IIMs say CAT 2017 registrations lower than 2016

Apart from the IIMs, several other business schools use the Common Admission Test (CAT) score for admission. CAT 2017 will be held on 26 November. Photo: HT

Apart from the IIMs, several other business schools use the Common Admission Test (CAT) score for admission. CAT 2017 will be held on 26 November. Photo: HT

New Delhi: The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) said Monday that while an extended registration window propelled the Common Admission Test (CAT) registration numbers to nearly 231,000, these were still slightly below the 2016 numbers.

By the original deadline of 20 September, the IIMs had received around 211,000. They subsequently extended the deadline to 25 September.

In 2016, the IIMs received 232,434 applications for the test. Apart from the IIMs, several other business schools use CAT score for admission.

“The final registration numbers are around 2.31 lakh. Around around 20,000 (registrations) were added during the extended window,” said Neeraj Dwivedi, convener of CAT 2017.

Dwivedi, also a professor of IIM Lucknow, said exact numbers would be available on Tuesday.

India has 20 IIMs admitting nearly 4,000 students into their flagship post graduate programme in management.

IIM Lucknow, which is conducting CAT 2017, will allow candidates to correct errors in application between 27 and 30 September. CAT 2017 will be conducted across 140 cities on 26 November.

[“Source-livemint”]

Insights from Ceridian Insights 2017

The timing of Ceridian Insights 2017 was interesting. I had recently been interviewed by Canada’s The Globe & Mail re: Ceridian.  The focus of that interview followed the history of Ceridian. The reporter and I discussed the transformation that Ceridian has undergone since David Ossip took the helm several years ago.

Ossip replayed much of that history to the conference attendees. The main themes in this narrative were that Ceridian:

  • Acquired Dayforce, a new multi-tenant cloud HR solution, as a way to modernize the technology used by Ceridian customers
  • Sold off several product lines to avoid R&D dilution, to lighten their debt service load and to focus on products with a long market runway
  • Created a new culture that focused heavily on customer satisfaction
  • Would rapidly transition existing customers from service bureau offerings to new Dayforce and PowerPay cloud offerings while also taking away customers from other payroll service bureau and HRMS software providers

Most software companies are “one and done” phenomena.  They create some interesting product(s), enjoy some market success and then are finished. Sure, they may get bought and sold a time or two and the management might get switched out with increasing frequency but it’s rare for these firms to ever surpass their prior glory days. It’s precisely this phenomenon that makes Ceridian interesting as it’s breaking the pattern. The new Ceridian is not only dissimilar from the old Ceridian/Control Data, it may become bigger and more successful than its prior incarnation.

But, let’s temper that thought for now.  ADP, a Ceridian competitor, is trying to match some of Ceridian’s new product and service developments. Workday, SAP and Oracle all offer more than just HCM solutions with major product line extensions in Finance, Supply Chain, etc. to cross-sell. It’s a competitive HCM space, for sure, and Ceridian will have to earn its way into deals, one prospect at a time.

Prospects? What were they thinking?

I love shows where the vendor allows industry analysts a free rein. I learn a lot by speaking to customers and prospects. Ceridian makes it easy to do this by ecolor-coding the name badges for us.

I shamelessly buttonholed about two dozen or so customers and prospects. I asked them questions like:

  • How they liked Ceridian
  • What products they were running away from
  • What other products they were considering

Not one customer or prospect really had anything negative to report.

Five years ago, Dayforce was missing a lot of critical functionality. Today, the product line holes are considerably smaller in nature. One customer is still waiting for Dayforce software to produce a (U.S.) EEO-4 report and another indicated that their Dayforce implementation took a bit longer than Ceridian estimated but that was, according to the customer, the customer’s own organization and political fault.  Otherwise, I just couldn’t get anyone to really dish out some big dirt.

Many prospects included firms that had outgrown their current solutions. Some were looking for an all-in-one HCM/Payroll suite.  I sensed many of these wanted solutions that were always current technically and from a compliance/regulatory perspective.

What apparently sold/sells these prospects is Ceridian XOXOX program and related implementation/ support activities. Software buyers like vendors that don’t start billing the subscription service until AFTER the customer goes live. This is something most Ceridian competitors don’t offer.

Prospects also like dealing with ONE firm for both the software and implementation. Customers have been burned too many times by vendors that turn over implementation activities to third parties whose interests may not necessarily be aligned with those of the customer or the vendor. Ossip also referenced an analyst report showing that Dayforce implementations averaged a return on investment in 8 months with competitor products taking something closer to 27 months.

Ceridian Insights 2017
Ceridian implementation – designed to achieve fast time to value

The prospects I met this year included a lot more net-new potential customers than firms considering a move from the legacy service bureau solutions to Dayforce.  Ossip pointed out that the majority of the company’s revenues are now cloud based with 2,700+ customers live on Dayforce.  This shift in prospective customers may be indicative of just how many older customers have already made the transition to Dayforce.

Integration & configuration

HR systems in larger firms can have 100 or so integration points. They must connect to financial systems, benefits providers, 401K plans, insurance firms, operational systems, time tracking technology, one-off HR software products and many, many more solutions.

The creation and maintenance of these integrations is time-consuming and expensive for HR and IT departments. Worse, these integrations frequently change and require a lot of maintenance.

Dayforce Link got some conference love. It’s a tool that’s designed to take a lot of integration headaches away especially for more common integrations.

Another headache cure Ceridian touted was it Validation Dashboard. Dayforce customers see the results of over 400 automatic configuration audits. These audits detect configuration errors during implementations.

Microsoft at a Ceridian event

A Microsoft executive was on-hand to take the big stage with Ossip to announce Ceridian’s global payroll alliance with Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 product line. This deal enables Microsoft Dynamics partners an opportunity to use a single payroll interface for their customers. Dynamics 365 users (or channel partners) don’t need to know all of the country-specific fields needed to calculate payroll in many of the most populous countries globally. Ceridian will take the interface outputs that it needs for a specific country and either complete the payroll calculations itself or utilize its network of payroll providers.  Readers should note that the UK Payroll sub-name with Global Payroll refers to Ceridian’s new native UK payroll capability.

Microsoft Azure will also play a role in this international expansion.

Other product news

Ceridian announced several new product launches and related events. In the learning area, Ceridian is partnering with LMS vendor Docebo. I’ve covered Docebo previously and their approach to learning is intriguing. This relationship should be beneficial to both parties and quickly accretive to users.

A Compensation Management module was also launched. Given the variety of compensation planning methods in-use today by corporations, I’d expect to see this tool continue to morph over time to accommodate more and more nuances. Compensation management is always tough as HR is trying to control costs while retaining best talent. These tools need to consider the compensation that competitors are offering in all of the labor markets and geographies where they have staff. Oh, and let’s make it even tougher by expecting a tool will be able to handle:

  • all of those nuances where your job descriptions are different than competitors
  • situations where some people need their payrate to catch up to missed raises in down years
  • relocation/ cost of living adjustments and other factors.

Predictive analytics and AI were also showcased.

In my opinion, Ceridian, like most of its competitors, is still a ways from being a provider of killer predictive analytics. The enterprise software industry is choking on over-promised but under-delivered predictive analytic capabilities. Most software firms are lucky to field a dozen analytic applications/applets as they’ve learned these take time to develop, often take a lot of personalization for the customer and don’t scale well.  So, I’d put Ceridian right there with its competitors in being in the early stage of this capability.

Likewise, when Ceridian offered up their (obligatory) Alexa demo, it was all question/response mode. While I’ll give Ceridian credit for offering up a teaser demo that was lengthy, entertaining and far-ranging in the kinds of content served up, it wasn’t all that anticipatory in its answers and guidance like I’ve seen from firms like Aera Technology.  This will likely take years for them (and all of their competitors) to develop fully (see the Alexa commentary in this piece I penned for HR Technology Conference this month).

My take

Growing up, we had a dog that always knew when our car or pickup turned off the highway and got on the gravel road to the ranch. Like that dog, I can always spot when a vendor or a product line hits a major maturation point.

Ceridian’s approaching one of these now. The Dayforce product line is a very mature and complete HCM suite with more goodies coming. The company’s customers are converting over to the cloud-based Dayforce solution in volumes that many old-school ERP vendors will envy. Ceridian management has been executing on a strict timetable to remake the company, its solution set, its culture, its development team and more. And, just as important, Ceridian’s owners, a private equity firm are seeing a realistic opportunity for a liquidity event.

When I spoke with The Globe and Mail reporter weeks ago, I said that I expected some kind of material change of control to occur in 2018 for Ceridian.  It’s the highway to gravel road sensation I’m sensing.

Think about it. After all of this change, what would be the next chapter for Ceridian? Another firm would consider building out other back office applications. Or, will they build out more local in-country payroll solutions for other parts of the world? That makes sense if they intend to dramatically grow their non-U.S./non-Canada sales efforts. Whatever the answer, the company will need to pivot to a new long-term vision. What that vision is, I don’t know. Management is either keeping this close to the vest or isn’t thinking that far out. I know if I were Ossip, I’d be thinking about monetizing my success with this turnaround and taking a nice long vacation.

While all that’s interesting to ponder, it takes away from the following reality: Ceridian has moved heaven and earth to make Dayforce a successful, robust solution and has done so in record time.

One final thought: Ceridian’s Insight conference occurred immediately after the worst mass-shooting in American history. Being in Las Vegas was surreal and somber. It’s not the mood one associates with a user conference where parties, after-parties and bombastic showmanship are the usual order of the day.  When I arrived at the conference hotel, you could hear birds, the wind blowing, etc. outside. The Vegas Strip was eerily quiet, almost respectful.

The Ceridian Insights 2017 user conference opened, interestingly enough, with the CEO of MGM Resorts. He thanked everyone for attending and not cancelling. And, he was correct. To have done otherwise would have been to submit to the terror caused by that shooter. Only 23 of the several thousand attendees cancelled.  Since that shooting, Las Vegas tourism has changed – my heart still goes out for the dozens killed and hundreds wounded there.

[“Source-diginomica”]

Acer at IFA 2017: Laptops, Gaming PCs, 360-Degree Cameras, and More

Acer at IFA 2017: Laptops, Gaming PCs, 360-Degree Cameras, and More

Acer Chromebook 15

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Acer introduced its new gaming Predator series devices
  • It also announced new Chromebook 15
  • A new 23.8-inch Aspire S24 all-in-one desktop PC also announced

Taiwanese manufacturer Asus has kicked off its IFA 2017 campaign with bunch of announcements including gaming laptops, PCs, and more. The company showed off all-new Predator gaming line alongside the new 23.8-inch Aspire S24 all-in-one desktop PC. Acer also revealed two connected 360-degree cameras, new projectors, and new Pawbo products. The company announced Nitro 5 Spin convertible laptop and Switch 7 fanless 2-in-1 notebook at the same event.

Acer Chromebook 15
The all-new Chromebook 15 is being marketed as the “only Chromebook in the industry with a 15.6-inch display and aluminium design.” The Acer Chromebook 15 will be made available in either a touch screen or non-touch screen models.

It will be available in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) in October starting at EUR 499 (roughly Rs. 38,000). It will also be available in North America in October starting at $399 (roughly Rs. 25,500), including the United States, where it will be offered at Best Buy and the Acer Store. The company claims up to 12 hours of battery life and the new Chromebook will support Android apps via Google Play when it is launched. It will be available in configurations of dual-core Intel Celeron and quad-core Intel Pentium processors available with 32GB or 64GB of storage as well as 4GB or 8GB of RAM. It features a backlit keyboard and weighs 1.72kg while measures 378x256x18.9mm. Connectivity options include Intel Wireless-AC (802.11ac) wireless featuring 2×2 MIMO technology; two USB 3.1 Type-C ports; Bluetooth 4.2; two USB 3.0, and an HDMI port.

Acer Swift 5 and Spin 5
At its IFA event, Acer also launched the Swift 5 and Spin 5 laptops. The Swift 5 will be available in North America and EMEA in December starting at $999 (roughly Rs. 64,000) and EUR 1,099 (roughly Rs. 84,000) respectively. China will be the launch market in November starting at CNY 7,499 (roughly Rs. 73,000). The Acer Spin 5 on the other hand will be available in North America and EMEA in September with 13-inch model starting at $799 (roughly Rs. 51,150) and 13-inch model starting at EUR 899 (roughly Rs. 69,000).

The new Swift 5 is said to offer stylish portability alongside capable performance. It weighs less than 1kg, and is built with ultra-light magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminium alloys. The laptop is powered by eighth generation Intel Core processors, and is said to deliver up to 8 hours of battery life. It has a full-HD IPS touchscreen display, and a backlit keyboard.

acer spin 5 acer

Acer Spin 5

The Spin 5 convertible laptop on the other hand has a rotating display like others in its series, letting users switch between laptop, tablet, display and tent form factors. The 13-inch model weighs 1.5kg and is at 15.9mm thin, while the 15-inch model is is just over 2kg and 17.9mm thin. They both ship with eighth generation Intel Core processors, up to 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and even a discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics.

Acer Switch 7 Black Edition and Nitro 5 Spin
Acer also introduced its fanless 2-in-1 notebook dubbed Switch 7 Black Edition. It features a 13.5-inch display with 2256×1504 pixels and is powered by Intel Core i7 processor. It comes with a kickstand and runs on Windows 10. Acer Switch 7 Black Edition will be going on sale in December starting at $1,699 (roughly Rs. 108,000).

Acer also revealed its new Nitro 5 Spin convertible laptop targeted at gaming enthusiasts. It starts at $799 and will be going on sale from September. It comes in two display sizes including 13-inch and 15-inch sizes. It is powered by Intel’s 8th generation processor offering up to 16GB of RAM.

New Predator line
Acer showed off its new Predator line up comprising the Predator Orion 9000 series gaming desktops with Windows 10 and the Predator X35 monitor with Nvidia G-sync. Additionally, Acer is also offering a new Predator headset and mouse to enhance control and gaming experience.

acer predator monitor ifa2017 acer

Predator Orion 9000

Acer Predator Orion 9000 series features a black-and-silver spacecraft-like exterior with customisable RGB lighting along the sides of the front bezel. The device comes with two handles and wheels covered with a carbon fiber pattern. Acer says that “the new rigs can be easily moved from one location to another.” It also features liquid cooling and Acer’s IceTunnel 2.0 to keep the temperature down. The series come with support of up to 4 Radeon RX Vega cards for high resolution in stereo and refresh rates. Gamers will also get option of two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti cards in SLI, which support virtual reality with ease. The Predator Orion 9000 will come with Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition 18-core processor and up to 128GB quad-channel DDR4 memory.

The Predator X35 monitor, on the other hand, offers a colour gamut covering 90 percent of the DCI-P3 colour standard and supports 4ms response time, and high 200Hz refresh rate combined with Nvidia G-Sync for smooth gameplay.  It sports a large 35-inch display with 21:9 aspect ratio with a WQHD (3440×1440) pixels  resolution. It comes with Acer HDR Ultra and Quantum Dot technology.

The Predator Orion 9000 Series gaming desktops will be available in North America in December with starting prices at $1,999 (roughly Rs. 128,000) and in EMEA in November starting at EUR 1,999. The Predator X35 display will be available in Q1 2018. The company has also introduced new Predator Galea 500 gaming headset and Predator Cestus 500 gaming mouse which has been priced at $299.99 (roughly Rs. 19,200) and $79.99 (roughly Rs. 5,200) respectively.

Acer Aspire S24
Apart from launching the new Predator series and Chromebook 15, the company also revealed its all-new 23.8-inch Aspire S24 all-in-one desktop PC. Powered by Windows 10, Acer Aspire 24 is being marketed as the company’s “slimmest ever” featuring a display with a side profile of only 5.97mm. Under the hood, the all-in-one packs Intel’s 8th Generation Core processors with optional Intel Optane memory with Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC (802.11ac 2×2 MIMO) technology.

acer aspire 24 ifa2017 acer

Running Windows 10, Aspire 24 offers Cortana and Microsoft Edge features. It comes with up to 256GB SSD and 2TB HDD of storage space. The Acer Aspire S24 will be available in North America starting January starting at $999 and in EMEA from November this year at EUR 999.

Acer’s new 360-degree cameras
Acer on Wednesday also announced two LTE-connected 360-degree cameras including the Holo360 all-in-one camera that allows users to capture, view, edit and share with just one device, and the Vision360 cloud-connected in-car camera. The Acer Holo360 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 mobile processor with Qualcomm’s Connected Camera platform. It supports capabilities such as stitching videos in real-time, comes with integrated LTE connectivity, and a 3-inch touchscreen for operation. The Acer Holo360 offers an all-in-one solution to livestream 360-degree videos. The Holo360 runs on Android 7.1 Nougat which allows users to share 360-degree photos and videos directly to social networks.

Acer Vision360, on the other hand, is a cloud-connected 360-degree camera with use of two “ultra-high quality cameras.” The Acer Vision360 can be used in cars for recording all angles around the car in 4K quality video.

Additionally, when an object collides with the car when it is in motion; the device triggers a recording that includes GPS coordinates of where the incident occurred, which is not only saved in a secure area on the device’s internal storage, but also uploaded to the cloud for evidence preservation. Apart from the camera, the Vision360 is mounted on the windshield, aligned with the driver’s eyes and also displays the vehicle’s current speed. The Acer Holo360 connected camera will be available in North America from November at $429 (roughly Rs. 27,500) bundled with a water-resistant case.

Projectors
Acer also unveiled two new projectors including the Acer VL7860 catering to the home cinema enthusiast, and the Acer P8800, for top-notch image quality for public venues or larger rooms. Pricing and availability details of the new projectors were not shared by Acer at the event.

Pawbo products
Pawbo, Acer’s wholly owned subsidiary, introduced two new products including Pawbo iPuppyGo, a lightweight tracker that keeps tabs on pets’ activity and wellness, and Pawbo WagTag, a cloud-connected collar for dogs to keep track of the location.

pawbo munch acer ifa2017 acer

Pawbo Munch

 

The company also showcased Pawbo Munch, which is a smart treat-dispenser that works with the Pawbo+ allowing pet owners to interact with their pets, whether at home or from afar. No pricing was announced for the products at the event.

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[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

UP Board Class 10 compartment, improvement exam 2017: 99.61% examinees pass

A significant 99.61% examinees of Class 10 of UP Board were declared successful in the improvement and compartment examination, the results for which were declared on Saturday.

A significant 99.61% examinees of Class 10 of UP Board were declared successful in the improvement and compartment examination, the results for which were declared on Saturday.

As per secretary of the Board Neena Srivastava, out of the total 16,465 students who had registered for the Improvement examination, 14,946 appeared and 14,921 cleared the exam, bringing the pass percentage at 99.83%.

Further, in compartment examination, 360 examinees were registered of which 308 appeared and 273 cleared the same pegging the pass percentage at 88.64%.

She further informed that the marksheets and certificates of such students would be made available through respective District Inspector of Schools (DIOS) and the students who cleared their Class 10 examination should not wait for the same but instead take admission in Class 11 by submitting a copy of result downloaded from board’s website.

The compartment examinations were held in Government Inter College (GIC) and Government Girls Inter College in all districts of Uttar Pradesh.

 

 

[source=hindustantimes]