Keeping in mind its three-pronged focus around Data, applications and Security space – US based Rocket Software is betting big on India. The company is poised to considerably increase its focus in India by hiring more people here and with the help of its unique center of excellence model – service local as well as global customers from India.
Andy Youniss, President and CEO, Rocket Software interacts with Zia Askari from ChannelDrive.in about the company’s present strategy and its future plans for India.
What are your key priorities today when you look at the Indian market?
Rocket Software’s strategy for India market is very focused. We are building a center of excellence and R&D center of excellence in India. When we say center of excellence (CoE) at Rocket for R&D, we mean building a true center of excellence, that owns everything about the product- product development, product management, product packaging and delivery, testing all decisions about the product will be made here in India.
And our strategy again is very focused. We have a center that involves 2 locations a hub in Pune and a satellite in Bangalore. So, that’s our center of excellence footprint here in India. And over the next 18 months, we are looking forward to have 300 people in these centers.
As of now what is the status of hiring?
We launched our Bangalore center and we have around 35 people. But we are aggressively hiring. In Pune, we have started putting offers out. So, we expect to have people joining sometime in July. We’ll ramp up to about 200 to Pune and 90-100 to Bangalore. Total 300, and that’s the target for next 18 months.
What kind of areas you are focusing while setting up these Centers of Excellence (CoE)?
Rocket Software is highly focused around 3 technology areas – data, applications and security. Those are our 3 technology areas that we are differentiating ourselves and we invest heavily in building products and technology around those. As far as platforms, we invest in IBM mainframe, IBM midrange and in some database technology that we call multivalve database technology.
Our customers are rooted in mainframe or midrange computing systems. We are helping them modernize their technologies around that. So, the engineers that we are looking to hire here in India will be looking at everything from opensource to modern analytics technologies to data virtualization technologies. So, it’s really an exciting time to be joining Rocket around Data Analytics, Security and all of these new technologies.
When it comes to targeting these technologies what are the verticals that you are looking at? Typically, what kind of customers you have?
Rocket is very much across-industry company. But, we do seem to cluster around certain verticals. For example, Financials Services, Insurance, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail, and Large Governments. We do lots of things at Rocket, but mostly we do clusters around those verticals.
Do you have customers here in India?
We do have customers in India. What I’d say is that many of the captives here are Rocket customers through their headquarters in parts of the world.
The new 300 people that you are looking forward to hire will be servicing your global customers or will they be more locally focused?
In our center of excellence model, we say both global and local responsibility. For the products that we are building here (India), the team in India will have local responsibility. So, that would be for customers in India, for captives that are here in India, global SIs that are here in India, and for the global customer base that’s using the products that are built here. In center of excellence model, we say it has to be global and local responsibility. That’s really unique to our model. In addition to that full product ownership. So, all product related decisions are made here. It’s very much the model of Rocket in India.
Is there anything specific that you have in mind which would be developed completely in India or will there be your global product extensions which are going to be here?
We have very specific products that are coming here. One example is our data virtualization technology. We have started to build this very interesting technology which allows a customer to take all of their mainframe data- so data that might exist in many different types of mainframe repositories they all essentially speak different languages and are formatted differently but we build a virtualization layer on top of that so all of that heterogeneous data looks homogeneous.
And allows that data to participate in analytics applications, mobile applications, and microservices. So really put some modern virtualization layer on top of mainframe data. So that’s one example of a product that is coming to this center of excellence and that our Indian team will have full responsibility for.
What is the strength of Rocket software globally?
We are about 1500 Rocketeers globally. What’s unique about Rocket is that 1000 of us are Engineers. Our 5 centers of excellence are in US, EU, India, China and Japan. We are very much a R&D company.