How IBM is catalyzing the growth of Indian startups
This article is sponsored by IBM Bluemix
India is running a dream run of startups and their growth fueling country’s economy. The number(contribution to GDP) might not be significant at the stage, but the massive support ecosystem and positivity is set to increase this exponentially. With thousands of startups spread across Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad and many more emerging from tier-2/3 cities of India, the ecosystem is attracting the interest of the technology giants to become a part of the story. It’s a win-win situation for both as one hand startups benefit from the wide experience(from working with Silicon Valleystartups) and on another, these technology platforms become a part of the success story.
With the massive growth of technology startups, India has become a major hotspot for developers as well. A study by Evans Data Corp suggests that, with 2.75 million developers, India is currently ranked as the country with the second-highest number of developers, behind the US with 3.6 million. However, by 2018, India will have 5.2 million developers, a nearly 90 percent increase, and is expected to surpass the US. The presence of a strong developer community is fueling the startup environment in India.
Cloud has played an important role in the growth of technology startups and in taking solutions to masses. Recently, one of new entrants in this domain is IBM with IBM Cloud. In a short span of time, several startups across India are tapping into IBM cloud to run critical applications and grow their businesses. Both IBM Bluemix, a hybrid cloud development platform and SoftLayer, a cloud infrastructure platform, have received a good response in terms of adoption from Indian startups.
IBM’s total cloud revenue---covering public, private and hybrid engagements---was $7.7 billion over the previous 12 months at the end of March 2015; it grew more than 60 percent in first quarter 2015. IBM’s cloud delivered as a service business, a subset of the total, includes the Bluemix platform and SoftLayer’s infrastructure offerings.
Some of the important features of IBM cloud includes:
- Enabling startups to do more with limited resources and budgets.
- With SoftLayer, startups can begin on a small scale and then expand rapidly to meet workload demands without having to worry about large investments in infrastructure development.
- As flexibility and agility are of utmost priorities for any start-up, IBM cloud solutions can help them innovate at a faster pace, enrich user experience and build affordable business models.
Clematix, Ecoziee Marketing, Goldstar Healthcare and Vtiger are some of the startups hosting their applications on SoftLayer. Sadanand Reddy, Managing Director, Goldstar Healthcare. PVT Ltd. says,
“We wanted to begin the transition to cloud business model to host our healthcare solutions. Being in the healthcare industry, it is critical that our services and solutions are easily accessible and available for a larger set of audience without any disruption.”
Enterprises in India are gradually using cloud based technologies to improve performance across applications and workloads. It also gives customers capability to preserve on-premise control of key applications and while shifting other workloads to the cloud for quick access to data, growth of new services and cost reductions. With IBM cloud, businesses now have the ability to more quickly re-architect existing and new services to grow and expand their businesses.
Vivek Malhotra, Cloud Leader, IBM India/ South Asia says,
“IBM has a deep commitment to the entrepreneurial community and working closely with start-ups across the world. IBM’s cloud services give start-ups the required edge to compete and thrive in a challenging market place. We are excited to work with such amazing organizations and contribute to their growth”
IBM launched Bluemix with a $1 billion investment in 2014, maturing quickly to become the largest Cloud Foundry deployment in the world. Bluemix provides access to over 100 tools and services of the most prominent open-source technologies combined with IBM and third-party services that let developers focus all of their energy on the creation of enterprise class cloud applications at consumer scale.
Bluemix offers a developer-friendly catalog based on open standards, portability and choice. Yipeedo, WolkenSoft, KlickDoc, and Opteamize Cloud Solutions Private Limited are among some of the startups who’re using IBM’s platform-as-a-service, Bluemix, as the platform of choice to build their cloud applications. Srinath Ranga, Founder, Opteamize Cloud Solutions Private Limited says,
“As a start-up, we need app development platforms that are fast, secured, and easy to use. IBM has a deep understanding of the start-up environment and is helping us create a market differentiation through its cloud based solutions. Bluemix, with cutting edge features like deep analytics or cognitive capabilities, makes apps a lot more innovative and interesting for our audiences,”
Since launching Bluemix, IBM has engaged with over one million developers across India, including thousands of startups, incubators and accelerators, via 15 hackathons run by IBM Cloud and Bluemix meet-ups held throughout the country. IBM has also created eight co-working spaces where IBM Cloud experts drive weekly office hours across Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai and Pune to mentor and guide developers from start-ups.
“Based on open source, Bluemix helps startups get a single development and management experience across any combination of public, dedicated and local Bluemix instances. Even if clients have existing infrastructure setups or APIs, they can securely connect those to Bluemix for a hybrid solution.”
Last October, IBM announced an expansion of its global cloud network with a new cloud center in Mumbai. The Mumbai center further expanded IBM's global cloud footprint, which includes centers in Raleigh, N.C., London, Amsterdam, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Melbourne, Toronto and Dallas.
The services offered by this service centre guarantee customers' up-times of 99.99 percent across any IT environment, including traditional IT, public, private or hybrid cloud deployments. In the event of an outage, the center's support team can recover data in minutes to ensure that it has little-to-no impact on business operations while going virtually unseen by customers.
Lingraju Sawkar, director of Integrated Technology Services in Global Technology Services for IBM India/ South Asia says,
"This new Mumbai center is IBM's latest investment to create the most extensive global network of cloud facilities in the industry to help clients expand globally with cloud and tackle data sovereignty issues. Through this new center, we are able to help usher businesses into the cloud era while delivering the levels of security that allow them to experience the benefits of this new environment and ensure they remain protected."
In addition, IBM has committed to opening a new cloud center in Chennai, India, by the end of this year.
Catalyst Startup Program
IBM has been committed to the overall development of the startup community and runs several visionary programs to help them establish their business. Catalyst Startup Program and IBM Global Entrepreneur programs are few such initiatives which help emerging companies to harness the power of IBM cloud, as well as connect them into IBM’s vast global network of clients, consultants, innovation centers, and developers.
Like programs offered by other cloud infrastructure providers, Catalyst offers one year of free cloud computing services to promising young startups. But Joshua Krammes, an evangelist at IBM SoftLayer who runs the Catalyst program for startups and his team often offer more personalized attention as well. The Catalyst program was launched in 2011. Today it has about 800 participants and 500 graduates—the vast majority of them now paying SoftLayer customers. So Catalyst is both an incubator for born-on-the cloud companies and a feeder for Softlayer’s business.