A few days back, we got a chance to interact with Mr. Harsha Kodnad over emails to have an interview with him. Those who don’t know about Harsha, he is associated with Tally since 2000 and currently leads the Centre of Excellence for client applications. Over the years, he has contributed towards designing, architecting, developing and delivering multiple products and releases at Tally. He is one of the key participants in the evolution of TDL a.k.a. Tally Definition Language and the Tally. Developer 9 product, which has created a strong solution ecosystem for Tally, is his brainchild.

Harsha’s passion for programming has earned him numerous laurels – such as the National Manthan Award and the Raman Ratna Award. He has the distinction of developing a Kannada scriptwriting software named “Nudi” which was released to the public as freeware by the Govt. of Karnataka and for which he was honoured by the Delhi Karnataka Sangha.

Thanks to Mr. Harsha for generously answering all our questions. Here is how the interview with him went:

  1. Please tell us a few things about yourself, your roles, responsibilities, and time at Tally Solutions so far.

My association with Tally goes back to almost 2 decades. A fresher out of the college, I joined the company as a software engineer and have grown along with this company.

Over the years I have learned many things in designing and architecting by developing and delivering multiple products and releases at Tally. Tally. Developer 9 product is one of them, which has created a strong solution ecosystem for Tally.

  1. What’s the current market share of Tally in the business accounting software industry? 

There are millions of businesses in India who can benefit from ERP software. These businesses are primarily small and medium companies and are unorganized in nature. Over the years we have received an overwhelming response from our customers who have supported us in our growth. With nearly 1 million businesses benefitting from Tally in 2017, today, we have doubled our customer base to nearly 2 million businesses who trust Tally ERP 9 for managing their business operations. In fact, more than 6 million users use Tally in over 100 countries across the globe.

  1. Tell us about the future plans that the company is planning for Tally software? Like cross-platform compatibility, Cloud integration, team collaborations, chats, AI, etc. 

We are currently working on technologies that will assist the GST taxpayers in uploading invoices and returns to GST systems and the ability to close real-time reconciliation of data across GSTN systems and the books in the customer premise. This has been worked upon with the promise of security and privacy of the customer’s data that travels over the cloud. Giving customers delightful online connected experiences – responsiveness, automatic download and application of processing status, handling various practical exceptions in connected systems and allow remedies and recovery that allows business continuity.

We have full stack technology built on-premise and cloud. The premise we have Object-Oriented Database, User experience platform that allows customization, powerful integration and exchange platform that allows integration of any format and protocol. On the cloud side, again we built full-stack technology (upward from OS), from developing our own ‘lock-free’ data structures, memory manager, secure communication protocol to application hosting platform where various services (like GST Integration) are delivered. Keeping up with the rapid changes in Technology, the premise of Tally Technology remains Responsiveness, Speed and Reliability of connected operations. The versatility of Tally Technology suits every business, with easy adaptation.

  1. How Tally is benefitting the SMEs in India?

Tally has been supporting MSMEs in their growth story through various initiatives consistently. For more than 3 decades, we have been committed to assisting the small and medium-sized businesses in their journey towards automation by automating their accounting, inventory and compliance management needs. We understand the technology requirements of these companies and the fact that the technology must be flexible and simple enough to adapt to the way they work. To achieve all this and more, we have developed software that adapts to the unique nature of the business, not the other way around.

  1. Does Tally share the user data with government agencies?

Financial data for any business is extremely sensitive and private, and we have always been very cautious in handling it. We believe that only the business owner or the personnel authorized by him should have any access to this data. This has been the foundation of our design and engineering across all our products. With this understanding and background, we have no access to any data of any of our customers at any given point in time.

  1. What all products Tally Solutions is offering currently?

Over the last 3 decades, we have been at the forefront of providing small and medium businesses the power of technology that they can harness for the growth of their business. Working in this sector, we have learned that every small and medium business has unique needs, they do not have an organized way of working. Because of this, they need software that is flexible enough to handle complexities, exceptions and adapt to their unique needs.

We have made all our products over the years with this as the foundation of our design and engineering. Our marquee product Tally.ERP 9 is an ideal business management software for any business and is used by over two million businesses across the globe. The software is extremely reliable, flexible, simple and easy to use and is built to solve all accounting, inventory and compliance needs of the business

We keep enhancing our product with the latest updates and requirements and to make these updates available for our customers, we have a subscription software called Tally Software Services (TSS). It adds great value to Tally.ERP 9 by giving it allowing connectivity driven functionalities such as continuous upgrades & updates, central consolidation of branch data, instant support from within Tally.ERP 9 to enhance business performance, etc. TSS also ensures that businesses always remains up to date with the latest developments in technology and statutory laws. It provides a host of services under the broad categories of Tally Infrastructure Capabilities, Tally Business Convenience Capabilities, Tally Compliance Capabilities, Tally New Products, and Tally Support.

We have also built a Tally Server 9, which is an Enterprise-Class product that helps fast-growing medium and large size businesses to improve their business efficiencies. It enhances the power and control of Tally.ERP 9, multi-user license by converting the existing ‘peer-to-peer’ kind of data access to ‘server based’ data management. It is built with multi-version concurrency capabilities that provide the most efficient scalability.

  1. How Tally keeps a user’s data safe and secure? Any encryption standards that are being used?

Data Security is a matter of concern considering a lot of them depend on the secrecy of their data. To ensure data privacy on-premise and on the customer’s system, we have built Tally Vault, an advanced level security feature in Tally to keep up the confidentiality of information by encrypting the data. Tally Vault uses strong password-based encryption and it is done in such a way that the password or any derivative is not stored anywhere. With this, if the password is forgotten the data becomes unrenderable. Customers’ data is also always stored on the customer’s premises/devices. With such encryption, without the password, even us as creators will not be able to break open the security.