A frequent wish heard in academic circles: We should collaborate more often. Delhi based startup SahVidya wants to make that happen. The company has built an online application for academics and institutions to store data, share applications and computing facility with peers and others on the network.
The application can work for any university or institute, says its founder Bhanu Gupta, an alum of IIT- Delhi. “There is no platform at present where academicians can meet and collaborate and SahVidya becomes one stop shop for that,” says Gupta.
The freemium product gives 3GB of free space to a user. Additional space costs $.3 per GB/ Month. Since launch in December last year, the company has registered 500 users from IITs, IIMs and few from NIFT Delhi, Gupta said.
The site has two primary kinds of users– students & faculty. Students can use the site to store data, create course directories, organise lab work, assignments and share files between peers in other institutes.
Faculty can use the storage facility to upload course work, assign it to student groups, maintain office, research and consultancy related work.
The startup will have to compete with larger rivals such as Dropbox, if the proposition is storage. While the service also competes with the collaboration tools like Google Drive, Microsoft Online Office, SahVidya has a winner in making if they have a clear workflow for use-cases in academics.
The Indian government is also working on various cloud computing initiatives (pdf) and academic institutions are their primary targets. Government is likely to use state owned infrastructure. So that will probably rule out government institutions. E-mail, productivity, ERP, CRM and other things are already on the Government’s road map. Microsoft has already made inroads into academic institutions by partnering with the All India Council for Technical Education.
What this also means that the government is open to the idea of cloud computing and there will be opportunities to partner with them on various aspects related to cloud computing.
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