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The hybrid way to managed services

Zafar Anjum | March 13, 2015
CIO Asia caught up with NTT Communications' Theodoric Chan and Chris Sandoval recently to talk about IT outsourcing, hybrid clouds and demand for managed services in Asia.

CIO Asia: Give us a sense of your customers – what kind of cloud services they are opting for?

Chan: Most of our customers opt for the hybrid way. For hosting environments like the data centre, most of the cases are that of infrastructure-as-a-service. That's very popular. In general, like in ERP or CRM areas, most industries are moving to the cloud environment.

Sandoval: Our customers and the market in general are hybrid. Gartner termed the hype cycle – where is the cloud in that? I think the cloud has passed the "over hyped" stage and the hybrid model is emerging as the predominant model.

CIO Asia: Why should CIOs go for managed IT services?

Chan: It is very simple. The user experience, technology evolution – everything – is moving so fast. And very dynamically. IT talent management is another issue. In most of the markets, to retain IT talents is a tough challenge for CIOs.

Sandoval: You have to be careful about what part of IT you are talking about [to put under managed services]. And you have to think: is this IT initiative very tactical in nature or is it strategic for the company? If it is strategic, then you should probably keep it and focus on that yourself. But if it is a tactical project, and a provider can do it cheaper, or more efficiently than you could yourself, or if you don't have or can't acquire the knowhow or the talent to provide services your business demands, then you should think about engaging a partner.

CIO Asia: What are the new technologies that you see on the horizon?

Chan: We believe it is virtualisation. Cloud is in the mainstream of the trend. In terms of virtualisation, we do see that virtualisation could be applied to more devices. Innovation is evolving and how you play with your apps on your smart mobile devices – that scenario is not far off (for enterprise managed services too).

Sandoval: Robotic process automation  is huge right now; and in many cases, it is already hitting the second generation. Cognitive agents such as IPsoft's Amelia or Apple's Siri represent a new paradigm for the traditional help desk. IPsoft is a major technology partner for us; we have completely integrated their IPCenter platform into our service delivery model leveraging their automation prowess. Not only does this allow us to provide fast, reliable responses to customer incidents it helps ensure workflow compliancy so that we can maintain consistent quality of service worldwide.

In the U.S. or Europe, many companies are in the second or third generation of outsourcing. The market is very savvy, and very competitive. Labour arbitrage is over, but with automation, we can provide a consistently high service level at a competitive cost.


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