Our Strength Lies In Targeting Industries Facing Large-Scale Data Analytics And Management Challenges: Teradata

Technology has come a long way now. It is, in fact, a toy for the tech department who always craves for more of it. But it can only prove to be viable when the end user adopts it, and we like to take care of that

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BW CIO WORLD met Souma Das, who officially joined Teradata as Managing Director, at the beginning of the year. He, along with Andrew Blamey, Vice President, Asia Pacific & Korea (APAK), Teradata, discussed where Indian markets are positioned when it comes to unleashing and absorbing the potential of data and analytics. 

BW CIO: With a new leader, what are your expectations from India in 2018? What is the percent of growth you are looking forward to?

Andrew: To begin with, 2018 is turning out to be a very exciting year for us as we have got Souma as the new leader. Also, we have high expectations as Teradata has ranged between 15-20% growths over the last one decade. In India, we have got a solid foundation and in percentage terms, our business could significantly grow more. As Teradata is all about long-term relationships so we will be focusing on creating more momentum and traction with the customers to match our growth of last few years where we have built many new customers.

BW CIO: What are the industry verticals you will be focusing on this year?

Andrew: Our prime focus will be on three major verticals in India, i.e., BFSI, Manufacturing and the Government. We have been investing and building our own teams of experts to go after these markets. Some are in a continuation and some are new markets but most importantly, Teradata is very strong in all these three sectors globally. The Government of Rajasthan, India is already working to provide a big data analytics environment to its citizens with the help of Teradata’s solutions.

My experience of over 20 years in Teradata tells me that it is a very big yet very connected company which leverages knowledge globally. We do not have 20-50,000 customers but with a customer base of 1500, we are much targeted and highly leveraged. We will rely on our global expertise to master these verticals.

BW CIO: Since government orders do not occur within a few months and India is going into general elections next year, one of your top three focused verticals seem to be in uncertainty. Are you sure you still want to tap this vertical?

Souma: There is a significant proliferation of data occurring everywhere which includes the government as well. So there is a definite need for us to focus more on government as data getting generated is ever exceeding and we bring all of that to an integrated platform or maybe through big data. As we have always focused on larger organisations, their data is extremely strategic to all of them and the data is massive. So that literally drives more cascading opportunity and revenue streams get generated quarter after quarter.

BW CIO: What is the progress of Government of Rajasthan? Does the government actually has a grasp of the power of big data and analytics?

Souma: Yes, this is definitely one progressive government. Of course, the implementation of big data and analytics are being hugely initiated by IT organisation but a lot of vision has come from the Ministry since they have created the data assets. But at the end of the day, it is a vain attempt if you are not able to discover insights out of those assets to help citizens. There is a lot of work that they are doing to predominantly extend the benefit to itscitizen through various areas like citizen insurance and health. This is going to be a model that other states are going to follow. A lot has already happened and they have definitely started looking into the direction of using data and analytics, essentially, to be able to take the best steps for helping citizens.

BW CIO: Since the Government of Rajasthan is working with an IT organization, it needs to adopt anything that can benefit them out of the usage of technology. However, success, in this case, is possible only when the actual end users get to leverage the benefits of the data that gets generated. Do you see that development?

Souma: That is, in fact, the model which they are trying to roll out. Earlier, all the developers and organizations were working independently and there was no easy way to integrate their work. But with this initiative, we have brought all of them on a single platform so that they can co-relate. Now each citizen will have a singular map and a lot of fraud can be uncovered by this. This is when the benefit to the end customer actually starts reaching because of the removal of middlemen, corruption and fraud. This is the biggest reason why they have taken this initiative. They have the data and analytic strategy to pinpoint challenges and take decisions, channelize revenue, funds and projects.

BW CIO: How relevant is the role of big data and data warehousing with the significant escalation of data?

Souma: It is extremely relevant. In mature industries such as BFSI, they already have strategies around data warehousing and big data. But there is change happening there as well because of the way people are using data these days. Wherein, if you look into the government's digitization initiative, there is a significant transformation that is happening. I think that these are all long drawn processes. Like any other government, ours will possibly be even more complex but there is definitely huge focus on it. We keep hearing every day about initiatives around Artificial Intelligence. But how can anybody apply any kind of intelligence if they do not have managed data available to them?

Yes, there is a definitive proliferation of big data happening all across and even in government as we are hearing a lot of new initiatives coming up every now and then. But at the end of the day, you can apply analytics only when you have integrated data assets being created. However, if you really want to build a transformed environment then people need to be able to talk in a collaborative fashion. That means you need a single version of the truth to do analytics and it is going to be beneficial. It is not a short journey, it is going to be a long journey for any industry and government obviously is more complex to take forward.

BW CIO: Are companies in India aware of the benefits of big data analytics?

Andrew: The customers with whom we talk are definitely aware. We specifically target those segments of a market or industry that have got large-scale analytical challenges or data management problems. That is where our strength lies. In particular to India, what has really impressed me in my last few visits here is the Government’s focus. We do a lot of work around the world. I got personally surprised by their work here.

For instance, what we initially expected here was the need of a thought process. But the good thing about the team that we are working within Rajasthan is that they are really progressive and they are taking best practices in the application. There are a lot of newer use cases on which we have been working with them and we ourselves are finding it very surprising that these are the lines on which they are thinking on.



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