“SME’s Readily Adopting Cloud Technology As It Has Become Very Viable For Them”

Rajesh Ganesan, Director of Product Management, ManageEngine

Rajesh Ganesan

Everybody is talking cloud, and its importance as a technology to enable business continuity and agility. The very basis of this technology ensures that it is financially very viable for companies that want to upgrade their old systems without spending as much. This is where the SME segment comes in. According to IDC report small businesses that are using cloud computing are 1.7 times more likely to have over 10 percent revenue growth as compared to similar sized companies in general. Cloud technology enables the rapid deployment of business applications at a lower investment and so the SME is able to channel more funds to building its core business.
That is where ManageEngine comes in. The Cloud-based IT solution for the SMB from Zoho Corp is aimed at helping SME’s get on to the cloud easily and manage their infrastructure for better business agility. Rajesh Ganesan, Director, Product Management, ManageEngine, Zoho Corp talks to HPC Asia about the state of cloud adoption in India amongst SME and how with ManageEngine they can easily do so. Excerpts:

What is the state of cloud adoption amongst SME in India?

Till about two or three years ago, cloud adoption in SME was driven by peer pressure rather than a sense of requirement. But now the scenario is changing fast. In the last one year or so we have seen that the technology has become very viable, very practical, and companies are adopting the technology, and this is more so in the SME segment. The other reason is the Indian government’s own push to cloud. The government is encouraging digital transformation, which is being enabled by the cloud technology. The market is ready is quite evident from the fact that both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure have set up their data centres here. Amazon has recently opened its data centre in Mumbai. So now Indian SMEs are quite open to move to the cloud. In fact, adoption of cloud makes these small businesses more efficient, flexible and competitive. Businesses can start their cloud transformation journey by testing waters with essential functions like website management, bandwidth management, application management, etc. and eventually move on the critical business functions like mobile device management and account security. So as we see it, the SME segment in India will move 100 percent on to the cloud for sure.

How straightforward is cloud adoption for SME?

Cloud adoption in SME is very straightforward; they are not very geographically distributed, and their infrastructure is not highly process driven. They do not have large work force, they do not have legacy systems that have compliance issues, so it is easier for them to move to the cloud. The biggest advantage is that they do not have the hassle of on-premise licensing. So it is easier for them to go onto the cloud. Deployment is faster and cost effective. SME can cut down on their capital expenditure. For instance Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure or even Zoho Cloud offers the SMEs lots of capabilities without adding to their costs. Cloud offers a high level of flexibility.

Today if you see in IT organisations, the dominant technologies are from Microsoft whether it is the Windows Platform or SQL Server. So when they move to the cloud, they generally opt for Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services, it is almost seamless. These technology companies ensure it. They actually help the customers to easily adopt the cloud technology. For example, Amazon offers libraries of software applications which enable small businesses to move their on-premise data and applications on to the AWS cloud within a day. Amazon has a device where they connect it to your existing infrastructure and draw in the data and then transfer it in a secure manner to the Amazon Data Centre. So it is almost a plug and play option for the SMEs here, which allows them to focus more on their core business.

How is Zoho focusing on this segment, since you already have a solution for the Cloud?

Zoho’s positioning is that we want to be the complete operating system for any business. We have product suites that are ideal for the SME. Now if you take any business especially in the SME segment, they need three varieties of software applications – one would be customer front ending solutions like CRM, the customer support system, the ERP system. Then they need applications for back office operations where they do their HR, Payroll etc., and then there are the collaboration tools, so that they work with their customers, their partners and within the organisation for better business outcome.

Zoho product suite enables the SME to efficiently and securely collaborate, and offer better solutions and services to their customers. We have end-to-end solutions that are all on the cloud, and the SME organisation can start using these as soon as they sign up with us without the hassle of licensing and compliance.

And why is ManageEngine relevant for an SME?

ManageEngine started earlier than Zoho with its offerings and is targeted at the IT teams or IT organisations of the world. It makes sure that the IT infrastructure is up and running all the time. This is for companies of all sizes. It helps in dealing with complex IT infrastructure – from edge to core. The solution takes a straightforward, customer-centric approach to IT management software. ManageEngine offers simple, easy-to-use, real-time IT management products at a price that every business can afford. The ManageEngine suite provides solutions for network performance management, help desk and ITIL, bandwidth monitoring, server and application management, desktop management, mobile device management, security information event management, password management, network configuration management, and Active Directory management.

Why would they want to deploy your solution?

ManageEngine simplifies IT management with affordable software that offers the ease of use SMBs need and the powerful features the largest enterprises demand. It has tools that would automate their processes. The most basic of the solutions an IT team looks at is generating trouble tickets. It helps the teams monitor the problem and manage the lifecycle of the complaint to ensure that the user has the least downtime and better productivity.

We have realised that when an organisation is using various tools to automate their processes – as much as their IT team – the work becomes smoother, and overall productivity increases. So what we are doing is with ManageEngine is that we have all the capabilities to improve IT functioning, and now we are taking this beyond IT. We are making changes so that it could also be used by other departments. For instance the Help Desk solution within ManageEngine, can be used by the HR Department with little customisation. So we are taking this message across to our customers. With ManageEngine we ensure that health of all applications running is optimal.

How does ManageEngine ensure business agility for an organisation?

It has cloud based IT help desk technologies that leverage cloud computing to deliver more proactive, collaborative, versatile services, faster ROI, and enterprise-class disaster recovery benefits. ManageEngine’s mobile device management on cloud enables organizations to access resources, track devices, remotely wipe data from devices, apply browsing policies, and more.  In fact even SMEs today can take the advantages of mobility and BYOD, while making it possible to enforce network access policies. The account security in ManageEngine enables smooth access control and management and ensures system security. ManageEngine, as mentioned enables the business to monitor its applications and focus on meeting the need of its customers.

How do you sell the two solutions in the Indian market?

When we market the solutions we demarcate the offerings clearly. Zoho goes directly to the business owners, the CEO, or the COO while ManageEngine goes to the IT organisation, the CIO and the IT team. The position is very clear. ManageEngine provides the IT tools to ensure smooth running of the organisation. Zoho goes one step ahead, we not only provide the complete IT management tool, but also supply the business continuity applications like ERP systems, CRM systems, project management, invoicing. Meanwhile, ManageEngine has always been about IT Management and now we are moving that to the Cloud. Till now with ManageEngine, all applications have been on premise, but with our focus on SME we have taken all that into the cloud. It ensures that when an SME deploys a third party, it is able to run it easily on the cloud.
The main selling point of ManageEngine is that all its IT management applications are easy to download, install, configure, and does not need any third-party support services. That is our solutions have become the preferred, do-it-yourself alternative for the cost-conscious SME. In fact we even have customers like HP, EMC, Applied Materials, NASA, DuPont, Lockheed Martin, and Sony.

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