One of the fastest-growing IT consulting and product engineering firms in the world, KPIT helps its customers run their business more efficiently and develop products that deliver sustainable competitive advantage. In doing so, the India-based company “co-creates transformational value.”
But recently, KPIT has been undergoing a transformation of its own.
“We look at ourselves as a highly agile company, and every function supporting the business needs to be agile,” says Mandar Marulkar, vice president and chief information officer at KPIT. “With this goal in mind, we have been working to increase our operational agility.”
KPIT partners with more than 200 global corporations in the automotive and transportation, manufacturing, and energy and utilities industries. Much of its work surrounds the development of custom applications that help its customers become more productive, integrated, and innovative.
Because speed of application delivery is a key differentiator for KPIT and, in turn, its customers, the company implemented a private cloud five years ago to allow its developers to provision their own compute resources. However, all other infrastructure services—including network, security, and storage—would often take four weeks to deploy after application requirements were fully understood.
“We wanted to give the power to our application developers to provision all infrastructure components, on demand and in a cost-effective manner,” explains Marulkar. “They should be able to decide service, performance, and security levels, and then have the infrastructure automatically configured. They shouldn’t have to worry about technical configurations, and they shouldn’t have to wait.”
Known internally as “Smart Enterprise,” KPIT’s digital transformation initiative aims to advance the company’s business processes using social engagement, mobility, predictive analytics, and container technologies. But before those goals can be attained, the company needed to modernize its infrastructure and application environment.
KPIT is doing so with a combination of Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI™), Cisco Nexus® switches, the Intel® Xeon® processor-based Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®), and Cisco UCS Director. A policy-based automation architecture, Cisco ACI simplifies and accelerates application delivery.
“ACI provides essential automation,” Marulkar explains, “which helps speed up infrastructure provisioning, reduce human errors, and ensure compliance and uniformity of all applications. In essence, it allows us to work faster and deliver better solutions and services.”
Cisco ACI also integrates with KPIT’s pre-existing network infrastructure and comes pre-loaded with application templates and rules, easing the implementation process.
“The openness and integration of ACI was very crucial because we didn’t want to create isolated technology islands in our data center,” says Marulkar. “And with an intuitive interface, ACI has been easy to learn, manage, and monitor.”
The next level
According to Marulkar, KPIT can now respond quickly and efficiently to new application requests and business requirements—for both internal and external customers. It can build multitenant environments that simultaneously cater to the needs of multiple customers while delivering consistent security and performance. And it can offer better, more competitive service-level agreements to the marketplace.
“Cisco ACI has helped us take our business offerings to the next level,” says Marulkar. “That means we can pursue more business opportunities, capture additional revenue, and increase customer satisfaction.”
KPIT can also advance its “Smart Enterprise” ambitions. The new infrastructure and application architecture will provide the foundation for a variety of new digital platforms. And they will help transform the company’s operations, from employee recruiting and collaboration to customer engagement and support.