Interview | Disrupting the clouds in a new tech era: Puneet Gupta, MD, NetApp India (Marketing & Services)

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November 25, 2020 12:45 AM

As companies expand their cloud usage, or adopt cloud for the first time, many are struggling with new complexities and costs.

With a team of 2,000 plus engineers, our R&D centre in Bengaluru—the largest outside of the USA—is core to the global innovation work for NetApp. Representative Image

As companies expand their cloud usage, or adopt cloud for the first time, many are struggling with new complexities and costs. In such a scenario, it is imperative for technology solution providers to make cloud available to enterprises as a ready solution.

NetApp with its market-ready cloud solutions is looking to tap the Indian market for agile business growth and market share. “In today’s digital economy, enterprises are looking for specialists such as NetApp with deep expertise and business speed to empower them to navigate their challenges across diverse environments,” says Puneet Gupta, managing director, NetApp India Marketing & Services, in a recent interview with Sudhir Chowdhary. Excerpts:

There has been a cloud boom due to the pandemic. Where do you think the Indian cloud market is headed?
India’s appetite for cloud adoption is increasing at a rapid pace. As per the latest IDC report on IT spending, 64% of the organisations in India are expected to increase demand for cloud computing while 56% for cloud software to support the new normal due to the pandemic. This situation has, indeed, acted as a catalyst towards the adoption of the cloud and can be attributed to primarily flexibility, rapid deployment and scalability. What we are witnessing now are dynamic workloads because of the huge demand spikes. Enterprises are increasingly pivoting to a hybrid model approach which offers them scalability and flexibility to manage public, private, and on-premises resources to gain the agility they need for a competitive advantage.

This year, we made three acquisitions that increased our ability to help enterprises with their cloud journey, said Gupta.

What is NetApp’s strategy to ensure customers unlock the power of cloud?
Digital transformation has become a business imperative to thrive in the new normal and to succeed, businesses need to optimise their hybrid multi-cloud IT architectures. No matter where customers are on their transformation journey, our strategy is to help them build a data fabric to maximise the value of their data, ensure applications are running optimally, and unlock the best of cloud.

This year, we made three acquisitions that increased our ability to help enterprises with their cloud journey. The acquisitions, along with the enhancements to the cloud storage capabilities, have helped establish a platform for highly optimised application-driven infrastructures. For instance, Spot enables customers to make enormous savings on their cloud bills. CloudJumper dynamically assigns storage resources to virtual desktops; and Talon helps centralise the data from multiple offices to the cloud.

Our partnership with major cloud players such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform empowers our customers to accelerate their performance and scale on demand. Our Azure NetApp Files (ANF) for Microsoft Azure Cloud enables enterprises to migrate and run complex, performance-intensive and latency-sensitive applications faster in the cloud than they can on-premises.

In today’s digital economy, enterprises are looking for specialists such as NetApp with deep expertise and business speed to empower them to navigate their challenges across diverse environments.

Which sectors do you think are focusing strongly on adopting cloud?
According to IDC, by 2021, 50% of the enterprises in India will rely on a mix of on-premises/dedicated private clouds, several public clouds, and legacy platforms to meet their infrastructure needs. So, while key sectors such as financial services, telecom, manufacturing, education and government continue to invest in cloud, other emerging sectors such as bio-tech, chemicals, automobiles, media and entertainment will also realign themselves to a digital-delivery model.

What is the contribution of India’s R&D centre to the global business?
With a team of 2,000 plus engineers, our R&D centre in Bengaluru—the largest outside of the USA—is core to the global innovation work for NetApp. Engineers are involved in almost all the technologies that we pursue as a global company. Specifically, the engineers here are working with global teams on ONTAP— our industry leading, award winning operating system. The fact that the India R&D centre has filed almost 500 patents and has received approximately 280 patents, reiterates our focus on continuous innovation.

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