Locuz Solutions builds private cloud for Y-Axis

By Kartik Sharma Apr 26th 2011
Locuz Solutions builds private cloud for Y-Axis

The journey between detecting a data breach to managing the entire customer IT is a challenging one which Locuz Solutions completed with aplomb.

Case File

Key Parties:
Y Axis Overseas Career, Locuz Enterprise Solutions
Location:
Hyderabad
Implementation Time:
6 months
Implementation Cost:
$200,000
Key Challenges:

Fixing data breach, Competing with big SIs; Convincing the costumer to outsource its entire IT infrastructure.

Key Technologies:

Virtualization, Networking, Firewall.

Post Roi:

Tripling of client’s user base with no significant IT investment.

Summary:

The story dates back to 2009 when a fast growing Y-Axis found itself in trouble when its crucial data got compromised and the company found itself helpless in sorting it out. Bagging the deal was just the beginning of the story. What started off as a mere solution to a data breach went on to become a complete IT transformation project. While spotting the data breach and solving the problem Locuz astutely investigated the whole network and understood that the client data was not safe even after mending it. It was time to persuade the customer to make big changes in its IT infrastructure.

Nothing is small and small is big. Hyderabad-based solution provider Locuz Enterprise Solutions exemplified this adage by valuing a call from immigration consultants Y-Axis for a small implementation and converting it into a big IT project for them.
The story dates back to 2009 when a fast growing Y-Axis found itself in trouble when its crucial data got compromised and the company found itself helpless in sorting it out. Xavier Augustin, President & CEO, Y- Axis, recalls, “We came across a serious case in our Bangalore office, where our whole data got compromised, there was even no point in complaining to the police as they had no understanding of IT threats; they could not provide the data back to us.”

Competing with Competence

It was at this crucial juncture that Y-Axis was looking for some large SI such as Sify and Microland but soon realized these large players do not look for comparatively smaller clients like Y-Axis. Thus Locuz came into the picture.
Locuz CEO Uttam Majumdar personally ensured that there was no stone left unturned in clinching the Y Axis deal. He went to the client’s office with his core team for talks that worked as the clinching factor. Augustin observes, “Where all big SIs appointed some salesperson to do the talking, here the CEO came in to do the talking.” This personalized consultancy approach tilted the scales in Locuz’s favor. Majumdar believes that being a local player was advantageous for Locuz. “We are local players with a national presence. Though we were comparatively smaller, I believe we have a forte in systems integration and that combined with a down-to-earth approach helped us to bag the deal,” he recalls.

Towards transformation

Bagging the deal was just the beginning of the story. What started off as a mere solution to a data breach went on to become a complete IT transformation project. While spotting the data breach and solving the problem Locuz astutely investigated the whole network and understood that the client data was not safe even after mending it. It was time to persuade the customer to make big changes in its IT infrastructure.

Majumdar explains, “Y Axis just wanted a quick fix of data breach but we realized the need for something more, post investigation. We went to the client asked them to sit with us and discuss.”

Locuz soon pointed out that there was a lack of coordination between the business of company and the IT infrastructure. Majumdar reflects, “We analyzed each and every employee’s profile and convinced them that their business is not postured rightly and there is a need of higher level of automation. It needed technical as well as cultural change within the company to get rid of the problem on the whole.”

A forensic investigation soon helped Locuz arrive at a comprehensive IT blueprint for Y Axis. It seemed quite evident that the client needed to offload its IT infrastructure management to an external service provider. The logic was quite simple -- the client’s locations were not suitable for building a datacenter. Hence Locuz decided to convince Y Axis to transfer the whole IT infrastructure from its location to Locuz’s datacenter and establish a private cloud. Thus, Locuz shaped a project worth an estimated $200, 000.

However, things were easier said than done. Locuz had to counter with the skepticism of the client, who felt Locuz might not be equipped with prior experience to handle a project of this kind. Augustin comments, “We were worried that our data protection was at stake. It was not an easy job to convince us.”

Cost was also an issue as there were quite a few cheaper solutions available in the market and the technology proposed by Locuz was comparatively expensive. Undeterred, Locuz detailed to the client about its past expertise and the long term benefits of the solutions (private cloud on a highly virtualized platform) suggested. Y Axis soon saw reason in the case since Locuz was not only hosting the IT infrastructure on its premises but was also taking the onus of all the country-wide automation on itself. This meant that Locuz would depute people across locations in case of an exigency.

 

The Deal of Advantages

Though an on premise implementation could have bagged Locuz a larger deal, earning them a handsome one time income and they could also have enjoyed recurring revenue on services for the datacenter, Majumdar believed that it was not the way to get the deal done. Majumdar explains, “We wanted a complete win-win situation for both Locuz as well as Y Axis.”
As part of the private cloud and outsourcing deal, the whole investment in new hardware and software consisted of 70 percent of the project cost, which the client invested as capex and the remaining 30 percent came in the form of infrastructure provided by Locuz. The solution provider also gained in terms of real estate by charging the client for the rack space and server they provided for the private cloud.

Locuz and Y-Axis also agreed upon the commercial subscription model. Part of the SLA was that if the client grows in future, Locuz’ fee would be increased according to the increase in the efforts and resources to be deployed. “There is no fixed price engagement. This project also helps us in optimizing the use of our existing resources,” Majumdar says.
Y Axis has seen tremendous benefits in the bargain too. There has been an increase in productivity with a lot of savings in terms of time, money and efforts. Augustin says, “We just wanted our employees to do what they have come into office for. Now we have blocked social networking which was hampering the work environment. Any foreign email address or keyword gets directly reported to us now. There is no interruption in internet services. And all this is going flawless since the implementation.”
Y Axis’ user base has reportedly tripled since and the company has received accolades within the industry. Augustin informs, “We are getting recognized by media. People are looking at us as a model company in terms of IT infrastructure.”

The Y Axis project had its fallouts in more ways than one. Locuz found a leeway into a new vertical with this deal. Majumdar states, “With Y-Axis endorsing us, we can now freely demonstrate our work in the field of complete transformation. We have bagged more such projects even bigger in last couple of years.” Besides Y-Axis has become a loyal customer with a promise of future IT business with Locuz as a well implied understanding. “Y Axis does not have a single IT staff on their premises to handle IT anymore; this is our biggest testimony,” concludes Majumdar.

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