Indian ISP offering cloud computing to masses

Sify's cyber cafes will offer hosted applications and services

Indian ISP offering cloud computing to masses

Indian ISP offering cloud computing to masses

Sify Technologies, a large Indian Internet service provider, has launched a suite of cloud-based applications targeting the large number of people in India who do not own computers or have access to the Internet.

Key to Sify's strategy are the 1,200 Sify-branded Internet cafés spread across the country. These cafés, called Sify e-ports, operate as franchisees and use the company's broadband connections for Internet access.

Sify plans to expand this base of cyber cafés by marketing a device to other café owners that will link them to the Sify cloud, enabling enable them to offer services from the cloud to their customers, said Natesh Mani, president of Sify's Consumer Infrastructure Business.

Mani did not give the technical details of the edge device, except to say that it included both software and hardware.

Sify is also launching a program that will allow people to purchase travel tickets, entertainment and educational services, as well as pay utility bills online without using their credit cards. Customers will instead pay in cash to the person running the cyber café, for services received through the new consumer cloud platform, called Sify mylife, he said.

The service is targeted at the large number of people who do not have credit cards or aren't comfortable making credit card payments online, Mani said.

A large number of people in India's cities and small towns do not own computers or have Internet access, and they turn to shared facilities like cyber cafés.

About 52 million urban Indians were active Internet users in September last year, according to a report released jointly by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), and research firm IMRB International. Active users are defined as those who used the Internet at least once a month. About 37 percent of these users accessed the Internet through cyber cafés, according to the report. The percentage of people who use cyber cafés is expected to be higher in rural areas.

Owners of cyber cafes are looking for revenue streams beyond just offering browsing facilities, Mani said. Browsing rates have gone down even as real estate prices are going up, he added.

Besides current tie-ups with travel, education, and utility companies, Sify also plans to partner with software companies and software developers to offer applications, storage, and other services through its consumer cloud.

There are a large number of infrequent users of applications such as word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and page layout software who would prefer to use the software in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, rather than buy a license themselves, Mani said.

Sify also plans to offer the applications and other services on its consumer cloud to its broadband Internet customers, who would typically own a computer besides the connectivity. The company currently has about 100,000 broadband customers.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesSify Technologiesinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?