Ali Hyder

Interaction – Ali Hyder, Group CEO, Focus Softnet

Focus Softnet provides AI-enabled ERP software on Cloud, in addition to other services. Ali Hyder, Group CEO, Focus Softnet talks to us.

How are the Cloud offerings for the small and medium enterprises evolving in 2023?

Ali Hyder – There has been continued adoption of hybrid Cloud solutions, which combine public Cloud, private Cloud and on-premises infrastructure to provide greater flexibility and control over sensitive data and applications. This has accompanied increasing use of automation and AI in Cloud offerings for SMEs, including more sophisticated automation tools for managing Cloud environments and AI-powered analytics and insights for optimizing usage and costs.

Further, there has been a focus on comprehensive managed services that cover a broad range of IT needs, including infrastructure, security and application management, to help SMEs reduce IT overhead and focus on their core business operations. In addition, we have seen development of more specialised Cloud solutions for specific industries, such as healthcare, finance and manufacturing, to offer tailored features and compliance requirements to meet the unique needs of each sector.

There has also been a greater focus on edge computing, which involves processing data at the edge of the network, closer to the devices generating the data, rather than sending it to a centralised Cloud environment, to improve performance, reduce latency, and enhance security and privacy.

The use of multi-cloud environments has grown, involving multiple Cloud providers to meet different business needs or avoid vendor lock-in, provides greater flexibility and resilience but also requires more complex management and coordination.

Do you build the solutions and offer them directly to the MSMEs or do you engage partners to contact the MSMEs? What is the geographical expanse and strength of your partners if you use them?

Ali Hyder – – Focus Softnet builds solutions backed by thorough research on the challenges faced by MSMEs. All the solutions are developed by the in-house teams.

We have partners working with us across 17+ countries where we operate. Their nature of engagement is limited to the sales and support standpoint. There might be an exception in terms of the deployment and implementation of our solutions, which is based on the nature of our partnership with the providers.

How have you grown in last 1 year? What has been your revenue growth % in last 1 year?

Ali Hyder – Focus Softnet grew considerably last year, especially after launching our flagship ERP product, ‘Focus X’. We have grown over 30% in the last 12 months.

Are Cloud solutions economically viable for MSMEs? Are they adopting them readily or do they have inhibition about them?

Ali Hyder – Following are the advantages for the MSMEs in adopting Cloud offerings –

  1. Reduced IT costs: Cloud solutions can help MSMEs reduce their IT costs by eliminating the need for on-premises hardware and software, reducing maintenance and support costs, and providing pay-as-you-go pricing models that allow businesses to scale up or down as needed.
  • Greater efficiency: Cloud solutions can help MSMEs improve their efficiency by automating routine tasks, providing access to real-time data and analytics, and enabling remote collaboration and communication.
  • Enhanced security: Cloud solutions often offer robust security features and compliance certifications that may be beyond the capabilities of small businesses to implement and maintain on their own.
  • Increased agility: Cloud solutions can help MSMEs respond quickly to changing market conditions, launch new products and services faster, and compete more effectively with larger businesses.

However, despite the potential benefits, some MSMEs may have inhibitions about adopting Cloud solutions due to data security, reliability, and control concerns. Also, MSMEs may lack the technical expertise and resources to implement and manage Cloud solutions effectively. To address these concerns, Cloud providers are developing more user-friendly and cost-effective solutions tailored to the needs of MSMEs, providing comprehensive support and training, and offering flexible pricing models and service-level agreements to meet their specific needs. As a result, many MSMEs are adopting Cloud solutions readily, recognising the potential benefits they can provide to their businesses.

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