We rely on the cloud for improving our operational efficiencies and accelerating innovation: Vinit Dixit, Head-IT, Lipi Data Systems
One of the top three IT peripheral companies in India, Lipi is headquartered in Mumbai and has its manufacturing facility in Udaipur with its service network spread across 200 locations in India. Traditionally, a market leader in the Line Matrix & High Speed Dot Matrix Printer categories, the company has shifted its focus to advanced solutions like Self Service Terminals and Digital Signage Solutions along with offering custom software development services to a wide range of industries including BFSI, retail, logistics and manufacturing.
To support its growing business aspirations, Lipi is leveraging cloud-technology to improve overall operational efficiencies and accelerate innovation. Through a partnership with Oracle, Lipi now has made its shift to cloud to drive faster growth. In an interaction with Express Computer, Vinit Dixit, Head-IT, Lipi Data Systems, shares with us how his firm is leveraging the cloud to accelerate innovation
Some edited excerpts from the interview:
What are some of the key trends for the IT peripheral segments in 2021?
The Electronics & IT Hardware sector has been identified by the Government as well as technology leaders as one of the more promising sectors for growth and employment. As per Gartner, CIOs in India will direct their IT spending budgets towards accelerating digitization efforts. For any modern business, contracts, agreements, letters are the foundation for operations, sowe expect usage of e-invoicing, thermal printing, cheque scanning, mobile printers and automated identification & data capture (AIDC) products to grow significantly in 2021.
What kind of business disruption did you face last year? How are you looking to regain/sustain growth this year?
Lipi has always been a progressive company when it comes to new technology adoption. In line with our efforts to transform into a digital-first business, we were fairly ahead in our cloud journey by early 2020. We are highly reliant on cloud to improve our overall operational efficiencies and accelerate innovation. So, fortunately, we faced minimal disruption to business. During the lockdown phase, we accelerated efforts to get more cloud-oriented and strengthened our efforts to offer a seamless work process for remote workers.
From a business perspective, our complete focus was to meet the surge in demand for support/uptime/service of close to 30,000 self-servicing machines that we manage and support, particularly from the BFSI industry – such as ATM/BNA/kiosks. We’re continuing to see adequate demand for our products from sectors such as retail, BFSI, logistics and manufacturing, so we have a strong business pipeline. Also, in 2021, e-invoicing is going to be mandatory as per the latest government directive; this will trigger more widespread adoption of new series of high density line of matrix printers. This will help boost our growth cycle as well.
Please tell us more about your cloud strategy
We have witnessed very good growth of our business over the last few years. Commensurately, we have also witnessed increased complexity from an operations perspective. In the last decade, our IT requirements have burgeoned, as has our volume of data and demand for computing. Persisting with a traditional IT setup was becoming a huge challenge. We also wanted to focus more on our core business and not get caught up in routine (but essential) IT management tasks such as scaling our on-premises IT setup, optimizing IT resources at regular intervals, managing security, downtime windows etc.
Given the volume of data we manage, we wanted to work with a cloud provider that comes with a proven track record in data management, as well as empower us with autonomous IT capabilities. Given Oracle’s rich legacy of securely managing the bulk of the world’s mission-critical data for more than four decades, we decided to move to Oracle’s highly secure, second generation cloud infrastructure. The Oracle teams supported as trusted advisors at every step in our journey to the cloud. And today, we are successfully running our entire workloads on OCI.
We’ve already gained much better scalability, advanced security, more improved manageability and superior cloud economics via cost savings. Our users have reported 3X application performance improvement. All our developers and DBAs are able to work more efficiently. Further, we’ve experienced a 40% increase in cost savings.
How are you leveraging your data to unlock more value for the business?
We believe data is indeed the new currency, and we’re on track to evolve into a data-democratic organization. We have a holistic data strategy in place, and this has enabled us to make faster, more intelligent data-driven business decisions riding on data accuracy and relevancy.
For instance, we are responsible for managing 100,000 self-service machines and high end printers across India. These devices are active, operational at multiple mission critical locations across a wide range of industries, especially falling into the ‘essential services’ category – such as banks, public transport (railways, airports, metro stations), e-governance (G2B, G2C services)and smart cities, in addition to large corporates/ enterprises. On a number of occasions, we’ve been able to put our data to better business use, gain deeper, actionable insights, which has often helped us accelerate the decision making process, better aligned to our customers’ expectations. Accordingly, we’ve consistently delivered quality service to customers as a direct result of better data analytics/insights, we’ve uncovered from our CRM and ERP systems.
Please share with us your digital innovation roadmap?
We are currently in the process of integrating our systems with logistics providers via their API for smooth, accurate data flow. In our manufacturing facility, we’re using IoT enabled machines, and the implementation of automatic data capture capabilities is underway. We’re also making our products smarter by embedding intelligence and enabling them with self-diagnosis capabilities to flag errors in an autonomous way.
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