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Updated: May 28, 2010 13:44 IST

Ballmer sees big role for India in ‘cloud services'

Special Correspondent
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Steve Ballmer
PHOTO: AFP Steve Ballmer

Microsoft Corporation on Thursday said India would play an important role in its overall cloud services strategy. “India will not only see a surge in consumption of cloud services, driving growth in domestic IT usage, but companies all over the world will look to India to support their transition to cloud computing. Microsoft is committed to helping businesses both in India and across the world maximise business value by leveraging the benefits that the cloud offers,” Microsoft Corporation CEO Steve Ballmer said while talking to journalists here.

Mr. Ballmer pointed out that many IT firms, including NIIT, Cognizant and CDC Software, besides Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc), would be creating solutions and train manpower based on its cloud computing platform, Windows Azure.

Cloud computing refers to Internet-based computing where applications and software are accessed over the Internet, resulting results in reduced IT costs. Today, Microsoft's cloud infrastructure supports over 100-crore customers and two-crore businesses globally.

Sharing results of a study by global management consultants Zinnov, Mr. Ballmer said India had the potential to emerge as the global competency centre for cloud services. According to the study, the global cloud computing market is expected to cross $70 billion by 2015. As a result of the growing demand for independent software vendors, developers and system integrators, additional three-lakh jobs related to cloud services are estimated to be created in India over the next five years. Over 4,000 applications have already been built on the Windows Azure platform by India.

While NIIT will be training over one-lakh students on Windows Azure over the next three years, Cognizant has already announced the creation of a vertically aligned set of industry frameworks and pre-built solution accelerators to enable implementation, migration and management of cloud-enabled application portfolios built on Azure for clients both in India and abroad. Similarly, CDC Software has announced the global roll-out of its flagship product ‘CDC Respond' (a complaint and feedback management application for banking and government sectors) on Windows Azure, while IISc is building a large-scale application on Windows Azure to study the basic resource allocation constructs and strategies required for addressing enterprise needs on the cloud.

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