Piyush Somani, Founder and MD, ESDS Software Solutions
Piyush Somani, Founder and MD, ESDS Software Solutions. (Photo: File)

For homegrown cloud service provider , 2018 was one of the most important year since its inception 13 years ago. The company not only launched new products and bagged many contracts from government organisations and enterprises, but 2018 also significantly boosted its market presence and helped it in creating a platform on which now ESDS aims to dominate the Cloud market and become the India’s No.1 Cloud Service provider.

The Nashik-based firm now host more than 90 government organisations on its Government Community Cloud, 125 enterprises on its SAP HANA Community Cloud and 290 banks on its Banking Community Cloud and hundreds of startups and other customers on its Public Cloud.

In 2019, the company is planning to expand in 16 countries. In an exclusive interview with TechObserver.in, Piyush Somani, Founder and MD, ESDS Software Solution shares his views on Cloud market in India, expansion plans and how Indian companies can differentiate themselves in cutting-edge global technology market.

“Size of opportunities we have got from some countries is huge and we see a strong bottom-line building up from the revenue that will come from outside. We will continue with our growth in India, as our upcoming Bangalore DC and expansion in Mumbai will help us to inch closer to our ambition of becoming the #CloudofIndia,” said Somani.

Edited Excerpts:

Over the years, ESDS has become one of the successful Indian company dealing in cutting-edge global technology, so how has 2018 been for ESDS both from business and product innovation point of view?

2018 was the most important year for ESDS in its journey of 13 years. We did a lot of innovation in Cloud and launched many products in the past, but 2018 helped us to get the customers for whom we built all the products and our Cloud services. 2018 has helped us to create such a fantastic platform for 2019, that we now have a firm belief that we can dominate the Cloud business in India in next few years and have inched closer to our target of becoming India’s No.1 Cloud Service provider.

2018 has seen many enterprises, banks and government organizations coming up with Cloud First Policy, which has helped ESDS the most in getting a huge boost in our customer base and today we host many of the top enterprises, top government organizations and popular banks of India. Year 2018 has brought a lot of trust and confidence in Cloud computing, which has benefitted ESDS enormously and the trend will continue in 2019 as well.

How is your business span across enterprises and government vertical? What have been their contribution to your growth?

We always wanted to have a perfect balance of enterprise and government customers and ESDS is the only Cloud service provider in India to have such a perfect balance of government and enterprise customers. We now host more than 90 government organizations on our Government Community Cloud, 125 enterprises on our SAP HANA Community Cloud, 290 banks on our Banking Community Cloud and hundreds of startups and other customers on our Public Cloud.

We have absolutely no bias for enterprise or government customers, as serving government customers has helped us to bring positive transformation in lives of millions of our countrymen, while enterprises have helped us to realize our financial goals and technology growth. Cloud has played a very important role in bringing a lot of transparency in the government sector, as the government organization don’t need to buy hardware anymore and they now pay only for what they consume on our Cloud platform.

ESDS is empaneled with Government of India, in fact you have worked with some of the large PSUs and government organizations. Can you share some more lights on how government business is doing and what are your new plans for this segment?

Government business has done exceptionally well for us compared to any of the other Cloud service providers. We were one of the first to get empaneled with Government of India as a Cloud service provider and same was the case with the Cloud rate contract initiated by Government of Maharashtra. 10 years back the scenario was very different and now there is a huge change in the way government department function.

There is absolutely no involvement of politicians in the Cloud procurement process and the bureaucrats who run the entire process are like new generation entrepreneurs. My perception about bureaucrats has totally changed in last few years due to emergence of young bureaucrats at top positions and these guys impress you with their intelligence and knowledge. This experience of seeing your country transforming so positively is one of the most soothing experience and we feel extremely proud that our Cloud has played a key role in bringing transformation in the lives of citizens of India by expediting rollout of citizen services.

You ask any government organization to move to cloud, they are likely to ask number of questions about security and data ownership. According to you, how secure is cloud for government and what precaution government organizations should take while moving workload to cloud?

Cloud is the safest place for a government organisations to store their data. Security has become a very complex task these days for those organisations who run their own data centers. Your competitors and the enemies of the state know where exactly the data centers are and they also know the people who handle that data from respective government department. The world has witnessed a western government having some serious problems in the past due to an employee who transferred their data to the outside world, such thing is not possible in case of Cloud, as an individual from the government department cannot misuse his access without getting noticed by the Monitoring Teams.

There were a lot of challenges experienced by government departments in the past as the entire procurement of hardware and setup of a private data center took years. Citizens have no patience now, as they want their elected government to transform the entire country in 5 years, else they give chance to someone else after 5 years, so there is no other way left for the government to quickly rollout their services for citizens, as it takes few minutes only for a new citizens application to go-live on the Cloud.

There is buzz around AI in the market. Companies like AWS, Microsoft and IBM are differentiating their products not on price but on service delivery and allied services like AI or machine learning. How Indian companies like yours match the competition? What compelling proposition you have for customer?

Though there’s a lot of talk in the market about AI, but what we see in the market is only Machine Learning as of now. Chatbot is the most popular thing right now and we also offer our own Chatbot hosted on our Cloud as a SaaS offering to our customers. IoT is another buzzword everywhere and world’s biggest IoT project is going live from ESDS Cloud for EESL.

There was so much talk about Blockchain, but it seems that the technology has got no differentiators left and 2018 was a disaster for blockchain technology. ESDS has a solution for everything that our customers need on the Cloud. We don’t offer 500 SaaS services, but what we offer to our customers is what they need. Our vertical auto-scaling is exactly what an enterprise, banking, government or telecom company need and we brought vertical auto-scaling in the market by understanding the problems of applications and databases used by enterprises which had limitations on horizontally scalable public Cloud that was designed for digital and e-commerce companies. As we are the most agile CSP in India, so this agility has helped us to understand what our customers need and we deliver exactly what they want from ESDS.

What is ESDS expansion and growth plans for 2019? Are you looking to move beyond India?

We are expanding in 16 countries and the platform has been laid in 2018. Size of opportunities we have got from some countries is huge and we see a strong bottom-line building up from the revenue that will come from outside. We will continue with our growth in India, as our upcoming Bangalore DC and expansion in Mumbai will help us to inch closer to our ambition of becoming the #CloudofIndia.

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