Analytics India Magazine got in touch with Deepak Visweswaraiah, Senior VP and MD, Manageability Products and Solutions Group, NetApp, to understand more about how the company used analytics in their organisation. Speaking as a technology veteran with over 30 years of work experience, Visweswaraiah talked about the importance of new tech in the industry, the global talent and the upcoming trends.
Here are the excerpts:
Analytics India Magazine: Please tell us about NetApp’s usage of analytics to provide solutions
Deepak Visweswaraiah: In today’s digital world, data is considered the lifeblood of most organisations who are looking to thrive and stay ahead of the competition in an extremely dynamic technology industry. Our data analytics solutions are powerful tools that can help companies draw valuable insights into their businesses. Then we help them through this wealth of insights to optimise operations, create innovative business opportunities, monitor and improve services and performances. It is all about making informed decisions, enabling new customer touchpoints through technology and getting a competitive advantage overall.
With more than 25 years of experience in data management, NetApp has developed its own five-phase model that visualises the flow of data in IoT projects and solves special challenges of data management. The phases are defined as collect, transport, store, analyse and archive. This concept is the foundation of Data Fabric, our data management strategy that allows free seamless movement of data in the most efficient and secure way possible.
NetApp Cloud Sync Service is designed for data migration and synchronisation. The NetApp® Cloud Sync service offers a simple, secure, and automated way to migrate data to any target, in the cloud or on premises. Once the data is migrated, Cloud Sync continuously syncs the data, based on your predefined schedule, moving only the deltas, so time and money spent on data replication are minimised.
AIM: Tell us about some of the use cases on how various industries in India have benefited from NetApp’s cloud services.
DV: NetApp’s cloud data services enable our customers to deliver meaningful business outcomes quickly and cost-efficiently, eliminating lengthy IT processes and complexities. By 2020, the public cloud services market in India is expected to reach $4.1 billion according to Gartner. Today, India is second only to China as the largest and fastest-growing cloud services market in the Asia Pacific.
Some of our customers in India include HCL Technologies Limited, which uses the NetApp AltaVault cloud-integrated storage appliances to securely backup data to any cloud, boost recovery and cut costs and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) which uses NetApp storage technologies. We have also been working with the Indian government to assist them in the ‘smart city’ as well as security-based projects.
AIM: Who are your partners and who are you looking to collaborate with, in the near future?
DV: We believe that partners are essential to helping customers build the outcome-centric IT infrastructures that they need to thrive in the digital age. NetApp boasts of a strong ecosystem of partnerships and some of its partners include CISCO, Microsoft, Intel, Fujitsu, VMWare, Accenture, HP, IBM, Lenovo and SGI. In India, we have partnered with Unisys, Cognizant, IBM, Wipro, and Dimension Data among other organisations.
Whether it is our recent partnership with DreamWorks or Lenovo, the goal is to enable bringing leading technology and scale to enable customers to modernise their IT architectures from the edge to the core network to the cloud.
NetApp is also contributing to the startup ecosystem in the country through the NetApp Excellerator, the company’s flagship startup accelerator program based in India and we have forged strategic partnerships with 4 startups through the last two cohorts.
AIM: How does NetApp compete with some of the competitors in its industry?
DV: One of the main reasons for the success of NetApp is that we hold the success of our customers paramount. There is an ongoing effort to innovate and keep pace with the technological advancements, alongside setting industry standards. We are also making investments in building the foundation for using data alongside artificial intelligence and machine learning. It is through innovation alone that we compete with companies that are several sizes bigger than us. We look at how to turn threats into opportunities and use that to our advantage. The biggest example is that only NetApp has partnerships with Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Alibaba to offer hybrid cloud data services. Today all the biggest cloud providers who were considered threats are our partners!
AIM: How has been the growth story of NetApp so far? What are the challenges that you face as a company?
DV: Over the last two-and-a-half decades, we have transformed as a company from a legacy storage provider to a company positioned to help businesses accelerate outcomes through digital transformation. We have transformed our own IT by refocusing it and made the bold decision to retool our go-to-market platform. And the journey so far, to say the least, has been phenomenal. This reflects in the fact that NetApp has been able to cement its position as an industry leader in the hybrid cloud space today.
One of our main challenges is to ensure the security of the data we deal with, without affecting the progress of the business. We understand the importance of data privacy and implement the highest data privacy foundation for our own business. Our team is actively seeking to make our products future-proof – not just in making them secure, but in all ways possible.
AIM: Tell us about NetApp’s global giving program #NetAppServes which focuses on social causes, including providing education to underprivileged kids.
DV: Serving the communities around us is a big part of NetApp’s culture of Giving Back. As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility, we have several initiatives in place to address the issues related to hunger and malnutrition, education to sanitation, and hygiene. To enable this, we have a Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program through which employees get five days of fully paid volunteer time off each year.
In the fourth leg of #NetAppVTO in association with @parikrma, 10 volunteers from @NetApp mentored this group of bright junior college students on computer logic and basic C++ coding skills. @NetAppCulture @balajiramani pic.twitter.com/1ZKGx9P5Ye
— NetApp India (@NetAppIndia) October 26, 2018
We have been working with local NGOs to provide digital education, including basic coding and programming, to children from underprivileged homes. Recently, our CSR and Women In Technology (WIT) teams rolled out a new initiative to introduce middle school girls to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education.
Women worldwide are grossly underrepresented in STEM fields with fewer girls opting for STEM subjects at the university level due to various factors. When young girls are mentored by these women technologists, they have role models they can relate to and look up to. NetApp employees have also been mentoring students from Parikrma Humanity Foundation and teaching them basic computer programming.
AIM: What do you think people from a very little background on computers and analytics should do to upskill themselves and master in the field?
DV: It is a good time to be a professional in the space of Data Science as it has some of the most promising jobs to offer today. Any individual planning to become a data analyst would require a multidisciplinary skill set including data wrangling, predictive analysis, data visualisation, domain knowledge and good business acumen. Foremost though would be a love and passion for number crunching and analysing data/statistics.
A background in engineering/mathematics/data science (such as a Master’s or PhD) will make transitioning into the job of a data analyst easier. Skills such as Hadoop or Big Data can also be useful. Those with little background in the subject can also make use of the various resources online or opt for internships and mentoring programs to upskill themselves.
AIM: What are NetApp’s objectives in 2019? What are your long-term goals?
DV: NetApp, for long has been constantly working to provide our customers with the choice of how they want to leverage their data and workload. I mentioned the Gartner report that predicts that by 2020, the public cloud services market in India is expected to reach $4.1 billion. According to them, the additional demand from the migration of infrastructure to the cloud, as well as increased demand from compute-intensive workloads, both in enterprise and startup space, is driving this growth.
IDC forecasts that by 2025, the global datasphere will grow to 163 ZB (a trillion gigabytes). More than a quarter of this data will be real-time in nature, and real-time IoT data will make up more than 95 percent of this. IDC believes the future of enterprise storage is software-defined, server-based, and cloud-connected, with a full suite of enterprise storage data services.
The NetApp Data Fabric simplifies the integration and orchestration of data for applications and analytics in clouds, across clouds and on-premises to accelerate digital transformation. Only NetApp can deliver a Data Fabric with consistent data services for data visibility and insights, data access and control, and data protection and security.