Tech giants eye SME segment to tap India’s cloud services market, says GlobalData

The recent partnerships announced by global tech giants Microsoft and Google with Indian telcos Bharti Airtel (Airtel) and Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (Jio), respectively, to offer cloud services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) indicate a strong inclination of technology firms to tap the growing Indian cloud services market, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.    

According to GlobalData’s Market Opportunity Forecast Model, India’s cloud services revenue is poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.1% between 2018 and 2023, with software-as-a-service (SaaS) alone expected to account for an average 40% of the total value through the forecast period, making it a market segment laden with tremendous opportunities for cloud vendors.

Sandeep Kolakotla, Technology Analyst at GlobalData, says: “While large enterprises will be the leading revenue contributing segment for cloud services in India through 2023, SMEs present a great opportunity for tech companies to pitch their cloud services in the segment given their increasing adoption of digital solutions in recent years.”

Google’s partnership with Airtel will see the latter providing Google’s G-Suite services, including productivity and collaboration tools – Gmail, Google Drive Docs and Calendar –   in the cloud to its SME customers in India as part of its integrated information and communications technology (ICT) portfolio.

Microsoft’s partnership with India’s largest telco Reliance Jio on the other hand allows it to offer its cloud based productivity, collaboration and business applications, including Microsoft Office 365 to Jio’s SME customers.

Cloud collaborations between technology firms and Indian telcos are expected to benefit all the parties involved. For instance, while they enable technology firms and telcos bring new innovative solutions to the enterprise segment, the combination of cloud-based productivity apps and telcos’ digital business solutions will allow SMEs to accelerate their digital transformation efforts and increase their business agility and serve the evolving needs of customers.

Kolakotla concludes: “Strategic partnerships with telcos will not only enable Google and Microsoft to expand their cloud consumer base in India by offering their own productivity SaaS suites to telcos’ SME customers, but also gain strategic advantage over market leader, AWS, which is currently not engaged in any such deal with telcos.”

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