K V Jagannath, MD & CEO, Choice Solutions explains the key trends in data centre space, the company’s key offerings, and the focus on building capabilities around emerging technologies
What are your key offerings around data centre, and what’s the growth you witness from the data centre business?
We work extensively in the data centre space – starting right from understanding the customer, we are into designing and managing the data centre, project management; we provide end-to-end customer solutions, providing customers a choice of models offered by us. There are a few customers who would like us to design the form; some customers have their own vendors and they feel they are more comfortable in designing, so we would design and hand over things. Same way some customers would want us to build; in this case, someone would have created a solution and we would only build it. Now we are more focused on consulting than building and operating. These are our key offerings around data centres.
What are the top trends in the data centre segment; what are the key drivers of growth?
According to me, cloud has disrupted the entire data centre business. Today most of the data centre players are building up SMEs. We all have gone ahead in third party data centre and set it up. We used to have data centre in the office, but we shut it down as it is cheaper to give it to third party as someone is needed to manage it and all, and the cost of outsourcing was cheaper than doing it yourself. In large enterprises, the role of small players like us has reduced. Earlier we used to build a lot of integrated data centres, but today they are built by large players, as financial capabilities of these data centres can be between Rs 50-100 crore.Thus for a small player, opportunities have reduced in terms of data centre business unless it’s the government business. Many of the private sector organisations have moved to third party data centres. Due to this, most of the third party apps hosted on data centre would grow a lot in the coming years.
Presently, when it comes to data centres, more content is not on-site, but it is off-site. Secondly, data centres are coming into play in many different government organisations, where data cannot be shared outside. For instance, the kind of data centre built by the Government of India for Aadhaar is amazing. In terms of data centres, today the bigger opportunity are in the pharma sector for companies like us; and wherever the company has its own IP and it doesn’t want the data centre to move away.
What are the opportunities for your firm in emerging areas within the data centre space?
In the last two years, we have been approaching the market in a very different way. We have to find the thing for us, and we are trying to do that in terms of managing data centres. We have created our own Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Traditionally if you look at it, it has been extraordinarily strong and powers the most. We are creating our own IoT solutions which would empower customers to manage it more efficiently and more effectively, at a less cost. Instead of going into the server, or the security space, all these space – which are becoming a niche areas now – we started to contribute to the data centre now in designing and managing the operations.
How have you evolved your team’s technical skills to adapt to a software-defined environment?
If the top management defines all the things and starts working with them, then the people would follow you. Also my other partners who used to work in the US, have started to participate in Indian operations. They have a global exposure and they are contributing a lot in making the structures while working with the teams.
Please provide specific examples where software-defined data centre (SDDC) has made a big impact on the services deployed?
There are many who are doing well in the manufacturing and financial services. There are huge opportunities to follow in the healthcare sector. In terms of what is beyond SDDC, a lot of softwares and applications are getting developed in and around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, thereby enabling the data centre to be trained to make decisions on its own.