Keynote address of Mr. Tarun Malaviya in the 1st Collaboration Retreat 2010

[Following is the full text of the speech delivered by Tarun Malaviya (Co-founder and CEO at Mithi)  during Collaboration Retreat 2010]

First of all let me extend a heart felt gratitude to you all for having taken the time out to make it to this retreat.

There is a reason why we are calling this a collaboration retreat and not a Mithi’s CIO Meet or some such thing. The purpose is something bigger than just promoting our product and services.

We are at a retreat…though the setting is more like that of offices here…So we can afford to take a little less ‘nose on the grind stone’ view of things and little more of an idealistic and open view, in the hope that we can learn from it in a way that makes our everyday work better.

Change comes slowly, a day at a time. So what we’ll be discussing here isn’t just going to happen by the next weekend. But if you look behind and look ahead and look around, we see that such thing are indeed happening.

I’ll try to keep things as grounded in everyday reality that we face today as possible.

I want to start by saying that there is too much emphasis placed on Competition as a way to succeed in life and in business. So what we’d like to discuss here is the less often discussed way of ‘collaboration’ as a way to succeed.

Collaboration has always existed in all of Life’s history. And there will always be need for collaboration. Much of the success of the human race and indeed that for many a species on our planet has been the result of collaboration.

Collaborating is perhaps the only way to find enduring solutions. As societies and businesses evolves and become more complex and interdependent, collaboration perhaps is the only way to find solutions that don’t run into other people’s interests and end up in exhausting conflicts.

Collaboration is the only way to do bigger things – the joint stock company, the Public-Private Partnership, the supply chain, the value networks, the wiki, the projects, the standards, open source software, etc. are all examples of collaboration.

Indeed any enterprise is a collaboration at work.

Collaboration is the 21st century infrastructure. If we think of the 20th century as having been built on the transportation infrastucture, 21st century is likely to be build around collaboration infrastucture.

Collaboration is the fourth generation of productivity tools using computing technologies (After Computing, Office Productivity & Process Automation).

Collaboration handles the exceptions in the business flow and exceptions are a majority.

Substituting travel and transportation with Collaboration technologies can make for a greener world.

Therefore, to you as users of collaboration technology there lies ahead a big opportunity to reduce costs, improve productivity, improve response, build greater adapability etc. (all translating to greater sustainability for your enterprise).

To us it offers a long running opportunity to contribute, to work in and to earn our living. We’re not just about a piece of software, but about the collaboration way

So let me now turn briefly to the nature of collaboration Infrastructure and the work involved

Like any other infrastructre, collaboration infrastructure goes through – creation-maintenance and renewal cycle (not just of the software but the hardware and underlying and overlying systems)

Like any other infrastructure, it needs to interface with other infrastructure systems.

Like any other infrastructure, collaboration infrastructure is multiple layered

  • Context -the Purpose of Collaboration
  • Physical Infrastructure which comprises of the Network, Servers, Storage, VMs, Cloud, Devices.
  • Services which comprise of Directories, Services, Database, Security systems.(What)
  • Channels / Applications which could be Email, Chat, Calendar, SMS, Contacts, Portals.

Like every other infrastructure, there is segmentation of needs.

Like building and managing any other infrastructure, there are risks, complexities, costs and opportunities.

Our overriding objective will be to help our customers deal with the different aspects of building and managing this infrastructure and benefit from changes happening at different points in the collaboration technology landscape.

Lastly, let me quickly turn to an example to explain exactly how we are going to be of help to you.

CIOs today face a dilemma of choice between –
– Sophistication of Proprietary Software solutions and the lower cost offered by OSS solutions
and between
-Flexibility of Inhouse deployment and Convenience of a Hosted solution

To enable CIOs to deal with such a situation we are helping them create a hybrid system that uses a combination of proprietary solutions with lower cost OSS solutions and Hosted services.

The users are divided amongst the different systems based on the segmentation of the user needs.
The result is a substantial saving in cost without compromise on features or flexibility.

In order to help create more such solutions, we are continuously adding in our systems the capacity for

Step 1 – Easy Installation & Management
Step 2 – Easy Connection  &
Step 3 – Easy Change

What it allows us to do is build a Lego like system around open standards that can be put together in various different combinations to device solutions specific to the needs of an enterprise.

I want to conclude by saying that, we understand that we are not alone, several companies across the world offer alternative products and services to serve the collaboration needs of an enterprise. But what we have chosen to do is to distinguish ourselves in creating collaboration solutions that are – more Affordable, Useful and Easy to Use.

Thank you for your patient hearing!

I’m quite sure you will find the day’s events to follow informative and useful.

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