August 2011

“Opportunity worth us$1 billion waiting to be tapped by indian firms”

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Cloud computing is the latest technology wave that has caught the   attention worldwide. What are your views on the potential of cloud  computing in India and in which key sectors do you foresee their applications?

India is a growing economy with ample business and growth opportunities
and thus, is on radar of cloud computing companies as well to offer their innovative products and services. It is not the replacement market but the  green field projects that are very likely to adopt cloud technology. There are  various case studies which show that the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are gaining productivity out of cloud adoption. In fact, TCS, HCL, Sify have already launched their cloud strategy for the SMEs. All telecom companies are also lining up to provide cloud solutions in India. Besides the IT sector, cloud computing deployment models also cater to the requirements of private  entities, public organisations and general end-users. A private government  cloud model is a deployment model that is exclusively managed by public  organisations where they may offer a number of services to general public or  they may utilise the cloud for their own purposes by sharing resources or  internal management.

Being the leading technology solution provider for many  departments in the American government across many verticals, tell us your  views on the business prospects in India?

With the Government of India  investing in a number of national initiatives such as national knowledge  networks (NKN), network for spectrum (NFS), national broadband plan (NBP),  the prospects for telecommunication business in the government sector in  India is significant. The timely implementation of these projects using the right  technology and technology partner will be critical to the Government of India.

The Indian telecommunications market continues to grow exponentially, and  we are committed to offer as per customer needs in the market. For example,  we’ve grown our customer base in India by offering 3G serviceenabling technologies for a large number of mobile service providers.

As you now have a  head office in India, what is your business strategy and product line that is your priority?

Tell us more on the various current partners in India and your  take on collaborations for business in India? India is an important growth  market to Ciena for all of these solutions. In fact, for several years already, our  India R&D facility has been conducting advanced product development for storage extension, optical transport, multi-service switching, access and  network management for our customers worldwide. With our new office in  Mumbai, we’re better able to leverage that local expertise and deliver  specialised service to customers across the country. Next-gen high capacity  optical transport and switching as well as Carrier Ethernet-based wireless  backhaul and business services have all been identified as markets targeted for  greater investment by carriers. We see strong alignment of our portfolio with  these critical network priorities with a solution set that enables our customers  to improve their competitive positions through the rapid, efficient and  profitable delivery of new services.

We plan to exploit our strong market  position, increased scale and clear technology leadership to take share and  believe we have greater opportunity to expand our product footprint within our existing customer base while winning new customers around the globe.  And, our increased scale gives us the ability to more effectively support a  robust yet focused portfolio as well as a larger customer base.

As Internet connectivity becomes a reality in India, tell us more on    the role and importance of a converged optical Ethernet as the next wave of bandwidth management? What can India learn from the west?

Network operators are challenged to handle constantly evolving demands on  the network from trends like cloud computing, virtualization and advanced  voice, video and data services. In addition, the move to WiMAX and LTE  standards in mobile broadband and the need for capacity and survivability in  undersea deployments, are putting increased pressure on service providers for  more reliable and efficient wireless backhaul and submarine networks.  Operators must begin to build and scale their infrastructures to accommodate this exponential bandwidth growth while offering efficiency and reliability for  all traffic types and application.

Converged optical Ethernet is framed around three key values: maximizing the capacity, scalability and reliability of  customers’ networks through optical technology; maximising the  flexibility, efficiency and economics of their networks through ubiquitous Ethernet technology; and uniting those  capabilities with integrated control plane and management software.

Compared  to the developed countries, what are some of the key policy measures that India should make to strengthen and secure its technology infrastructure?

When a service provider or any government agency selects an equipment  vendor to build their core backbone, it is not just a techno commercial decision.  These networks typically last for 10-15 years. These networks are  literally the ‘backbone’ of country’s business, which carry all voice, data – these  can be for mobile,video, internal data etc. For starters, I would
say security and the control of the technology/ optical transport backbone is of  utmost importance for any country and policies should ensure the same.  Another key measure is a policy to better manage the Out Side Plant (OSP) i.e,  Standards around OSP operations and maintenance.

As technology infrastructure is the backbone of any IT ecosystem,    what are the three technologies that will define stability and success of any bandwidth-based technology adoption in the Asian  countries?

There are three key technologies that I believe can help drive greater stability  and success of any bandwidth-based technology adoption in Asia. Those being:

• Coherent optics that can support higher bandwidth speeds, currently as high as 100 Gb/s.

• Optical control plane technologies that use software control for instant,  automated bandwidth delivery.

• Ethernet switching technologies that help simplify IP/Ethernet service architectures

What are the major challenges that you foresee working in India with Indian government?

India is still a nascent market for cloud computing. There is a $1 billion worth of  opportunity waiting to be tapped into but Indian firms are yet to bite. It  seems to be a case of partly not wanting to change status quo and partly apprehensions regarding the safety of keeping confidential data on the net. In  addition, there is a lack of platform for leading research scientists and industry  practitioners to deliberate on latest trends, best technologies and  socioeconomic approaches towards deployment of cloud computing solutions  in India.

Moreover, the moment we talk about more people using the internet,  e have to adequately ramp up infrastructural facilities. Broadband connectivity  is one of the 6 programmes covered under Bharat Nirman which aims at  ensuring broadband coverage to all 2.5 lakh panchayats by 2012. However, a  serious and dedicated effort to popularize cloud computing will require a greater handshaking between the Government and the IT society. This is one of  the major challenges that any developing IT brand is most likely to be facing in  India.

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