Hyderabad: Global e-commerce major Amazon on Wednesday opened its biggest ‘fulfilment centre’ (FC) or warehouse in India, at Kothur in Telangana. Spread over 280,000 square feet, the facility has come up in Mahabubnagar district, about 60 km from Hyderabad.
This has taken Amazon to 11 FCs in eight states, covering one million square feet of space with a storage capacity of over 2.5 million cubic metres, the company said. The new facility, which has come up with the largest investment by Amazon in any state, will help small and medium businesses (SMBs) in Telangana and the nearby region to gain access to and provide service to customers across the country at low operating costs.
Amazon India’s Director for Operations, Akhil Saxena said the FC will also enable faster and quicker delivery of products to amazon.in customers in the region. Amazon has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Telangana to train thousands of sellers across the state in e-commerce and take advantage of the digital economy.
Amazon India will offer trainings to SMEs through seminars, workshops, video aids and ready reckoners on how to list and manage inventory for an e-commerce business. Telangana’s Information Technology Minister K. Tarakarama Rao, who inaugurated the FC, said Amazon will build a 2.5 million square feet campus in Hyderabad, which will be its biggest campus outside the United States.
Saxena said that work on the project would begin soon. The State Government has allotted 10 acres of land for the campus in the IT corridor of Gachibowli. He declined to share the quantum of investment. An official in the state’s IT department said that Amazon will be investing about Rs.1,800 crores in the facility.
The minister, who visited the US last month, told that he requested Amazon to set up a data centre in Hyderabad and bring Amazon Web Services (AWS), a collection of remote computing services, to Telangana.
He expects a delegation from the US to visit Hyderabad soon to study the proposal. (IANS)
One American university is putting Amazon-electronic voice-controlled assistants in every student housing room on campus.
Saint Louis University recently announced it will equip every student living space with Amazon’s Alexa system. The school in St. Louis, Missouri, will place about 2,300 Echo Dot “smart” devices in all student dorms and other university housing.
Officials said the university will be the first in the world to put the devices in every student living space. The devices and the Alexa service are being provided at no costs to students.
The Amazon Echo is a speaker with the ability to listen and “talk” to users and can perform some operations. The Alexa assistant competes with similar systems made by Google and Apple.
Devices linked to the systems have become increasingly popular in homes in recent years. They can be used for things like looking up information, playing music, ordering food or buying things on the internet. The devices can also complete actions in the home. These include turning lights on and off, and controlling systems for heating and cooling and security.
Amazon calls these different tasks Alexa can perform “skills.”
Amazon said in a website post that Saint Louis University chose the Alexa system after carrying out a test program. The program involved the Echo Dot and a device from a competing company. It said the students had a better reaction to the Alexa system.
The Echo Dots will include a special skill developed especially for Saint Louis University. It will provide information and answer questions about local school activities and campus life.
Next year, the university plans to add more personalized skills, such as providing information about classes and grades.
The university said it did not increase student tuitionto pay for the project. Instead, officials said, it was financed through the school’s general fund, as well as partnerships with Amazon and n-Powered. The company, based in Los Angeles, California, helped develop the parts of the system that are related to Saint Louis University.
David Hakanson is Saint Louis University’s vice president and chief information officer. In announcing the project, he said it will fit well with students who are “highly driven to achieve success in and out of the classroom.”
He added: “Every minute we can save our students from having to search for the information they need online is another minute that they can spend focused on what matters most: their education.”
While the devices are being placed in every university housing space, students do not have to use them. For those wishing not to take part, the school suggests students just remove the devices from their rooms and put them away in a safe place.
Other universities have also experimented with voice-controlled assistants in student living areas.
A year ago, Arizona State University announced a program that provided Echo Dot devices to a special housing area for engineering students. In the program, all engineering students moving into the special housing community were given the choice of receiving an Echo Dot if they wanted one.
As is the case at Saint Louis University, Arizona State students are able to use the system to get the latest information on university programs and events. However, the Arizona students also have the chance to sign up for classes that teach subjects related specifically to creating new uses for Alexa devices.
Octavio Heredia is a director with Arizona State’s Fulton Schools of Engineering. He said he thinks it is a good idea for students to get as much experience as possible with the voice assistants to improve their development skills and prepare for future jobs.
“Once they are familiar with the devices, they are going to want to further develop their own skills and begin integrating that technology – the hardware and the skills – into other projects,” he said. (VOA)