Cloud service gives companies of any size access to technological capabilities, which were previously accessible to large enterprises only – Piyush Somani, ESDS Software Solution, Full Interview

ESDS Software Solution Limited’s Managing Director and Chairman Piyush Somani, elected as the President of CCICI

ESDS Software Solution Limited’s Managing Director and Chairman Piyush Somani, elected as the President of CCICI

ESDS Software Solution is amongst India’s leading managed cloud service and end-to-end multi-cloud requirements providers. It offers cloud computing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS), and managed services. Piyush Somani, Managing Director & Chairman of ESDS Software Solution Ltd. was in conversation with IT-Voice recently where he answered questions about the organization, future of cloud computing, etc.:

Prateek: Please take us through the journey of ESDS.

Piyush Somani: I started ESDS 16 years back in Nashik. After working in the industry post completion of engineering, I and my colleagues from the college & previous organization decided to become business partners, which led us to take up the first project of offering web hosting support. With my father’s initial funding and support, our team brought an Internet connection necessary to start an online managed services business. In 2005, I applied for a private limited company, and hence ESDS was incorporated. In 2011, we launched our first Data Center in Nashik, Maharashtra. ESDS was also the first company to offer a true Make in India Cloud in the nation in 2011 with the introduction of our in-house developed Cloud Platform, eNlight Cloud. In 2016, ESDS launched its second Data Center in Navi Mumbai, and 4 years later, ESDS launched its third Data Center in Bengaluru in collaboration with STPI (Software Technology Park of India). ESDS is also one of the few Data Center & Cloud Services providers, with its R&D Team comprising 175+ Members (As of June 30, 2021). Over the years, ESDS’ R&D Team has developed several products complementing ESDS’ Data Center & Cloud business. Today, ESDS is amongst India’s leading Managed Cloud Service & end-to-end multi-Cloud requirements providers (Source: Ken Research Report). We have built a comprehensive Cloud platform that our customers rely on, consisting of Cloud infrastructure, well-architected solutions to reduce cost and provide safety, flexibility, scalability, and reliability to enterprises compared with the traditional on-premises IT models.

Prateek: Tell us more about eNlight 360°.

Piyush Somani: eNlight360″ is a Hybrid Cloud orchestration solution that comes with a complete Data Center Management Suite that makes it a unique offering in the market today. It is a next-generation technology that supports multiple hypervisor management. It can be set up in a user’s premise, thus giving the customer security of a Private Cloud and scalability like a Public Cloud. eNlight 360 ̊ interfaces with the underlying infrastructure through open source or vendor-provided drivers, thus making it universal in its application.  This standardized abstraction helps prevent customers from being locked into a specific technology or tool, saving the customer time, money, and effort.  eNlight 360 ̊  provides additional services such as identity management, cloud orchestration, and metering, all managed in the same programmatic manner through API. eNlight 360 ̊ is not exclusive to a hypervisor, but it supports multiple hypervisors through an abstraction layer.

Prateek: What makes ESDS different from other organizations?

Piyush Somani: ESDS’ Competitive Strength lies with the following-

  1. ESDS offers a comprehensive and integrated range of offerings that provide a “one-stop-shop” for managed Cloud solutions to a diversified and marquee clientele.

ESDS’ business offerings provide a comprehensive range of solutions, which we believe provides a “one-stop-shop” for its customer’s Cloud adoption. It is an important factor in customer acquisition and retention and sets us apart from its competitors.

  1. A robust and scalable business model with multiple levers of growth.

ESDS is characterized by multiple levers of growth, such as Government initiatives for promoting Cloud services, technology, and other partnerships. ESDS believes it is well-positioned to leverage such opportunities due to our robust and scalable business model due to patented Vertical Auto-Scalable Cloud Technology, which plays an important role in achieving optimal capacity utilization, allowing us to service larger load demands. ESDS operates its business on an asset-light model, which comprises ownership of computing hardware assets only.

  1. We offer innovative billing solutions that derive value to customers.

As part of our business model, ESDS has introduced several billing solutions such as Pay-Per-Consumption, Pay-Per-Branch & Pay-Per-Transaction. ESDS derives significant value to its customers. We believe that such innovative billing models have assisted in customer retention, scaling of operations, and cross-sell and upsell services.

  • Our “pay-per-consumption” billing model is in contrast to the “pay-per-use” billing model adopted by major competitors, pursuant to which the customer is charged for the virtual machines allocated to them.
  • The “pay-per-branch” billing model is used specifically by ESDS cooperative banking customers. Under this billing model, a bank pays a fixed amount per month per branch, and we provide core banking on the SaaS model to these banks bundled with the required managed services.
  • The “pay-per-transaction” billing model seeks to bill customers per successful transaction.
  1. Leadership position in the industry with a proven track record

ESDS is amongst India’s leading Managed Cloud Service and end-to-end multi-Cloud requirements providers. Today, ESDS has the largest number of banking customers in India, including more than 400 cooperative banks, district cooperative central banks, and small banks. ESDS is also a market leader in hosting Government Cloud applications.

Prateek: How is the Cloud Storage business evolving in Indian cyberspace?

Piyush Somani: The wave of IT adoption led by Cloud Computing has allowed firms to transform the backend operations, resulting in an enhanced value proposition for the customers. Cloud service gives companies of any size access to technological capabilities, which were previously accessible to large enterprises only. In India, the industry has gained momentum with more than 200 Data Centers and more than 10 Cloud operators, targeting an industry market size of USD 3.8 billion in Fiscal 2020. India is one of the largest data generators currently, with a growing young and tech-savvy population. Digital consumption data in India was around 40,000 Petabytes in 2010; it has likely shot up to 2.3 million Petabytes towards the end of 2020, which is twice the global rate, as per a report by ASSOCHAM.

The cloud services market in India was undergoing a cloud transition phase, which got accelerated by the perpetuation of Covid-19 in 2020. During the first quarter of 2020, spending of enterprises on cloud infrastructure increased by ~35%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. The shift of work culture from office set-ups to virtual work generated the urgent need of secure, reliable, scalable, and cost-effective technology services across the country. SaaS has been a huge support for the sudden increase in the mobile workforce in 2020. The Indian cloud infrastructure witnessed a y-o-y growth of around 15% by the end of 2020.

The hybrid cloud witnessed the majority investment as compared to public and private cloud model during the pandemic. In accordance with Enterprise Cloud Index report, over 65% of Indian organizations, due to Covid- 19, increased their investments in hybrid cloud.

As per the IT spending survey, more than 65% of India’s enterprises have realized the benefits of opting for cloud in terms of acquiring new clients, serving the existing customer base and achieving good profitability. Q. What will be the organization’s policies be to expand in the Indian Cloud and Data Center market?

ESDS intends to capitalize on the growth of the Cloud market and demand for Data Centers in India as well as in the international markets. The key reason is the increase in demand for Cloud services and Data Center with the rising amount of data generated by the customers of a business.

Further, the Cloud industry in India is witnessing a surge in adoption by various industry verticals such as the government sector and manufacturing industry, IT industry, and others. The Government of India is embracing Cloud computing technology for expanding its e-governance initiatives throughout the country. With an increasing number of IT companies and internet service providers (ISPs) in India, the Cloud IaaS model is helping SMEs to have access to the latest infrastructure, thus reducing their in-house infrastructure costs. (Source: Ken Research Report)

Disclaimer:

ESDS Software Solution Limited is proposing, subject to receipt of requisite approvals, market conditions and other considerations, an initial public offering of its equity shares (the “Equity Shares”) and has filed a draft red herring prospectus dated September 2, 2021 (the “DRHP”) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”), BSE Limited and the National Stock Exchange of India Limited. The DRHP is available on the website of SEBI at www.sebi.gov.in, the website of the BSE Limited at www.bseindia.com and the website of the National Stock Exchange of India Limited at www.nseindia.com and the website of the Lead Managers, Axis Capital Limited and IIFL Securities Limited, at www.axiscapital.co.in and www.iiflcap.com, respectively. Any potential investor should note that investment in Equity Shares involves a high degree of risk. For details, potential investors should refer to the red herring prospectus of the Company, including the section titled “Risk Factors”.

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