An exclusive interview with Vishal Prakash Shah, Founder and CEO of Synersoft Technologies
In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, certain visionaries stand out for their exceptional contributions and leadership. Mr. Vishal Prakash Shah, the Founder and CEO of Synersoft Technologies, is one such trailblazer whose innovative approach has left an indelible mark on the industry.
With a profound understanding of technology trends and a relentless commitment to excellence, Mr. Shah has steered Synersoft Technologies towards new heights. In this exclusive interview, we delve into the insights and experiences that have shaped his journey, exploring the vision that propels Synersoft Technologies forward and gaining a unique perspective on the dynamic world of technology leadership.
Can you briefly describe Synersoft’s core mission and how it aligns with the needs of Indian MSMEs in the data protection and information security space?
Vishal Prakash Shah: At Synersoft, our mission is crystal clear: we’re dedicated to helping MSMEs effectively manage their cybersecurity and IT standardization requirements. Our journey began about 16 years ago when we identified a substantial gap in the market. We realized that Indian MSMEs would need to embrace digitalization to stay competitive.
As their reliance on digital assets grew, safeguarding their data from loss and theft became a top priority. However, most existing cybersecurity solutions were designed for large enterprises with the financial capacity to maintain skilled IT teams. It presented a significant hurdle for MSMEs, who couldn’t attract or afford such expertise.
In response to this challenge, we embarked on a mission to develop a product that simplifies cybersecurity and data protection for MSMEs, eliminating the need for multiple solutions and specialized IT teams.
This endeavour gave birth to BLACKbox, our flagship product. BLACKbox is an all-in-one hardware and software solution that serves various essential roles in cybersecurity and data protection.
BLACKbox serves as a File Server, Firewall, Storage Device, Domain Controller, Endpoint Controller, Mail Vigilance/Distribution System, VPN Server, and Productivity Monitoring tool—all within a single package. What’s even more remarkable is that it comes at a fraction of the cost compared to procuring, integrating, and implementing multiple separate solutions.
Could you explain how BLACKbox addresses the specific challenges faced by Indian MSMEs in terms of data protection and cybersecurity?
Vishal Prakash Shah: Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in India grapple with a multitude of data security challenges, which are critical for their sustainability and growth. These challenges can be categorized into three key areas:
- Data Security Compliance: A significant number of Indian MSMEs operate as suppliers to large enterprises or engage in international trade. In both scenarios, they must adhere to stringent data security compliance requirements imposed by their larger or overseas clients. Meeting these compliance standards is often a prerequisite for vendor approval. To maintain their business relationships and access profitable markets, MSMEs must establish robust data security measures.
- Cost and Scalability: When MSMEs seek data protection and information security solutions, they often discover that available options are tailored for large enterprises with extensive infrastructure and resources. These solutions are typically expensive and feature functionalities that may exceed the needs of the relatively smaller operations of MSMEs. Consequently, MSMEs face the dilemma of investing in costly, unsuitable solutions or compromising their data security, which can negatively impact their competitiveness and reputation.
- IT Talent Shortage: The implementation and maintenance of data security solutions necessitate skilled IT professionals. However, qualified IT experts often prefer to work for larger organizations offering better compensation and career prospects. Therefore, even if MSMEs are willing to allocate resources for data security solutions, they struggle to recruit, afford, and retain the required IT talent. This shortage not only hampers their ability to effectively manage data security but also exposes them to increased vulnerabilities.
These intertwined challenges emphasize the demand for a solution tailored to the unique needs of MSMEs. Such a solution should be simple, cost-effective, and user-friendly, offering essential features to protect data against loss, leakage, and theft.
This is where Blackbox emerges as a game-changer for MSMEs. Blackbox is thoughtfully crafted to precisely address the requirements of smaller-scale MSMEs. Unlike complex and expensive data security solutions designed for larger enterprises, Blackbox provides a streamlined feature set that aligns with the specific needs and budget limitations of MSMEs.
Moreover, Blackbox is offered as a managed service, eliminating the necessity for MSMEs to recruit or retain qualified IT professionals. It simplifies the implementation and maintenance processes, making data security accessible even to those MSMEs lacking the resources or expertise to handle it independently.
In essence, Blackbox serves as a plug-and-play solution for MSMEs, enabling them to seamlessly meet data security compliance requirements mandated by their large clients as a condition for vendor approval. By bridging the gap between the unique challenges faced by MSMEs and the solutions available in the market, Blackbox empowers these enterprises to effectively safeguard their data, uphold their competitiveness, and foster trust with their business partners.
Can you share insights into Synersoft’s Research and Development Center and how it continually enhances the value of BLACKbox for Indian MSMEs?
Vishal Prakash Shah: Our Research and Development Center has evolved in response to the unique challenges we encountered on our journey. In the beginning, our target customer base had limited awareness of cybersecurity and data protection, posing a significant challenge for our Research and Development team. We were essentially developing a product for a segment that was not fully aware of its own needs, leading to numerous trial-and-error phases during the early stages.
As time passed, our product gained popularity and found acceptance among thousands of MSME customers. These customers now actively influence the direction of our research and development efforts. They openly share their emerging challenges and look to us for solutions. Their feedback serves as invaluable input for our continuous efforts to improve the product’s value.
This collaborative process has resulted in the development of three significant solutions. First, there’s BLACKbox Duo, a BYOD space solution that is particularly in demand among MSMEs. It enables remote users to work on enterprise data using their personal devices while maintaining robust data security.
Our hybrid Email System Solution is another outcome of this collaboration, offering customers substantial savings of up to 70% on email subscription costs. This solution was created based on feedback from customers who were frustrated with paying for features they didn’t need in other email systems.
Finally, our automatic data isolation solution, known as Happy Hours or Magic Browser, was born from insights provided by our customers who sought a balance between using the Internet as a resource and controlling it to prevent data leakage.
As we continue to actively listen to our customers and engage in this ongoing dialogue, our commitment remains unwavering in further enhancing the value of our products.
Could you elaborate on how Synersoft offers affordable and secure Cloud Computing infrastructure that adheres to international standards, and why this is important for the reliability of MSMEs’ IT operations?
Vishal Prakash Shah: In response to the growing interest in cloud computing among Indian SMEs, we have introduced a game-changing product known as ‘BLACKbox OneCloud.’ This innovative solution is purpose-built to guide and facilitate SMEs in their journey towards cloud adoption.
It empowers them with the necessary tools and expertise required for a smooth and cost-effective transition. In doing so, BLACKbox OneCloud addresses a common challenge that businesses face when they need to install multiple agents on devices and subscribe to various services in the cloud.
Traditionally, for different aspects of their IT infrastructure, such as cloud backup, device hardening, endpoint control, cloud storage, VPN, and more, SMEs have had to install separate agents and subscribe to multiple services.
This complex and fragmented approach not only adds to the cost but also makes management and administration a cumbersome task. SMEs often find it challenging to handle the intricacies and expenses associated with multiple agents and services.
BLACKbox OneCloud is designed to streamline this process. It is a cloud-based offering that serves as a unified solution, effectively consolidating multiple functions into a single agent and service. It means that it functions as a file-sharing server, provides device hardening capabilities, enforces endpoint controls, applies email vigilance policies, prevents data leakage, offers VPN functionality, and facilitates backup services all through a single agent and a single service.
By simplifying the adoption of cloud technology for MSMEs and making it more affordable, BLACKbox OneCloud significantly reduces the complexities and costs traditionally associated with cloud services. In essence, it’s a game-changer for MSMEs, allowing them to embrace the cloud with ease, improve their IT infrastructure, and enhance their overall competitiveness without the hassle of managing multiple agents and subscriptions.
Synersoft has a presence in key SME industrial hubs across India. How does this local presence help in addressing the specific needs and challenges of MSMEs in different regions?
Vishal Prakash Shah: Geographical expansion holds immense importance when it comes to catering to the needs of SMEs. To understand its significance, it’s essential to consider the latest technology trends.
For companies offering cloud-based solutions, the physical location of the customer is largely irrelevant. They can serve clients from virtually anywhere, eliminating the necessity for a last-mile presence.
However, the scenario is quite different for the multitude of MSMEs. These businesses often operate in remote industrial areas where dependable Internet connectivity remains a persistent challenge. While consumer Internet access has become widespread and affordable in India, the same cannot be said for enterprise-grade Internet.
Business Internet connectivity comes at a high cost per MBPS, and reliable connectivity is a scarce resource in these remote regions. Consequently, cloud-hosted solutions, reliant on uninterrupted Internet access, are impractical for many MSMEs.
Another compelling factor that favours local deployment is the software used by these MSMEs, which includes applications like Autodesk, Solidworks, and 3D Modeling tools. These software applications generate large files and are not well-suited for cloud-based use.
Therefore, the vast number of SMEs in India necessitate on-premises solutions. Our product, BLACKbox, is specifically designed for on-premises deployment, which underscores the importance of our geographical expansion. We need to establish a presence on the last mile to ensure that we can effectively serve these MSMEs, wherever they are located, addressing their unique needs with precision.
As we conclude this exclusive interview with Mr. Vishal Prakash Shah, it becomes evident that his journey is not just a testament to individual success but a narrative that reflects the resilience, innovation, and forward-thinking spirit that defines Synersoft Technologies.
From its humble beginnings to its current stature, the company under Mr. Shah’s leadership has navigated the complexities of the tech industry with unwavering determination. As a visionary leader, he not only envisions the future of Synersoft Technologies but also contributes significantly to the broader discourse on technology’s role in shaping our world. This conversation provides a rare glimpse into the mind of a leader who continues to inspire and drive positive change in the realm of technology.
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