President - Commercial & Consumer Business,
Sify Technologies Ltd.
It has always been a cause for concern for vendors to manage support. What is your strategy around it?
We keep the key areas (sales, marketing, product development) with us and believe in outsourcing the non-core functions. We identify vendors to support our business, taking partnership into account. Outsourced partners are very much part of our business strategy. We take them through our major product launches and we use online very effectively to train and empower them. We also have strict measurement metrics for these and help them perform. We ensure that any product/service is very simplistic to use and support is easy to manage. We classify our supports into L1, L2 and L3 based on the level of support required. We do have a strong customer care division that has thorough knowledge of the product/service. We lay emphasis on two parameters - continuous learning and real-life environment situations.
What level of channel engagement happens at Sify?
We consider Channel as an integral part of our business strategy. We believe in creating the business model with our sales force, improvise the model with our learning and then scale the business with channel. Our regional sales team helps channel partners to deliver their targets and make their business a profitable one. Our channel engagement models are very performance driven. We have exhaustive training modules to train the sales force of channel partners. Also, we help the channel partners with customer leads with marketing activities. Our channel commissions are the best in the industry and we believe the purpose to partner with us is to grow with us. In addition to this, we have very exhaustive channel marketing strategy in place. We run Chanel incentive schemes and special promotions for channel partners supported by marketing campaigns.
What makes you successful amongst the channel community considering your long stint at Xerox etc.?
The key requirements for a channel to be successful are:
How to orient and empower sales team so that they can drive channel business effectively
Identify the key metrics which when driven will make the channels effective
How to treat Channel as part of our business strategy and not as an alternate source of sales revenue Channels are brand spokespersons for the company; they should be part of the business.