Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Country Manager, SUSE India explains how open source solutions are helping businesses in these challenging times.
What are the solutions and services currently in the SUSE portfolio?
SUSE today is the world’s largest independent open source company. We are in the industry for 28 years. We are the oldest enterprise Linux operating system. As a true open source, we provide a plethora of products, solutions, and services, starting from the Linux operating system to containers and application platforms. We help enterprises simplify their IT infrastructure, modernize their applications and accelerate their businesses to digital transformation.
We have SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, which is a very robust, scalable operating system. On the software defined storage, we have SUSE Enterprise Storage, which is a open-source storage solution, which takes care of software defined storage portfolio of ours.
On the application delivery and application modernization, we have SUSE CAP, which is cloud application platform, and we also have a container management solution which is container as a service platform, SUSE CaaS. These are the broad base portfolio that we offer to customers in India, and we enable them to actually simplify their IT infrastructure, modernize them, and also accelerate their business transformation journey.
How is SUSE looking at supporting the partners in the current situation from cash-flow challenges?
Right from day one, SUSE is a true open source company. We have open source ethos and we are very easy to do business. Our standard payment cycles are so good that we did not have to change anything. For us it remains standard payment terms and conditions and our partners did not face any challenge with us in terms of making payments or getting their payments out of the customers. I firmly believe today if an organization really provides gold standard support and services in this market as well, customers are willing to pay because that is helping them to fast track their move to the new normal. We are treated as an integral part of their transformation journey. Existing payment terms and conditions are very well suited to enable our partners to be cash-flow sufficient.
How is SUSE helping partners in offering remote support to customers?
We have our customer support center based out of India. Addressing customer issues is something which is of prime importance. We have the support center based out of Bangalore that is 24/7. It is very easily accessible and the standard of responses and the kind of SLAs that we deliver to our customers have been working out very good for them. There have been times where we had to go an extra mile, but we believe in our open source ethos to immediately help customers fix their problems. Since the entire community partners with us, figuring out an issue does not take much of a time and that is the beauty of an open source organization.
How is SUSE’s partner ecosystem structured?
We go back to the same 100% open source Ethos. Our partners are tiered into Platinum, Gold, Silver based on their technology skill-sets. In India, we have close to around 300 partners spread across different geographies, and that is one area via which we operate.
We have cloud services providers, we have IFCs with the likes of HP, Dell, IBM with whom we partner and together we service our customers. That is the broad partner eco-system we have.
What were SUSE’s priority focus areas in the current pandemic situation?
For SUSE, safety is first and foremost for our own employees. Our employees’ health and mental wellness are very seriously considered. We have programs where we allow the employees to dial into helplines and enable them and counsel them if they require because not everybody had a very nice experience of suddenly getting into a lockdown scenario. We did address this right from day one that safety is our primary importance.
In India, we are lucky that none of our employees have got impacted by COVID. Well-being, staying safe, helping customers and partners to grow is very important in today’s time. We have organized multiple calls with our partners to check on them in terms of their health, their employee models. We have been in touch with our distribution organisations, working out on the marcoms, allowing people to know the do’s and don’ts of digital transformation. You might be seeing that a lot of webinars, which are happening across the globe, which are also been rallied across in India too. All in all, a very well knitted effort with the help of our ecosystem partners had allowed us to be in the position of strength that we are today in India.
Which were the verticals doing good business with SUSE at this time?
The least impacted is the BFSI, then comes IT/ITeS, and then the telcos. Here the consumption only increased because of the nature of business. However, there is a decrease in manufacturing because the manufacturing segment today has shifted their mindset from on-prem to a cloud. So that is where we actually picked up the business. We may have lost a little in the on-prem business, but it has been well compensated through the increase in cloud consumption.
Manufacturing and retail are very largely impacted and it is going to take some amount of time to actually get the economy back on track and probably once the pandemic situation improves but people are coming to terms with it. However, maintaining the protocols are very important and then working with the protocol and the new normal. Probably we will bounce back very sharply in manufacturing as well as in the retail segment.
What has been the traction seen in the government business?
We are seeing a lot of government business getting closed which gives us an impression that the government is actually readying themselves up that the moment this pandemic comes to an end. We are ready to take on the new normal, the new world, which is going to emerge post pandemic. So there have been multiple amount of investments which are going on in terms of reforming the corporate. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is investing heavily, financial institutions are investing heavily, the defence organizations are investing heavily.
The smart cities are also getting concluded. You have a lot of smart cities which got closed within this last six months, which speaks volumes about the positivity which exist amongst these difficult times. The government definitely is improving a lot, and has been more open in terms of adoption of newer technologies and faster adoption of newer technologies most importantly. Gone are those days when a file movement would have taken a 12 month time period but that time-frame has come down today because that is a need of the hour, and the government needs to be more responsive.
What will be SUSE’s key focus areas in the new normal for at least the next 2-3 quarters?
We will continue to work very closely with our communities, partners, and customers, so that we keep innovating and enhancing our products and solutions. That is very important. We need to keep on innovating and that is only possible when you work very closely with your customers, with your partners, with the community. That is very key and then to ensure our employees are safe, that is also very important. We will continue working with communities, partners, and customers so that we help organizations to simplify their IT, to modernize their applications and accelerate their digital transformation journey.