BT India MD Sudhir Narang: what is in stock for 2012

The global economic landscape is changing; India has evolved to be a key engine
of growth for the world economy. Economic power is moving from developed to emerging
economies from West to East as we witness more companies expands both regionally and

This should be the decade of the Asian multinational and BT will be there to
assist as they

In today’s highly connected and competitive world, being at the forefront of
communications is one of the most critical factors for business success, especially when
operating in an international marketplace. Successful business transformations require an
increased focus on IT to enable businesses to adapt to market changes and reduce operational
costs. So in a climate where the next change is around the corner and the pace of
technological changeshows no signs of fading, businesses must react quickly or risk falling behind
the competition,a fate no organization wishes to fall victim to.

Demand for network based IT services continues to evolve with customers
increasinglyseeking to unify their communications. They continue to want their networked IT
servicesdelivered securely, efficiently and globally.

And with this evolving importance of IT, CIO’s are looking to understand how IT
innovationscan enable collaboration across geographies, time zones and devices under a
singlecommunications infrastructure. In addition to technology leadership and
expertise, CIOshave a critical role to play in navigating complex business strategies,
undertaking costbenefit analyses and risk management profiles to deliver professional service
excellence;thus forming a core part of the management team taking a mission critical role
to play.

The geo-political situation, regulatory issues and the limitations of the
infrastructure mean itcan be a challenge doing business in India. And I think that’s where BT really
stands out asa neutral provider. We can stand above domestic problems and choose the best
technologyand the best services for our customers. We know the ground. We know how things

For example, if a multi-national company wants to set up shop in India, our
team of expertscan advise them on local regulations and compliances. Large companies don’t
always know
about network compliance issues.

We help customers design their network in full compliance with local
regulations, help themprepare their business applications and also help them get the approvals they need
to getstarted. We’re reliable too. For instance, we have multimedia hosted contact
centres outsideIndia, located in diverse geographies so our services won’t be affected by

They’re based in different countries so even if the main platform is affected,
the back-up isalways available from another location.

2011 – The year that was…

The test of any technology is the value it delivers to the business, whether it
means saving costs or helping our people become more productive. Each of our organisations
today defines Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) in slightly different

We witnessed steep acceleration in the market at the take-up of UCC, which is
driven by the existence of much stronger business cases to justify the investment in this

Another factor that is speeding up the adoption of UCC capability today is the
availability of utility based pricing, or pay-as-you-go options.

This is especially important in India, which comprises a vast array of states
and cultures,with many at different stages of technology development and adoption. The
growing influence in the work place of the new generation of digital natives” (also
known as Gen
Y”) adds to the comfort level when using platforms such as Microsoft Lync, that
offers a wide range of connectivity options such as voice, email, instant messaging,
conferencing, file and application sharing, online discussion groups. It’s the age of optimal

Further, conversations around transitioning to the cloud are driving CIO’s to
understand which services they should place in the cloud, which should be kept on-premise
and which to combine. In the area of cloud services, hybrid models are emerging that
combine multiple
cloud offerings, provide more tailored services, more integrated security and
better service level agreements. It is also possible to combine private clouds and existing
on-premise services, with those located in the public cloud. The advantage is that CIO’s
can then
view technology investments as a stage in a progressive migration path that
focuses on strategic business needs, rather than a huge upfront cost. In effect, CIOs can
break down big decisions into smaller, less risky ones.

India is well ahead of the curve in being able to deploy cloud based solutions
because of its high-speed bandwidth, competitive telecom environment and affordable
prices. It is just about the best market in Asia for the adoption of business communication
services due to
the maturity, infrastructure and agility.

Way forward 2012…

The two rising mega trends that we see for the coming year are the rise of
corporate video conferencing and our new offering of BYOD.

The opportunity to make business decisions faster, tackle issues immediately,
and enable work to proceed without the shackles of distance can transform business
processes – especially when conferencing is used as a component of unified

Applications can interrogate presence databases directly, eliminating the
middleman. With a clear view of who is available when, they can schedule calls automatically,
another cause of delay.

Video-based technologies are rapidly gaining prominence in the suite of Unified Communications. Over the last decade, conferencing technologies have evolved to
cover a wide spectrum of business needs, from one on one video chats through freely
software like Skype to high-end business conferencing solutions like Tele
Presence exchanges, that are increasingly being used as revenue generation tools. We see
a lot more adoption and investments in these technologies.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – Employees have begun embracing the trend of
bringing their own smartphones, tablets and other forms of technological devices to the

This is inevitable. While the jury is still out, virtualisation has made
corporate networks accessible to multiple users from across multiple devices and technologies.

There will be issues while IT departments are worried about security, general
counsels are nervous about things like privacy. Organisations have the right to monitor
anyone who connects to their business network, regardless of whose device they are using.

Resistance to BYOD is not an option as it’s bound to take place and we must be prepared
for it.

What was…will remain.

The role of Indian CIO’s is changing – they seek greater autonomy and more
global influence in terms of decision-making, but they also face the pressure to keep
up with the speed and complexity of growth here while managing risks and costs. Having a
foothold in the region therefore means that we understand the local environment
and are well placed to respond to increasing and changing CIO requirements for
innovation and

Based on the successful execution of our Asia Pacific investment programme, IDC
has recognised BT’s achievements in the region and moved us further up in the
leader’s quadrant, which clearly reinforces BT as a leader in the Asia Pacific market.

Our customers value us as a partner that operates globally and delivers locally
with a commitment to help them succeed. We are firmly committed to becoming the number
one provider of networked IT services as we continue to invest in the customer
capability and innovation, in India as well as in other high growth economies
around the world.

By Sudhir Narang, MD, BT India
[email protected]