Sramana: You have described an IT organization that is disjointed. You have a new model, IT as a supply chain. How do you actually solve the IT problem? What are you doing for a customer that makes the transition to IT supply chain?
Mohammed Farooq: We discover what any of the business units have purchased in the cloud. We reverse engineer the bill of materials and we then give CIOs and CFOs a list of who is buying what, and how much they are buying. We let them know where their assets are.
Now they have to centralize payment and billing. That cannot remain with every billing unit, it has to get into General Ledger. All the administration that is associated with the cloud is very much a utility like a telephone. You have to centralize the business operations aspect. Our software solves that.
The third aspect is consumption, and that is perhaps the most important. Large companies are consuming from every cloud. How do you standardize sourcing, procurement, and provisioning? Everybody is focused on provisioning. What Gravitant has done is standardize the procurement and the sourcing process by building a front end configurator for a commerce type play. You can come to a store, configure what you want, place an order, and then get provisioned from any provider.
Technology should be ubiquitous. You should be able to build a service bus and allow everybody to connect to that service bus. The broker needs to successfully solve those three problem areas I just described if IT is to operate successfully in the cloud world. Identifying the problems that we are solving in the broker world and understanding how that delivers value to the market is a very important education process that is going on right now in industry.
Sramana: Listening to you has convinced me of your positioning and value proposition. Part of the beauty of your story is the process that you followed, bootstrapping with services, and we are big believers in that process.
Mohammed Farooq: It was a long process, but I think we got it right. Most of the startups in the Valley are focused on technology like social media, NoSQL, a new switch, or a SDN layer. None of those guys are solving how and enterprise operates in a cloud world. When I was a CTO, I wanted to know how to leverage the cloud to solve a real problem where the costs of my single source contracts were going up. All of the Fortune 1000 have some form of single source contract with that cost challenge. They are trying to get out of contracts. How can you make IT providers plug and play to lower my cost while still meeting my business needs? I believed that cloud could solve that problem, but in order to do so we needed a new technology layer, a new delivery process, and a new governance framework. That is not a small problem so it did take a while to solve. However our large enterprise customers say it works. The State of Texas says it works. In years to come, I think our story will be much more powerful.
Sramana: Very good. Congratulations on your success to date. I look forward to following your company’s growth.