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Teradata’s vision for India: Powering the future with trusted AI solutions 

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In the bustling megapolis of Mumbai, Express Computer, meets Steve McMillan, President and CEO of Teradata, and Ashok Shenoy, Country Manager for India, Teradata, for an exclusive interaction. McMillan expresses his admiration for India’s vibrant culture and Teradata’s significant presence in Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Pune. He discusses engagements with product engineers in Hyderabad and collaboration in Mumbai on advanced solutions. Transitioning smoothly, McMillan elaborates on Teradata’s tailored solutions for India, emphasising its evolution into a multi-cloud, open data platform. He underscores trust, ethics, and sustainability in AI solutions, highlighting success stories and commitments to fostering local talent and economic growth. McMillan and Shenoy discuss recent innovations like AI Unlimited and cloud optimisation, affirming Teradata’s commitment to innovation and customer-centric solutions.

Steve McMillan expresses his delight in visiting India, Teradata’s largest employee-population country. “I always love coming to India. I love the culture. We have three centres here: one in Mumbai, one in Hyderabad, and one in Pune,” highlights Steve. He reminisces about his engagements in Hyderabad, where Teradata’s product engineers are at work, and Mumbai, where the consulting and support teams collaborate on advanced solutions for customers.

Could you share with us an overview of Teradata’s solutions and services, particularly in the Indian market?

McMillan: The data analytics and AI segment of the IT industry is incredibly exciting right now, and Teradata has been a part of it for over 40 years. We’ve been present in India for a long time, not just in terms of employees but also with great customers. Our technology platform has evolved into a true multi-cloud, open, and connected data platform for advanced analytics over the past three to four years. This platform works both on-premises and in the cloud, including partnerships with major providers like Dell, Amazon, Azure, and Google Cloud. In India, organisations, especially in government and financial services, are seeking hybrid solutions, and our platform enables them to deploy data and solutions where they want, whether on-premises or in the cloud.

In today’s data-driven landscape, the convergence of AI and generative data is crucial for organisational success. Can you share Teradata’s innovative strategies for leveraging AI and generative data to empower businesses globally? How do these technologies drive informed decision-making and foster growth? 

McMillan: The key aspect we focus on with AI and generative data is trust. It’s crucial for organisations to trust the output of AI solutions. We ensure this trust by emphasizing the trustworthiness of the data itself, which we achieve through a concept called harmonised data. This means the data stored in the Teradata system is well-governed, managed, and secure, with a clear lineage and understanding of its sources. Additionally, we focus on ethics and sustainability in AI solutions. From an ethical perspective, we ensure transparency in data sources and model operations to mitigate bias and ensure fairness. Sustainability-wise, our technology platform is designed to be efficient and effective on a large scale, addressing concerns about the environmental impact and cost of AI solutions.

It’s impressive how Teradata prioritises trust, ethics, and sustainability in AI solutions. Teradata has also shown promising results in enterprise-scale multi-cloud data analytics across key verticals such as financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing, the public sector, and retail. Could you share some specific success stories or impacts in those key verticals and how you address their unique challenges?

McMillan: Financial services organisations, for example, focus on deploying solutions that enhance customer, employee, or partner experiences while ensuring a return on investment. We assist them in achieving this through advanced analytics solutions that optimise interactions, generate new revenue streams, and improve operational efficiency. For instance, Unilever’s Chief Data Officer highlighted how AI can transform industries, such as the consumer packaged goods industry, by augmenting human decision-making and eventually automating processes like negotiation. In India, we’ve seen significant impacts in sectors like the supply chain, where AI-driven solutions have improved accuracy and efficiency. Our platform enables customers to scale AI initiatives from proof-of-concepts to enterprise-grade solutions, using trusted data to ensure reliable outcomes.

Given India’s focus on initiatives like Make in India and the growing importance of AI, what’s your outlook for the region in terms of technological advancements and business opportunities?

McMillan: India presents a massive opportunity for AI adoption, with projections suggesting a one trillion dollar opportunity by 2035. With initiatives like Make in India and the emphasis on AI leadership, the country is poised for significant growth in the tech industry. Teradata is well-positioned to support this growth with our advanced technology platform and partnerships with Indian organisations. Whether it’s in government, healthcare, or other sectors, our solutions can address the unique challenges and drive innovation in India’s digital transformation journey.

How does Teradata plan to contribute to India’s economic growth, and what role does it play in fostering local talent?

McMillan: Teradata is committed to investing in India’s talent pool and technology ecosystem. We recognise the passion and enthusiasm of our Indian team, especially the new graduates who join us. Our focus is not just on utilising Indian talent for maintenance tasks but also on developing cutting-edge solutions. For example, our India team has been instrumental in developing advanced solutions like integrating large language models into our technology platform. By investing in and enabling our Indian team to develop innovative solutions, we aim to demonstrate value to our customers.

Shenoy: Our commitment to India’s growth is evident through our partnerships and collaborations. We work closely with global partners like Accenture and local organisations like LTI MindTree to deliver technology solutions tailored for the Indian market. Additionally, our training programs for partners ensure that they are equipped to represent Teradata effectively. Our focus on partnerships and skill development contributes to India’s technological ecosystem and fosters local talent.

What milestones has Teradata achieved in terms of local partnerships and collaborations, and how do these contribute to India’s technological ecosystem?

McMillan: Our partnership with organisations like LTI MindTree and global systems integrators such as Accenture has been crucial in expanding our presence in India. We co-invest in building skills and deploying Teradata technology to address market needs. For example, our collaboration with Accenture involves training thousands of professionals in Teradata’s technology set, empowering them with advanced data analytics and AI capabilities. These partnerships enable us to deliver tailored solutions and drive growth in the Indian market.

Shenoy: Additionally, our partnership with Dell, particularly in converged infrastructure, has resulted in significant installations in sectors like banking and finance. By leveraging our expertise in both on-premise and cloud solutions, we address diverse customer needs and contribute to India’s digital transformation. Our focus on sustainable initiatives further reinforces our commitment to responsible business practices.

It’s impressive to see Teradata’s dedication to fostering local talent and driving innovation in India. Can you discuss any specific programmes or initiatives aimed at enhancing partnerships with educational institutions? Does Teradata collaborate with educational institutions to enhance partnerships and foster talent, and if so, what specific programmes or initiatives are in place?

McMillan: While our global delivery centre partners with specific educational organisations, our philosophy of flexible working allows us to tap into talent from across India. We actively recruit graduates with expertise in data science and advanced analytics, aligning with the curriculum offered by universities and colleges. By providing opportunities for skill development and career advancement, we contribute to the growth of India’s talent pool.

Shenoy: Moreover, our partnerships extend beyond traditional educational institutions to include training programmes for partners. We ensure that our partners are well-equipped to represent Teradata and deliver value to customers. By fostering a culture of collaboration and continuous learning, we strengthen our ecosystem and support India’s aspirations for technological advancement.

What recent business growth has Teradata experienced in India, and what factors have contributed to this growth?

McMillan: While we cannot disclose specific numbers, we have witnessed significant traction in India across various sectors. Customers are increasingly recognising the value of Teradata’s solutions, particularly in sectors like banking, finance, and telecommunications. Our focus on delivering scalable, secure, and cost-effective solutions resonates with organisations seeking to harness the power of data analytics and AI. Collaborating with partners and addressing market demands have been key factors driving our growth in India.

Shenoy: Our pipeline remains robust, reflecting the growing demand for data-driven solutions in India. By partnering with organisations like Dell and leveraging our expertise in both on-premise and cloud solutions, we address diverse customer needs and drive innovation. As organisations embrace digital transformation, Teradata is well-positioned to support their journey with trusted, ethical, and sustainable solutions.

Considering your focus on specific sectors, are there any areas where Teradata sees significant potential for expansion apart from financial institutions? 

McMillan: Healthcare is an area of significant potential for Teradata in India. We believe that data analytics and AI can play a transformative role in improving healthcare outcomes and optimising costs. By leveraging our expertise in building solutions for healthcare organisations globally, we aim to contribute to India’s healthcare sector. Our focus is on delivering trusted, ethical, and sustainable solutions that address the unique challenges faced by the healthcare industry.

With the increasing use of AI in healthcare, ensuring trust and ethical use of data becomes crucial. How does Teradata ensure openness and foster patient trust in AI solutions?

McMillan: At Teradata, we prioritise transparency and data lineage to ensure the trustworthiness of our AI solutions, particularly in healthcare. We enable customers to understand how recommendations are generated and which data sources are used. Our platform provides a comprehensive data lineage, tracing the origins of patient healthcare records and other critical information. By ensuring accountability and adherence to ethical standards, we foster patient trust and promote the responsible use of AI in healthcare.

What recent innovations has Teradata introduced in its offerings, and what are your focus areas for 2024–2025?

McMillan: One of our recent innovations is the introduction of AI Unlimited, a serverless query engine designed for running AI workloads efficiently in the cloud. This technology enables us to leverage native object storage data, reducing costs and enhancing scalability. We are also expanding our presence on cloud platforms like Google Cloud and Microsoft Fabric, offering customers more flexibility and choice. Our focus for 2024–2025 includes further advancements in AI, cloud optimisation, and sustainable initiatives, aligning with market trends and customer needs.

Shenoy: Additionally, our partnership with Dell and focus on converged infrastructure solutions have contributed to significant installations in sectors like banking and finance. We anticipate continued growth in both on-premise and cloud solutions, leveraging our expertise and partnerships to drive innovation and support India’s digital transformation journey.

With Teradata’s unwavering commitment to trust, ethics, and sustainability, India’s technological future looks brighter than ever, poised for growth and innovation in the years to come.

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