Nutanix is a cloud computing software firm that sells hyper-converged infrastructure appliances and software-defined storage.
With more CEOs asking the question ‘are we cloud-like?’, the outlook for cloud in India is bright, says Balakrishnan Anantharaman, vice-president & managing director – 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. “India is a hotbed of startups, who usually begin their journey without their own infrastructure. Enterprise adoption of cloud computing has grown significantly in recent years too,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interview. Excerpts:
What’s new in the enterprise technology landscape?
Organisations that were traditionally B2B, and that were typically working as a system of records, are now looking at systems of engagement to reach more customers. We are seeing a lot of SaaS applications promoted by banks and other organisations. The tech landscape is asking – ‘What systems of engagement can I have, which will reach the customer faster, either from an acquisition or experience perspective?’
How has cloud computing evolved in the last two to three years?
India is a hotbed of startups, which usually begin their journey without their own infrastructure. Secondly, enterprise adoption of cloud computing has grown. Enterprises have already taken peripheral applications like HRMS, Learning Management Systems, Customer Experience, Digital Applications to the cloud. They are now focused on the next wave of applications—not just mission critical, like core banking applications, but business critical applications. Are these ready to go to the cloud? This is the workload evaluation enterprises are currently considering.
What is your strategy to emerge as a cloud leader?
I believe we reached our first billion dollars by giving enterprises an experience of true cloud-like management. We have enabled customers to modernise their datacentres, by collapsing 3-tier architecture into a single unified fabric. We have also helped automate it. Now, with a single pane of management, enterprises can efficiently achieve what would have otherwise taken a lot of time and effort. We are witnessing wide adoption of hybrid cloud, and we have further enabled this by adding layers to our software applications so customers can move applications to the public cloud if required. At the same time, if a customer decides it wants to shift back on-premises for reasons of cost, security, or performance, we enable that too. So, our essential functionality lies in moving to the cloud, moving from the cloud, app mobility and interoperability.
What are some of the key verticals that Nutanix is targeting in India? Any recent customer wins?
Nutanix invented hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI). IDC’s latest findings for the India HCI market say that with a 47.4% market share we are leaders in India for the seventh quarter running. We have offerings around building a cloud layer, launching applications, building new applications on containers – Karbon helps with that. We have Beam which gives customers a view of public cloud cost vis-a-vis on-premise, or between public clouds, and helps with compliance. We also offer Flow, which essentially helps with micro segmentation at an application level for VMs—that adds an additional layer of security from a traffic perspective.
We built a self-service portal for one of India’s largest system integrators (SI), from where developers can launch applications internally. One of the world’s biggest seed companies (agriculture and fertiliser) is our customer, and we help it with its hub-and-spoke model of operating their remote branch offices.
What kind of market traction have you seen for hyper-converged infrastructure appliances and software-defined storage?
The IDC results speak of our market traction in India – 47.4% share of the HCI market. But we are no longer just an HCI player, we offer an additional layer of hybrid cloud functionality, cloud interoperability, app mobility. Wall Street now sees us as a software and subscription company because we have made our software available for almost 17 platforms on hardware. Our customers can choose any hardware provider and run our software layer on top.
Which sector has the maximum cloud deployment in India?
IT and ITES would be the biggest. We have a lot of banking customers, such as ICICI Bank which runs its enterprise service bus on us—meaning the exact layer which deals with the outside world and the internal architecture run on us. We are seeing the government become very interested. Startups are taking interest in Nutanix because as they grow, IT becomes a big portion of their expenses.
What is the outlook for cloud business in general and the Nutanix cloud business in particular in India?
With more CEOs asking the question ‘Are we cloud-like?’, the outlook for cloud in India is bright. Our 2018 Enterprise Cloud Index said that the adoption of hybrid cloud workloads in India was expected to more than triple to 43% from 13%. It also found that enterprise use of private cloud will move from 38% to 23%, as they convert their private cloud usage to hybrid cloud.