Interview with Chandra Sekhar Pulamarasetti
It is a tale of a company that has grown next door to India’s major software exporters. Much to their surprise, IBM acquired Sanovi Technologies, a cloud migration software entity. Chandra Sekhar Pulamarasetti, its founder and chief executive, talks to Ayan Pramanik.
Tell us your journey. What were the challenges?
The strength of Sanovi is that we had a strong technology and product background. We had worked in several companies that developed products in the whole of the 90s in the US. Particularly with large server manufacturing companies which were doing a lot of operating system work. With that background, when we started, we knew in the coming era there was a gap in data recovery (DR) management, especially when a company shifts its technology work from traditional infrastructure to cloud. It was definitely early and that is one of the reasons why we had to raise initial funds from investors in Boston. 2007-08 was a very tough period for any company to raise another round of funding, especially for enterprise software (firms). That is where we got caught in the whole credit-fuelled bubble. We could not raise the necessary funds and had to scale down.
Subsequently, 2010 onwards, as we had gotten private investors from home, we were able to secure adequate funding. We expanded the scope of offering. From that point, we have done very well. We always believed DR resiliency is a global market and every large enterprise requires it. Anyone having a serious IT infrastructure requires resiliency and the Sanovi product is a visionary one. Particularly during the past three-four years, there have been aggressive demands. Enterprises always use a lot of technologies. DR is something you do differently for each technology. Now, with the Hybrid cloud adoption, expectations are higher. Sanovi’s technology helped IBM meet the aggressive demand.
Are the investors exiting the company?
Yes, the individual and private investors. They will exit after this deal and IBM will own 100%. Software is our primary offering. We enable our partners to do the services and implementation.
Do you see many product companies emerging out of India?
What were the frustrating points in the 13-year journey?
Perseverance matters. Especially in an entrepreneurial journey, it is not necessarily everything is a grow-grow-grow situation. Cash flows are always going to be a very tight walk. It is important to believe in the story. One thing we understood is the market. Everytime we had a tougher situation, we looked at the market; is it going to be bigger or shrinking? For us, the market was only getting bigger. The second one is customer centricity. We have taken a very customer-centric approach. We always tried to build happy clients. Two things helped us — solid clients and offering better features and functionality in our product.
What is your take on IBM acquiring you from the backyard of Indian software firms talking about cloud transformation?
There is always interest for Sanovi-type solutions by various companies. Infosys recently invested in a cloud software company. Others are also investing. It is more of where is my biggest fit, where Sanovi can add significant value. IBM becomes a great match because it has a public cloud, DR clients and being the number one is resiliency services in the world.
Did you ever think that Sanovi could be acquired?
Our software is a component of any large infrastructure solution which is offered by IBM or any other big company. Unless we horizontally build a lot many products, we have to have a large partner who will take us to the globe.
Where do you think the market will evolve in the next couple of years?
A significant thing is hybrid cloud adoption. Many enterprises are already adopting to private cloud in several ways. According to AWS, 2016 is a year of inflection point for large enterprises to go on to public cloud. When this true hybrid cloud is formed by enterprises, the complexity to manage, particularly infrastructure like resiliency, only increases. They need to have their applications seamlessly running across physical, private cloud and public cloud infrastructures.
So, while it has significant cloud elasticity, the complexity is increasing. That is one big opportunity. Most of these typical traditional enterprise applications are being broken down. So many SAP/SAS players are coming up. And, the consolidation is happening now in the cloud. At the back-end, the opportunity is having infrastructure across multiple cloud platforms.
Acquisition of hybrid cloud recovery and business continuity software firm bolsters IBM’s Software Defined Resiliency strategy
ARMONK, NY and BANGALORE, INDIA – 15 November 2016: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has completed the acquisition of Sanovi Technologies, a privately held company that provides hybrid cloud recovery, cloud migration and business continuity software for enterprise data centers and cloud infrastructure. Adding these capabilities along with advanced analytics will better enable IBM to bolster its Software Defined Resiliency strategy and delivery of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery services for clients undergoing digital and hybrid cloud transformation.
With Sanovi’s software, IBM will further empower clients to redefine their disaster recovery strategy in the face of unprecedented industry change. The addition of Sanovi’s orchestration technology to IBM’s existing resiliency portfolio offers a solution that helps simplify and automate the disaster recovery process, helps to manage recovery workflows, and can help to reduce recovery time, operating costs, and disaster recovery drill testing time. From a central dashboard, resiliency professionals can automate and monitor recovery point and time objectives in their disaster recovery environments by application, server, or data base to work towards business driven recovery outcomes.
IBM plans to integrate the Sanovi capabilities into the IBM Global Technology Services unit. IBM Resiliency Services is continuously evolving to learn, anticipate and confront the growing range of natural and man-made risks surrounding businesses today and was named a Leader for the second consecutive year in Gartner’s June 2016 Magic Quadrant for Disaster Recovery as a Service. Moving forward, IBM envisions leveraging Watson Analytics to expand Sanovi’s Disaster Recovery Management (DRM) capabilities and enable organizations to move from business continuity planning to more proactive resiliency programs that help anticipate potential failures.
For more information on IBM Resiliency Services, visit http://ibm.co/1cqLDOz.
About IBM Global Technology Services
IBM Global Technology Services offers end-to-end IT consulting and business services supported by an unparalleled global delivery network that is transforming its business to lead in an era of Cognitive and Cloud. As a cloud services integrator, GTS is managing the services and underlying infrastructure in an integrated and unified way. It is modernizing clients’ IT environments to help them meet the increasingly complex customer demands. GTS provides clients with innovative technology solutions that help them to improve their business processes and in turn, profitability.
About Sanovi Technologies
Gartner Cool Vendor Sanovi Technologies provides Cloud migration, business continuity and IT recovery solutions using its innovative Application Defined Continuity (ADC) technology for workloads across physical, virtual and cloud infrastructures. Sanovi has over 350 customers, including Fortune 500 companies, service providers and multi-billion dollar enterprises across vertical industries. Gartner’s 2015 Hype Cycle report on BCP/DR calls out Sanovi’s software as the recovery management solution for heterogeneous platforms. Sanovi is a Red Herring Global 100 award 2013 winner. Sanovi’s offerings include enterprise DRM and cloud continuity software products. For more on Sanovi solutions, please visit www.sanovi.com.
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C-Edge Technologies is a provider of cloud based financial services technology and claims to offer diversified and customized solutions like Core Banking Solutions, Channel Solutions, Compliance Solutions and Payment Solutions. One of C-Edge’s core strength lies in providing Core Banking Services on an innovative Application Service Provider (ASP) model to various Urban, District Cooperative and Regional Rural banks in India. Its ASP model combines IT services, networking and core banking application infrastructure in a bundle, enabling banks to run efficiently and in a cost effective manner.
Ensuring Business Continuity for its customers
As more and more banks are adopting C-Edge’s ASP model, all the banks have a common requirement i.e. to be able to manage unprecedented number of transactions 24×7. C-Edge, being responsible for end to end managed services for all the banks, was faced with the challenge of safeguarding and ensuring the business continuity of all IT systems so that its customers constantly operate without disruption in their banking operations. One of the key steps to ensure business continuity which the company took was to transform its disaster recovery processes, landscape along with automation.
C-Edge has three datacenter sites operating at geographically dispersed locations. C-Edge initiated IT BCP/DR project with the objective to resume business services from DR site (within stipulated RTO) and ensuring data recovery within defined RPO.