In just about 50 years, India has become a giant IT powerhouse. From the nascent stages when Tata Consultancy Services started in 1967, we have come a long way to become the largest exporter of IT in the modern global economy. With the advent of PCs and Microsoft OS in the mid-Eighties, Open Systems in Computing became the norm, giving rise to the IT services industry. In addition to the hardware AMCs, the software and middleware services rose rapidly in the early nineties. Y2K (the year 2000) saw the Indian IT industry establish itself globally, and there was a mushrooming of a large number of IT services organisations during this time.
Aforeserve was born during this significant phase of Indian IT, and from the beginning, it focused on IT Infrastructure services. With large marquee clients like HCL, Acer, and HP, the Company grew over the next ten years, focusing on break-fix and chip-level repairs of IT hardware components like motherboards, monitors, etc. Over the years, the Company diversified into the whole range of IT lifecycle services across brands, platforms, and technologies.
The diversification and expansion happened rapidly over the years in terms of customers, footprint, and Service Offerings for the whole spectrum of ICT products. The Company addresses the entire market - the Businesses & End-customers that consume IT services and the technology providers or System Integrators that drive them.
Chip level repairs of complex components like motherboards of latest generation servers, laptops, desktops, and mobile devices are done at global class repair facilities, equipped with the tools and machines and trained engineers, achieving the service standards required by Global brands. Apart from the standard offerings of AMC/FMS services, the Company has developed robust frameworks and systems for specialized service offerings like IMS. These include specialized and differentiated offerings like servicing the IT equipment beyond their End-of-Life by the respective OEMs. It helps us to grow our customer base and gives firm reasons to customers to avail our services. The customers can optimize their IT investments and sweat their IT assets much more than they would otherwise.
The footprint of the Company has expanded over the years, and the Company has a robust Service network spread across India, with 14 Regional Offices and 50+ Service Centres. In addition, the Company has more than 310 RE (Resident Engineer) locations across the country so that Service is always available where the customer needs it. Beyond our shores, the Company provides services in other Geos too – Africa, MEA, SEA and ANZ.
The Company provides IMS, FMS, AMC, Repairs services for the whole range of ICT equipment - Data Centre equipment like Servers, Storage, Network, and End-Use equipment like Laptops, Desktops, Mobile Devices and a variety of peripherals (Printers/Scanners/Plotters/UPS etc.) In addition to such ICT equipment, the Company provides services for specialised products like ATMs, Digital Cinema Projectors, STBs, VSATs, and customer-specific projects on other technologies.
Today, IT systems are highly open, and very few components of the entire IT landscape are proprietary. So, over the years, from a few large brands, the IT Lifecycle services market has become highly fragmented, and the large players occupy only about 30% of the total market. The rest of the market comprises small and medium-sized service providers (startups), and at the base of this pyramid are thousands of service providers who are small, localized, and even client-specific. This scenario gives rise to many startups as the entry barriers are low, which is positive for the startup ecosystem. However, this also provides a challenge for the customers to get reliable services at an affordable cost. For Aforeserve, this is a great opportunity.
The Company started with few customers and created a name for themselves with superior service experience for their customers. Backed up by robust systems, frameworks, and processes, the Company acquired many customers across all segments, specifically BFSI and Corporates. Creating market share in a crowded and fragmented market for IT Infra Services is a challenge for any service provider. We have addressed this by differentiating ourselves through Customer Focus coupled with agility, flexibility, and responsiveness. Today, CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) is a key performance metric across the Company, and there is a significant emphasis on the Quality of Service.
Since March 2020, the business landscape has changed, and so have the enablers. Today, most of the workforce is set to work from anywhere, anytime, and virtually from any device. The situation has challenged every business enterprise to innovate, improvise and improve; especially for the design, architecture, workflow, and payload of the IT infrastructure components - at a pace hitherto unseen. This is one challenge that every CEO and CIO faces today, as IT services have to be rendered differently.
IT Infrastructure and operations are growing in complexity as newer, faster technology comes along with the rapid movement towards a mix of cloud and existing Infrastructure. Innovations are a must for the IT sector and more so today, in the age of Industry 4.0. You can’t throw people at the problem. It would help if you automate, keeping the future in mind clearly. Innovations like Automation in IT infra services delivery and so-called Left-Shift enables customers to optimize and reduce the costs of IT Infrastructure Management, even as the Infrastructure grows along with the business growth.
Aforeserve is pioneering this shift towards Automation in the form of Automation Tool for Infrastructure services, an AI-enabled resolution engine that analyses, categorizes, responds, and auto-resolves IT Support Tickets to create a revolutionary user experience. Our AI model builds up resolution algorithms using historical tickets data and trends, develops a knowledge base continuously so that a higher proportion of tickets gets automatically.
Aforeserve is committed to investing in new technologies – AI, Blockchain, and IoT solutions - to create an edge in service delivery. Our core is Services and such enhancements in the form of Automation Tools enable us to deliver better value and customer experience.
I am excited to see the transformation of Aforeserve over the next five years.