Friday, March 27, 2020

Need of the hour: Early detection and tackling the infection's epicenter.

By Kiron Kasbekar, Managing Director, Informachine Pvt. Ltd.

We are facing a serious crisis.

In an idle moment, I looked at the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resources Center survey numbers, and copied and analyzed the numbers. A bit of a pain because while they have given infections for China and the US in aggregates, the deaths are shown by city or state/province. So I had to copy and paste and add them up.

Anyway, then I analyzed the numbers for 12 countries, and found this. I ordered the deaths as a percentage of confirmed infections in ascending order in column D and others as a percentage of the Indian figure for column D, and got what you see in the table below.

Country Confirmed cases Deaths Death to Infection ration Others as % of India
Germany 47373 285 0.60 0.25
South Korea 9332 139 1.49 0.63
USA 86012 1301 1.51 0.64
India 843 20 2.37 1.00
Brazil 2988 77 2.58 1.09
China 81897 3296 4.02 1.70
UK 11816 580 4.91 2.07
France 29581 1698 5.74 2.42
Netherlands 7469 435 5.82 2.45
Iran 32332 2378 7.35 3.10
Spain 64059 4858 7.58 3.20
Italy 80589 8215 10.19 4.30

The low Korean numbers are explained by what South Korea did immediately after news of the infections in China broke. South Korea conducted more diagnostic tests faster than any other country – 10,000 to 15,000 per day – and that helped it with early detection of patients and tackling the infection's epicenter.

Germany has done even better. German laboratories have been conducting about 160,000 coronavirus tests every week — more than some European countries have carried out in total since the crisis started. Such mass testing has resulted in a lower fatality rate because it allows authorities to detect cases of Covid-19 even in patients who suffer few or no symptoms, and who have a much better chance of survival.

The key has been in detecting coronavirus cases early so that treatment and prevention of contagion can be better focused and strengthened.

Now look at the US and India. Very low numbers reported. But considering the dilly-dallying that happened in both these countries in tackling the pandemic, those low numbers probably conceal a time bomb of infections lurking in untested populations, and ready to strike and infect millions more.

India just does not have the capacity to treat so many patients, and the government has wasted the last two months dilly-dallying.

Now we face the prospects of severe shortages of essential commodities if quick, decisive, sensible action is not taken. This is a time when the government must create a united front of all major parties, get advice from economists and medical and technical experts to urgently stitch together a plan of action and begin implementation.

Responsible economists have talked of the need to invest many lakh crore rupees to support and subsidize food and housing as well as medical care. We are running against time.

Share with others if you agree — but let us not panic. While we need to recognize facts as they are and not live in an imaginary world, we need to be practical and avoid panic at all costs.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Dealing with the virus problem.

By Kiron Kasbekar, Managing Director, Informachine Pvt. Ltd.

We hate to say this in a time of crisis, when we should all be concerned about health and safety – but when you are in business, you cannot avoid talking of delicate issues. Such as the coronavirus COVID-19 virus that’s going around killing people, disrupting lives, and unsettling businesses.
We have nothing to offer in the course of preventing, detecting, or treating the virus. 

We hope you are taking all the precautions recommended by the world’s health organizations. In a crisis such as the one the world is facing today, it is always better to err on the side of safety.

You can use this tool to track global cases of the virus in real time and find the latest statistics from Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

What we can offer you is a certain amount of safety and continuity in your work processes. Let us explain how. See how Organyze helped TIC restart operations immediately (in a day) after a devastating fire destroyed all its ninety-plus computers and servers one sad Sunday in August 2013.

It is easy to install, and easy to use. And it does much more than back up your information. It helps you improve office efficiency. But you can choose to use only Organyze Backup rather than the full Organyze suite.

Do check out your options.

When people fall ill, and are required to remain quarantined for many days, work is bound to be disrupted. But you can limit the disruption.

Reduce people-to-people interactions in the office to the minimum necessary.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

You can stop trying to remember things – because Organyze won’t let you forget anything!

By Rajiv Shankar
By Rajiv Shankar, Executive Editor,
Useful package! Congratulations! I found one important benefit you have not mentioned in your literature. I have tens of thousands of files in my machine, which I have created or downloaded in the past 6-7 years.

Like many other people, I need to go back to some old file. I have to stretch my memory to try and remember which file I should seek. Most of the time, earlier, I couldn’t remember most of the files I should have checked out. It’s impossible to remember everything.

Now, with Organyze, I don’t even have to try and remember; yet I get everything I could possibly need. The answer is simple. Soon after I started using Organyze, I went back and labeled many of the older files in my machine which I thought were important. Now I just select the label or labels, and, presto! I get a file list on my screen, including some files that are important but I’d forgotten were there.

I’m getting more value for money from the effort I put in over the years to create or download those files! I’m working better, faster.

“It can’t happen to me?” It does

By Nitin Paranjpye, research student

You know, it’s sad but true, but I was affected by the “It can’t happen to me” syndrome. I’d heard of hard disks crashing, people losing valuable information – but I never dreamt it might happen to me. I had enough disk space (or that’s what I thought; actually I didn’t, nor had I run defrag for I don’t remember how long), I had kept my machine safe from viruses … so what could go wrong?

AAAAARGH! My hard disk crashed!

Of course, I’m not stupid. I had been backing up my files. Only, for the past month before the crash, I just hadn’t had the time – I was applying to some American universities, and coping with the work in the office where I worked. So I lost just a month’s stuff. But whatever it was, it’s gone! Some of it I’ll find somewhere else. Some of it I may never find.

The value of what I lost? I don’t know. If I had to put it all together again – maybe $3,000. Maybe $5,000. It’s difficult to say. It was a whole month’s work! And the hassles and angst – I don’t know how to cost those.

All that was in May 2008. Now I use Organyze. I’ve configured it in a way that all my old stuff is backed up in an external drive with just one extra version. My current folders are backed up in three different places, including an external drive, on an internal disk, and on an online site.

The backup happens daily at 5.00 p.m. automatically without my doing anything. It takes between a few seconds and a minute or so, depending on how much work I’ve done during the day. But I don’t even notice that the backup is happening.

Of course, in the beginning I had to spend the time (it took me at least 10 minutes) to configure the backup. I’ll tell you it was a pain. I wondered why Organyze couldn’t have made it easier. But I did it – and now I’m a free person!

Click here for more information on Organyze Backup

How we averted disaster! A true story!

How frequently do accidents happen? I don’t have the numbers right now, and if you have them, do send them to me. But I know accidents are happening all the time. Not everybody, however, experiences a serious accident that threatens their life or business.

But because it didn’t happen before doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future. In some expected or unexpected way. And that is why most people who can afford it take an insurance policy, or even several insurance policies for different things.

When it’s about our computers, or, more precisely, the data in them, we tend to be careless sometimes. It’s like – ‘What can happen to us? We haven’t done anything stupid!’

No you don’t need to do anything stupid to suffer an accident. Someone else may do something stupid, and you can suffer as a result.

And this is what happened to us. Our offices on the sixth floor of our 10-storey building were destroyed completely in a fire that ravaged six floors of the building on a Sunday night. The fire engines turned up late and their ladders couldn’t reach the sixth floor, until, hours later, they got a fire engine with a tall enough Snorkel ladder.

Everything was destroyed. Every single computer turned to molten plastic and metal, and the insurance company could only identify the number of machines (some 90 of them) from the half-molten remains of the printed circuit boards.

That saved our day. But only up to a point. It took ages for us to get the insurance money, and we got only a part of what we had lost.

But the bigger threat to our business was the complete loss of the data that resided in the destroyed machines! This included all kinds of materials, including thousands of photographs about our clients’ people and operations the clients did not have! It included thousands of artwork created, photographs and videos purchased online, business proposals written over one and a half decades, hundreds of painfully created presentations, research content downloaded from hundreds of sites, and more.

In any other situation, the business would have been dead on its feet. No amount of money would have been able to replace what we had lost.

But we didn’t lose it!

All that information was saved, thanks to Organyze!

We had got Organyze Backup to automatically back up every single machine in our office at fixed times in the evening, and two sets of these backup drives were always taken and kept outside the office in a different location.

So, while we were watching the fire blazing from the ground outside the building, we placed orders for new machines (some arrived the same day, some over the next few days). We acquired temporary premises in another location, quickly purchased cables and knocked together some makeshift furniture with fabricated steel frames and plywood sheets, and chairs and other stuff, and by evening a temporary office was operational!
In the meanwhile, some of the staff, those who did the most urgent client work, had already begun work from their homes, using required backed-up data that was transferred to their home machines.

By evening the entire office was operational! Our clients, who included some of the biggest names in Indian business, said, Wow! How did you do this?

There was only word for how we did it. It was ‘Organyze’!

Organyze has received a patent from the US Patent & Trademark Office

Real footage caught on camera of the incident.

How Informachine brought new business!

The chemicals division of one of the biggest business groups in India had subscribed to Informachine, our information acquisition and management system. They used it for their marketing team whose members were located in three countries, in India, Indonesia and Thailand, and who traveled to other parts of the world for their sales and follow-up meetings.

Have you heard of the question, ‘If a tree falls in a forest, and if you don’t see or hear it fall, has it really fallen?’

Business is like that. If you do not see that there is a business opportunity somewhere, the business doesn’t happen! Like the falling tree in the forest.

Well, in the chemicals division marketing department case, they had completely missed the news about an explosion in a chemicals plant in Japan that had gutted it and brought production to a complete halt.

A few days later one member of the team was accessing Informachine to find relevant news, and lo! There was this news about the explosion in the Japanese chemicals plant.

He immediately alerted the others, they exchanged notes about their own plant capacities, logistics issues, and so on, and concluded that they could and should get their company to increase production of the chemical which the Japanese company used to make and the Indian company also made.

They quickly contacted users of that chemical – and substantial sales orders were finalized.
Ensure that you keep pace with information on websites of news media, associations, rivals, suppliers, etc. with Informachine.

To know more about Informachine. Click here