Profiled by Sustainable Silicon Valley

Get to know Raj: Accenture, Sustainability, and Cloud Computing (2014)


Raj Padmanabhan is a Management Consultant who is a part of Accenture’s Salesforce practice with an extensive background in Customer Relationship Management (CRM). He helps implement cloud solutions at some of the largest companies in the world. He also assists startups with their CRM strategy and operations. Recently, Raj was a co-lead of Accenture’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team within the Technology Growth Practice. He is also a veteran volunteer with Sustainable Silicon Valley (SSV).

Raj grew up in Austin, Texas and says, “I definitely feel that my upbringing in Austin was what spurred a holistic outlook that made me environmentally conscious. I try to reduce commuting via car and always look for ways in which I could conserve the environment, personally as well as by promoting corporate sustainability. I remind myself with this mantra: Be nice, increase sales/relevance, lower costs, and reduce carbon footprint.”

After college, Raj completed an internship at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and worked for an environmental justice organization. He then transitioned to a career in Business and Technology Consulting. His consulting career has taken him to some interesting places including Tokyo, Japan where he lived for three years as an expat. Here is some wisdom from his time in Japan.

Then, five years ago (2009), he started volunteering at SSV as a Business Development Consultant. Raj helped forge new partnerships for SSV and augmented existing ones. He forayed as an Ecocloud and Senior CRM Advisor.

Today, Raj is utilizing his consulting skills to help SSV grow, furthering the organization’s role in the Silicon Valley ecosystem. He says, “SSV’s work is inspiring. I like their goals and intentions. I feel that whether one is in Berkeley or San Jose, most people have similar opinions about local environmental issues such as our water drought. SSV does a good job of galvanizing those issues and being a platform for bringing leaders together. My experience with SSV has been fantastic! Marianna and the team continue to inspire me.”

Raj tries hard to connect these dots with his career. He explains that CRM applications are pervasive within Cloud Computing. These apps simplify operations and processes, resulting in minimal dependency on technology infrastructure. Ultimately, Cloud Computing lowers the carbon impact of a business. A CRM software like Salesforce is cheap, easy to use and less impactful on the environment. Raj is passionate about Cloud Computing and how it has revolutionized our knowledge economy.

Solar Panel

Cloud computing is definitely greener than using legacy systems. Raj shared some data points from a white paper, “Cloud Computing and Sustainability: The Environmental Benefits of Moving to the Cloud.” This study conducted by Microsoft, Accenture and WSP and can be accessed here. It found that energy use and carbon emissions were reduced by:

  • More than 90 percent for small deployments of about 100 users
  • 60 to 90 percent for medium-sized deployments of about 1,000 users
  • 30 to 60 percent for large deployments of about 10,000 users

The study concluded that the following factors enable cloud computing to lower energy use and carbon emissions from IT:

  • Dynamic Provisioning: Reducing wasted computing resources through better matching of server capacity with actual demand.
  • Multi-Tenancy: Flattening relative peak loads by serving large number of organizations and users on shared infrastructure.
  • Server Utilization: Operating servers at higher utilization rates.
  • Data Center Efficiency: Utilizing advanced data center infrastructure designs that reduce power loss through improved cooling, power conditioning, etc.

Raj’s perseverance has been recognized. He recently received Accenture’s US Corporate Citizenship Volunteer Award (2014) for being passionate about entrepreneurship in education and giving back to the community through various Non-Profits.

Raj is a wisdom junkie who lives by this rule:

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life; dream of it; think of it; live on that idea. Let the brain, the body, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success” – Swami Vivekananda.

– Sulakshna Shrivastava, October 10th, 2014, SSV Newsletter

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