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Issue of January 2006 

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BC makes for effective DR

July’s calamitous rainfall and the resulting flooding that hit many Indian cities had companies reeling. It also revealed, from the success of those companies that had a Disaster Recovery (DR) plan in place, that such plans can be effective only if complemented by Business Continuity (BC) plans. DR systems need to go beyond back-ups to systems that help companies resume their business with minimal downtime.

The recent floods that hit Mumbai and Chennai left customers unable to access services such as ATM and so on. Shekhar Pulamarasetti, VP, Technology, Sanovi explains, “DR runs under three components—the IT infrastructure, Operational processes and Network. During the Mumbai and Chennai floods, the DR system failed due to the bad IT infrastructure and poor people management. DR is a manual process and very complex. During the floods, most companies had no alternative mechanism. Everything had to be handled manually, which was not possible, as people were unavailable. Hence the failure occurred.”

Sanovi, which started with just four people and a single customer, is today a specialised company in Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity (BC) solutions.

The company started with an offering called Enterprise Continuity Lifecycle Management targeted at financial institutions to develop effective BC programmes. HDFC Bank, the first customer, handed over its entire DR and backup work to the company. Today Sanovi has 22 customers in India and 35 across the world.

“We believe in providing comprehensive solutions to our customers. We do a thorough planning before implementation. We believe in working with our customers. Our focus remains on BFSI, Telecom, Manufacturing and Government,” says Pulamarasetti. In the last year, Sanovi has conducted 15 different BC and DR studies, and 30 projects, to assess the current situation, customer demand and future requirements.

CIO’s Concern

According to Pulamarasetti, “The biggest challenge facing us is to make our customers comfortable with the technology. Even after deploying systems, almost 60 percent of CIOs are apprehensive about their effectiveness. They fail in change management. This is because of the complexities associated with DR.” He feels that most companies are not able to cope with the cost and time. This is where their flagship product Panaces enters.

Traditionally, switching the application from failover to fallback is done manually. Panaces offers automated, pre-tested actions, and supports multi-vendor replication technology. It tightly integrates replication states with an application’s data view. It features centralised remote management and integrates with enterprise management software. It also supports dependent relationships between islands of applications, and comprehensive reporting of outages, variations and responses. “It is software that eliminates manual work, saves time and money and is a very important tool for decision-making,” adds Pulamarasetti.

In April 2005, Sanovi kicked off its Centre for Business Continuity Excellence in Bangalore to develop and test BC and DR solutions for customers worldwide. In addition, the company will invest $10 million in the next three years to expand its engineering centre and sales and support operations in India. In future, it intends to support platforms such as IBM Mainframe, Unix and NetWare. So far, the company has filed two patents related to Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO). It aims to file patents in the areas of recovery mechanisms and continuity.

Sanovi has offices in India, the Middle East and the US. It has signed up IBM, Hitachi, Veritas and EMC as partners.

Milestones of Sanovi Technologies Feb-02 Company established Nov-02 First release of Panaces Oct-04 First round of external funding of over $3 million Apr-05 Opened Centre for Business Continuity Excellence in Bangalore.

Megha Banduni

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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