'8KMiles does not compete with IT giants'

Last Updated: Tue, Aug 18, 2009 13:18 hrs

8KMiles does not compete with IT giants

8KMiles, an online ecosystem of verified professionals and companies that enables outsourcing of software and other knowledge services completely over the internet, offers an effective model of outsourcing without capital expenditure for Small and Medium Businesses, IT consulting / contracting companies and start-up businesses by providing on-demand access to people, hardware, software and tools.

In an exclusive interview with Sify.com, Harish Ganesan, Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer, 8K Miles, shares the company's growth plans.

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Excerpts from the interview:

How does your Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) work?

8Kmiles Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) is a remote infrastructure solution built on top of reliable virtualisation and cloud computing technologies. VCE enables secure and reliable delivery of services thus alleviating scalability and business continuity concerns faced by companies.

8KMiles VCE offers desktops and environments with different types of softwares such as Windows Server 2003, Linux and CentOS bundled with various development tools and applications. VCE acts as a shared environment accessible from anywhere over the Internet to enhance collaboration between project members distributed across the world and enable remote delivery of services. VCE provides easy administration and management dashboard for the infrastructure clubbed with automatic backup and disaster recovery mechanism, which is very much needed for any software development.

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What is unique about 8KMiles?

8KMiles connects global business looking for IT and knowledge services to skilled professionals and companies. The 8KMiles ecosystem provides the people, hardware, software and tools required for outsourcing on-demand effectively enabling a no cap-ex model of "Software development-as-a-Service". Some of the unique features offered by 8KMiles are:

  • Online Outsourcing market place with Credential verification

  • Skills assessment of the Knowledge professionals

  • Secure and reliable Virtual Computing Environment

  • Real time collaboration with VCE , Video conferencing and Project collaboration tools

  • Pre Built development and application stacks on VCE, ready for development use.

  • Secure and flexible payment options

  • Build teams (Virtual companies) and provide comprehensive suite of services to business from around the world

  • Service broker – Skilled professionals who will expand the online outsourcing ecosystem of buyers and service providers

  • Project managers - Skilled professionals who will manage the projects on the ecosystem.

Where do you see the growth coming for 8KMiles?

In terms of revenue streams, we see growth coming in from Platform usage (i.e. outsourcing engagements), value-added services for project management and collaboration and in the virtual infrastructure space - subscriptions to virtual desktops/environments and services related to infrastructure management, security and deployment support.

In terms of business areas, we anticipate major uptake in our virtual infrastructure services as they offer an excellent model for distributed teams to collaborate on projects. With our continued development efforts in our virtual infrastructure offering, we will enable a true develop-test-deploy-maintain model, which would offer the benefits of traditional outsourcing without the overheads. By allowing professionals and businesses to network and engage with each other, 8KMiles will enable multiple engagement models beyond usual buyer-provider contract engagements. This will lead to newer monetization opportunities for users and should significantly contribute to 8KMiles' growth going forward.

How do you think you can take on the IT giants?

8KMiles does not compete with IT giants for Enterprise Services business pie instead it forms an online eco system of knowledge professionals, startups and small and medium IT companies as a business community and targets SMB's across globe for online outsourcing business. Traditionally, only large and fortune 1000 companies have benefitted from the outsourcing phenomenon. Small and medium business (SMB's) faces strategic, competitive cost and operational challenges with outsourcing. SMB's across the globe cannot outsource their needs for the cost what our IT giants may offer.

They cannot travel to India and set up an outsourcing unit for a project worth $250,000. They have their unique needs in terms of collaboration, flexibility and pricing. To offer better services and solutions for best price to SMB'S globally there should be an organizational model which is different from the current model what the Indian IT services companies follows

Where do you see 8KMiles in five years time?

8KMiles will be the world's largest online ecosystem of knowledge professionals, startups, small and medium businesses distributed across the globe offering remote services to business community. In India 8KMiles will be the largest “virtual employer” of IT talent.

The impact of slowdown (recession) on your company?

We believe the slowdown has made businesses globally a lot more aware of the importance of conserving cash. They, now more than ever, want the best return on their investments. Businesses also need to keep innovating and improving their offerings and processes to stay ahead of the game. Any business would benefit from a model that lets them get quality work done, without having to spend time and money acquiring and managing people and infrastructure (hardware, software, office space).

8KMiles facilitates such a model - by providing on-demand access to skilled providers, project management professionals and collaboration tools coupled with on-demand computing infrastructure for getting work done in a centralized, collaborative and secure environment. Our verification and validation tools, project management centric approach and tightly integrated computing infrastructure help mitigate the risks associated with online outsourcing and allow businesses and professionals to obtain and provide services as if they were sitting in the same office.

A quick comparison between Indian and global markets?

Many advanced markets have been used to outsource services (local and offshore) for quite a while. There are a lot of small and medium businesses in global markets that are yet to realise the benefits of outsourcing. There are many reasons for this - accessibility and education being the primary ones. SMBs need to be able to trust outsourcing partners, get properly managed services and track progress of work in real time to really take to outsourced services.

However, Indian businesses have not yet taken to outsourcing in a big way. We find a lot of scope for outsourced services in the Indian market - in the context of both traditional and new age businesses. Trust is probably the single most important component in an outsourcing relationship. A model that facilitates trust, coupled with right education about the benefits and accessibility would certainly appeal to traditional Indian businesses.

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There is a lot of innovation happening in India and we see a number of startups with interesting ideas. These startups can benefit immensely by engaging or partnering with the right professionals to take their ideas to implementation. We may even see engagements where startups share some stake with their outsourcing partners in place of cash.