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COVID-19: Evalueserve And VMware Follow A Robust Policy

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As remote working gets normal, Zoom conversations have become a savior, that helps connect with different geographies at a stone throw distance. In one such conversation, about the BCP,  I was joined by Prajit Nair from VMware, Sachin Jain, CIO & CISO, Evalueserve, and Anuj Joshi, VP – IT, Evalueserve to share their insights about how are they tackling the pandemic.

Prajit begins the conversation where he mentions about VMware’s upcoming plans and also the different solutions that VMware offers.

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VMware’s Infrastructure And Technology Solutions To Support Workplaces Of The Future

How we can securely deliver any app on any device, which makes it relevant for most of the organizations? In this regard predominantly the industry looks at solutions like a VDI solution or a VPN solution, or a solution which will deliver your applications very securely to any of the IoT devices and make my employees, connect to my environment in the most secure way?”, says Prajit. 

Talking about VMware’s solutions, he continues,

“This is exactly the solutions that we offer, and in terms of partnerships, we have partnerships with the cloud providers like AWS, we are aligned with Microsoft, where we are offering solutions on Azure, or we are even offering our solutions on-prem to our existing customers. So we pretty much cover the entire gamut from an on-prem solution right up to the cloud for the BCP solution that the customer is looking for. Even more possibility of a better employee experience if they need to engage with the organizations because they are currently away from the office. That’s pretty much the range of solutions that we have, of course there are different line items with different products.”

Taking the conversation ahead, Sachin and Anuj add…

How do technology investments provide for a robust BCP strategy at Evalueserve? 

Sachin: Business continuity and security and availability, are some of those key points we have to look at, for every investment we make in technology. This has been there from the day we started. Given the industry we are in and what we do for our clients, some of the key parameters we cannot ignore. We have to be able to respond to our clients faster and then we also have to be ahead of the curve. And given our exposure to a variety of clients across different industries, ranging from financial services to oil & gas, Telecom and healthcare etc. 

The continuity of our business and responding within the timeframe is very, very important. And if we talk about some of the key investments. One, is this what we are talking today, which we decided to make almost nine years back, probably before when we started modernising our data centre, which was rack full of servers and then we decided to consolidate and virtualize it. That gave us the confidence to invest in such technologies more. And I think within six months of doing server virtualization,  we decided to go for desktop virtualization which is the Horizon suite of products.

Largely we looked at more from a flexibility, availability and user experience perspective. But behind the scenes, Anuj and team had to put a lot of effort to manage physical desktops, we had to cut down on the manageability part. Security and compliance was the key behind this decision making because when we talk about flexibility, users can work from anywhere on any device, and as a company, you need to ensure that you figure the security components. Especially around the kind of data we deal with, with various clients and then we had to do all the segmentation and profiling across users.

Business continuity is something which you have to look at, at every aspect. When it comes to some of those end user-specific technologies, that’s where Horizon View is something which we have been using for the last for almost 9 years now. And when this current situation hit us, it was just a easy walk for us.

How is Evaluserve ensuring a secure and productive work environment, especially at a time when everyone is facing a crisis and we are under this lockdown scenario?

Sachin: Security is a culture we have been practicing and preaching from day one. And this is very important for our customers as well. If I can share a note from one of the founders, he says that the one thing which can bring a company down is a security breach.

In our case, since this was part of our people-centric approach, to provide flexibility to our employees and work remotely. To do that we have to think about security, and that’s the reason why we chose VMware Horizon. One, to create that seamless experience, and at the same time maintaining the security, where we know how the data is being dealt with, and how people are working, and monitoring and tracking of activities can be done simultaneously.

How is Evalueserve enabling customer support and what kind of queries are you getting at your help desk?

Anuj: The good part is that we have done BCP drills so many times in the past that people were absolutely aware of the fact that what is to be done and how to do it. Whether it was due to rainfall in Gurgaon or something else, everyone knew what is to be done.  On the helpdesk front, we are not getting much of the request as people are aware of it. So when the country went under lockdown, it was just an extension of the kind of BCP drill we used to do. Four months and it was a simple transition. It was a unique case, wherein the shortest possible time, we’re able to get into, almost hundred percent WFH scenario.

Sachin: Across the company and different business functions, they probably had worked from home, a few times. During a month or maybe during the year, they already have experience for us. The current situation, I can say it’s just the scale, and maybe duration, that’s probably something new for us. Because, in an usual business scenario, maybe 10% or 5% workforce was already working from home. A 100% remote working experience is new. 

Generally, people would come to IT or helpdesk often, for an issue. When you work from home now, largely people also understand that it is practically not possible for somebody to come to us and solve those problems. We have noticed the self-reliance kind of attitude and we have lesser number of requests. Even though it’s the same number of users and there is no major impact on the business, the number of queries have been low.

A lot of organisations have been reporting cybersecurity threats while working remotely, especially in recent times. How is Evalueserve ensuring a frictionless policy at this point in time?

Sachin: Security is something which is very important for us. We have looked at all possible areas to ensure that there is no compromise to the data or maybe any client projects. We have such flexibility of people working from outside office. And that was something we actually included in our risk assessment and deployed some technological controls for it. But having said that, we all know that the scale and current scenario is very, very different. And I think nobody anticipated that at any point in time they would have 100% workforce working from home. 

As of now, we have not seen so many targeted attacks and that’s where we are looking at it right now. There are a few action items for us, which we are working on. We are actually giving a sort of fresh look, especially on WFH scenario for remote workers, and there are obviously certain areas where we need to improve. But overall, when we look at our security policy and specially solutions like VDI, we are well off around the security aspect. Of course, there are some areas of improvement and there is a need to relook at some of the controls we have, to manage this kind of scale.

Anuj: Due to VMware Horizon, we are connected to our data centers and it is as good as you are working from the office. So whatever controls you have in office are being accessible through Horizon.  We are monitoring it so that there’s no gap. So, whatever controls, we have to be are already there. We’re not compromising on that likely won’t be adding to that so there is a gap.

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