Cloud lets SMEs adopt new technology without major CAPEX | SupportBiz

Tech Mate

Cloud lets SMEs adopt new technology without major CAPEX

 
The adoption of cloud based hosting services is primarily driven by the need for flexibility, financial benefits and the ability to adopt new technology quickly - typical expectations of an Indian SME. However, the target audience needs clarity on several key issues. Raghu Kumar, CEO of GlobalOutlook explained many key points that are impacting the mindshare of the Indian SME with regards to cloud computing solutions.

 

The upfront cost of acquiring new technology keeps the smaller companies away from it. With regard to this, what value do hosted services bring in?

With the hosted model, companies can stop worrying about adopting the latest technologies on their own which requires high capital expenditure. We already have a robust technology deployed at an enterprise level which can be used by these companies to leverage enterprise class experience at no additional cost. Thanks to the cloud, even micro-businesses or SMBs can opt for these technologies by paying a predictable small monthly fee per user, without worrying about the technology.

What are the key challenges for the penetration of hosted services in the SME infrastructure?

The primary challenge stands with the mindset which resists change. The traditional mindset is to retain in-house/collocated services and acquisition costs.  However, more companies are deciding that now is the time that they need to make the change and start moving to the cloud which is secure and cost efficient.

However, setting up or singing up of SLAs for a hosted application often becomes difficult for a typical SME owner?

Yes, it Is often difficult for an SME to sign SLAs for hosted application. The service level agreement should be straight forward and easy to understand for both parties.  We add another reason for all of our customers to have confidence:  a financially backed up SLA with 99.9 percent uptime guaranteed, which gives them confidence in our services and deliverables.

Similarly, integration with existing applications also becomes challenging when a hosted application comes on board. How does GlobalOutlook tackle this issue?

Integration with us is not an issue, as our experts take care of the same. Often our customers require integration of email services with their other applications, our experts work closely with the customer to see that the requirement is fulfilled. There are times when we have developed plug-ins to fulfill our customer’s integration requirements. One of the differentiators of GlobalOutlook is to provide ‘customization’.

'One size fits all' approach often need some tweaking. How do you meet this demand of customers according to the priorities of their business? 

A key differentiator for GlobalOutlook is that we go beyond the “plain vanilla” or one-size-fits-all offering.  We customize the email, collaboration and messaging offering based on our customer’s needs - executive level email for top management and basic email for the rest of the organization.  Besides, we also provide an innovative hybrid solution where companies can have users both on exchange and Linux platforms. Also we have role-based policies for the organizations which require approvals from the IT department. We are totally flexible in terms of our customer requirements.

What is GlobalOutlook’s market strategy for the Indian market?

We are an early partner of Microsoft in India and continue to work on initiatives for Hosted Exchange.  The Hosted Exchange model is based on partners with the technology developed by Microsoft.

We work with both partners and direct customers including the online sales portal.  Our partners can participate in the white label model, wherein they pay us a fee per user and then sell to their customers and service/support them.  They can also participate in the referral model wherein they receive a commission for their bringing customers to us; we take it from there.