“Cloud is a means to an end, not an end by it­self”

In a one on one with DQ Chan­nels, Mukul Mathur, Vice Pres­i­dent for Global Busi­ness Part­ners and Global Sys­tem In­te­gra­tors for In­dia and South Asia at IBM speaks about the Chan­nel Strate­gies of IBM

DQ Channels - - Cover - JY­OTI BHA­GAT jy­otib@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

TELL US ABOUT IBM CLOUD PRI­VATE

I can give you a lit­tle bit of back­drop on what’s hap­pen­ing at IBM on our cloud jour­ney and then how does this align to the var­i­ous set of things that IBM is work­ing on.

Ac­cord­ing to the IBM re­port, our an­nounce­ments in the last quar­ter about the cloud busi­ness glob­ally that closed at al­most 15.8 bil­lion dol­lars, it was a 20% growth and per­haps it was one of the sin­gle largest cloud rev­enue en­ti­ties glob­ally. So it’s a very large part of our busi­ness and not just the cloud rev­enue but as a ser­vice rev­enue, which is clients buy­ing our soft­ware as a ser­vice, plat­form as a ser­vice which is up at 24%, with 9.4 bil­lion run rate. So it’s a very large part of what we do in terms of tak­ing our of­fer­ings in the cog­ni­tive spa­ces to cus­tomers on the cloud.

In­dus­try re­ports, like IDC says that pri­vate cloud is ex­pected to be a 28 bil­lion dol­lar op­por­tu­nity by 2020-21, which is al­most 70% higher than 2016. So it’s a huge op­por­tu­nity and IBM as very spe­cific of­fer­ing on the pub­lic cloud, we call it the IBM cloud and we have al­liances across dif­fer­ent so­lu­tion part­ners like VMware or SAP, so we do of­fer we have a data cen­tre in In­dia out of the 60 odd pub­lic cloud data cen­tres that and we have tremen­dous but this an­nounce­ment which is IBM Cloud Pri­vate is what al­lows cus­tomers to ba­si­cally trans­form their pri­vate in­fra­struc­ture into a cloud type in­fra­struc­ture. So the ques­tion is why they would want to do that, so it’s all be­hind a data cen­tre right. I have an an­swer which is very sim­ple. If you think about why peo­ple use cloud as a busi­ness model or an in­no­va­tion plat­form, they use cloud, what started to ap­pear as, it is cost and it is you know the, as a way to re­duce pric­ing, as the big­gest fea­ture but as an en­ter­prise turned out, the big­gest, one of the big­gest rea­sons why cus­tomers like the cloud model of ap­pli­ca­tion re­quire­ment is be­cause It gives flex­i­bil­ity and speed. Flex­i­bil­ity in terms of how and where …speed be­cause on the cloud you’re able to pro­vi­sion, to change, to add ca­pac­ity, re­duce ca­pac­ity on a dy­namic . So tra­di­tional in­fra­struc­ture in the pri­vate en­ter­prise tended to be very …there is a data­base server, net­work, there is a stor­age box for this ap­pli­ca­tion. Tra­di­tional ar­chi­tec­ture tended to be very si­los and not flex­i­ble. By hav­ing a tech­nol­ogy or opt­ing IBM cloud Pri­vate you can con­vert all of that in­fra­struc­ture as a cloud server, as a shared ser­vice model and you can then start to de­ploy ap­pli­ca­tions rapidly as well as flex­i­bly. You can start to use data across dif­fer­ent ap­pli­ca­tions. You can start to vir­tu­al­ize your net­work, your stor­age, your com­pute and re-al­lo­cate or re-as­sign it across the work­load depend­ing on what is com­ing, where the vol­umes are higher, where the vol­umes are lower all within se­cure, pri­vate of­fer­ing and last but not the least you can then start to de­velop ap­pli­ca­tions, you can have ap­pli­ca­tions that can seam­lessly work across your pri­vate and pub­lic cloud. So what­ever ap­pli­ca­tion you write, if it is try­ing to ac­cess com­pute and data in the pub­lic do­main from so­cial sites etc, it can ex­tract that data from in­side your pri­vate cloud if it is try­ing to look at data in­side your pri­vate cloud en­vi­ron­ment it can look at that data and it can com­bine the two to draw good an­a­lytic cog­ni­tive in­sights ca­pa­bil­ity as you go so. Oth­er­wise in the past you would have ap­pli­ca­tions in house ap­pli­ca­tions you’re try­ing to look for cloud, you’re try­ing to look for dif­fer­ent ap­pli­ca­tions or try to fig­ure out how to com­bine , if you can look at the en­tire in­fra­struc­ture and data that you have as cloud in­side the fire­wall as well as out­side the fire­wall . So we

be­lieve this of­fer­ing will help cus­tomers make their pri­vate data cen­tres or in­side the fire­wall ca­pac­i­ties tran­si­tion into a cloud that is a de­liv­ery model or a ser­vice model and there­fore bring in tremen­dous in­no­va­tion in the way they use the ap­pli­ca­tions. So that’s what this is.

SO WHAT ARE THE CHAL­LENGES FACED BY IN­DIAN EN­TER­PRISES IN A CLOUD EN­VI­RON­MENT?

In my view, Cloud is a dis­rup­tive busi­ness model. In this trans­for­ma­tion jour­ney, there­fore en­ter­prise need to have skills and or good con­sult­ing or ad­vi­sory for di­vid­ing work­load on the pub­lic cloud, and the pri­vate cloud, the big­gest chal­lenge that most en­ter­prises come across is skills. So they need to have a part­ner, they need to have a provider as well as a part­ner who can help them nav­i­gate this jour­ney. And they can have deep in house skills too but not ev­ery­body would prob­a­bly have the same level of depth of skills. They need a part­ner who un­der­stands their en­ter­prise, who un­der­stands the value that they are try­ing to drive from this dis­rup­tive model and there­fore ad­vise them and im­ple­ment for them the right mix of pub­lic, pri­vate or hy­brid im­ple­men­ta­tion. There are two other small points to that. Once they go into this jour­ney of iden­ti­fy­ing what this is then the piece of work and ef­fort in terms of mov­ing and mi­gra­tion. At IBM we have au­to­mated, we use a lots of tools and au­toma­tion and as well as some ser­vices to make sure that these mi­gra­tions are seam­less be­cause these are run­ning all op­er­a­tions of busi­nesses. Clients need SLAs, they need re­li­a­bil­ity pa­ram­e­ters be­cause they will de­pend on the cloud in­fra­struc­ture if it is pub­lic specif­i­cally to be avail­able to them when they need with what­ever they need. SLAs, these are en­ter­prises -.that’s an area, but I have no idea of what the li­a­bil­ity is, whether it would re­main as re­li­able as it is. Last but not the least many times clients start with the as­sump­tion that cloud is cheap. And it ap­pears so but the anal­ogy is very sim­i­lar to whether you have a car of your own or you would al­ways use Uber and Ola. And an­swer may vary in the city you live vs the city you are vis­it­ing. So those fi­nan­cial con­sid­er­a­tions have also to be deeply worked upon be­cause it’s not the most ob­vi­ous an­swer. Some places it does turn out to be a great dis­rup­tor. For ex­am­ple we have clients who would want to run a mar­ket­ing cam­paign or an event. That’s a one-time ac­tiv­ity which may run on the IBM com­merce port­fo­lio and mar­ket­ing cloud en­vi­ron­ment. They can run it, get your re­sults out and move on. But if you are run­ning a core bank­ing ap­pli­ca­tion you’d rather prob­a­bly find it bet­ter to run it on a pri­vate en­ter­prise setup. And if you can make it a cloud like the way we were talk­ing, like a pri­vate cloud to have the flex­i­bil­ity but they don’t have for­ever high on­go­ing run­ning cost.

HOW MANY CLOUD PART­NERS DO YOU HAVE AS OF NOW?

Ac­tu­ally it is dif­fi­cult to say if there is a cat­e­gory for cloud part­ners and I tell you why. Be­cause ev­ery of­fice that we have to­day -all the soft­ware that we have is avail­able on a premise model. It is also avail­able on SaaS model. The de­vel­op­ment en­vi­ron­ment SAAS in­fra­struc­ture avail­able as pub­lic cloud and pri­vate cloud, prod­uct, sys­tem, hard­ware, server, stor­age etc. prac­ti­cally in a way ev­ery part­ner is part of a jour­ney of this cloud and to this ex­tent that I will say cog­ni­tive. Ev­ery­thing in the com­pute stage or any­thing that is data in any shape or form, tra­di­tional data, un­struc­tured data or data from de­vices, you know IoT type data, any data is re­quir­ing some kind of an­a­lyt­ics, some kind of cog­ni­tive in­sights. So in a way all the part­ners that we work with in some way or the other part­ner par­tic­i­pate with in our cloud jour­ney. And we work with a lot of part­ners. Our part­ners in the new world vary from very large sys­tem in­te­gra­tors and to ISVs to start-ups, to even de­vel­op­ers who are try­ing dif­fer­ent things. So it’s a huge range of part­ners in our ecosys­tem, that to­day work with us on the cloud and cog­ni­tive tech­nol­ogy.

WHAT IS THE GO-TO MAR­KET STRAT­EGY FOR IBM CLOUD?

Like I said our part­ners will be a vary to go-to-mar­ket strat­egy be­cause many of our part­ners man­age the in­fra­struc­ture or the con­ver­sion in­volved in­side the fire­wall struc­ture as well as pro­vide sin­gle point man­age ser­vices point of con­nect to the clients so our part­ners will be a very large part of this strat­egy. What our part­ners will be do­ing is, they will be en­gag­ing with the cus­tomers on one or two points that I talked about be­fore, the cus­tomers would need some con­sult­ing, some ad­vi­sory work, some skills, to un­der­stand how to in­te­grate what ben­e­fits to ex­pect, what work­loads to go, how to in­te­grate it across pub­lic and pri­vate do­mains for the tremen­dous ser­vices op­por­tu­ni­ties for part­ners, there is also a tremen­dous abil­ity to en­hance, up­grade in­fra­struc­ture in the pri­vate en­ter­prise. So lot of our ex­ist­ing sys­tem part­ners, lot of our ex­ist­ing soft­ware part­ners will par­tic­i­pate with us in this jour­ney.

WHAT IS THE FU­TURE ROADMAP FOR NEXT 12 MONTHS FOR IBM CLOUD PRI­VATE? WHAT KIND OF SEC­TOR ARE YOU TO LOOK­ING AT, GO TO MAR­KET STRAT­EGY FOR EN­TER­PRISES, VER­TI­CALS YOU ARE LOOK­ING AT FOR THE NEXT YEAR, PLEASE SHARE YOUR LARGER PLAN?

If I can say that ICP lets en­ter­prises to take full ad­van­tage and ac­tu­ally trans­form them into lever­age op­por­tu­nity on the cloud. So to that ex­tent over the next 12, and by the way there are ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­tures, ex­ist­ing in­vest­ments need not be IBM - these can be other sys­tems or hard­ware prod­ucts, servers or stor­age, these could be a dif­fer­ent data­bases, whether is it from open source or oth­er­wise, hard­ware from Dell, doesn’t mat­ter. The na­ture of the in­vest­ment of the en­ter­prise does not need to be IBM be­cause it is al­ready an in­vest­ment that they have made. But this will al­low them to do look at it as a cloud in­fra­struc­ture and de­ploy ap­pli­ca­tions. What we are do­ing is, we are spread­ing aware­ness but more im­por­tantly we are up­scal­ing both part­ners as well as clients- most time com­pa­nies are re-scal­ing within their own or­gan­i­sa­tion. We are spend­ing a lot time to train peo­ple and skilling the ecosys­tem around this of­fer­ing. We are do­ing events, mar­ket aware­ness, mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to gen­er­ate this de­mand.

MUKUL MATHUR Vice Pres­i­dent for Global Busi­ness Part­ners and Global Sys­tem In­te­gra­tors for In­dia and South Asia, IBM

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