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Real World Windows Azure: Interview with Sebastian Iglesias, Business Development Manager, Tata Consultancy Services

As part of the Real World Windows Azure series, we talked to Sebastian Iglesias, Business Development Manager at Tata Consultancy Services, about using the Windows Azure platform to deliver…

As part of the Real World Windows Azure series, we talked to Sebastian Iglesias, Business Development Manager at Tata Consultancy Services, about using the Windows Azure platform to deliver services. Here’s what he had to say:

MSDN: Tell us about Tata Consultancy Services.

Iglesias: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is a global IT services, business solutions, and outsourcing organization. We offer an integrated portfolio of IT and IT-enabled services delivered through our Global Network Delivery Model, which is recognized as a benchmark of excellence in software development. A part of the Tata group, one of India’s largest industrial conglomerates, TCS employs more than 174,000 employees in 42 countries. The company generated revenues of more than [U.S.]$6.3 billion for fiscal year that ended March 31, 2010.

MSDN: How did Tata Consultancy Services get started as a cloud services provider?

Iglesias: When the Windows Azure platform was released, the Microsoft Technology Excellence Group at TCS started experimenting with the technology. In mid-2009, we developed a proof-of-concept application that we successfully demonstrated at various events. By integrating three technologies-Microsoft ASP.NET MVC jQuery, and Ajax-we developed a code generator that provides developers with easy-to-use templates and wizards that can create source code quickly and efficiently. This results in a 50 to 60 percent increase in productivity by automating repetitive tasks, and it cuts in half the time-to-market. The code generator can generate simple data entry screens. We also have a few software-as-a-service products, including a banking solution known as BaNCS.

MSDN: What kinds of cloud services do you offer to customers?

Iglesias: We offer three cloud services. Firstly, we provide Cloud Advisory Services, in which we focus on analysing cloud readiness and recommending target states. This includes planning application migration, calculating costs and risks, identifying business drivers, and developing business cases. Secondly, we offer Cloud Migration and Development Services, which includes migrating applications and databases to the cloud, re-engineering applications, and developing and deploying hybrid applications. Thirdly, we offer Deploy and Manage Services, which mainly focuses on managing service line agreements and implementing governance infrastructure.

MSDN: Describe some of your solutions.

Iglesias: One of our customers had several public and intranet websites hosted in its own IT infrastructure. This company’s websites experienced peak demand a few weeks a year. It needed a solution that would lower infrastructure costs while handling usage fluctuations. TCS developed a methodology called Common Adoption Framework that can be used to migrate a portfolio of applications to the Windows Azure platform in an iterative manner.

Another company, a U.S.-based paint and chemical manufacturer, had several public websites hosted in its own IT infrastructure, and these needed to scale to meet business demands at certain times. The company’s IT professionals were pressured to quickly roll out new content reflecting the newest products. TCS recommended the Windows Azure platform and applied its proven ProSEAM methodology to implement the project. This included analysing existing technology, submitting a detailed design document to the customer, and migrating the relevant contents to the Windows Azure platform.

MSDN: Explain a few of your customers’ challenges and how you address them with a cloud solution.

Iglesias: While migrating the public website of a customer, we needed to move the house-built authentication and authorization systems to the cloud. We solved this by using Windows Identity Foundation, which allows developers to use a single, simplified identity model based on claims. We have also moved a huge number of scripts, images, videos, and rich media applications to Blob Storage, a part of Windows Azure that provides persistent and durable storage in the cloud for text and binary data.

MSDN: What benefits have TCS customers realized by using the Windows Azure platform?

Iglesias: One of the main benefits of Windows Azure is its capacity to scale on demand. Also, by using the Windows Azure platform, customers can be freed from the grip of internal IT barriers. Customers have also realized significant administrative cost reductions by hosting applications in the cloud instead of in their on-premises infrastructures. A solution hosted on the Windows Azure platform is easier to maintain, which also contributes to reducing overall IT costs. Also, customers can improve time-to-market and roll out new features or fixes more rapidly.

To read more Windows Azure customer success stories, visit: www.windowsazure.com/evidence