Founder of Adaptiva, Deepak Kumar, on Green-IT Strategy and Working with Microsoft
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potential client list to companies that use Microsoft’s SMS 2003 or SCCM 2007. 1E and Verdiem, on the other hand, can sell to anyone, because they rely on their own built-in frameworks.
In addition, Microsoft has recently moved forward with a number of green initiatives, including adding similar power management capabilities to SCCM and sending chief environmental strategist Rob Bernard and his team to the climate talks in Copenhagen. Microsoft’s going green has created some concern that in-house developments could make Adaptiva’s product obsolete. “It is pretty clearly disappointing that Microsoft added those features to System Center. But they have kept us informed, and we have been shown that functionality,” Kumar said.
And he’s still confident his product offers more capabilities than the competition. “They [Microsoft] have provided some basic power management capabilities—very, very basic—and they will be sufficient for some of the customers, but not for all,” he said. “We continue to enhance and provide very high-end features, which meet the requirements of the larger side of the market. For example, the Microsoft built-in capabilities don’t provide adequate turning on/off of machines. So while you can turn off machines, you can’t really turn them on.”
Before founding Adaptiva in April 2004 with entrepreneur Peter Burnham, Kumar was a designer on Microsoft’s Systems Management Server 2003. And despite the slight overlap in product, the two companies are still very much corporate partners. “They keep us informed of their product plans, development milestones, and partnership opportunities. They also feature our products on their website and product guides,” Kumar said.
To ensure Adaptiva stayed up to speed, the startup spent the weeks before the release of Windows 7 testing and tweaking its products to blend seamlessly with the new operating system.
Kumar said he’s happy with the company’s growth. He and Burnham were the only initial investors, and unlike many startups, they were able to get up and running without any venture capital funds, turning profitable after just one year. Adaptiva currently has six employees, and plans to grow to 10 in January. “Going forward, we are going to invest more on the business side [sales and marketing]. We’ve traditionally been investing heavily in engineering,” Kumar said.
Adaptiva now serves a variety of companies around the world. Its smallest client, located on an island off British Columbia, has only 50 network computers; its largest is an insurance company with more than 200,000. And although Kumar admits the software might seem expensive to purchase and maintain— running between $10 and $12 per desktop, with an annual maintenance fee—he said it’s worth the investment.
“Usually green technologies involve spending money to save the environment,” Kumar said. “You buy expensive gas, or you buy more expensive power, or something which costs you more. Our green technology is an example of where you are actually saving the environment and saving money as well.”