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CxO of the Week: Pramod Sharda, CEO, IceWarp India & Middle East

In this week's "CxO of the week session, we have Mr Pamod Sharda, CEO, IceWarp India and the Middle East to talk about cloud collaboration platform.

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Laxitha Mundhra
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CxO of the Week: Pramod Sharda, CEO, IceWarp India & Middle East

CxO of the Week: As the world moves past the COVID-19 pandemic, we are going to see a huge technical shift within the workforce. Most of the companies are going to follow the work-from-modules as it is both cost-saving and employee-productive. Remote working is going to be the new normal. In that case, CIOL had a conversation with Mr Pramod Sharda of IceWarp, a cloud collaboration platform.

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Excerpts of the interview are given below.

1. How will Remote Working affect the industry?

Remote working has brought in the need for and importance of collaboration solutions. Today most of the organizations are moving towards remote working solutions that will help them to have seamless communication and collaboration within teams and the outside world. In these challenging times, we need to have a mindset and understanding that with the right technology tools, work can be done efficiently, no matter where one is located.

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So, at this juncture, remote working has become a routine task. This has been possible only because of the collaboration solutions that allow users/employees to share and review documents, screens and work on ideas as a team in real-time. There’s no more waiting for emails to arrive to start getting work done and no doubt as to which version of a document should be edited, there is an update on projects and also sharing of ideas on a collaborative platform.

Also, it implies faster decision making, as teams can review, discuss, and consider multiple aspects at the same time. This results in more interactive and productive virtual meetings. Adding to this, online meetings and video conferencing have become an essential part of companies in these tough times. It also presents new tactical opportunities, making it accessible to address large groups of participants to engage in online discussions, product launches or training events.

2. Most organizations today are following ‘work from home’ culture in compliance with the government. Are there any specific solutions of IceWarp that might help sustain this culture?

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While WFH has become a reality for the majority of the industries, it requires a comprehensive platform/solution to carry out the same. IceWarp offers a complete Communication and Collaboration Suite. Thus, consumers can have seamless WFH experiences. One of our new upgrades, the Deep Castle Gen 1 comes makes it much easier for organizations to enable easy working experience for their employees even in a remote work scenario.

Be it the video conferencing feature for collaborative editing of documents or our TeamChat feature, it is on a secure channel.

3. Tell us about IceWarp and its solutions?

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IceWarp is known for developing email communication and collaboration solutions. It is an alternative to MS Exchange, Office 365, and GSuite. IceWarp changes the concept of how teams share information online and optimize business processes through its streamlined and seamless team collaboration solutions.  It provides an all-in-one collaboration platform and a whole new family of apps with real-time collaboration tools, easy sharing options, integration of various virtual office functions right at user’s fingertips by integrating everything they need under a single login - Email, Teamchat, and Storage.

IceWarp offers its users ease of use, security, and efficiency through its complete end-to-end solution for all their office work in a single window, without needing any third-party applications.

4. How old is the Company?

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Headquartered in Prague, IceWarp has been operating globally since 2001. We have more than 50 million paid users and 50,000 customers worldwide. IceWarp is currently present across 50 countries and has already acquired more than 900+ customers in India within 5 years.

5. What is the motto the company has behind a formal collaborative platform?

Unified Communications is IceWarp's sole focus and has been our raison d'être for over a decade. The company aims to build the best features of communication, collaboration, security and mobility and revolutionize how organizations work and communicate.

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6. How are your employees currently working?

To us, the security of our employees is of the utmost priority. Owing to security concerns our employees are currently working from home. Even after the lockdown period, we will be emphasizing to continue WFH till the time we feel the situation is better. And owing to the economic situation, I have decided to take a 100% pay cut for the rest of the year safeguarding the employees of IceWarp and promising no salary-cuts or layoffs.  It is invariably important for companies to take the right step while taking care of their employees, assuring them certainty.

7. How are you looking to stay ahead in this competitive landscape where the popularity of video conferencing platforms has compelled other players to come up with innovation?

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Competition is inevitable. So, we have added a multi-participant video conferencing feature. The beta version is FREE for everyone all across the world till mid of June 2020. We have been hearing about privacy issues as well as bandwidth consumption issues with other platforms which primarily has been addressed in our platform.

8. Lately, well-known video conferencing platforms have been called out for Data-Breach. How does IceWarp protect its users’ data? How is it different from its competitors?

Customers need a multi-fold user experience which is cost-effective with data privacy. That's our motto. We give unparalleled security for organisations and efficiency through our complete solution for all their office work. In our beta stage, we have taken care of data privacy and not storing any data from customers. We also host our servers in Indian datacenters. Also, we don’t capture or store data of users in any way.

We are further adding up innovations that would be useful in the remote working scenario for all across industries.

9. Do you believe that Remote working will be the new normal?

We believe this culture is here to stay and this is the new normal further it might as well be the future. We have to accept the situation and adapt to the work from the home culture at least till the current situation subsides. Most organizations have already announced their major employee strength will be working remotely. Today everyone is virtually attending webinars, meetings, collaborating on the go with multiple devices. All this has fueled the growth for players like us.

This is the time to upgrade yourself to solutions that are all in one. These should also give you the flexibility of optimizing your cost by paying for what you are using. Help your employees with tools that they can engage with their customers, prospects or internal teams, let them collaborate on projects on a real-time basis and updates, help them co-create documents and be participative. All of this is possible with the right kind of solution in place.

10. Looking at the current ongoing scenario, what do you predict about the market, both Indian and International?

The ability to be connected and being able to collaborate with the teams is the utmost priority for every organization today. With the current scenario, demand for Collaboration is already up and it’s going to grow much beyond. The current scenario has brought in the need for an email system with complete communication and collaboration features.

We will see lots of companies moving from basic mailing solutions to offerings that have complete collaborative features. CEO’s and CFO’s will mandate cost-effective solutions to ensure that they maintain cash flows without compromising on features and capabilities of the technology.

About the CxO of the Week: Pramod Sharda

Pramod Sharda has unmatched experience in the IT Industry for 11 years. His expertise includes in IT Infrastructure Services, IDC, Hosting. Cloud, Security, Networking, Email Messaging, Unified Communications, Software Development and Offshore Outsourced Software Development. Know more about him through his LinkedIn.

Read about the last week's CxO here.

icewarp cxo-of-the-week