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NComputing solution for rural India

10 September 2009

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NComputing technology has the potential to provide affordable computing to millions of people worldwide, including India, says Manish Sharma Vice president, Asia-Pacific, NComputing. The single desktop solution has already been adopted by 5,000 schools in a southern Indian state, he informs.

Excerpts from the interview

Digital Learning: What has been the primary aim of NComputing solutions in the field of ICTs in education?

Manish Sharma.jpg
Image credits: Digital Learning/ Manish Sharma

Manish Sharma: Currently there are about 850 million people in the world who have computer access. NComputing's vision is to bring affordable computing to the next billion people so they can join the digital economy.

Our technology allows a single desktop computer to be shared by many users at the same time at very affordable costs.

The primary aim of NComputing in the field of ICTs in education is to provide affordable computer education to not only private schools but also poor students and students studying in remote areas across the country.

DL: Could you elaborate on your experience of working with the Andhra Pradesh government in providing shared computing for rural students?

MS: Andhra Pradesh government being very forward looking had an ambitious plan to bring computer access into 5,000 government schools to benefit 1.8 million underprivileged children.

Given limited funding, the government of Andhra Pradesh sought the most cost-effective way to provide computing access to these schools. They needed a low-cost solution that would also save them in long-term operational and maintenance expenses.

Government of Andhra Pradesh after serious evaluation chose to implement the NComputing solution to utilise the PC capacity by sharing the resources/ PC power of 2 complete PC's with 8 additional computing stations, without compromising on the their performance.

Besides the cost of the equipment, another key issue was access to power. Because the NComputing solution uses just 1 watt of power, the government purchased smaller, less expensive generators to run the computer labs and they will save money long-term on the fuel needed to operate them.

DL: Environmental concerns have taken precedence in the modern day world and key policymakers have been extensively engaged in conservation drives. In this context, we would like to know more about Green Computing?

MS: There are over a billion personal computers around the world. A typical PC uses over 110 watts of electricity and generates 10 kg of e-waste at the end of its short 3-5 year life.

The overall impact is a massive output of greenhouse gases and hundreds of tons of toxic e-waste.

Green computing will not succeed until PCs are more efficiently utilised. NComputing's virtual desktop technology enables a single PC to be shared by as many as 30 users. These $70 virtual desktops use just 1 watt of electricity, weigh 100 grams, and have a 10-year useful life. Imagine a 98% reduction in electricity and a 99% reduction in e-waste.

This is already a reality at tens of thousands of schools, governments and businesses, who are saving money and meeting green computing goals.

DL: Do you have any specific successful venture that can be shared with our readers?

MS: NComputing technology has been used in various parts of the globe, especially developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America to provide affordable computing access to students, thus empowering them for a better tomorrow.

Macedonia is a small country in Europe where every students has 1:1 computer access, using the NComputing technology.

DL: What are the future plans of NComputing in capturing the Indian market?

MS: Our future strategy is to focus on reaching out to the potential customers in India and strengthening our channels base to serve those valuable customers.

The marketing programs would be driven around creating awareness about the value propositions that NComputing products offer to its customer in term of cost efficiencies, low-maintenance and simplicity and on the whole, creating demand for the product in the Indian market.

Our marketing efforts focus on enabling channels partners and empowering them with all the marketing and technical support to target and serve their customers.

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