US-based cloud infrastructure and business mobility major VMware is eyeing the vast telecommunications sector to further boost its growth. With an eye on the new opportunities 5G technology will bring to the telecommunication arena, the enterprise software major is expanding its telco and EdgeCloud portfolio to drive real-time intelligence for the industry, along with improved automation and security for Internet of Things (IoT) apps. On the sidelines of its hugely popular annual VMWorld 2019 conference in San Francisco, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger outlined the company’s plans for India, a major emerging digital hub, in a free-wheeling tete-a-tete with Jyotsna Bhatnagar. Excerpts:
How can cloud computing solutions touch lives in India where most of the population is poor and illiterate?
Cloud is the foundation of any digital transformation effort and is of vital importance in a country like India that is undergoing significant push to digitally transform. Cloud combined with increased mobile and smartphone penetration is a powerful force that successfully addresses the challenges posed by the country’s vastness and socio-economic differences.
We are already working on a number of cloud adoption projects. For example, our Cows to Cloud programme with Chitale Dairy involves RFID tagging over 50,000 cows belonging to farmers in the cooperative. The programme has helped dairy farmers in Maharashtra change their lives for the better and is indicative of the power of the cloud in driving the Digital India vision.
Taking our cloud strategy forward, we recently announced the rollout of VMware Cloud on AWS in India that will help us deliver the essential, ubiquitous digital foundation to support the region’s transformation. Multi-clouds have the potential of driving positive economic and social change in India and we are here to help drive the cloud transformation story in even the remotest regions.
How do you look at the opportunity for cloud computing in India?
The cloud market in India is poised to grow three-fold to $7.1 billion by 2022, as per a Nasscom report. We are betting big on cloud adoption in India. Our vision for the cloud is simple—empower people to access any app on any device, from any cloud, with intrinsic security ‘architected in’ across every layer. We believe that hybrid and multi-clouds have the potential of driving positive economic and social change in India. As a first step towards achieving our cloud vision for the region, we announced the rollout of VMware Cloud on AWS in May 2019. From initial conversations with partners and customers it is clear that the region is more than ready to explore the full potential of multi and hybrid cloud infrastructures.
Who are your major partners and stakeholders?
Through more than 12,000 partners, VMware is delivering tailored cloud solutions and services across the APJ region. In addition to VMware Cloud on AWS, IBM and Microsoft offer VMware’s hybrid cloud platform on IBM Cloud and Azure. Post the merger with Dell, we also offer a managed hybrid cloud platform on Dell EMC hardware. VMware Cloud on AWS gives customers the flexibility to build and run applications that meet a wide range of business needs, scale IT capacity on-demand and cope with different regulatory frameworks in different regions. It enables customers to leverage existing skills and consistent tools to manage both on-premise and VMware Cloud on AWS on a single platform through a hybrid link mode. There is considerable interest in VMware Cloud on AWS in the Indian market.
What are the anticipated challenges in operating in a market like India?
India is extraordinary in the range of digital maturity it presents. Where on one hand we are helping new-age digital companies offer differentiated offerings to their customers, on the other we are helping enterprises operate at unprecedented scale. For example, we are helping a customer to consolidate and virtualise the IT infrastructure of over 25,000 branches across the country and securely deliver applications to a staggering 250,000 tellers from a central location. We are also assisting a digital native platform scale up to meet unprecedented usage volumes.
Can you explain the concept of virtualisation and how it might help countries like India multiply the capabilities of their IT infrastructure?
Virtualisation is the process of creating a software-based, or virtual representation of something, such as virtual applications, servers, storage, and networks. It is the single most effective way to reduce IT expenses while boosting efficiency and agility for all size businesses. Greater workload mobility, increased performance and availability of resources, automated operations—they are all benefits of virtualisation that make IT simpler to manage and less costly to own and operate.
Organisations in India are no longer questioning whether to digitalise their operations but instead choosing to focus on the best ways to do so. Virtualised and software-defined datacenters, networking, storage and in short, software-defined everything must take centerstage in an organisation’s digital transformation strategy.
What is VMware’s outlook for India?
India is one of our fastest-growing markets in the world. According to Gartner, India’s IT spending is projected to total $89.2 billion in 2019, an increase of 6.7% from estimated spending of $83.6 billion in 2018. India is a crucial and an integral part of our overall global investment strategy. It is home to outstanding engineering talent for our global R&D operations that is helping drive innovation across our entire product portfolio. In October 2018, we announced an investment of $2 billion for the country. In addition to a new campus in Bangalore, and talent development, the investment will also fund some key diversity and inclusivity initiatives in the country.