Startups turbocharged

Updated: Jan 18, 2016 12:58 AM

Today, cloud is a way to deliver any technology or business process as a digital service. Very simply, cloud is upending the industry.

Today, cloud is a way to deliver any technology or business process as a digital service. Very simply, cloud is upending the industry. Last year the news was that cloud was being used primarily by large and middle-level enterprises for their mission-critical workloads. What’s trending now is cloud computing is firmly establishing itself as a reliable enterprise workhorse among a growing number of startups, and what’s most interesting is how it’s driving transformation. Several startups across India have adopted IBM Cloud to develop applications and expand their businesses based on Big Blue’s platform-as-a-service, Bluemix, that offers a developer-friendly catalogue based on open standards, portability and choice. Yipeedo, WolkenSoft, KlickDoc, Opteamise Cloud Solutions, among others, have adopted Bluemix as the platform of choice to build their cloud applications.

“In India, and across the world, Bluemix is getting tremendous response from the startup and developer communities due to its unique capabilities,” says Vivek Malhotra, director, IBM Cloud, India/South Asia. “Based on open source, Bluemix helps startups get a single development and management experience across any combination of public, dedicated and local Bluemix instances. Even if clients have existing infrastructure setups or application program interface (API), they can securely connect those to Bluemix for a hybrid solution.”

India is a major hotspot for developers and startups. A study by Evans Data Corp suggests that, with 2.75 million developers, India is currently ranked as the country with the second-highest number of developers, behind the US with 3.6 million. However, by 2018, India will have 5.2 million developers, a nearly 90% increase, and is expected to surpass the US. The presence of a strong developer community is fueling the startup environment in India. According to Nasscom’s Startup Report 2014, India has the world’s third-largest and the fastest-growing startup ecosystem. The country has 3,100 startups, and nearly 800 are added every year. The number of startups in India is likely to grow to 11,500 by 2020.

“IBM, today, is the leader in enterprise cloud, a position we have enhanced through investments of $7 billion on 15 acquisitions, most notably SoftLayer in 2013,” says Malhotra. “We provide the full spectrum of cloud delivery models—infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, software-as-a-service and business process-as-a-service. IBM’s cloud capabilities are built on 1,500 cloud patents and supported by thousands of cloud experts. IBM globally announced a $1.2 billion investment, wherein IBM will deliver cloud services from 40 datacentres across 15 countries, including India.”

IBM launched Bluemix with a

$1 billion investment in 2014, maturing quickly to become the largest Cloud Foundry deployment in the world. Bluemix provides access to over 100 tools and services of the most prominent open-source technologies combined with IBM and third-party services that let developers focus all of their energy on the creation of

enterprise class cloud applications

at consumer scale.

Back to the startups, which have adopted Bluemix (it runs on SoftLayer infrastructure) to develop critical applications expected to drive business growth and rapid scalability. Yipeedo is a mobile only platform for helping urban city dwellers discover things to do in city. The application helps recommend activities based on a user’s taste and preferences. Yipeedo is using Bluemix for its application development. A software development company, Wolken Software helps organisations improve productivity and processes by offering a broad range of business applications. Wolken Software built their TeamToq app on Bluemix. TeamToq is an enterprise class app which enables secure, collaborative, device agnostic conversations between people, enterprise apps and enterprise cloud apps.

KlickDoc is a comprehensive cloud based healthcare platform which connects patients with doctors, pharmacies and diagnostic centres with the facility to store and access the medical records on cloud. IBM Bluemix is being used as the development platform for their programming language, PHP runtime. Among others, Chennai-based Opteamize Cloud Solutions has developed an application called Opteamize on Bluemix for final year students of professional courses and job aspirants. Subscription to this application gives an opportunity to the students and job aspirants to access the ‘Corporate Connect’ marketplace which helps them to connect to IT companies for suitable jobs. Job aspirants can hone their technical skills, understand technology trends and receive push notifications about potential opportunities in the industry through this application.

“As a start-up, we need app development platforms that are fast, secured, and easy to use. IBM has a deep understanding of the start-up environment and is helping us create a market differentiation through its cloud-based solutions. Bluemix, with cutting edge features like deep analytics or cognitive capabilities, makes apps a lot more innovative and interesting for our audiences,” says Srinath Ranga, founder, Opteamize Cloud Solutions.

Among others, Clematix, an IT company specialising in consulting, application development, training and remote services hosts its Java based applications on SoftLayer.

Ecoziee Marketing, which offers marketing consultancy and solution services, will put up its marketing analytics software for faster access and processing. A specialist in healthcare and hospital management consulting and information system software and solutions, Goldstar Healthcare has decided to provide healthcare and hospital management software on IBM cloud, ensuring reduction of IT expenditure, easy access for its customers, and scope for rapid expansion.

“Cloud is the wave of the future and given the inter-linkages with mobility, big data, and social, we foresee the migration of all enterprise data to public, private or hybrid cloud model within the next few years,” says Malhotra. Research report from Gartner indicated that the Indian public cloud market would touch $731 million by the end of 2015, and to reach $1.9 billion by 2019 as enterprises in India continue to move away from building their own on-premises server infrastructure, as well as migrating from the traditional software licensing model, to a SaaS model served up by cloud providers.

Taking cognisance of the rapidly expanding business demand, IBM has undertaken strategic steps to be better able to serve the requirements of current and potential enterprise customers in the country. First and foremost is the recent launch of IBM’s first public cloud datacentre in India in October 2015. The Chennai datacentre will supplement the capabilities of the datacenter launched in Mumbai in the middle of 2014.

In addition, IBM has partnered with Nasscom 10,000 Startup initiative to launch Techstartup.in, a digital one stop ecosystem for all things technical and business related for an entrepreneur. Hosted on the SoftLayer infrastructure platform, TechStartup.in will offer entrepreneurs a portal to access cloud technologies to accelerate the development of their big ideas.

Without doubt, startups are plugging into the IBM Cloud to keep their workplace in command.

Vivek Malhotra, Director, IBM Cloud, India/South Asia

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