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HP Unveils Variety of Relief Initiatives For Partners, Customers

Partners can opt in for customized online digital learning paths designed to meet their specific priorities

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In addition, the company has shifted its customer engagement model to an online platform across a broad set of topics including office printing, security, mobility solutions and HP services. Pixabay

PC and printer major HP Inc. on Thursday announced a variety of relief initiatives aimed at arming its global channel partner community to effectively navigate the operational and financial challenges associated with COVID-19.

Customers can also take advantage of a delayed payment structure or enroll in a PC rental programme, available on equipment contracts for a period of 12 months, said the company. After 12 months, rental devices can be extended, purchased or returned for an upgrade, it added.

In addition to providing a variety of financing and leasing options for end customers, the company will offer short-term, market and country-specific incentives for channel partners, the company said, adding that the offers will vary by geography and are dependent on partner eligibility.

In addition, HP has implemented a more predictable, flat-rate incentive programme and relaxed compensation models to allow for more partner flexibility with linearity while extending deadlines for submission of proof of performance and reporting.

“We’re structured to ensure the continuity of our business operations even under the most challenging circumstances and we feel very fortunate to be in a position to offer the help and support needed by our valued partners and customers,” Christoph Schell, Chief Commercial Officer, HP Inc., said in a statement.

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In partnership with its endorsed finance partners, HP is now offering a variety of financial and asset lifecycle options, including deferred/reduced payments until 2021, short term rentals and cash infusion for customer-owned HP devices through a sale leaseback programme.

Qualified customers can convert existing, owned workplace assets into a payment solution or acquire technology needed today with reduced payments for the remainder of 2020 to alleviate temporary cash flow challenges.

The company earlier announced advanced security solutions to provide complete threat protection for businesses and their remote workforces. In addition to offering tips and advice online, HP is also offering free customer webinars to help set up home offices securely.

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PC and printer major HP Inc. on Thursday announced a variety of relief initiatives aimed at arming its global channel partner community to effectively navigate the operational and financial challenges associated with COVID-19. Pixabay

To help arm partners with the skills and knowledge required to optimise revenue and future-proof their business, HP University offers online, on-demand learning options across a variety of topics including sales skills education, product training and industry-leading certifications.

Partners can opt in for customized online digital learning paths designed to meet their specific priorities. HP shifted all events throughout fiscal 2020 (ending October 31, 2020) to virtual engagement models. In addition, the company has shifted its customer engagement model to an online platform across a broad set of topics including office printing, security, mobility solutions and HP services.

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To address heightened demand for customer support, HP said it has cross-trained agents to manage multiple queues, established access to work-from-home technology for agents, and leveraging chat, social and web support options. (IANS)

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McLaren Removes OnePlus as Partner For The 2020 F1 Season: Report

OnePlus removed from McLaren's partners' page

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MClaren has not listed OnePlus as partner for the 2020 F1 season. Wikimedia Commons

OnePlus has released “McLaren Edition” smartphones for couple of years but now, a Reddit user reports that the British carmaker has not listed OnePlus as partner for the 2020 F1 season.

The removal of the Chinese brand from the list of partners has resulted in the speculation that the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition will most likely not get a successor this year, reports XDA Developers.

OnePlus has been doing special editions of its phones for a few years now.

The OnePlus 5T was available in the Star Wars: The Last Jedi Edition, and the OnePlus 6 was available in a Marvel Avengers Edition.

Both of these smartphones were available in limited quantities and in select regions only.

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The removal of the Chinese brand from the list of partners has resulted in the speculation. Wikimedia Commons

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The smartphone maker launched the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition, with a new and distinct CMF (colour-material-finish), 10GB RAM and Warp Charge 30 charging technology, to expand the scope of these special editions.

The most recent McLaren Edition device from the OnePlus was OnePlus 7T Pro.

The company recently launched its 8 series smartphones, the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. Both are powerful as well as expensive and the smartphone maker will have to find a new partner to give that a special twist worth paying more for. (IANS)

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Indian Workers Miss Office as Work From Home Becomes the New normal

Lockdown initially thrilled the people to work from home, but now they have started to miss the office environment

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Two months after working from home, Shweta Andrews, a digital editor at a publishing house, says she wants to head back to office because personal interactions with colleagues are important. (Photo Courtesy: Shweta Andrews). VOA

As she settled down to work from home when India announced a lockdown in March due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), Shweta Andrews thought exultantly “this is the way to go.” After all she no longer had to do the grinding commute between office and home in the Indian capital that took up two hours daily.

Two months on, the digital editor of a publishing house is nostalgic about that ride. “I miss my colleagues and believe it or not, I miss travelling in the Metro. I miss the rush. I miss the crowd.”

The unprecedented experiment of work from home that began in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic has prompted some Indian companies to explore the possibility of scaling up remote work as they eye long term benefits such as smaller office spaces and lower rentals.

But at a time when a long, stringent lockdown has intensified social isolation, many are finding that an interactive office environment is hard to replace at home.

A New Delhi-based senior professional in a global company, Apoorva Bapna, dismisses the notion that remote work could be the “new normal” and points out that while flexi-hours are welcome, online connections cannot replace the energy generated by professional spaces.

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Apoorva Bapna says office spaces generate energy that cannot completely be replaced by online connections. (Photo Courtesy: Apoorva Bapna). VOA

“There is just that much of bouncing of ideas I can do on a video call or a phone call. Sometimes you just need to sit across the table and have that heated conversation or a debate or just exchange ideas,” says Bapna.

India’s Information Technology sector appears to be blazing the trail for adopting the work-at-home model as the industry gears up to have nearly half the country’s four million I-T workers operate remotely – up from an average of 20 percent before March. The country’s biggest technology company Tata Consultancy Services says that it will have 75 percent of its workforce operating from home by 2025.

Some companies that rely heavily on online work could make the shift much sooner because they found it to be an efficient model in the last two months.

“From a purely productivity standpoint, we have seen a fairly smooth transition in work from home,” says Raghav Gupta, managing director, India and Asia Pacific with Coursera, a U.S. based online learning platform. He gives an example. “If I would go to Bangalore and meet two sets of people in a day, I can do five meetings today by sitting at home.”

As India eases its stringent lockdown and offices begin to reopen with a much leaner staff onsite, the debate has begun heating up.

Some assert that the personal touch provided by an office environment cannot be overlooked, even in the IT sector. “You get ready for the day, it is a mental shift you make,” according to Abhimanyu Mukherji, a service delivery manager in New Delhi with a partner company of software organization, SAP. “Just walking up to someone and talking to my team has a different impact. Now there is a loss of human touch and social interaction which we all are so used to.”

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While it is possible to be productive even doing work from home, Abhimanyu Mukherji says walking up and talking directly to his team has a different impact. (Photo Courtesy: Abhimanyu Mukherji). VOA

While he and his team delivered to their clients’ satisfaction during the lockdown, he points out that working at home from living rooms and dining tables can pose challenges of the kind that some of his team members with young children faced.

“When the kids are at home, they expect a lot of attention from the parents and therefore they are having a lot of difficulty in actually concentrating on the job,” says Mukherji. “The children assume that you must be on leave so you should be giving them all the attention.”

There are also the constraints that living in small apartments or extended families throw up, especially in cities with expensive rentals.  “It is not easy for people who live in Bombay, in smaller homes with six to eight family members crammed up in two bedroom homes,” points out Bapna.

And work from home settings can be even more burdensome for women. “We do everything on the house front and we also manage our office work, which is fairly hectic,” says Bapna who was caught in the lockdown in Jaipur city where she was visiting her parents.

Amid the lockdown there have been no comprehensive surveys to indicate which way Indians would prefer going. But a recent survey by a Bengaluru based research firm, Feedback Insights, found that two-thirds of employees were concerned about personal wellbeing, a lack of connectedness with the team and overall anxiety about the job environment. They also cited frequent distractions at home as a key challenge.

Read More: These Books Can Drive Boredom Away in Lockdown 4.0

However benefits such as savings for companies, less traffic on roads, less pollution and less spending on fuel and daycare will inevitably lead to a greater push for the work-at-home model in the post Covid world.

“By choice and also by planning we will say – you go to office two days a week, you may or may not have a dedicated desk, and the other three or four days you consistently work at home,” says Gupta at Coursera.

But shrinking office spaces, thanks to technology and the new emphasis on social distancing, is something many view with trepidation. Andrews draws an analogy with reading a book on Kindle – it does not replicate the original. “The feeling of holding a book in your hand, that touch, that smell, that personal feeling you get – it’s the same as personal contact in an office,” says Andrews. “So yes technology and computers and zoom and Kindle don’t work as well as interacting with a real human being does.” (VOA)

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No Trace of Community Transmission in Karnataka: Medical Education Minister

7 per cent cases in the state had co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension and others, said K. Sudhakar

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Karnataka Medical Education Minister said that there is no trace of Covid community transmission in the state. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Karnataka Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar on Friday said there is no trace of Covid community transmission in the state.

“There is no trace of community transmission in Karnataka. Twenty five per cent of cases trace back to domestic and international travel,” he said in a tweet.

Presenting statistics, he said 7 per cent cases in the state had co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension and others.

“Average daily growth in the state is 5.4 per cent while it is 11.8 per for the country. With positivity rate of 1 per cent, there is one case for every 100 tests,” he said.

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Statistics show that 7 per cent cases in the state had co-morbidities such as diabetes. Pixabay

Sharing analysis for Covid cases totalling 981 till Thursday noon, Sudhakar said 625 cases or 64 per cent patients were contacts of earlier cases.

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Two common ailments regularly found in Covid patients were Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and Influenza-like Illness (ILI), both accounting for 48 cases or 5 per cent and 24 cases or 2 per cent of overall cases, respectively.

Covid patients with travel history within India were 177 or 18 per cent and patients with international history were 69 or 7 per cent.

Currently, Karnataka is battling 1,032 Covid cases, out of which 520 are active cases isolated in designated hospitals. (IANS)