‘Cloud Computing Is One Of The Most Disruptive And Exciting Innovations’.
Says Avi Kulshrestha, President - Amdocs Global Services Division. It is on a verge to take communication and media industry to the cloud and to have leading cloud solutions and practices
Amdocs is also working towards upskilling their employees with some cloud education giving them opportunity to apply for open jobs. Amdocs is not only empowering their employees with Cloud technology but are also focusing on India with the aim of filling many open jobs at Amdocs. In an e-interaction with Gairika Mitra, Avi Kulshrestha, President – Amdocs Global Services Division tells us why cloud computing is one of the most innovative solutions ever.
Why do you think switching to the cloud is of pivotal while working remotely?
Some employers have been reluctant to move towards remote working; however, others have been following the trend in offering flexible working hours to their employees as an incentive – which can also be cost-effective. The global crisis, Covid-19 got the former set of employers to adapt to remote working. For contact centres, bringing the benefit of remote working and collaboration solutions to agents was something that the enterprises were worried about as most of their data is stored in desktops. Realising the importance of seamless connectivity efficient business continuity, Amdocs partnered with Amazon Cloud Connect to provide tools that will offer communication service providers(CSPs) to extend remote working capabilities to contact centre agents.
Traditional solutions require costly, hard to manage physical PC setups with VPN. Virtual desktop solutions can also be complicated, expensive and slow to deploy. Therefore, switching to the cloud is pivotal as this helps in delivering application streaming on personal devices. Work productivity increases drastically as employees can access all inbuilt applications on desktops from anywhere. Also, Cloud is cost-effective, supports real-time disaster recovery options for ‘work-from-home’ users, and remote agents without any loss of functionality. Therefore, enterprises can experience increase in productivity, meet client deadlines thereby responding to the changing needs of the global workforce.
Tell us about your voyage to inculcate cloud in the communication and media industry.
As service providers prepare their journey to the cloud, Amdocs is focusing on providing different cloud solutions to accelerate this journey. Realising the cloud’s benefit in the telecom industry, early this year, we announced System Integration (SI) capabilities that includes consulting, agile devOps, cloud migration and cloud capacity optimisation. These solutions aim to set best practices for service providers migrating to the cloud in the safe manner.
Strengthening our expertise in cloud, we partnered with Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services, two leading cloud giants of the sector to enhance client’s experience and help them lead a digital transformation journey. CSPs will benefit from Amdocs-Google Cloud partnership as this will enable them to leverage data and analytics through deployment of hybrid and multi-cloud configurations. Moreover, this configuration will enable the partners to develop new enterprise-focused 5G edge computing solutions.
In the partnership with AWS, Amdocs will support CSPs’ contact centers with efficient tools that can ease the capability to work remotely. CSPs can now provide a work from home option for its contact center agents with our Contact Center-as-a-Service Business Continuity Solution on the AWS Cloud or private cloud.
Another venture, Vubiquity’s (an Amdocs Company) Content Cloud provides instant access to content catalogues from major and indie studios. The service enables fast go-to-market distribution to either launch new OTT services or enhances an existing entertainment platform. Recently, Vubiquity has partnered with Airtel Africa to provide multi-country premium media content and curation via Content-as-a-Service Solution on Microsoft Azure.
What kind of challenges are prevalent while working on the cloud? How can we overcome those?
Cloud computing has turned out to be one of the most disruptive and exciting innovations in the IT world. The demand for cloud solutions is expected to show growth in the coming years as enterprises are heavily investing in cloud strategy. They are undergoing a digital transformation, allowing CSPs to capitalize on the cloud. In this situation, CSPs need to be equipped with advanced tools, expertise and cloud management solutions to have cloud infrastructure ready for business advancements.
Since, communication industry is still adapting to cloud, there are few challenges that we tend to face:
- Concerns of data security: CSPs have the utmost responsibility to secure their customers’ data and getting everything on the cloud makes them worry about data security. Sensitive and personal information that is kept in the cloud should be defined as being for internal use only, not to be shared with third parties. Businesses must have a plan to securely and efficiently manage the data they gather.
- Cost: While cloud is affordable but customizing the platform to the enterprises’ needs can turn out to be expensive. Furthermore, the expense of transferring the data to public clouds can prove to be a problem for short-lived and small-scale projects. Enterprises can save some money on system maintenance, management, and acquisitions but they also have to invest in additional bandwidth, and the absence of routine control in an infinitely scalable computing platform can increase costs.
- Lack of resources/ expertise and fear of transition: One of the challenges enterprises are facing today is lack of skilled resources. Businesses are increasingly placing more workloads in the cloud while cloud technologies continue to rapidly advance. Due to these factors, organizations are having a tough time keeping up with the tools. Cloud-related internal processes and workflows are still something many service providers are spinning their heads around. They know the potential of cloud technology but lack in marketing the right services to their customers is holding them back to invest in this technology.
- Cloud implementation: CSPs need to be prepared with skills, tools and cloud management solutions to provide business-ready cloud infrastructure to provide customised solutions to customers as per their demand.
- Performance: When a business moves to the cloud it becomes dependent on the service providers. The next prominent challenges of moving to cloud computing expand on this partnership. The performance of the organization’s BI and other cloud-based systems is also tied to the performance of the cloud provider when it falters. When your provider is down, you are also down.
CXOs will need to wholeheartedly embrace digitalisation and develop skills using innovative new technologies and cloud platforms. They need to take out time to learn about them, and the impact they can have on business processes and service delivery. In order to leverage the cloud, the foremost thing of importance is that the cloud computing service providers should first understand which right tools they should have in place to make business cloud management easier.
How is your firm helping in tackling the pandemic?
With Amazon Cloud connect we have been able to help our customers’ call center agents to quickly respond to customer calls with little to no additional training. With high security and compliance standards, the solution provides immediate business agility and elasticity to scale to meet the demands of the business with the appropriate number of agents. With a global infrastructure, the solution is highly available and takes days to set up and minutes to deploy so there is minimal downtime.
Do you think the Indian audience is enough equipped and savvy with cloud technology?
India is on the road of soon becoming a digital economy. Triggered by low tariff cost and availability of affordable smartphones data usage per phone has increased exponentially vis-à-vis other countries. And with businesses working remotely due to COVID-19, there has been further upsurge in the data consumption. Piggybacking on this spike in India’s internet savvy population, companies are introducing their digital offerings to the consumers. There’s also a surge of user-generated content leading to increased data storage requirements for many of these companies. The future of India’s internet network is changing; there will be almost 750-800 million users connected to internet in India by 2023.
Enterprises are rapidly adopting a cloud-first strategy to manage this sudden explosion of data. With companies moving their workloads into cloud, Gartner predicts that the Indian cloud market will reach $4.1 billion by 2020. India’s government and PSUs have also embarked on their digital transformation journeys. With the government’s push towards data localisation, global companies operating in India are now required to store their data within national borders.
All of this is leading to a huge demand for processing and computing power, storage space and analytics solutions to satisfy the data consumption needs of the modern user. The market will see increased interest in the coming years to satiate the growing consumer appetite for digital content, personalised digital services and increased reliance on cutting edge technology for business efficiency.