Businesses need tech that is flexible & adaptable: Balakrishnan Anantharaman, VP & MD – Sales, India & Saarc, Nutanix

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October 15, 2020 1:00 AM

The need for infrastructure modernisation and infrastructure automation management existed even pre-pandemic, and our solutions have benefitted organisations with greater efficiency and productivity gains.

Balakrishnan Anantharaman, VP & MD – Sales, India & Saarc, NutanixBalakrishnan Anantharaman, VP & MD – Sales, India & Saarc, Nutanix

San Jose, California-based Nutanix is a cloud computing software firm that sells hyper-converged infrastructure appliances and software-defined storage. Despite the pandemic, the Nutanix India business grew by 42% year-on-year in the period August 2019 to July 2020 .“As the pandemic accelerated the adoption of cloud, companies using Nutanix solutions were able to seamlessly make the transition to remote working. We witnessed a 34% customer growth—a testament to our ability to help influence business outcomes for India’s enterprises navigating their transformation journey,” Balakrishnan Anantharaman, VP & MD – Sales, India & Saarc, Nutanix, tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interview. Excerpts:

Have you noticed any change in the mindset of companies, looking towards investing in enterprise technology?
As an impact of the pandemic, companies are more focused on technology that enables operational resiliency, high return on investments in the short term, business continuity and innovation (to differentiate themselves from peers). Moreover, in a constantly changing business environment, they require technology that is equally flexible and adaptable. Cloud and software-defined infrastructure are now seen as essential to these business needs.

Where do you see Nutanix among other cloud providers in India?
The Nutanix value proposition has been enabling a fluid infrastructure with elasticity at a finite price performance metric. Nutanix Clusters on AWS and our offerings on Azure make us a very compelling cloud player, positioned at the centre of a customer’s cloud and digital transformation journey. With our recent innovations, Nutanix HCI has evolved from being ‘Hyper Converged Infrastructure’ to ‘Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure’. Our alliances offer customers true freedom of choice to achieve the best balance between cost, revenue, performance and risk management. For example, our global partnership with HPE has provided customers the choice and flexibility to leverage their own cloud journey in a pay-as-you-use environment. Nutanix believes that by focusing on the customer, rather than competition, we will provide world beating software, solutions and value.

Tell us about your India business growth.
We have seen a 34% increase in the number of customers across verticals y-o-y, and a significant rise in large enterprise customers. The need for infrastructure modernisation and infrastructure automation management existed even pre-pandemic, and our solutions have benefitted organisations with greater efficiency and productivity gains.

Post Covid-19, we have ramped up our support mechanisms to increase access and availability to our solutions, for the country’s businesses. Our core HCI offering helped enterprises make the frictionless transition to work-from-home. Our Xi Frame Desktop-As-A-Service (DaaS) solution helped organisations have their virtual workspaces running within an hour, while Nutanix Beam helped customers optimise public cloud spend.

Which sector has seen the highest incidence of cloud deployment?
The IT/ITeS sector and the financial sector (BFSI) have been the leaders in cloud adoption and deployment. In fact, nine of the top 10 banks in India are using Nutanix technology for business critical applications and processes.

While they have tackled the challenges of infrastructure optimisation, these sectors have also proactively approached application modernisation to run applications anywhere, with just a few clicks. Banks, for example, have had to scale up their application performance to cater to their customers as the number of digital transactions shot up during the pandemic.

What are your expansion plans, going forward?
Apart from growing in BFSI, IT/ITeS, government, manufacturing and healthcare, we plan to target the telecom segment. We also plan to expand our presence in Tier-II markets and in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

To help enterprises run infrastructure better, we have just announced major new capabilities in our HCI software, delivering significant innovations to the datacentre and cloud markets. To run businesses faster, we launched our Kubernetes-based multicloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS). These announcements mark a significant milestone for us, and accelerate cloud native journeys. Our partnerships with AWS and Azure help enterprises run IT anywhere with the freedom of choice across any cloud— delivering a true, unified hybrid and multi-cloud environment. On the channel partner front, we announced a simplified global partner programme, Elevate, which helps accelerate partners’ business transformation.

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