the company invested in you? Not exactly down the drain as you would have contributed your share fairly, so your conscience is clear. What about the company’ bottom line? The ROI is not met with you serving a stint. It has to be many more stints before the company can break-even, but by then, you have cut off ties and fastened your belts to take-off. The asset just flew out, leaving the company in the red. Literally. So when there is nothing binding upon you to serve, why should the company bother to spend? Yet, it does. Isn’t that altruistic? Think about it. Isn’t incumbent on us individually and personally to repay the debt? Yes, that’s why to your teacher, you are indebted. The legends, living and departed have attributed their success to teachers. Bill Gates attributed, Steve Jobs acknowledged Reeds College for calligraphy. Commerce and compassion might sound contradicting, but buried beneath the business is the sense of benevolence.

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eLearning Keep them motivated

First, it’s an efficient educational system, and inexpensive as well. It’s self-driven and hence the sense of admission and accountability is all-time high. It’s not bound by anything – be it place or time. So you can do-it-yourself anytime, anywhere. Being Boundless, eLearning clears bottleneck and opens up any opposition you might have harbored against the system. The freedom is unrestrained and unhinged. You are absolutely free in apportioning your time according to your convenience. The same is applicable for both the employers and employees. Many are well-acquainted with e-Learning, and the positive highlights. The rapid rise in technology removing any hassles with regard to the reach, access is not the issue. It’s the approach. Left to themselves, are they really accountable? This is a valid poser as learners (read as employees) fail to take training seriously misusing the very advantage e-Learning offers – the freedom to choose time and place. Just because it can be accessed anytime, there is a tendency to procrastinate. Since there is no one to monitor, complacency creeps in making one lethargic and even lazy and listless. We expect self-discipline, and regretfully, the instances of utter disregard to discipline are just incredible. There can be umpteen benefits, but like a full blown balloon all it takes is just a pinprick. And that’s the reason why e-Learning had failed to establish as one of the standard more of learning like classroom or virtual online class training. So as many positives are nullified or neutralized by the ill-effects. Wait a minute! Hear the other side of the story. “Oh! Its so boring and the monotony can wear you out.” Many opt out or just fake it because there is a mandate to complete the course. The completion might be the basis for some points, perks or even promotion, and one just can’t afford to ‘skip’ the classes and hence just ‘sit through’ the hours leaving the learning cycle in a limbo.

So, how does eLearning evens it out?
  Transform your training 
Think Technology, think mobile. We witness the mobile surge and surpass any other electronic usage or for that matter any invention. The medium is mobile and the mode is mobile. Empowering your employees I enriching their education in the way forward would be, naturally, mobile. You can choose your training modules and create it in an interesting and engaging manner to make the learner more involved and absorbed. It increases the attention span and greatly improves retention. The present and the future belong to mobile. A holistic approach is to look for a win-win situation. Reliable information picked up from the public domain reveals that ‘among the highly advanced companies, as much as 18% of all training is now delivered through mobile devices’. 

Close the gap
 It is often the case of ‘learn what we want you study’ without much emphasis on the content and packaging. It was understood from a Towards Maturity report that learners prefer a more personalized content that’s relevant and fast paced. Instead they are made to study subjects that best befits classroom setup. So there clearly exists a gap – that needs to be closed. E-Learning will help you in customizing to the crowd, and also identify and individual needs. That’s the flexibility made possible – kind of custom made or made to order. Its basically“to get them on your side”. And for that ‘you need to see their side.’

Promote a strong learning culture
 For a company to report growth, it is imperative to nurture talent and promote a platform for knowledge acquisition and upgrade. Companies need to look beyond the conventional classroom and look for means that can effectively leverage technology in advancing the workforce skills. E-Learning, instead of interpreting as ‘competing mode’ to conventional education should be viewed as complementing knowledge and development. Technology is the trump card, and you play it smart to emerge triumphant.    “The most important principle for designing lively eLearning is to see eLearning design not as information design but as designing an experience.” - Cathy Moore

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Are YOU worried that Robots will take your Job

With the rise in AI, amidst the cheers that hailed the new arrivals, there were few that suffered some anxious moments wondering ‘will I be out of a job?’ Finance fuels the journey of life. Disruption had a negative connotation but the perception has altered peculiarly in the parlance of information and Technology. More so in Robotics. So far humans have been in the control of machines. What happens if it reverses? Automation in large-scale, like manufacturing wherein a robotic arm could effectively handle the operations of many a skilled workers and in effect replace them. Public didn’t panic then other than sympathizing with the misfortune that befell on the displaced workforce and largely embraced the change and went about their lives. If robotic arm wasn’t artificial intelligence that failed to give the jitters, why is that the, a superior and smarter robot of the present makes us feel weak and vulnerable? Could it be the ‘thinking aloud’ of the leading lights about the advent of AI and its impact on humans affect our composure or we become too complacent by ensconcing in the comfort zone? It’s a rude jolt or a rough wake-up when a technocrat and an economist point in the same direction and almost articulate alike. The imposing power of artificial intelligence “will eliminate a lot of existing types of jobs” by Bill Gates and former IMF Economist Rajan raising reservation about the “anxiety in middle class” because of the technology progress can be unsettling. It sure doesn’t send the shiver down the spine, though apprehensions are shared by profession about the doomsday.

What made us worry?

 “Occupations most at risk including administrative, clerical and production tasks” was opined by Bank of England’s chief economist Andy Haldane. The possibilities that Jobs from customer service to security analyst might be replaced in two decades are dictated as real by some pundits. But quoting Bill Gates, who famously quoted that the “shelf life of Intellectual Property is that of a banana”, two decades must present the timeline for you to draw and discern the postulation. Some say ‘possible and some ‘preposterous’, and it remains to be seen what will be your stand in this scenario. 

Look at the possible scenarios:
 Chatbots: customer service will turn out to more effective with computers answering customer calls. It could send customer call executives reeling, but some employees given the stress and at times toxic exchange and environment seems to embrace the change – even before arrival?

Some even speculate the ‘most at risk’ opportunities in employment would be Anyone working in telemarketing Anyone stitching by hand Maths technicians Watch repairers Insurance underwriters

And the recently introduced Betty of Milton Keynes who actually joined as ‘trainee robot manager’ engaged in a trial run for months, which can discharge several duties from monitoring personnel on work to welcoming guests. 

And some statistics as well:
 The author feels fear is misplaced. What happens in the breakdown of machinery? What about malfunction or virus attack? Despite numerous attempts are made to insulate from the onslaught, immunity is far cry. Everyone seems to be engrossed with Bots , Taco Bell announced the TacoBot, Microsoft Tay , Facebook AI Assistant “M” and the list can go on.

Are you worried?
There were instances when Robots failed and dismissed from service. In a recent occurrence, two restaurants in China were forced to shut down due to the faltering Robots which couldn’t pour water or take orders from customers. Another occurrence worth mentioning would be Microsoft’s Tay which malfunctioned and retired from service. Microsoft subsequently offered an apology and admitted that despite factoring many scenarios, it wasn’t prepared and made a critical oversight for this specific attack. Microsoft Tay was pulled offline and will be featured once ready in address all possible human misuses. For now it’s not possible to predict all ‘all possible human interactive misuses without learning from mistakes’. So we would be unduly worried to fear professional prospects robbed by robots. Even in the worst case scenario, human will upgrade themselves. The author took this survey and responded in the negative. The result depicted as under reflects that the majority negate the worry factor.

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Artificial Intelligence Sounds so Artificial?

Information is wealth and knowledge is power.
  Mankind has underscored the importance in its time and today data reigns supreme. Hereon and hence forward, the challenge would be to ‘challenge the supremacy’. With a data now and digital is future, the internet will influence a whopping 50% of purchasing decisions. In the world in which we inhabit, there is an information avalanche or a data deluge, and what all that amount without application will be just data dump. From core computing to commerce, it’s all about data points. Business is driven by numbers. Message is strengthened with statistics lest it lacks in substance and becomes an opinion. If its fact, then furnish data. Google, in its inception, was driven by the mission "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," and did anyone gave much thought about its ability to market and monetize back in the late nineties. There were many search engines at that point in time that have disappeared or probably obscured by the numero uno status held by Google today. Websites apportioning real estate for advertisements to milk money as a strategic revenue stream didn’t hold weight for all despite their might. Publishers started studying traffic and the one that gained more traction in terms of attention and active participation proved pivotal in assessing return on income. This report acknowledges Mary Meeker’s 2016 internet trends as key inputs to arrive at different inferences and interpretations.

Some highlights from the presentation more pertinent to this passage:
Internet advertising in the US has grown by about 20% since last year, reaching $60 billion—two-thirds of that growth has come from an increase in spending on mobile ads. Facebook’s yearly advertising revenue (up 59%) grew much more than Google’s (18%) last year. Online video ads are ineffective: 81% of people surveyed mute video ads, 62% are annoyed by pre-roll ads, and 92% have considered using ad-blocking software. Internet sales have increased from less than 2% of all retail sales in the US in 2000 to about 10% in 2015. The rising Snapchat generation: Millennials communicate with text, but Generation Z prefers to communicate with images. The average Snapchat user plays with sponsored lenses for 20 seconds. There are now over 3 billion images shared daily between Snapchat, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp—all but one of which are owned by Facebook. 55% of Pinterest users use the site to find products they want to buy. Messaging apps are moving from simple text tools to communicate with friends to platforms for commerce. There are 10 million business accounts on WeChat, and about 80% of all users follow one. Generation Y is the first generation to prefer chatting over the web or social media to talk to businesses, rather than over the phone. Computer recognition of speech has gone from about 70% to 90% accuracy in the last five years. 65% of US smartphone owners now use a voice assistant. By 2020, at least 50% of all searches online will be through voice or image search, according to Baidu’s chief scientist Andrew Ng. It’s time for self-driving cars: The average urban US worker spends about 42 hours a year sitting in delays on their commute, and the average person’s car is only in use about 4% of the time.

 1. Intelligence driving computers is not something we stumbled upon. It was a given. ‘Search’ engine started with a search by returning results that’s near about or no way near to the ‘search input’ and a distant to the expected ‘result’. Then search engine pushed it way and propelled itself to the way forward, by retrieving ‘right’ result with minimal iteration. You don’t have to be brainy or super smart to string a nice ‘search query’ – the system should be able to fetch you the search ‘result’. How did it do it? Intelligence reared its head up – defying logic, reason and rationale. Over time, Google has amassed a wealth of information to mine and monetize – using Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.

 artificial intelligence like voice interaction, personal assistants and automation take center stage.

 With advancement, where we did we witness the acceleration of intelligence? Try the search engine. The accuracy in the search results has gone exceedingly high and to the cycle or attempts taken to locate the result has reduced way below. The machines are able to recognize through images and words used. How? Check the newsfeed in Google news section. Or observe the image results. Or the X-Box that feeds body movements as inputs to read and respond. Personalization is not the pinnacle of AI. It’s just warming up. Next cars will drive and diagnosis can be more specific. We see more players actively engaged in AI as direct line or dotted. Ford is not a player in AI but its investment in AI for its vehicles has risen manifold. Google came out with ‘allo’ and Facebook launched ‘DeepText’ and startups mushrooming by the hundreds in this space.

The Trends 2016 put forth by Meeker
Search Engine 
Try hailing a cab from your office corridor or the home confines, and check your device with the app and study the screen up close. The GPS fueled intelligence is just compelling or at times, breathtaking by the sheer spectacle of the number of vehicles traced and screened in the smart device with the possible time to reach in minutes. Perhaps the details complemented with depiction dazzles. This is a common and known scenario that happens in our daily walk of life. Now Google is a well-known search engine. Facebook, given its information capital wants to leverage and launched DeepText for better engagement. The conundrum with regard to privacy is an admittedly complex. It’s the ground breaking development that’s fascinating. Google search and DeepText have ‘search’ as common and still exist as chalk and cheese as the domain is different for both. 

AI-driven messaging Apps
 Microsoft has one - ‘Skype, while Facebook has two: “whatsapp and messenger” and Google joins with its own AI-based app “allo”. The apps have built-in ability to enhance and enrich user experience. AI enabled assistants have been in the news lately with one or the other behemoth rolling out their product. Times have witnessed the launch from Google, Facebook, apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and even as this article is penned, the buzz in the industry is Robot Betty joins office as a trainee office manager. One wonders with this evolution of Artificial Intelligence and the looming threat of people’ interest superseded by machines introduction into the workforce – cases as in chatbots which can automate repetitive mundane handled by humans cutting on the cost and drastically enhancing the productivity.

Image Recognition and Voice Software
The advancement is alarming that machine can think like man, act independently and intelligent enough to communicate to another robot. Google image recognition can be amazing study and awe-inspiring in its implementation. Powerful algorithms can read from millions of pictures and map with the face scanned by the camera and throw a result – the identification is another break ground in terms of innovation, especially the high-level abstraction in data and multiple processing can be mind boggling. Voice-function enabled search is another incredible innovation. We had voice software but enabling search with voice is so powerful in its enablement. You speak faster than read or type. So the ease and comfort with which the user is empowered is unbelievable till you do the search yourself. For instance, if it’s an android phone, you can experiment by simply asking “Ok Google, what is the temperature outside” and within second you hear the answer. Try any other question but make sure your question starts with “ok Google’ because the system understands this command. The voice and image have undergone incremental changes to arrive where they are at present. The voice recognition when complemented with image and retina can become dominant in determining user identification. Summing up, the progress of AI is exponential that it entwines in our daily life. As we resort to AI for almost anything – reminders, communication, travel, sports, entertainment and what not, even the skeptics will forced to look harder and question their own beliefs. It’s no longer the distant future.

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Deep Blue and the AI

And its not another chess game. Way back in 1996, a super chess power named Garry Kasparov agreed for a match with IBM’s Computer [it was still ‘computer’ without the intelligence aspect amplified] named Deep Blue. Was the name an inspiration from Deep Throat?Or is just the phonetics? The incredible then happened. Deep Blue won the first match. History was created. Unbelievable! If it stunned the world, the chess champion shattered would be an understatement. Kasparov would recollect later about playing with computers but none like Deep Blue. Kasparov, as the reigning champion, was so confident about his strength that the might of the machine that made its move in the chess match was no match. It wasn’t just the champion, but the pundits and public never for once doubted. No one doubted. Just the same no one expected. Computer to dethrone the champ? It happens in the time when google was probably in incubation and software was limping its way in to our lives. The impact was limited, restricted to few and used by fewer. Times when people remembered phone numbers of their contacts and reliance on ‘hardware’ like computers was confined to space, defense and research. All things around too hardly smelled anything close to ‘software’, and programs was yet to be synonymous as software just as search with google. It was in this exciting backdrop, the fight between a human brain versus a relatively unknown machine was pitted. It might sound Ayan Randish, but there is no such thing called a ‘collective brain’ and should it exist, then it will not be mortal but machines, and rightly positioned, Deep Blue was a result of many a mind with innovations and inventions. Chess is an amazing, sophisticated and brilliant game where the mind is really placed at a premium. Its philosophical too ‘you cannot reach the white square without stepping into a black’, and game is a strategic one, just like wars fought with ‘horses and bayonets’. A great tactical move or act of blunder – whichever way, that’s the game of chess. So imagine Kasparov moving a pawn, what should Deep Blue do in response? Defense or offence? So the machine had to think of all possible scenarios and also think further about the countermove. Its about preempting and predicting to an accuracy that’s alarming, and even freaking IQ. A normal mind cannot fathom as much, and hence Kasparov was deeply respected for his intelligence and ability to look ahead – way ahead that he could do the mental math to break all barriers or detect a breach from a distance. That was baffling. Even more would be Deep Blue, for it shocked not just the millions of multitude, but Kasparov himself was baffled by the way the system battled “But a computer, I thought, would never make such a move. A computer can't ‘see’ the long-term consequences of structural changes in the position or understand how changes in pawn formations may be good or bad.” So when he conceded, rather, Deep Blue won, Kasparov would acknowledge the brilliance and the intelligence “I GOT MY FIRST GLIMPSE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ON Feb. 10, 1996, at 4:45 p.m. EST, when in the first game of my match with Deep Blue, the computer nudged a pawn forward to a square where it could easily be captured. It was a wonderful and extremely human move.” Kasparov will go on to win the next game and eventually the championship, and we all recall that near to impossible win of Deep Blue and cheered the challenge posed to the champion. Today the odds are reversed as we almost revere AI to the point of ubiquitous in our lives. There is no aspect in our life that AI has not penetrated. All along we lived without the knowledge of its existence. And our dependence on data is almost complete for even simple and mundane chores are reflective in our inability to store data in a machine than carry in person. Why call it artificial? We have seen advancement exceed advancements in AI. We have seen job creation to job destruction by the very intelligence. It works both ways. Automation and robotics disrupted human lives by replacing their services and unseated their position and unsettled their lives. That’s the typical trade-off for change. Its not the cry of a luddite but all things come at a cost and technology today is the most powerful inclusion. Kasparov would state “my instincts told me “. So a celebrated chess champion still relies on his behavioral response. Till that day, artificial will be artificial. Then again, wasn’t it a terrific wake-up call that made us stand up and salute. We owe as much to Deep Blue in enabling us to deep dive in AI. And what the future holds…… machines might rule but will never master the creator.
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Its the way you type not what you type the amazing development with Artificial Intelligence

Password could be a pain, particularly when you have multiple web sites to access many sites. The consumer complains that passwords are fast becoming a psychological burden – an albatross that weighs down the person with too much data dumped in the head that’s hard to decipher. And apparently one can sense discomfort and disconnect. It’s like having too many keys to open one room and woefully, you can’t pick out the right one which will unlock. And the real hassle is when password is forgotten and the allowed number of ‘attempts’ gets exhausted, the system locks, leaving you stranded but the chore running back and forth with the back-office executive walking-through the password retrieval process leaves you fuming ‘is technology a boon or bane’. Anything will have its downside – including technology. You might want to have a turnkey system that does the trick and get you going.

Password, PIN and Breach
Recent times have witnessed worst security breaches because of weak passwords. How private information lands in the public domain makes it a necessity to ensure that safety mechanism are in place and hence stronger password. But too many passwords? Why? Google has single sign-on to access all its application. Why can’t life be simpler? Or are we complicating in the name of security? The easy way out would be to have one password for all sites so that you really don’t squeeze hard your memory like sifting sand from grains. If it makes your life easier, then think about the breach and there it goes – with one key all of yours is ‘gone for good’. It was this paradox that actually turned out to be the problem statement. Single-point of entry is swift but so would be the theft. In this era of technology, and digitalization, all access points are fortified through authentication. Multi-tier security system or secured transaction or secured authentication service. Still, we are not done with the password for an alternate method that’s more convenient and confident. Almost everyone with digital experience would have yearned for that day they could dispense with password or PIN (Personal Identification Number) which earlier was recommended to be bolstered from breach by creating an alpha-numeric string with a heady mix of special characters to safeguard from sabotage, and now some institutions like Banks make the usage of special characters mandatory visualizing that invincible predator preying on vulnerable victims, and soon emerged phishing as one the worst attack on data integrity. With reputation in ruins, name in tatters and business rocked in its very foundation, damage control and image building exercises not only resulted in spiraling costs with a dent on the bottom-line, but kept the stakeholders on tenterhooks. So it would, by no stretch of imagination, become too much to bear for all the stakeholders and so far the necessity of the hour and lack of alternative left the end-user with no choice but coin the Password or PIN as complex as possible and remember it for good and retrieve on-demand. Further, it was strongly discouraged in storing the information in hard or soft copies, and science dealing with encryption and decryption made it even more mystique and technology related to secured socket layer took over.

Abacus – the painkiller? 
It is possible to solve every puzzle? At least, for the password related problem Google believes it can achieve a breakthrough by getting rid of the stiff impositions of barriers – NO PASSWORD.

How in the world would you access your information whether it’s an email or your bank account? Google assures that there is a ‘fix’ and will test with bank first and based on its success, offer for others. Dan Kaufman, Head of advanced technology and projects at Google, commented at the company’s I/O developer conference “We have a phone, and these phones have all these sensors in them. Why couldn't it just know who I was, so I don't need a password? I should just be able to work," 

How does it work?  
The technology uses biometric data and supporting information to identify and authenticate access. It uses Trust API to determine ‘trust score’ by employing and engaging different parameters like facial recognition, location, typing styles to ascertain the identity of the user. To access sensitive information, the ‘trust score’ should be high, and that’s the reason the testing begins with a financial institution. The higher the score, clearer is the identification and access provided, else, denied. Interestingly, Kaufman, has this to say about authentication "What we're going to do with this is be able to get rid of the awkwardness of second-factor authentication," Google assured to introduce this ‘password-free’ feature to every android developer by this year-end. 

Is there a Precedent for ‘No-Password’?
The answer is in the affirmative. Yes. Let’s not take away the shine off Abacus and assess on its own merit. Scandinavians will be familiar with this concept of logging into their bank accounts using behavioral biometrics and not a password. The password is queried only when the usual signs and symptoms fail to be detected and is treated as a legitimate case in validating the customer identification . In Norway and Sweden, major banks employ BankID for doing daily banking transaction to booking tickets or applying loan or paying taxes online. It was estimated that by 2014, BankID is used by over 3 million Norwegians (over 75% of the adult population(pdf). BankID can identify the user through a combination of factors like assessing the way the screen is swiped, the pace at which data is keyed – meaning the pressure with which you punch-in data is critical to analyze and evaluate your identity. It is behavioral science at an advanced level that any change in pattern or shift in style will trigger the system to confirm with a ‘password’ prompt. The system has studies the user to identify as its customer. This is made possible by behavioral biometrics layer of BankID. So Behavioral Biometrics is nothing new; the anticipation is the evolution of technology in this space of biometrics in the context of identity crisis. We may to have wait till the year-end to see what the future unfolds.

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Apples Oranges and Big Data

Didi President Jean Liu said "Our company's legal name is called 'little orange,“ so apples and oranges today do have a connect – as companies. While it was gathered from industrial sources that Didi was on the lookout for working with investors on products and technology, Tim Cook of Apple Inc., said in an interview that he saw opportunities for Apple and Didi Chuxing to collaborate in the future. It also presented him an opportunity to better understand ‘critical Chinese market’ as reported.

The investment and other investors
Apple Inc made news recently by investing $ 1Billion in Chines ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing. This move is also interpreted in the market circles of Apple trying to make peace with Chinese government after it shutdown iTunes in the country. Apple was forced to view the impositions seriously after China pulled down iTunes and iBooks. In the wake of such developments, its significant to note that Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who is Apple’s largest outside shareholder sold his apple shares stating Beijing could “come in and make it very difficult for Apple to sell there”. The crackdown by China forcing Apple to bring down the curtains on Apple’s s iTunes Movies and iBook services pushed Carl to pull the trigger to sell his shares. Ironically, Apple’s manufacturing plants are located in China, and despite the investments pumped, didn’t prove a deterrent for China to shut down iTunes, which did sour the ties shared. So investing in Didi, instead of Uber, Apple is trying the smoothen the rough edges and improve relationship with China. Apple’s investment is the biggest so far, alongside with other investors like the Chinese technical heavyweights Tencent and Alibaba . 

But why Apple chose Didi?
One theory that was floated was Didi shares a good equation with the Chinese government. Didi’ initial strategy was e-hailing taxis. When the Chinese government clamped e-hailing as illegal, Didi collaborated with the taxi companies by providing Didi’s mapping and routing systems. Didi’s partnership with Haibo, a Shanghai taxi company is telling about its willingness to offer space and not crush competition. Didi, is putting up a stiff competition to its American rival Uber through its strategic partnership and expansion with the US based Lyft and Grab in Southeast Asia and also investments with Olacabs in India. It’s also widely speculated that Apple is pressing on the pedals to speed up its own electric cars that’s been in the pipeline. Apple, in this context, faced with foreign policy pressure of China for ‘foreign online services’ that disallows competing directly with local companies, investment with Didi is strategic given that Apple Pay is supported in Didi's cab-hailing app. Besides, the investment hopefully should become a beachhead for further developments in the automotive segment. The advantage with Didi is its peer-to-peer service is legal in China as it works together with ‘labor companies endorsed by government and leasing companies to confirm conformance of automotive regulations by its drivers. 

The Billion and Big Data (Collected from public domain.)
Didi says “it’s doing 3 million rides per day compared to Uber’s 1 million”. Didi Chuxing referred to as “China’s Uber” completes more than 11 million rides a day with 87% of the private ride-hailing market in China. Today, Didi is profitable in 200 out of 400 cities in which it operates and holds 99 percent of the taxi-hailing market, according to company vice president Stephen Zhu. Didi provides Apple with a rich data source for its self-driving vehicle push. It also could provide benefits to Apple’s mobile ecosystem. Ride-sharing apps are closely linked to payment services, such as Apple Pay. They also can be the foundation for other mobile commerce transactions such as deliveries “We understand the Chinese market,” Tony Qiu, director of Didi’s strategy group, commented “We know every day where people are traveling from or to, so we try to aggregate those demands.” Tim Coulling, of Canaly - an analysis firm opined that Apple has good reason to want to link up with a company that boasts 300 million users in 400 Chinese cities. “What this gives Apple is access to a large user base of people within China from which they can harvest data,” he said. Apple may be able to make use of data about driving habits and China’s complicated road system for its mapping functions as well as development of a car. · Derrick Cogburn, an associate professor at the School of International Service at American University, said almost every tech company is in the race for big data that informs product development and marketing. They are “all collecting lots and lots of aggregate data about our patterns and our habits,” he said.

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Certification Competency Enablement Makes You Elite and Eligible

The more the merrier. Just as our quest is insatiable so are the expectations. Try meeting a hiring head or a business investor and you will be questioned more about your skillset. Yes! Your primary skills are a given. While the focus on primary skills is paramount, the stress is always about developing additional abilities considered vital in competitive analysis. Those interested in your profile would want to know ‘more’. It’s the additional information that elicits more interest. A quintessential professional is versatile – like a player on the field ready to be placed in any position. So possessing the technical skill (read primary skill) wouldn’t provide that edge over peers, rather when supplemented and complimented with strategic and leadership traits places you in a formidable position clearly pushing your boundary further. With business needs growing with greater unpredictability and technology advancement defying expectation through groundbreaking innovations, the landscape seems to be shifting perpetually, and hence there is admittedly a paradigm shift from the professional perspective without an exception. With time Individual assessment has changed. The organization is looking to fill the slot as Musterberg stated “finding the best possible man, how to produce the best possible work, and how to secure the best possible effects”. What it takes to become top performer with top potential. Potential is the possibility of an individual to do more than current contribution. Aon Hewitt defines potential as the assessment of an employee’s ability to rise to and succeed in a more senior or expanded role. Potential considers individuals’ performance, character, capability and motivation. Today, the critical talent is evaluated in terms of knowledge, skills and abilities. The PMI Talent Triangle™ clearly lays emphasis on ‘more than’ technical skills by subscribing to Leadership and strategic & Business Management As inferred from the PMI’s ‘Pulse of the Profession 2016’, the most successful organizations seek added skills in leadership and business—competencies that support and sustain long-range strategic objectives. The ideal skill set—a combination of technical, leadership, and strategic and business management expertise—is embodied in the PMI Talent Triangle™. When organizations focus on all three skill sets, 40 percent more of their projects meet goals and original business intent. As one of the leading educational powerhouse enabling to become professionally trained and certified, especially PMP®, PRINCE2, ITIL, Six Sigma, we interact with professionals on a daily basis. They are the folks wanting to stand out in their sphere of work. And we regularly hear how ‘Certification’ validates competency and enables your candidature as ‘eligible’. What is the value add You bring to the table? Your bona fide already vetted, increased scrutiny would be on the ‘what else’ as the key differentiator. It’s always about ‘what more do I get’ and it applies to one and all. With the raw aggression witnessed like never before, it will be hard sell in promoting your profile given the spiraling number of applicants competing alongside and here is where ‘the more you have’ makes you leapfrog into the short list – a short one. So dear Professional, what makes you so elite and eligible? Is the spotlight on you to single out in a crowded room? How do you distinguish yourself to differentiate? We, at iCert Global, besides the benchmarked certification courses also offer career counseling whereby our expert panel will engage with you to chalk out the future course of action to steer ahead the crowd and cacophony. We conduct exciting programs that shape your personality and profile to become more competitive and complete . Follow the link http://www.icertglobal.com/all-courses.php to get a glimpse of our offering and feel free to schedule a call with us. Together We Win!
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DOES CERTIFICATION STILL COUNT

More often parroted of any other virtues and clichéd by now, the strength and success behind every organization is always attributed to its assets – human assets. And corporate capitalize on their human capital. It’s only a natural corollary in terms of objectives and accomplishment for every organization to get its recruitment process right. Skill and strength go together. Given the backdrop does Certification count? We will come to it soon…. ‘ whatever carried you this far won’t take you no forward’ – is well worn by now but that’s the truth of the matter. Someone who wish to be employed or already employed needs to hone skills; keep sharpening the axe and as much a software is updated with frequent release, the software professional is expected to shop for more soft skills. Technical competence is the cornerstone on which the career is built. Scenarios wherein recruitment would routinely involve the rigor of clearing an online test was ensured without refrain. ‘Online’ exams which came free, without cost was clearly the challenge in the candidature being shortlisted for the successive round. Certification from a reputed governing body was a clear indicator about caliber and still some selection process did involve sitting for an unscheduled test. Didn’t Certification count? Present times poses perplexing pathways to steer past peers without nudging or edging but succeed through outshining others in advancing one’s own career path. Could be chaotic and would it send alarm bells rings given the competitive spirit of the market? Education is paid its due respect; experience is rewarded but the proof of the pudding about your expertise and experience can be coalesced in certification. Let’s elaborate: a PMP certified professional stands for someone with stipulated education and substantiated experience without which the eligibility criteria will fall short. Certification is met with instant recognition. Still second thoughts about certification? Yes and No. We will help you cast your doubts aside. Will your mentioning about your competency on a piece of paper and pass as Resume advance as compared to an Accredited Governing Body attesting your proficiency as a ‘professional’. Certificate, too, is a piece of paper – with a difference. Incredible difference. It’s all about recognition and reward follows. Not the other way around. Yes, there is the acid test one must endure to prove proficiency and experience is baptism by fire. As a prelude to the final performance, we at ICert conduct online exams for you to self-assess your standing, and if you successfully pass our exam then a Certificate is awarded in your name recording the grade as well. http://www.icertglobal.com/free-resource.php Try cracking the exam. And check for yourself the ‘value-add’ of our certification. The results will speak for itself. While you are at it, we at iCert wish you the very best in your endeavors. Get Certified; Get Recognized.
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The year that was and the year that will be

When the clock chimed 12, and crackers burst open ushering the new year , greetings galore and goodies strewn around, it was a moment to reflect about the past and look right ahead with renewed hope. How did we fare in 2015 and what’s the forecast for 2016? This probably is deliberation of many a minds both from a personal and professional perspective. 2015 witnessed some great happenings which will make a geek beam with pride – gadgets, gizmos, apps and what not. India observed with heightened expectation the numerous startups, the growing number of entrepreneurs, the surpassing rise in technology as never was the adage ‘happening today, history tomorrow’ proved so plausible. And in all these, the overriding factor and dire demand proved to be the digital presence and exceptional soft skills. Just as we are increasingly online and extremely mobile, the medium and means have changed dramatically. As much as technology is becoming the key differentiator, technologists are the game-changers. 2015 was more about delivering technology at doorstep. Brick and mortar gave way to online offerings and our niche product offerings to professionals saw a surge in Live Virtual Class and e-Learning with corporate accounts in our clientele. In all it was a successful year, having posted results close to the projections. So the ride was bumpy sometimes and smooth as well. Farewell 2015. The road ahead is full of opportunities if one knows how to count and capitalize. There is going to be exciting and engaging times . ‘Education never ends’ – it’s for a lifetime. Knowledge is the key and Technology-enabled services will be the touchstone. Today there is a surplus in headcount if supply is anything to go by, but do they really meet the demand? That’s a million-dollar question. There is indeed a growing gap – from both the employers and employees standpoint. The fitment is really a hard-find. Hence, grooming the greatest asset – human capital – is the critical need as exponential growth in technological developments makes it mandate to embrace existing and emerging technologies. It’s the innovation in serving the digital experience that holds the key to unlock the fortune. More than reaching out to the customer, much will rest on customizing. The blended training is a tested approach and going forward we need to try other practices with technology leading from the front. We will have to rejig our offering by stacking with latest learning and impart to the niche segment. The focus will be on Big Data, Cloud Computing, Digital Marketing, SalesForce and list is expected to grow. 2016 – Welcome!
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Customer Satisfaction to Customer Delight

Customer Satisfaction comes with top quality and on-time delivery as captured/defined in the Scope. Customer Delight is something which has to be earned with right customer engagement skills or knowledge to further their interest and here are some of the key areas we may need to focus to reach the level of Customer Delight. 1. Understand customer’s expectation – not many understand the context of understanding expectation. It’s really difficult to know for sure what exactly is their expectation. It’s not the Business Requirement Document that lays down the expectation of the client. It’s the requirement of the project. To know better their expectation, one must engage closely and get to know how exactly the project would be put to use to maximize returns or increase ROI. Our task is to increase the turnaround time to accelerate the time to market, but once that’s done what happens? Many vendors stop the buck once the UAT is through, instead look beyond the obvious and seek to serve to further client’ interest. 2. Know the Business Model (Revenue Model): One should know the customer’s business model to serve them better. We should know their customer base, their mission/vision on the business and pertaining details to better understand the scope on their perspective. Many times projects fail because we go with what is there in the paper (Scope definition) rather we should understand what it means to the customer and their value that they want to arrive out of the project. 3. Customer’s Market Space: It’s very important to know their customer base where they plan to use the delivery of the project. And if there is anything we should be aware based on the region (legal or regulatory compliances of the respective regions), then learn first-hand and don’t expect customer to inform us, rather as vendors it should be our responsibility to take care of legal compliances. 4. Know your customer’s requirements: One to be successful has to understand what customer wants and what their pain points with their customers or end-users are and how best to fix it at the earliest. It’s walking that additional mile to accommodate ad-hoc changes which will earn the trust and value of the client. A small act goes a long way, and if you are mindful to address the pain points, the client’s perspective about your potential will be exceedingly positive as a ‘reliant and dependent’ partner. 5. Always offer more. Satisfied customer is more precious than a new customer. Repeat orders are the ones that helps to sustain business. While new prospects or customers move the needle with regard to revenue, it’s the repeat orders that provides consistency and constant inflow. The mushrooming promotion platforms notwithstanding, it’s still the word of the mouth that the powerful source of advertisement and a customer vouching for your credibility will in fact be passed on to another. So always do more than what is required. These are some of our thoughts we wished to share and in subsequent post we will deliberate more about exceeding expectation. Do drop in a line as a comment.

images courtesy: goo.gl/ewth2X

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Blog RTI

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal” – and equality is evident at birth alone. With growth, we grow with the notion that justice is not the same as equality. One should not confuse entitlement with rights. Your CEO is entitled to park the car in the reserved slot while in your position you can’t park. Simple. Should you want to park, the only way is to become the CEO! “The promise of equality is not the same as true equality” as quoted by Sheryl Sandburg. All men are born equal and let’s draw a line there please for thenceforth you have to prove your worth. Wait a minute! Does the law state ‘no man is above law and no man is below’? Ah! That’s justice and its blind to the person – be it commoner or millionaire. Alright, so where are we heading? Tow links arrested my attention Encryption policy poorly worded by officer: Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad France tells Google to remove search results globally, or ... There are much talk of e-governance and mobile governance and yet the nation witnessed unprecedented internet shut down to counter the crisis that came out of nowhere and though not a knee-jerk reach but counter action as so to control domestic disturbance. It was warranted. But shutting IT won’t paralyze small industries, affect the common man and business community that are heavily dependent on internet? If it can happen in a neighbouring state, what’s the assurance that the recurrence won’t be in the state occupied. We have identified space and technology and with that we also are combating cyber wars. The digital age has transformed in many dimensions that were far beyond imagination years when we studies in black board classroom as compared to the modern day smart board. for sure, and that too unimaginable a decade before. Why can the same technology put in use to pull out defence mechanism instead of pulling down the shutters. Where is the right to information and can the privacy of information insulated from infringement? We are not talking about friendly fire but hostile attacks. What exactly is NASA snooping about? http://time.com/2945037/nsa-surveillance-193-countries/ Big Brother attitude? And is that legal. Many countries have cried foul and the European union isn't amused in the breach of trust by the most powerful nation of the world? “Four countries that had signed a no-spying agreement with the U.S. — Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — were declared off-limits by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the Washington Post reports, but the court approved a list of 193 countries where the NSA could legally conduct surveillance.” – time magazine extract. Back in our land, a press release that was later retracted imposed that data to be kept alive for a certain duration by the user and the provider, and as a reprieve the user was unsaddled but held the platform accountable – incredulously in this digital age?! [refer the link above] France cautions a social network not to publish but expunge /erase details at the request of their citizen not only in their country alone but worldwide. The surprised and shocked social media company took up the case against the worldwide ban in the international court and the verdict so far for them is vexing. Now imagine if every citizen stands up in the arms with similar demand wonder what would be the fate of the ‘major power’ in social media. This article was deeply influenced by https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/india-heading-nsa-way-rishabh-mehta and our fear about the freedom expression and clampdown of critical infrastructures with catastrophic consequences highlighted. Our callousness for inaction till the situation becomes endemic or pandemic is a known problem. Hope this will be an eye-opener. iCert Global' business is heavily reliant on the internet as we are a Globally Trusted Education provider connecting the nook and corner of the globe. So a day of internet shut down will affect out bottom-line and persistent recurrence can adversely impact our livelihood. Your highly respected opinions please….
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Who are your stakeholders

Ah! That’s an interesting poser and a twisted one too. I was engrossed in a status update with a developer, and looking at the data on the table the achievements trailed way behind the projection. Puzzled, I probed “how will you manage to close the gap, even it means biting hard the weekend? My friend, it is still 24-hour day!” 

Staring hard at the table, he avoided my glare. “Realize what are the stakes?” He nodded, unable to frame a convincing response, he just employed body language. “Who are your stakeholders?” “You sir” “I am your Manager. Who are the stakeholders? What about the client” “Sir, as far I am concerned it is to you to whom I report.” Agreed. “But don’t you join me in the conference call with the client, and address the issues that lie in your scope of work?” This is the misconception about the basic premise about stakeholders as if they are the one seated way above. “Don’t you think you are one the stakeholders?” 

Raised eyebrows gave away his surprise, and I gently swivelled my chair to face him. Enough of data. We knew what exactly the progress is or rather how much of ground to cover. “Isn’t the stake high with regard to tasks assigned to you and the deliverables specified in the project plan?” 

“yes sir.”  

“What about your team mates, our management? Stakeholder doesn't focus the spotlight on the Client alone. You are as significant a stakeholder as an investor or the client. The people who directly or indirectly contribute and/or receive project deliverables. Right from Project Sponsors, Customers, the teams involved right from planning, scoping till end of the project closure.” Dispatching him to finish the pending work, I settle on my desk to share my thoughts about stakeholder management for the developer’s benefit and extended my audience by including you as well. Knowing your stakeholders is one of the key aspects of Risk Identification. If you don’t know all your stakeholders, that implicitly states an inherent risk already in your project. For every aspects of the project, identify the key stakeholder(s).

What is Stakeholder Management? 
Communicate the right things at the right time which will make the stakeholders in line with progress made in the Project. Last minute surprises are the least expected and any delay that’s visible should be informed well ahead. The worst would be an irate customer who might become bellicose but there won’t be any dent to your integrity. Good news can be deferred but bad news should never be delayed. Clear communication about respective stakeholder(s) in terms of expectation – what they expect and what’s expected of them - will provide clarity on their stake. Fair to set the right expectation – don’t go overboard or unrealistic. Its far better to buy time than fall behind to beseech for ‘few more days’. By managing the stakeholders throughout the project life cycle, ensure that risks are managed well. Stakeholder Management is one of the Mitigation for few of the risks. Specially, Risk transfer is one way through which risk can be mitigated, by effective stakeholder Management

Why do we have to manage Stakeholder?
Why do we manage the Project? We manage the project so that project is well organized for people to understand the plan, execution and tracked in all aspects (Scope, Cost, Schedule & Quality). Stakeholders are no different.

How do you do Manage Stakeholder?
Normally 90% of the stakeholder Management can be done with proper communication. By Proper Communication, we lay open the door and become transparent to earn the trust. So long there is nothing to hide, then nothing to fear about backlash. More often considerate clients offer counselling and even settle for trade-off in the good faith the goods will be delivered with ‘some delay’. Another important aspect of Stakeholder Management is to handle/address key stakeholder expectations formally in the projects. What do we mean Key Stakeholder? People who have authority to change the Project Scope, Cost or Schedule or who can influence in any of these three are considered as Key Stakeholders and they need to be consulted for every change in Scope, Schedule or Cost.

Engage your Stakeholder?  
The success of Stakeholder Management lies in the capacity to engage them throughout the project life cycle. If we fail to engage, then they may get disconnected from the project, which might turn to be a risk at a later point in time. Communication is important but not sufficient for successful Stakeholder Management. Engaging the stakeholders is considered as the key. 

How do you engage your Stakeholder?
Include key stakeholders in all decision making Get periodical feedback or review Incorporate the actions items into the project plan with the required changes recorded and necessary approvals from the concerned stakeholders. Get wish list/and future expectations and add it in backlog Anticipate expectation and get concurrence for due incorporation For more information, you can enroll for our Project Management certification training programs conducted at our site or your site or on-line class. View http://goo.gl/4s0KuY for more details.

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Technical Managers are more successful as Managers

This is very dicey. What about technology-agnostic managers? Don’t they become good Managers? How much of a value-add is thrown-in with the ‘technical’ tag. End of the day its Management - be it technical or non-technical. Some of you might agree or disagree – which is your entitlement. From a holistic view, Management is totally different ball game compared to pure technical role played in IT industry. Management role is very dynamic wherein one should know where to reach and how to achieve the same. For anyone to be a successful Manager at senior level, build a team having right composition of skill; more than that, the next-level line managers will be instrumental in executing the decision. Hence much depends on Manager. Of course, the Manager needs to have big picture and good clarity on the vision to give the right direction to the next- level , however that’s not enough for the success.. Manager should have right people to execute the same vision and position at the right place. But how does one identify ‘right’. Call it acumen or something gained from experience or inner calling or instincts – or sum of all. Subjective as ‘right’ might be, it does prove critical for the success of the Manager in any organization.

Know Self/Team:
Any Manager should assess and evaluate his/her strength and team’s strength as well. The clarity should be crystal clear for the Manager / team to achieve the mission/vision of the team.

Know the gap (Self/Team):
And it is imperative to know what's the gap within the current team setup is technically, functionally & behaviourally. Most of us will think why do we need to worry about missing behaviour aspect? When a Manager is introvert, he/she may hesitate to connect with people and the team may not get the visibility it should get. In that case Manager should identify that as a gap to the team and close either by self or hiring some enterprising people in the team.

Fill the Gap:
Self or Hire? - Gap can be filled in multiple ways depending on the scope and width of the gap. If the gap is on technical/functional aspect, team can undergo the required training if there is enough time for learning curve. When the need to address gap is critical or urgent, it’s better to hire people with right skills. Managers always should try to work on people’s strength and enhance/sharpen to bring the best more out from his/her team. That will help the team to be engaged fully. Managers don’t manage; they lead. When Manager decides to fill the gap by hiring new resources, the ability to assess about the new hire to deliver is a one of the key clincher. If not, nothing wrong in seeking the opinion of peers’ help to connect with the right fitment. It’s very important that we choose the right people for any opening as most of the cases it’s the fitment that’s diagnosed as the pain point – and that too late in the project. Screening and selecting suitable candidates who are sound technically can cut out most of the spillage and increase the turnaround time. Technically sound professionals have an appreciable head-start as compared to the less informed as the learning curve isn't that steeper and with a minimal time spent in training the crew can be inducted in the team and start contributing. So back to the poser – why ‘technically sound Managers’? Well it helps a great deal if the other person speaks your language as it does engage and keeps the team on the same page. Hence, it’s not good to have but need to have soft skills for the making of a Manager. Won’t agnostic managers scale? Yes, they can – with time and effort, and it costs companies bandwidth and training for the transition to hire such kind of managers known for leadership traits and management skills, but start-up can’t afford the luxury of grooming as expectation will be for ‘the professional with practice’. On top of technical expertise, certifications carry that edge to make you look distinct even from a distance. Learn about our certification programs http://goo.gl/7iDPnJ We place our perspective in this platform to know more about yours. Look forward to your comments.

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Manage People the Prized Assets

‘When dealing with people remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic but creatures of emotions – Dale Carnegie'

What is People Management? Why do we need to manage People?
Are people’s emotions, attitude or behaviour expected to be managed? Though directly not, we are expected to handle/manage them such that it doesn’t impact our project goals and objectives; influence the people in such a way team is collaborative and working as team in all situations; to nurture the positive team spirit and harness it for high yield. As we read in 7 Habits of Highly effective People by Stephen R Covey, ‘focus on what is in our control more than what is not in our control’. Assuming my current team comprises of the people as stated below categories using which we can analyze the possible ways in dealing with such ‘types’. One is not fixed to any particular type – No, there is no stereotype (which should be stricken as an exception) but circumstances make one fall in one of the type enumerated. 1. Leads -#1: Good Subject Knowledge (Functional & Technical) and focuses on Management related stuff 2. Leads- #2: Having good clarity on big picture and good technical knowledge but not aggressive 3. Technical Members-#3: Good Subject Knowledge (Functional & Technical) and focuses only on assigned work 4. Technical Members-#4: Average Knowledge (Functional & Technical) – passive participation in delivery (They don’t care/worry much about final delivery and they do their work on their own pace irrespective of customer commitment) 5. Technical Members-#5: Self-motivated, aggressive people (Highly ambitious) 6. Leads- #6: Work based on what manager says (Manager pleasing leads)

What type of skills should be applied with the above type of people in a team?
 #1 Direction & Clear Objectives & Goals To increase the productivity of the team, we should study the KRAs and encourage the people to work on their strengths Need to define clear KPIs to regain their focus on their core strengths #2 100% Utilization Mostly this type is non-engaged or non-motivated people. We need to understand their goals in life and their interests and help to them to align it with organization needs. #3 Presentation of the Big Picture In most cases due to their lack of visibility this pool of people restrict themselves into what is been assigned to them only and mostly they may be introverts. Therefore we should help them to get better visibility so that we can get the best out of them. #4 Clear SLAs and Smaller Milestones with Guidance We need to guide all along with this type of people for them to achieve their smaller milestones. We need to give them smaller duration milestones to be in the track else they might stray or slip from the path (Project) easily #5 Challenging work; Raising the Bar The ones with energy bursting their seams should be funneled and channeled through challenges by lifting the bar and make the revision of bar progressively upwards. Stretch till they can be stretched. There is a break point and that’s when stretched beyond the endurance. #6 Enablers of decision and empowerment to function independently Once enabled and empowered identified employees should be able to engage with minimal intervention and to a large extent function independently – thereby there is a sense of ownership accounting for any accomplishment or allowance. The Prized asset: Note that the most performing employee is an asset while the under-performer is a liability. Given the context and limitation, its left to you to manage the situation masterfully.

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When professional are WE professional

Sounds good? It’s just the sound. Wish we all, as professionals, can conduct like one. My friend with that swagger would brag ‘the moment I enter the office, I remove my personal suit and don the professional blazer’ like a jersey by a footballer ready to play ball. I bought that line for he was very convincing given his long hours, confidence, competence, career path strewn with glowing accolades from clients and colleagues. Besides, he was my buddy. Well, I for one, in the corporate context was the turncoat. I was like Tommy Lee Jones in the movie ‘Fugitive’ – even in the call of duty he will stress “Yes, it’s personal ‘. To me, as well, “everything was personal. There is nothing professional even in the ‘line of work’” an aphorism my friend abhorred, thrashing me time and again as ‘conduct unbecoming’. I couldn’t care any less as I wore the way and carried myself as it suited – call me professional or petty, I dusted it off my shoulders. The definition of Professional/professionalism, especially the academic ones are galore if you glance Google. So my interest is more from ‘what exactly we know to be a professional?’ I sure don’t wear two suits, besides the claim to split personalities like scissoring a piece of cloth is unacceptable – even clinically. When you have a sick spouse at home who needs your attention and a deep crisis in the project which you are leading – you stay at home nursing or report to work firefighting? It’s a moral call, and truly professional and personal. Many of us, from my own experience, will select someone at home to park in your place and rush to office because there is no one to replace. It boils down to the most significant aspect of ‘dispensability’. In terms of priority, both are equally important, so while you HAVE TO BE PRESENT at work, the SPOUSE CAN’T BE SIDELINED and hence the phone is abuzz with feeds about progress from home. Multitasking? Now this is not a specific scenario for a particular individual? Check the pulse in the professional arena and you will hear scream and shouts of “I second”. Like a log of wood lit on fire at both ends and left to deal with the unforeseen, wondering which to fend first, is that a moral dilemma or a professional predicament? Won’t you agree, any which ways, it becomes very personal? We are humans made up of flesh and bones, not robots programmed to ‘respond’ to a request. And emotions always run high. If you are devoid, either you are an exceptional person or exceedingly good at camouflaging. Bottom line – as my good friend quipped “what do you mean by being Professional?”, very valid as we are so used to using that word without knowing its definition because everyone employs it – be it vernacular or scholarly speech. I tried with the amateur turned pro line because in sports a ‘pro’ is one who plays for pay while amateur pursues as pastime, besides the skill level is a far cry from a seasoned player. A clear distinction but then we aren’t seated in a stadium but sharing space in an office separated by cubicles. So what makes one a professional in the corporate circle? Professionalism, as most perceive as well-groomed, neatly-attired, impeccable manners, which indeed are important and inclusive. Is it limited with these attributes? Setting aside the heavy-duty business jargons the quintessential aspect is being truthful and transparent when your ‘yes’ is a ‘YES’ and ‘No’ is ‘NO’; when you have the courage and conviction to call a spade a spade. The litmus test will be the integrity and excellence, and we are a mixed bag. It’s not a thin line but a fine one that tugs your conscience in addressing the call of your child when you are stuck deep in a deadlock in the project working hard to iron out the impasse. Be critical; don’t criticize How often we ridicule a suggestion as silly or stupid? My brother after graduating from IIT was hired by an amazing fortune 500 company and whatever he shared was enlightening that we should emulate. During their brainstorming session, which usually is a small circle of people of the middle and senior management, everyone has to propose an idea failing which treat the folks assembled for Pizza. Scurrying to avoid a burnt hole in the pocket, everyone would pitch something or other – forget it making sense or not, but say something and usually the least of all is voted as the best. Well, that’s the moment of epiphany in Brainstorming. Rather than stifle and suppress by silence for the fear of mockery from the many, the management eggs you to “give it a go as you never know”. Perfect. How will you know unless you have tried? As a green horn, at the start of my career, I did have the audacity to ask and even [ashamed to admit] be cynical about the comments. My reporting manager wouldn’t even flinch, instead will be focused on my eyes reading my thoughts. While appreciating my candor, he would caution “listen, it’s not me but this white board you are riling. It’s never me but my idea. Let’s be clear about that.” Point taken, but you step out of the room deriding the person with disparaging remarks “the guy is stupid”. Juvenile thought? I am not contesting. ‘How can you separate the dance from the dancer’ logic? Pretty dumb in hindsight and that’s why I was so naïve and nonchalant. While you can be critical, don’t ever criticize for you just don’t discredit but damage the faculty and impair from functioning forever. The criticism, far from constructive, is destructive damaging beyond repair, shattering the confidence of the battered individual who will be very reluctant or hesitant even to spell out should the need arise. The mouth should not be muzzled just because few didn’t agree or accept to appreciate the merit. Better be belittled as dumb or dimwit so long the word is heard loud and clear. Call it nice or names. Unfortunately, not everyone sport that an attitude and wear on their sleeves. Be vocal; not vicious Another attribute that puts an individual to a great sense of discomfort would be the viciousness when voice amplifies as vociferous. We victimize by making it a vendetta when difference of opinions should be aired without offending the sense and sentiment. Words can wound and enslave; sting and scald; Vitriolic and vengeful. Seasoned professional have their own way in making it sound so ‘personal’ and still communicate the message professionally. An incident is worth narrating: We worked in agile methodology where the day begins with a ‘stand-up meeting’ and latecomers are strongly discouraged without resorting to reprimand. It was another team at work and the team lead was charismatic and quite a contender in leadership. With arms folded, he greeted the team members as they stepped, and once the watch clicked ‘time’, the latecomers were greeted with a wider grin “check the clock, and count the heads. We will pass on our flavor of ice-cream” and true to the words, the team was treated to ice-cream. Within a week, the team was clocking ‘on-time’ arrival. Brilliant! “They are mature enough to own up their act, and pay for it as well. Don’t think they need to be told. They know” was his response to me when queried why no disciplinary action was initiated. “We did. There is discipline. Studied silence has its own share of success”. It doesn’t get better than that – you win a battle without shooting a bullet or shedding a drop of blood and yet there is a battle. Baffling! When professional, be professional. The toughest of all is ‘to be professional’. I wish to recall my father’s advice “detached attachment. Learn to express your love without mollycoddling. The care will become a curse. Safeguard your sanity.” A man of very few words, he always spoke to us in Silence – that stern glare said it all. But we do have to reconcile to the fact that spending 10 plus hours in a common space with co-workers makes office as THE HOME and colleagues more as family. I did my math and the actual waking hours at home were so less my five fingers proved too many. So you make sure office is as good as home, if not better start treating like one. Not lethargic but responsible. ‘Distance lends enchantment to the view’, so ‘close’ doesn’t have a personal connotation, rather its resembles the sync in ideology, the same wave of frequency, common grounds, our communion in word and deed, and remember there is always this invisible wall impregnable erected for our good lest we fail and fall on moral values. We need to strike the right balance and govern by a code of conduct – not by a rule book as our guideline but the very conscience. In conclusion, I still stand by my ‘personal’ stance and strive as much to conduct professionally. We are not mercenaries on a mission, but mortals with our own strength and shortcoming. The workplace should be treated fairly with the admission and accommodation of ‘personal’ needs that extends beyond our immediate family. When professional, may we be professional - It’s not desire, but directive. ~Alice
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First day at Office

First day at office is always a day to remember and memories are still fresh in me about the day I reported to work on day one in my previous engagements. Reaching home, sounding anxious, my wife would ask me “how was the day in new office, iCert? Exciting?”. It was a casual remark “hey, it resembles more like college, most of the crew at an average age of 24 with both the Management Executives in their twenties and single. I stood out – more like a faculty.

Second day was “colorful”.

Ten days later I would rename it as ‘carnival’.

Not all days are Sundays. True. When the colleague seated behind would slam her forehead “gawd, I just called this guy thrice. Incredible, but he was so polite to a fault excusing as always ‘it’s alright madam. I understand’”. I would empathize her predicament “it happens when you key-in the excel sheet that a number can be misread and redialed – again and again.” Halting my bike at 8pm in my portico, sometimes my wife still at office and son seated in tuition class next door, in the stillness of silence, I often introspect about the unfolding of the day, and that one was grilling and grueling. Try calling number after number, and the reception from the other end can range from nice to nasty. I heard one caller being so rude and that too to a woman. Uncouth, and uncivilized. Instantly I asked her to redial and give me the phone, which she politely declined stating ‘we have heard it before and will hear again. Life is like that…..’ that resigned look said it all. Doing the same task makes it mundane and the monotony can drive you to madness. It’s the lighter moments on the floor which is a welcome relief else we will go crazy…..nuts…..loony…

When the HR ushered me to the conference room, it was the curiosity that got better in me wondering the fuss about the commotion, and there up in the front of the conference table stood two employees – a gentleman and lady – both a bit jaded and jittery, whilst most of those assembled eyed the cake and the coke bottle. HR broke the ice “congratulation for completing 1 year of active service in iCert Global”. I was very new then and their names didn’t register but their faces I would never forget. And the audacity of that guy who chose to question the Director “sir, it marvels me as how you manage to muster such effort”, and the response was repaid in the same currency “motivated from guys like you.” Completing one year in IT industry is no big deal, especially ‘freshers’ and there would be one too many cakes to cut in that case, but putting up one year here makes you a ‘veteran’. And it’s so appropriate for us to assemble and applaud.


Life is full of events and hence called ‘eventful’? One incident in the morning is worth mentioning. You will have to bear my anecdotes as I rant as a raconteur but can’t expect the same in everyone. Two colleagues were in front of my desk and I was busy studying some information when their pitch made me look up. A fair, tall guy questioning one his team member “I have targets to achieve and might miss the boat“ to which the team member protested vehemently “sir, even the sun and star take break every day and you deny us of the same. Please be considerate”. Wait a minute!. wasn’t he the same guy who cut the cake and another name I learnt to respect. What a presence of mind to quote the sun and stars to drive home the message of ‘we aren’t machines but mortals. So have a heart!’. Awesome!

In any company, balancing professional and personal lives is gonna be a pain point. Something very hard to negotiate like maneuvering in the crowded streets of Bangalore during peak hours. As professionals we are known to be solid like rocks, but also admit that at times we too are fragile like a flower and from bold bottled down to brittle. A colleague sitting next to me complained to the system administrator about her system ‘ is not working’, and he was busy in some other chore that seemed more important. Half an hour later, the patience severely tested, she complains more audibly “it’s been 30 minutes since I escalated to your attention’ and the sys admin erupts “what do you think I am doing? Huh? There are other people also. You aren’t the only one with issue. Wait for your turn.” It was a royal snub. Exchanges like these are routine in the professional road. Some choose to unload, some prefer to lock it in themselves. But I was more keen about the aftermath of the altercation. How the sys admin would handle the situation as the snubbed ‘lady’ is akin to a wounded tigress who was baying for blood. Sulking in her seat and muttering something that was incoherent and inaudible, she was staring at the blank monitor when the sys admin appeared from nowhere with a genuine apology and won my heart. Man! That’s THE way to handle. ”sorry, I flew off the handle. Thing sort of got out of hands and I wronged you for no fault. I would fix it in a minute” and they were buddies back again. This, people, is the defining moment. The character to acknowledge one’ own mistake and apologize and make due amends. Hats off to you mate!!


But that said, all is not hunky dory. In my career path, courtesy is never to be compromised and one should always praise in public and punish in private. That’s the maxim of my theory of management. At times of aggravation, a guy I adore , remarks “mate, life is like a chess board. We cannot get into a white square without crossing the black”. Pearls of wisdom from all the corners of this place that enlighten me and continue to do so. The HR, in a casual tone complimented, my cuff and collar shirt – something I didn’t know and my wife was taken aback ‘oh come on, for goodness sake, we have been shopping at the same showroom for the past 5 years and you don’t this term?’ She was both right and wrong. We shopped – that’s true, but it was for her 90% and 10% for my son. I have enough of my own through gifts [I hate these goodies as gifts. Only my brother knows my true gift which I treasure , true to Abraham Lincoln’ quote “my best friend will present me a book that I have never read”]. So these guys become my teacher and I will remain an avid student all my life, trying to know as many words possible.

The purpose in penning this long prose is to tap the potential in every team member. There can be number of eminent ‘thinkers’ whose mind still harbor those words and I say ‘let it sail and Bon voyage’. You are an author in your right and might. During the secret Santa ‘talent parade’, many took me by surprise and frightening shock. The ensemble had amazing artist who could dance, sing and act – all impromptu. Not a line or move was rehearsed and yet it was breathtaking. A female co-worker’s gracious moves and rhythmic steps was mind blowing that my wife remarked ‘is she a professional?’ and I corrected ‘classical’, and another colleague's dance left me in a daze that I questioned later “you participated in your college culturals, right?” Every employee was sporting enough to participate and perform with fun and fanfare, and I would have never known about their prowess – rather potential. One lady sang so melodiously that it was music to my ears, and I hail her as the ‘nightingale of iCert’. Any time our spirits sink due to stress. We do request to sing a song which she readily obliges.

The most incredible and impressive aspect in this employment is the opportunities provided for the “Differently-abled’ people. I shook hands with that new face and question about his native and he replied “I have hearing problem and speech too” and for a moment I stood there transfixed. I warmly shook his hands welcoming with a “pleasure meeting you’ and never miss to greet whenever and wherever I meet him. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) or professional benevolence, iCert Global proved that you don’t have to be enlisted in the fortune 500 or rake in millions as turnover. In a small way, we still can contribute to the society through people who are ‘specially-abled’ qualify to be recruited. To me this wasn’t just munificence or CSR, but very noble and responsible. An individual career path is carved and can carry oneself with pride as being ‘specially and significantly’ abled. You don’t have to big shot in business – just a big heart will do. Awesome!!!

Long way to go iCert!! In a gentle way, you can shake the world!! Making the Mahatma proud!

image courtesy: goo.gl/NciC8f
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Failure is the Ultimate Tutor

Why do we fear failures? because it draws flak? That people are highly opinionated and evaluate our performance only to condemn and crucify and finally culminate with character assassination. “He is a misfit”, “doesn’t know how to handle pressure”, “ill-equipped and lack the faculty in the functioning of an enterprise”, “doesn’t have it in him in becoming capable of carving a career". Comments as these sure aren’t a shot in the arm, neither does it set your adrenalin rising, but dampens your enthusiasm and deepens into depression. You start licking your wounds in self-pity or incriminate yourself in self-condemnation. Do you know why? Because you took it personally. Recently I was watching a program on the television with my family and there was this toothpaste advertisement. The dentist visits the school and makes every student undertake the gum test and one boy fails. Sneered by his bus mates, he sits alone and aloof near a window when his best friend wraps his shoulder around him and assures” hey chum, chin up! Remember, you didn’t fail. Your toothpaste failed. Change your toothpaste. Simple”. I was reclining till then, but this advertisement struck me hard that I sat upright. What a message through school kids. That’s why I insist the message is important than the medium. After that I didn’t view that program but read the message in that advertisement which kept replaying in my mind. To me, the ad made more sense to drive home the point that it’s not the person but the engagement that failed. Professionals will face failures – but it’s not they failed rather the venture failed, or, it was a bad idea or the execution was poor. Whatever be it, even in failure, we stand to gain – and that’s experience. “Good Judgment comes from experience and Experience comes from bad Judgments..!” For a professional, failure is not about giving up, but it’s about finding new ways to make it work. People are entitled to their opinion, and you can’t seal every lip that speaks against but let it not disturb your sense of balance. If you have the maturity to respond to adversity and prosperity likewise, then you will realize that you have bettered yourself as a human. More often not, we tend to take the results personally. When successful we gloat and blow our trumpet, and in debacle get into depression. Triumph and tragedy are two impostors to be treated alike. Steel unless tested with fire cannot be stronger. If you can overcome the setbacks and still steer through the hardships by enduring, trust me, you will be empowered as there is no better a teacher than failure. If failures are the stepping stones of success, it’s when you really savor the taste of success. Dare to defy – and that includes fear of failure. You should overcome, overpower and overtake. Outperformers are those who are smart enough to flush out the fear that inhibits or impedes initiatives. For me aspirants are like those athletes who see the hurdles on the track not as obstacles but as launch pads that provides them an opportunity to take a leap.


image courtesy: goo.gl/Jps1sM
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Scope Creep slippery slope

(A personal account of the perils of scope creep) As Jobs puts it ‘we can only connect the dots afterwards’. That’s the benefit of hindsight? Well, if you have that as foresight, it makes you a visionary. Las Vegas was just a desert till one guy redrew the map toasting success on the sand dunes, and Vegas couldn’t have been just conjecture then. When I took over the reins, the project looked promising. Communications were open and the client very forthcoming in comments. One look at the team composition and my hopes were inflated: a trusted hand, a familiar figure and a total stranger, rest of the crew comprised of tester, Us Ex, web developer. The lead developer is more of a man-Friday as we have engaged in couple of projects and hence a tried and tested chap. It looked good and should have soared to great. We could spot the shore. If wishes were horses then beggars would ride! We prepared the plan, sized the effort, scoped the requirement, and swung into action. The progress too was pretty much in line. We built a good rapport with the client and the stinkers were sporadic. The plan and progress almost matched with some slippage. A qualified tester got onboard and it was a shot in the arm. I had several sessions with the team and joint calls with client in understanding the requirement. The long evenings, late nights, brainstorming sessions, soaring rhetoric and sizzling arguments, and not to miss the cat-fights, we saw it all as a team. The phone would suddenly scream followed by a volley of questions growing in decibel, and my team mate would politely hush her husband ‘I will be leaving in 5 minutes’. Remarkably, she taught me what I can never achieve no matter how much ever I aspire – that patience and politeness in answering an agitated call. Perplexingly the problems and posers kept piling, and from then on, we prioritized issues as critical, major and minor with color red, yellow and orange respectively. An open document was created and shared with client. And the bug count closely monitored with status reports both at start and end of day. The fixes left me vexed; flummoxed by failure after failure as I knew for sure that the bugs will be reopened. I chewed my finger nails all the way to my knuckles and went bone dry when the count refused to climb down. We dragged out weary souls and worn-out soles day-in and day-after licking defeat in the hope that ‘we lost the battle but will win the war’. The client is not to be blamed completely as for the team goofed up pretty bad inmanaging the scope. A little here and a little there and the result wasn’t scope creep but a bloated scope with too many ‘bells and whistles’. It wasn’t the foot in my mouth but the whole leg. Chewed more than we could swallow? It wasn’t time to wallow in self-pity. But I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the team; for myself and then DH Lawrence hit me hard where it hurts the most ‘I have never known a wild animal feel sorry for itself’. May be I am ‘domestic’ – heck, man is a social animal, if it can be used as a disclaimer. The client squeezing hard and the management make it clear about the climbing cost, the noose was tightening. The stakeholders had a simple mandate – the timeline. Problems and philosophy are a pair.When you muck-up big time, be prepared for your back to be blackened.But as they say if the progress is as per the plan, then there is something wrong with the plan. Then why plan? [we will discuss as a different thread] Tell me something, only Results count? Is it? I checked this quote by Jacoob Riis who, it seems, coined it for me. When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before - Jacob Riis. Results count but efforts can’t be discounted. We narrowed down the action-items as in-scope’ and passed it around, armed ourselves with facts and figures as counterweight. We managed to complete the project but not in the prospect and promise we had pinned our hopes, rather it was mixed-feeling of bitter-sweet that the final handover happened. Post the delivery, when we did the causal analysis, the scope creep sank our boat. Expectedly CRs (Change Request) were raised but they were either counted in as ‘courtesy’ or ‘cost-free’ who didn’t treat it binding as billable. It was a lesson learnt about clearly recording your scope and securing a sign-off on the deliverables and we became more conscious and cautious about the creep in succeeding projects. It was indeed a slippery slope! For more detail visit: http://www.icertglobal.com/
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