Why Persistent Systems Is Talking SMAC in IT Consulting

SMAC is an acronym for social, mobile, analytics and cloud IT, and eventually the bulk of all technology is going to touch one or more of those categories.

Persistent Systems, a well-established software developer and services provider, has decided to make a pivot to talking SMAC.

In this context, SMAC means providing new enterprise solutions to solve new-gen IT problems. That's where technology is headed and has been for several years, and Persistent has made the move in a new direction.

For the record, SMAC is an acronym for social, mobile, analytics and cloud IT. Industry providers who ignore these trends to focus on old-school IT development will maintain their current customers for a while, but eventually the bulk of all technology going forward is going to touch one or more of those four categories. The earlier IT product and services providers realize this, the better it will be for them and their customers.

Specialized in Unix, Linux and Others Previously

Persistent has seen the trends and now sees the light. For more than 20 years, the Pune, India-based company was a busy consultancy able to provide development, architecture and integration services in all the major categories: Unix, .NET, Linux, Java, TCP/IP, networking—you name it. But SMAC is what's powering IT development and sales now, and all the research houses believe these are trends that will continue at least until the end of the decade.

"More than 50 percent of our revenue already comes from cloud-related projects," CEO and founder Anand Deshpande told eWEEK. "This is the fastest-growing segment for us, growing 20 percent year-over-year and we see this as the future."

One of Persistent's major partners is Salesforce.com, a longtime customer. Persistent is a four-star platform partner of the company, providing tools and services on the Force.com platform for companies that require help in deployments and maintenance.

Salesforce customers, such as Cycle30, use Persistent to develop cloud-based order-to-cash solutions for communications providers. Persistent not only provides a high-quality team of architects and developers but also offers best practices in packaging Force.com—which can be complicated to do.

"They have helped accelerate our delivery greatly through scale, expertise and collaboration," Cycle30 Vice President of Product and Architecture Wendy Gonzalez said.

BMC, SupportPay Two Other Clients

Persistent also provides a BMC Service Desk business app platform on Salesforce. Another client is SupportPay, a new cloud-based child-support payment platform, also built on Salesforce. Generally, Persistent picks up the last mile in connecting Salesforce and an enterprise system with customers.

Persistent is primarily concerned with doing mostly digital transformation projects, Deshpande said. "Modernization is mainly about updating and upgrading IT systems to provide better performance; transformation is about improving IT systems to solve new and more complex problems," Deshpande said, defining those terms.

Persistent apparently is doing this correctly. It reported a 17.3 percent jump in second-quarter net profit, thanks largely to its focus on helping customers complete digital transformation projects.

The company brought in $76.5 million last quarter and $276 million in its fiscal year. It employs 8,000, including about 700 employees in the United States, 100 in Kuala Lumpur and 40 in Grenoble, France. The company has five locations in India.

As is the case for most IT-connected businesses, the sheer amount of new data coming into storage arrays, clouds and servers is job No. 1.

Preponderance of New Data Making Waves

"As more and more devices connect to the Internet, there will be a lot of data they'll generate. Our investments are about visualizing the world from these devices and how can we as a company play a role in this new world," Chief Operating Officer Mrityunjay Singh told the Economic Times of India.

Deshpande, who started his IT career at HP in the 1980s, and Singh believe that big data analytics, cloud, social, mobility, Internet of things and gesture-based computing are the key areas that Persistent will continue to focus on in the years to come.

Persistent is also investing in design capabilities to ensure that applications created for newer devices such as Google Glass, smartwatches and different mobile devices work more efficiently.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...