Aggressive Moves



Managed services are emerging as one of the biggest revenue
segments for IT companies. Companies that have a products and services mix are
better positioned to offer greater RoI to clients. Today, enterprises are
increasingly looking at service providers to manage critical IT processes like
apps management, security, networking, and a host of other enablers that make
for a successful IT backend. Managed services are a big business opportunity and
as per a study by Ovum, the market for managed services is expected to reach
$4.5 bn by 2009. According to industry experts, managed services will become a
big focus area for IT vendors and a significant slice of their services
revenues.

Take the case of 3i Infotechone of the leading IT product
companies in the countrythat is betting big on managed services. The company
has been offering managed services all these years, but in the last one year it
has got more defined. A testimony to that is the companys launch of its first
International Data Center (IDC) in Chennai, which will offer managed hosting
services for applications and disaster recovery solutions.

The Managed
Services Advantage

With shrinking IT budgets,
CIOs need to create an optimal IT infrastructure environment. The best way
to accrue greater returns without major investments on IT is through
managed services and it offers the following advantages:

  • High availability of
    application infrastructure for end-users

  • Unbundling the
    complexity and simplified vendor management

  • Compliance with
    corporate governance

  • Scaling IT with business
    growth

  • Access to latest
    technologies

  • A value-based IT and
    better cost manageability

The launch of the IDC is a strategic move by the company as it
is expected to be a strong growth driver. Close to 54% of its revenues come from
services, of which managed services constitute a key component. Says Hari
Padmanabhan, deputy managing director, 3i Infotech: “We are bullish about
its potential and its key contribution to our revenues going forward. What makes
us a significant player in this space is the breadth of products we have cutting
across BFSI to manufacturing. Today, the key challenge facing enterprises is to
scale IT with lesser operational cost, and to be able to relate cost to revenue.
With this IDC, we are well poised to service those kinds of customers by
providing them a single point business execution outsourcing solution.”

The company has created a seamless eco-system in Chennai that
makes for an end-to-end spectrum of services. The IDC is complimented by the
Global Network and Security Operations Center (GNSOC) and mini centers of
excellence for operating systems, databases, messaging solutions, and IT
security. The facility, spread over 25,000 sq ft, conforms to tier-3 IDC
standards and provides secure data center and hosting facilities for its clients
in India and those spread across the globe. The GNSOC will provide customers
with remote IT infrastructure monitoring and management services with 24/7 IT
helpdesk.

Interview
Hari Padmanabhan,

deputy managing director, 3i Infotech

Can you tell us something about the
significance of this IDC?


Today, the CIOs are faced with multiple challenges related to IT
management. Given the complexities involved, there is a greater need for
managed services. For instance, compliance and scaling up are major
issues, and networking is getting complex. So, the panacea lies in
end-to-end managed services. Given this backdrop, our IDC will focus on
three key areasdata center hosting services, remote infrastructure
management services, and CoEs.

Can you elaborate on these offerings?
On the data center hosting front, the compliance to disaster recovery
guidelines is gaining importance. We will provide customers with data
center hosting services. Our foray into remote infrastructure management
services is also significant. This is considered as the next wave in
managed services. By the virtue of remote manageability capabilities, we
are not just providing data center services; we also have the ability to
manage a companys infrastructure remotely, anywhere in the world.
Meanwhile, the CoEs, which are part of the IDC, will focus on operating
systems, messaging solutions, databases and IT security labs for
vulnerability assessments and niche applications.

What are the key business drivers for
managed services?

There are multiple benefits by going the managed services way. Today,
compliance to regulatory standards has become mandatory in the BFSI space
and hence one needs to have DR in place; and building a DR with all the
hardware and manpower is not an easy task. Given this, companies today
prefer to outsource this to a third party provider. The second major
driver is technology standardization.

Today, applications are
becoming increasingly critical to business; hence databases, operating
systems and host of other solutions are getting standardized. This
standardization enables apps to be hosted remotely on a data center
without any issues. The third key driver is communications technologies.
With the availability of robust communication infrastructure in the
country, we are able to provide to our clients 24/7 availability and
uptime, which makes for a pro-active hosted environment.

What differentiates 3i Infotech in
the managed services space?

With our mix of products and services, we make things plug and play in the
real sense. Only few in the industry have such deep domain capabilities
and competence and this kind of breadth and depth. We have a strong legacy
and domain expertise in the BFSI sector. This enables us to provide the
technology tools and value-added services by the virtue of a deep
understanding of the domain.

Today, Chennai has become one of the nerve centers for 3i
Infotech operations. With the IDC in place, the companys stature in the
managed services space is bound to grow. It already has clients like NCDEX,
IL&FS, and Star Health Insurance. The competition is intense, but 3i
Infotechs deep domain expertise will help it garner larger mandates from this
space.

Shrikanth G
shrikanthg@cybermedia.co.in

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