Category Archives: Vizag – India

Vizag IBM Smarter Cities Team – Thank you

This is a final “Thank you!” to the Smarter Cities Visakhapatnam, India IBM team for their outstanding efforts. Our final paper with 18 recommendations has been delivered to the District Collector for his review. Once again, we greatly appreciate the excellent support and kindness that we received from the District Collector and many other organisations in Vizag, and from the IBM Smarter Cities support and management team!  Thanks again everyone!

Team member biographies:

Ben Chance
IBM Certified Executive Project Manager
Globally Integrated Capabilities
Organisation
Chance manages teams that define, design, develop and deploy
an integrated set of technologies, processes and organisational
configurations that enable industrialised delivery of software
across globally distributed teams.
Chance joined IBM in 1999 as a programmer and has worked in
software product development and support, as well as technology
transition and transformation, throughout his career at IBM. For the
past few years, he has been a leadership member of a large IBM
software factory, which uses industrialisation principles, assets,
automation and organisational change management strategies to
drive agility, speed and innovation in the global network of delivery
centres within IBM. He has recently spent time living and working
in China and Singapore, directly leading this initiative in Asia.
He has received numerous awards during his career at IBM and
is most proud of his work with IBM Research, especially his recent
Invention Achievement award in 2013. He holds a BA in international
politics from Columbia College and an MBA from Georgia State
University. He is an avid team frisbee player and gardener.
Chance has experienced a disaster first hand; he along with his
11 siblings own a home that was damaged during Hurricane Sandy.
While they were fortunate to have only water damage, fifty percent
of the community lost their homes during the storm.

Linda Currie
IBM Analytic Platform World Wide
Marketing Operations and
Optimization Manager
Currie manages a global team responsible for the development of
strategies and plans for the success of the business as a whole and
measurement of their implementation progress. She is a versatile
leader with a dynamic blend of domestic and international success
across marketing, demand generation and marketing operations,
with a strong record of tackling challenges that require innovation,
pragmatism and resourcefulness to drive new products, transform
business models and lead business growth.
Currie has more than 20 years of experience in the software industry.
She started her career as a computer programmer and specialised in
the localisation space. Working with major corporations, she expanded
her experience to strategy, operations, industry marketing, demand
generation and marketing strategy.
Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Currie has spent the last 14 years
living in San Francisco raising her four-year-old son. Her hobbies
include hiking, reading, spending time with her son and walking
their two dogs.

Adesh Gokhale
Industry Leader
Energy and Utilities (EU)
Adesh Gokhale has performed the role of industry leader for the
Energy and Utilities (EU) industry at IBM for eight years. During this
time, the industry has changed significantly, becoming a smarter,
leaner and better-instrumented industry. He has been instrumental
in building this group at IBM. Over the years, Gokhale has not only
grown this into one of the company’s most high-growth and
transformational industries in global delivery but also led several
domain initiatives in the EU space. He is considered a thought
leader in the industry, chairs several forums locally and is invited
to speak on a regular basis at seminars and global meetings.
Gokhale has been rewarded multiple times internally, as well as by
clients, for his people manager leadership style, business results,
major deal wins, project success and innovation. He demonstrates
clear vision, well-planned strategies, excellent competitive analysis,
client intimacy and none-to-match execution.
He holds a Postgraduate degree in electronics from Pune University,
Masters diploma in business administration, Executive MBA training
from IIM – Bangalore, and financial training from eCornell.
Gokhale is married and has a son who has recently completed his
engineering degree from Pune University in electronics. His hobbies
include research work in non-conventional energy resources, making
electronics gadgets and mentoring/counselling students.

Kim Lockwood
Certified Alliance Professional
Kim Lockwood has held strategic global alliance executive roles
for the past eight years and is currently responsible for developing
and driving joint solutions, strategy and go-to-market activities in
collaboration with a leading IT solution company. She has 27 years of
experience working across multiple disciplines at IBM with partners
of all types. Lockwood has previously held leadership roles as the
Director of Global Business Development for Information Management,
Transition Partner Executive for an acquisition, Business Unit Executive
for Software Channel Marketing and various other positions across
sales, marketing and business development.
Lockwood holds a BA degree in data processing and analytics and
management from the University of Texas, Austin. She is a member
of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals, as well as a
certified marketing professional.
She resides in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, two children and family
pets. She enjoys exercising, yoga, outdoor activities and cooking.

Deepak Malhotra
Service Area Leader
Talent and Change Practice
Business Analytics and Strategy
Deepak Malhotra leads the advisory practice of 100+ consultants
in areas of organisation transformation, business models, employee
engagement, talent analytics and organisation design. He has been
instrumental in setting up the organisation change practice as well as
in launching and managing a Risk Centre of Excellence catering to a
gamut of financial institutions in operation risk and AML/fraud space.
Malhotra holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management.
He has published a patent disclosure #IN82010012 on “Framework
for Effectiveness of Virtual Teams”. As part of the IBM corporate
social responsibility, he worked with an organisation in building a
business model to enable adoption of sanitation services in Peru.
Malhotra is based in Gurgaon, India, and enjoys travelling and meeting
people. His hobby is reading literature on social psychology, and currently
he is focusing on building an understanding of machine learning and
its impact on the world.

William Brock Stone
IBM Global Business Services
W. Brock Stone has been in IBM Global Business Services for eight
years. Currently, he leads two teams of Application Development &
Innovation sellers in the Distribution and Industrial sectors. He has
held many IT roles in his 30-plus-year career, from programmer to
leading and managing large IT organisations at the regional level.
Stone is especially proud of his work at NASA, where he was an
award-winning Systems Analyst and Joint Application Design (JAD)
facilitator for Mission Operations and the Space Shuttle programme.
He was also a volunteer missionary for his church for two years in Korea
and served in the army for four years, attaining the rank of Captain.
He holds an MS in management information systems from the
University of Southern California and a BS in education from
Texas A&M University.
Stone is married with three children. In his spare time, he is a teacher
for University of Phoenix and has taught more than 3,000 IT and
business students to date. He enjoys family, gardening and reading,
and he has won several sea kayaking fishing tournaments. Stone has
worked on property clean-ups in Texas after multiple hurricanes have
ravaged the Gulf Coast.

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Vizag , India SCC Team’s Final Week Completed!

The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge Vizag team successfully completed Week 3 and finished our assignment. We will miss the friendly people of Vizag, India! It was a life changing experience for us. We would like to thank the District Collector, his team, and all of the many other stakeholders we had the opportunity to work with (too many to list). This was a true team effort as we collaborated with the stakeholders to understand the effects of Cyclone HudHud, the disaster management efforts which occurred and have been updated since then, and utilized our knowledge to present short term and long term recommendations.

We presented 18 final recommendations which covered the broad areas of people, infrastructure, and systems, to: Enable and empower world-class community, Implement a district wide comprehensive communication system, Improve transport dispatch and restoration, Implement instrumented utility grid with redundancy, and we proposed the Intelligent Integrated Command Center (“I2C2”) of the future.

How can we describe our experience? Thanks to excellent planning by the IBM SCC and District teams, we were able to meet with a long list of stakeholders, visit many different government offices, farms, fishing villages, military bases and universities, and have frank discussions. We received the warmest hospitality at every location (our team loved the tea, cookies and cashews)! We “burned the midnight oil” to pull together best practices from around the world and tailor them for Vizag’s specific needs. It is very hard to explain the close feelings we developed for the people of the District. Vizag will always be a part of our hearts and we know that our recommendations will have a highly positive impact which can save lives and improve a quicker return to normalcy in the event of the next disaster.

IBM team with Vizag officials

IBM team with Vizag officials

IBM SCC team in front of Vizag District Office

IBM SCC team in front of Vizag District Office

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Week 2 Completed

The IBM SCC Vizag team completed a strong Week 2 which included completing follow up visits, summarizing our initial findings and spending many late hours researching and brainstorming our recommendations for emergency preparedness.

We also had the chance to see some more interesting sites and meet more friendly people of Vizag who have shown such a strong community spirit.

Fishing boat are of the Vizag port

Fishing boat area 

We bought delicious fresh guava and bananas from very friendly folks at the local market

We bought delicious fresh guava and bananas from very friendly folks at the local market

Shopping at the Vizag market was a friendly and happy experience

Shopping at the Vizag market was a friendly and happy experience

A colorful variety of fruits, vegetables and spices

A colorful variety of fruits, vegetables and spices

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Railroad visit

Very inspirational meeting with the recently appointed Railway Divisional Manager. We discussed the impact of Hud Hud on the railway system.  This institution is over 150 years old and services the entire country. Their disaster recovery protocol is well established and they deal on a daily basis with a series of challenges.  After Hud Hud the entire team rallied and had the trains running within 18 hours. They extended their hospitality to surrounding communities as well as their staff and travelers.  It was a delight to talk to the Divisional Manager who gave us insight into why this is known as the City of Destiny, furthering our love for this wonderful land.

IBM SCC Team at Rail Office

IBM SCC Team at Rail Office

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Vizag Beach

We had the privilege of meeting lots of nice people, especially young people, when we walked on the Vizag Beach Sunday afternoon.  It was almost like being celebrities, so many dozens of kids came up and wanted to talk to us and get their pictures with us. We feel so connected with the nice people here and are so impressed how they have overcome many hardships of the cyclone.  Just past this popular spot on the beach is where the entire beach road was lost to the Hud Hud cyclone, and beach erosion is a big problem.

These girls attend one of the colleges we visited this past week.

Kids meeting us on the Vizag beach

Kids meeting us on the Vizag beach

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Vizag Smarter Cities Fisherman’s village visit

We visited the Fisherman’s village near Vizag, India. It was ravaged by the Hud Hud cyclone.  During the tour, we saw the boats, the fish drying in nets, and had a chance to interact with the fishermen. The language barrier was broken when I showed the fishermen my iPhone pictures of fish I had caught back home in California! They got excited and gave me names of the local fish they catch that look like the ones I showed them – a real ice breaker with such nice people!

Our mission is so important, to learn all we can about Hud Hud’s impact and suggest recommendations on improving the emergency management response capabilities in Vizag.

Vizag India fishing village

Vizag India fishing village

Fishing boats

Fishing boats

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Fast and Wonderful Week 1 in Vizag!

What an amazing first week in Vizag, the “City of Destiny”!

We were totally immersed in many interviews daily and were thrilled to be meeting wonderful and industrious people and organizations who are willing to share their stories of preparing for, enduring, and recovering after the Hud Hud cyclone, the worst in India’s history. We had many touching and meaningful moments, for example meeting with University students whose campus was wrecked by the storm but volunteered to rebuild it and even more of the city, who sang to us… Such positive, resilient, and warm-hearted people in Vizag!

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