Tech Mahindra gets UK/India pact off to a good start

Tech Mahindra has announced a number of new investments into the UK, indicating the technology partnership signed between the UK and India recently was perhaps more than a PR stunt for the Prime Minister.

The UK government is in need of friends right now, and India is looking like it could be our new trading chum. As part of the announcement, Tech Mahindra has set up a new research lab, ‘Makers Lab’, at Adastral Park near Ipswich in collaboration with BT, has opened a new office in Salford, Greater Manchester and also plans to roll out an apprenticeship programme in the UK.

“Innovation is the key to survival in the digital future,” said CP Gurnani, CEO and MD of Tech Mahindra. “The UK-India Innovation partnership draws from the best learning and skills of both developed and developing economies in shaping the digital future. We at Tech Mahindra are taking the philosophy of disruption by design to our client ecosystem, academia and people through our research arm Makers Lab in UK.”

The ‘Makers Lab’ will aim to focus on a number of different areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and quantum computing to make citizen services and experiences simpler. The investment itself will form part of the TechMNxt Charter strategy, its global program to explore emerging technologies like AI, Blockchain, Cybersecurity and AI-infused IoT solutions.

While this might seem like a small partnership based around R&D for the moment, there is huge potential here. Tech Mahindra is a $4.7 billion IT services company with 115,00 employees across 90 countries and 903 global customers. Tech Mahindra is also part of the $19 billion Mahindra Group that employs more than 200,000 people in over 100 countries. As far as introductions go, this is a pretty good one to make, offering a lot more potential for investment and growth in the future.

AT&T comes up with sensible idea to cash in on AI craze

It isn’t often we actually say this, but a telco has come up with a good idea as opposed to ripping someone else off, reinventing the wheel or using Kevin Bacon to make the brand seem cool (in someone’s head this made sense).

AT&T has paired up with Tech Mahindra to build AI marketplace called Acumos, which will be hosted by The Linux Foundation. It is a relatively simple idea as well. But all the best ones are.

With the craze of AI building every day, there are countless applications which do very specific things, whatever that might be. Incorporating these applications into a business function or creating a new product with AI as the foundation is complicated, as there are so many different moving parts. Acumos creates a single marketplace where you can stitch together various different applications to make a complete solution, without having to hunt around extensively.

Assuming there is traction with the developers, it could turn into a very useful little marketplace. All the AI ideas in one place. The complicated bit, which might decide whether it is a success or failure, will be making it accessible. AT&T and Tech Mahindra have said this isn’t just for data scientists, but for any developer who has a focus on creating apps and microservices. Translating this into an effective user-centric proposition for those who have limited (or no) AI experience will not be a simple task.

Just to demonstrate how it works, we’ve copied AT&T’s example below.

 

AI example

 

“Our goal with open sourcing the Acumos platform is to make building and deploying AI applications as easy as creating a website,” said Mazin Gilbert, VP of Advanced Technology at AT&T Labs.

“We’re collaborating with Tech Mahindra to establish an industry standard for AI in the networking space. We invite others to join us to create a global harmonization in AI and set the stage for all future AI network applications and services”

This is not the first venture for AT&T into such open source initiatives. The same model was used to launch the Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP), but in this example the team spent a while developing an internal platform, called ECOMP, before releasing it into open source. AT&T and Tech Mahindra are still working on the governance side of things now, so a 2018 release does seen more realistic.