Microsoft India has announced it is making its public cloud services live from data centres in Chennai, Pune and Mumbai. Microsoft India managing director Karan Bajwa (bottom, left) explains to Gireesh Babu what this means for the company’s cloud strategy. Excerpts:
Can you give us an idea about your data centres?
We have been offering public cloud services to Indian enterprises for three years from data centres outside India. The government, banks and state-owned enterprises wanted our data centres to be in the country for regulatory reasons. The Indian centres are local, hyper-scale and trusted as we follow global norms of certification for public data centres.
How much have you invested in these data centres?
We have 19 data centre regions in the world, as we call them, which is around 100 data centres in 40 countries. We have invested $15 billion in setting up these centre regions and now we are adding three regions in India, which makes it 22 globally. Earlier customers in India were served from our data centres in Singapore and Hong Kong. The investment for the Indian data centres is upwards of $200 million.
What are your cloud service offerings in India?
We have close to 30 per cent share of the Indian public cloud market. According to Gartner, the Indian public cloud market is $838 million and growing at 68-72 per cent.
What are the challenges?
The biggest barrier is data residency. The government has been hesitant to put data in centres outside India. With the centres here, data will not leave the country now. A bolder and bigger policy statement is required.
What changes will the new centres make for your customers here?
Those who have been using our services will have a huge advantage in latency of services. Comparing services offered to a customer in India from a data centre in Singapore, we are seeing a factor of four improvement in service latency.
Where do you see the public cloud market going?
We have to consider that the market was growing at this pace when state-owned enterprises, the government and various banking and financial services were not using the public cloud. When these people start using the public cloud, growth can be much faster. We have already started talks with the central and state governments and banking regulators. The move we made today is not to gain market share; this is our endeavour to create a market where there was none.
What does this mean to your cloud strategy in India?
In three year we want half of our business in the country to be on the public cloud.
We will see a five-fold growth in the public cloud during this time, considering the business we have in the segment and the overall growth in the next three years. We have confidence that all the industries that were not using the public cloud earlier will now start using it.