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COVID-19 is rapidly accelerating the shift to a multi-cloud India: Sankalp Saxena, MD-Operations, India, Nutanix

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As a technology vendor, Nutanix is using the strengths of its own technology platforms to ensure business as usual in these trying times, says Sankalp Saxena, MD-Operations, India, Nutanix

Some edited excerpts:

What are some of the key initiatives initiated by your organization in ensuring that business continues as usual?

At Nutanix, the safety and security of our team has always been paramount. We have developed and deployed remote work from home solutions for years – it’s one of the things we do both for our teams as well as for our customers globally.

As a pioneer in VDI, we have access to our own Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technology. Xi Frame, a comprehensive collaboration platform. We also have a wide range of collaboration, instant messaging, group chats and video conferencing capabilities alongside email – to provide choice and flexibility to our staff, so they operate at their fullest potential.

So for us, it has been business as usual whereas for our customers adopting such solutions, we have helped solved their immediate business continuity requirements. A true “win-win” approach which we deploy in hours.

Nationally, we are seeing heightened demand of our solutions in support of the new WFH mandate which has been rolled out as per the Government of India guidelines. The adoption of digital solutions has been significantly accelerated as they enable collaboration amongst de-centralised staff or teams as opposed to a single, centralised location. Work from home, once seen as a benefit for start-ups and cool technology companies, is now the only viable survival option for ensuring business continuity for many organizations.

The learning curve is small as employees of all organizations get comfortable quickly – collaborating digitally as opposed to physically. For our teams, we are seeing them learn enhanced skills and capabilities from the tools as well as driving personal and professional development are added bonus to help stay current and ahead of the market, technologies, certifications and skill.

What are some of the key challenges faced to ensure a Work from Home Policy?

The first challenge for companies is to rapidly develop a WFH policy. Many don’t have one and have never needed one. But guidelines are imperative. However, the biggest challenge facing organizations deploying work from home policies is trust and accountability. Many Indian companies are centralised institutions, so decentralising that authority is difficult to adapt to. We have found that without intrinsic trust that employees will do the right thing – whether in the office or working from home – organizations will not be able to ensure productivity and outcomes.

For Nutanix, we have always had a strong trusted partnership with our staff, as well as a long-standing work from policy for staff in India.

We place accountability and responsibility in the hands of our staff. In return they provide much greater, drive, determination and productivity.

Beyond this, there is clearly a need for a fast, stable, and reliable digital infrastructure (FTTH, broadband, etc) for each employee in their homes. Fortunately, India today already has a widespread deployment of high-speed bandwidth connections available at nominal costs and the reach of these is growing day-by-day.

What are some of the key lessons learnt during this crisis?

There is now a new business reality. Even for agile organisations, like Nutanix, the ability to rapidly adapt and respond to any circumstance is now a prerequisite. It is helping us learn and innovate with new business models where digital interaction outflanks the physical.

What are some of the technology tools used to facilitate smooth collaboration between employees?

Several technology solutions are available in the marketplace but each address only a fragment of the business needs of customers. In our case, however, our XI Frame service provides a comprehensive collaboration platform for businesses encompassing not only enterprise grade tools but also communication tools for group chats, messaging, etc.

CIOs of companies are deploying similar solutions because they intrinsically provide both scalability and security. Both parameters are necessary to ensure companies do not inadvertently have their confidential data and processes get compromised.

Do you believe that the current mandatory use of remote work for business continuity is a signal to all organizations that it’s time to revisit their remote working policies?

There is now a new business reality, and COVID-19 is rapidly accelerating the shift to a multi-cloud India. Cloud will become an intrinsic part of India’s business infrastructure.

At Nutanix, we have always adopted a hybrid approach in this regard encompassing both remote and in person options to drive work outcomes. In one sense, we were better equipped to ensure we delivered to our customer promises as this was not a net-new situation for us to deal with. In alignment with the same, I would advocate all organisations look at a similar hybrid approach to enable them to be equipped for new work paradigms in the 21st century.


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