Do you serve Cloud?
My work primarily revolves around Data Centers in India and what new is happening with them. Having said that, roughly since the past two years we have seen the entry of a new offering by Data Center providers in the form of pay-per-use services or IaaS. IaaS being the primary cloud offering, some providers have also ventured into other flavours of PaaS and SaaS services through a wide range of partnership and collaboration.
What got me writing today about this topic, is the team discussions we have been having offlate over a new research report by the title- "Cloud Computing for SMBs in India". It is extremely intriguing to see the various industry segments interested in having a share of the cloud pie! We not only have Telcos, Carrier Neutral ISPs (traditional DC service providers who would lean towards IaaS) and software vendors (who are the pioneers for SaaS), but a wide segment encompassing pure-play cloud vendors, system integrators, software services players and virtualization vendors.
Figure 1: Existing IaaS providers in India
Above is a snippet of the IaaS market players in India. It is interesting to note the inclusion of Pure Play vendor Amazon showing an interest to operate out of this geography. As of now the closest DC hosting EC2 lies in Singapore which might be a concern to IT managers who have a stout preference to have hosters operating from India. To nullify this concern and other Government imposed data privacy regulations and over and above be an active player in this market, AWS is seen to be in talks with Tata Communications to co-locate at their facility and offer EC2, S3 and other services.
HP and IBM launched their services in Beta a couple of months back and time will tell as to which segment Indian companies show a preference towards.
Moving over to PaaS, another keen offering or seen as a next in line offering over IaaS, we do see various Indian and international players offering it. India being an IT development hub, this service would have a key buying area amongst the ISV community. As of now, we see Indian vendors of the like of Wolf Frameworks, OrangeScape, Ozonetel, Net4 & Netmagic (in partnership with OrangeScape) and Sify offering it. PaaS is the most amatuer flavour and is yet to penetrate the Indian market in a complete way expanding beyond serving just the ISV segment.
Last and the most strong offering of SaaS, could actually have a complete book dedicated to it, let alone a blog post. But anyways, from a Data Center Services perspective, we see quite a few players of the like of Tata Communications, Reliance Communications, Trimax, Hughes, OneCloud (BSNL+ Dimension Data) who offer email, CRM and productivity suites as-a-service targetting the SMB community. For sure these are considered addressing a minority buyer's pool in comparison with game changers like SalesForce.com, Microsoft's SaaS products (Exchange, Office 365.com, SharePoint & Dynamics CRM Online), Zoho, Ramco and many more.
Once you put all these flavours of cloud together and carry out a portfolio mapping exercise, it is really astounding to see the participation of various IT segments gearing up to serve the growing demand. Only time will tell which segment makes better inroads into the Indian market.
Bisakha is a Senior Research Analyst with the Information & Communication Technologies Practice for Frost & Sullivan South Asia & Middle East region.