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In 2011, CROC’s revenue increased by 55% YoY to reach $1.292 billion.
CROC retained its leading position in the IT services market in 2011 and consolidated leadership in its key systems integration segment for the tenth consecutive year (according to IDC). CROC is one of Russia’s Top 200 Private Companies (FORBES Magazine), the third largest consulting company in Russia according to Expert Rating Agency (2012) and the nation’s fifth largest IT company according to both Expert Rating Agency (2010) and RIA Analytics (2012).
CROC implemented more than 2,086 projects in 2011, including 825 sizable implementations for financial and credit institutions, retail chains, telecom companies, public organizations, transportation and logistics enterprises and energy and manufacturing companies—working with approximately 900 companies during the year. The revenue ratio of federal (central) and regional projects has not changed since 2010, standing at 63% to 37%.
“In my opinion, we’ve achieved adequate results to mark CROC’s 20th anniversary. These results were obtained thanks to the daily dedication of all of our 1,900 employees plus an element of good luck which is always necessary in business,” says Boris Bobrovnikov, Director General, CROC.
In 2011, the trend towards ‘IT as a service’ continued as it provides businesses with flexibility and efficiency. As a result, CROC’s technical support and IT outsourcing revenue doubled in 2011, with the IT support service for storage systems, ‘heavy’ hardware and telecom infrastructure being most in demand. The focus on IT cost optimization led to increased demand for data center outsourcing services, with this particular business line more than quadrupling in 2011. In the past, customers used outsourcing data centers to deploy their main or backup computing capacities; now the demand is shifting towards integrated services. For example, as part of a backup site creation project for a major retailer, CROC developed and implemented a backup plan for the customer’s full range of IT services, and provided communications and technical support services.
One of 2011’s highlights was the launch of Kompressor Data Center, which is CROC’s third outsourcing data center. It covers a total floor space of 5,000 sq. m. (approximately 53,800 sq. ft.) and comprises more than 20 different engineering systems. For the first time, data center design documents from the Russian systems integrator received Uptime Institute’s Professional Services Tier III certification, which guarantees 99.982% availability.
More than 200 companies used free demo access to CROC’s Virtual Data Center in 2011 and after testing, some of them started using cloud services on a commercial basis. Based on its Virtual Data Center, CROC provides Desktop as a Service (DaaS), Backup as a Service (BaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).
CROC significantly expanded its cloud services with ‘IT as a service’ offerings such as portal, transportation management, digital signage, workforce management, video conferencing, storage and call recording analytics. These services are available at the Virtual Data Center and can be deployed within customers’ private clouds. In addition, CROC has become the first company in Russia and the CIS to receive EMC Service Provider status from EMC Corporation.
The fact that many large companies focused on ensuring IT resource security and guaranteed availability stimulated the growth of CROC’s computing systems business line. CROC implemented a number of interesting large-scale projects with regard to data storage and backup systems. For instance, storage systems at Razgulay Group — a major agricultural holding operating in 18 Russian regions — were upgraded within just three months. This allowed the customer to promptly implement a unified accounting system, with the current level of scalability being sufficient for operations for the next five years. In addition, CROC assisted Home Credit Bank in optimizing its data backup processes, improving data storage reliability and accelerating user request processing.
Overall, revenue within CROC’s storage system business grew by 55% in 2011. In addition, CROC enriched its storage system portfolio with new products during the year. In order to enable customers to appreciate the benefits of new systems, special programs were initiated, including the Try&Buy program for EMC DataDomain deduplication storage systems. Moreover, new agreements with Brocade and Hitachi Data Systems were concluded and HDS equipment was implemented within a large-scale project.
The share of projects involving computing hardware increased during 2011. Large customers made investments in improving business efficiency and certain customers started to create their own commercial data centers. In addition, the new challenges and the need to respond quickly to change drove many organizations to implement supercomputer technologies which are absolutely necessary for large-scale data processing. Indeed, revenue within CROC’s supercomputer technologies increased by 94% in 2011.
In 2011, CROC’s telecom business revenue increased by 37%, mainly due to rising demand for data transfer (+63%) and telephony (+85%) systems. Data network optimization also remains a hot area as these projects deliver tangible results in a short timeframe. For example, a large bank recently saved $180,000 over a period of six months by implementing traffic optimization hardware within 34 branches, and this figure does not include additional savings related to the fact that the customer no longer needs new communication channels. In 2011, CROC increased its competence in implementing carrier-grade solutions. For example, we completed the design of engineering solutions for backbone network nodes for a large telecom operator and multiple other projects are currently in progress, including the construction of trunks, mobile network, optical backbone, wireless communication links and backbone monitoring.
Large financial institutions, telecom operators and insurance and transportation companies with extensive customer networks focused on improving contact center efficiency, with CROC’s business line in this area growing by 37%. CROC implemented an innovative workforce planning and management system in the Personal Credit Application Department of Sberbank. In addition, CROC helped the unified contact center of the National Penalty Service to optimize its operations via the implementation of an integrated workforce optimization solution which allows for call recording, speech and emotional state analysis. This was Russia’s first implementation of a system with such functionality. Furthermore, CROC implemented multiple projects to ensure interoperability among all types of networks using SoftS software switches.
Demand for AV and video conferencing remains strong and CROC implemented a number of sizable projects in this area. For example, CROC designed and implemented a unified multimedia solution (including 14 audio and video systems) at RUSNANO in just nine months. Other large projects in this area included equipping 77 Russian Federation State Arbitration Courts with a video conferencing system, and the deployment of a VC solution at M.Video to connect 260 hypermarkets from Yakutsk to St. Petersburg.
Attention to information security is growing and last year was no exception, with CROC recording a 51% increase in revenue in this area. Companies are looking for solutions that offer security against both external and internal threats, and this is boosting demand for data leak prevention and anti-fraud solutions. In addition, companies are also increasingly adopting an integrated security approach, firstly by having their IT systems audited for security gaps and then by integrating new security solutions with existing business applications. CROC is no exception in this area, with its information security management system certified to comply with the Russian GOST R ISO/MEK 27001-2006 standard. As a result, CROC is the first IT company in Russia to be certified as meeting both Russian and international ISMS standards.
CROC’s infrastructure solution business recorded a 50% increase in revenue in 2011. Particularly noticeable was increasing interest in virtualization, including desktop virtualization, which not only helps reduce investment in opening new offices but also improves reliability and security as well as user independence. CROC’s IT infrastructure management business revenue doubled in 2011 as management and flexibility improvement remain a priority for many organizations. CROC has already deployed and integrated all HP solutions in its HP Competence Center, where customers can test innovative solutions, including those aimed at automating IT infrastructure operations.
There is also demand for integration projects. For example, in 2011 CROC completed a unique project for Sberbank which involved the creation of the integration bus which supports the performance of real-time end-to-end transactions between local units distributed over nine Russian time zones. Indeed, this integration project is recognized as the largest of its kind in the world for IBM products. In addition, CROC also integrated Sberbank’s banking system with MoneyGramInternational—the first such project in Russia. The offering of consulting services for integration architecture and standards is a new business line which has great prospects. CROC implemented the first project of this kind within a major international bank and its deliverable has determined the future of the customer’s integration architecture over the coming years.
Business process transparency and governance remains a hot area for corporate organizations. Indeed, today it is impossible to succeed in process management without BPM, software development and electronic document management systems. As a result, solutions in these areas are in demand.
CROC implemented the Unified Industry Document Management System within 25 Rosatom entities. Over 10,000 employees currently use the system and this was just one of many large-scale projects in this area. In addition, the consumerization trend is contributing to increasing demand for document management integration with mobile devices. CROC improved its competence in this area by implementing several projects based on IBM Business Process Manager and DocsVision. For its own internal use, CROC implemented a business rule management system to simulate differentiated staff rates. The key benefit of the system is the fact that functional managers can make changes without the assistance of IT specialists.
Revenue within CROC’s business applications line increased by 26% during 2011. We completed major projects for World Trade Center Moscow and Synergy Russian Holding. During these projects, CROC automated customer planning and reporting, thereby significantly reducing decision-making time while improving quality. In addition, CROC also implemented an MDM solution for a major agricultural-and-industrial holding and we also expanded our supply chain management portfolio with stock forecasting, assortment management and merchandizing solutions as well as supply chain and pricing optimization systems.
In 2011, revenue within CROC’s structured cabling systems and complex power supply systems business lines increased by 39% and 9% respectively and we significantly improved our competence in data center engineering infrastructure creation. Energy-efficient power supply and cooling solutions allowed companies to reduce operational costs. For instance, CROC was the first company in Russia to deploy a dynamic diesel UPS system in its ‘Volochaevskaya 2’ Data Center and we also commenced pioneer projects dedicated to the use of alternative energy sources. In addition, CROC improved its energy audit competence and joined the Self-Regulatory Organization of the Inter-Regional Energy Audit Guild. Seven CROC specialists are now authorized to conduct energy audits of civil and industrial facilities and to issue ‘energy passports’.
CROC received over 20 awards in 2011 from major partners, including ‘In recognition of Storage Skills with Distinction 2011’ from IBM; ‘Partner of the Year in Implementing Projects based on Symantec Enterprise Vault in 2011’ from Symantec; and ‘Project of the Year’ from Verint. Furthermore, while enhancing its competence, CROC also began to cooperate with 20 new vendors: Streamcore, C-nario, Mitel, Menara (telecom infrastructure creation); Kieback&Peter, Schneider Electric (intelligent building and engineering infrastructure); DocsVision, Radware, Netcom, JDA, Latista, MES-control, Preactor, Epicor, Visiant Pimsoft, Tektronix (information systems); and Hitachi Data Systems and Brocade (computing infrastructure creation).
In 2011, CROC significantly strengthened its business consulting offerings. GBMC and CROC signed a five-year contract for an exclusive strategic partnership in Russia. This contract allows CROC not only to employ GBMC’s existing knowledge base but to also involve consultants from the leading global project management consultancy to work with customers. For GBMC, the agreement opens up the opportunity to complement its service portfolio with project management process automation solutions. As a result, the company can now provide a comprehensive portfolio: from methodology development to business process automation. This is a unique service offering in the Russian market.
“Strange as it may seem, the information technology market is a creative one. Our lives are full of useful ideas. Therefore, for our 20th anniversary, we launched a specialized project called ‘20 Ways to Brighten Up Your Life.’ On our website, we published 20 bright ideas, including improvements to our solution portfolio, ways to fuel industry development, and cultural and sports initiatives. We will officially celebrate our 20th anniversary on May 24th and will measure our progress in each of these 20 ideas from that date on,” says Veronika Taraba, Deputy Director General, CROC.