CIO Interview Series: Techsa
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Techsa services is a services centric company offering expertise in Network & Security Consulting, Data Center and Desktop Virtualisation and End-Point &
Asset Management area, launched by Ravi Khanchandani, Sameer Chaukar & Sanjiv Sachdev. They offer IBM and VMware solutions to customers.
IBM Tivoli solutions like TEM, TAM IT and TSRM form a very significant part of their offerings in the marketplace. Their strength lies in understanding the customer
business – by mapping the customer’s business expectation and requirements to technology solutions. However keeping IT simple to deploy and manage is the
essence of their offerings. Some innovative solutions built by them are customizing the out-of-box features from the platform in the areas of OS Imaging solutions for
customers in the ITeS space that resulted in reduction in imaging time. Creating business level reports from a compliance perspective, optimally utilizing server hardware
for a virtualized environment resulting in capex savings, implementing innovative VDI solutions have been other solution sets. Some other areas include re-architecting
existing network environments with minimal additional expenditures to provide performance and scalability have been their forte. Do more with less is their mantra.
In conversation with the team, they share with us thoughts on the next big wave – Cloud computing and Virtualization.
Cloud computing is a natural evolution of the widespread adoption of virtualization, service-oriented architecture, autonomic, and utility computing.
Details are abstracted from end-users, who no longer have need for expertise in, or control over, the technology infrastructure "in the cloud" that supports them.
storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services.
Cloud as a concept is gaining relevance today as businesses prefer to focus more on their core strengths and outsource some or most of their IT functions.
Services that can be offered through the Cloud can be classified as Application as a Service, Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Services.
Common deployments are Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Community Cloud and Public Cloud.
2) Is Cloud better suited for SMBs as compared to enterprise?
For obvious reasons, SMBs are the most eligible candidates for using Public Cloud Services. However Enterprises, depending on their maturity of adoption and
deployments, would shortly chose to use Hybrid Cloud services. For the SMBs as well as mid-level Enterprises, Community Cloud is a concept where enterprises
belonging to a community having common concerns and requirements could be managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally
for e.g. Jewellery Houses, Co-Operative Bank sector, mid-range BPO services companies. With the adoption of Cloud technologies, a customer moves from
a technically managed solution to a contractually managed solution.
Furthermore, To the SMB, a model of CIO as a Service would definitely appeal very strongly.
3) Can you comment on the issue about security in Cloud? Is it a haven for cyber criminals?
As cloud computing is achieving increased popularity, concerns are being voiced about the security issues introduced through adoption of this new model.
The effectiveness and efficiency of traditional protection mechanisms are being reconsidered, as the characteristics of this innovative deployment model differ
widely from those of traditional architectures. Cloud security concerns can be grouped into three broad areas: Security and Privacy, Compliance, and Legal or
Contractual Issues. It also offers cyber criminals easy access to the cloud infrastructure and higher capability to compromise the services. Hackers posing as
legitimate customers can purchase the services of cloud computing for nefarious purposes. This includes password cracking and launching attacks using the
purchased services. In 2009, a banking trojan illegally used the popular Amazon service as a command and control channel that issued software updates and
malicious instructions to PCs that were infected by the malware.
4) Your apprehensions about Cloud and Virtualization?
Apprehensions around cloud not only include security and compliance issues but also legal and contractual issues. Some key considerations besides billing and
charge back are listed below -
· Is it safe to have sensitive company data floating on a cloud?
· Does the cloud have any real cost advantage?
· Will the cloud provide the same or better quality and continuity of service?
· How will the hosted applications work in tandem with the other in-premise applications?
Having said this, Cloud services from Salesforce, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Amazon and others are far more dependable, scalable and secure than they were, earlier.
In the foreseeable future, the above considerations will be addressed far comprehensively than they are today.
5) Any tips you can share for pursuing a career in technology?
Virtualisation & cloud technologies are not new concepts but innovations around the computing of yesteryears. The fundamentals of Provisioning of
Storage Area Networks, Networking, Server Hardware and Operating Systems need to be learnt. Additionally, a focus on security concerns, compliance
norms and licensing issues need to be understood.
6) Your personal success story
Personally, the journey at Techsa has been a rewarding one. We have been able to get deeper into customer issues and work with them to resolve these issues.
We work with select few customers so that we do not compromise on service quality and delivery issues. Customer satisfaction has been the biggest reward.
They see value in our offerings and confide in us with their challenges whether big or small. Our success is attributed to – Customer comes first, empathy, integrity
and innovation. Our approach towards any solution is to “keep it simple” as most of the times we find that people tend to complicate things beyond comprehension.
Our innovative ways have been a result of using simple known principles to succeed.
We personally don’t subscribe to the vendor-customer relationship. We have always strived to win friends in my customers. We have always stood by them in our
stints at Wipro, Nortel, Cisco and here at Techsa. We would never be found wanting in situations when they needed support in case of product pricing, deliveries
or when technical support. Our customer friends have always given us our fair share of business. This is the recipe of our limited success as an employee and
employer in our respective professional careers.
A Smarter Planet is all about making the most efficient use of our planet and its resources and at the same time ensuring re-generation of the resources or
causing minimal erosion of resources, thereby saving our planet for our future generations.