Zensar doing very well since buying Westboro's Akibia
News | 8 Mar 2015
Zensar doing very well since buying Westboro's Akibia WESTBORO— The unassuming office park in Northboro doesn't look like a hub for a worldwide shipping network, nor does the nondescript Westboro office building shout that it houses the American headquarters for a multi-national company tasked with managing the technological infrastructure of some of the globe's largest pharmaceutical, financial, technological and educational institutions. But since tech giant Zensar (owned by Indian conglomerate RPG Group) bought Westboro's Akibia Inc. in 2011 for $66 million, the company has seen its diversity rewarded with significant growth both financially and in the services that the company can now offer its clients. "Akibia was a significant acquisition for us," says Vivek Gupta, Zensar's chief executive, global infrastructure management services. "We wanted the culture and the customer base and the people." Specifically, with Akibia under its wing (and under the Zensar name), Zensar extended its IT services to include hardware repair capabilities, bought itself access to a large American and European client list and distribution centers in Metrowest and Europe. The move also extended Zensar's reach into the network security market. To illustrate Zensar's growth in the past four years, Mr. Gupta said that at the time of the acquisition Akibia was nearly half of Zensar's size. In January 2011 Zensar had 5,600 employees. Today, Zensar is a $500 million company with 8,000 employees and a physical presence in 20 locations worldwide. The company has 400 clients in 140 countries. In the past 10 years Zensar has demonstrated 21 percent revenue growth compared to the 19 percent average for the same industry in India. (Zensar trades on the Indian stock exchange.) The Northboro warehouse is a microcosm of this growth.
According to Eve Pellecchia, Zensar's End User Computing Support Manager, under Akibia in 2002 the warehouse staff managed 65 "end user devices" (such as laptops specially outfitted for clients).
Today Zensar's warehouse supports over 1,700. Their call center at their Westboro campus handles 100,000 service incidents annually. Mr. Gupta explains his company's growth through their infrastructure management capabilities, headquartered in an 150-employee Westboro building. Companies hire Zensar to manage their hardware and software programs. Instead of dozens of contracts with dozens of different manufacturers, Zensar looks after all of a company's computers, servers and other IT systems under one contract. "The world wants to simplify things," Mr. Gupta says. This simplification for clients means Zensar has to know the complexities of a myriad of systems built by dozens of brands. To study the ever-changing technology, Zensar's Westboro building houses a security lab — among other divisions — where employees like David Van Der Geer, director of global technical support and education, studies various company's computer products. He and his staff reverse engineer the machines and train the employees of Zensar (and their clients) in how they work — and in what to expect when they falter. "We take it apart, we try to break it," Mr. Van Der Geer says, "so if a call [about a problem] comes in we've seen it before." If a client of Zensar's has concerns about upgrading or changing their computer system, Zensar's security lab can mimic that company's system and forewarn the company if any problems appeared during their simulation. Despite Zensar's fast rise, the company remains relatively ethereal according to Mr. Gupta.
While cloud storage may be a buzzword in the tech world, Zensar sticks to tech support, security and part shipment. "We want to be asset light and not invest in huge data centers," Mr. Gupta explains, which means you won't find rows of servers at any of Zensar's locations. That doesn't mean the company is eschewing trends. Contrary to how it may seem, Mr. Gupta says the industry isn't changing as quickly as one might think. And after helping clients with managing their cloud storage and mobile integration, Mr. Gupta says the next frontier for the company isn't in managing software but rather managing user experience. (This explains Zensar's recently announced partnership with Aternity Inc., a company that provides clients with the ability to see and analyze their application platforms from their users' perspectives.) He also predicts the automation of services, such as creating self-healing smartphones and computers, will be the industry's next challenge. "At least the next three to five years I think we're pretty comfortable," Mr. Gupta says. "Whatever changes are coming, we're ready for them."