Partner or Threat?

By Pedro Pereira  |  Print this article Print

Indian conglomerate Tata Group is making an aggressive IT and communications play through a series of acquisitions and strategic partnerships.


In the United States, according to John Landau, senior vice president of global managed services for Tata Communications, the company is targeting the enterprise market, namely large companies that stand to benefit from Tata's global reach.

Seeing itself as a competitor to the likes of Verizon and AT&T, Tata Communications also is building a channel program to resell hosting services through solution providers. Landau says the company wants to focus on carrier services and has no interest in back-office or vertical applications.

Unless that changes, Tata Communications may prove more of a partnering opportunity than a threat to MSPs (managed service providers).

Another opportunity, or potential threat, comes in the form of a multipronged partnership between Tata and Cisco Systems. In September, Tata disclosed that it had won certification as a Cisco MSP, which Tata plans to leverage in its quest to entrench itself as a global communications power.

Tata also has partnered with Cisco on Cisco TelePresence. With Cisco furnishing the videoconferencing technology, Tata opened facilities for use by corporate clients for long-distance meetings in the Indian cities of Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, and another in Santa Clara, Calif. These clearly are just the beginning.

Providing TelePresence facilities is a clever move, one that allows Tata to again capitalize on corporations' growing need to cut costs. TelePresence allows companies to cut travel expenses they would otherwise incur by sending people away for training or meetings.

Tata is on a roll for sure. Watch for more acquisitions in the near future, which will provide an indication of the company's strategy, either to strengthen its communications and IT infrastructure holdings or open another front for expansion.

Whatever happens, one thing seems certain: You haven't heard the last of Tata. Not by a long shot.

Pedro Pereira is editor of eWEEK Strategic Partner and a contributing editor for Channel Insider. He is at pedro.pereira@ziffdavisenterprise.com.


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