TCS launches iON to compete with Windows Azure in India

Tata Consultancy Services has introduced IT as a Service package known as iON targeted at the SMBs in India. TCS hopes to turn it into a billion dollar business in 5 years and have about 1000 clients this year.
Written by Manan Kakkar, Contributor

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has made a strong play in the IT as a Service (ITaaS) segment by announcing the commercial availability of their cloud computing package aimed at small and medium sized businesses. Known as iON, TCS will be allowing SMBs to use TCS' infrastructure on the pay as use model.

At their developer's conference last year, ex-Microsoft VP for Server and Tools business, Bob Muglia pitched Windows Azure as their complete ITaaS platform by clubbing the existing PaaS, SaaS and IaaS models into one defined as Cloud Computing. iON from TCS is their ITaaS offering and will be priced on subscription model for the hardware, networks, software and services. TCS has divided their product into 6 layers:

  1. Hardware
  2. Network
  3. Office applications (document management and communication such as email, chat)
  4. Business Applications such as CRM, HR, Payroll
  5. Enter prise Resource Planning (ERP)
  6. Business Analytics

TCS has 135 clients on board for iON and plans to make iON a billion dollar business within 5 years. With IT as a Service, companies can concentrate on their core competencies with letting companies like TCS and Microsoft handling their IT. One of the advantages of cloud computing as cited by vendors is the ability for the consumer to scale up or down based on requirements.

A few months back, I wrote about the Cloud Computing market in India growing with vendor competition from top IT firms and we should soon see more options for the consumer to choose from. India is a price conscious market which makes it interesting for competitors. TCS has commented on pricing and is expected to flexible based on the client. Windows Azure currently has 20 nodes worldwide with a standard pricing structure.

For India, broadband connectivity is a hurdle, having cloud based services but little bandwidth at high prices does not become a compelling sell. The government of India and private companies are looking into strengthening the infrastructure over the next few years which should enable the SMBs to consider ITaaS more seriously.

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