Cloud Partner

Becoming a Cloud Partner: Journey of Birlasoft

In this very unique segment of DQ Channels, we have covered the journey of  Birlasoft becoming a Cloud Partner from a traditional Channel Partner. Sanjay Wath, Associate Director shared his entire journey about how his organisation has moved to the cloud business, challenges, growth, and future vision. 

When and how did you move to Cloud Business?

Birlasoft’s manage services customers were keen to take advantage of cloud technologies due to various factors, such as hardware refresh cycle, moving from CApeX to OPeX model, modernized applications and global business expansions. From 2015 Birlasoft is helping customers to start their cloud journey as well as adopt next-generation cloud technologies i.e IoT, data science etc.

What are the different Cloud services do you offer?

Cloud Consulting

Whether it’s a large-scale physical to virtual cloud migration or a non-standard project that could use some outside know-how, there’s always a new test for your technology and business to overcome, which is where our cloud consultancy services can help.

Birlasoft helps customers in providing consultancy services in the following areas:

  • Assessment
  • Roadmap & Enablement
  • Architecture
  • Strategy
  • Business & Security Compliances

Greenfield/Brownfield deployments

Whether you are starting a new business or expanding your current business/infrastructure Birlasoft is there to help you set up your end to end infrastructure service. With the industry-proven build framework, all the phases of Greenfield/Brownfield are covered and executed with the help of experienced professionals pool. The end to end services cover –

  • Planning & Designing
  • Build & Configuration
  • Service Integration
  • Testing

The greenfield framework helps in understanding the business requirements and mapping it to derive the build architecture and target state definitions. Upon completing the target architecture Infrastructure provisioning followed by application, database implementations are completed. The architecture definition and build are fine-tuned according to the deployment model i.e. on-premise, Public Cloud & Hybrid Cloud.

Transformation and Migration

With increased efficiency and enhanced continuity, there are many benefits to moving to the cloud, but knowing how exactly to move enterprise-scale infrastructure, legacy applications and multiple workloads is a monumental task and that’s where Birlasoft’s expertise help customers to smoothly transition to the cloud.

With proven TOGAF based migration framework, Birlasoft helps customers to migrate/transform the datacenters to a complete public cloud or hybrid cloud environments. We cover end to end services with the following stages.

  • Planning and Designing
  • Migrations – P2V, V2V, Data
  • Transformation – Cross Platform, SaaS, PaaS, Containerization
  • Program and Project Management

The Migration and transformation framework help in performing the assessment on the existing environment to understand the environment as well as perform a Gap analysis in order to take the infrastructure on the transformed state. Post analysis of the target state is designed followed by pilot testing. Upon a successful pilot phase, the target builds, and migration is executed in waves. Post completion of each wave it is handed over to the operations team to manage the environment.

Every defined phase as shown above has a defined a set of high-level tasks and corresponding deliverables to measure the success criteria and milestones.

Managed Recovery Services

With the rise of data, it’s increasingly difficult to ensure the safety and security of your business-critical data. Systems fail and people make mistakes. Without a good data backup and disaster recovery plan, unplanned downtime can cause major damage to your business services.

Birlasoft Recovery Services provides the data protection you need at an affordable Subscription-based commercial, giving you peace of mind and ensuring business continuity. Additionally, you benefit from having all data backed up remotely, so you can access it in the event of a natural disaster or another major event. With the unique backup storage optimization feature of the solution, you significantly save on cloud storage cost for backups.

As part of Managed Recovery services, we provide –

  • Backup:
    • Data protection from full loss
    • The flexible protection plan that aligns the data’s business value
  • Archival
    • Archival of infrequently used data for long term retention & compliance purposes by using inexpensive cloud storage
  • Disaster Recovery
    • Protects data from a full site failure and provides recovery operations at a secondary site with minimal business interruption or data loss

Cloud Management Platform

Organizations, big and small, now have a variety of technology options to choose from when Opting/ migrating to the cloud. This leads to multi-cloud environments where different applications, workloads and business processes are hosted on respective best-fit public and private cloud resources. Without one comprehensive platform for orchestration, automation and management, IT will struggle to maintain visibility and control over these environments.

This is where a unified and adaptable cloud management platforms (CMP) enable the business to manage and govern cloud resources efficiently. The need for CMP is fueled by these three key factors

The comprehensive features of the Birlasoft cloud management platform offer:

  • Comprehensive Hybrid IT and multi-cloud Auto-provisioning, deployment with better control, compliance and security.
  • Facilitates governance and compliance
  • Enables the benefits and savings generated from shared ITaaS ecosystems
  • Delivers Hybrid Multi-Cloud management with superior control and cost management
  • Spend Management: Controls OPEX costs based on usage analytics.
  1. What sort of changes have you done to move to the cloud within the organization in terms of Team, skill set, infrastructure, and others?

Cloud Practice formation:

At organization level, Infrastructure & cloud technology services formed the cloud practice. The team is comprising of various technology architects and subject matter experts aligned to hybrid cloud solutions. The existing team’s skillset also enhances using various training from cloud providers and internal brainstorming webinars. The team was also encouraged to do different public cloud certifications in terms of foundation to architect level.

Infrastructure changes:

From the infrastructure side, the public cloud connectivity from Birlasoft location is established with the site to site VPN tunnel. To have seamless authentication on-prem active directory extended using the additional domain controller in the public cloud locations. The multifactor authentication is also enabled with the active directory.

 How does Crayon Software help you to grow your business and customers?

At the BSL we have had the great fortune to engage Crayon’s deep knowledge in software cloud analytics and AWS, Microsoft and other wide range of services to help us build and deliver advanced and complex IT projects for the industry in time. Crayon extending their support promptly in the swift onboarding of the customer via their unique cloud IQ portal over various cloud offerings. Crayon and BSL together provide comfort to the customer to make the right decisions in their digital transformation journey.

How your old and new customers adopting the new technology and moving to the cloud?

Given the variety of organizations, along with their needs, capabilities, and priorities, they are employing a number of ways of moving applications to the cloud.

Lift and shift. This means moving an application, as is, to the cloud. It is appealing to organizations for which it is more efficient too, in effect, rent servers and data centre infrastructure than to build, manage, and maintain their own. It generally involves using IaaS (infrastructure as a service) from the cloud provider.

Migrate and Transform.  moving applications to the cloud and then tweaking them so they will work more effectively in the cloud environment.

Cloud-native. This refers to new applications developed and built specifically for the cloud. An incentive to do that would be the CSP (cloud services provider) offering services that make application development faster. Obviously, these apps are designed to integrate well with the cloud computing architecture and to take advantage of a CSP’s computing frameworks and services.

There are multiple reasons for widespread cloud migration, but they all share a common reason:

  • The cloud has matured. It is no longer an untried, untested, risky product hence all of our small and midsize customers are preferring cloud services for the refresh cycles.
  • Our large enterprise customer is adopting from Amazon to Microsoft public cloud —with mature cloud computing IaaS, PaaS and SaaS services
  • ROI is easier to forecast, and implementation costs are minimal.
  • Storage management is easier and less expensive.
  • It is scalable without breaking the budget, enabling both online and geographic expansion.
  • It lets an organization do more with less downtime, cost, and loss.
  • It reduces infrastructure overhead.
  • It gives remote employees access and the ability to work over the internet.

How many customers you have, who are taking Cloud solutions and what are their different verticals?

We are currently providing managed cloud services to 110 customers globally with the varied range of services of infrastructure and applications. These customers are mainly from Energy, financial services, healthcare and pharma, manufacturing, retail, telecom and media, travel, transportation and leisure, government, fashion and apparels.

Previously on Cloud Journey: Birlasoft

What are the different challenges did you face in this journey?

Rewriting application architecture for the cloud: Most of the application were not cloud-ready, rearchitecting the application was needed. By adopting the microservice-based architecture in the cloud with the use of native technologies a large application was migrated in batches.

Investing in people and tools: Although the cloud will ideally make life easier for everyone, the adjustment can still be painful. People were finding new processes confusing, complex, or difficult to adopt.

To make sure they understand new systems and processes, we invested heavily in a robust onboarding program and employed experts to train and support employees on the new applications and technologies. We even designated an internal employee who can answer questions and offer support on the ground.

Performance issues: These including latency, interoperability, dependencies on non-cloud apps, and downtime. We finetuned the applications, utilized cloud auto-scaled architecture & network connectivity to overcome such issues.

Bandwidth cost: Many times, we observed the bandwidth is the major parameter for the performance issue. The bandwidth requirement was planned well ahead of the cutover and adopted the next-generation connectivity solution to optimize the cost and performance.

What is your overall growth being a cloud partner?

Below a table with our public cloud services revenue globally.

GeographyRevenue in USD from Public Cloud Consulting and Implementation services
U.S.                                             18,931,200
U.K.                                                  605,520
Nordics                                                  100,920
Brazil                                                  100,920
Germany                                                  403,680
Switzerland                                                  403,680
France                                                  403,680
Global*                                               2,250,400

What are your future goals?

Birlasoft is closely aligned with changing market dynamics and evolving customer needs, owing to COVID-19 pandemic. Anticipating rapid developments in the demand for Hybrid Cloud Services, Birlasoft has built a roadmap to achieve below target solutions which will not only address the current needs of its customers but also be retained as long-term solutions:

  • Service Digitalization: Single point of consumption for all Enterprise services – Any service, Any provider, Any Technology, Any platform. These can be digital, legacy or offline services hosted on-prem or in the cloud. Acts as a service hub and enables a dual mandate – Centralized management, governance, and control for all services
  • Automation: Birlasoft is already working on and has developed a roadmap to bring automation in terms of infrastructure testing and configuration for its life cycle management, auto policy management to keep all the cloud-based instances compliant. Also, Cobot services are getting developed to proactively analyze the incidental situation and automatically react before the occurrence of the event. Automation in terms of user-onboarding through iSight platform is almost ready and is in the testing phase, where workflow talks about HR raising on-boarding service request of an employee and end-user receiving domain ID, email account, laptop requests in place and desk allocation task in one go
  • Database as a Service: A cloud-based service model which will provide users with some form of access to a database without the need for setting up physical hardware, installing software or configuring for performance. All the administrative tasks and maintenance will be taken care of by the Birlasoft so that all the user or application owner needs to do is use the Functional database.

Along with the above offerings, Birlasoft intends to invest in multiple areas for the hybrid cloud business services like tools and automation on the platforms (iSight) which enhances managed services for hybrid clouds.

From a proactive development standpoint, Birlasoft intends to increase trained/certified resources count and move up the value chain in areas of microservices and DevOps on various public cloud service providers. The idea is to increase revenue by 100% over the next year and improve profitability and productivity using automation at various levels of the engagement

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