Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have a lot of customer and employee data to maintain and sustain. Because they lack servers large enough to support rapid growth and expansion, they enlist the aid of companies like SunGard Availability Services. With offices in the United States, Ireland, Luxembourg, France, Belgium, and Sweden, SunGard helps SMEs to protect themselves against not only expected issues such as power outages, but also against the unexpected like hurricanes or earthquakes.
Sramana Mitra: Hi Indu, and welcome to the Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing series. To begin with, let’s set some context for our readers on SunGard and your business, the scope, scale, and type of technology operations you are dealing with and some context about your personal background.
Indu Kodukula: And my role as well?
SM: Yes, and your role as well.
IK: Availability Services, essentially, invented the disaster recovery business over a 30-year span. Today we have over 10,000 clients to whom we provide a variety of availability services. At a high level, our business is made up of two different sorts of businesses: the recovery services business, where we allow our customers’ applications to be recovered after service interruption; and a managed services business, where run production applications for our clients. So, over the past 30 years, we have built up a very strong business that’s focused on supporting the availability needs of our clients and either being able to help them recover their applications when something bad happens or running the applications on their behalf if our clients so desire. My role as a CTO is threefold. I run all product and service development. I am also responsible for setting the overall technology strategies for availability services. Finally, the CIO reports to me, so I am also responsible for all of our internal systems and operations.
SM: What is the revenue level of the company, what is the employee base you are working with, and where are they?
IK: Availability Services is a little over $1.5 billion in revenue. Our revenues are public, because we have public debt; we file annual and quarterly reports. From an employee perspective, Availability Services is about a 3,500-person company. We are one of the four business units of SunGard Data Systems. SunGard Data Systems was taken private in 2005. At the time, it was the largest technology buyout at about $12 billion. We are the second-largest business unit within SunGard Data Systems. In North America, we have presence in over 60 locations. Worldwide, we have 100 locations, and we have a data center footprint that comprises more than 50 centers in North America and Europe primarily.
SM: Great. That is a very good overview. Would you like to talk a little about yourself?
IK: Absolutely. I have been in Availability Services now for two years. Before joining Availability Services, I used to run a P&L Oracle, where my team was responsible for building software for the communications industry. I used to be a developer or an engineer, after which I learned more about the business side of technology from a stint at McKinsey. After a number of operational roles at BEA and Oracle, I was recruited to SunGard two years ago.
SM: You are supporting 50 data centers and all your internal IT as well as supporting a large number of clients. By the way, how many clients are you supporting across the availability services business?
IK: We have more than 10,000 clients. My team is responsible for building the products and services that we roll out to our client base, and then they are supported in turn by one of my peers who is responsible for central operations. I partner with hime to make sure that the products and services that we roll out are supported effectively for our client base. All the internal systems are also developed and supported by the CIO, who is also part of my team.