A business and technology thought leader, Sai Gundavelli is the Founder and CEO of Solix Technologies. He is responsible for the company’s overall vision and strategic direction. Under his leadership, Solix Technologies pioneered the concept of Enterprise Data Management, providing the first worldwide infrastructure platform to manage data across all segments of Enterprise Data (Structured and Unstructured).
He has a proven track record in recognizing and quickly responding to the requirements of the high-technology marketplace. Before founding Solix Technologies Inc., he successfully spearheaded several strategic initiatives in Enterprise Application areas at companies like CISCO Systems and Arix Corp. Further to founding Solix Technologies Inc., he co-founded Touch A Life Foundation Inc., connecting people who need help to people who can provide help.
Sai is an Advisory Board Member at University of Colorado Denver.. He is a distinguished speaker in many forums. He holds a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor’s from Osmania University.
Sai’s journey on Solix started in early 2000 when the .com crash happened. He was looking for the next gig, the next venture in terms of what to do. And at that time Google was coming out and was becoming the talk of the town. With Google Search coming into the picture, Sai saw an opportunity and he wanted to take the search to Enterprises.
He did it, and not just one, but to many enterprises, he went to enterprises asking, “Hey, would you like to use Google search?“. Most replied, “Sure”, and then the question followed what, how do we use it? What value will we get? and more.
First,most enterprises said they don’t know what data they have, and how long should they have what and that’s where the idea of Solix emerged. Moving ahead, Sai recognized that data management will become a big thing, and that is how they started the journey of Solix Technologies intending to help enterprises with their data management process and systems.
Another question, most Enterprises questioned was regarding the ROI, they couldn’t justify an ROI on Google Search, this goes back to early 2000. He knew that companies will eventually pay for it, be it via backup costs, performance, and dealing with data compliances etc.
Sai realized the need of the hour. He knew if he can help companies understand their data and archive the old historical data, that could be the ROI. It was a fulfilling experience yet involved discovering a lot of unexplored and uncovered directions. The beginning of the journey started with researching, enterprise search, understanding the data, archiving the data to lower tier storage, improving the backups, understanding all the data and , the metadata, and much more.
To harmonize overall data, and enterprise data, starting from searching to finding and then providing an enterprise solution is how Solix was able to transform.
Foundation of the A-Team
The vision ever since 2002 has been relentlessly working towards delivering ground-breaking enterprise data management solutions. So, Solix Technologies started with prototyping, archiving documents, which was very easy because it’s very finite. Here is a document more than X number of years old created by so and so, fits to archive eligible records. What about structured data, that is much more complex? imagine archiving SAP application? How do we archive IBM mainframe data?
How can we archive VAX VMs data, when the sources are so complex and different? The structure is different, some are semi-structured, some are completely structured or unstructured, dealing with different types of databases and all of that was more complex.
So that’s where the company built A team, bringing the right people who can architect an enterprise archiving solution. Solix prototyped with their A team and that’s how they kind of really immersed themselves in building one of the top solutions in the world.
Experience in ERP became an added benefit for Building an Enterprise
In the past, Solix Technologies used to work on ERP. Sai too had a massive experience with ERP and worked on it. So, hailing from an ERP background, handling a few hundred thousand tables, the linkages, and the sql helped Sai with the knowledge and kind of really architect the structured data archiving solution platform.
Building Network and growing Customer Base through Collaboration
Solix Technologies had built a product and it started sourcing early adopters, approaching known friends from Enterprises and they were potential prospects. Sai added, “We started going and saying, how do you kind of really manage your data? And this is fundamentally what you need to look at it. We started inspiring a few people that we knew kind of really explored if they believed in that vision. And, we knew lot of customers, didn’t know that the problem even existed.”
He knew their problems would surface at some point of time. Hence, they started approaching people that they knew, presented them with a solution, and made them realize the bigger picture of the problem the customers will eventually face.
The company came up with an ultimate solution, and asked the main question, “Would you be interested in piloting, or partnering?” And, yes, they did find good enterprises who liked their idea.
Soon, they started partnering and Solix started building the solution. Many enterprises were accumulating huge amounts of data. “And every time they do an upgrade, every time they acquire a company, question -, Hey, what do I do with these data assets, right? And how do I harmonize all this?”
This made Solix very valuable by gaining the trust of its customers and that’s how it became one of the top companies in the world in the area of enterprise data management
Leading from the Forefront
From a leadership perspective, the first thing is, people always want to work on complex problems and focus on creating a bigger impact. They like the business challenges. So, the company kind of first focused on that particular aspect.
Also, people understood that data is the future. People can work, connect, and do much more and good data is like a goldmine. So, as everyone is well aware that AI-driven will be the future. That’s where even both Amazon and Google are all investing , and Solix recognized, it can be the IA (Information Architecture) for AI proposition.
The information architecture for AI-driven enterprises. So, it took the words, A and I and smartly called the terms. Now, it can be the IA for AI driven Enterprises
“You need to understand all your data. You need to capture all Enterprise data and its metadata. You need to know how to harmonize your data, to monetize, that is enterprise data fabric, it’s both data inside the firewall and outside .We are inspired that this is gonna be the future. We are managing petabytes of data and this is just the beginning. People now see this as a big future.”
Solix believes it can be the data operating system for enterprises. Considering all the aspects, be it data storage optimization, governance optimization, compliance, optimization or more. Understanding data sovereignty. means say data born in Canada needs to stay in Canada. But then How do you create a federated structure?
How do you create a regional structure? How does the company implement global policies and all of that stuff? So, Solix is providing an important component for an enterprise. For companies, who want to become AI-driven enterprises, Solix provides the IA component to enable the AI. This is inspiring its employees and customers.
Additionally, it is also able to inspire its partners that this is a great value proposition that they can carry to their customers
Experiencing the Growth Trajectory
So initially, Solix Technologies was working on purely structured data, and it was bringing the data from database applications. By offering such services, it was the first pioneering company to manage key managing Enterprise data .
Sai saw the potential of Hadoop infrastructure. The company was quick to recognize that it’s a scalable infrastructure to an infinite capacity, and it’s a zero-cost of ownership
Solix grabbed this opportunity and found a solution in the form of infrastructure.. It pioneered archiving the data to Hadoop. And, this was the change that inspired a lot of enterprises because they’ve accumulated huge amount of data like multiple petabytes of data. And if they were to put it in a database, it’s just not scalable.
When Solix Technologies first started, it was the only company in the world. And that’s where it kind of really started getting like multimillion-dollar deals as it started managing petabytes of data And then further, it was able to take that into a cloud environment that was also a pretty big disruption. It then expanded to active data, it then created true Enterprise Data Fabric, active and semi-active data all in a single platform, and providing data to analytical platforms.
Creating Products that are Second to None
“All these things kind of really differentiated us from the competition. Well now, that technology is evolving at a rapid speed. I see. So, how do you keep, how do you constantly keep innovating to keep in touch with the new things coming within the market? So, you know, the first and foremost thing iwe wanted to own Enterprise archiving market, we wanted to first help companies on managing their data for storage, for computing, for governance, and with Enterprise Data Lake, we are true Enterprise Data Fabric and more.”
Solix Technologies wants to get into AI. It has a vision to kind of create a marketplace for AI analytics. No CIO will have the capability to hire a massive number of AI scientists. Solix’s marketplace will make it easy for Enterprises to embrace AI for their Enterprise.
“You know, for companies that want to be AI driven, we’ve got the IA, we can work with them on their AI with our marketplace Our goal is to commoditize AI applications and make it easy for companies to acquire.
It gives companies a competitive advantage with AI, that’s what Amazon has, that’s what Google has, and companies are rushing to become AI-driven..
“Small AI companies can partner with us, integrating their solution with Solix platform, we can make it easy for Enterprises to consume them. Large SI partners like Accenture, Cognizant, Wipro, Infosys and HCL, can easily take our complete solution to their customers to help them become AI-driven enterprises. So, it’s an opportunity for everybody and that needs to be highlighted,” concluded Sai.