“Cloud computing is more cost effective than traditional computing”
Is Nivio online computing ushering an era of cloud computing?
Yes, just as we transitioned from the typewriter to the PC a few decades ago, we have now begun a transition from the PC to the cloud. Nivio is ideally placed to take advantage of this transition. This fact is also recognized by the World Economic Forum, which has earmarked Nivio as a tech pioneer for 2009.
What are the advantages of online computing over the traditional computing?
All data is stored and backed up on the cloud. The user doesn’t need to worry about losing this data if, for example, her traditional machine crashes.
· Remote Access: Access your personalized Window’s online desktop from any broadband-enabled computer and soon any broadband-enabled device.
· Saas Model: Rent software OnDemand via a convenient pay as you go model. Cost effective plus no need to download/install any software.
· No Software Conflict – Runs different versions of the same software (Excel 2003 and Excel 2007) on the same machine.
· Enhanced Security and Privacy – All data is encrypted and its security is guaranteed by Nivio.
· Fully Managed PC – Enjoy the power of computing without any of the hassles. For example, Nivio protects against viruses and spams without the need for any action at the user’s end.
· Obsolescence: Never goes out of date.
How do you do away with the comfort of the on-premise computing platform?
On-premise is last generation – why? Because a centralized highly scaled 24 x 7 monitored service is far more stable than a local “generator”.
Online computing is all about broadband. Given the fact that the Indian broadband connectivity penetration is very low, what is your take on the success of this model?
Broadband penetration is definitely low in India. However, there are still enough Internet access points to make this model attractive. Moreover, broadband penetration is projecgted to increase significantly in India over the next decade, which will make this model even more attractive.
Lastly, the emergence of a thin client computing device like the nivioCompanion, that supports the SaaS/DAAS model, is likely to contribute to broadband penetration: Airtel expects a significant proportion of its voice customer base to upgrade to broadband when it is bundled with the nivioCompanion.
What is your go-to-market strategy in India?
Unlike the developed world, where direct marketing is the most efficient GTM strategy for Internet-related services, India requires a much more brick-and-mortar GTM strategy. Hence, our GTM strategy has been to tie up with Indian corporate giants with whom we have natural synergies (Airtel, Videocon, Next and Planet M) and leverage their strong and extensive distribution channels. For example, we have partnered with Airtel to sell our services to Airtel’s broadband subscriber base. This gives Nivio immediate access to 1.5 million potential customers.
What are the challenges you face in the market?
In our opinion, the main challenge lies in the messaging: cloud computing is more cost effective and convenient than traditional computing. However, at present, users do not fully understand cloud computing and do not fully appreciate its benefits. Developing effective product messaging that tackles these two issues is the biggest challenge we face.
Which are the markets you are successful in?
The WEF award has opened many doors for us in the rest of the world. We are at an advanced stage of discussion to bundle our services with a carrier in Belgium and also in South Africa. These partnerships would be structured similar to our partnership with Airtel.
What are the verticals are you targeting and where you have gained maximum foothold?
We are focussed on small business and consumer. We have had a lot of interest from enterprises, but we take these on a case-by-case basis. Traction in such an early stage is difficult to gauge, but we have close-to 100k sign-ups to our service in the last three months.
Very recently, you have tied up with Airtel and Microsoft. Can you update on the progress?
We have an agreement with MSFT that allows us to license MSFT products to end-users on a monthly basis. By using our technological architecture and we have effectively SaaS-enabled Microsoft’s product: people within MFST have called Nivio the world’s first SaaS enablement centre. We have recently struck similar agreements with other leading vendors of Software. Our activities with Airtel fall into a variety of GTM projects.
A successful pilot programme for the Kiosk project has already been completed: Airtel and Nivio jointly launched 50 nivioCompanion-equipped kiosks, the bulk of which are in Gurgaon. There were some teething problems, but these have now been adequately addressed. Together, we plan to roll out projects nationally.
What is the potential of online computing in India in terms of value?
PC penetration is still low in India as computers are prohibitively expensive. Intriguingly, there are almost twice as many Internet access points in India as there are computers. This shows a clear demand for computing services in India, a demand that is not being met at present due to the cost barrier. In our opinion, online computing (Nivio’s TCO is 70% lower than that of a legal software-based PC and 40% lower than that of an “illegal” software-based PC) will break this cost barrier and bring the power of computing to the masses. Thus, the potential is huge.
What is your plan of action for the next six months?
During the next six months, we plan to focus on successfully executing the partnerships that we already have in place with Airtel, Videocon, Next and Planet M. Once we achieve this, we will look for additional strategic partners, both in India and overseas.