Datacraft eyes public sector after joining hands with BSNL

by Abhinna Shreshtha    Nov 01, 2010

Datacraft eyes public sector after joining hands with BSNLIT services provider - Datacraft, has signed a 7-year agreement with BSNL to offer managed IT services to enterprise clients, especially in the government and public sector. Even though the initial focus will be on the government and public sector, the final aim is to target clients from different verticals like BFSI and retail.

Under the agreement, which can be further extended by 3 years, the two companies will set up six data centers to provide a number of on-demand and cloud services under the OneCloud brand. The data centers are being established in Jaipur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana, Ghaziabad, and Faridabad. The services will be offered to new and existing customers of both BSNL and Datacraft. “Our strength is in the government sector and their’s (Datacraft) is with MNCs. We will play to our strengths and jointly sell the managed IT services from these facilities,” said Rajesh Wadhwa, director CFA of BSNL board.

Datacraft is looking to leverage BSNL’s broadband infrastructure and relations with center and state governments to increase its presence in the government sector. Dilip Kumar, COO of Datacraft Asia admitted that the company has seen limited growth with public sector organizations, but said the partnership with BSNL will give them more opportunities in this vertical. “We do a lot of work in the government sector in other countries, but we have not been able to replicate that in India. Now-a-days, clients do not want to buy infrastructure and this is true in the public sector too. The next 10 years will be very exciting in the on-demand space and we are looking to take advantage of it,” he said.

Gopal Das, chairman & MD of BSNL, said the initial investment earmarked for the project is Rs. 200 crore, which will be shared between the two companies. “This investment could further grow depending on demand we get in the future,” he said. The first data center will be established in Jaipur, with all six expected to be operational within the next six months, informed Das. Additionally, four more data centers are expected to be established at Hyderabad, Ranchi, Kochi, and Bangalore in the next phase of the project. The companies refused to divulge how revenues would be shared between them.

The data centers will provide a range of services, with Datacraft providing IT infrastructure and BSNL providing the communications infrastructure. This will include shared hosting, dedicated hosting, SaaS, on-demand storage, managed firewall and other security services, co-location services, etc. Also in the pipeline are cloud services like storage on the cloud, security solutions, desktop & servers as a service, hosted e-mail, etc.

Meanwhile, BSNL is hoping the OneCloud initiative will boost revenues from the enterprise services segment. “Last year, we earned Rs. 1,350 crore from the enterprise segment. We want to increase this to Rs. 2,000 crore,” said Das. With mobile number portability expected anytime now, analysts are of the opinion that state-owned operators like BSNL will suffer in terms of subscriber attrition. Even though Das himself refused to agree with this view, this new initiative will definitely help BSNL in case the doomsayers are proved right.