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'Our Strategy In India Is To Align Globally But Act Locally'

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Shibu Paul, Country Manager, India, Middle East and ASEAN at Array Networks, recently visited Delhi. In an exclusive interview with BW | Businessworld Online's Poonam Kumar, he spoke about the product line of Array Networks and how WAN optimisation works in the system.

Can you describe the security division of Array Networks and its role in the growth of the company?
We started our journey in 2008 end. We were nine years too late in entering the market. In 2008, we were supporting largely US customers like Oracle. In 2009, we started our media operations and sales operation. Though we are a very American company, we realise the need to go local. Most of the companies (IT companies) we deal with have great influence in the Indian market. We are looking into local sales and marketing strategies.

Most of the solutions we offer in the market have security at the foundation level — our application delivery controller, which has application firewall, SSL tunneling and acceleration or our SSL VPN-based application gateway solution. We also have highly secure mobility solution for remote access called MotionPro. It allows customers to log in to their desktop or applications from any devise anytime and anywhere. Moreover, it restricts users from downloading data out of their corporate network. Another solution we are offering in the market is the web-application firewall which secures the application from attacks like DDoS, which is not prevented by a network firewall. Security hence is a part of all our product offering and so an inherent part of our growth story.

Cloud computing is the next big thing. Everyone is going for the cloud computing these days. Do you have any new offerings for cloud service providers?
Array was one of the first ADC (Application Delivery Controllers) vendors to offer virtual ADC solutions in the market. We have launched AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions) range of solutions on ADC. All our solutions namely application delivery controllers, application gateway and WAN Optimisation are today available in the virtual form factor.

In the cloud, Array's multi-tenant and virtual application delivery controllers provide the management integration and flexible pricing models infrastructure service providers (IaaS) need to profitably offer load balancing as a service.

And in the enterprise - where tablets and smart phones are popping up everywhere - Array enables applications running on office PCs and laptops to be securely delivered to mobile devices. With Array, businesses can get mobile today using existing infrastructure and transition to HTML5 and native applications on their own terms.

What is your strategy & growth plans for India?

Our strategy in India is to align globally but think and act locally. We will adapt to the local markets that have a clear plan in place for garnering the local market share. Our sales, marketing, channel management strategies will think and act like we are a local company and close to our customer wherever he may be. Also we will be focusing our energies on a few verticals rather than spreading too thin. Some of the verticals we see good traction for ADC are government, BFSI, telecom etc.

What are your future plans? What is your projected revenue for the coming year on a half-yearly basis?
Our immediate plan is to be among the top three OEMs in our product segment. Our growth has been in 3 digits for the last two years and the momentum will continue. We are strengthening our enterprise team and focus in India.

How do you approach government and banks?

We work at the customer level at a very initial stages understanding their pain points and working with our channel to develop a comprehensive solution. We have separate teams which work in central government projects as well as state government projects since we are empanelled OEM in the government.

Please brief us about the product/software line of Array Networks and how does it work for the channel partners?

I have already mentioned application delivery controllers. Array APV Series application delivery controllers address the challenges faced by enterprise, service provider and public sector organisations in the areas of application and cloud service delivery.

For instance, if a server has a long queue, our job is to search which server has a shorter queue and send you to that server. We call application delivery controllers the intelligence in-between. Similarly, in a data centre, loads of data come in and my product can take the pressure from the server.

Our second solution is the Access Gateway. Secure access gateways centralise control over access to business critical resources, providing security for data in motion and at rest and enforce application level policies on a per user basis. So I will be the gateway where you come and login to my device and then I allow you inside the application based on whatever credentials you have. It is a security which is in front of your application and not on the network. This is a SAP app.

The third solution, WAN Optimisation system is very critical for a country like India. Basically data travel from point A to point B into packages. For instance, there is a six lane road, and vehicles are like package, going left to right - right to left like in a typical congested road. There is no specific structure by which specific data travel via a specific lane. WAN Optimisation is like a traffic cop which sends the data on a less congested row.
What does DesktopDirect do? How does it work as BYOD?
Everyone wants a personal device. Most of the people in any organisation have company provided laptops and devices. DesktopDirect is an appliance-based remote desktop access solution, capable of extending physical and virtual office desktops to any user on any device anywhere. Moreover, DesktopDirect is fully secure and delivers unmatched ROI as compared to alternative remote and mobile access solutions. You need an Arrey infrastructure to use it.

As for BYOD, everyone has a different story. Customers are confused about what BYOD exactly means. In my case there is no extra work involved. There is no antivirus to apply. You are not allowed to download anything. BYOD is still very foggy. Lot of POC (proof of concept) is happening. Lot of meetings are happening. Still, US is much ahead in the market in term of BYOD.

What opportunities do you see in India? What is your structure in India?
Of course, we have customers in India. Our customer Orcale has 10,000 users. But BYOD as a technology have been adopted by very few companies in India. May be in the next six months, this concept will catch up.

In India, the kind of solutions we provide are sold mostly by security service providers rather than a normal IT system integrator. So that is the one thing we need to be identified as. If a security consultant and a security partner sells them these products, they will trust them.

Has there been any recent security solution tie-up in India or abroad?
We have recently done a project with SBI. We are developing an application and a data centre. We have done a number of treasury projects in India. Punjab was our first treasury project, Madhya Pradesh was the second and we have just won Andhra Pradesh treasury project. The AP project was with NIIT and the rest with TCS. Now they are setting up a data centre to develop applications. Today you can file your income tax online.

Do you do channel sales? Or do you sell directly to enterprises? Will you please explain about your sales structure and strategy?
Array's sells are completely channel driven in India. Along with our distributors we cover the top national system integrators (SIs), regional SIs and SIs in the tier 2 and 3 cities in India. Array has a very select elite set of partners who has the skill sets and credentials to sell advanced remote access solutions, be it new sales or migration from existing technologies.