Catch Vanitha Narayanan, MD, IBM India in a conversation with Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst & Group CEO, Greyhound Research on Greyhound Research’s knowledge sharing series ONTrigger.
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Sanchit Vir Gogia: You spoke about Ecosystem and then two partnerships that IBM signed globally which we really fancy which are the IBM-Apple relationship and the IBM-Twitter relationship. Now while we are here on a global level how the partnership is really panning out and what you are doing in terms of the product while you contextualize for us, for India. How is IBM Apple shaping out? How is the IBM Twitter relationship shaping out?
Vanitha Narayanan: Sure. I will give you an example of the IBM-Twitter relationship. Early days, this caught the imagination of my employee. Back in February- March, we had the cricket world cup and the team was looking at how do you make cricket more interactive. It’s work and passion, hobby and work for people here. As we looked at that, this was roughly 40-45 days before the World Cup. Short period of time and we had people from our labs and our research and marketing team and from our services team come together and they said let’s use Softlayer, let’s use Bluemix, let’s use Cloudant, let’s use Twitter and work with our partner in Twitter and some of our analytics products. Let’s build score with data. Score with data was used by the television, encouraging broadcasters, and then it was an audience mechanism foreseeing what was going to happen. So it was insightful analytics.
Real time getting feeds on Twitter and amplification we saw that it peeked during the India Pakistan match as you might expect. What it did was, it was a very innovative way of using leading edge technology as well as a partnership to bring about but what it did is it now sought of lays out the art of the possible for a lot of our CMOs who are looking at how can I use Twitter and the IBM platform together for running a campaign, if I am trying to get insights. We are able to have a set of very specific conversations that drive value to different businesses.
We do development for our Apple applications right here in India. It’s working with some very specific clients and enterprise application and making a mobile for an Apple environment. There are fewer clients but the clients that are interested are very much focused on how I take this and really change the way we work and so some really early work going on but lot of work going on in terms of development supporting the rest of the global clients over here.
SVG: Interesting. Sometimes when I think about the IBM Apple relationship I think it’s like love baby. All of a sudden Apple has become the fancy and what it also lends me to think that if you go back to these deals, the entire enterprise mobility, EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) deals, Samsung have sought of come in and lot of other players have come in very aggressively with their enterprise sales team, trying to work discounting and of course Apple on the other hand who never had any amount of enterprise sales.
The tie up with IBM and we have got the entire enterprise sales, we connect with the CIOs and you help Apple overcome that connect. The question for you really is that would you actually of go out and put that deal in a situation where 10,000 or 100,000 devices being bought and this case is probably an Apple device. Would you put it on your GFS (Global Financing Services)?
VN: Yes, Of course, I’d put it on GFS. Very recently, we gave our entire sales client facing teams’ iPads and they have a ton of our corporate applications available on the iPad. So as they are going and seeing their clients they are able to share with them, here is something we have, here’s a proof of concept. In many ways, the fact that I have enterprise sales team out there, in the market, as we do across the world now, that you can leverage it, use it and build capability. Today, it is very much a show and tell world, with the tools we have. In some ways, we are representing what we are offering our clients because our teams are leveraging it today.
Every day, our teams find that we can do more with this, as we download more applications. So we look at any of these areas, enterprise ability always has a business case around it.
Than when we look at capabilities we have for device management. MaaS 360, Fiberlink, some of the acquisitions that we have made. Those are all loaded in our own devices. If you as a corporation have a view of bring your own device or you as a corporation are providing devices. There are other ways to secure it. As an enterprise you want to secure your data that’s now in people’s iPad and other mobile devices. Lots of solution capabilities, point solutions as well as the art of how you can change the way our salesforce works.
SVG: Interesting. You say that. A weak link that really shines out in my head is you got the IBM Verse, you got the software acquisitions, you have got MaaS 360 and you got Apple there. If four of these forces were to be combined together and offered to as a solution that really has a lot of potential and importance for the customer. Think about it, they would actually want local hosting, an email solution which is intelligent by the way on apple devices and of course which is secure.
Which I think is probably something that the IBM salesforce and the internal team are still getting their head around.
VN: We recently launched IBM Verse. We will have our Softlayer part in country in the next quarter and we are doing lot of the work. Lot of things coming together, but it doesn’t stop us from showing our client one of these things and it is certainly coming together sometimes faster than the client can build their business cases and get their work approved which we continue to help them as well. It’s also a journey because the client looks at the whole digital journey and what it is. No one today is going to go with the big bang approach that I am going to do everything at once. It’s looking at their landscape and how do they adopt and how do they consume, how do they realize value for their stakeholders so that they can go to their CFO with the next piece of requirement.
SVG: And of course, cross their fingers and say “I’ll get the budget”.
In conclusion, we are short on time; three things that you plan to do in 2015.
VN: Oh! I wish there were only three things. It is very much sticking with our own. It is about getting the message out in the right way to our clients about our capabilities.
I have been with this company for 27 years and I can honestly say it’s like a kid in a candy store. We never had a portfolio as rich as we do today that addresses the breadth of the audience that we can. For us, it’s about getting the message out and getting the message out in the client’s language. That is a huge priority, continues to be a big priority.
Second, as we see things really speed up, markets impatience, clients impatience wanting to get things done with a high level of agility, quick proposals, quick wins and so that the clients can see that because in many cases the clients themselves are going through this transition and transformation. So that becomes important.
Third, we as a company have always invested in educating the market place as well as staying in the market place with us. This is about getting our partners along, getting the ecosystem along and when you look at areas like smart cities, getting the state and local government and the urban bodies along so it also is a level of work, the broader constituency because transformation is never in isolation. You got to do it in the broader context. So I will may be say those three things.
SVG: Very nicely put. I wish you the best of luck and thank you once again for you time. Thank you everyone for watching.
I hope you found value. If you have any questions which you might have please shot me an email and I will respond very quickly. Thank you once again.