Focal Point: Myths and realities of virtualization perfomance management Page 33
ChannelWorld Strategic insights for solution providers | Cover Price Rs.50
Ketan Barai, MD, KayBee IT Solutions now forays into HR services for the tech industry.
May 2012 Vol. 6, issue 2
With the advent of BYOD, enterprises find it tough to protect data across devices Page 10
On Record: Gordon Payne, SVP & GM, Citrix, speaks about desktop virtualization Page 21
Game CHANGER Three partner organizations traversed an unconventional route to script success. >>> Page 24
The Grill: Christian Hentschel, SVP-Sales, F5 Networks, APJ on data center and VDI Page 19
The CIO is increasingly entering an era of disruption Page 18
ERP is a relentless, unprofitable business in the initial years, lament smaller partners Page 31
The Face Off between EMC and NetApp on Big Data Page 40
Stay Ahead. I
nformation drives businesses and we cannot stress more on the criticality of having it at your finger tips. The challenge is to have relevant information that equips you with the power to stay ahead. ChannelWorld delivers the power of relevant information to your inbox. ChannelWorld On-Record Bringing you the latest interviews from the Industry leaders, once a week. ChannelWorld Face-Off Two opposing views by industry leaders defending their turf. Delivered once a month. ChannelWorld Update A daily digest of all the relevant news that impacts the Solution providersâ€™ business.
Log on and Register Yourself
For Breaking News, Go to Channelworld.in
Inside Indian Channelworld n May 2012
■ news digest 05 No Solution is an Island says IBM | IBM kicked off its annual
Impact conference by announcing two “ecosystems” that it claims will radically simplify the development and deployment of applications in mobile and datacentre environments 06 Social Media: Wasteful Expense? | Getting a positive
return on investment from a social media campaign is about more than tracking the number of your Facebook fans and Twitter followers. It’s about linking the social strategy to measurable business objectives, according to Gartner 06 Intel-McAfee Developing Cloud-Security Strategy | Intel,
which last year acquired McAfee for its security expertise, described work it is doing to provide enterprises with a way to secure data stored in public or hybrid cloud environments 08Juniper’s BYOD product | Juniper
unveiled a portfolio of switching, wireless and security products designed to enable enterprises to easily deploy them
■ news analysis 10 BYOD Driving IT Shops ‘Crazy’ | Enterprises find it tough to
19 ■ The Grill 19 Christian Hentschel, Senior
Vice President — Sales, Asia Pacific & Japan, F5 Networks, talks about the company’s data center aspirations
31 Not For Profit Gone are the days when enterprises shied away from implementing ERP into their processes. Today, an ERP implementation is a crucial investment for customers as well as solution providers. But nobody is ready to call the ERP business a profitable one.
■ On Record
21 Gordon Payne, Senior VP
and GM, Desktop and Cloud Division, Citrix, talks about the do’s and don’ts in desktop virtualization
24 ■ cover story
24 Game Changer
Executing a path breaking change and innovative strategy to drive a profitable IT business is a catch-22 facing the channel community. The never-ending pursuit to register top lines and grow bottom lines keep partners engrossed in a rather mundane routine. Read how three partner organizations displayed unconventional wisdom to elevate their business to the next level.
protect company data across devices
■ case study
29 Phasing Out the Token
01 Editorial: Vijay Ramachandran on the present economic situation and growth opportunities for India Inc 18 Thornton A. May: New C-level positions are being created to handle tasks perceived as not being addressed adequately by CIOs and CMOs Cover photograph by Kapil Shroff & Cover Design by Unnikrishnan A.V
Relationships matter. Chennaibased Fourth Dimension Technologies has a case in point on how a long-term association with Tamil Nadu’s Karur Vysya Bank helped in bagging a deal for cost-effective online banking solutions.
JUNIPER SCOOPS INDIA’S TOP ENTERPRISE NETWORKING AWARD IN THE MVP SURVEY BY CHANNELWORLD WE came out number one
Juniper Networks has been greatly honored by being voted No.1 in Enterprise Networking in ChannelWorld’s Most Valued Principal (MVP) Awards. ChannelWorld organizes the awards each year to provide a platform for partners to rate the vendors they work with in India. It is only through your partnership that we have achieved this accolade. We know you only choose the best and that’s why you chose Juniper for your enterprise network customers. The channel partners of India voted overwhelmingly for Juniper’s leadership in technological innovation and the way it does business with its partners in India. In beating D-Link, Cisco and Extreme for the top spot, it just confirms Juniper’s complete commitment to its partners and the overall market. We will continue to strive to keep our technology, marketing assistance and management style ahead of the curve in support of your business. We would like to thank all our business partners and customers for their continued support of Juniper Networks in India. channelworld.in/features/enterprise-networking
5/14/2012 1:19:17 PM
For Breaking News, Go to Channelworld.in
ChannelWorld Geetha Building, 49, 3rd Cross, Mission Road, Bangalore - 560 027, India
Channelworld.in Publisher, President & CEO Louis D’Mello
indian Channelworld n may 2012
■ Fast Track
12 Cdr. Shrivastava,
President, Houston Technologies believes that diversification ensured the company success. This has allowed them to expand business and improve operations through the years. 14 Ashim Bhasin Director, BB Professionals, says that the company enjoys a big market share because of the local factor in Rajasthan.They believe in holding prime position in this small market.
33 ■ Focal Point
33 Sans Storage
Virtualization: One of the vital cost
elements with VDI is the centralized storage required for maintaining virtual machines. Hypervisor vendors argue that to get disaster recovery and high availability, the additional expense is really a bargain.
36 Busting the Myth; Checking Reality Virtualization: Performance
■ macro view
38 Domain Driven
Q&A: Manoj C Jain, Vice
President — India & Middle East, Birlasoft, talks about the company’s India strategy. Birlasoft attempts to sieze new frontiers in systems integration through its enterprise services.
management has become the key element in maximizing any virtualization initiative, but many myths have emerged that, left unchecked, can stall an entire virtualization initiative. Here are some of the biggest myths and realities to enable IT to chart an informed path forward.
■ face off
40 The Big Difference?: EMC and NetApp pursue diverse technology roadmaps to oust each other in big data. Who will rule the market?
Advertisers’ Index Cisco Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Fujitsu India Pvt. Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Dell India Pvt. Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BC
HP PSG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IBC
D-Link India Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 & 17
IBM India Ltd Pg facing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IFC
Emerson Network Power India Pvt. Ltd . . . . . . . IFC
Juniper Networks India Pvt.Ltd . . . 3 & Belly Band
This index is provided as an additional service. The publisher does not assume any liability for errors or omissions.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means without prior written permission from the publisher. Address requests for customized reprints to IDG Media Private Limited, Geetha Building, 49, 3rd Cross, Mission Road, Bangalore - 560 027, India. IDG Media Private Limited is an IDG (International Data Group) company. Printed and Published by Louis D’Mello on behalf of IDG Media Private Limited, Geetha Building, 49, 3rd Cross, Mission Road, Bangalore - 560 027, India. Editor: Louis D’Mello, Printed At Manipal Press Ltd, Press Corner, Manipal-576104, Karnataka, India.
Editor-in-Chief Vijay Ramachandran Executive Editor TM Arun Kumar Associate Editor Yogesh Gupta Principal Correspondents Radhika Nallayam, Shantheri Mallaya Senior Copy Editor Nanda Padmanabhan Correspondents Ankita Mitra, Aritra Sarkhel, Kartik Sharma, Shreehari Paliath n CUSTOM
Principal Correspondents Aditya Kelekar, Gopal Kishore n DESIGN
Lead Designers Jithesh C.C, Suresh Nair, Jinan K.V Senior Designer Unnikrishnan A.V Designers Amrita C Roy, Sabrina Naresh, Lalita Ramakrishna Production Manager TK Karunakaran n Events
& AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT
Vice President Rupesh Sreedharan Senior Program Manager Chetan Acharya, Pooja Chhabra, Ajay Adhikari Assistant Manager Tharuna Paul Senior Executive Shwetha M Management Trainee Archana Ganapathy, Saurabh Patil n MARKETING
President Sudhir Kamath VP Sales Sudhir Argula AVP Sales Parul Singh AGM Brand Siddharth Singh Manager Sales Kalyan Basu, Minaz Adenwala Sakhee Bagri, Varun Dev Asst. Manager Marketing Ajay S. Chakravarthy Marketing Associates Dinesh P Asst. Manager-Sales Support Nadira Hyder Management Trainee Anuradha Hariharan Iyer, Benjamin Anthony Jeevan Raj, Rima Biswas n Finance
Financial Controller Sivaramakrishnan T.P Deputy Manager Accounts Sasi Kumar V Asst Manager Credit Control Prachi Gupta n Offices
Bangalore IDG Media Pvt. Ltd. Geetha Building, 49, 3rd Cross, Mission Road, Bangalore 560 027, India. Tel: 080-30530300. Fax: 080-30586065 Delhi IDG Media Pvt. Ltd. DLF Corporate Park, Tower 4 B, 3rd Floor, Room 301, MG Road, DLF Phase 3, Gurgaon- 122001, Haryana Tel: 0124- 3881015 Mumbai IDG Media Pvt. Ltd. 201, Madhava, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai 400051. Tel: 022-30685000. Fax: 022-30685023
PAGE 06: Social Media: Wasteful Expense? PAGE 06: Intel-McAfee Developing Cloud-Security Strategy PAGE 08: Juniper Enters BYOD Management Fray PAGE 10: BYOD Driving IT Shops ‘Crazy’
f i n d m o r e a r t i c l e s at Channelworld.in
No Solution is an Island says IBM
BM kicked off its annual
Impact conference by announcing two “ecosystems” that it claims will radically simplify the development and deployment of applications in mobile and data centre environments. The new offerings fall into two product strands. The first, Mobile Foundation, is a new platform based on IBM’s recent acquisition of mobile software company Worklight. The second strand consists of extensions to IBM’s data centre-orientated PureSystems family, which was announced earlier
this month. Together, the two product families will consist of around two dozen separate software and service elements that IBM will release over the next three months. Marie Wieck, IBM general manager of application and integration middleware, said that the Mobile Foundation platform, designed to encompass mobile application development, integration, security and management, draws on lessons learned from earlier “ebusiness” experience. “We learned that it’s not just about creating a web-
site, it’s how you integrate that with the rest of your systems and later on, how you manage the content. No solution is an island.” Steve Mills, IBM senior vice president of software and systems, said that the PureSystems family was aimed at streamlining the set up and management of hardware and software resources through deeper automation and sandboxing. The extensions to PureSystems are designed to help software companies and businesses create what IBM calls “patterns of expertise” that can be embedded into PureSystems machines to automate a variety of manual and administrative tasks. Such patterns will be able to be created and tested through IBM’s SmartCloud sandbox and deployed as re-usable and downloadable packages. IBM says the PureSystems environment will be available to developers for 90 days on a free trial. According to Wieck the SmartCloud environment will allow developers to build and test a prototype mobile application, for example, without requiring financing or infrastructure permissions. “We’re offering them a chance to get their hands dirty,” she said.
— Michael Foreman, Computerworld, New Zealand INDIAN Channelworld
HP PCs Ousts Apple Apple lost its position as the number one manufacturer of personal computers in the first quarter, according to Canalyst research. Canalyst counts tablets as personal computers, so in the last quarter of 2011 sales of the iPad had bumped Apple into the top slot. According to Canalyst, in the first quarter HP sold 40,000 more “PCs” than Apple. Apple sold 15.8 million units, 4 million of which were Macs.
Canalyst notes, “The pad category exhibited the highest growth — more than 200% year on year — notebook and desktop PC shipments were up too, rising 11% and 8% respectively. Pads represented 19% of all client PC shipments in Q1, up substantially from 7% a year ago, but down on the 22% recorded in Q4 2011.” — Karen Haslam, Macworld U.K.
Social Media: Wasteful Expense?
etting a positive Nelson says most comreturn on investpanies adopt a plan for one ment from a social of four reasons: to increase media campaign revenue, decrease costs, is about more than tracking increase satisfaction of the number of your Facecustomers or employees, or book fans and Twitter folto use it as an extension of lowers. It’s about linking the brand. No matter the reason social strategy to measurfor using social media, it able business objectives, acmust be accompanied with cording to Garta plan of action ner, which says linked to metrics most businesses that will measure aren’t doing this. its success. “For A new study the 50% of ForTotal of social CRM by from the technoltune 1000 organi2012 end , up from ogy consultancy zations not deter$850 million last year says that half of mining, or even Fortune 1000 measuring ROI, companies will not receive ignorance will mean failed projects,” says Adam Sarner, a worthwhile ROI on their research director at Gartner. social media strategies this year. The rather basic advice “Among the companies who will not see a worthwhile to get more bang for your return, only 20% will even social media buck: Have a have the data to evaluate plan, measure its success where their social strategy and make changes if it’s not is falling short. These orgaworking. “One of the keys is nizations will be unable to to know what you’re trying justify future funding.” to accomplish,” says Scott Whereas social media Nelson, a Gartner analyst who focuses on social media has traditionally been embraced by marketing teams strategies for enterprises.
as a way to build company name recognition, there are an increasing variety of use cases emerging. Social media strategies are used by sales, customer service and customer support departments for lead generation, cross sales and up sales opportunities, Nelson says. This social CRM industry is growing fast. Gartner estimates that by the end of the year, software licenses and subscriptions will total $2.1 billion, up from $850 million. Vendors offering such services include Jive Software, Lithium Technologies and, increasingly, Salesforce. com with its Chatter feature. Still, Nelson says those social CRM practices should be used to supplement, not supplant existing business processes. “You’ve got to make it fit with your other products and strategies,” he says. A business using social media to drive people to a website should be incorporated with an e-commerce strategy that leads them into a sales deal, he says. Whether these products or others are used by an enterprise, Nelson says the advice is simple: “Have a plan.” —Brandon Butler, Network World (US)
Intel-McAfee Developing Cloud-Security Strategy Intel, which last year acquired McAfee for its security expertise, described work it is doing to provide enterprises with a way to secure data stored in public or hybrid cloud environments. Jason Waxman, GM of Intel’s Cloud Infrastructure Group, joined with Greg Brown, VP of network security at McAfee, to describe the strategy that’s being 6
pursued to let IT managers gain better understanding about the security of their cloud workloads. McAfee’s ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) management console, which has long been a workhouse to aggregate multivendor security information in addition to McAfee’s own products, is well-positioned to audit cloud environments.
Indian Channelworld may 2012
Cloud cover: Secure data stored in public or hybrid cloud
By using McAfee ePO with Intel Trusted Execution Technology (TXT), it’s possible to establish a baseline determination of assurance and
Short Takes Zenith Infotech an-
nounced the launch of TigerCloud, aimed at mid-size organizations. TigerCloud is a high performance private cloud product combining server, storage and network virtualization technology, and allows customers to build their own sophisticated private clouds at costs.
EMC launched EMC
Documentum xCP Saksham eGov Case Management, an easy-to-use and quick-to-deploy solution for government departments and agencies in India. It addresses the need for automated workflow process to reduce process time, eliminate manual errors, and enable transparency and compliance.
Red Hat announced the
expansion and launch of two “Engineering Centers of Excellence” in Bangalore and Pune, the largest outside North America. Red Hat hopes to incubate, sustain and support local talent and maintain high quality of contributions to the open source community.
confidence when undertaking tasks such as transferring workloads from server to server, for instance, using VMware’s VMotion, they said. “It’s a hardware-based root of trust,” said Waxman, noting the technology allows servers to be defined as “trusted” or “untrusted.” When combined with McAfee’s MOVE AV antimalware, it’s possible to also learn if the server has any “issues identified.” — Ellen Messmer, Network World (US)
Juniper Enters BYOD Management Fray
new and enhanced products to secure mobile device access to enterprise networks. Products for mobile device and bring-your-owndevice (BYOD) management include updated Junos software for the Juniper SRX550 Services Gateway and SRX110 Services Gateway; new wireless LAN access points; and additions to Junos and Junos Pulse software. The products are intended to let IT managers define and enforce unified policies to control user access to enterprise networks based on who they are, where they are, what applications they are using, and from what device. Juniper’s SRX550 combines security, routing and switching in a single platform for medium to large branch deployments. The SRX110 is a network and security platform for enterprise and small branch environments. Juniper updated the AppSecure feature in the latest release of its Junos software for the SRX gateways to now enable enforcement of application security and control based on the user and device, which is designed to allow for consistent enforcement regardless of location or device. The WLA322 and WLA321 series WLAN access points target low-to-medium density environments. They are compliant with the IEEE 802.11n standard. Extensions to Juniper’s Junos Pulse Access Control Service/UAC and Junos 8
Pulse Secure Access Service/SSL VPN software feature enhanced endpoint device integrity checks, assessment and security provisioning for Mac OS, iOS and Android devices. Junos Pulse is designed to coordinate policy enforcement throughout the network and allow IT to identify, accept, secure and manage all personal, corporate-issued and guest devices according to an organization’s security and access policy requirements. Juniper says its BYOD lineup provides unified security and access policy enforcement that is consistent across wired, wireless and mobile connections within the enterprise. And
they are components of Juniper’s Simply Connected portfolio of easily deployable networking products. All products are available now. The WLA322 costs $595 and the WLA321 costs $395. Junos Pulse pricing depends on the scale of deployment and the functionality enabled. The common access
Cisco to Acquire Truviso
VMware Enterprise Application Portal
Cisco plans to acquire network analytics company Truviso for an undisclosed amount, in an effort to help users hone operational efficiencies. Truviso, a Californiabased, real-time Web analytics software company, will add the capability to analyze streaming data to the Cisco Prime network management platform. Truviso claims to be able to analyze up to 500,000 data records per second. Cisco Prime collects network statistics to allow IT departments to get a complete picture of network traffic. Truviso analyzes network traffic in real-time, allowing users to get an instant view of network use. — Loek Essers, IDG News Service
VMware will offer enterprise software that allows employees to access all their desktop Windows applications and online services from a single portal. The company has also updated its View VDI software and will release new beta software for providing a central repository for storing and sharing files. Collectively, these programs should allow BYOD while giving IT administrators the ability to control the user environment. — Joab Jackson, IDG News Service
Indian Channelworld may 2012
TheWorld Facebook Reselling Antivirus Facebook has teamed up with five security vendors to offer a range of free and subscriptionbased antivirus packages. Microsoft, McAfee, TrendMicro, Sophos, and Symantec are now part of Facebook’s third party security providers, offering a range of antivirus packages for Windows and Mac users. Facebook promotes the products as “free”, but some, such as Symantec’s Norton and McAfee, similar to pre-installed desktop antivirus trial versions, must be paid for after 6 months. — Liam Tung, CSO Online
license list price for UAC and SSL ranges from $20 to $70 per user, for 1,000 to 25,000 users.Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite is available as a one-, two- or threeyear subscription license at $40 to $70 per user per year, for 1,000 to 25,000 users. - By Jim Duffy, Network World (US)
n News Analysis phones or tablets are authorized to access certain applications and whether they can use the data offline, or outside of the corporate cloud. But Dulaney said that’s not a secure enough approach, and he predicted that MDM — a “tactical invention” won’t be viable for more than three years. “We have to be smarter about security on mobile devices,” he said. “Buying MDM is a good idea today, but I can’t see that the mobile computing industry is ever going to stabilize so that we can do the things we’ve done with laptops and desktops for years.”
What’s the approach?
BYOD Driving It Shops ‘Crazy’ Enterprises find it tough to protect company data across devices. By Matt Hamblen.
T managers who
grapple with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies can expect to see an explosion of different smartphones and tablets used by their workers in the next few years. As a result, IT shops won’t be able to keep up with the support demands needed to protect company data used on the various devices, said Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney. “IT can’t handle all these devices. They’re going crazy. They get into fights on whether users should get 10
upgrades or not,” he said. And because IT shops won’t be able to keep up, software vendors will be forced to innovate and create what Dulaney called “beneficial viruses” — software that will be embedded in sensitive corporate data, such as financial or patient information, that’s carried on a smart phone or other mobile device. These beneficial viruses would work like DRM software seen on music and video files, Dulaney explained. “It’s time for the SAPs and Oracles to begin think-
Indian Channelworld may 2012
ing about doing that, and it’s a lot harder than we think,” he said. “Inside every piece of [corporate] data there would be a beneficial virus that whenever the data found itself in the wrong place [such as on an unauthorized device], it would say, ‘I don’t see a license to be here and I will delete myself.”
Rely on MDM Today, companies rely on different Mobile Device Management (MDM) software companies to monitor which users with smart-
Dulaney’s approach is partly designed to keep IT shops from battling with users who want to choose their own smartphone, or more recently, a tablet. “IT shops instill security requirements about devices and to IT, that’s value to the end user, but the end user sees it as taking away freedom,” he said. Gartner’s current advice to IT shops in managing mobile devices is to consider setting up all or some of three different tiers of support — platform, appliance and concierge. In platform support, IT offers full PClike support for a device and the device is chosen by IT, and will be used typically in vertical applications. “With the decline of RIM, the rise of Apple and iPads [has] caused BYOD to be top of mind for IT,” Dulaney said. “Many companies still use RIM as a cornerstone of their mobile practice, but permit users to buy Android and Apple with restricted apps, sometimes requiring them only to be browser-based apps.” — Computerworld (US)
n FAST TRACK
ph o t o g r a p h by foto c o r p
triking a balance
is the essential to any businesses. This holds true especially in the systems integration market where the options are plentiful, but the right combination remains an endless endeavor for organizations. When New Delhi-based Houston Technologies was founded in 2000 the primary focus was on emerging technologies in network integration. Through the course of its evolution, it revamped and restrategized to sketch a formidable growth and realize Houston’s goal to be a prime player in this highly competitive systems integration market. “We started with a partnership with Juniper. We were fortunate enough to pick up a big telecom project for BSNL and other players in 2004-05. This helped us establish ourselves nation-wide as an integrator in the networking space,” says Cdr. J.P. Shrivastava, President of Houston Technologies. In the last twelve years, the company has progressed consistently in terms of turnover. It clocked Rs 76.41 Crore in FY 2011-12 which was only a marginal increase when compared to the previous year. But the 14 percent jump the company recorded in 2010-11 from Rs 65 Crore when compared to a year earlier has to be seen as remarkble considering the tumultous IT environment of the time. Shrivastava attributes it to the customer-orientated approach of the organization. “We value the relationship with our customer. Most of them have been with us for more than five years because we provide them a comprehensive set of solutions for their business requirements,” adds Shrivastava.
Diversification ensured us success, says Cdr. J.P. Shrivastava, President, Houston Technologies 12
Indian Channelworld may 2012
Investing well The organization has offices in all the metropolitan cities in the country. This means that the competition is intense. “This market has become crowded. Everybody considers themselves to be a systems integrator. This means that we have to constantly evolve and innovate,” states Shrivastava. “We ensure that we are selective about the projects that we bid for. It is all about the quality of the project.” Although Shrivastava has been a part of Houston for just over a year, he says the biggest and the constant challenge he encounters is change. “Change is unavoidable. There are new developments in the IT space and we have to keep abreast with technology. To stay competitive we have to heavily invest in our work force. We have people working in key areas and constantly work towards retaining them. But, often, Tier-1 SIs are ready to poach trained employees. Although we are unable to retain everyone in the company, majority of them do stay with us,” he says. It is essential for businesses to expand, and how they go about doing so adds to the organization’s fortunes. For Houston, their successful projects present an excellent picture to potential customers. Systems integrators know that all corporate customers talk to their peers on implementations, and a job well done by an SI never skips a mention. Houston Technologies has a satisfied customer base and almost 25 percent of their projects are derived through word of mouth. Therefore, referrals contribute significantly in enlarging their customer-base. Secondly, the principals often help in recommending the organization to customers. This adds leverage while approaching new customers.
Making smart moves Houston, during the initial stages of development, relied on the big telecom deals. But soon they realized
that the need to diversify was imminent if they did not wish to put all their eggs in one basket. “The value of the telecom orders that we bagged initially were huge. We realized that we would not be able to pick up such projects on a constant basis. Besides, surviving on two or three large customers is a big risk. Further, our bandwidth to conduct business would also be choked. Instead, we wanted to focus on more customers with relatively smaller orders. This way we could expand our customer-base and improve cash flow,” explains Shrivastava. Once the major revenue contributor for the SI, telecom today has a relatively smaller share in their revenue pie—about 17 percent. As the company progressed, they added services to their IT armory. Presently, Houston Technologies provides network security, server, storage, virtualization, data center solutions, disaster recovery, video conferencing and surveillance. “We also offer consultancy, but it only forms a part of the services bouquet,” he adds. With their core strength being networking, their major projects entail partnerships with the core technology vendors in the networking space. “We engage with the leading networking players to maximize the potential of our core strengths, but for the smaller, value-based products we partner with smaller principals too. Fortunately, they understand this approach,” explains Shrivastava. With an enhancement in their
Snapshot Founded: 2000 Headquarters: Delhi Key Executives: Cdr. J P Shrivastava, President; Anil Khosla, CEO Revenue 2009–10: Rs 65 Crore Revenue 2010–11: Rs 74.20 Crore Revenue 2011–12: Rs 76.41 Crore Employees: 68 Key Principals: IBM, Dell, HP, Juniper, Cisco, Oracle, EMC, Microsoft, Cyberoam, Watchguard, Key Business Activities: Storage network security, voice & IP communication, disaster recovery Website: www.houstontechnologies.com technology capabilities, Houston has ensured quality execution of projects by ensuring that their engineers are well trained. They rely on both technology upgradation programs of their principals and internal training exercises to train the engineers.
Thinking ahead As a trend, Shrivastava observes a major shift toward the cloud. According to him, there are couple of reasons that evince this interest. “Cloud helps reduce the capital ex-
vertical split 8% BFSI
Technology split 35%
penditure, and the fact that DR or back-up is not required makes it an interesting proposition. Then again, the size of investment depends on the budget planned. Sometimes customers cannot dive whole-heartedly into the cloud due to constraints, and in such cases, we have the hybrid cloud being utilized. Most of the customers are still testing the waters and only beginning to migrate into this space,” he adds. As of today, cloud is a very small part of the SI’s business, but the company is expecting the share to grow in the coming years. Networking, still responsible for a lion’s share of the SI’s revenue, contributes to 35 percent of their sales. Servers and security contribute 19 percent and 12 percent respectively. According to Shrivastava, there has also been a boom in video conferencing and surveillance, which was non-existent before. Managed services also forms a very important chunk of their revenue and contributes to 15 percent in sales, and they predict a consistent growth in this domain. With a number of SIs attempting to move to smaller markets to accumulate more customers, would a focus only on the metros restrict opportunities for this organization? “We don’t intend to move to smaller locations for the time being. Although, we will position our engineers in case there are projects in smaller towns, especially with us having a pan-India presence,” replies Shrivastava. Houston Technologies have taken slow but steady steps over the years. It has grown by 10-15 percent per annum. Within the various vertical they operate in, the government/PSU contributes the highest business, followed by BFSI and telecom. “We will diversify within the various verticals and expand operations. We are planning to operate in the real estate and hospitality verticals soon. We intend to keep pace with emerging technologies and retain focus on services. New markets will remain a part of our endeavor,” states Shrivastava — Shreehari Paliath
Source: Houston Technologies
n FAST TRACK
BB Professionals ‘with HP, back in 1994. The company started selling HP as its premium brand. “The city never had any HP support facility till we started one. Although the business was not great in terms of value initially, we succeeded in grabbing some of the key accounts for HP in Jaipur,” says Bhasin. This focus towards HP paid off, and the company became an authorized HP service provider. Today, BB Professionals is probably the only certified server partner for HP in Jaipur and the only authorized partner for HP Plotter in Rajasthan. “Even today, HP is a significant part of our portfolio,” Bhasin affirms.
ph o t o g r a p h by foto c o r p
… to Apple
We enjoy a big market share because of the local factor, says Ashim Bhasin, Director, BB Professionals
Diversified he last decade has
seen vibrant changes in the economy of Rajasthan. While there are multiple factors that have contributed to this growth, one of the reasons definitely is the emergence of entrepreneurs who have helped take the state’s economy to the next level. Ashim Bhasin, Direc-
A year ago, the company joined hands with Apple. Bhasin recognized the demand for Apple products by the top executives of the various corporates. He says, “Our major vendor HP does not have a very comprehensive range of products in this space, so we decided to bring Apple products to our kitty.” BB Professionals is the only corporate partners of Apple in the region. The partner has seen revenues to the tune of more than Rs 1 Crore from the Apple business last year, and this revenue is growing quarter by quarter. “Clients are still not well-versed about Apple, hence we do all the integration and support work for them. We have a well-trained service team for Apple products,” There is also a huge market of software developers open for the company. “There are many Apple developers. They do development around iOS. We sell a good chunk of Apple products to them,” says Bhasin.
Indian Channelworld may 2012
tor, BB Professionals, who decided to start his own company, is one of them. Basin founded his company in 1990 with the aim of being a pioneer in the IT service business in the state and gradually became one of the most prominent HP partners in Rajasthan.
From HP… The company’s first partnership was
What moved the business from the average run of the mill enterprise to the elite club of some of the most reputed IT players in Rajasthan was their foray into IT solution providing segment. Today, BB carries a broad portfolio of complete IT solutions including servers and endto-end networking. The company also has very strong association
Technology split 9%
Servers & Storage
Printers & Scanners
Small Ground, Smart Play
Source: BB Professionals
with Microsoft. They are a certified MS partners and aggressively selling Microsoft Open License Pack (MOLP) for the OEM. The SI is also into MS Exchange and SharePoint along with the vendor’s cloud business. They are also associated with Fortinet for firewall solutions.
The Five Star Business Every business has to have a strong niche area in the market. BB also has a particular industry segment as its backbone, which is incidentally also one of the key industries for the entire state of Rajasthan – Hospitality. Bhasin realized that with tourism growing at rate of around 12 percent annually, the future of hospitality industry is promising. So, he started focusing on providing IT solutions to this segment. Today, the Jaipur-based partner is associated with many major hotels in the region. Bhasin shares the success story, “We used to provide small IT services to customers like Taj group, Tata group and Hotel Rambagh Palace. Smaller hoteliers noticed our work and provided us opportunities to implement IT for their budget hotels. Today, even big hotels like Radisson, Fairmount and Park chain of hotels are our clients.” The partner has recently won a deal from Marriott hotel and is providing end-to-end IT infrastructure to these hotels along with the after sales support. “On an average, one hotel deal is worth Rs 1 Crore approximately, and we get at least one hotel deal in six months,” he explains.
No Government In general, the channel partners in tier 2 cities focus largely on the Government projects. However, BB
private sector business in the region while our competitors are crowding the government sector,” says Bhasin. Bhasin believes in selling complete solutions and he tries to strengthen the company’s association with the client by providing services on top of it. “Although in the case of SMBs, billing generally happens according to the boxes sold, it involves the prices for our after-sales services as well. AMC is an integral part of our business,” he states.
Professionals has said a strict no to these. Bhasin explains, “There are no margins in Government deals. These projects take a lot of bandwidth. Although one really has to give a lot of personal attention towards these projects, but one does not get the due rewards.” Credit problem and inconsistent payments are the other reasons for BB to stay away from the Government sector. “We have expertise in services and they don’t intend to pay a single penny for it,” he adds. Bhasin says that they have a strong clientele in the SMB and corporate segments and the company is in fact enjoying a decent market share in these markets. “Diverting our focus towards government will lead us nowhere. We instead aspire to grab the
Snapshot Founded: 1990 Headquarters: Jaipur Key Executives: Ashim Bhasin, Director; Vipan Bahal, Director Revenue 2010-11: Rs 9 Crore Revenue 20011-12: Rs 13 Crore Revenue 2012-13: Rs 16 Crore Employees: 30 Key Principals: HP, Apple, Microsoft Business Activities: Networking, Firewall solutions, Server, Storage, systems integration Website: www.bpn.in
BB Professionals also focuses on industries like manufacturing and trading among others. Bhasin says that they address only those companies that have their corporate offices within Rajasthan. “For companies that have their home ground in Rajasthan, the purchase decision happens within the state. This eases out our businesses process,” he explains. The partner is also focusing on the educational institutes and getting repeat business out of them. Banasthali Vidyapith, which is one of the major educational institutes in Rajasthan, is the company’s client. They have also spread their wings in the Power sector by associating themselves with Genus Power Infrastructures.
Boons and Banes Being a small city partner has its challenges, but Bhasin also enjoys the advantages of the tier 2 market. He believes that it is always better to hold a leadership position in the small market than to survive as a small company in a big market. “There isn’t much competition to us in the domains we function in. We enjoy a big market share. Because of the local factor, we get a lot of repeat business in Jaipur.” Bhasin believes that it is easy to play in small markets if you play smart. Strategically, the company is focusing more on customer retention than adding new ones. “There are still miles to go. The repeat business will be a main source of revenue for us in future. The company is all set to see a huge growth next fiscal quarters. In coming years, we look forward to strengthening our brand in Rajasthan,” Bhasin concludes. — Kartik Sharma may 2012
Sanjay Sehgal, AVP-Enterprise & Project Business, D-Link (India) Limited
D-Link Outlines Growth Strategy For Enterprise Business D-Link (India) Limited has been in the process of revitalizing its go-to-market strategy with renewed focus on Channel, Telco, Lifestyle etc. It has recently streamlined its internal business structure and has appointed separate business teams for Channel & enterprise segment. As a result D-Link India has delivered remarkable growth in the last two quarters. Now moving forward the company plans to enhance its focus in Enterprise segment & looks at re-aligning its engagement strategy with System Integrators (SIs) across India. As part of D-Links’ renewed strategy to focus on Enterprise business,
it has made extensive plans to reach out to its business associates & customers that includes, focus on key business verticals and product lines during FY 2012-13. In addition to this D-Link will also soon be rolling-out multicity roadshow across India.
“While D-Link is an undisputed leader in SMB, Education & Education segment, our focus this year is to capture maximum market share in the large enterprise domain. Enterprise networking market in India is rapidly evolving, and basis industry sources it is stated to reach $3 bn by 2015 in India alone. There is tremendous scope for vendors in enterprise segment, since the demand for IT infrastructure product is also on a rise. Moreover D-Link has the right product mix to cater to this segment, along with a strong System Integrator base and service support”, said Mr. Tushar Sighat, CEO, D-Link (India) Ltd. Leading the enterprise vertical Mr. Sanjay Sehgal, AVP-Enterprise & Project Business, D-Link (India) Limited said, “Enterprises these days demand products that offer maximum return on investment & D-Link is known for its price-performance. Also the fact that D-Link is the only player in enterprise segment to offer both Active & Passive products, gives us an added advantage. Now moving forward our main agenda this year would be to energize & re-engage with our existing System integrators, and at
While D-Link is an undisputed leader in SMB, Education & Education segment, our focus this
year is to capture maximum market share in the large enterprise domain.
the same time also identify & recruit new partners. We also plan to categorize system integrators based on business vertical & product line they specialize in. We are also in the process of setting-up an online portal that will act as a knowledge center and one stop reference point, giving complete details about new product introduction, scheme/ incentive program etc.” D-Link plans to roll-out its multi-city roadshow for enterprise networking by mid of May 2012. In its first phase it is expected to cover over 11 cities that will primarily include A & B class. D-Link plan to use this road-show as a platform to showcase its end-to-end network solution offering, with special highlight on enterprise product range. D-Link enterprise product offering comprises of Switching, Storage, Surveillance, Structured Cabling and Business Wireless. For day-to-day network operations, businesses are ideally on a look out for one stop solution and D-Link’s innovative enterprise solution brings an efficient and effortless offering with high flexibility and scalability for any deployment. Further it gives the benefit of reducing the effort of integration and provides professional and extensive training to help businesses. D-Link currently has a dedicated enterprise sales team driving business out of its Corporate office. In addition to this D-Link also has Enterprise business representative present in all its 17 branch offices spread across the country.
CUSTOM SOLUTIONS GROUP
DCS-6113V – VANDAL PROOF DOME CAMERA EVENTS CALENDAR/COVERAGE
D-Link Carries Out DCCE Partner Certification stablished with the objective of imparting enhanced knowledge on structured cabling to the engineers and technicians of its System Integrators, D-Link has been conducting ‘D-Link Certified Cabling Expert’ (DCCE) program across India since early January 2012. The two day training program is conducted by a team specializing in structured cabling domain from D-Link, who offer participants in-depth information on the technical aspect
of the subject, evaluate trends for both Copper and Fiber products, and train them to design, install and conduct post-implementation testing of D-Link passive networking components for Infrastructure Projects. After the program, participants have to undergo an exam, and once certified as DCCE, they will be in a position to validate projects wherein D-Link structured cabling products are implemented, with 25 years onsite warranty.
This cost effective indoor fixed dome camera with a built-in micro sd card slot, is equipped with industry-leading high definition (Full HD) megapixel resolution and H.264 compression that enable high-quality video footage to be recorded. It connects to a network to provide high-quality live video over the Internet. The robust camera housing is IK-10 certified, allowing it to withstand a high amount of force. It is capable of capturing video in both night and day with its built-in IR LEDs and IRcut removable (ICR) filter.
DGS-1500 SERIES SMARTPRO SWITCH
Thank You Partners!
The third edition of ChannelWorld ‘Most Valued Principal – 2012’ survey provided a neutral platform to partners to rate the vendors they work with, in India. A total of 437 partner organizations participated in the survey.
Enterprise Networking Hardware
D-Link was recognized as the Most Valued Principal and came second in Enterprise networking — Hardware and Wireless Networking categories. In fact, D-Link scored the highest in marketing assistance in the Wireless Networking category, highlighting its efforts in helping its partners provide the best networking technology to their customers.
We’re very pleased that our partners recognize D-Link’s channel focus with this award. We remain committed to providing system integrators and resellers with the products, programs and technical support they need to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Tushar Sighat, CEO, D-Link (India) Ltd.
The DGS-1500 series is a new Smart product line called SmartPro Switch. It contains 16, 24 or 48 10/100/1000Mbps ports plus 4 SFP ports and a 24 10/100/1000Mbps PoE plus 4 SFP ports switch. It is ideal for SMBs and enterprises that need L3 static route and virtual stacking without upgrading to a managed switch. The features include centralized management via D-Link intuitive single IP management, incorporates D-Link Green v3.0 and IEEE802.3az EEE compliance for more power saving along with more security and management features similar to managed switch with simple configuration.
Thornton A. May
Era of Disruption
rganizations are experiencing a frenzy of
restructuring. Currently, 60 percent of the companies in the Global 2000 are replacing the leaders in their top ranks, including their CEOs, CFOs, CIOs and COOs, as well as their heads of marketing, legal and human resources. Historically, in any quarter, one can expect 10 percent to 20 percent of Global 2000 companies to take such action. At the same time, 20 percent of the Global 2000 are experimenting by creating new leadership titles, such as chief digital officer, chief customer officer and chief analytical officer/head data scientist. As those emerging titles suggest, IT and marketing will be the functions most disrupted. CIOs seem to recognize this. During the CIO Practicum program at the University of Kentucky and the IT Value Studio series at Florida State College at Jacksonville, researchers asked attendees to come up with a name for the era we’re about to enter. The general consensus was “the era of disruption.” One erudite CIO went so far as to quote Valentine, a character in Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia, who says: “It makes me so happy. To be at the beginning again, knowing almost nothing… The future is disorder. A door 18
like this has cracked open five or six times since we got up on our hind legs. It’s the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong.” It remains to be seen whether that happiness is widely shared. Just about every function in the enterprise is in the midst of a fundamental shift. But the emphasis on IT and marketing is well placed. As Peter Druck-
The new C-level positions are being created to handle tasks perceived as not being addressed adequately by the incumbent CIOs and chief marketing officers.
Indian Channelworld may 2012
erwisely observed many years ago: “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two — and only two — basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” The new C-level positions are being created to handle tasks perceived as not being addressed adequately by incumbent CIOs and chief marketing officers. Michael Moon, the co-author of “Firebrands: Building Brand Loyalty in the Digital Age,” told the CIOs at the CIO Solutions Gallery at Ohio State University that we have entered a new age of marketing. He related how a professor of branding at Harvard Business School had this fact hammered home by his 13-year-old daughter when they were
on their way to an Apple store. “Dad, you don’t know anything about brands,” she told her father, the erstwhile world expert. “If you have to advertise a product, there is something wrong with it.” This is the world and the customer set that many chief marketing officers fail to understand. It is why so many companies feel the need for a chief digital officer — someone to connect with, engage and delight the current age’s always-on, digitally savvy customers. For their part, chief analytics officers are being asked to generate insights and formulate profitable actions from externally generated social and mobile data, as well as all the data that CIOs have been gathering from the extensive and unloved systems of record deployed over the past two decades. Chief customer officers are responsible not only for ensuring positive customer experiences, but also for shifting corporate focus, so that processes and behaviors derive from customer needs rather than internal needs. It will be fascinating to watch how these three new C’s play with the old C’s. Thornton A. May is author of The New Know: Innovation Powered by Analytics and executive director of the IT Leadership Academy at Florida State College in Jacksonville.
Dossier Name: Christian Hentschel Designation: Senior Vice President of Sales in Asia Pacific and Japan. Company: F5 Networks Role and Responsibilities: Hentschel is based in Singapore and is responsible for growing the F5 business across 14 countries in the region. Hentschel brings to F5 over 16 years of experience in the technology market. Previous Assignments: Prior to F5, Hentschel held various positions in the Asia Pacific region and Germany during a successful 13-year career at Cisco, gaining expertise in sales and channel leadership, business development, and product marketing. Hentschel has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Business Studies from Germanyâ€™s Worms University of Applied Sciences.
n The Grill
Christian Hentschel Senior Vice President â€” Sales, Asia Pacific & Japan, F5 Networks, talks about the companyâ€™s data center aspirations.
The F5 journey from ADN to a security infrastructure player has been quite interesting. Also, with focus on data centeroriented tie-ups, has F5 really sunk its teeth into virtualization and cloud? Indeed, the journey and the transition have been quite challenging and interesting. Going forward, few key trends present a huge opportunity for us. Mobility and IP traffic are driving enterprise application and network layers across voice, data and video. F5 is striving to enhance and excel its competencies in application delivery to meet these trends, secure networks and make them flexible and reliable. We are helping customers and partners to leverage and monetize capabilities at the data center, on the cloud. We deliver security solutions that help customers to protect applications. Our DDoS (distributed denial of service) solutions are a manifestation of this mandate. We have tons of opportunities to look into, and we are working towards optimizing these. Industry watchers believe that Cisco and may 2012
n The Grill | Christian Hentschel or VMware, we are open to partnerships, because VDI is a focus area at the data center. It will not only drive the data center business but will also drive the security focus for us.
VDI is a focus area at the data center. It will not only drive the data center business but will also drive the security agenda.
Citrix have a strong pact in VDI, while F5 may not have too many VDI capabilities. This makes data center-VDI a tough game for F5, doesn’t it? VDI is a great opportunity for us. It is, at some level, an application that becomes a browser. We need to have underlying intelligence in the data center; that is where F5 comes into the picture. F5 has a standing strong partnership with VMware for data center customers, with VMware standardizing their solutions on ours. We have a number of customers across APAC, who look at us to layer upon their existing Citrix VDI solutions. Whether it is Citrix 20
Indian Channelworld may 2012
F5 Networks has gone ahead and crossed its aspiration mark of being a billion-dollar organization worldwide. How significant has the APAC and Japan business been? The last few quarters have been very good to the company as a whole and have been viewed very positively by analysts. F5 closed last quarter with US$339 million, which was a 22.4 percent YoY growth and a 5.3 percent growth quarter-onquarter. APAC and Japan have the highest growth rates, with Japan at 45 percent and APAC at 24 percent, YoY growth, while the Americas clocked 21 percent and EMEA at 19 percent YoY. In the last couple of quarters, the business from APAC and Japan contributes to around 21 percent of the overall revenues of F5 worldwide, which is quite significant. F5’s recent acquisition of Traffix Systems happened despite the fact the company has its own telecom products. Why was this done, and will this acquisition really help to push the telecom agenda further? Absolutely, the recent acquisition will push the telecom as far as it needs to. Telecom is a chief contributor to F5 top-lines. Previously, in 2G and 3G deployments, the main attribute was the radius, while 4G goes on to the diameter. Traffix has a diameter solution and we were looking at a specialist player in the 4G space whose portfolio would enhance and integrate our existing 4G solutions and our service provider focus. We have more than 35 service providers and that is a huge opportunity to build on to the next level. Partners in India feel that the level of channel engagement between them and F5 is quite poor. Some have tried to engage with you in the recent years, acquire skill sets, but nothing went beyond a certain level. However, they are unanimous in saying your products are world class. Why this disconnect? I wouldn’t say that there is disconnect as such nor can I comment on specific partner observations. We have started to rebuild our India engagements in the last 18 months or so. We have a team in place. It is at a
challenging phase and we quite look forward to the changes. All partners across the world, including partners in India, have access to information depending on their certifications and specializations. Dev Central, a portal with access to customers and partners, is a community platform for application developers with about 1 Lakh unique users. Some of the solutions that we have deployed in India (in the service provider and the financial services) are quite sophisticated. Hence, the interaction is self-explanatory. From a channel perspective, 95 percent of our business comes from the channel. From a go-to-market standpoint, we have done everything within our control to ensure partners get the maximum benefit of all the resources we have. We are keen to continue to invest in India. Analysts feel that much of F5’s success can be attributed chiefly to its newer products, including higher-than-expected demand for Viprion 2400, F5’s midrange chassis. How true is this from an APAC and India viewpoint, and won’t the emphasis stagnate your growth? Yes, we are still not there from a high-end standpoint. We have observed that in the emerging markets, much of the business and interest that is evinced ranges in the low- and mid-range products. But, in the last year or so, in APAC, much of the growth that we are seeing is due to the change in customer perspective in understanding the value of high-end solutions. There has definitely been a quarter-on-quarter increase in the implementation of high-end platforms. From an India perspective, most of the customers are already using high-end platforms; these are larger deals. Given these changes, we are surely going to witness accelerated growth. So, is it effectively only the Global System Integrators (GSIs) who currently have the bandwidth to execute your high-end projects in India? I wouldn’t say that. At the end of the day, business is between people, and we will not restrict engagements on the basis of global or local; it is about competencies. We are engaging with players other than GSIs across all our business geographies and I see no reason for India to be an exception. — Shantheri Mallaya
On Record n
Senior VP and GM, Desktop & Cloud Division, Citrix, talks v about the do’s and don’ts in desktop virtualization By Radhika Nallayam
The traditional desktop productivity model was not designed for mobile, dispersed yet connected workforces that we see today. How is Citrix trying to address this? Payne: We have spent 25 years now putting PCs on everyone’s desk. We have managed them and controlled them. But it has become very complex and very costly. Most CIos today are spending between US$1500-4500 a year to manage a PC. That is a lot of money. Besides, if a user loses his laptop for instance, he loses the entire data. While a desktop or a laptop was great experience from a user point of view, it resulted in huge operational cost. The best thing about virtualization is that it allows us to provide the same kind of capability, with a greater and centralized control. Citix has huge experience on the application virtualization side. We have about 100 million people who access their applications through Citrix. In the last five years, we are trying to do that with the desktops. For the customers, it is a highly secure option too, as they keep everything in their data centre. So the biggest adopters of desktop virtualization are people who want security. Most of the leading banks in the world, for example, are centralizing their desktop and delivering them as a service. The magic for their employees is that they can work from anywhere and any device they want. In fact, companies started doing desktop virtualization for security and agility and later found that it was the new way
to work. The early adopters are industries like banking, health care (a lot of hospitals make centralized apps and deliver them to the doctors). Now CIOs in general business are also open to this concept, which is one of the reasons why we recently introduced our “VDI in a box.” This is meant for 100 or 200 users set up. It is a 100 percent channelbased product. We are targeting the SMB market through this product and are expanding our channel down at the low end, apart from our tier 1 and tier 2 SIs How does Citrix approach the Cloud that is now prevalent among enterprises? Payne: Any discussion of desktop virtualization naturally leads to cloud. There are a whole lot of cloud service providers in the market now. So we are providing technology for the cloud operators. Cloudstack is the orchestration software we have for cloud service providers. Besides that, we created the Citrix Service Provider (CSP) program about three years ago, and we licensed XenDesktop and XenApp under service provider license agreement (SPLA). So we build the infrastructure with them and they offer desktop as a service to their customers and mange it completely for the customer. We now have 1500 CSP partners. They don’t pay us anything until they start to work with customers. The CIOs can now make the decision of going to the cloud, because they have the flexibility to run under a hybrid environment.
n On Record | Gordon Payne The ROI for large users of desktop virtualization is solid. However, when we move down the scale, say for a 200-seat deployment, RoI is just not there in the horizon. Yet, desktop virtualization is often pitched by many vendors, with RoI as the single largest benefit. Why is that? Payne: Well, our biggest competitor in desktop virtualization is naturally VMware whose DNA lies in the data center. They never had to talk to the users. They went for the cost reduction message. The early adopters did desktop virtualization for business RoI, like security, agility and the ability to live through disasters (in Toronto, 8000 people had to work from home for a week during the protests). The discussion then turned to the “5-year TCO” and that is where some of our competitors are stuck. In the last three years, the industry has seen that desktop virtualization is strategic. Cisco, Microsoft, HP, Dell, EMC, NetApp — everybody has been solving the problem and what they have been doing is to attack the cost factor. We are now at a stage where the capital cost (cost per user), is less for a virtual desktop than a physical desktop. People are only starting to wake up to it now. And its not just Citrix, it’s the entire ecosystem of server and storage vendors together. So it has been a gradual transition. While Citrix is strong in desktop virtualization, VMware is equally strong in server virtualization. At what stage do you think you 22
The early adopters did desktop virtualization for business ROI. The discussion then turned to the “5-year TCO” and that is where some of our competitors are stuck will come to an equilibrium point for both? Payne: That has already happened last year. In the first half, we became hypervisor agnostic. Our customers can use VMware, Microsoft or Citrix and we are fine with it. We really don’t intend to make money from server virtualization. So, when you buy XenDesktop, you get our server virtualization for free. More than 60 percent of our customers use XenServer. But it will work with VMware and more and more HyperV. Even XenClient on the PC is free. We think that the hyervisor should be free and part of the hardware (part of the chip). We think that’s a right thing for this industry. VMware is unbelievably strong in enterprise server virtualization, but that is not cloud. When it comes to cloud, I think we are at 80 per-
Indian Channelworld may 2012
cent share with the cloud operators because they are using opensource Xen and cloudstack. Open source is a model that is attractive to most of the public cloud providers. Because it is relatively inexpensive and it gives them control and helps differentiates them from others. If you buy VMware, you are like everybody else. With open source, they are able to create differentiating capabilities to meet the needs of the customers and also build differentiation for the channel’s margins. That’s the reason why we donated our CloudStack to the Apache Software foundation, an open community of developers. Server virtualization is one thing, but orchestration and cloud management is a different world. CIOs are struggling with getting on to the new trends in technology while maintaining their legacy apps and infrastructure. How can enterprises then build a balanced roadmap? Payne: If the customer wants to make that transition, they should use Citrix. We have solved the consumerization problem for customers. All of the legacy applications can be centralized and then delivered to the various users through XenApp. I have always told CIOs that device diversity and consumerization is not your problem; it’s my problem. When you look at our financial results, everyone looks at desktop virtualization. But underneath that, our app delivery business, XenApp, is doing unbelievably well. The advantage is that now IT does not have to say no to any device and
they can say yes to anything, and they don’t have to worry about security. We are starting to hear the same things about applications and desktop virtualization that we used to hear a few years back with server virtualization—many application vendors refuse support or warranty the moment a customer tries to port apps. What are you doing to take the application providers along? Payne: In fact, we have been doing that for last 20 years. With XenApp, we centralized the applications and delivered them as a service. We now have 25 million applications running on our servers. So I would think that there is less than 1-2 percent of the world that has not dealt with Citrix to deliver applications. And if you’re an ISV and you don’t support virtualization, I think you’re going to go out of business. Another big challenge is the fact that the enterpriseclass connectivity is still very restricted, specially in the Indian hinterland. Are you trying to bring along telcos or do you leave that for your partners to do? Payne: We have been dealing with the networking issue for quite some time now. We started it with XenApp. And that is why our protocol is so efficient. However, we provide multiple options for XenApp. Sometimes, you can run it centrally and deliver it across the network. If the network is not reliable, you will have to stream the apps locally. I think it’s only a matter of time before the bandwidth issue is solved.
N N IT O OPE RA OW T S GI IS N E R OD RI E P
AWa R D S 2012 C O M P U T E RWO R L D & C I O
BEROAMERICAN december 2012 • madrid
r e g i s t r at i o n p e r i o d i s n o w o p e n s u b m i t y o u r a p p l i c at i o n at :
w w w. i d g . e s / p r e m i o s i b e r o a m e r i c a n o s
MIOS 2 E 01 PR 2 I
D & CIO IB
O R E
photographs by Kapil Shroff
Ketan Barai, MD, KayBee IT Solutions
cover story n
If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it — Mary Engelbreit
Executing a path breaking change and innovative strategy to drive a profitable IT business is a catch-22 facing
the channel community. The never-ending pursuit to register top lines and grow bottom lines keeps partners engrossed in a rather mundane routine. The restrained market demand post 2008/2009 recession has further reduced the risk appetite of partners to follow a “non-traditional” route. Winning deals amidst intense competition is getting tougher by the day. A solution provider foraying into new technology like cloud probably encounters the neighborhood channel folk too fighting for an enterprise deal. Systems Integrators emphasizing on value deals than volume business are beginning to feel the pressures to maintain company’s top lines. Many a times, going off the beaten track against conventional wisdom to garner “more rewards than risks” becomes the perfect catalyst for solution providers to accelerate the business. Read how three partner organizations in India displayed unconventional wisdom to elevate their business to the next level. And the results they have achieved so far have been good.
By Yogesh Gupta
>>> KayBee It Solutions
etan Barai reigned as what
he called himself as ‘Surgeon of Networking’ for past two decades in the Indian IT industry. Barai, MD of KayBee IT Solutions was Cisco’s first Tier 2 reseller in India and held the number one partner position for 3COM in the country from 1997 to 2003. He is now into networking of a different kind. Barai is actively involved in HR services of tech executives across distributors, vendors and partners of IT industry. The man who made millions as a SI in the nineties is now empowering IT executives to do the same. And, in turn, ensure that IT companies hire the best talented executives. With PC resellers entering networking business by the day, it makes little sense to invest more in SI (Systems Integration) business today, he says. Last year, Barai realized his longterm business relationships in the IT market were ripe enough to be nurtured for a new business venture. “I have been recommending IT executives to distributors and vendors on a friendly note since a decade or so,” he informs. Barai sensed an opportunity to monetize his IT experience and domain expertise and launched KayBee HR Consultancy (a division of KayBee IT solutions). Formed in January 2012, the company has placed middle and top manage-
ment executives across dozen odd IT vendors and distributors across different Indian cities. “Close to 3000 plus jobs change hands including addition of new jobs in IT channel space. If we can capture 5 percent of this job pie in next 12 to 18 months, it would be a profitable achievement,” says an optimistic Barai.
HR versus SI With market goodwill and a brand name in itself, Ketan Barai is synonymous with KayBee. Staying connected with IT world was the prime intention for the foray into HR business, he says. In early 2011, KayBee realized that it was not worth investing into SI business amidst dwindling profit margins, growing vendor targets and intense market competition. “Many new vendors were flooding the market with large number of partners leading to under cutting of prices. The rise in manpower costs, attrition woes, and training and certification investments just ate into the revenues,” he says. Today, most partners cannot practically invest with different vendors across various technologies and manage healthy bottom lines.” An enterprise customer today expects you to be one stop shop for all technologies. They want the number one technology at the least possible rate with impeccable SLAs. Barai, who was into real estate business since 2004, decided to pursue it fulltime. But he soon realized that he was not needed to put in more that 10
to 12 hours a week on an average. “My core strength was IT and with time on my hand, I decided to nurture my relationships in the market,” he says. And that is when KayBee was born. Compare business models of HR with SI and Barai replies, “It provides a platform for different things including manpower resources without heavy investment and sales target pressures (as in SI business). Scalability and Margins are the huge driving factors in this business vis-àvis SI business. KayBee IT Solutions is not exiting traditional SI business but there is no race to hunt for new enterprise customers since April 2011. “We outsource project orders of existing customers through competent channel partners. We are not investing anymore in manpower, training, etc., in the SI business.”
What’s the USP? KayBee HR Consultancy would soon be launching a web portal to facilitate manpower recruitment in IT field. “A distinct change from existing e-commerce job sites will be the confidentiality of the employer and employee. No names will be displayed but at the backend there will be seamless communication between two sides.” “Having worked in the IT market since two decades, I have the knowledge and expertise to find the right candidate for the right job at the right company. That is my USP against may 2012
n cover story other HR consultancy firms to execute the ‘right match making’. The motto is to help the industry grow with right kind of pool of talent,” states Barai. Besides charging a nominal fee to the employer, Barai personally does a due diligence about a candidate’s resume in terms of the basic profile, market feedback and his or her goodwill in the market. “Been in the industry, I have a fair sense of judgment about the candidate’s perception in the market, which might not be reflected in the resume at times.” A follow up is done through a conference call with employer and employee. After many checks and balances, the candidate is recommended as per Barai.
Big ‘Profitable’ Plans At present, KayBee HR Consultancy is conducting placements of pre-sales and sales people across the IT companies but there is plan to extend it to technical employees too. “No risks only rewards” is how Barai describes this new business venture. “The investment was minimal as I introduced my foray into HR through emails and social networking site to my contact lists. We would however indulge in marketing and advertising activities soon,” he says. Attrition is a huge problem across all industries and IT world is no different. The fervent movement of IT executives across middle and top management means more business for HR firms like KayBee HR Consultancy. However Barai maintains, “I have always invested in relationships in my life and the business was always incidental.” 26
within a span of a decade has launched operations to execute IT projects (services and consultancy) across U.S., Singapore and UAE. For a relatively small-size solution provider, it seems like a risky decision to compete with big established Tier 1 partners on foreign shores and simultaneously grow foothold in the domestic market. “We are now deploying additional manpower in UAE as we expect that business to grow more than 100% this year. We will soon launch operations in two South East Asian countries soon,” informs Vasant Bhanushali, Director, Crystal Solutions. Established in 1996, Crystal Solutions executed good quality service business until
Indian Channelworld may 2012
2001 for large enterprise customers. “We earned a good bottom-line from security services at that stage to help us stay quite profitable,” Bhanushali says.
The Bold Step Crystal Solutions served many customers in SEEPZ, Mumbai. In 2001, business projects were directed towards India both — off shore and on site from U.S. market. “We were a relatively small (Rs 1 Crore turnover) company at that time. But we thought that why should we stay confined to conventional business on Indian turf only?” recalls Bhanushali. The company picked one of the key persons from existing software companies who was well versed with whole modality of the overseas business. That’s how Crystal got its first manager for their first overseas branch at U.S. Crystal Solutions decided
to explore business outside Indian shores, register good bottom lines and plough back the money back into overseas business. What was the risk factor in going abroad? “There was no outside money or borrowing capital till date. The only risk was that it was our own money that we were investing in foreign locations,” he adds. By 2006, Crystal Solutions had 18 people in U.S. on our payroll who were consultants or project-based employees. “With a focused approach on services in niche areas, our aim was to make maybe small money but with good bottom-line,” he emphasizes.
A Niche Path Mumbai-headquartered Crystal Solutions has been a true believer of identifying niche areas in the technology space right since its inception. “In 2001, Siebel was the latest trend and we sent
“We clearly did not cater to ‘anything and everything’ on foreign land. The enterprises soon knew that if they wanted a skilled manpower at a good price, they would approach us. VASANT BHANUSHALI, DIRECTOR, CRYSTAL SOLUTIONS
cover story n Siebel specialists for support and development work to U.S. Later, we shifted skills to next emerging technology of Business Objects.” “We very clearly did not cater to ‘anything and everything’ especially on foreign land. The enterprise customers within a short time knew that if they wanted a skilled manpower at a good price, they would approach us, says Bhanushali. Working as a key partner with SAP for providing resources and skills, Crystal sniffed an opportunity to expand its horizon beyond U.S. markets. Few people from Crystal’s customerbase moved to Singapore in 2003. “They knew our strengths to provide services and providing skills, and hence, we started Singapore office,” he reveals. UAE is the latest country on the radar. “A leading technology vendor’s arm in UAE approached us to provide skill sets for the IT projects. Hence, the companies looking at pure skills and project implementation involved us for the execution,” he says. The main projects rally around the Tivoli stack including solutions, storage management. We have made inroads in Qatar, Saudi Arabia through their offices. Starting operations in 2010, UAE business already contributes 15% of the company total revenues. Besides reports of IT flourishing in UAE, every vendor from India including during Tier 1 partners were putting expanding operations in China and Middle East in 2009/2010, he says. Rather than wait for other partners to take advantage, we took early advantage and raked in good orders in UAE, he shares. A detailed homework and due diligence by a solu-
KEY LEARNINGS FROM ‘UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM’ ROUTE KayBee IT Solutions – Foray into HR l Minimal initial investment as the long term business contacts are the real assets. lE xtreme confidentially between employers and employees to instill trust is very important. lS calability and Growth of business looks promising as attrition continues to increase. l Propel your own IP. There is no pressure from vendors to maintain stocks and meet targets. Crystal Solutions - Foreign Dream lP ick a niche area of operations and domain expertise to reign as a market differentiator. lS tarted US office in New York (a costly city). Invest in foreign city with low taxation norms. lK eep a longer capital horizon to avoid employee attrition and business growth at overseas office. lP repared a small funnel of orders through India before lauching full operations in UAE. Compton Computers – Profit from Cloud l Identify the next big business opportunity through constant feedback by existing customers. l Keep the investment minimal or zero while foraying into new technologies like Cloud. lE xplore newer and innovative technology vendors than forge alliance with market leaders. l Opex (monthly pay per use) model is an extremely attractive proposition for SMEs. tion provider before plunging in foreign markets is very essential cautions Bhanushali.
Beating ‘Big Players’ The competition abroad is mainly from Indian companies – both Tier 1 and Tier 2 according to him. “We could work on smaller bottom-line, and hence, smaller margins to beat Tier 1 companies,” says Bhanushali. “However in 2007/2008 recession, these companies competed strongly while trying to work at our prices. But we could still stay ahead,” he informs. The company has categorically stayed away from occasional outsourcing orders from Tier 1 partners for overseas customers. “We execute projects directly with customers,” he says Competition with local companies is not much on foreign shores. “Indian skills
(manpower and expertise) are available at better prices though Philippines and Indonesia are putting up a tough fight. Indians are at high end of learning curve and enjoy an edge for professionalism and communication skills,” he says. It is crucial to tweak the strategy keeping in line with the market outlook. “In last couple of years, we are focusing less on U.S. market due to fewer margins in deals. We have reduced operations there but we can restart them as and when required. Singapore is becoming more of a trading hub than generating more business as before,” he explains. Crystal Solutions is deploying team (sales and pre-sales) in UAE for more business opportunities especially for security solutions. “Margins are better abroad
with good returns on investment. Being a services company, the overseas ventures were profitable as we broke even within couple of quarters,” he says. Crystal Solutions has started full-fledged Global Security Operations Center in Ahmedabad for its global clientele for consulting projects and security testing. Besides security which contributes 35% of company revenues, Crystal will focus on storage virtualization and cloud. We are launching own innovative security solution for securing Web Application which will be branded as ‘Oversight’, he says. At present, 80% of revenuesemerge from Indiabusiness. We foresee 70:30revenue ratio of India versusOverseas in next couple of years, says Bhanushali.
n cover story investment on hardware, we sensed a colossal business opportunity,” he says.
Worth the Risk
“All the components were available including hardware, clients, connectivity and with no investment on hardware, we sensed a colossal ‘cloud’ opportunity. SANDEEP VAHI, DIRECTOR , COMPTON COMPUTERS
‘Zero Investment’ Venture
n the month of April
2011, Compton Computers was conducting the regular revamp of their data center in Delhi. There were 8 to 10 old servers that were out of use and the technical team with consultation with management decided to sell them to the scrap. “The servers could not be used as protection for our data centers. With the hype around cloud, the management was bit reluctant to infuse fresh investment in IT for this emergent technology,” says Sandeep Vahi, Director, Compton Computers. The company formed an internal team of five people including marketing/technical support to capitalize on this piece of hardware and start some value-added service. The team thought 28
of foraying into an online back up offering especially for SMEs who do not have manpower to manage the online backup. “The old hardware was anyways going to scrap for a few thousand rupees. It seemed like perfect equipment for online backup,” says Vahi. However, Compton Computers needed to align with the right software vendor that could be compatible with the servers over the cloud and over the WAN.
Seize the Opportunity Compton checked with couple of popular software vendors that, surprisingly, did not run efficiently on old servers. After a month, the company tied with Vembu Technologies for its cloud data protection solution,
Indian Channelworld may 2012
StoreGrid, which fitted perfectly with the existing hardware for online backup. “The solution’s option to white label the software was a big plus for us and for our customer base,” says Vahi. The solution offering good data compression including 48-bit encryption was tested extensively for 45 days by Compton team. These WAN-related applications were not very processor–hungry, and hence, these servers worked perfectly, says Vahi. Since past couple of years, the backup requirement for enterprises will be huge due to data proliferation across services. Compton Computers was offering cloud through managed service since many years but the online backup on cloud was the new foray. “All the components were available including hardware, clients, connectivity and with no
Compton Computers is monitoring over 3000 end points within ten months of its foray. These are 50 to 100 end-point SMEs charged as OPEX model on a monthly pay per use. “New servers would cost anywhere around Rs 10 Lakh to Rs 15 Lakh but the only cost for this business model was marketing collateral for customers” says Vahi. With 2011 being a year of consolidation, venturing into Cloud with a fresh hardware investment would have been a strict no, he says. Data security was initially a concern with few clients. Compton conducted pilot for 200-odd end points with regular alerts, management of data and other online backup features. They have also applied for the data center certification viz. ISO27001.
A ‘Goldmine’ Future In the next three years, we aim to connect over two lakh endpoints for online back up. It will be the second big business line for us, says Vahi. With a strong foothold in cloud, the company might not invest in more hardware until 2013 for online back up until demand swells up. “We registered healthy bottom lines in cloud due to minimal zero investment in this business model,” says Vahi. The 500-plus customers for online back up includes eighty percent of existing clients, he adds. Compton Computers with its unconventional idea and high risk appetite made “Gold out of Scrap.”
photograph by Kapil Shroff
n case study
N. Jagannathan, CEO, Fourth Dimension
Phasing Out the token Fourth Dimension took mobile
banking at the Karur Vysya Bank to the next level. By Ankita Mitra
Chennai-based Fourth Dimension Technologies has a case in point on how a long-term association with Tamil Naduâ€™s Karur Vysya Bank (KVB) helped in bagging a deal for cost-effective mobile banking solutions that the bank was all set to implement last year.
The Banking Mission KVB was looking for a mobile banking solution with a wide reach and ease of use for its customers. The whole idea behind this was to save on the huge cost attached to the hardware tokens that was already in force for the last two years, implemented at an initial cost of around Rs 50 Lakh. Says Shanmughasundaram Sekar, CTO and Deputy General Manager, KVB, â€œWe wanted an mobile solution that was two-step authenticated, could be accessed through email when a customer is traveling abroad, and did not carry the hassles of hardware tokens such as the constant and may 2012
n case study very real fear of misplacing or damaging the token.” KVB had a strong reason to look for an alternative. To illustrate, each hardware token costs as much as Rs 1000. And with almost 700 customers across the country in 600 odd branches being enrolled everyday for 25 days in a month, this is an exorbitant expenditure on hardware tokens alone. CTO Sekar, who was driving the idea of a cost-effective, tightly secure mobile banking solution had a vision and a mission that despite being a traditional TN-based banker, they had to scale up to the latest trends in delivering the very best to their clientele.
The Steadfast Bond Given this background and mandate, KVB now approached Fourth Dimension, their long-term associate and SI partner. The bank’s association with Fourth Dimension dates back to 1996 when the SI set up the first WAN network for KVB’s 40 branches. “In 2002 Fourth Dimension also designed and implemented the network security, firewall and crucial detection systems for the bank,” said Sekar. Fourth Dimension has been associated with KVB not only for exclusive company deals, but is also a part of the consultation board for the IT infrastructure of the bank. “The CTO of the bank, along with the Directors who head the technical board, discuss with us even those implementations that didn’t come our way,” adds N. Jagannathan, CEO, Fourth Dimension. Having executed solutions for secure networks, datacenter security and virtualization for KVB, sealing the Internet security deal with this bank was a logical move for the solution provider. But that came with its own challenges, as they had to contend with the likes of Wipro, 3i Infotech and Sify for the deal. Sekar emphasized that based on past experiences, KVB decided to sign the deal for mobile banking with the company. “It was a given for us to go ahead with Fourth Dimension because they came up with a live POC and demonstrated it well. They had also helped us with setting up the hardware token. Moreover, having an alliance with a solution provider who knows the 30
Indian Channelworld may 2012
Snapshot Parties: The Karur Vysya Bank , Fourth Dimension Technologies
Location: Chennai Key Technologies: Two Factor Authentication for Internet Banking
Key Vendors: RSA Total Cost: Rs 1 Crore (Approx) Project Time: Four Months People Involved: N. Jagannathan, CEO, Fourth Dimension; Shanmugasundaram Sekar, CTO & Deputy General Manager, Karur Vysya Bank
Key Competition: 3i Infotech, Wipro, Sify Key Challenges: Moving to mobile banking from hardware tokens
Post Implementation ROI: Safer and secure access to banking transactions; savings on hardware token cost
banking infrastructure well makes it easier and reliable for a client to trust them with new projects.”
Looking Beyond the Legacy Fourth Dimension had to now move the mobile banking solution to the next level. Using RSA SecurID, the SI crafted a novel two-step authentication program for mobile banking which promised to eliminate these challenges and work out to be much cheaper and secure as compared to the tokens. Jagannathan confirms, “This was the first of its kind for us in the banking industry.” Sekar explains, “First, a customer keys in the given six-digit algorithm/ OTP received on email or mobile. Then a second password is requested by the system, where the customer keys in a four-digit password (very much like an ATM Pin). It is only then that the transaction is complete. This ensures a secure banking process. Jagannathan shares, “We hit upon this idea of introducing a two factor authentication and
a password program from RSA where a customer would get an OTP (one time password) and the algorithm would not repeat itself in the lifetime of its existence in the same device.” Further complying with the client’s requirement, this solution provider then came up with a new module of banking not only for the smart phones but also for a basic handset. These were banking passwords sent either to the cellular devices of the customers or to their mail accounts because of security concerns, making it hassle free, less tedious, and 30 percent cheaper than the hardware tokens. “The customers had already been authenticated during the token process. So rolling out the SMS model proved to be much cheaper and faster,” reveals Jagannathan. Sekar explains, “We also have an email option. A customer can inform the bank that they wish to move from the SMS to email-based model. From the security point of view, either a SMS or an email can be received at any given time.”
Rewards Galore With an implementation time of four months and an overall project turnover of Rs 1 Crore, the implementation has, to date, almost gone live, and will help the bank phase out hardware tokens in toto. Fourth Dimension’s venture into hardware tokens with KVB had earlier proven to be one of the most successful projects for the bank. KVB also won two awards for this project, one from the RBI itself. The SI hopes that this SecurID solution would be just as successful for them as well as KVB to work towards mutual benefit. As far as Fourth Dimension is concerned, the SI has no plans to stop at just mobile banking with KVB. The new mobile module has also helped the bank in reaching out to a wide variety of customers from agricultural-based to retail-based than before. This solution provider has also bagged other projects for KVB as well, where they are a vendor for routers and provide virtualization of servers through VMware. This is certainly a relationship that is going to last many seasons.
Not for Profit?
Pureplay ERP business is not as rosy as it appears, lament smaller partners.
a Mumbai-based Microsoft partner, believes that profits are hard to come if a Tier-2 channel partner tries to do exclusively ERP business with SMBs or mid-market companies. This is so because smaller customers do not have their own people to contribute in the process. Nor do they have the financial resources to pay for such large consulting services for their small projects. “Any startup will end up incurring losses.” Aggarwal affirms. Anita Jain, Director of New Delhibased Trident Information Systems has a similar story to tell. Trident’s first implementation in retail industry was a process of trial and error. The SI underestimated the cost of the project resulting in losses. Jain learnt a valuable lesson after they burnt their fingers in the next project as well. Jain says, “We realized that this is actually not a failure but the ERP business is such that you do not actually reap any profits initially. Therefore, we concentrated on creating goodwill in the market and continued supporting the clients. After a testing phase of around three years, we started making money, and today, Trident is perhaps one of the leading ERP players in the retail sector.”
Demanding customer, no pay The question remains as to what goes wrong and why is there so little money. Some reasons are easy to deduce. The large enterprise market is saturated,
By Kartik Sharma
one are the days when enterprises shied away from implementing ERP into their processes. Today, an ERP implementation is a crucial investment for customers as well as solution providers. Vendors like SAP, Oracle Apps, Microsoft Dynamics, SSA Global Technology, Infor are implementing ERP for enterprise, while 3i-Infotech, Ramco Systems, Godrej, Intentia, Tally and many other players have developed integrated systems for small and midsize companies. Along with the vendors, a big chunk of channel partners are in the fray to deploy ERP. However, partners have a different story to tell; they may not term
it a washout, but nobody is ready to call the ERP business a profitable one.
The Dry Lock-in Phase There is a veil of skepticism among partners, who opine that pureplay ERP business in India is not the profit rain that it promises to be. At least start-up companies should not expect to see profits in the first two to three years of business. Interestingly, a recent report released by Panorama Consulting Solutions backs the argument at a global level. According to the report, 50 percent ERP projects worldwide achieve less than 50 percent of their projected benefits. Devesh Aggarwal, CEO, Compusoft,
The whole idea of sustaining in ERP is that of scale. Grow business, increase the number of customers and offer services at affordable prices.” Srikant Rao, CEO, Affordable Business Solutions may 2012
n FEATURE | ERP Intellectual Property: Way to Go Gaurav Mathur CEO, Filix Consulting. With ERP business being so taxing in the initial years, is customization or IP creation a solution? Yes, the one way that smaller players like us can safeguard our survival and growth in the ERP business is by creating IP. Companies have adopted the concept of creating reusable customized ERP products for their areas of expertise. The companies then replicate these customized solutions and cut their cost of innovation and customization. How has Filix gone about doing this? Filix has established its competencies in real estate, and we have created customized products in this domain. The trade off is that we have found that costs have come down dramatically. Further, big OEMs like IBM have taken note of our ERP offering and refer customers. The IP initiative has grown and we have now created and implemented several software products in the market. This is no more a basic ERP offering, but a different, comprehensive software for the real estate industry. We have been appreciated for our initiative and have gone ahead and created an add-on solution. We believe that this bolt-on approach has differentiated Filix from other partners. We are also looking at patenting this solution. It will be a crucial move for us to reserve the Intellectual property with us. What is the road ahead in IP for you? Filix is looking forward to create similar IP in the automotive industry. We are working with JMP Group, a large player in automotive electricals, and will be implementing our verticalspecific solution for them.
with many of the large firms preferring to buy solutions from Tier 1 players or directly from the vendors. So, Tier 2 partners are left with selling ERPs to the SMB or mid-market sector, which has
We realized that ERP business is such that you do not actually reap any profits initially. After a testing phase of around 3 years, we finally started making money. Anita Jain, Director, Trident Information Systems 32
Indian Channelworld may 2012
a customer base that is reluctant to pay. Smaller deals offered by SMBs are not enough to bring quick profits. Aggarwal remarks, “Coupled with a small size project, we have to face the demand for discounts from customer as well.” To add to this, an ERP deployment has a sales cycle of around one year. Aggarwal says he expends more than Rs 1.5 lakh per person per month for the maintenance of ERP projects. He laments, “If my ERP specialist does not have the required amount of work on hand, then recovery of his remuneration is a challenge. I have ended up spending ten times the projected money on many deals.” There are also various hidden costs in the ERP projects. Apurva Dave, CEO, Innova Systems cautions, “Despite making conservative estimates, we have encountered unexpected costs in the form of employing more man-power, customizing the solution according to customer’s business needs, etc.” One of the major worries of partners is that clients take it for granted that
“services” are a part of implementation, and are not willing to consider paying separately for it. The solution providers, who fundamentally rely on service revenues, feel helpless in such situations. They receive the service fees ultimately when they lock-in the customer at a much later stage. This process often could take as much as two years or even more and most of startups may not be able to survive this harsh reality.
Circumventing the challenge A majority of partners believe that relying solely on ERP will not be a smart move. One must have sustainable parallel lines of business to avoid any financial crunch. A case in point is Innova’s Dave, who has spread his business alongside various technologies like CRM and BI, amongst others. Innova outsources all those ERP deals in which they do not have the domain expertise. This approach, says Dave, has borne fruitful results. Trident is going a step ahead and is planning to replicate its real estate ERP model in logistics with Intellectual Property (IP) that will help it to expand its vertical base. This SI is ready to face a no-profit phase in its maiden logistics project to see the big money in future. Compusoft, a Microsoft partner, is ready to patent its unique solution in auto ancillary manufacturing industry, and is promoting his unique solution with Dynamics in auto ancillary and the manufacturing industry. Srikant Rao, CEO of Bangalore’s Affordable Business Solutions (ABS), tries to rationalize the ERP gamble a little bit. ABS has successfully tapped into the SMB market with niche Microsoft and Tally products. Rao says, “The whole idea is of scale. You will have to grow your business and increase the number of customers. You will have to offer your services at affordable prices and fine-tune your internal process simultaneously. Finally, when you are a well-educated player in the market with a strong goodwill, you start earning profits, though this process may take multiple numbers of years.” But what happens if the partner were to run out of money? “Then he must quit the market wisely” Rao concludes with finality. This statement echoes the prevailing market sentiment very well.
Focal Point everything about Virtualization
Deploying VDI without centralized storage By Amir Husain
ne of the most significant cost elements with VDI is the centralized storage required for maintaining virtual machines. Hypervisor vendors argue that to get disaster recov-
ery and high availability, the additional expense is really a bargain. And in many instances, that might be true. But in many cases, cost is paramount; complexity is to be avoided; and three or four nines of avail-
he familiar debate of open source vs. proprietary IT offerings now seems in full swing in the cloud, and the rhetoric shooting back and forth between some of the major vendors is intensifying. The most recent round really picked up a few weeks ago when Citrix announced it would bring its CloudStack cloud building platform to the Apache Software Foundation, creating a competing model to OpenStack which had been gaining momentum in the open source cloud worlds. While Citrix’s move was initially seen as a competition to OpenStack, both companies have recently taken aim at a common foe: VMware. Officials from Rackspace, which is one of the biggest backers of the OpenStack project, are aiming their ire at Amazon Web Services. “Amazon’s proprietary system cultivates customer lock-in,” Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier was quoted as saying. “We think OpenStack will be the technology standard and our fanatical support will be the service standard. ” James Staten, an analyst with Forrester Research, says there is an age-old debate about open vs. proprietary offerings in IT that ebbs and flows. “Clearly we’re in a flow point right now,” he says. De facto standards in an industry “scare people” and push some to consider alternatives, which is part of the reason Staten says the debate seems to be flaring up. In the cloud world, AWS’s APIs are becoming a de ability may be far down the list of priorities. Availability and uptime are always important, but don’t forget that moving from traditional desktops
facto standard, creating this hubbub of commotion between vendors, Staten says. But what does it really mean for customers? Open source vs. proprietary has never been a black-and-white issue for either side. Open vendors claim their customers have much greater agility, and they let users advance the open source code in any way they want. Proprietary vendors sell customers on the stability and ease of management. Marc Brien, a cloud analyst with Domicity, says propriety cloud offerings are more advanced right now. but, “In the seearly days of cloud computing, the VMwares and the Amazons enjoy significant elbow room, but will find their market space narrowing as open source gathers momentum.” In a sense, competition is good for the customer. Competition pushes vendors to continue to innovate and reduce prices, which is good for end users. If open source cloud vendors can significantly cut into VMware and AWS’s market share, that will create new opportunities for cloud service providers to offer services around the open source products, similar to what Red Hat did with the Linux kernel. But, VMware and AWS have market-leading positions right now that will be difficult to topple. In the meantime, though, the mudslinging is most likely to continue. By Brandon Butler Network World (US)
to a VDI architecture will improve uptime and availability regardless of whether centralized storage is used. So the real question is whether a fairly significant
n focal point | Virtualization improvement in availability is good enough if it comes with low-cost, reduced complexity and fewer moving parts. Many IT shops will probably nod in the affirmative. Centralized storage is typically implemented with storage area networks that provide redundancy, network accessibility and management features that
go beyond conventional, local storage. For example, SAN management tools allow you to add disks to your array(s) without discontinuing service. And hypervisors leverage these capabilities to deliver improved uptime and high availability through support of features like live virtual machine migration (also referred to as VMotion in
VMware parlance). In the event that a hardware failure occurs on the server running your VM, you can use these live migration techniques to transfer a VM to a different server, thus maintaining continuity of service. These features don’t, however, make you immune to application crashes, OS crashes or many of the in-
Are Zombies Sucking the Life Out of Your Data Center?
ven if your organization has gone the virtualization route or is leveraging the cloud, chances are you’re still operating at least some of your own infrastructure. And that means there’s a good chance you’re operating servers and other equipment that are achieving nothing but the consumption of resources. That’s right; you’ve got zombies in your data center. “This is a very expensive issue for a lot of data centers,” says Paul Goodison, CEO of Cormant, an infrastructure management company. “A server can cost something like $2,000 a year, and somewhere between 10 and 30 percent of your servers are dead. In a 4,000-server enterprise, if 400 of them are dead, you’re looking at a bill for servers that are doing nothing of $800,000 a year. That a very significant amount of money.” Goodison points to one Cormant customer that thought it had 900 pieces of equipment. When Cormant performed an inventory, it found 1,300 pieces, some of which had no LAN connections but were still hooked up to power. Reasons for Zombie Servers Goodison says zombies tend to happen for one of two reasons. The first is that a server is lightly commissioned by the business for a period of time 34
and becomes a line item in a spreadsheet somewhere. Over time, the need for the application on that server goes away, but there is no tieback to any physical process to decommission it, or if the decommissioning process does take place, it is only partially completed. It is at least as likely that the user of the service on the server was never recorded. Eventually it just stops being used and no one knows. This is common when there’s no IT management solution in place, Goodison says. In time, the organization knows there’s a server physically there, but they don’t know what it does or who provisioned it. Data Center Under Control To get your data center under control, Goodison says you need to start with good documentation. And that doesn’t mean just another spreadsheet, Goodison warns. It starts with an accurate record of your physical equipment, along with owner information and a record of network and data connections. Switches can be zombies too, so you need to include them in your records as well. But you also need a data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tool that provides a common, real-time monitoring and management platform across your IT and facility infrastructures going forward. And your records must
Indian Channelworld may 2012
be updated regularly, including owner information as new equipment gets added. Once the documentation and tools are in place, you need to begin regularly querying and analyzing the logical information at your disposal: power draw, CPU utilization, network traffic and so on. This is especially important for servers you aren’t immediately able to identify. These metrics can often help you pick out a zombie, as power utilization, CPU cycles and traffic are often flat for dead servers. “You want to get down to a smaller list of servers that you don’t know what they are doing,” Goodison says. “And then you want to ask yourself, ‘Is this server properly labeled? Let’s log in and take a look. Is it doing work? Are things changing over time?’” “You need to take a look at a complete physical picture and supplement that with query data,” he adds. “Is that server actually plugged in and what power is it drawing?” In the end, it’s about making sure that you have complete visibility into your data center and how your equipment is performing. “Good management pays dividends in terms of ROI,” concludes Goodison. By Thor Olavsrud CIO.com
herent instabilities in the OS and platform stack that don’t have anything to do with hardware. So, even with live migration and a SAN backend it’s not as if you’re getting complete immunity from downtime. Yes, hardware issues on your host server are eliminated from the downtime equation, but this improvement in uptime comes at a premium. SANs are costly when purchased from the category leaders. There are smaller companies offering more economic solutions, but regardless of the vendor, this class of storage is considerably more expensive when compared to distributed or local storage. Distributed storage can be defined as self-contained islands of local storage associated with multiple servers, such that each local store remains accessible only to the server it is attached to, but where the aggregate capacity of all such islands can be used to store the total set of VMs required. For example, if the servers are implementing a collection of hypervisors for VDI, then individual user VMs may find themselves mapped to specific local stores. The aggregate of all local stores is the distributed storage capacity. The big advantages are setup is simple, no SAN or specialized storage management tools are necessary, the server configuration is fairly simple to order and support, and the cost per terabyte is much lower than for SAN based centralized storage solutions. The downside is uptime. If the hypervisor running your VM crashes, then you cannot move that VM to a different hypervisor using
live migration, and the end user will experience some downtime. But to truly understand the real world implications of this kind of failure, we need to consider two cases under which this situation may occur. First, that an intermittent issue occurs at the failing server, requiring a reboot or a process restart. In this event, a few minutes of downtime waiting for the server to come back online is all the end user will have to deal with; not completely unlike rebooting a conventional PC. The chances that this sort of issue will happen on a server, though, are usually far less than on a PC as most all servers use higher-grade components, error correcting memory, redundant network interfaces and so on. The second and more problematic scenario is when the server crashes entirely and cannot be recovered via a reboot. In this event, the user’s VM is now stuck on a local store that is no longer accessible. Clearly, this is a troublesome outcome because, in order to restore the user’s session, the entire VM needs to be re-created and access to the user’s data needs to be restored too. But as with all things in IT, one can’t rush to conclusions. It turns out you can architect things in a way that makes even this scenario not quite as disastrous as it appears at first blush. To understand how, let’s look at what a user typically has on their PC, or on their VM. There is an operating system of course, layered with applications, drivers, updates and configuration information. On top of this, there are userspecific environment set-
tings — or profile data. And finally, there is user data. A typical network of desktops uses methodologies like roaming profiles, or NAS-resident user data repositories (i.e., where your “Documents” folder points to a network location). If you use Active Directory or a similar centralized permissioning and authentication system, you can typically log into different systems and the group policies ensure your Documents and data folders are accessible and that they point to the correct NAS location. As far as the OS goes,
You can, in fact, use generic VM images which represent the various application configurations you need to support and allow networkbased user data shares to be mounted on these VMs post bootup via group policy or startup scripts. As for user profile customizations, you get quite a bit of this with default Windows roaming profiles. But if you are not using roaming profiles or prefer alternate approaches, various free resources are available to allow you to clone a user profile from a source Windows system and restore it
configuration. You start off with this master copy, clone it for the needs of an individual user, then mount user data volumes and copy the profile over via group policy on login and you’re done. In an enterprise environments where hundreds of application configurations need to be supported across tens of thousands of images, it will be simpler to use a base VM for the OS configuration, but add Application Streaming or Application Virtualization to customize the image from an app perspective.
Virtual machine features don’t, however, make you immune to application crashes, OS crashes or many of the inherent instabilities in the OS and platform stack that don’t have anything to do with hardware. typically all your office computers will be on the same version, with the same updates applied. But there still might be some differences in the applications accessible to PC A versus PC B. A corporate IT department will typically have OS images for each type of user, and these images will contain the applications necessary to serve that type of use. While this approach certainly beats having to install each OS configuration manually every time a new user is commissioned, it is still a little kludgy and time consuming. So, how can we solve each of these issues, i.e., OS availability, app availability and user-data availability in a distributed VDI context? It so happens that NASstored user data or roaming profiles are entirely feasible in conjunction with VDI.
to a destination. An IT tech with basic group policy and scripting skills is able to achieve profile migration for free. If, however, the customer requires the “comfort” of a packaged product to achieve what a few scripts will do, there are numerous profile management and migration solutions available from small and large companies alike. Even though the expense may represent some added cost (which, as mentioned, can be avoided), it will probably still handily beat the extra investment necessitated by centralized storage. Finally, how do we deal with applications? In simple environments where there are a few application configurations, you can likely get away with just having a small number of pre-configured VMs that represent each app
VDI delivers unquestionable advantages and a far more flexible delivery architecture for enterprise desktops, and hopefully this article shows you can deploy VDI without centralized storage, at reduced cost, while still delivering most of the advantages of desktop virtualization. While the approach highlighted is just one of many possible, it is a vendoragnostic approach and does not require a specific type of hypervisor to work. There are vendor-specific methodologies too, which readers may investigate based on their hypervisor preference. Hopefully, by leveraging our approach, or a variation thereof, the cost of centralized storage will not prevent smaller companies and distributed teams from experiencing the exciting world of virtual desktop computing.
— Network World (US) INDIAN Channelworld
n focal point | Virtualization
Busting the Myth; Checking Reality An informed path to virtualization performance management By Nathanael Iversen
erformance management has
become the key element in maximizing any virtualization initiative, but many myths have emerged that, left unchecked, can stall an entire virtualization initiative. Here are some of the biggest myths and the corresponding realities to enable IT to chart an informed path forward and successfully scale deployments. Myth 1: VI and desktop administrators only need to worry about server metrics. Reality: Performance management tools must be able to analyze information across all IT silos — from
the end user, to the application, to the network, to servers, VMs and storage — covering both the physical and virtual metrics. Without this data, administrators cannot pinpoint and troubleshoot potential performance issues accurately, such as when there is a clash of resources across the WAN or a storage latency issue. Myth 2: It is impossible to fully capture the end-user experience as it happens. Reality: Performance management solutions must capture the end-user experience in order to ensure end-user satisfaction, identified as the number 1
Indian Channelworld may 2012
factor in determining the success of any VDI implementation. If users can trigger a DVR recording of their activity when problems occur, administrators can capture the real-time load on the infrastructure, such as CPU, memory, storage and the interactions of the desktop. A recording like this gives users a simple and proactive way to communicate with IT as soon as they encounter performance problems — instead of trying to explain what went wrong after the fact. Myth 3: Performance management doesn’t have to be live. Reality: To ensure performance of a virtualized infrastructure, you must deal with information associated with a huge number of objects in a live and continuous fashion. Without live, interaction-focused performance management, you only have partial picture of what’s happening in your infrastructure. Second-by-second insight allows IT to see what set of interactions caused a particular performance shift. this “liveness” allows for triage as opposed to postmortem analysis. Myth 4: Capacity planning and performance monitoring deliver the same functionality. Reality: Capacity planning and performance manage-
ment provide complementary capabilities at opposite ends of the time scale. Capacity planning is useful to identify long-term, slow-moving trends that may affect production systems in the future. It can also be used in scenarioplanning exercises to determine things such as the number of additional desktops that can be added to a VDI cluster. Performance management, on the other hand, is the only way to catch fastmoving contention events that occur in mere seconds or minutes. Operationally, performance management is used every day to inspect the infrastructure as it dynamically shifts and flexes to accommodate user and application load. In production networks, performance management covers the immediate day-to-day requirements of understanding, troubleshooting and optimizing virtual data centers; capacity planning provides a long-term, future-facing view of slower moving events. Myth 5: Virtualization is just another silo. Reality: A virtualized environment is all about shared resources, as opposed to a separate and distinct silo. In virtualization, the silo walls have come down, and a holistic approach toward performance management is needed to manage these shared resources. IT must fully understand how virtualized applications affect other workloads to get the most value from their virtualization initiatives. Myth 6: Agent-based software is necessary. Reality: Agent-based software limits the scalability
of virtualized environments, increasing bottlenecks and duplication. Having a guest agent in every VM severely restricts IT’s ability to scale their virtualized infrastructures — and limits the extensibility that is required in order to accept data feeds from multiple silos. Myth 7: Separate tools are OK in a virtualized infrastructure. Reality: Understanding the causality of performance issues is critical in virtualization. IT needs to have understanding about the causality of performance issues, and to do so requires integrated insight in a single system — for example, insight into all objects’ interactions with other objects that, in fact, may be causing the problem. Virtualization is a dynamic infrastructure, and IT needs to monitor dynamic shifts as they occur to see correlation between objects and interactions. Myth 8: Virtualizing line of business (LOB) applications is too risky. Reality: Companies are realizing that virtualizing their LOB applications is absolutely necessary for them to achieve the full benefits of virtualization. With live and continuous, cross-silo insights spanning the physical and virtual, IT now has the understanding needed to ensure the performance and availability of their most critical applications — stopping the stall and maximizing the value of initiatives. Myth 9: ROI for performance management is impossible to determine in virtualization. Reality: Effective performance management gives IT a way to maximize the
Net-based power management
rom the comfort of your couch, maybe via a tablet in hand, you can now turn on and off a data center generator that could be as large as a house. This capability isn’t really surprising. Remote access to data center functions, including server and network operations, are now routine in many facilities. Anyone using a cloud service to manage environments is doing it remotely. But the ability to remotely manage critical power systems at data centers using megabytes of power — and to also back those systems up with massive generators — still makes some people uncomfortable. They see the capability as a potential security risk. Emerson Network Power has taken consumer-like capabilities, touch screens and support for multiple devices and made it part of its Asco Powerquest, a power monitoring, control and reporting system. What were once hardwired connections in a control panel have now been made digital with a touchscreen. The system, on display at a recent Afcom data center conference in Las Vegas, offers a system overview, with primary colors used to indicate the system status. These power systems can be turned on and off over the full ROI of their virtualization initiatives by reducing time to problem resolution and by extending their virtual footprint to include LOB applications. Both enhance virtualization’s value to organizations and give IT the ability to more easily communicate the long-term value of the technology beyond
Internet, a capability being driven, in part, by changes in the National Electrical Code. Those changes require generator testing for industries that provide critical services, said Bhavesh Patel, the director of marketing for the Asco line. The users of these systems often conduct generator tests off hours, and have generation systems scattered in multiple facilities, said Patel. “The hospital industry needed this because they don’t have the people to conduct those tests overnight or on the weekend, which is the most preferred time,” said Patel. Even so, Philip Berman, who is the data center practice head at PricewaterhouseCoopers and a former CIO, isn’t comfortable with remote management over the Internet. “I err on the side of reducing risk,” he said. “I would much rather have a pair of smart hands on the ground.” Yves Carriere, a data center manager for a facility he didn’t want named, was blunt: “If you can remotely shut it down, that means that somebody can hack into your system.” Neither Carriere nor Berman ruled out the use of remote management, but said they would need convincing of its security. Patel cited things like the capex savings in terms of hardware. Myth 10: Large IT management vendors will lead virtualization management. Reality: Managing virtualized environments differs in almost every way imaginable from managing a physical legacy environment. Third-party management vendors — over
ATM infrastructure, which already runs off the Internet, and even remote surgery as evidence that a high level of trust can be created for even the most critical systems. Patel pointed to the use of 128-bit encryption, and said a user’s device has to have software installed on it as the first level of authentication. Remote monitoring of critical systems, however, is an easy sell. Keith Chapman, manager of network architecture and security at Stewart & Stevenson, which makes oil and gas field equipment, runs a small data center — and remote control of critical power systems isn’t something he needs. But being able to monitor operations is a different story. Two years ago, his data center got a tool that can remotely notify him when its generator turns on, or if battery or fuel supplies are low. He can even check fuel levels. The messages are sent via email and it’s made a big difference in operations, said Chapman. Previously, the building security guard would call during off-hours to tell him the building generator was running. Until that monitoring system was put in place, “I couldn’t tell,” said Chapman. By Patrick Thibodeau Computerworld (US)
enterprise management vendors — are ahead of the game with the functionality, and advanced interactional analytics capabilities, designed specifically to manage dynamic virtualized environments, as well as growing hybrid infrastructures with multiple hypervisors.
Network World (US) INDIAN Channelworld
■ maCRO VIEW | Kiran Bhagwanani Manoj C Jain, Vice President — India & Middle East, Birlasoft, talks about the company’s India strategy Birlasoft has been in the IT industry for almost two decades now. How have you evolved over the years? Starting out as Birla Horizons International, in 1992, the CK Birla Group entered IT Services in order to play a vital role in partnering global businesses to transform and innovate. In 1995, the company was rejuvenated and renamed Birlasoft. Based out of India, Birlasoft has participated in the globally evolving IT industry, while remaining focused on continuous innovation, benchmarking and learning. We are one of the leading systems integrators having delivered projects for enterprises and governments in India, APAC, Europe and US markets. So what does it take to be a successful solution provider in the Indian market? We need to demonstrate our understanding of the ever-changing business environment, trends and specific challenges faced by Indian business. We must understand customer pain points to suggest appropriate solutions. Instead of working in typical client-vendor relationship model, the need of the hour is to work in true partnership model. Working “with” the client is the key and not just working “for” the client.
Birlasoft eyes new frontiers in systems integration through its enterprise services By Aritra Sarkhel 38
Indian Channelworld may 2012
ph o t o g r a p h by foto c o r p
What are your major focus areas in India? Birlasoft offers integrated portfolio of services to its clients in the areas of consulting, systems integration and outsourcing for key-industry verticals — banking, financial services, insurance, healthcare and manufacturing. We also have credible success stories in government and education sectors and we’ll continue to focus on these areas as well. Our growth primarily comes from domain-driven horizontal service lines, wrapped with our Value Added Consultant (VAC) model in BFSI and Manufacturing verticals. Application Development and Maintenance Services (ADMS) business, enterprise solutions such as ERP, CRM and BI/DW, and testing
Manoj C Jain | maCRO VIEW n services are the other major contributors to our business. You seem to have great focus on bringing in vertical specific solutions. How do you ensure that your solutions get the “vertical flavor” based on the needs of different verticals? Our various horizontal service lines have been prepared with domain flavor. We have industry-experienced teams of domain consultants as part of our verticals, which helps in understanding and addressing the real customer issues. Our focus of delivery has been to give business value to our customer rather than just completing the project. Our VAC model has been received very well in US and Europe. Considering e-gov projects have always played a significant role for most players in the systems integration business, what level of importance does this sector hold for Birlasoft? There is no doubt that government is one of the biggest spenders when it comes to IT projects. It’s obvious that nobody can overlook government sector. Currently, we are talking with a few government authorities to address their eGovernance needs. Despite huge opportunities in government sector, there are various challenges in working with them. We have, off late, reduced our focus from eGovernance projects owing to long gestation period, challenges during implementation, change management issues, complexities of multiple components and some issues in payments. Our focus is on implementation projects as against development ones. What do you consider as a meaningful project? Many Tier-1 players usually bid only for large size deals. We are rarely guided by the ticket size alone. We look at every opportunity from various angles such as its strategic importance, our vertical focus, horizontal competence, future growth opportunities, and above all, see if Birlasoft can help in meeting clients’ need to their satisfaction. How is your value proposition different from other Tier-1 SIs present in India
Our various horizontal service lines have been prepared with domain flavor to provide business value to all of our customers
considering there’s fierce competition in this space? Birlasoft is uniquely positioned to offer consulting and services that bring in efficiency in delivery and performance, and offer quality at practical price point to the businesses. We are a very strong player in the enterprise solution space and have leadership in quite a few of them. For example, our leadership in PeopleSoft, Siebel and Oracle space gives us tremendous edge over our competitors. Besides, our operating flexibility, domain focus, cost of delivery, process focus and experience of working with the Fortune 500 company puts us in a different league altogether. As far as competition is concerned, we strongly believe that in country like India, there is enough space for 10-12 top players. Apart from the tier 1 players in the country, there is a whole ecosystem of tier-2 players who are growing big in terms of capabilities, domain knowledge and specific skill sets. How do you address the competition from such
players? As said earlier, we strongly believe that in a country like India, we have enough space for at least a dozen players, looking at the overall IT spending in the country. No doubt, there will always be market for niche players in a specific domain which cannot be taken away. But that does not affect the top-tier players who play across multiple horizontal service lines. Our unique experience of working with a small company to a Fortune 500 company, in identified vertical focus and horizontal competencies, global presence with local culture ethos, and flexible delivery service model puts us in a unique position and league against the competition. Cloud has been the buzzword for some time in India. Is Birlasoft betting big on Cloud as a market? We are extremely bullish about cloud. We are in discussion with a few customers in India on cloud-based solutions. We have been working with various customers and prospects to understand their requirements and accordingly tune our solutions to their need. Recently, we have delivered a cloud-based solution to one of the top engineering institutes in India. Do you see mobility as a strong trend among enterprise users in India? We strongly believe that the global IT landscape is going to change tremendously in next two to five years. We expect that more and more users will rely on tablets and mobile rather than desktop as client. We are also gearing up ourselves to build our capabilities in mobile application development rather than restricting onto PC-based projects only. What is Birlasoft’s growth driver for the next phase? Birlasoft is on transformation journey and it has demonstrated very good growth in revenue last financial year. We are focused towards emerging geographies apart from Americas and Europe. Enterprise solutions, systems integration projects, infrastructure management projects and testing solutions will continue to drive the growth of revenue for Birlasoft. may 2012
n face off
EMC Vs. NetApp
Head - NetApp India Technology & Solutions Organization
Country Manager, Data Computing Division, EMC India & SAARC
The Big Difference?
EMC and NetApp pursue diverse technology roadmaps to oust each other in big data. Who will rule the market?
oday, EMC represents the industry’s most formidable approach to big data storage and analytics with breakthrough products that enable organizations to gain greater insight and value from their data than ever before. EMC acquired Isilon Systems and Greenplum to help customers capture, store, integrate, manage and analyze big data in the larger sense. Isilon’s simple advantage is that its scale-out NAS systems are designed to begin small and scale quickly and non-disruptively up to 15 petabytes in size, with extremely high levels of performance and availability. It can build a highly reliable scale out cluster with 144 controllers. Greenplum’s massively parallel, scale-out architecture, along with its self-service consumption model, has enabled it to separate itself from the incumbent players and emerge as the leader in this industry as it shifts toward big data analytics. As part of the new Greenplum UAP (unified analytics platform), Greenplum HD (Hadoop) offers an enhanced enterprise distribution of Apache Hadoop. EMC has recently launched Isilon scale-out NAS with native HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System) capabilities, combined with EMC Greenplum HD, which delivers powerful big data analytics on a flexible, highly scalable and efficient storage platform. This industry-first solution will eliminate the CIO’s need to spend valuable time investigating and integrating products from multiple vendors and also future-proof their investments. In addition, it is the first and only end-to-end Hadoop solution in the industry that is ready for deployment in business critical enterprise IT environments. 40
Indian Channelworld may 2012
etApp has divided the solution sets for managing
data at scale into three main areas, called the “Big Data ABCs” — analytics, bandwidth, and content. Analytics focuses on providing efficient analytics for extremely large datasets. High-bandwidth applications include high-performance computing; the ability to perform complex analysis at extremely high speeds; highperformance video streaming for surveillance and mission planning; and as video editing and play-out in media and entertainment. Content solutions must enable storing virtually unlimited amounts of data, so that enterprises can store as much data as they want, find it when they need it, and never lose it. With Data ONTAP, not only does NetApp have the richest data management platform in the industry, but also the largest market share by revenue for any single storage architecture in the industry. With the E-Series, which came through the Engenio acquisition, we have the world’s best price/performance optimized solution building block for big data applications. This product in terms of footprints or install base has the largest number of systems as its products were being rebadged by IBM, Oracle, Teradata and other vendors. Our biggest competitors by their own admission has a single largest customer with an install base of 50PB. Today our largest customer manages more than 650PB of data on our storage. NetApp offers an open eco-system of best of breed partners, with whom they create joint solutions for big data instead of limiting the customer to any one architecture or technology. — As told to Yogesh Gupta
Published on May 14, 2012
ChannelWorld and IDG’s other IT channel brands have been serving senior IT channel members in over 34 key markets such as Australia, Germany...