CLOUD City

Sify Technologies

Innovative, daring, ahead-of-times, visionary. These are some of the epithets used to describe Sify over the years since their incorporation in 1995 at Chennai. After becoming the 1st network in India to be IPv6 enabled, the 3rd largest IP VPN service provider in India, and an industry-defining portal, Sify, in 1999, became the first Indian ICT company to be listed on the NASDAQ. The success that the company has enjoyed is largely due to its attitude that is defined by its DNA - 'Bring It On'. In a chat with our correspondent, Mr. Gaurav Agarwal - Head VAS and Cloud Business outlines the differentiators that Sify brings to the table in his domain.

Gaurav Agrawal
Gaurav Agrawal
Head - VAS and Cloud Services

Market Landscape

We have an advantage of connecting large enterprises in the country. That gives us a very large base of Large and Small enterprises, running and connected by  our entire network. We have five hosting data centers, which are spread across Bombay, Delhi, and Chennai. Our approach in this market segment is such that we have an account management, for each of these clients at the Enterprise or Emerging Enterprise level.

Second approach is that we are at a state of identifying partners, software vendors and all these technology partners and aligning the Go to Market strategies with them. We have a tie-up with a company, one of the largest DR services, DR software providers in the world predominantly in the U.S. but they had zero presence in India. We spotted this company, connected with them and launched their products in the market. We are now jointly addressing the DR market, which is soon going to be a very large market going forward.

Another measure we have taken to address the market is Alliances. Alliances are again with companies; who are into consultancy for customers where customers need advice to decide, which type of environment and what type of approach would be best. We have an online portal which allows customers to self subscribe, self-provide and do online billing and management.

Differentiating Factors

We are not a provider who are only into IT and cloud. I can’t  see any person who can compete with us in this space; where we deliver network cloud and we also have a strong expertise of services, which are available on a monthly basis. We have, in fact chosen a complete management and professional services model.

The second key differentiation is our hosting facilities where we do not depend on any third party. The datacenter facilities are ours, network is ours and cloud computing storing network is provided.

The third key differentiation is our partner ecosystem. The approach we take is not just to buy equipment from them but how do we work jointly together, taking it towards customers and making sure that it works 24x7 without any downtime. It is interesting that we are not  competing with any of the traditional software providers.

Unique Position of the Company in the Face of Competitors

The competition would become more intense as more players would jump into this market. We have a very interesting position in the world, when the world  markets are shrinking, when the world business is going down. India is what everyone is seeing as a potential with growth.

We went in very deep when we went into identifing verticals in growth mode. An example I would like to share is the recent announcement by RBI, saying that all banks have to go in for disaster recovery by the end of  2013. We are ready today to deliver a service proposition which would be approximately one-thirds in terms of cost. We have got these verticals identified and are very focused on them, trying to create solutions and keep fixing their needs and making it easier for them to manage their needs, proximity and trying to create solutions.

Trends in the Market and how the Offerings Adhere Towards Addressing these Trends

 All enterprises today are challenged with the arrival of smart devices. How do you ensure that a person who is carrying multiple devices is able to get access to the information across the devices and work more efficiently? So computing is another domain where we are basically trying to connect. We already have delivered virtual text of these services and are in fact the only one in the country today, to deliver one of the largest companies in the country.

Second, are we are focusing on is the key technology trends and how to make it agile for enterprises, to adopt faster so we can make contributions towards business.

Challenges in Cloud Computing and How Instantly the Technology Adheres to Address those Crises in this Particular Area

From the Indian context, one of the challenges in cloud computing is that unlike developed countries or like the U.S.; there are still OEM partners or OEM players, who are not able to deliver their services model, which are aligned to cloud computing. So that is one critical challenge.

The second challenge which I believe in very strongly is, majority of our advisors have absolutely acknowledged that cloud computing is the way to go but when it  comes to advising customers and moving or adopting, I believe they have a challenge in terms of how do they advice customers to choose the right cloud partners, what should be the key criteria to go by etc.

Other Insights

One main thing which we would like to reflect is that there is an effort from the government as well. They are relaxing the rules. They are changing the criteria, and rules so that other companies which are governed by them; can replace newer technologies with the cost of operations down, become more agile, and more responsive, that technology better enables their business. This business has also started gaining much needed support from management perspective that ensures that, it would become a bigger and a mature place until it becomes a focused management trend channel in the company.

The rules of the game that are waiting for us as well as the OEM partners today are very interesting. True to its effect we think cloud will bring in that needed change where service providers, OEM partners and software vendors; all focus on customer needs rather than, just their portion of the customer domain. That will be a huge step up.