In 2002, telecommunications services company Bharti Airtel was struggling in India. New private players with deep pockets and government-owned giant BSNL had stepped in. “The question was not if, the question was when Bharti would collapse,” said Sunil Mittal, the founder and chairman of Bharti Airtel. Instead of folding, Bharti Airtel survived and grew, leaving others far behind, because in Mittal’s own words, they reinvented, and “in a sense took a rebirth.”
Fast forward to 2015, where Bharti Airtel is now counted among the world’s top telecommunications companies. Mittal explains that today we live in an era of the digitalisation of societies, with technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT). Companies like Bharti Airtel have to be well-prepared in order to grab the new business opportunities that will emerge from the IoT revolution.
At the same time, they have to watch out for small, nimble OTT competitors who are moving quickly from the bottom of the market to disrupt existing telecom business models — remember the concept of ‘disruptive innovation’ coined by Clayton Christensen? Plus, security is also critical to ensure that the hundreds of millions of customers using Bharti Airtel services retain trust in the brand. “Therefore, telecom companies have to make sure they deliver by ensuring backend systems and processes are well-maintained,” says Mittal.
That backend system will be cloud-based today, because given the economics and scalability required, the only answer is the cloud. And while business models are reinvented, in the backend businesses need cloud computing platforms that are the best in the world.
Take IBM SoftLayer — which has a local data centre in India, part of a network of 28 data centres across the globe. With everything from location and accessibility, to power density and redundancy, IBM Cloud is a 360 degree end-to-end offering — from bare metal servers, to IBM’s advanced industry-specific solutions — designed to guarantee security, resiliency and efficiency.
Each one of these factors matter. Location matters because in some regulated industries, data is not permitted to leave Indian shores. Scalability matters, because when new business opportunities like IoT come and you need to reinvent, you must be nimble enough to move very quickly. Redundancy matters, because businesses that are not up and running when they are needed the most may not survive. And security matters, because if you lose your customers’ trust, your business doesn’t have a future.
Like Bharti Airtel, Tata Sky, India’s leader in DTH television is another business that is facing huge challenges from global disruptive innovators like Netflix who are now in India. While Tata Sky is also reinventing its business to face new competition and changing business models, they trust their backend systems and processes to the best in the world.
Says N. Ravishanker, CIO of Tata Sky, “IBM Cloud infrastructure has helped our business become more agile. Having a local data centre that is equipped to meet specific requests for our business along with IBM Cloud’s ability to handle disaster recovery gives us immense confidence in the safety and security of our data.”
Clearly, new business challenges will constantly come and you may often need to reinvent your business. But, if your backend is in good shape, you can focus on reinvention and even rebirth, while being sure that the foundation of your business is secure. Want to know more? Here’s how you can get the world’s best cloud for your business.