We are not finding 3G services consistent

VoicenData Bureau
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Rajeev Seoni is the chief information officer at Ernst&Young since April 2007. He has been responsible for formulating and implementing the firm's IT strategy; development and deployment of productivity enhancement and decision support systems; information security and business continuity planning; and management of mission critical IT infrastructure in the company.


With over 30 years of experience in technology services, Rajeev Seoni has rich experience in managing the technology function, information security, and large IT and ERP implementation projects. Interestingly, he started his career with a long stint in the Indian Navy, with significant contributions in the area of warship design and software engineering. In an exclusive tête-à-tête with Voice&Data he discusses the growth of technology, dissatisfaction at QoS of telcos, etc

-Rajeev Seoni, CIO, Ernst & Young

How has the CIO role grown over the years?


One major change that I have perceived is that in today's challenging times the CIO has to work closely with the business side of the organization. Earlier ICT was taken as the support system by the enterprises but now it is seen more as a 'partnering' business. Any business decisions needs one's involvement more from just technology to business and strategy.

The companies inevitably include ICT and the suggestions of a CIO into the business plans of the companies. Also, RoI in technology deployment is one other very significant area that as a CIO I look into. As we deal with technology at every step, it's imperative for us to get returns on whatever we invest in technology.


What are the ICT deployments that the company has adopted?

Ernst&Young has a very comprehensive deployment of integrated ICT deployments. Since the last 5 years, we have done a lot of upgradations in the company. We have got a very advanced IPTV deployment in-house with very advanced features.

Internally the company has a Closed User Group Network. Externally we are connected via PSTN. Though everything is a uniform infrastructure-we are ensuring logical partitioning of external and internal voice solutions to comply with the Indian regulations and standards.


The company has also installed very advanced audio/video conferencing systems. A lot of focus is given in the collaborative tolls to keep our business needs agile and moving in the right direction. We have all the mobility tools installed in our offices. All our offices from Delhi to Mumbai are very well connected.

We need to understand that when we talk about ICT, there are no set formats for it. Infrastructure wise we are still behind in technology. We should be continuously updating to pursue the best in the world.

How do you cope with the changing scenario of the telecom networking industry?


I have always admired the telecom industry for the way it has shaped up in the country and has actually become a tool of empowerment but still I say that the telecom sector is not very successful in terms of QoS. Telcos have overloaded the system. I feel the quality of services has gone down drastically in last 2 years.

Have you outsourced your major activities so that you can focus on new technologies?

We have just outsourced our end user support. So if anyone has a problem with their laptops/phones, we get a back-end support. We also get back-end support for managing our WAN link. We have specifically outsourced the end user services as maximum number of people are required to manage it.


How would you rate the QoS provided by telecom service providers? Do service providers deliver as per SLAs? If not, what are the areas of improvement for service providers?

Ernst &Young has been getting its telecom services from two operators TTSL and Bharti Airtel. Though rating the service is a very tough task but if you ask me I will rate them 6 on a scale of 10.

Though the telecom services have grown very fast but in my opinion they are not able to manage the growth. Their speed of delivery is very slow compared to the growth of the services. If you ask the link in a new city then they take a long time to respond.


We have signed SLAs with Bharti Airtel and TTSL for around 3 years. SLAs get extended as per the requirement.

Are you satisfied with QoS on the bandwidth front (both domestic and international)? What steps do you take so that you get quality as well as quantity bandwidth at all fronts?

Ernst&Young is very focused on meeting customer requirements. We internally calculate and process the new links and networks quite fast. For the same, we are evaluating the 3G services for our bandwidth requirements but are not finding it consistent. We are waiting for it to become satisfactory enough to meet our usage patterns.

How do you compare your network infrastructure in India vis-à-vis Ernst &Young's other facilities worldwide?

There are few changes that exist nationally that we have complied with. For instance the regulatory part of partitioning between the internal and the external voice lines. Now, this is absent internationally. Therefore, in India have more complex networking system than in most of our international offices.

Security and IT go hand-in-hand. What security related concerns are at the top of your mind?

Security is very imperative for an organization. To comply with the same, we have ensured two factor authenticity. To have a safe internet usage we have put all the firewalls, intrusion centers in place.

Internally we have WLAN for which we have ensured a 2 factor authentication. The company also has 100% encryption for laptops and hard disks. All the laptops and desktops are encrypted.

What are the challenges facing you in the coming time?

In my opinion managing cost is still a big hurdle and a challenge. Though the system has been growing but providing ICT at the same cost is still a hurdle. We have been trying to manage the costs while deploying the very best.

What are the clean energy initiatives that have been undertaken by the company to make it 'green'?

We are a corporate team of 'socially responsible' members. The company has done a consolidation of data centers. We are trying to reduce air conditioning/UPS. The company also perpetually works on reducing the power consumption . Also there is an added effort by the company members to reduce the print cartridges. We have being trying to convince and forge the attitude that 'don't print if necessary'.

For the same we also have secure printing press facility in our offices. It has greatly enhanced the savings in terms of paper wastage and a more clean and green environment.

Also, our next step toward the green is to dispose of the older IT systems done in environmentally friendly manner.

Archana singh