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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

July - 2008 - issue > Company Spotlight

3i Infotech: Pioneering the IMS Arena

Jayakishore Bayadi
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Jayakishore Bayadi
When Manoj Appully conceived the idea many IT companies in the U.S.A. were optimizing their operational costs using strategies like offshore delivery model or global delivery model, and a large chunk of money was spent on optimally managing IT infrastructure. About 45 percent of total operational cost of these companies was on hardware, software, data center operations, and application development or management. Appully, who envisioned the huge market opportunity for Infrastructure Management Services (IMS), which remains untapped, formed Lanterncorp, now a part of 3i Infotech, in 2001, with corporate office in Georgia in the U.S.A. Once he started, there was no looking back for him.

Lanterncorp was able to grow within a short time from a small services firm to a corporation with over $9 million in revenue. A niche player in Infrastructure Optimization Services (IOS), it utilizes a methodology based on industry leading technologies and is supporting and optimizing enterprise scale applications like Oracle 11/11i eBusiness suite, Peoplesoft, Siebel, Remedy, and Mercator. Now, a proud Manoj Appully, President, Infrastructure Management Services, 3i Infotech, U.S.A, says, “We managed to develop a very comprehensive frame work in terms of virtualizing, consolidating, and creating a shared infrastructure platform. Our niche approach uses industry standard methods, and an automated data capture to model and access the existing resources, perform capacity planning for today, tomorrow, and for future needs.” Hence, when 3i Infotech was searching for a niche player in this segment, to foray into IMS space, it acquired Lanterncorp in March 2007.
3i Infotech offers several infrastructure management services like data center optimization, Green IT, and business service management, which are always in the forefront of every CIO or COO’s mind. “We expect that our infrastructure management services would enable 3i Infotech to go back to our existing clients base and offer wide ranging solutions to enhance the productivity and go beyond offshore or global delivery model to achieve the competitive operational cost efficiency and per employee productivity. Importantly, our ability to partner with our clients and execute the transformational services will definitely add value to 3i Infotech’s offerings,” observes Appully.

However, if we go back to BPO history in India, when Indian IT services players began their BPO offerings, though they believed that they would succeed in bringing their existing customers to their BPO section as well, it proved wrong. They were compelled to bring in new customers to survive. Hence there is a concern, whether the history will repeat here as well. Explains Appully, “What was lacking in services like BPO or global delivery model was the transformational capability, where we partner with our clients to bring in the productivity enhancement. We believe that since 3i Infotech is offering a matured and proven technology to their customers, and as partnership model based transformational services are gaining momentum nowadays, the company is achieving traction from their existing customers in this space.” The Transformation In the new era of technology business, 3i Infotech quickly realized that betting on transformational deals would contribute to its mission to increase its footprint in IMS arena. It is very interesting to know about how the company carried out transformational deal for one of its Fortune 100 telecommunications firms in the U.S.A. When this firm decided to focus on improving customer retention by better understanding their customer base and buying patterns for their DSL-Broadband services, whose customer data was scattered across multiple disparate applications, with over 40 million customers, 80,000 employees, and more than 40 operating entities, it needed a partner who could ensure seamless delivery of the enterprise data warehouse and guarantee performance of the system.

They chose 3i Infotech to take up the task. With such a gigantic setup, it was a true challenge to provide a centralized view of each customer. The environment consisted of four Oracle Datamarts that were each 200GB in size. These were fed by CRM, Billing, Product-Promotions, and Sales compensation applications. Data extracted from this had to be fed into a 1.7 TB Sybase environment containing 27 database instances. “The goal was to combine customer information from these disparate sources, to provide a better understanding of customer trends and requirement for custom presentation of the data,” says Appully. For this purpose they used Informatica Power Center tools.
Next, 3i Infotech used its open IOS framework that enables companies to deploy solution components in a containerized fashion to move enterprise IT, one step closer to the utility computing paradigm. One of the key benefits of such a deployment process is the ability to increase server usage by stacking disparate components on the same shared infrastructure. “Server utilization drive ups considerably reduced the cost of operation since the IOS framework easily provides the virtualization needed at every layer. This helps decouple the application stack from the infrastructure and brings in a new flexibility to run anywhere in a cluster and thus reuse and repurpose the same servers for true multi-environments,” explicates Appully. The result was awesome; now, the customer saves about $350,000 annually.
Interestingly, unlike top virtualization solution providers like Vmware or Citrix, which saw the concept of virtualization from a device specific mode of view, 3i Infotech pioneered the concept of virtualization from an application center point of view, where ultimately application is the one that is consumed by the business.

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