BENGALURU: Reliance Communication RCOM) expects revenue from its India enterprise business to cross $1 billion (Rs 6,240 crore) annually over the next year and half, a top executive said, citing demand for cloud-based services that he said is growing exponentially.
Over the past six months, RCOM has partnered with Hitachi to offer cloud storage, Panasonic for cloud-based security surveillance and Polycom for cloud-based video conferencing. Then, in the first week of 2015, it tied up with IBM to offer a virtual desktop solution to enterprises to reduce their total cost of owning and maintaining thousands of desktops.
With the help of these partnerships, RCOM wants to be among the largest IT players in the country in the next few years, said Deepak Khanna, chief executive for its India Enterprise Business. “The line between a telecom company and an IT company is blurring. Telcos across the world are either building their IT capabilities or acquiring companies to offer such comprehensive services. We decided to build our own capability,” Khanna said.
Khanna said the company has already signed up multiple clients for the new offering in association with IBM and within the next three months, it will become the largest player in the space with over 3,000 installations.
Reliance will also be selling IBM’s cloud computing services to its existing customer base of 1,000 enterprises and more than 40,000 small and medium businesses. Its engagement with these companies for its telecom offerings is letting RCom rapidly sell its new cloud services.
“Telcos who anyway have relationship with enterprises for telecom solutions can offer IT managed services too,” said Pareekh Jain, principal analyst at HfS Research. “In fact, we are seeing that some large IT companies have started partnering with US and European telcos and supporting these telcos in offering managed services.”
As per a recent Gartner report, the public cloud market in the country will treble to $1.9 billion by 2018. It has grown to over $638 million in 2014 from $470 million in 2013.
RCOM is rapidly expanding its infrastructure to offer many of these services as well as to provide managed infrastructure services to clients. It is already one of the largest data centre companies in India. It is building a 650,000 sq ft data centre, its 10th and largest in the country. This will take its combined capacity to about 1 million sq ft and data centre investment to $200 million.
RCOM is now also bringing its global public cloud service, called Global Cloud Exchange (GCX), to India by setting local data centers in Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru.
GCX competes directly with Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM in the cloud computing space. Local data centres will help RCOM sell cloud services to banks and financial services companies, which so far have stayed away from the cloud as local regulations restrict hosting financial data of customers outside the country.