On Tuesday, tech giant Microsoft launched its commercial cloud services from three data centres in India, roping in Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa for launches.
The announcement comes days after Indian-born Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the availability of Microsoft’s cloud services from data centres, and the company’s aim to take low-cost Internet to 5,00,000 Indian villages. The company has a hundred data centres in 40 countries and said that investments of $15 billion has gone in its data centres.
In Delhi, after the launch of the services, Tyler Bryson, Microsoft India’s General Manager, Marketing and Operations, spoke to dna about security issues, being the first players in India and rapid expansion. Edited excerpts:
While announcing its investments in India, Microsoft spoke of low-cost broadband services. But, why do costs need to be cut? Will cloud services be low cost, too?
We must first understand why does the costs come down in India. First, these technologies are linked to the telecom sector, and nowhere in the world are telecom costs as cheap as in India. And, we are trying to further reduce that difference by making the connections directly possible by deploying newer technologies. Also, in India, the costs of productions come down. And I must add here, that the technology we are using in India is the most modern.
Microsoft started working on cloud services a year ago. Does it give you a first mover’s advantage?
In the Indian public cloud market, Microsoft’s share is about 30%. Gartner estimates the cloud market in 2014-15 to be $838 million, and that the sector is growing at 68-72%. We are looking at a rapid expansion. There are about 125 services (banks, public sector units, educational institutes) who have already signed up. And, we’re in talks with many more.
Public cloud services come with issues of privacy and security. How will the company protect the privacy of the user?
The trust of the user is a top priority, and if an enterprise or a private user is trusting us with their data, we will use our technologies to their best capabilities to protect that. Then there is transparency. For example, if the Indian government requests us to hand over the data of an individual, then we will have to work our way around it. There needs to be a balance of transparency and security.
If the government requests the data of an individual, what will Microsoft do. In earlier cases, some tech companies have not co-operated, citing said that the laws in the US govern them.
I must tell you that the cloud services in India will be governed by the Indian laws. And if the Indian officials ask us for individual data, we will have to follow the due process. The US government has been served several lawsuits because it has requested for data from countries where its companies are paced in. If you ask me, between individual privacy and national security, the security of the nation is more important, and we will comply with Indian authorities.