For Sify Technologies, the year 2012 would be remembered as a year of the beginning of a significant transformation journey. This was the time when the IT services industry was taking a turn from the on-premise systems integration model of delivery to embracing cloud-based models in multiple formats. Until then, Sify, which pioneered private internet services in India, had undergone one round of transformation to an enterprise network and data centre services provider. The company set up its most significant transformation journey from an enterprise network and data centre services provider to an integrated ICT solutions and services provider. Sify Technologies CEO Kamal Nath details its transformation journey and its emergence as a complete ICT provider, in a recent interaction with Sudhir Chowdhary & Sandhya Michu. Excerpts:
What are the broad focus areas of Sify Technologies? How important is the India market in terms of business?
Sify has emerged in the market as a “new age” ICT solutions and services provider with sharp focus on cloud and data centre services, network services and security services with an emerging focus on application and platform services. Sify is one of the few service providers in India who has investments in cloud data centres and network infrastructures suited for the cloud model. In India, we are the only service provider who has systems integration and applications experience with capabilities to deliver large projects. Sify is optimistic about the potential of India market and has invested in data centres, cloud and network infrastructure. More than 95% of our revenue is generated from India. The shift from on-premise data centres to cloud model has opened up significant opportunities for service providers in India. Our services model based on “less hardware, less people and less licences” have struck the right chord with Indian customers.
What are the top priorities for Sify today?
First, to establish ourselves as the leading hybrid IT managed services provider and be the preferred digital network services provider. All our investments across infrastructure and services are converged towards this. We are also augmenting our security and applications portfolio and aligning it with the cloud model. Our recently launched IoT practice is an extension of our digital services portfolio.
How does the company look at India’s Data Centre (DC) market today?
Currently, we have six operational Tier-3 DCs and two more under construction. The demand for DC space in India is triggered by the establishment of cloud DCs for global public cloud providers, global OTT players and global software providers. Indian enterprises across all verticals as well as the government are leaning towards hosted DCs or cloud for running their business applications. Digital transformation and digital models are going to be compelling reasons for growth of the DC market in India. However, in the mid to long term, DC players with significant IT services and cloud services offerings will only survive.
What are some of the offerings that Sify Technologies is bringing in this space?
Sify has the advantage of being a data centre hosting provider, hybrid cloud provider, security and managed services provider and network services provider. We provide infrastruct- ure and platform solutions in this space, and undertake transformation driven projects around data centres including workload migration and cloud management. We partner with global cloud providers like AWS and Azure to provide hybrid cloud solutions to our clients.
How can Sify Technologies help enterprises minimise capex/opex and maximise RoI?
We encourage our customers to go for a subscription based model vis-a-vis “Build” model. Most our IT services and infrastructure services are productised and easy to be adopted for component-wise, usage-wise or on business outcome based model.
What would be your go-to market strategy to reach out to enterprise customers in India?
In the beginning of FY 17-18, we had announced vertical go-to-market strategy across all the business segments. This mix of vertical strategy and our unique positioning as an ICT services provider and integration partner for our clients has resulted in sustained growth in order book, revenue and profitability. Our focus areas are BFSI, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, education, IT/ITeS, media and entertainment, government, and PSUs. Nearly 20% of our business comes from government.
How are you pegged against your key competition in India?
Based on a project requirement, we compete or even collaborate with our peers. Being an integrated ICT service provider around DC, cloud, network, security and managed services along with our systems integration skills, we compete individually with cloud and DC providers, network services providers and the established traditional IT services players. However, our key differentiation is in projects which demand integrated services to be delivered on hosted data centre and cloud infrastructure on a services model with flexible commercial models, as mentioned earlier.
Co-authored by Sandhya Michu