The Indian IT Channel will play the big role of a ‘Technology Disruptor’ in 2020
Every success story is a tale of constant adoption, revision and change. Growth is never by mere chance; rather it is attained by the result of forces working together. Whether you are new or an experienced player, you get to the market faster with the new technology. To stay firm in the market place and face your competitors, you need to plan how better to promote your solutions and offerings, support your workflows, help expand your network, collaborate with other partners and solve problems. And in making this happen, the channel plays a very instrumental role.
The channel is experiencing change at a breakneck speed, driven in part by changing consumer habits, which are now focused on the cloud. It is up to the channel to be ready to put the pieces together to meet customer needs, particularly when it comes to on-demand or consumption-based IT. Some are already there, some are depending on new vendor or distribution models to help with the transition, and some are wondering what happened.
Forrester is predicting that 17% of the $13 trillion in B2B spend will flow to marketplaces by 2023. While some of these marketplaces are indirect (e.g., Amazon or Alibaba), most of them will be run by big tech vendors (e.g., Microsoft, AWS, Google, Dell, Salesforce, or IBM). And this trends to going to continue from 2020 itself.
In 2019, we saw many of the emerging tech categories that we have been watching for years turn into multimillion dollar revenue streams for partners worldwide, if not in India. 2020 will be the year of consolidation, when early adopters will switch into a large majority of them vouching for technologies such as IoT, AI, automation, 5G, advanced security, and blockchain. As far as India is concerned, Cloud is going to be instrumental in shaping businesses and offering ample opportunities to the solution providers. Greater adoption of cloud platforms by enterprises will also spur reliance on their channel partners to support cloud integration which in turn can result in greater profit for the latter.
The channel is aware that digital disruption is already underway, with customers adopting disruptive technologies like AI, cloud and IoT, more aggressively than ever, and the only way to be in business is to disrupt oneself. 2020 will be the year when partners will look for new ways of doing business - moving to the cloud, consumption-based pricing, everything-as-a-service, IoT partnerships and more new paradigms of doing business to remain profitable.
While there are opportunities galore for the channel to grow and evolve, there are also many aspects which will continue to pose big challenge to the vendors. And they will have to find suitable ways to keep themselves as well as their partners profitable.
Dell Technologies wants its partners to understand the complexities associated with new technologies
VP & General Manager, Channels, Dell Technologies, India
“Dell Technologies has big plans for the channel partners for 2020 and our main focus will be to fast-track the cross-selling deals, driving profitability and helping partners to ‘embrace and monetize’ new opportunities around edge computing and artificial intelligence. Additionally, other major goals for us includes making server sales, increasing partners’ industry vertical knowledge and making Dell Technologies’ massive portfolio more visible in the channel.
At Dell Technologies, we are using the ‘Access Program’ to provide access to certain partners to purchase VMware and Pivotal solutions, as well as using our standard Software & Peripherals purchasing products. Building innovative solutions like PowerOne, Unified Workspace, and VxRail on VMware Cloud Foundation are all good examples of integrating IP from Pivotal or VMware and our hardware technology. We want our partners to continue to increase their knowledge of not only the technology but the complexity associated with these new technologies such as new hybrid cloud offerings.
Dell Technologies is working towards ensuring that our partners know and understand the businesses their customers are in. In order to deliver efficiently to the required outcomes, our partners need to understand the businesses that their customers are in, so that we can help them to apply the correct technologies.
Our partners are also working towards ensuring workforce modernization.”
HPE personalizing the as-a-Service journey for its partners
Director - Channel, SI, Alliances and Service Providers - HPE India
“Today, over 500 partners globally sell HPE GreenLake and have deals in the pipeline. The HPE GreenLake channel business has grown over 275 percent year over year, making it the fastest-growing business in HPE. In 2020, this remains the key area of growth for our partners and they will significantly profit from HPE GreenLake sales. We are encouraging the channel to seize this unique opportunity to deliver transformative as-a-Service solutions to customers worldwide.
HPE Partner Ready is one of the IT industry’s most profitable partner programs. The recently announced enhancements to the program are designed to empower the channel and improve their ability to collaborate, conduct business and improve profitability. The enhanced program maximizes the partner’s experience through a full suite of programs and tools to help partners close deals faster including the opportunity to work directly with specialist HPE teams, and enjoy an increased ease of doing business.
To personalize the as-a-Service journey, HPE Partner Ready for HPE preferred Service Providers who complete the HPE GreenLake competency, among others, can reduce their revenue threshold by 10% as part of the skill set expansion membership acceleration benefit. Our key channel priorities will be to recognize and reward the value add of our partners, enable them via competencies, certifications, learning paths and access to demonstration equipment.”
AMD enabling its channel partners to play the role of strategic digital consultants
Managing Director, Sales, AMD India
"In the era of Digital Transformation, technologies such as Big Data, Cloud Computing, IoT and AI are accelerating the digital journeys of customers.
In 2020, AMD will continue enabling our channel partners to play the role of strategic digital consultants and help them add value to customers who are building on these technological advancements. We will also support our partners with their market specific initiatives, helping them achieve enough visibility, expand their network to newer customers and increase the mindshare of the value and benefits that AMD has to offer.
On our SMB and channel program front, we will expand our footprint and accessibility further across Tier I & II segments, by adding more experiences and effective channel partners to our network. Building mindshare through product evangelists and sustained knowledge dissemination are key metrics to escalate our channel growth. We aim to help our partners bring better and compelling value through their solutions to their customers.
Through sustained collaborations with our strong partner bases, we are helping large enterprises, SMBs, government, and the public at large, implement high performance computing to achieve their goals."
Lenovo wants its partners to grow along with it while seeking new opportunities
Channel Lead, Lenovo DCG India
“Lenovo’s top priorities for 2020 are to empower our partners, grow partner profitability and make it easier for them to do business than ever before. Ultimately, our goal is always to be the most trusted data centre provider, so our 2020 objectives are guided by this underlying principle.
As customer demands increase, so does the pressure on the channel to understand every aspect of a customer’s business. Partners, besides selling a product also need to offer guidance on how that product will maximise business outcomes for the customer. We look forward to supporting our partners by helping to simplify their offerings and capitalise on the opportunities ahead. We continue to invest in our Velocity programme – a multi-year initiative, announced in December 2018, aimed at improving end-to-end capabilities in a seamless co-selling flow between Lenovo and its partners. In addition, we will be rolling out our new and improved partner portal which will strive to elevate the partner experience, offering more attractive incentives, and providing partners with tools for seamless sales.
From the Data Center Group’s perspective, we also want to unlock new transformation opportunities in spaces such as Software-Defined Infrastructure (SDI), HPC, AI, etc. To this end, we recently introduced a new channel programme called SDI Easy Buy in a bid to provide customers with a curated selection of best-selling, pre-integrated and engineered SDI solutions designed to address their business needs.”
Poly’s focus is always to keep its channel abreast about the latest technology trends
Director, Channel Sales, Asia Pacific, Poly
“At Poly, the entire business flows through our channels. Over the years, we have nurtured a very good set of channel partners, who have invested in Poly technology, and are able to sell and support our products and solutions. For 2020, our focus will be to ensure that our partners are up-to date with the latest industry trends and have access to information that will help them succeed in the market. We want to enable both Poly and our valued partners to engage in and develop a business relationship that will result in growth of solution revenues and customer success.”
Poly is a global communications company that powers meaningful human connection and collaboration. It combines legendary audio expertise and powerful video and conferencing capabilities to overcome the distractions, complexity and distance that make communication in and out of the workplace challenging.
Poly believes in solutions that make life easier when they work together and with our partner’s services. Its headsets, software, desk phones, audio and video conferencing, analytics and services are used worldwide and are a leading choice for every kind of workspace.
Oracle bullish on its growth prospects in 2020 which includes also its partners
Director and Head-Alliances & Channels, Technology Business - Oracle India
“2019 was a landmark year for cloud adoption in India. We are very bullish on our growth prospects in 2020 and are witnessing growing demand for our cloud business in the country. From our vantage point, the recently introduced Oracle Gen 2 Cloud region is encouraging a lot many customers to commence/expand their cloud journey - and channel partners have a very important role to enable this shift. We have a great set of partners helping our customers upgrade to the next generation technology.
To drive sustained business growth, we’re focused on a three-pronged agenda for 2020 -
(a) Collaborate closely with partners to enable customers to upgrade to our Gen 2 Cloud and future-proof their business
(b) Help customers upgrade to Oracle Autonomous Database to unlock new value from their data and make better business decisions
(c) Empower customers to extract more value from our cloud with a wide array of platform services.
We also introduced the modern Oracle PartnerNetwork 2020 program last month, which is much more customer-centric, success-driven and simplified. It is a customer-focused, cloud-first modern partner program that accelerates the transition to cloud, driving superior customer experience and business outcomes.
Another important and fast-growing area of focus for our channel partners is our portfolio of autonomous cloud services - starting with Oracle Autonomous Database.”
SAS continues to work closely with its partners to leverage new opportunities
Director – Alliance & Channels, India South Asia, SAS
“At SAS, our goal is to have 100% percent of midmarket revenue through channel partners by the end of 2020. As part of this initiative, SAS is focusing on partner enablement programs, to ensure they have the necessary sales, delivery and support skills that match the SAS products they are selling. With Analytics, AI and Cloud adoption as the key solution areas, SAS continues to work closely with partners to leverage the huge momentum in these areas.
SAS is also working closely with partners to help them invest and adopt Two-In-A-Box model to build on the core competencies and drive specific value proposition; while also helping them define the right market mix and prioritize investments in people and technology.
All this through a very robust risk-reward revenue model, secures our partners and provides customers with a competitive edge.”
SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative software and services, SAS empowers and inspires customers around the world to transform data into intelligence.
Acer considers its partners as the pillars of its business revenue models
CMO and Consumer Business Head - Acer India
“Acer has always been a channel approached company and we aim to keep the trust of both our commercial partners and consumers. We always provide our channel partners a sound framework to operate and empower them through various programs like respectable rebates, incentives, consistent trainings, service support, close coordination for better customer experience management.
We have been seeing an evolvement every year with our channel partners and expecting the programs to grow further as per the upcoming market trends and requirements for 2020 as well. Our growth agenda for 2020 is to ensure that our channel partners are well trained about our new products to further epitomize us in the marketplace. We will continue to enable their growth, so that they can continue to assist us with our strategies and new business models which will further enable better alignment in terms of functioning.
With the support of our partners, we have also become the No.1 PC gaming brand in India for the last two consecutive years as per IDC and we look forward to continuing with the position in 2020 too.
Additionally, we are planning to double the channel business YoY in 2020 via an increase in the marketing investment, bringing together new and innovative products, and also increasing our channel investment.”
A robust partner ecosystem is of vital importance to VMware
Director, Partner Sales, VMware
“VMware, with its twin focus on addressing the complexities of multi-cloud environments and leveraging emerging technology superpowers, is well placed to help enterprises move ahead in their digital transformation journey. Our partner ecosystem plays a very important role in this mission.
At VMware, we are looking at the best ways to support partners across the country to ensure they have the right skills to provide the strategic counsel that customers are looking for today. We empower our partners in a comprehensive way – in terms of product and services capabilities - to be able to take customers through their digital transformation journey, which is a continuous effort.
We are also focusing on increasing co-selling through the channel. We empower our partners to build presales as well as delivery services capabilities to meet customer expectations and ensure successful deployments of our solutions. The Master Services Competency across VMware’s focus areas is a step in this direction.
VMware is changing the way it engages and incentivizes its growing channel through VMware Partner Connect program. The program that comes into effect on February 29th will give our partners a single, consistent program experience, offering them flexibility and choice as they align their business models to meet their customers’ most pressing needs.”
CP PLUS ENSURES A STRONG STRATEGY TO HELP PARTNERS RUN A STABLE BUSINESS
Yogesh B. Dutta
COO, CP PLUS
“We continuously strive to empower our partners in all ways and provide them with the best products and services in line with the requirements of current as well as future market. Also, we are heavily investing in manufacturing, R&D, and future technologies such as AI and IoT. With the support of our partners and customers, we have been developing better technologies for users in different verticals and expanding our reach not only in existing but also in new markets.
CP PLUS has a profound strategy for its channel partners which can help them run a stable business for the next decades. Skill development, innovation, and affordable solutions are the core aspects of our channel partner strategy. CP PLUS also takes initiatives such as Mission Tech and Technology Shows to educate its partners on upcoming trends and technologies.
We make sure good revenues for the partners and help them catch on the market trends with forthcoming cutting-edge technologies in the field of electronic security and allied sectors. CP PLUS has a unique Reward Portal for its partners along with lucrative incentive schemes for new as well as existing customers. We ensure a hassle-free process for our partners with our excellent services such as CP PLUS Tatkal Service for immediate unit-to-unit replacement.”
Red Hat poised to support its customers’ open source journey with its partners
Director - Channel and Partner Alliances, Red Hat India and South Asia
“As technology advancements continue to disrupt business models, organizations need to adopt new technologies, such as AI, Cloud, Containers and Automation to continually transform their business and gain a competitive edge. In such a scenario, there is tremendous opportunity for partners who can deliver services enabling business outcomes around the cloud and open source technologies.
At Red Hat, we have always believed that we can accomplish much more and enable customers innovate faster – by working with enabled partners. Our partner program, Red Hat Partner Connect offers a structured enablement & development path designed to accommodate the partners’ business models. Our Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider program is designed to help our partners to better meet customer needs for cloud-based technologies.
Further, our Red Hat OpenShift Practice Builder Program is designed to better position SIs to meet customers’ increasing interest for containerized application development and platforms that can support cloud-native workloads to become more efficient in delivering innovative solutions.
In 2020, we will continue to support our partners build capabilities and resources to address their customers’ needs better. Red Hat, along with its partners, is poised to support enterprises in their journey to open source and cloud and will continue to add new channel partners to further the open ecosystem.”
NetApp wants its channel partners to be Data Visionaries and Data Champions
Director - Channels & Alliances, NetApp India & SAARC
“In 2020, NetApp will work with our channel partners to help them meet the growing customer demands of effectively managing their data across the hybrid cloud architecture while at the same time working on transformational technologies like AI/ML, IoT, Containerisation and DevOps in the context of data management. We will also closely work with our existing and new channel partners to help them take NetApp’s Data Fabric vision to the next rung of cities like Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jaipur, Bhopal, Nashik, among others and expand our market at a rapid pace.
We host regular “Partner Academy” sessions across multiple cities to help our partner sales, pre-sales, architect and consultant resources understand the innovations on our solutions and ways to identify new opportunities. Our regular webinars and lunch-and-learn series help the resources to work closely with NetApp team and expand their market.
We have also curated our Unified Partner Program and boosted our Partner Demand Centre to deliver tools and incentives for accelerating growth and build a presence in growing markets.
Besides, we help our partners to improve their top-line though joint investments in marketing activities to reach out to customers through the medium of digital and traditional marketing. Our partners can also become certified on new offerings like “as-a-Service” or Cloud First Partners.”
“Seagate believes in growing in the market with the right set of partnerships”
Director of Asia Pacific consumer business and Country Manager for SAARC & India, Seagate Technology
“Backed by our robust partner network, we continue to address the burgeoning demand for smart and secure data management solutions by bringing to market innovative technologies that will meet evolving business and consumer needs. A lot of our focus continues to be on being close to the partners, understand their needs and enable them with the right set of knowledge and tools, so that they can keep pace with the latest products and offerings and serve their customers with right products. Our number of partners has definitely been increasing and we are growing rapidly with the right partnerships.
We connect with our customers and partners in the markets through the Seagate Insider partner program. Seagate also continuously provides training for partners to better understand evolving opportunities in addition to regular products and technology trainings. Through our distributors, we offer lots of programmes to our channel partners. Some of the programmes to name are “Seagate Regional Meets” and “Seagate Surveillance Weeks”, as well as participation in trade shows to address the right audience and customers.
Seagate’s SkyHawk Partner App is also a great example of how we empower our partners and customers. Designed specifically for India, the SkyHawk Partner App enables partners to calculate the storage needs and investment required on the spot.”
Channel partners are an important part of Barco’s growth journey
Managing Director, Barco India
“Barco India is eyeing strong growth in 2020 and as a B2B company, our channel partners are the driving force for our success. In the new year, we are focusing on adding more associates across the verticals we cater to – entertainment, enterprise and healthcare. We will be launching a revolutionary product in the enterprise segment and are onboarding new partners and distributors to ensure that it reaches the end-customer. We are looking at doubling our channel partners in tier-2 and -3 cities.
Barco has designed a program for its partners to promote our products and services, augment their expertise and resources, and enhance the satisfaction of our end-users. We empower our partners by investing in their training and certification apart from marketing support programs. We also have numerous certified programs to train the trainer where we create a group of trainers certified and nurtured by us. In return, these trainers further train 250+ partners nationwide.
We have a robust channel program which ensures all our associated partners are trained in our technology and empowered to drive Barco business in the market while minimalizing confrontation between them. We also have a Deal Registration process which enables partners to work to the best of their capacities in their respective focus areas.”
Vertiv believes edge computing holds immense potential for the channel to grow
Director - Enterprise Business Partners & Micro & Small UPS, Vertiv
“Going into 2020, we will continue to be more hyper-focused and assertive on the channel, as well as edge computing. Our partners play a critical role in our go-to-market strategy and we look forward to expanding this network across the country. We have been successful in increasing market share by leveraging these strategic partnerships and offering a broad portfolio of solutions.
At Vertiv, we have always believed in empowering our channel partners and addressing their needs. We provide them 360-degree support through the enhanced ‘Vertiv Partner Portal’ that includes easy access to sales tools and other partner related information. We also conduct extensive training to build consultative skills and knowledge required at the partner’s end in order to anticipate future scope and suggest comprehensive solutions.
Last year we changed our go-to market strategy from direct to channel. We will continue with this strategy through this year as well. Our channel base has now expanded and all our products are available through partners, bringing increased agility and investment capability.
Earlier in 2019, Vertiv announced the launch of ‘Vertiv Xpress – Partner Drive’, a partner-focused initiative to showcase our complete range of critical infrastructure solutions. Through the course of 2020, we aim to take this initiative to approximately 130 business partner locations.”
Veeam empowering its partners to leverage the potential of Cloud Data Management
Vice President and Managing Director, India & SAARC, Veeam Software
“In 2020, Veeam aims to empower its partners in maximizing the potential of Cloud Data Management with extensive partner programs. With this, Veeam aims to help partners drive both license and service-related business, close deals faster, and gain a long-term competitive advantage.
As a testimony to Veeam’s commitment towards a partner-focused approach, it recently announced Veeam’s Accredited Services Partner (VASP) program to strengthen its partners’ capabilities to sell, deploy and support Veeam solutions. We equip our partners with extensive tools, resources and data management solutions to provide the highest level of service for its customers. VASP members receive access to Veeam services IP on the partner portal to help them build out their services portfolio. It also offers collaborative and customized service offerings such as sizing and scaling tools, services kits and dedicated resources to ensure customer success.
The new program is shaped to offer benefits to its members, from the creation of new business and revenue opportunities for Service Partners to resources that enable partner sales teams to win larger, more complex deals. Additionally, it also enhances partners’ capabilities and delivery skillsets, accelerates customer Time-to-Value (TtV) with deeper integration and provides continued education around Veeam capabilities and services to ensure efficient solution adoption and total customer satisfaction.”
Schneider Electric’s mission for 2020 is to create a modern channel ecosystem
Director - Channel Sales, Secure Power Division, Schneider Electric
“Schneider Electric’s Mission 2020 will be to create a best of breed, autonomous, scalable and modern channel ecosystem that contributes to growth and profitability. The company’s focus and improvements are aligned to - Technical and Sales vitality; Programs; Digital Channel Management and Partner Experience.
This year’s aim is to expand Schneider Electric’s reach by recruiting and managing new partners, expanding business with Schneider’s existing partners and increasing their participation in the overall sales process.
We have 4 key pillars of partnership aimed at empowering our partners:
• Improving partner specific support at all stages through lead pass, knowledge transfer, tele marketing, programs & promos
• Providing in-depth technical and sales enablement to improve sales and technical vitality
• Enhancing partner experience with ease of doing business using digital methods
• Increasing profitability through right product offers, iRewards, rebate and growth incentives
We believe over approx 65% of the buying decision-making process is completed online before a customer even talks to a vendor. This dramatic shift in the decision making process makes it imperative for partners to invest in modernizing their sales and marketing engines. Schneider’s partner program will support digitized methods of ensuring our partners modernize their sales approach and enhance their digital presence making them closer to customers and prospects.”
Axis Communications considers its channel partners as its loyal stakeholders
Sales Director, Axis Communications - India & SAARC
“The focus for 2020 is to grow and strengthen our partners and become closer to them. At Axis we have a two-tier channel model with distributors and channel partners being integral part of Axis business. We have an ecosystem of solution partners who cater to the needs of the business solutions for the India market. Our channel partners drive the Axis end to end solutions for different business segments.
This year, we would like focus on cities like Pune, Kolkata, Aurangabad and others where we see potential arising due to the focus on smart cities. We have a robust ‘The Axis Channel Partner Program’ that is designed to help system integrators, value-added resellers (VARs) and installers accelerate their solution sales.
We also host regular end customer meets in different cities that creates a platform for experience sharing between the potential and existing end customers. “Word-of- mouth”, is also being used as part of our marketing strategy.
As a channel-focused company, we are there to support our partners always. It is one of the foundations on which we have built our business. We believe in rewarding our partners continuously. We sponsor visits to our HQ in Lund, Sweden for the top focus partners. We also emphasize on training and education – which is our key differentiator.”
For Fortinet, the channel is an extension of the company
Director Channels, India & SAARC, Fortinet
“In 2020 our focus would be to further consolidate and grow our partner base. We have identified two key areas for expansion - one is the non-metro markets and the other is to work with partners who want to enter the security domain to expand their business. Fortinet will recognize the strengths and technical expertise of every partner and work with them on their core competencies in areas of Secure SD-WAN, Cloud, SIEM, Secure Wi-Fi, and Operational Technology.
In 2020 as part of the Network Security Experts (NSE) program we will conduct four days of in-depth workshops across cities where partners will be trained by Best-in-Class Fortinet Technical Experts and to give them the skills and first-hand experience required to secure their customers’ networks from existing and evolving threats. Fortinet will also continue to organize the PartnerSync conference in the metros regularly to provide partners with updates on security trends and technologies.
Fortinet’s Deal Registration Program, which is managed by a dedicated Deals Desk, will continue to ensure partners are protected on every deal they initiate and bring to Fortinet. Overall our goal this year is to provide our partners with the technical expertise to deploy new security technology, and ensure ease of doing business with services like deal registration and renewal tracking.”
Micro Focus lends necessary support to its partners to seize new revenue opportunities
Country Director - India, Micro Focus
“The key to success for our channel partners will be the pace with which they become enabled across the four core elements of Digital Transformation – Enterprise DevOps, Hybrid IT Management, Security, Risk & Governance and Predictive Analytics. Our broad portfolio and experience is rich, enabling partners to seize these new revenue opportunities. Our new Micro Focus partner program allows for the profitability they would expect from one of the largest software vendors in the world.
A few benefits for our partners include our Partner Portal, which helps to gain access to a wealth of tools and information; Sales enablement; Partner-use software; Opportunity support; On-demand technical training; Technical support and regular updates like email, alerts etc.
In order to have a truly effective channel program, partners need to be able to answer critical questions about the software and must have the sales skills to consistently execute in front of customers. Driven by customer-centric innovation, Micro Focus software provides critical tools that are needed to build, operate, secure and analyze the enterprise. By design, these tools bridge gap between existing and emerging technologies - enabling faster innovation, with less risk, in the race to digital transformation. Our partner program is designed around three key principles - Making it easy to do business, Recognition and rewards and Driving growth and delivering predictable Partner profitably.”