Credits : Fabric

Credits : Fabric


Twitter’s mobile development platform Fabric has been sold to Google for an undisclosed sum.

Until today’s announcement, Fabric was one advantage Twitter held over Facebook after Zuckerberg’s giant shuttered its own ‘Parse’ platform. Clearly, mobile development platforms under the control of social networks are not meant to be.

Developers who use Fabric can at least feel comforted the platform is not being shuttered and may, in fact, have increased support under Google’s stewardship. Parse, for its part, became open-source and can now be found on GitHub here.

All the features which developers love about Fabric will be retained including Nuance speech recognition, Digits user authentication, Answers analytics, and Crashlytics.

Fabric’s entire team will join Google’s Developer Products Group and work alongside the Firebase team which expanded to become a ‘unified app platform for Android, iOS, and mobile web development’ last year.

“When we met the team at Google we quickly realized that our missions are the same – helping mobile teams build better apps, understand their users, and grow their businesses,” Rich Paret, VP of Engineering at Fabric, wrote in a blog post. “Fabric and Firebase operate mobile platforms with unique strengths in the market today. We’re excited to combine these platforms together to make the best mobile developer platform in the world for app teams.”

The move is sure to damage Twitter’s already dicey relationship with developers who haven’t quite restored their faith in the social network after the company implemented token limits for third-party apps.

With the company reporting losses of more than $100 million in the third quarter of 2016, however, it’s clear Twitter is trimming down where it can to reduce its overheads and services it has to maintain to prevent the microblogging service ending up in the position where it has to sell itself or face demise.

Credits ; Thehindu

Credits ; Thehindu


Here is good news for pilgrims visiting the abode of Lord Venkateswara. The TTD management is all set to develop a mobile application enabling pilgrims to meet their requirements such as booking of darshan tickets, accommodation, laddu prasadam and ‘e-hundi’ at one go.

Talking to the media, TTD Executive Officer D. Sambasiva Rao on Tuesday said officials of the IT wing had been directed to work in tandem with the TCS in developing the pilgrim-friendly application.

Almost 30 per cent of the devotees are already availing themselves of online darshan tickets over their mobile instruments.

Development of a mobile application with all the features will best suit their requirements. Efforts are on to launch the application in eight to 10 weeks. It has also been decided to enhance the upper limit in the online booking of Rs. 300 special entry darshan tickets. Devotees can henceforth book a maximum of 10 tickets under a single transaction as against the existing six.

Credits: Pocketgamer

Credits: Pocketgamer

Kicking off the Mobile Games University track at Pocket Gamer Connects London, The Secret Police CEO Harry Holmwood begins with an apology.

It was not his idea to call this keynote “The Mobile Game Development Commandments,” he says, and he has little desire to proclaim his superior wisdom from on high.

But embracing the concept nonetheless, his slides show key mobile gaming teachings carved into stone tablets.

“Thou shalt be Supercell,” reads the first. And while tongue-in-cheek, there is a point here.

First is the studio’s commitment to being very careful to only hire excellent, talented individuals – something that can be implemented even in more modest developers.

“We think we’ve hired good people, and the secret to that is testing,” says Holmwood.

Another is its ‘fast fail’ philosophy, although that presents more difficulties.

“As a company we couldn’t do that, we don’t have the money they have – we couldn’t fail and fail and eventually get a hit,” he considers.

But even if you can’t afford to fail fast Supercell style, he adds that teams shouldn’t be afraid to experience “micro-failures” along the way.

“Thou shalt want to make a mobile game” is Holmwood’s second point.

“I love making mobile games,” he says. “To me, it’s the most exciting place to be in gaming.”

If there’s any shred of reluctance in developing for mobile, then, you shouldn’t be doing it.

By the same token, Holmwood adds: “Thou shalt design for mobile.”

Indeed, The Secret Police’s upcoming debut Dragon’s Watch is designed for one-handed play and doesn’t require the player to change their grip, hold their phone awkwardly or use another finger to reach inconveniently-placed buttons.

“Think of all the times that people want to play a mobile game,” he advises. “They want to play it on the train, they want to play it out and about.”

This is why The Secret Police has developed its own solution to allow Dragon’s Watch to be playable without an internet connection.

“Thou shalt have a business model” is next.

“I speak to a lot of developers who say ‘we don’t know yet if it’s premium or free-to-play,” says Holmwood.

With such core differences between the two business models – and the different demands they put on game design – he believes this is worrying.

Holmwood’s next commandment is intended to help developers find that clarity: “Thou shalt learn from others.”

“My co-founder Ric [Moore] built a system that data-mines the App Store, and we went back several years comparing the download ranks to the grossing ranks,” he explains.

The aim was to identify the games that had a high revenue compared to their downloads rank, and the conclusion was that many of these were Asian RPGs.

This is how The Secret Police arrived at its strategy, and eventually Dragon’s Watch.

“Thou shalt iterate” is Holmwood’s final word of advice.

Dragon’s Watch boasts a scrolling dial at the bottom the screen – inspired by the early iPods – to arrange squad members in a circular formation.

The idea initially arose while prototyping a tower defence game, but the result was too intense. Rather than starting from scratch, though, the team realised there was something worth keeping in the scroll wheel.

Credits: Thenextweb

Credits: Thenextweb


Over the past couple of years, Twitter has offered developers numerous services to help them build, test, deploy and maintain their apps as part of its modular Fabric platform. Now, the company is selling it off to Google.

The move is likely an attempt on Twitter’s part to slim down in troubling times. The good thing is that none of Fabric’s useful services – including Crashlytics for reporting crashes, Digits for user authentication, Answers app analytics and Nuance for speech recognition – are going away, as Google will continue to offer them to developers as they are.

The people behind Fabric will join Google’s Developer Products Group and work alongside the Firebase team. During the transition, Digits will continue to be maintained by Twitter.

With that, Twitter is losing most of the ties it had with the developer community at large, and losing the advantage it once had over Facebook after the social network shuttered Parse.

But given that it recorded losses of more than $100 million in the the third quarter of 2016 (PDF), it’s clear that the company has bigger problems to tackle. Dropping Fabric off its list of services to maintain could reduce overheads as Twitter strives to become self-sustaining – or at the very least, stave off death in 2017.

Credits : Gizbot

Credits : Gizbot


In the digitally advanced space today, mobile apps have become a part and parcel of our everyday life. As people are getting more and more addicted and dependent on applications to fulfill their daily requirements and make life easy, the entire world has started humming to the tune of mobile applications.

With people being overly dependent on these applications, there is an exponential growth in the number of mobile apps in the past few years. Based on this, both Google Play Store and Apple App Store house hundreds and thousands of applications every year, and the future predicts that the rising number might not drop down anytime soon, instead grow with every passing year.

Similarly, 2016 has also brought about several new mobile apps in the market, especially grocery apps, ride-sharing apps, cloud-based apps and hundreds of other app-based services. Not only this, the passing year has not only brought about apps for smartphones but also for wearables, connected homes, smart cars, IoT-enabled devices, etc.

Given the rapid advancement in the app-centric world last year, heading onto 2017, this year is expected to spring up new surprises in the custom mobile app development space. Let’s take a look at the key mobile app development trends to look out for this year from below.

Swift is the Road Ahead For App Developers

Swift is known as the next gen programming language for the iOS app developers, which is said to be much easier than Objective – C. Swift is asserted to be the future of app developers and is going to gain a wide range of importance in 2017. Reports are such that Swift 2 is soon going to make way for the future of mobile app development space.

Beacons and Location Based Services to Rise

Beacons and Location Based Services to Rise

Location-based services are said to be the key players in 2017 and be one of the major mobile app trends this year. Last year, we did see the emergence of location-based applications like Apple’s iBeacons and Google Beacons. With the advancement of the service, WiFi usage will no longer be limited to restricted areas but will grow beyond these traditional spots and help people attain relevant location-based information, providing a major scope to personalized app marketing.

Image Source

IoT Will be the Next Big Thing

IoT Will be the Next Big Thing

With the wide adoption of cloud-based apps, it is making way for Internet of Things, which is supposedly the next big thing in the tech world. Reports suggest that IoT will be one of the key players and a major trend that will sustain in the app-centric world.


M-commerce Will See an Exponential Growth

M-commerce Will See an Exponential Growth

2016 has seen an exponential growth in the M-commerce space. People are now moving from credit and debit cards to wallets and payment apps for shopping and other transactions. These m-commerce apps will now work towards extending its services to wearables and will take a completely different shape in 2017. Hence M-commerce is going to evolve through 2017 and play a major role in the app development space.


Apps to be More Secure

Apps to be More Secure

Gartner predicts that most apps might not pass the simple entry-level security test, and 2016 has witnessed several such instances as well. This is exactly when hackers attack by entering the security gaps for stealing sensitive and confidential information. In 2017, app developers are expected to be more careful in terms of security, in order to mitigate the data breach incidents.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Both Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are the future of the tech world and 2016 has seen several glimpses of it, which is expected to expand in 2017. The technological advancements have completely entered the gaming and entertainment industry like Pokémon Go and more. Reports suggest that although VR might certainly lack popularity, AR is expected to gain wide success by the end of 2017.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

AI is going to be a big thing in the tech world. In a report suggested by Gartner, it reveals that there will be a heavy investment in artificial intelligence in 2017 as compared to last year. In 2016, there have been several AI apps released that gained wide popularity like Prisma, Google Now and more. The running year is expected to keep up with the AI mobile application development trends intact and in turn design several new applications.

Cloud-Driven Mobile Apps

Cloud-Driven Mobile Apps

Cloud technologies are on the rise and are entering every phase of life. Moving ahead, cloud computing has finally found its place with mobile apps, which makes it easy for the users to store data securely, which the users can have access to whenever they want. Some such cloud-based apps include Dropbox Google Drive, One drive and more. In the upcoming years, the number of these cloud-based apps are said to exponentially rise.

Enterprise Apps and Micro Apps

Enterprise Apps and Micro Apps

With the emerging startups almost every passing day, the apps world has seen a swift growth in the enterprise apps category. These applications help users restructure, streamline, and in turn manage a crucial business as well. Both enterprise and micro apps like the Facebook messenger or to do list apps makes life extremely easy and are on the rise and is expected experience and rapid growth in 2017.

Credits: Brainbuxa

Credits: Brainbuxa

India overtook the US to become the top country in the world in terms of interest in mobile developer courses in 2016. Search queries in mobile development courses from India saw 200% year on year growth in the last two years with Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra leading with bulk of queries from India.

As indicated by the report, mobile development courses make for 6 per cent IT-related courses that are in huge demand and it is expected that the volume will massively grow owing to the continuous rise in standard mobile developers in India.

“We have seen tremendous response for mobile developer courses from India, with 16,500 students enrolling every month, taking up Android development, mobile web development and learning new cloud-based technology courses,” said Peter Lubbers, Head, Google Developer Training, in a statement.

Mobile development courses are in huge demand in India and it is growing with each passing day. These courses are being offered online and offline both. Major training partners are Simplilearn, Udacity, Edureka, Koenig, Manipal Global, and UpGrad. These are key private partners to provide mobile development courses across India.

In a statement by Krishna Kumar, CEO of Simplilearn, he mentioned that 65 per cent of students in mobile development courses are either college students or fresh graduates’ when compared to US, where 60 per cent students are working professionals.

“While India leads the world in terms of education-related queries, demand for vocational training courses has been steadily rising, comprising 40 per cent of the total search volume growing at a healthy rate of 50 per cent year-on-year,” Google India said.

Beginning 2017, more than 40 private and state specialized colleges will offer the “Android Fundamental” course as a major aspect of standard educational modules.

Credits : Tgdaily

Credits : Tgdaily


There is a rush by mobile gaming apps developers to make the best gaming apps for gamers all over the world. This is due to the ever growing popularity of mobile gaming all over the world. In developing a mobile game app, developers must consider a few things to make the game attractive. In 2017, there are things that mobile gaming apps developers consider to improve gaming experience. Looking at a game like Dragon Ninja Rush, we will look at the developments taking place in the world of mobile gaming apps in 2017.


This framework is one of the most popular amongst game developers. In 2017, majority of developers will still be using Ionic framework for developing mobile game apps. This framework has optimum specifications that allow it to work perfectly on the latest devices in the market. As a framework, Ionic also allows mobile game app developers to create complex gaming apps with much ease. The framework works well with both iOS and Android gaming platforms.

Location-Based Services (LBS)

In developing gaming apps in 2017, developers will be keen to continue using LBS. This is mainly due to the availability of GPS on mobile devices. Today, nearly all mobile devices have GPS, thus, making it easy for game developers to incorporate LBS when developing game apps in 2017. It makes gaming quite easy and interesting since the location of the player can be tracked to help in improving his/her gaming experience.

Hybrid App Development

Hybrid app development is a trending technique used in mobile game app development. This technique has unending features that helps in improving mobile gaming. Furthermore, it is a cheaper option for game developers. It is also usable in more than one operating system. The demand for hybrid app development is increasing from the consumer side forcing mobile game app developers to use this technique in 2017.

Virtual Reality

Another major concern in the year 2017 will be incorporation virtual reality. If you think about the new Dragon Ninja Rush, you will know for sure that VR has its place in the gaming world in the year 2017. It is a technique that improves the gaming experience of many players.

Android Instant Apps

Major development in the gaming app will be the introduction of Android instant apps. When Google announced it would allow Android apps to run instantly, there was bound to be excitement by mobile gaming apps developers. In 2017, you will be able to run your gaming app instantly without downloading the app. With a single tap, you will be able to play your favorite game like the Dragon Ninja Rush. This feature makes it easy to play games on the go.

Cloud-Based Mobile Apps

Game developers are now keen on using cloud technology to maximize on space. All the best games require some good amount of space that only cloud technology will provide. For a game with heavy graphics and functions, cloud technology is the answer. Cloud technology is fast and allows for building games with no restrictions. Furthermore, cloud technology is secure and thus a favorable to many game developers.

App Security

One of the most important things that will be seen in mobile game app development in 2017 is improvement of app security. App developers will be dwelling much on securing gaming apps in 2017. This is due to the numerous security threats that are associated with online gaming apps. Gamers prefer secure apps that allow them to play without worrying much about their security.


2017 brings many changes in the development of mobile game apps. The above mentioned are some of the top things that you need to understand about mobile game app development in 2017 for they form the core considerations of what features in 2017 gaming apps.

Credits : Shutterstock

Credits : Shutterstock


The booming rise in smartphone numbers all over the world has also led to a surge in the number of apps that people use on them. Google Play houses 2.2 million while the Apple App Store has a mammoth two million apps – and this number will not slow down any time soon.

  • A comScore report says that mobile users surpassed desktop users way back in 2014
  • Gartner predicts that more than 268 billion downloads will generate $77 billion worth of revenue in 2017

Today, apps are built not just for smartphones anymore; they are needed for wearables, connected homes, smart cars, IoT-enabled devices and much more. Heading into 2017, this presents a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs and consumers and the space promises to be very exciting indeed. Cloud-based apps and services have gathered increased importance over 2016 and the ability to share and sync data in real time with the server and with other devices has driven many innovations. But it is now time to look forward, and here are some of the key mobile app development trends to look out for in 2017.

1 # Location-based services (LBS) to continue its rise 

With the availability and ease of use of GPS on all mobile devices today, location-based services (LBS) will begin to evolve further and give users real-time information or deals based on their whereabouts. Several key areas where LBS can be implemented and put to good use are indoor mapping, location-specific payment portals, retail offers, security features, navigation, travel and tourism and more. Leading tech giants have recently made huge purchases in the LBS space, and Beacon technology is also becoming increasingly popular. Since the service drains battery pretty fast, hardware advancements in this particular area can also enable developers and businesses to flourish in 2017.

2 # Integration of Augmented Reality (AR) into utility apps

Apps that use Augmented Reality (AR) have long been viewed as gimmicky for promotional purposes. But over time, a greater number of apps have started putting AR to more useful tasks as well. With the addition of wearables into the picture, AR tools can be used more effectively and productively than ever before. In that context, recognition of words or phrases is something that can be capitalised upon in messenger apps and the like. If someone sends a video, text, or audio with a particular catchphrase, a related actionable item can pop-up. For instance, detection of the word “cab” can open a taxi sharing app; detection of the word “coffee” can open a calendar request notifications. Other integrations such as social media syncing, location tracking, product links and more can also be made use of.

3 # Android Instant Apps to become a common trend

Google recently announced its Instant Apps feature that delivers exactly what it promises – it enables Android apps to run instantly. Such enabled apps do not require to be downloaded or installed and can be run with just a single tap. This “run-only-as-you-need” concept could change the app industry. Imagine conducting a search and then having a related app turning up on the results page that can be run instantly without installation. No need to wait for it to download, no need to use data to install it and best of all, no usage of precious memory space on the phone to store it. Such apps are generally preview versions though with a few advanced features missing, but they are perfect for quick insight and experience.

4 # Embedded AI within apps to become a norm

Imagine a picture that changes dynamically according to your mood or situations. With more developers enabling machine learning and AI into their apps, the implications of this can have a huge impact on the way in which the industry works. While photo filters are relatively easier to create, developers could soon start devising innovative ways in which self-learning apps could customise what they display to users based on their personal preferences or location-specific data. Also known as Neural Networks, such services can soon shift from data centres to everyday devices such as cameras, phones and IoT-enabled devices.

5 # IoT app integrations to continue unchallenged 

The IoT industry is in the midst of a major boom right now, and apps that cater to IoT and integrate the best will ride the wave the strongest. Companies in the fields of health, education, security, smart homes, automobiles and more have all started experimenting and integrating with IoT advancements so keeping that in mind during the development of apps will be a good move in 2017. For developers, such integrations will involve the usage of complex mobile platforms and enterprise backend infrastructure that can communicate and share data between all devices. Data analytics also becomes key here since all the data that is stored and shared needs to be accessed easily and efficiently.

6 # Application security to be more important than ever before 

The security of a smartphone has become more crucial than ever because of the sensitivity and sheer quantity of user data on it in the form of access that it has to other accounts and contacts. Surprisingly, a large number of people still do not take smartphone security as seriously as they should, and this is a huge concern for app developers as well. Apps with in-built security features can make a huge difference here and should be prioritised, either at the API level or with a simple code to access the app itself.

Additionally, coding for Apple’s iOS is now moving from Objective C to Apple’s own programming language, Swift. More developers are sure to adopt the use of this platform and this will be a game changer for many developers due to its ability to provide a better user experience and better features.

At the end of the day though, providing a premium and smooth user experience is the key for all apps to succeed, especially in 2017. Design skills and understanding the customer has become a priority for the best mobile app developers and remain at the heart of any trends that leave their mark. Rich media including rich images, videos, and audio that make apps better and more memorable are becoming crucial. Here’s to seeing some truly groundbreaking apps come our way in 2017 in a burgeoning market space.

Credits: Enterprisersproject

Credits: Enterprisersproject


In the early days of smartphones, the first enterprise mobile apps were often simple informational apps in public apps stores designed for a company’s end customers. Since then, many organizations have evolved to developing custom apps that streamline, automate or reinvent customer-facing and employee-centric business processes. As organizations try to cope with the ever-increasing demand from the business for more apps, we see the emergence of rapid development tools that empower the citizen developer and enable the business to move forward with their initiatives.

The pace of change is unrelenting and mobile is increasingly seen as less of a standalone app project and more integral to a wider digital initiative that spans the Internet of Things (IoT), business process management, data analytics, augmented reality, and more. New areas that are gaining attention and we think will grow in 2017 are ambient intelligence (AmI) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Mobile is getting smarter

While mobile apps continue to be a prime focus for the enterprise, there is an increasing interest (some might say hype) around artificial intelligence (AI) with chatbots and Personal Digital Assistants (think Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google) being the latest tech craze, driven by the leading technology companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook. Artificial intelligence, by definition, is intelligence exhibited by machines to display them as rational agents that can perceive their surroundings and make decisions. A rational agent defined by humans would be a computer that can realistically simulate human communication. AI is becoming a reality as technological advancements in natural language processing, big data, mobile, sensors, and cloud come together in a perfect storm.

At the same time, the term ambient intelligence is gaining momentum. A TechCrunch article this year described ambient intelligence (AmI): “Ambient intelligence is born of digital interconnectedness to produce information and services that enhance our lives. This is enabled by the dynamic combination of mobile computing platforms, the cloud and big data, neural networks and deep learning using graphics processing units (GPUs) to produce artificial intelligence (AI).”

One example of ambient intelligence is a smart building that can respond and learn from human behavior through the combination of advanced sensors and mobile devices that interpret human actions (location, facial images, temperature, etc.). Early examples of ambient intelligence are smart building systems that respond to the presence of people and their environment switching heating and lighting accordingly.

What enterprises need to know for 2017

2017 will see an increase in both the hype and the application of chatbots, especially in consumer-facing scenarios where “chat” offers a voice-controlled user interface. These so-called bots and personal digital assistants will play a bigger role in making apps more user-friendly, but more importantly, they will provide greater utility as we continue down the road of technology disruption in the enterprise.

While AI and AmI are hot topics that will continue to consume some mindshare among businesses in 2017, their use is still very much targeted at consumer-facing applications. To date, these technologies haven’t had much application in employee-facing processes, but that is yet to come. The path that AI/AmI will take is likely to follow that of mobile apps where initial experimentation will be around consumer-facing applications with basic features and simple integration. This will then evolve toward more complex applications that integrate with multiple data sources and extend to other internal business and employee workflows.

Likewise, the challenges that face AI may somewhat mirror those of mobile – i.e. security, adoption, usage, performance, integration, and data management. The pace of change will demand even greater speed of development and delivery that can be supported by platform technologies based on cloud native application development, microservices architectures, agile and user-centric processes, and modern technologies that support agility and scaling.

So although AI may grow in mindshare going into 2017, we don’t anticipate it being a significant business initiative for all but a small fraction of companies. For most companies, there is still a lot of work to be done in transforming their IT organizations for a digital, rapidly-evolving market and dealing with more tactical issues such as securing mobile access to data, backend integration of apps with legacy systems, implementing API-based architectures, and adopting agile development methods.

Multiple surveys reveal that while the majority of organizations have implemented a mobile app strategy, they still are not creating and deploying the volume of apps that would be expected. A recent survey sponsored by Red Hat among healthcare organizations in the United States and Europe showed that even in very large organizations with more than 7,500 employees, the average number of mobile apps created to date is only 19. That’s pretty low considering the opportunities that mobile apps can provide to enhance customer engagement and drive internal productivity. Can such businesses add AI projects to their digital strategy? Maybe, but they need to tackle some of the remaining challenges that they face in mobile app development and apply the learnings to adopting chatbots.

There has been a significant transition in the software industry in the last decade and a half, according to an IBM India executive. “The last 15 years have seen huge changes in the software ecosystem. We have transitioned from being focussed on big companies and enterprise-specific platforms to a far more wide-ranging set of clients,” says Mezjan Dallas, Country Head, University Relations, IBM India.

In a significant shift, the industry has moved from licensing models such as on-premise licensing to software as a service (SaaS) and from customised packages to accessible, easy-to-consume software available on the cloud, says Dallas.

He says such democratisation is great, not just for the IT sector, but for anyone wanting to start a business, especially mobile software development.

As head of University Relations at IBM, Dallas is enthusiastic about his company’s work with campuses across the country, its popular hackathons and the hands-on tech workshops it conducts.


“Perfecting the hackathon format down to a quick weekend contest has worked well for our immensely talented millennials (student community),” says Dallas, “as they get just about 36 hours to solve a problem we pose.”

He is amazed at the speed with which the hacks are arrived at, with participants often coming up with workable solutions in just two days. At BITS Pilani, students developed an app in just 12 hours! IBM has conducted several contests on its cloud platform Bluemix across campuses including IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIT Hyderabad and BITS Pilani.

Dallas says, “The workshops IBM conducts are fun. We encourage the students to be prepared before tackling the hackathons, and even conduct a few preparatory tutorials in the run-up to the event.”

Dallas explains that the students’ goal is to develop pure working software. IBM conducted a drone hackathon in IIT Hyderabad where, using IBM’s cloud platform and IoT, students had to program the drone to carry out tasks such as flying across industrial areas and pin-pointing polluting units, or operating inside a factory to detect gas leaks. The winners, who completed the task in six hours, got to take home the drone. The participants win prizes and stand a chance of having their resumes reviewed by IBM India’s recruitment team for potential placement interviews and internships.

Projects at IIMs

IBM has a tie-up with IIM Ahmedabad’s entrepreneurship cell and organises contests among the student entrepreneurs several times a year.

Dallas explains, “We have a separate track called Watson, for start-ups interested in using IBM’s cognitive solutions. We let them know what’s available to them from IBM on the cognitive side and what they can quickly leverage. Simple things like, say, a voice or tone

recognition API (application programming interface) that can assess if a person is angry or sad, and so on.

“These Watson APIs are our business differentiators. Our job is to make start-up enthusiasts aware of technology options from IBM. If they know about these advancements, they are more likely to launch start-ups around such ideas. At IIM Ahmedabad, it was a business model project. Entrepreneurs had to present business ideas, telling us how they would use cognitive as a differentiator in their start-up.”

At IIM Bangalore, students had to present a business plan and, like in IIM Ahmedabad, the response was very good.

The project threw open the playing field on how they would leverage the Bluemix platform, on which IoT or Watson are available. At this event, IBM tied up with Kalaari Capital. “It was a good combination as a technology partner and VC were both present to listen to and help entrepreneurs,” says Dallas.

Dallas says, “We want start-ups to understand how quick and simple it is to access these platforms and the difference between developing software the traditional way versus using Bluemix. IIT Kharagpur’s entrepreneurship cell holds a competition called Empresario across several cities, and we encouraged participants to leverage Bluemix.”

App development, too, is now a transformed activity. Last year, IBM had projects on campuses that resulted in working apps.

Using platforms such as Bluemix has shrunk the development time dramatically. An interesting feature offered with Bluemix is the PaaS (programming as a service) platform. Using this, one can also work on numerous languages. The services are charged on a ‘pay as you go’ model, depending on the number and extent of services used.

Connect with clients

Asked how IBM helps start-ups become viable and sustainable, Dallas says, “The core of what we provide is tech-related. But there are other ways we can help, chiefly with our connect to enterprise clients. Often, entrepreneurs want validation, or access to large customers, and we can provide that across various fields. We are a channel to connect them with our bigger clients.”

IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Programme is designed to help start-ups. Start-ups that get through certain filtering criteria have access to Bluemix for free for a while. The company also hosts IBM Smart Camp, a global pitch competition for early-stage start-ups; those that get to the finals can present their pitch to venture capitalists.