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In the extremely demanding world of data center operations, players are discovering the myriad benefits of applying project management principles. This win-win situation sees the customer delighted, and the service provider laughing—all the way to the bank.


Every day is a happening day at a data center. Especially so at third-party data center service providers. Customer requirements drive operations, and the moment a customer raises the flag, a new dimension has to be thought of, so that functionalities stay smoothly on track.


Defining data center services would involve explaining functionalities that range from planning, execution, and control monitoring, to closure of a project for a customer. That, in a nutshell, brings forth a multitude of efforts that converge to result in hassle-free operations in accordance with customer requirements. Ask Mr. Sridhar Reddy, founder, chairperson and managing director, CtrlS Data Centers Ltd, a known name among data center service providers, and he agrees: “Being a Tier IV data center, we have made major investments in data center automation, which helps us to efficiently manage our customers’ IT infrastructure and also address their day-to-day requirements in the shortest possible time.”


CtrlS, based in Hyderabad, is on an expansion path, with Mumbai and Noida soon to have sizable spaces where its data center operations will be kicked off.


“With every order being a unique order,” Mr. Sridhar elaborates, “customer satisfaction level is key to a data center operation.” And, that brings to focus the route taken by players in this arena for effective functioning.


Project Management a Big Help
Data center operations bank on project management guidelines in a major way. With the ‘every order is a unique order’ concept driving data center operations at CtrlS, the generally accepted good practices described in the PMBOK® Guide

of each project in such a way that the customer actually looks forward to the next project with the company.


CtrlS is not alone in this domain where project management drives successful implementation. Mr. Prashant Pereira, senior product manager, Data Centre Services, Sify Technologies Ltd, when asked how his company has integrated project management initiatives into its data center operations, has this to say: “Sify has a dedicated service delivery team; project management is a domain within the service delivery process. We follow the Project Management Institute (PMI) framework for deployment of customer infrastructure, applications and services in our data centers. Key members of the service delivery team are PMP certified.”


It is more than just a plain fact that PMI framework drives operations in a data center domain. With customer satisfaction being key, players bank on effective planning and building on the requirement to roll out services that are rated high on the satisfaction index.


The Project Management Office (PMO) under Mr. Sridhar, ensures that customers’ expectations—rather than services—are delivered, which is a key driver for the project management team. This is possible with effective planning to the minutest detail, timely execution and closure of a project. This has been tightly integrated with the key result areas (KRA) of the team which, in turn, is linked to the variable pay.


Pleases customers, brings in revenues
Sify’s Mr. Pereira believes that project management practice is a key area of IT service delivery in the company’s data centers. This is one reason why the company’s data center operations follow the PMI framework. Further, the company is more than convinced about the positive impact of project management measures with regard to its attempts aimed at achieving results. He says: “Project management is extremely important to us as two main functions depend on it: customer satisfaction and revenue realization. Before-schedule delivery of project means the customer is happy, and the billing for recurring revenue for services starts early. One key benefit is control on costs.”


Talk of the positive impact of project management initiatives that are adopted by the company and Mr. Sridhar nods in agreement. “We are, in fact, very much convinced in terms of total customer satisfaction. This apart, the PM process adopted in each requirement has given less room for ambiguity in the whole process. The PM process, in effect, paves a forward path for the team working on each project,” he points out.

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