DigitalOcean taps developers to push its cloud services in India

While Google announced plans to open their India Cloud centre by the end of this year, niche cloud provider DigitalOcean continues to focus on their market of developers to maintain traction.

In a market dominated by the likes of Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other enterprise cloud services, DigitalOcean's single point of focus has been to entice the software developer instead of the conglomerates. "We found that existing services often failed to meet the needs of developers with respect to OS requirements. The developer is the core audience that we cater to as opposed to the enterprise customer. A developer should be focused on building business critical applications rather than spending time configuring storage, compute and networking infrastructure - they can leave the heavy lifting to DigitalOcean where they can have a server up and running in less than a minute," said Prabhakar Jayakumar, India Country Manager, DigitalOcean.

India is DigitalOcean's fastest growing market among their global markets with their products being introduced on similar timelines at their Bangalore development centre as their global counterparts. "The need for an India presence was communicated by existing customers who wanted better speed (due to the proximity of servers) and also regulatory requirements for financial and healthcare applications that wanted the data to be stored closer home," he adds. The 20 member Bangalore development centre was launched in June 2016. The workforce is kept 'lean' on purpose with a strong emphasis on remote work culture.

Edge cloud computing, where information collection, processing and delivery are places closer to the source of information is among Gartner's top ten list of global technology trends for 2018. The highest growth in cloud services will continue to be driven by Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) which is projected to grow 42 per cent in 2017, followed by 33.5 per cent in the platform as a service (PaaS) and 33.3 per cent in software as a service (SaaS) said the report. SaaS providers are also among DigitalOcean's top user domains base followed by niche e-commerce providers and advertisement technology developers apart from others.

While the company has raised nearly $250 million across both equity (Series B) & debt funding, they are also involved deeply with the startup ecosystem in India. They have partnered with NASSCOM 10K startups to provide up to $3,000 worth of cloud credits to developers apart from engaging in workshops, mentorship programs and bootcamps to assist businesses. DigitalOcean is also part of Karnataka government's startup booster kit offering. With technology startups cropping up by the hour, this engagement gives them an assured user base while guaranteeing cost-effective services to nascent businesses. 

When AWS launched their virtual private server offering Lightsail for developers, last December, many technology bloggers pointed out the obvious similarities to DigitalOcean. The giant had acknowledged its competition, they noted. However, DigitalOcean's transparent and un-ambiguous pricing that also includes bandwidth usage still keeps it ahead in the popularity charts of the developer circuit.

"There is a lot of ambiguity that people see with other services they choose that doesn't give them control. So at the end of the month, they end up getting bills that might seem inflated due to an additional charge of bandwidth usage. Here you just pay per hour and you get a certain bandwidth usage for the service you have chosen, so there is much more control," said Jayakumar.

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