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Solution providerís perspective

Outsourcing Infrastructure Management

Outsourcing is viewed as a strategic decision that facilitates cost containment and also provides knowledge domain. Here are the vendors and service providers' view on the current and emerging outsourcing trends in the Indian enterprises. by Minu Sirsalewala

Organizations invest vast sums of money to build IT infrastructure that support their business goals and objectives, but many fail to deploy even the most basic tools to effectively manage their IT resources.

Infrastructure Management (IM) applications play a critical role in monitoring and measuring the performance of the network, across local and wide area links. But in reality is there a trend towards making the business more agile? There are also questions like are Indian enterprises actually outsourcing their IT IM needs? Is there a trend towards making businesses more agile? What are the vendors and service providers offering to address these issues?

IT outsourcing

Businesses today do not view outsourcing as a tactical decision to save cost. They rather view it as a strategic business decision that facilitates cost containment and provides a knowledge domain to bring innovation and provide competitive advantage.

The range of activities that are outsourced, vary from network management, helpdesk operations, data center operations, applications management, to business process management.

Bithin Talukdar, Market Development & Alliances, Software Global Business Unit, HP says that the market today has three basic categories of organization requirements. (Refer to Diagram)

In the first category, 75 percent of all organizations look at IT as being operations-centric. The key management theme for such organizations is to manage the infrastructure through control of the infrastructure and operate as a technology provider.

In the second category, 20 percent of all organizations look at IT as being service-centric. The key management theme for such organizations is to control computing services, run the infrastructure as a business, and operate as a service provider.

In the third category, five percent of all organizations look at IT as being business-centric. The key management theme for such organizations is to enter the business planning process, deliver services for competitive advantage, and be recognized within the organization as irreplaceable business partners in the company's progress.

Most Indian companies are in Phase I of maturity. Many of the larger organizations in this category are focusing towards outsourcing non-core activities like operations management through their Facilities Management (FM) vendor. Companies in Phase II of the maturity curve are exploring the option of outsourcing leading services like help desk services, network & systems management services, and application management services.

Organizations like HCL Comnet, Wipro, GAVS have been providing these services through their NOC.

Facilities Management

The concept of FM has been doing the rounds in India, for a long time. Rajendra Dhavale, Consulting Director, Computer Associates India says, "FM has now evolved to include outsourcing IM functions like network, server, and applications management." Organizations are also outsourcing database administration, owing to lack of availability of specialized skills.

Rolta's, Executive Director (Enterprise Applications & Smart Cards), V. K. Sawarkar explains, "Indian companies have been outsourcing services like FM for quite some time, and have started responding to the needs of managed services."

According to Manoj Kunkalienkar, Executive Director and President, ICICI Infotech Ltd., "The concept of outsourcing IM is starting to mature as an independent business model. Many Indian companies have started evaluating the possibilities of outsourcing, but are skeptical due to perceived lack of control over the vendor. But as they have realized the benefits of the approach, the initial apprehension of giving control of one's critical systems to outsiders is gradually changing."

The outsourcing market

Large enterprises usually take the initiative to outsource. The market is in a growth phase but is yet to mature. Akash Saraf, CEO & Jt. MD of Zenith Infotech Ltd. opines that approximately 35 percent of the Indian enterprises outsource IM services. This could go upto 65 percent in the next two years.

The major areas of outsourcing are monitoring and management of WANs, backup, storage, and desktop support. A fair amount of IT security systems is also being outsourced.

The core IT infrastructure elements most likely to be outsourced are server monitoring and management, network element monitoring and management, remote helpdesk services, remote NOC services, and remote technical assistance center services.

Solution provider's role

A solution/service provider plays an active role to offer functionality-rich solutions to enable infrastructure management to the end user organization.

There are three kinds of vendors who offer IM solutions. The first kind provides tools and technology to automate the IM task. The second kind comprises specialized vendors who understand particular aspects of IM like security and storage. The third kind is the overall integrator.

A service provider has to ensure that remote IM services are tailored to individual customer's requirements. In addition to arterial monitoring or management services, the provider needs to offer various support elements like SLAs, escalation procedures, ticket logging and reporting mechanisms.

Emerging trends

The IM services outsourcing industry will see emerging trends like:

  • Autonomic computing that will help clients optimize/reduce the infrastructure costs.
  • On-demand or adaptive infrastructure, which is a concept of 'pay as you use'.
  • Features that will support confluence of all business applications like enterprise systems, document management, and workflow.

Akash Saraf of Zenith added that the two areas that will see momentum in the next three years are:

  • Application monitoring, database management, and desktop support, which will be completely outsourced to a third party.
  • A trend of the vendor providing network management remotely from the vendor's NOC.

Sharad Sanghi, Managing Director & CEO, Netmagic Solutions Pvt. Ltd. says, "If 2003 could be considered as the year that hailed the acceptance of remote IM by Indian enterprises, 2004 will see the proliferation of the model. Qualified remote infrastructure management providers will be able to provide one-stop solutions and services for their customers."

Yet another critical area and a visible trend in the enterprise space is that businesses need to be responsive to changes and be agile to stay ahead. And the supporting IT infrastructure must be able to understand this change.

The adaptive enterprise

Most vendors and service providers are of the opinion that adaptive enterprise IM is the next big wave and the only way for enterprises to stay competitive.

Adaptive Management is the integration of people, processes, and technology to run IT as a business and automate the dynamic link between business and IT.

In order to evolve into an adaptive enterprise CIOs need to control their environment by using management software to manage discrete or clustered resources. They then need to optimize their environments to increase utilization, performance, and availability. According to Talukdar of HP, only 20 percent of the organizations have matured to this level of infrastructure and environment.

The final step will be to automate processes to link business needs through software that drives adaptive, and virtual infrastructure.

CA recognizes that this business agility can be achieved primarily through more effective IT management, rather than through extensive infrastructure modification or revamping.

Managing on-demand computing incorporates three major benefits:

  • Alignment of IT with the business: The IT infrastructure is managed to support real time business objectives efficiently, superseding the industry's current techno-centric focus.
  • Efficiency: Enables an authorized user easier access to role-relevant services and information in an easy-to-use fashion.
  • Responsiveness: The IT infrastructure will have capabilities to adapt automatically to technical malfunctions through superior analytics for diagnostics.

The manufacturing and telecommunications sectors have witnessed an increased activity in the direction of IM services. The sectors poised for growth in this direction are health care and education. Enterprises are also considering remote IM services; which is a good example of adaptive enterprise IM services.

Sharad of Netmagic says, "Enterprises in India are steadily migrating the responsibility of IT IM to service providers, who in turn might have adaptive monitoring or management systems deployed. The trend is also catching on in the enterprise segment. More and more customers are asking their service providers to provide them with adaptive systems."

Minu Sirsalewala can be reached at minus@networkmagazineindia.com

Vendor offerings

Hewlett-Packard India Pvt Ltd

Product/solution

Openview

HP infrastructure solutions:

Business Continuity - solutions to ensure your business stays on in an always-on world.

Enterprise Integration - solutions to dynamically link systems to deliver real-time information.

IT Consolidation - solutions to dynamically link systems to deliver real-time information.

Management - solutions for immediate knowledge of changing business conditions and intelligent response in real-time.

On Demand - solutions to match your capacity and cost with your business needs.

Security - solutions to match your capacity and cost with your business needs.

Virtualization - solutions to increase the flexibility and utilization of your IT assets.

Features

  • Reduce and manage costs
  • React quickly to changing business needs
  • Optimize and streamline your infrastructure
  • Deliver a greater return on your IT investment

Industry vertical

All verticals irrespective of size

Contact
Bithin Talukdar
Market Development & Alliances
Software Global Business Unit

HP India Pvt Ltd
Tel. 0124-2906176
Fax. 0124-2566112
bithin.talukdar@hp.com
www.hp.com/go/itsm
www.hp.com/go/adaptive

Computer Associates India

Product/solution

Unicenter Product Line for Enterprise Management

Brightstor for Storage

eTrust for Security

Features

A comprehensive enterprise management solution, completely modular in its offering which gives giving customers a choice to pick and choose functionality most needed, to suite their specific demands.

Industry vertical

Across all verticals, as the products are modular in nature, they cater to the entire spectrum of the market.

Contact
Pravir Arora
Computer Associates India
Tel. 080-56915900

IBM

Product/solution

Tivoli

IBM Infrastructure and Systems Management services

Infrastructure Resource Management

Performance Management, Testing and Scalability

Systems Management Consulting and Design

Systems Management Services

IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) - IBM Canada only

Features

Services designed to help effectively enable or enhance your e-business initiatives

Consulting services to help you assess, plan, design and manage your IT infrastructure

Industry vertical

Across all industries, irrespective of size.

Cater to the entire spectrum of the market

Contact
IBM India Ltd
Tel. 022-56962020
Fax. 022-26533570

Zenith Infotech Ltd.

Product/solution

SAAZ

Features

IP-based, quick to install, cost-effective

Industry vertical

All verticals only in SMEs

Contact
Akash Saraf
CEO & Jt. MD
Zenith Infotech Ltd.
Tel. 022-28377300
Fax. 022-28364859

Service provider offerings

Netmagic Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Services

Remote Infrastructure monitoring and management services

  • Remote Server Monitoring and Management
  • Remote Network Element Monitoring and Management
  • Remote Network Operations Center (NOC) services
  • Remote Technical Assistance Center (TAC) services
  • Remote Helpdesk Services
  • Remote ROTA/shift scheduler systems

Features

Driven by customer preferences, the solutions

listed here can be adapted to customers' diverse requirements.

Variety of tools and platforms to offer these services, which may include IBM's Tivoli, or premier CRM packages like BMC's Remedy, or other tools developed in-house by NetMagic.

Contact
Sharad Sanghi
Managing Director & CEO
Tel. 022-26850001
Fax. 022-26850002

Rolta India Ltd.

Services

ISP and Datacenter Infrastructure.

Infrastructure management solutions & services in partnership with Computer Associates.

Linux based solutions under the brand RoltaSecure.

Web based e-Security services: Vulnerability notification and assessment services; remote monitoring; intrusion detection system; network monitoring.

Contact
Shrinivas K. Rao
Corporate Marketing
Tel. 022-2832 6666/2826 2222

ICICI Infotech Limited

Services

IT Facilities Management

Data Center Management

Network Operation Center Management

DBA / System Admin.

Network Management

Desktop Facilities Management

Helpdesk Management

Application Management

Remote Infrastructure Management

Consulting

Features

Provides services throughout the wire-line or wireless network lifecycle from design and implementation, through to ongoing, continuous support and operation.

Managing, designing, implementing and maintaining security architecture, and backup architecture.

Contact
Manoj Kunkalienkar
Executive Director
Tel: 022-55912478
Fax: 022-55912479

HCL Comnet

Services

Real-time analysis and proven management solutions

ASP Offfering on Monitoring for aspects like:

  • Systems
  • Network
  • Databases
  • Application management

Visibility tools

SmartManage, MyDashboard

Features

Solution addresses four areas - monitoring, fault management, administration, and capacity planning.

ISO 9002 certified/ITIL processes-compliant Infrastructure Management Center (IMC) with best-of-breed tools like HP OpenView, CiscoWorks, and Unicenter to offer the capability to manage client infrastructure.

Contact
Anant Gupta
COO - Global Operations
Tel. 0120-2535071

 
     
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