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Cloudera Digitally Transforms India Inc to a New Cloud Era

Vinod Ganesan, Country Manager, Cloudera India outlines the evolution of private cloud and how the pandemic has accelerated its adoption.


What are the solutions and services in the Cloudera portfolio?


At Cloudera we are guided by our vision of making what looks impossible today, possible tomorrow, and we enable the fructification of this vision for our customers through our foundational data platform viz., the Cloudera Data Platform (CDP).This is the industry’s first enterprise data platform that delivers a full range of analytics capabilities from the edge to AI.


CDP is available in two forms factors viz., CDP public cloud which supports all major public cloud platforms and CDP Private Cloud which is an on-prem version of the same platform, mimicking the efficiencies and agility of our public cloud offering. Customers can deploy analytics experiences ranging fromdata engineering -which is our data at rest and data in motion portfolio, data warehouse, operational database, to machine learning which covers the entire gamut from edge to AI. It has a centralized pane for management and alayer of security and governance that cuts across the platform. This is our biggest competitive differentiation.


It is important to us that we help our customers monetize their investments on our platform and that is where our world class professional services and training organization steps in to help our customers fully unlock the value of our portfolio. Besides organizations, we also have a responsibility to make sure our customers derive value and a return on investment when they work with us.


Our value management team comes in here. They engage with the customers throughout the lifecycle to help customers quantify business benefits, and by advising them on a unique value management framework that is customized to suit the enterprise’s digital maturity and execution capabilities.


How is the emergence of Shadow IT impacting organizations operating in the current situation?


All businesses need to understand ongoing market and industry trends in order to make informed decisions in this constantly evolving business landscape. To become industry disruptors, enterprises need to identify problems faced by consumers, redefine current market boundaries and prepare a roadmap to achieve their goal of delivering value to the customer through it. Data is a very crucial factor at every step of this process.


Regulated industries like banking and financial services though, have not really fully adopted framework cloud architectures because of their concerns around providing security and governance framework, while supporting that required agility. As a result, one of the key patterns emerging in India is the use of shadow IT.


According to Gartner, 40% of the IT spend will be taken away by shadow IT. This happens because businesses typically want to move at a particular pace, but IT is unable to support the pace. So, businesses find alternate investments and on-point solutions by leveraging cloud as a medium to accelerate that process. But in doing so, one of the key risks that gets uncovered is on data security and governance as IT is unable to trace everyone with access to this data. Also, while it might temporarily seem to prioritize agility, the reality is point solutions proliferate silos and the ultimate cost of integration needs to be borne by the organization which is a late realization.


How can CDP Private Cloud help the more regulated industries like BFSI, Telecom, healthcare and pharma where the adoption of shadow IT is common?


CDP’s private cloud offering hands the control back to IT by giving them an architecture that meets the demands of the business and benefits they would otherwise find in a public cloud environment. All of this while ensuring the security and governance of data and the ability to build a hybrid cloud environment that can integrate with the business’ proprietary platforms.


More specifically, Cloudera’s SDX solution enables different users to work together productively on a common platform. It allows your IT to say yes to outperforming shadow IT, making available self-service analytics and data that your users actually want to use, from data scientists to engineers; on a platform where they have control.


How would you trace the evolution of the concept of data cloud?


The concept of an enterprise data cloud has evolved for us based on research rooted in the issues that enterprises face on their journey to becoming data driven organizations, and the conversations we have had with our clients.


We have worked with a lot of enterprises, some of whom are leaders within their own verticals – from eight out of top ten global banks, to nine out of top ten global pharma companies, and all top ten global telcos. We have had the chance to work closely with them to understand the challenges they face in their efforts of becoming data-driven. In addition to that, we also commissioned a study with Harvard Business Review through which we received some important insights.

For instance,

  • 41% customers say that they do not have a strategy to deal with data management, especially in a multi cloud environment.
  • Over 60% of the customers said that they did not know what kind of data they needed to act as their business initiators.
  • 54% customers acknowledged that data silos are their biggest challenge.
  • 69% of the customers said that they required an expert’s support in data architecture building.


This gave us the insight that we needed to develop our own private data platform architecture.

We then took these learnings and provided our customers with four key capabilities through our enterprise data platform


  • The ability to support and manage data across hybrid and multi-cloud environments
  • The ability to manage the data across its life cycle, all the way from edge to AI and the ability to embark on multiple use cases that their organizations require
  • Security that cuts across all these layers for a unified experience
  • The ability to do all of this using an open source platform


With the addition of CDP Private Cloud and by creating a multi-cloud data architecture, our innovative data platform allows for the rapid onboarding of mission-critical applications that can be run from anywhere without any disruption to existing ones.


What are the key tenets of the enterprise data architecture that Cloudera professes?


At Cloudera we strongly believe that an organization’s digital transformation strategy is rooted in the underlying data architecture that should support their journey from data to insights. Our own associations with top enterprise customers has allowed us a ring-side view of their data-related challenges; this coupled with independent studies that we ram to validate our understanding has resulted in the creation of what we call and enterprise data cloud with the following key tenets.


  • Hybrid and Multi-cloud supportto enable business agility without the fear of getting locked into any specific cloud service provider
  • Multi-function supportthat allows you to run all experiences, spanning entire data lifecycles, from edge to AI, on this platform
  • Highly secure &governed platform which is all about providing a data context which is essentially the metadata that captures your identities, schema, policy, audit, tagging, replications, workloads, encryption, and the entire lineage. This is the most important element that enables the multi-cloud and multifunction capabilities that help you combat the menace of shadow IT.
  • Open source and open frameworksthat not only allow you to leverage the innovations by the open source community, but also help you create an interoperable framework to integrate a broader ecosystem of applications.


Which are the verticals witnessing maximum traction?


A couple of verticals that could use a 360O view of the data they have are retail and healthcare. Within retail, businesses need to take in real-time information about the supply and demand of goods considering the pandemic would have upended several patterns that were previously established. They would need to monitor demand to ensure that they do not face any stock outs.


Healthcare currently is under a lot of duress and will need technology to help them pivot strategies based on demand and market needs. For example, one of our customers, Yale New Haven Health Services used CDP for cancer research. When the pandemic hit, Covid-19 research took precedence and since they had core components of the data analysis process in place, it was easy for them to adapt and shift focus to Covid-19 research within a week’s time.


Since the launch of CDP in 2019, Cloudera has seen a strong adoption momentum in Asia Pacific across numerous sectors, including telecommunications, public sector, financial services, and manufacturing. Some of our key customers in the region include Axis Bank, BSE, Yes Bank, Globe Telecom, Kasikornbank, PT Citilink, and Telkomsel.


How has the pandemic situation impacted the private cloud market in India?


A lot of organizations have been required to adopt massive changes to tide through these unprecedented times. Besides operations, they have had to rethink how they manage their workforce, how they need to scale up security and platform demands to meet evolving needs. All the while, there were a lot of efficiencies and lessons learned on how to maneuver this phase best.


As economies and businesses around the world begin to reopen, we learn to be more efficient, work remotely and perhaps now more than ever, learn how to better leverage data and analytics to make smarter business decisions. Data will be an essential ingredient in every business’ Get Well strategy.


Accelerating digital transformation in India, the pandemic has in fact driven more businesses to the cloud. IDC’s recent study states that 50% of the Indian enterprises will adopt hybrid cloud by 2021. So, while cloud is being seen as an enabler of business agility, it comes with its own set of challenges of data management issues across hybrid cloud platforms.


Our introduction of CDP and the Private Cloud element helps organizations who want to embark on this journey to set up that crucial data foundation which is key. We help businesses navigate complex data processes across multiple clouds, manage data governance, and enable multi-function analytics, regardless of where the data resides. Highly regulated industries in India such as telecom, banking, and financial services can now swiftly respond to evolving market conditions without compromising on security, governance and regulatory compliances.


To bounce back to business as usual, businesses will have to take significant advantage of opportunities that lie in front of them. They can’t do it without an underlying data platform that supports them with that required agility.


Who are your marquee customers and what are their use cases especially for the ML and advanced analytics solutions?


We have helped many customers across verticals and the region gain enterprise-wide insights to serve their customers better, operate with greater efficiency, and strengthen security to protect your business. India’s leading exchange group, Bombay Stock Exchange, sought a robust and scalable ecosystem to centralize structured and unstructured data from multiple resources, gain intelligent and actionable insights and establish themselves as an agile and well-governed trading site. With Cloudera, they have been able to make real-time decisions since the time taken to generate complex reports reduced by 70%. Theyhave also been able to reduce operational costs by Rs 60 million annually.


YES Bank also used Cloudera’s data platform to mine large volumes of data from financial transactions and create machine learning algorithms. This, in turn, enabled the bank to use machine learning and predictive modelling to develop customized campaigns for its customers, and detect fraud faster.


Godfrey Phillips India Limited (GIPL), a flagship company of Modi Enterprises and one of India’s largest FMCG companies uses Cloudera’s enterprise platform to create a centralized repository of multi-structured data across disparate applications and external sources. This enterprise-wide data repository serves as a single source of truth and allows GIPL’s teams to effectively and efficiently use big data analysis for predictive and prescriptive data analytics to drive sales and optimize operations such as supply chain visibility, inventory optimization and computer assisted ordering. Critical BPI business process capabilities like sales planning have improved from 7 days to 1 day and machine learning algorithms have also contributed to a 5% increase in sales.

A Malaysian telecom provider, Axiata, leveraged Cloudera to extract valuable insights from telecom and third-party data (such as customer preferences and behavior patterns) to gain actionable intelligence. The intelligence derived is then used to reduce customer churn, optimize marketing spends and telecom network optimization, and raise revenue, all-the-while improving productivity and achieving massive cost savings. For example, Axiata developed an omni-channel multilingual customer service chatbot in local languages such as Sinhalese and Khmer, which handles 50% of queries without human intervention.


What are the challenges in the digital transformation journey for Indian enterprises?


It is heartening to see that organizations understand the need to be data-driven. Many of them struggle to achieve it, especially if they adopt hybrid or multi cloud to also gain business agility.

According to Harvard Business Review, 69% of executives globally recognize the need for a comprehensive data strategy to meet their business goals but only 35% think their current strategy is sufficient.


Two commonly cited barriers to maximizing data for strategic gain are: data silos or having multiple data copies (54%), and the lack of interoperability between systems (44%). These factors hinder data accessibility and the organization’s ability to ingest data fast enough to make decisions in real-time, as well as make it challenging to comply with increased data privacy regulations in the near future.


What are the benefits of the IBM partnership especially for Hadoop distribution?


Cloudera has a long-standing relationship with IBM and our strategic partnership brings advanced data and analytic solutions to more organizations, including across the expansive Hadoop ecosystem, to promote a digitally connected future with the enterprise data cloud.


In partnership with IBM and Red Hat, Cloudera drives the largest number of contributions to the open-source community, meaning innovation of open-source products is moving at a faster pace than ever. In addition, the open-source model ensures increased availability and interoperability across all vendors for your enterprise data cloud – uniquely hybrid.

With the Cloudera and IBM partnership, all of your data is secure and governed at all times, anywhere, from the Edge to AI.

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