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CIO Review >> Magazine >> September - 2014 issue

Aashna Cloudtech: Riding the Cloud Service Brokerage Wave


During the late 1980s system integrators ushered in a new era as custom software began to replace the underlying mainframes in driving the core of the enterprise solutions. Almost ten years later the rise of specialty integrators helped drastically in assisting with this shift. Similarly, in the current scenario, there is no doubt that the future of computing is the cloud, and akin to the days of yore where system integrators were vital, Cloud brokerage and aggregation is set to be today's version of the systems integration phenomenon. Another important factor is to note that over the ages, particularly in times of transition, it has been the time of the IT intermediaries to shine and showcase their innovative practices. Aashna Cloudtech, a leading cloud provider, has transitioned itself in parallel as IT moves almost all of its roles from on- premise to the Cloud. “What you are seeing is the rise of the cloud solutions providers—or the cloud service brokerage as per Gartner parlance, and we being one of the early players are already here to showcase its potential" says Biswas Nair, Managing Director, Aashna Cloudtech.

The Leverage that Cloud Service Brokerage Provides
With the CIO community finding it cumbersome to juggle multiple cloud services and integrating the same with legacy systems, the need of the hour are Cloud Service brokerage providers such as Aashna Cloudtech who provide the crucial connecting link between the consumer of the cloud and the cloud service provider hence enabling better integration and customization for the Enterprise and ultimately, a better ROI. A cloud service brokerage serves as an intermediary between the consumer of cloud and your cloud service provider by aggregating multiple cloud services, integrating then with in-house apps and customizing them to meet your needs.

However, the Cloud brokerage phenomenon is not just another flash in the pan. A testimony to this fact is with Gartner predicting that the IT services pending on CSB is bound to touch $100 Billion, the CIOs are well aware of this fact, but they are unaware of the right vendors who are experienced in this domain, and that is where Aashna Cloudtech serves as a differentiator.

Aashna Cloudtech as a Differentiator
In the haze of the multiple Cloud vendors, Aashna Cloudtech stands out by providing the ability to aggregate multiple cloud units, integration with in house apps, supporting and customization for usage, all within a single point of contact! The company has accomplished over 300 cloud engagements that span across Asia, Middle East, Europe and North America. The huge exposure gives the team the ability to predict IT environments in different markets accurately. Its expertise lies in the spaces of enterprise applications such as ERP, CRM, HRMS, E-commerce, Project Management, Storage, SCM & Productivity. With its headquarters in Pune, and global offices in Dubai & North Carolina, Aashna Cloudtech takes pride in its ability to provide tailor made solutions leveraging its expertise in smartly distributed worldwide office locations. Liaising in partnerships with giants such as NetSuite, Google, Box, Silkroad, E-Biznet, and Workforce Software & Docusign, Biswas believes that his team has the perfect combination of the innovative practices of a startup company and the tried and tested trust from established partners, a lethal combination in today’s unpredictable IT scenario. “We have a skilled staff of around 100 operating and helping manage the various cloud solutions for the clients across the globe and we always punch above our weight and succeed, every time ,” says a confident Biswas.

Making Sense of the Current IT Solutions Market
Another aspect of today’s IT landscape is the rapid expulsion in the number of applications that are being used in the day to day activities of enterprises. The CIO is left with the burden of managing two sides of the coin, i.e maintaining the legacy systems, running the cloud solutions and most importantly, integrating these two silos. At one end of the horizon the on-premise solutions such as SAP, Oracle and bespoke systems need to be run, and at the other end of the spectrum there are end business users procuring cloud solutions. The challenge therefore is to manage the fine line between legacy and the cloud.

“We realize the issue from the CXO’s perspective that the biggest challenge is in terms of multi-Cloud consumption, management and governance,” points out Biswas. Unfortunately, the skills required to counter this ever so fast Cloud phenomenon is not available internally and hence there is a need for a Cloud Service brokerage. "You need someone who knows the landscape, experience and tools to make it seamless working with the IT department, and Aashna Cloudtech can form the crucial bridge in this regard,” he adds.

The company forms the crucial link through its consulting services wherein a thorough business need analysis and future growth plans are assessed and subsequently a cloud strategy along with the various individual applications are proposed. “Customizing of the cloud services to the particular business is the biggest value which clients expect and that is what Aashna Cloudtech delivers” says Biswas Nair. An example of the prowess of the company is how the Aashna Cloudtech was able to deploy an integrated ERP, CRM & SCM solution or a leading FMCG company that traditionally used SAP on premise. Aashna Cloudtech was able to deliver the implementation rollout in over 170 locations in India Along with the reseller/distributor management solution for secondary sales tracking. The implementation was completed in a span of 90 days for close to 1000 users, customizing the workflows based on changing business initiatives. The company today caters to Enterprises that features Nimbus, Kony, Olympus thinksoft and Zubra. India's largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods Company also swears by the services that Aashna brings to the table.

Backing Itself along the Way and Looking Forward To the Next Level
With many companies recognizing the importance of CSBs Aashna backs itself in the ring with competition to the likes of standalone cloud providers and large system integrators such as Deliotte, TCS, Accenture and Wipro. However, the company sees its major differentiators as being a pure play cloud provider with integration capabilities for existing on-premise solutions and backing itself in its track record of over 300 deployments in the cloud arena.

Moving forward, with Gartner predicting that 20 percent of cloud services are going to be intermediated through CSB by 2015, Aashna Cloudtech hopes to ride on the momentum based on these predictions as well as its expertise. Under the staunch leadership of Biswas, Aashna Cloudtech looks to consolidate and grow in the Asia and Middle East market while consciously increasing sales presence and client acquisition in North America. All of the extensive focus on innovation and robust processes has led to Aashna Cloudtech bagging some reputed awards in the industry, some of which include the BEST APAC partner for Netsuite in 2012; recognition as a 5 star partner at NetSuite Suiteworld 2014; the best Cloud Service provider at CRN Xcellence awards and ChannelWorldPremier100 Winner 2013, among a host of others. The management also plans for an IPO by 2020 and be one of the first CSBs to feature on the list. Judging by its trained and experienced Cloud professional team and their track record of successful implementations, Aashna might just be able to achieve its dreams and consolidate itself as the go-to-CSB provider for enterprises.