India's command-and-control economy

By Jonathan Nally
Monday, 12 February, 2018

India's command-and-control economy

India is powering ahead with plans to leverage technology to modernise its major cities.

Zetron Australasia has won a contract to provide comprehensive mobile command-and-control systems for a major smart city project in India.

India is urbanising at a rapid pace, with the speed of growth posing huge challenges but also offering big opportunities.

The Indian government has launched the ‘Smart Cities Mission’, an urban renewal program with the goal of modernising almost 100 cities all over the country by making them citizen friendly as well as safe and secure.

“Zetron is privileged to be part of this important new project in India; its cities are expected to grow from 340 million people in 2008 to 590 million by 2030,” said Zetron Australasia Vice President and General Manager Ranjan Bhagat.

“It’s a testament to Zetron’s reputation for providing reliable, mission-critical-grade applications based on our highly scalable and interoperable architecture which not only provide business value but improves citizens’ quality of life.”

Headquartered in Brisbane, Zetron Australasia’s remit is the entire Asia–Pacific region, spanning from northeast to southeast Asia, to China and Mongolia in the north, and all the way west to the Indian subcontinent.

According to Bhagat, good relationships with local partners in each country provides the company with a head start. “It is very relationships based,” he said. “Besides local cultures and customs, there are also local ways of doing business and local regulations.”

Bhagat emphasises that Zetron’s solutions are easily customisable for different countries and cultures. “For us that’s a deliberate thing,” he said. “For all of our console solutions [and] integrated communications systems, the GUI is localisable. The screen localisation does not require expert engineering — we can do it or we can train our local partners to do it as well.”

Zetron has more than 35,000 operator positions globally, in the main verticals — public safety, transportation, utilities and resources.

“The key factor in all of this is, there is no ‘one size fits all’,” said Bhagat. “For each of these verticals, you have to do custom integration with those subsystems that are relevant for that particular customer’s operation. And I see more and more of that happening.”

Bhagat credits the ability of customers to pair commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware with Zetron’s scalable AcomNOVUS software and APIs for a lot of the company’s success globally. Gone are the days of customers being locked in to a vendor’s unique hardware.

“[Our customers] love the fact that what we provide is the highly “intelligent mission-critical-grade” software,” he said. “The market wants open standards-based solutions and not more custom hardware.”

Insofar as smart cities are concerned, Bhagat said there is a clear pattern emerging. “In our market, voice is and will remain important, but the innovation in data, messaging and video services is growing,” he said. “But from our perspective, we’re still committed to providing mission-critical integrated voice and data applications to the end customer [and] leveraging technology to make citizens’ lives certainly safer, as well as more efficient. The goal is to provide a fabulous user experience each time and make a meaningful difference.”

Image credit: ©

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