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By VARINDIA    2017-09-28

Channel Leadership Survey – 2017

Technology is growing in leaps and bounds, we, on the occasion of our 18th Anniversary special issue of VARINDIA, have attempted to outline the major trends across the IT spectrum, where we have drilled down into the segments which have shown how technology is getting transformed through the enablers called VARs. In the eighteenth year of VARINDIA’s Annual Channel Leadership Survey (CLS), our endeavour will be to present the feedback of thousands of solution providers, who casted their votes and recognized vendors in the categories of partnership, support and product innovation. The winners will be felicitated at the Star Nite Awards – 2017, which is slated to take place on 3rd November, 2017 in New Delhi. The survey focusses on the emerging technologies and contemporary product evolution (hardware / software / services) by technology vendors for addressing the needs and challenges of today’s customers.

There is no denying the fact that technology will only help the world become a more prosperous and more equal place and that it will benefit all in the society, wherever they are in this world. We have reached a new phase in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Today, we see that technologies like Artificial Intelligence and robotics, virtual & augmented reality, blockchain, cybersecurity, autonomous driving, drones and biosciences are being applied to solve global challenges. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for predictive diagnostics and fleet management and many more is enabling businesses to handle the massive amounts of data collected in the hyper-connected world. And this has become possible only with the Technology Pioneers from the areas of hardware, software and service. Opportunities also seem promising for the growth of technologies by the innovative start-ups.
Globally, data consumption is continuing to grow exponentially with emerging technologies, such as Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, Machine to Machine, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence. In India too, applications such as Aadhaar-based e-payments, e-authentication and e-commerce are growing manifold, transforming the everyday life of citizens. In this increasingly hyper-connected world, there is a need for new, dense networks based on extremely high data speed and low-response time.
There is also a global challenge around cybersecurity – everyone is asking the same question: can the world get better at cybersecurity? Cybersecurity impacts every connected device at home and at work, every server, every network, every cloud, every sensor. Cyber-crooks are ready and are able to exploit weakness or opportunities in these new technologies or services.
To complement the efforts, the Government has taken some concrete steps on Data Protection Framework for India. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has constituted an Expert Committee, headed by the former Supreme Court Judge, Shri B. N. Srikrishna, to identify the key data protection issues in India and recommend methods to address the problems.
The recently introduced GST regime has put the countrymen under “One Nation One Tax” administration. The reform is aimed at bringing in transparency in taxation with a goal of safeguarding the interests of consumers as well as business houses and industries. The Government has also issued the Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order, 2017. With the launch of the Make-in-India and Digital India initiatives, the Government has recognized the criticality of boosting ESDM (Electronics and IT Hardware Manufacturing) in order to meet the Prime Minister's vision of Net Zero imports by 2020. An upgraded version of Make in India 2.0 is being rolled out. The sectors include aerospace, pharma, electronics manufacturing, automobile and defence. Make in India 2.0 is expected to give a further impetus to the manufacturing sector in the country.
We strongly believe in, and fully endorse, the role being played by technology in transforming everyday life. The kind of security technologies and principles we follow today are a far cry from those required. However, if new-age technologies become mainstream, it would disrupt the normal course of information sharing and bring about an unprecedented change in the security world. We will continue to transform everybody’s life by giving technology updates for delivering smarter and secure networks.

IT Vendors gear up for the Digital transformation era!

With the rapid development in ICT, the Technology sector in India has seen massive transformation happening in the last couple of years. To vet the current technology landscape, we spoke to a few technology vendors to understand the trends that they foresee in the prevailing market and the feedback from almost every one of them has surprisingly pointed out to one single fact and that is the digital transformation. Digital being the new norm, every corporates are going to see themselves investing in new-age technologies that will essentially help in transitioning their businesses to the digital future.      

2017 for Dell has been unique so far, as there’s a lot of untapped opportunity in the OEM space and Dell sees huge opportunity in IoT and other advanced technologies. 

“From Artificial Intelligence to Augmented & Virtual Reality to Cloud Computing, the process of Digital Transformation has successfully made its way into enterprises across industries. Businesses are moving to a more evolved thinking framework where technology will be seen as a tool to create elaborate and compelling user experiences. We at Dell EMC have invested a lot into an advanced technology center creating an ecosystem of labs and individual technology products built into architectures and transformational business solutions. We believe that cutting-edge business solutions will be an essential provider of the infrastructure of the digital future, supplying the channel and its customers with the technology they need to make advancements in every corner of the business world and society at large,” says Anil Sethi, Vice President, Channels -Dell EMC India.

“Digital is the new normal," says Nishikant Nigam, EVP & Chief Delivery Officer, CSS Corp. "Digital is prompting organizations across industries to reimagine their customer engagement strategies for better business success and outcomes. To survive in this digital age, companies must view digital as an opportunity, rather than as a threat. Instead of fearing away from digital transformation, embracing it will help one evolve. Companies must invest in advanced data analytics solutions that aggregates customer interaction data from various touchpoints, converts that into recognizable patterns and recommends actionable insights resulting in faster issue resolution.” 

Today's Networks include on-demand infrastructure, cloud-based services, software defined perimeters and the growth of smart devices and IoT. What’s missing however is a security strategy to protect these new environments.

“We need to protect data whether it's in the cloud, or on a mobile or IoT device, or inside the network. In addition, security also needs to look at a variety of behavioural analytics to determine the intent of an attacker. That’s why Fortinet has created the Fortinet Security Fabric, an integrated approach that provides the comprehensive protection today’s networks need. The core of the Security Fabric is simple. Security tools that are integrated deep into the network, while also operating seamlessly across a variety of environments, from IoT to the cloud. They are then woven together into a single, fabric-based framework that allows them collect, share and correlate threat intelligence between security and network devices, centrally manage and orchestrate policies, automatically synchronize resources to enforce policies, and coordinate a response to threats detected anywhere across the extended network,” comments Rajesh Maurya, Regional Vice President, India & SAARC - Fortinet.

According to Manoj Kanodia, CEO – Inspira, virtualization will drive the commoditization of hardware. “The next wave of commoditization will happen within networks - software-defined networks (SDNs). Social Media, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud are the foundations that will enable the Digitization. The world is racing toward everything as a service (XaaS), which encompasses not only software and hardware but also areas such as data management, business process management, and content. With the surge of social media, digitization, connected devices, and sensors, vast amounts of data from different sources—each offering unique context—will be gathered and converted into insights using big data and data science. Security strategies will move beyond the era of stand-alone defense systems to include the broader spectrum of prevention, detection, response, and recovery.”

Handheld devices have become an instant source of access to internet these days. As a result more & more people are getting connected to the internet like never before. Technology has truly led to a connected world where distance is no more a barrier. Smartphones and Apps today are playing a major role in driving demand for connectivity devices. In my view we are heading towards a digital transformation and that is being majorly driven by Mobility, Cloud and Internet of things (IoT). In India the present day government is making significant investment in building digital infrastructure through its Digital India and Smart city programs. It has also rolled out initiatives that aim to educate& empower people on technology through its National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM). 

Today’s businesses are increasingly relying on IT to deliver innovative solutions to solve complex business problems.  As digital transformation drives change, new tools have emerged to meet the issues of both IT and end users. The vision we set forward falls in line with VMware’s key strategic priorities that aims to accelerate the digital transformation process for customers,” cites Sundar Balasubramanian, Senior Director - General Business (Commercial Sales & Partners), VMware India. This happens through modernizing Data Centers, integrating Public Clouds, empowering the Digital Workspace and transforming Security. 

“D-Link is in the forefront when it comes to delivering efficient technology solution that offers the latest & best in networking domain. D-Link helps both businesses and customers Connect to More. Our enterprise solution enables organizations to connect to their customers; while our consumer range lets people to connect to their friends, family and a plethora of experiences. D-Link continues to lead the networking industry with innovative products that provide high-performance and cost-effective products to deliver better connectivity, security, efficiency, and cost savings solutions for both home and offices,” points out Tushar Sighat, Executive Director & CEO, D-Link (India).

“Business Enterprises are looking to adopt technology/architectures that provide them an ability to be agile and scale up or scale down as per their business demands,” says Vivek Sharma, Managing Director of Lenovo Global Technologies India. “The Software Defined Datacenter today provides alternatives to business to adopt architectures such as Hyper Converged Infrastructure that bring together the compute, storage, network all into a single appliance of sorts and facilitate a build as you grow model with extremely simplified administration & operations management. Adoption of such software defined solutions is also becoming the business differentiators between those that have and those that have not.”

Being a pure play IT security Solution and product developer, eScan has been constantly at the cusp of growth with the ever evolving cyber threats. “IT security is the corner stone of any IT Infrastructure that facilitates business continuity needs a robust security solution as an integral part of business continuity in a connected world. We as the security solution developers have been continuously building and strengthening our technology that use the latest Artificial Intelligence to IoT based specific solutions to be ready for the next wave of change in IT adoption," says Sunil Kripalani, Senior Vice President - Global Sales & Marketing – eScan. "We see a tremendous growth hack coming in the next few years with the major thrust on digitisation and smart city projects. India being a growing country is fast adopting the technology across industries to government sectors to facilitate ease of reach, convenience and accessible round the clock for the new age consumers.”

When talking of digital transformation, there are three predominant areas that have started gaining prominence, according to Raghuram Krishnan, Director, Partners/ Alliances, Hitachi Data Systems, India. “The first category is datacenter trends, followed by technology trends and IT/OT/IoT trends. With the explosion of new technologies redefining the path of digital transformation, predictive and real time analytics is definitely paving the way forward in machine learning. However, the catch lies in using this explosion to our advantage and creates different ways to increase productivity." 

In the building networks, Commscope sees a greater trend towards mobility. With the penetration of smart phones and mobile apps on the rise, consumers want to be connected all the time inside or outside of the building. “This has led to one critical connectivity need that is W-Fi. Wi-Fi is of course ubiquitous and it is currently the dominant form of in-building wireless technology. We believe that Wi-Fi and cellular technologies are complementary rather than substitutes for one another. Ultimately there will be a co-existence of Wi-Fi, other unlicensed technologies and licensed spectrum especially inside buildings. Managing spectrum to minimize network performance issues remains a mission-critical concern,” says JN Mylaraiah, Director, Sales – Enterprise Business for India & SAARC.