Cloud computing will help reduce the capex impact on us

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

Present in nineteen sectors and twenty-five countries,

the Aditya Birla Group is among the Fortune 500 companies. With a huge workforce

of 1,30,000 employees from around the world, the Group nurtures a work culture

where success is built on learning and innovating.


The twenty-eight-year-old Aditya Birla Minacs provides

customized BPO solutions focused on five core areas of capability,

namely-customer relationship management/contact centers, Minacs marketing

solutions, knowledge and process outsourcing, finance and accounting

outsourcing, and IT. The company combines expertise in these areas to improve

revenue, customer service, and operating margin for Fortune 500 clients.

Moreover, it has established successful industry practices with clients in the

manufacturing/automotive, banking, financial services, insurance,

telecommunications, and technology verticals.

Here we speak to Tarun Pandey, VP, IT, Aditya Birla

Group, to find out about IT & technology solutions post-recession for the coming

year. Excerpts

How has the delay in

3G affected your plans to achieve better connectivity across your centers in

India? In technology, what alternatives are you looking at employing?

Delay in 3G has not affected us much as 2G has been more in use in our

organization, except perhaps certain mobile based applications which cannot be

tested sans 3G now. However, there is no loss in income, as our other technology

options are quite stable. Therefore, there is no change in technology plans as

of now for connectivity purposes. In terms of applications technology, finance

is a major area where technology is used, but there is nothing new scheduled for

this year.


Convergence and WLAN, as well as cloud computing are

coming to India in a big way. Do you plan to implement any of the new

technologies in your business model?

We plan to explore cloud computing in terms of new changes it will bring to

virtualization. We will experiment and explore various options. Cloud is useful

for us in terms of management, to provision things faster, as well as in terms

of infrastructure, network from service providers, and their service model. In

terms of the latter, cloud computing will help reduce the capex impact, as SPs

will be managing costs; thus, we will be able to better concentrate on business

and reducing our costs.

How have you secured your networks to make online

security more robust? What is the current security solution you are using?

Security is a concern for everyone. For us, security concerns include

perimeter security, securing websites, right access defined and segregation of

duties, so that users have access to only what is relevant to them. Online

security is important in the financial sector; thus, we are exploring the best

value, not only in terms of money, but services and technology as well. We have

an internal security team and we depend on group expertise. Apart from that, we

have very stringent information security policies and fall back on experts, both

internal and external to help implement them.


What are some of the new technology solutions you are

thinking of introducing?

Some of the new technology solutions we are looking at are cloud computing,

virtualization and service-as-a-model. We are also keen on introducing new green

IT concepts, which are in the planning stages right now, and which will help in

reducing power consumption, cooling, data center, office designing and other

data technologies. We are mainly focused towards bottomlines, while introducing

all these options.

How big is bandwidth a constraint for you when it comes

to connectivity and what are you doing to solve the problem?

Bandwidth has become stable at most locations, however, SPs have to improve

their network and we work closely with them to ensure good connectivity for our

organizations. Thus, bandwidth is not such a major challenge now, as it was


Are you looking at vendor consolidation, and are you

planning to renew contracts with your IT and network providers?

We have already been doing that. There is improvement in technology, but we

are expecting more and better options. Thus, we make it a point to sit down with

SPs to re-look at service level agreements time and again. We work with most

service providers, as we have multiple businesses. Thus, there are fewer

problems as we have multiple choices that are not restricted to a single SP. We

always believe in having redundancy plans in place, as all SPs are not strong in

every region.


How have your IT and communication budgets changed over

the past one year?

Budgets have not changed much. There has been no negative impact due to the

recession, rather there have been positive impacts, and we are currently working

on the budget for this fiscal. We plan to look at more projects to improve

productivity and automation, and reduce time to market. Thus, the same resources

are being used more effectively for greater output, to reduce turn-around time

for processes, to increase service levels, and to improve effective output of a

process by reducing output time of process. For this, we are looking at adapting

various business models.

What are the new opportunities in IT/telecom that you

are looking to explore?

Nothing new because last year we introduced a lot of initiatives like

consolidation of network, IP enabled network, VoIP, etc, and we plan to take

these forward this year.

What major challenges are you facing in terms of

technology/network constraints in your organization?

The main challenge is in terms of expansion-turnaround times have reduced,

but our expectations have increased as well. Thus, we need to reach out faster

in remote areas, for example, where connectivity is a problem.

Beryl M