India to be looked upon for Cloud Computing: Ballmer
Besides Microsoft, software companies like Amazon, Google and AT&T as well as smaller firms like Rackspace and Terremark are adopting measures to convince enterprises to switch to computer capacity rather than building and managing data centres.
Ballmer is emphasizing the importance of the company's cloud services platform Azure, where people can use applications from email to payroll systems hosted online. Microsoft believes India will move directly to the cloud, much like it surpassed the landline revolution that never happened and leapt to mobile phones.
Quoting a study by Zinnov Management Consulting, Microsoft said that, India will seed 3 lakh jobs in five years if it champions the transition. There will be jobs in areas like Cloud consulting, enabling software as a service, integrating offerings like Azure with IBM's Blue Cloud or salesforce.com's customer applications on cloud, and creating new applications.
Microsoft already has more than 600 customers for its cloud services, but wants to win over its rivals following the announcement of Apple as the world's biggest technology firm in terms of market value, more than a decade after he took over its reins. Ballmer also noted that India is among the top five or six countries in terms of talent and market potential.
Cloud computing would serve as a catalyst for IT adoption in India. "We are successful at exporting IT services and talent. But when it comes to using technology domestically, we are quite poor," said Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India.
"There isn't much use of computers and technology in schools, homes, government offices or by the more than 4 million small and medium businesses, even then this is changing and cloud will be a huge catalyst in enabling this wave of IT adoption because of the affordability factor", Venkatesan said.
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