Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector has been a major contributor to India’s economy with 30% GDP attributed to it and an employment provider to over 110 million people, as per the Ministry of MSME report. Despite being the backbone of the country’s economy, this sector faces innumerable challenges from traditional practices and a lack of IT adoption.
As this sector primarily comprises suppliers and service providers to large corporations, they are subjected to compete on global benchmarks. As these companies navigate through the challenges of resource funding, competition, and meeting customer demands, IT adoption in MSME has proven to be helpful to overcome such challenges and reap greater profits. However, adopting IT has not been a cakewalk for this sector.
Though digitalization of business processes has helped these companies to be competitive in the global arena, but adoption and implementation of this technology transformation come at a cost, which is a burden for these business houses. Atop of that finding the right IT talent to maintain and handle the digitized operations and supporting infrastructure is also a hurdle, as the MSME sector is not the employer that IT talent aspire to join. With all business transaction data, industrial designs, intellectual property, financial data, and communication becoming all digital, it is prone to theft, loss, or even cyber-attacks. This has become another factor for companies to worry about.
Helping the SME companies to overcome the challenges they face in IT implementations through innovative and integrated hardware and software solutions is the company, Synersoft Technologies, which has a specific focus on this sector.
We had the opportunity to interact with Mr. Vishal Shah, Co-Founder and CEO of Synersoft Technologies, about the company’s initiatives for helping the MSME companies with greater IT adoption.
Here’s an excerpt from the interaction with Mr. Vishal Shah.
Please tell us about Synersoft’s history and BLACKbox, and the company’s specific focus towards enabling the SMEs with the latest yet cost-effective IT solutions.
Synersoft was incorporated in year 2008 with a vision to develop an Indian Product for Indian SMEs to help them compete on global standards. It chased the mission of designing simple, integrated, affordable, dependable, and scalable product for SMEs to help them achieve objectives of IT Standardization, Business Continuity Maintenance, and Competitive Protection. The first prototype developed by Synersoft won a prestigious Gold Medal from Department of Science and Technology, Government of India in year 2011. In its pursuit to support the development of Indigenous Product for Indian SMEs, the Government of India seed-funded Synersoft and offered incubation by CIIE – IIM-A (Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad). With 9,000 plus deployments across India, US, UK and UAE, Synersoft has emerged as a leader in SME-IT product space. In 2019, it was selected as part of Government of India sponsored TechXchange Cohort to UK for Scale-Ups jointly organized by Indian High Commission in UK and its counterpart in India. It is an inventor of many patented technologies that are bundled with its flagship product BLACKbox.
How big is the concern of data theft or data loss for an SME? What is the adoption trend of DLP solutions in the SME space?
By adopting information technology, SMEs create digital assets. They are designs, drawings, IPRs, Accounts Data, HR Data, Customer Data, Confidential Bids, Documents, Spreadsheets, Business Data. If these digital assets are lost, business continuity cannot be maintained. If these digital assets are leaked or stolen, SME can be competitively exploited. They need to protect their data from loss, leakage and theft. DLP provisions are not the choice for SMEs, they are the compulsion for SMEs. SMEs require cost effective and simple DLP solutions. The adoption trend for DLP solutions is in its initial stage.
What are the key challenges that an SME faces today in terms of IT adoption?
SMEs face genuine challenges in terms of IT adoption. SMEs are either exporters or suppliers to large enterprises. They are subject to global standards of competition. They are also subject to stringent compliances expected by their large enterprise customers. It mandates adoption of IT in its latest form. On the other hand, conventional IT products are designed for IT experts. In order to adopt, implement, and maintain IT solutions, SMEs need IT experts (talent) on their side. Here is the irony. Talented IT resources do not aspire to work with SMEs. So, on one hand SMEs are compelled to adopt IT in its latest form, on the other hand, they cannot attract IT talent on their side. To overcome such a challenge there is a space for a simple, affordable and DIY (Do It Yourself) product.
How is BLACKbox a one-stop IT solution for the SMEs? What are the key benefits for the SME when they implement BLACKbox?
BLACKbox is an IT in a Box solutions. Traditional IT Infrastructure is created by procuring and integrating multiple products (hardware and software) serving different functions like File Services, Backup, DLP, Firewall, Domain Controller, Storage, End Point Controls, VPN, Remote Application Access. It is expensive for an SME to procure so many products. It is complex for an SME to integrate so many different products to achieve the objectives of IT Standardization and Prevention of Loss, Leakage and Theft of data. BLACKbox is single software – single hardware product which is simple, effective, affordable, dependable and scalable product. It avoids procurement of expensive multiple IT software and hardware products. It can be easily configured and maintained by non-IT resource. It can be deployed on premise or on cloud. It makes sure that SMEs digital assets are not lost due to accidental or intentional deletion, ransomware, or disaster. It ensures that SME’s data is not leaked or stolen over USB port, Email Attachment, and Internet. It also hardens the user’s computers such that organization wide standard IT policy is enforced in terms of withdrawal of admin rights from the users, application controls, file permissions, remote access permissions, VPN, automatic backup, versioning, data recovery.
BLACKbox is a cutting-edge solution which runs multiple functions in single hardware unlike other brands requiring multiple hardware to run multiple functions of Data Loss, Leakage and Theft Prevention Solutions. BLACKbox runs many proprietary features like Autocratic Centralization, Vault-Workspace, Happy Hours, Screen-Captures, On-the-Fly-VPN, Email Shadowing, BCC-Intercept, USB Usage Reporting which are missing in other brands. BLACKbox is a single brand covering all possible devices like laptop, desktop, mobile, tablet while there are specific brands for specific type of devices.
The COVID-19 period was a challenge specifically for the SMEs as they hadn’t provisioned for a work-from-home (WFH) scenario. How does BLACKbox enable an SME to offer a safe WFH to its employees so that their business continues to function?
Pandemic made Work from Home a new normal. Business Enterprises had to share their confidential data assets to employees on their personal devices over Internet while working from home. This led to demand disruption for Data Loss, Leakage, and Theft Prevention technologies. Every enterprise allowing work from home was worried about business continuity and competitive vulnerability. BLACKbox was one of the most suitable products available at their disposal and made them instantly ready to allow work from home over VPN and secure their data from loss, leakage and theft. It also offered innovative dual profile (personal and work) to accommodate WFH in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment. For SMEs it was very important that users could work from home using their personal devices as SMEs could not afford to provide laptops to their work from users in the pandemic. BLACKbox ensure that data was protected from loss, leakage and theft on employee’s personal laptops and desktops while working from home. BLACKbox AAA (Access Applications Anywhere) facilitated ERP/Tally access by work from home users in fast and secured manner.
Please share your thought on the UnitedSMEs initiative and the purpose behind it. How is the response and traction from the SME segment towards this initiative?
Synersoft is indebted to SMEs of India. It owes gratitude towards SMEs of India. It designed a product for Indian SMEs, and it is overwhelmingly accepted by them. With a sense of reciprocation, idea of UnitedSMEs is conceived. We sponsor trainings, events to help SMEs train their employees. UnitedSMEs also help SMEs to source high quality refurbished hardware to minimize their investment in IT. UnitedSMEs negotiates with competent vendors on certain services needed by SMEs and offers such services to SMEs at lower rates. Currently it is offering management consultancy, HR consultancy, digital marketing services to SMEs at very cost-effective rate.