Coverage by Bhat Dittakavi of Variance.AI on Cloud Panel
T-HUB amazes me every time. Most of their panel sessions bring out deep insights. Though this is a panel on cloud, it gave insights for attending Startups on matters beyond cloud. Prashant’s talk put the audience on cloud 9, literally 🙂
Moderator: Ramesh Rao
Panelist 1) Prashant Jain from Ctrl-S (Largest tier 4 data center in Asia). Mumbai data center is the size of inorbit mall. We are 9 year old. We host firms like digital ocean and Amazon. We got 3000 customers in India. We have presence in 17 countries. Sridhar Reddy is founder.
Panelist 2) Yuktesh from IBM Global Entrepreneur Program (GEP)
Last couple of years in GEP.
Moderator) How many Non-THUB Startups are here?
Moderator) Please share why you are here?
Rahul from Nocturnal) We use Amazon EC2. Looking to see CNN performance and security.
Q) Dropbox moved out of AWS. Why?
Q) Government says all the data has to reside in India as against the servers in USA. (Geo-fencing, regulations)
Q) PaaS or IaaS with Ctrl-S
Q) Cloud as post-paid?
Q) Vincent 91Springboard
Q) Harshaja and Rohit from MTW Labs. Want to build a devapps community.
Q) Ganesh: Workshops in engineering colleges with emerging technologies.
Q) Robin from Invesco (regulations)
Ramesh Rao) Define cloud?
Prashant) Virtualization it was. Notion is not new. I spend 10 lakhs per month on Google ad words and a sense. You see infra being sold as cloud based, email hosts are also called cloud provider. Cloud computing has become anything that is non-locally scalable in computing. All the local providers like Tally moved to SaaS model, switching from perpetual to time based selling.
Microsoft moved from 5 year license to pay per user base to pay per user per month. Their sales team got berserk to collect based on utility base. All subscription businesses called themselves as cloud. IaaS, PaaS, SaaS are all cloud.
Box sellers such as HP moved from Capex intense to Opex. It is normal extension from moving from upfront to time based payment.
AWS charges based on 99 parameters such as
Incoming bandwidth and Outcome bandwidth. Amazon changed pricing 72 times. Ctrl-S don’t have that many parameters. They make it a habit first and then charge you in different ways.
Ctrl-S keeps it simple. Infrastructure as a service must be the basic cloud essence.
YukteshPay as you go. Moving from on-promise code building to cloud based development. Now we have 10 runtime available (Phone, python, ruby and so on)x You save time and capital. 
Ramesh) Virtualized means elastic. Reduction in complexity and increase in agility.
Ramesh Rao Q) Adoption in India? Legal issues? Energy consumption challenge?
Prashant) ISVs (independent software vendors) are our early customers. 

They were afraid of getting the data out. Slowly they accepted but didn’t trust enough. NAC RBI rules enforce them to keep the data here. Issue is on privacy and security and national boundary, these drive our bruises. We solved it through campaign “come home to India for low latency 6 times faster). Compliance through local servers. Indian timezone. Local support. These three worked like magic. Amazon got no choice around compliance. We got a lot of business like that. We replicated this in 17 countries. All the middle east. Cloud pops in those countries. Our cloud is based out of your country. Compliance cloud! It worked. We are a global company. Cloud is global. Yet we get called local company 🙂 
Global Google mail is OK but HR and finance data has to be local 🙂 Tell the customers you host in his country. 
CDN: faster. Banks and airlines keep in India. 
What is my value for the product? What is the soul of the product? 
Q) How do you do SaaS pricing?
I asked Siddharth Reddy of Zoho. He said initially he started eith core 5 features a CRM product just have. He charged the customers low enough that the proceeds are 20% above the cost to survive till the next release. 
Q) Cloud security?
Cloud security is a myth. I told CEO of a big bank that Bookmyshow app can see the OTP of his bank. All the OTPs go to the same folder. He couldn’t believe and got his IT bigwig validate my statement. 
Q) Trust?
Trust boundaries are being pushed. Build the brand so big through marketing efforts that the brand brings trust and new customers. 
Q) Storage on mobile app?
In the old days people wanted their company to come up as first link kn search results. Now people want their app to stay longer on the mobile phones. Goggle can’t fit anything. You can have max 100 apps on your mobile. Digital junk is a problem.
Q) Digital Junk?
Storage has gone up with falling prices. Yet you see a new iPhone with 1TB storage very soon. Thanks to China for miniaturization. Digital junk is a huge problem now a days. Everything gets pushed on to the cloud. Literally 10000 copies of the same book are filling the entire library. Look at the forwards that we forward. Facebook won’t tell you but as you increase your data they compress the files more and more. 
Q) Advise to Startups?
Stay focused on solution. 
Q) Another bubble?
We have seen first wave of the bubble bust during  dot com. Wrbsites with total dog food estimates that is greater than what the entire dog market needs were funded 10s of millions. Party time for them. 
Q) Free Offerings?
Free is only one time. Value is everytime. Offer value and charge the customer. Give good enough features as free to let them taste. Then charge them good enough for  additional features so they stick with you. 
Q) Selfie culture?
Everyone likes selfie. I am spiritual. Self love is better than selfie love.
Q) Hybrid models?
Companies are sitting on the fence. Go public completely onto the cloud or stay in house and private. You can’t be in between. This has Ben the  problem with companies for the past 4 years I see. I see trouble bring here in this best of both worlds can of hybrid model which is really worst thing.
Q) Investments?
I don’t invest. I don’t like to invest. Yet SaaS Startups tempt me. Scaling is magical for SaaS Startups with good idea. Go for SaaS.
Q) Service or product?
We are service company. We do whatever customer wants. Then we decided to have two different units. Product unit and service unit. This model helped us. Even CEO of IBM told me they can’t figure whether are service or product company. Product relesse guy tells me,to tell th  customer he can’t deliver by deadline. I was in the middle. With two units now, I am,more on th  product side. For every product we have 1000 managed services members. We got 1₹ product segments and corresponding managed services.
We tell the prospect you don’t have to work with many groups of your cloud provider. Many MVP (Managed Service Provider). Come to Ctrl-S where we take care of everything with one pair of contact (Infra to App). One service MSP. It works.
We keep the product separate from the service and charge the customer separately. This helps us not compromise on our product yet cusomize it for that one customer at additional cost. 
Q) Challenge?
We have a last mile hurdle. IPV4 is really bringing the limitation on number of IPs available in the world. This is our last mile hurdle.
Q) Timing?
I believe too early means you are done and dusted and too late means done and dusted. You shall ride along the timing wave.
Q) Your name is Ctrl-S. save. How do you help environment?
Our board looks at customer satisfaction ratio and PUE. PUE is the ratio of Power to run the data centre to the Power to cool the data centre. We got the best PUE of 1.42. Noone can beat us. 


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