What do Netflix, Zipcar, Mint.com, Nike+, Amazon, the Nintendo Wii, and the Apple iPhone all have in common? They all take advantage of four technologies that once were scarce and expensive but are now plentiful and cheap. These technologies can be combined in numerous ways, and we are just starting to see companies really taking advantage of the possibilities. These four technologies will have a disruptive impact on your business, almost regardless of which industry you're in. The question is whether you will choose to adopt them before a competitor does.

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Reverse innovation stories in emerging markets highlight the untapped potential of innovating operating and business practices in developed markets.

The more I read about “reverse innovation” and the opportunity this creative method of rethinking products and services has opened up for the developed world, the more I see how important operating and business processes are. What’s interesting is that in the telecom industry the best examples (and the most successful ones) are coming out of emerging economies. This shouldn’t be a surprise as innovation in the emerging world has been an outcome of the prevailing business pressures that left little option but to change conventional thinking.

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The shockwaves of the recent announcement that Google is buying Motorola Mobility, the handset and device division that spun off from the Motorola mother ship not long ago, will continue to ripple far and wide. There are several reasons why this could be a great boost for Android, but also some major concerns about getting the two companies and their product lines to blend well.

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I’m usually skeptical when local habits become emerging trends and are subsequently declared a new global management paradigm, but in the case of the much buzzed-about Jugaad I am inclined to follow the gurus.The trend began with Reena Jana’s seminal article in BusinessWeek in December 2009 (full disclosure: Reena is a consulting editor at frog, a company of he Aricent Group), in which she critically investigated the value of Jugaad and anticipated its entering the lexicon of management consultants. The term Jugaad (pronounced “joo-gaardh”) is a colloquial Hindi word that describes a creative ad hoc solution to a vexing issue, making existing things work and/or creating new things with scarce resources. Although sometimes used pejoratively (in the sense of a makeshift cheap fix), it is now widely accepted as a noun to describe Indian-style innovation (some also call it “indovation”) – describing the inventiveness of Indian grassroots engineers and scientists that have led to the pedal-powered washing machine, inspired the extra-low-cost Tata Nano car, or the success of India’s space program. It is, in short, the art of holistic (and therefore lateral) thinking, of unbound, resilient creativity, and of improvisation and rapid prototyping under severe constraints.

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Earlier this week we held a webinar - "7 Myths about Agile Testing - Busted!" - that generated a lot of good questions about how best to conduct testing while in a fast-paced, fluid Agile environment. We didn't have time to get to all the questions, so the Aricent experts who ran the webinar, Gopinath Ramachandran, Gayatri Singla, and Srimanta Kumar Purohit, have gone through the unanswered questions and answered them below.

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In my last blog post, “Race to the Cloud,” I talked about cloud strategies for Tier-1 telcos. Essentially, they’re big enough to be able to take the risk of hosting their own cloud data centers (telco’s “private cloud”), while gradually climbing up the cloud-chain from IaaS-provider to PaaS-provider to SaaS-broker/communication-and-collaboration-as-a-service provider. But, what about the smaller players? They must be shying away from hosting cloud data centers (otherwise they would have been in the news) because of the kind of investment they need to set up the cloud infrastructure. However, they can’t ignore the fact that the cloud-model is knocking at their door and they really can’t afford to lose the business opportunities.

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