‘There is a lot of ISV up­take on cloud’

InformationWeek - - Contents - DHARANIBALAN GURUNATHAN,

Ex­ec­u­tive, Of­fer­ings Man­age­ment and De­vel­op­ment, Global Tech­nol­ogy

Ser­vices, IBM In­dia/South Asia

Can you up­date us on cloud adop­tion from an In­dian con­text?

There are a cou­ple of ar­eas where I see cloud be­ing adopted. Firstly, the ser­vice providers are jump­ing onto the cloud band­wagon. They are look­ing at of­fer­ing var­i­ous ser­vices on cloud. For in­stance, co-lo­ca­tion providers want to get on to the cloud. I also see many man­aged ser­vice providers pre­par­ing to of­fer cloud ser­vices. Typ­i­cal ser­vices in­clude desk­top be­ing avail­able on cloud; servers be­ing made avail­able as VMs; and stor­age ser­vices be­ing pro­vided on cloud.

From a con­sumer per­spec­tive, there is a lot of ISV up­take on cloud. ISVs are look­ing at lever­ag­ing cloud to get that crit­i­cal reach to their cus­tomers and to make ser­vices avail­able in a rapid and elas­tic model.

There are some low-hang­ing fruits in the area of the cloud. Most of the providers are quickly tak­ing on In­fra­struc­ture as a Ser­vice.

How is IBM tap­ping this op­por­tu­nity? How is it part­ner­ing with ISVs and ser­vice providers?

We are run­ning mul­ti­ple pro­grams. For in­stance, we work with ser­vice providers and have a unique part­ner­ship pro­gram. We work to­gether on their busi­ness plans, and help them in ar­eas that are techno-com­mer­cially at­trac­tive to them.

We take a hard look at their busi­ness mod­els and of­fer them a build, op­er­ate and man­age cloud model.

For in­stance, we helped a large data cen­ter ser­vices provider in Ban­ga­lore to build the com­plete plat­form so that they can start de­liv­er­ing ser­vices to their cus­tomers. To be­gin with, they will start off with Iaas and then scale up that model to of­fer other ser­vices.

So we of­fer fairly straight­for­ward pri­vate cloud im­ple­men­ta­tions and we added the man­aged ser­vices

ele­ment be­hind it.

Then there is the IBM De­vel­oper re­la­tion­ship pro­gram where we en­cour­age and sup­port ISVs. We help them port their ap­pli­ca­tions and get the ap­pli­ca­tion ready on IBM and non-IBM plat­forms. In In­dia, we have 300 - 400 ISVs who de­velop pro­grams and of­fer ser­vices on the IBM plat­form.

A num­ber of th­ese providers are as­pir­ing SaaS providers. But they strug­gle to de­liver ser­vices as it calls for huge in­vest­ments in in­fra­struc­ture. Then there are chal­lenges in manag­ing the mid­dle­ware and re­tain­ing skilled em­ploy­ees. They also want the ablil­ity to scale in­fra­struc­ture up or down de­pend­ing on the busi­ness. They have peaks and troughs, and they seek help from part­ners like IBM for the troughs. That’s why we cre­ated the IBM Smart­Cloud En­ter­prise of­fer­ing. Here we pro­vide IaaS, com­pute and stor­age. And we have the abil­ity to ex­pand with im­ages of IBM soft­ware on it. So this is a built-to-pur­pose model. And ISVs are lever­ag­ing this to of­fer ser­vices to their end cus­tomers.

For in­stance, there is a SaaS provider in Gur­gaon that has 50 - 60 cus­tomers. Their ca­pa­bil­ity is on the IBM Smart­Cloud En­ter­prise. It of­fers a pay-as-you- go pric­ing model and en­ter­prise grade fea­tures like VPN and pri­vate IP.

How is IBM help­ing user com­pa­nies get on to the cloud? What is the value that it of­fers?

We helped a co- op­er­a­tive bank in Ban­ga­lore, through a part­ner­ship with an ISV called In­fra­soft, which is do­ing a lot of work in the core bank­ing space. We do a joint sales force ex­er­cise and pitch to banks to­gether. We try to sell the IaaS ser­vices and the

In In­dia, we have 300 - 400 ISVs who de­velop pro­grams and of­fer ser­vices on the IBM plat­form

core bank­ing soft­ware comes from this part­ner.

The cus­tomer signs up for the core bank­ing fea­tures and func­tion­al­ity. And we pro­vide a shared In­fra­struc­ture as a Ser­vice cloud of­fer­ing, which is man­aged and hosted by us.

So, it is a good value propo­si­tion for the banks as they do not need to spend money up­front for ac­quir­ing the equip­ment and the li­censes. They get a per branch, per month/year pric­ing model.

The banks can im­me­di­ately have in­fra­struc­ture and when they add branches, they get a pre­dictable IT spend for each new branch that is opened.

Apart from bank­ing, we have done a fair amount of work with HR IT providers or ISVs.

What is IBM’s data cen­ter strat­egy?

Our strat­egy is to pick up long-time con­tracts with data cen­ter providers and we have our equip­ment in a cage. We have ded­i­cated con­nec­tiv­ity to that data cen­ter, so we are able to man­age our in­fra­struc­ture from an IBM com­mand cen­ter.

Ac­cord­ing to a study by Zin­nov, the mar­ket for cloud com­put­ing ser­vices will touch USD 4.5 bil­lion by 2015. Ser­vice providers, ISVs, ven­dors, and data cen­ter spe­cial­ists want to tap this huge op­por­tu­nity by pre­par­ing their of­fer­ings for cloud ser­vices, such as IaaS or SaaS. And IBM wants to help ser­vice providers roll out their of­fer­ings quickly and cost ef­fec­tively. Ser­vices providers find the huge cost of in­fra­struc­ture a stum­bling block. Also, there are chal­lenges in manag­ing the mid­dle­ware and re­tain­ing skilled em­ploy­ees.

Dharanibalan Gurunathan, Ex­ec­u­tive, Of­fer­ings Man­age­ment and De­vel­op­ment, Global Tech­nol­ogy Ser­vices, IBM In­dia/South Asia up­dates In­for­ma­tion­Week on a plat­form that helps ISVs get around th­ese chal­lenges. Some ISVs are al­ready us­ing this plat­form to de­liver cloud so­lu­tions to cus­tomers in the bank­ing and HR seg­ments

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