CA Technologies formally announced its converged infrastructure solution as an integral part of its services assurances portfolio a few months ago. What does this bring to the table for customers and what is the way forward for the converged platform in India?
MILES: Yes, CA Technologies did formally announce the availability of its next generation infrastructure management product in India. We have about 20 years of experience and market leadership. The new solution has the spectrum to become infrastructure management version 1.0, with a natural evolution driving it, and the capability to devolve and be driven further as a purpose-built concept.
Infrastructure management has gone on from traditionally being a boring and uninteresting piece to becoming one of the most strategic parts of the business. We built the design with multiple, key customers (68), which includes some of the most ambitious large enterprises and start-ups across the world.
CA Technologies was talking about scouting for acquisitions a while ago in order to enhance its converged infrastructure portfolio across geographies. India was also on the radar. What has happened since?
MILES: While we cannot pre-empt the possibility of acquisitions as yet, I can say with some confidence that India is a major operation for us. We look at technologies not only from a sales and marketing point of view, but also from an IT service provider perspective, and from a brand strengthening perspective. The other dimension is the incredible investments in R&D in India. The proximity to prominent universities and technical establishments make it viable and lucrative for us to make this a very important initiative worldwide. A large component of the products is delivered from ITC, our R&D facility in Hyderabad. One-third of our total products get serviced out of the R&D setup here. The other products within the service assurance family are also being developed out of here. So, that explains how critical India is and continues to be.
With the evolution of the infrastructure layer, how does your converged infrastructure portfolio fit into your larger datacenter strategy?
MILES: The evolution of infrastructure has traversed beyond the datacenter; it encompasses enterprise networks and service provider networks. Cross application experiences have changed and the requirement around delivery is becoming crucial. For us, infrastructure management is about addressing these requirements and also recognizing the fact that there are complexities. There are a lot of wannabes there, who claim to do infrastructure management. But, as far as the core capabilities are concerned there is no one even close to us, be it next generation analytics or be it in the modules.
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant has placed CA as an innovator in the infrastructure management space for a while now. How are your discussions with customers driving the innovation story further?
MILES: I reiterate that CA Technologies is the only company which has true end-to-end capability. We do network and datacenter system management extremely well. We manage the application layer more comprehensively than any other company. We are the first company to take application performance management (APM) to the infrastructure layer. We are also the first company to blend that and integrate with analytics in a full-blown manner. These aspects are hard to do. We are helping customers and partners get access to next- generation, revenue-generating infrastructure by making it a part of the same fabric, through the idea of actionable intelligence. The new platform talks about convergence as a unified platform. That is proof of our innovation bandwidth.
The virtual, hybrid cloud is a single platform that works 25x faster problem resolution. It is benchmarked against industry standards as well as our own products. If CIOs are to be spend 4x or 5x on licensing, the hidden costs can be astronomical. Instead, they could get onto one platform, and reduce downtime and costs.
The flavor of discussions might be still restricted to the larger enterprises. That essentially keeps your clientele restricted to service providers.
MILES: No, not at all. It’s a myth that managing complexity is restricted to the large enterprise. For an organization, composite data becomes critical to demystify. As we see it, the difference between the large enterprise and the smaller organization lies not in the challenges but in the consumption models. Large enterprises would also be looking at alternate models. With the new platform, we are also looking at newer routes to market. The emerging enterprise would state the problem, budget and consumption—on premise or otherwise. At a discussion level, we are looking at creating joint solutions and looking forward to these conversations more often. Undoubtedly, our service providers are our strong allies. But, they will function at multiple levels through multiple models—they will liaison with the SIs or host the service or resell. This helps them, and ultimately us, to reach a wider segment of the market. Our service provider traction and success has been phenomenal.
So, in a very volatile market such as India, how is the service provider community being enabled? What is your approach to this?
MILES: We have a team to work with service partners to help them build revenue streams, help them add skills so that they are able to go, deploy, consult, and solve customer painpoints. With the new platform, we will address the needs of customers with simpler architecture. In India, it is a fact that there is a greater flight of talent which means there is a greater need to focus on enablement, training and certification. We are working with the IT service partners as global partners. Our global service provider (GSP) is a separate focus team. We leverage education (a separate function) whenever we need.
As a global spokesperson, what is your third person take on the existing and future challenges in this market?
MILES: Challenges exist. Certain observations that I have made can be specific or generic. There has been this desire, trend, fashionable among customers to claim “We outsource everything.” The reality, going forward, is that some of the assets have to be brought back in-house like strategic components. All said and done, outsourcing is vital. So, it is the hybrid model that will typically take precedence. Ironically, while this gives the organization larger business control, it poses for an IT manager, a new set of challenges. He needs technology that will drive the process and facilitate optimum decision making. We as a company will have to think ahead for a market like India, 10 years down the line—keeping TCO, BOM and ROI rationalization as an objective. The market will mature. We are optimistic and confident that the larger message will reach the right people. We have huge expectations from our converged infrastructure solutions.