The Fine Print on TCS iON Cloud Offering RevealedAdded 14th Mar 2011
TCS’ Global Head for Small and Medium Business, Venguswamy Ramaswamy, has unveiled details of its iON cloud computing service.
The service, which launched on 15th February, 2011, is being touted as the world’s first truly end-to-end cloud service offering for SMBs. It provides start-ups and SMBs with IT infrastructure from desktop hardware to office applications and from enterprise applications (like payroll) all the way up to business analytics.
Ramaswamy said the SMB offering was aimed at companies upto Rs 500 crore or about 1,500 employees. He added that 95 percent of Indian companies were SMBs and 60 percent didn’t have any ICT infrastructure.
Ramaswamy estimated that iON will lower IT TCO by between 35 percent to 40 percent.
The service, which has a 24x7 helpline, already has over 150 customers claims Ramaswamy, including well-known brands like Kaya Skin Clinic, G.K. Vale, and Ginger Hotels.
The service is being pushed in India via 90 “cloud service partners”, said Ramaswamy.
Interestingly, Ramaswamy added that TCS was also providing networking services (from its datacenter to the client), because it wanted to deliver end-to-end services.
But for SMBs eager to unshackle their IT headaches and jump on TCS’s iON cloud, here are a few details they need to watch out for.
- Time lock-in. TCS is asking for a three-year lock in for the service. Although Ramaswamy said that they have not instituted a penalty system for companies that want out earlier, they will have to give TCS a valid reason.
But Ramaswamy also added that TCS will provide exiting customers with data formatted in a way that’s easily readable, countering one of the important fears CIOs have before moving to a cloud.
- Offering lock-in. The iON offering is built in six layers and SMBs buying into it have to buy into the entire stack from day one--whether they need certain services or not.
Here is a list of iON’s different levels, also available on the TCS site
Layer 1: Hardware: Desktops, Laptops, POS devices.
Layer 2: Network: LAN, WAN, Routers, Internet
Layer 3: Common Office Apps: Messaging, Office management, Intranet management
Layer 4: Common Business Apps: CRM, Payroll, HR management systems, Finance and Accounting
Layer 5: Vertical Core Apps: POS, Inventory Management (apps that are specific to verticals that TCS is targeting including retail, manufacturing, wellness, and education
Layer 6: Niche Vertical Applications: Business Analytics
Asked whether an SMB customer could only buy into layer 1 to layer 3 services, for example, Ramaswamy said, “We are not targeting them (companies that don’t want the entire stack).”
- Upfront fee. As a “token of their commitment”, Ramaswamy said that SMBs who want to be part of the iON cloud need to pay an upfront fee equivalent to two months worth of subscription fees.
- Multiple payment models. Ramaswamy said that TCS is still working out a standard payment model. Currently, they have a few models including share of revenue and monthly subscription.
- Only four verticals. Currently, iON is only offering services to four verticals including manufacturing, retail (including POS devices), education and wellness.
Ramaswamy added that the business, which has been spun off into a unit by itself, expects to have over 1,000 customers this year and to hit $1 billion in revenues in five years.
According to TCS research, iON addresses a market that’s growing at 24 percent (ICT growth in SMBs)--that’s three times the growth rate of ICT in large enterprises. The current size of IT market for Indian SMBs is $11.9 billion and will hit $48.9 billion by 2015.
University researchers have developed a technique that governments and Internet service providers could use to bypass secured Internet connections and gather valuable personal information.
For this month's "Patch Tuesday" round of bug fixes, Microsoft has focused on correcting multiple vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer (IE), including one that is already being used in targeted attacks.
Latest research by BAE Systems Applied Intelligence has shed more light on the Snake cyber espionage toolkit.
Hewlett-Packard has found some success with a platform, called Aurasma, that provides augmented reality services to portable devices.
Huawei's enterprise unit has launched the FusionCube for high-end HANA systems and will also work with SAP on products for areas such as enterprise mobility.
People who plan to run Windows XP after Microsoft pulls the patch plug should dump Internet Explorer (IE) and replace it with a different browser, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) said Monday.
Aviation experts have cited multiple possible reasons for the problems in the multi-country effort to locate the Malaysia Airlines jetliner that dropped off the grid over the South China Sea four days ago.
A wearable ring device, called Fin, developed by a 23-year-old Indian is the latest sensation in wearables.
As a company that draws more than 2 billion eyeballs per month, Facebook was a fitting harbinger of trends to come at an optical networking conference.
SAP has joined forces with the German national soccer team ahead of the World Cup in Brazil to showcase what analytics powered by its HANA platform can do to improve performance.
The fourth quarter of 2013 was when cyber crime became a reality for more people than ever before, a McAfee report has found.
The Cloud offers cost benefits that may rival traditional datacentre deployments, though Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) said it is not without its risks.
"There are four critical questions every enterprise and IT administrator should ask when considering file sharing services," says Adam Gordon, author of "Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK, Third Edition ((ISC)2 Press)." These include: Where will the service store and share files? Who will view the files? How will the service protect the files? And, what types of files will the service permit in the storage system? If a service provider doesn't respond satisfactorily, CISOs should consider their options.
Apple has released iOS 7.1, with an array of visual tweaks, some bug fixes, and an option that lets users turn off the so-called "parallax effect" that creates an illusion of changing perspective, and hence motion, in the radically redesigned user interface.
Encryption technologies can be a powerful tool against government surveillance, but the most effective techniques are still largely out of reach to the average Internet user, Edward Snowden said Monday.