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August 01, 2011 l Volume 5 Issue 07
Cover Story Partners may have missed out on big-ticket data center deals, but there is a growing demand for server-room and modular data center solutions in the mid market
24 NEWS Analyses
IBM powers ahead
Toshiba aims to double notebook sales
Sony to invest `50 crore in Vaio brand
Seclore seeks partners for IRM
Wacom bullish about India
NetApp to increase focus on SMBs
READ More Opinion
Computer Reseller News
18 Special Focus Virtual campus, real gain Vendors and partners are reaping real benefits from the boom in virtual campuses in India’s expanding education sector
20 Role Model Calculated aggression Vasant Vartak, Managing Director, Kalyx Infotech, has done well by leveraging his relationships and learning his lessons
Chris Ross VP, Data Management, EMEA & APAC, CA Technologies talks about the company’s new partner model, product integration issues and much more
Tech Focus Netgear WMS5316 tackles wireless management A real time-saver, Netgear’s wireless management appliance is solid value for the small office with a dozen or more access points
Agra - 6453125, 4041027, Ahmedabad - 64508450, 26851663, Amritsar - 6450186, Aurangabad - 645 7141, Bangalore - 65687567, Baroda - 6595588, Bhopal 6464925,Bhubneshwar - 6510444, Calicut - 6515152, Chandigarh - 6512547, 2694932, Chennai - 64501273/28412414, Cochin - 6452299, 2310381, Coimbatore 6572160, Dehradun - 6546333, Delhi - 64734905, 26387897, Ghaziabad - 6517809, Goa - 6514657, Gurgaon - 64514614, Guwahati - 273101, Hubli - 6453123, Hyderabad - 66901598, Indore - 6510124, Jabalpur - 6457306, Jaipur - 6577844, 2280421, Jammu - 2437478, Jodhpur - 6450387, Karnala - 6450508, Kolkatta - 64517248, 22315174, Kottayam - 6452013, Lucknow - 6546333, 2286134, Ludhiana - 6512545, 6450125, Madurai - 6463839, Mangalore - 6451030, 2494355, Mumbai - 65261670/65990329, Nagpur - 6502571, 2420009, Nasik - 6450103, Parwanoo - 645108, Patna - 6453850, 273137, Pondicherry - 6530470, Pune - 65205706, 24497489, Raipur - 6538333, 4221307, Rajkot - 6593588, Ranchi - 6455499, Siliguri - 6450108, Surat - 6596267, Trivendrum - 6535433, Varanasi - 6454820, Vijaywada - 6622872, Vizag - 6590992.
starting line MUST
Toshiba aims to double notebook sales Toshiba estimates that the Indian notebook market will grow from 3.8 million units in 2010 to 6.5 million units in 2013, registering a CAGR of 20 percent. To capitalize on the growth in India and increase its presence, Toshiba has announced several initiatives: the establishment of an R&D center at Gurgaon; the opening of a one-stop call center for supporting all its digital products; and the expansion of the nationwide network of Toshiba stores to 6,000. “Our brand recognition in India is not as high as in other countries because of the lack of locally-tailored products. But with the establishment of the R&D center in India, we are now focused on providing market-oriented and locally-tailored products. We have set a target of achieving 10 percent share of the PC market— amounting to 6.5 lakh units— by the end of 2013. In 2011 we aim to double our notebook unit sales to 3.15 lakh Masayuki Ito to attain a market share of seven percent,” said Masayuki Ito, Vice President, Digital Products & Services Division, Toshiba Corporation. Toshiba also plans to establish its presence in tier-2 and tier-3 cities by increasing its 3,500 stores to 6,000 by the end of March 2012. It also wants to set up 100 exclusive stores by that time. The company recently integrated its PC and TV businesses for better synergies. “With the integration of our TV and PC businesses, we are able to offer IT products through our home appliance partners and vice versa. Unifying both the businesses will save us logistics costs and help in building the brand image in the country,” said Wu Tengguo, Director, Digital Products, Home Appliances and Services Division, Toshiba India. Toshiba will also increase the number of its service centers from 140 to 200. n — Amit Singh
Computer Reseller News
IBM powers ahead n RAMDAS S
BM is eyeing SMBs for its Power 7 series of Unix servers and workstations, and has launched specific models and channel programs to grow the market. The vendor has also announced that it will empower around 200 partners to sell Power-based products. “It has been a constant complaint from partners that they have not been able to repeat the success they enjoyed with the x-series (x86-based server products). Today, we have the right products which partners can take to the market at the right price, and which should put an end to the complaint,” said Viswanath Ramaswamy, VP, Power Systems, Systems & Technology Group, IBM India/SA. IBM recently upgraded all its AIX servers to the Power 7 architecture, and launched two models, IBM Power 710 and 720, with price points starting at around `5 lakh, and with a choice of AIX or Suse or Red Hat Linux. According to Viswanath, “The performance of the Power 710, which runs either a quad-core or six-core, is typically equivalent to that of an x86 server which runs 1220 cores. Customers also save license costs on software such as databases which are today based on the number of cores. Most importantly, virtualization is free as it comes built inside AIX. You will also save on power.” He said that for a customer who needs virtualization, is planning to run mission-critical applications such as ERP, and has to buy server hardware costing more than `5 lakh, Power makes better sense. “We have cases where organizations with less than 100 people have started opting for Power.” Last quarter IBM launched a program called Powerplay, which offers rebates starting with
“The performance of the Power 710, which runs a quad-core or six-core, is equivalent to that of an x86 which runs 12-20 cores” Viswanath Ramaswamy
VP, Power Systems, Systems & Technology Group, IBM India/SA
the sale of one unit, and with assured gifts for members of the sales team of the partner closing the business. “This quarter we are bundling the Websphere and DB2 platforms to make it a very attractive bundle whereby the customer would end up saving big on licensing costs. The new program is called Ace of Aces,” informed Viswanath. While he refused to indicate any specific targets, Viswanath stressed that IBM is aiming at a large base. To this end, the company is planning to empower up to 200 partners across the country to sell Power servers, and has already launched training initiatives. He said, “We are after a wider base. For the first time, we are printing a ready-to-reckon catalog just like we did for the x-series business. Called Power Essentials, the new catalog provides all details including the pricing of the options. In addition, for partner sales executives, we have designed an Excel Configurator that can be used to configure and offer no-regret price quotes.” Over the past few quarters IBM has been encouraging ISVs to ship software for the Power platform, and many missioncritical applications for different industries have been made available. n
starting line MUST
Sony to invest `50 crore in Vaio brand
Seclore seeks partners for IRM
n ABHIJEET MUKHERJEE
Seclore, an information rights management (IRM) company, aims to tap the growing $500 million IRM opportunity in India through an aggressive channel approach. “We are looking for partners in the top 3-4 tier-2 cities. IRM is essentially about managing the right to information, about deciding who can access what and when, hence we are scouting for partners strong in security and storage solutions,” said Rahul Kopikar, Director, Business Development, Seclore. “In the past few months we have signed on Tarak India, Embee Software, SK International, ACPL, Essen Vision, MIEL eSecurity, Raksha Tech, Softcell and Mikroz as partners.” The company has also launched its Associate Advantage Premier Partner Program. “Partners would be divided into Associate Advantage or Premier tiers. Premier partners would have to pay a fee for dedicated support, implementation support and other marketing collateral. Rahul Kopikar They can be assured of 40 percent or above margins,” Kopikar said. According to him, Seclore has 65 clients, including customers in the BFSI, pharma, construction, government, legal and education verticals. “Our solutions also offer significant incremental opportunity for solution providers. A partner can make up to `6 lakh for an average deal size of 50 users. This includes Seclore policy server, named-user licenses and implementation fee. Renewals start at 20 percent.” Seclore is planning to introduce an agentless IRM offering by Q42011. “With that we will make the software OS-agnostic. Presently our product supports only Windows OS. We will also introduce a managed service offering; for this, we are scouting for a hosting partner,” Kopikar said. The company recently participated in a customer event with Raksha Tech and MIEL, and plans to be present in more security-related and joint partner events in future. n — Sonal Desai
Computer Reseller News
ony has embarked on an aggressive go-to-market strategy to achieve 20 percent market share and become the No 3 brand in consumer mobile PCs in the next 12 months. The company has earmarked `50 crore to boost its Vaio brand. Of this, `25 crore will be spent on its More Color, More Style campaign with brand ambassador Kareena Kapoor. The remaining `25 crore will go to above-the-line and below-the-line activities. These will include channel expansion, partner incentives, channel promotions, product training, point-of-sale branding and demo units. “We sold close to 2.5 lakh Vaio notebooks in 2010 and are confident of doubling this number in the next 12 months. The Vaio business today contributes 20 percent of the total sales revenue of Sony India,” said Sachin Thapar, Head, IT, Mobile & Gaming, Sony India. To achieve the targets Sony has expanded its product portfolio to cover all price points in the mobile PC market. It now has a total of 62 different SKUs in the price range of `25,000 to `1,30,000 under Vaio S, C, E and Y series. “Last year we were not aggressive in the entry-level segment; also, there were not many price options available. In the premium segment too we did not have many variants. But this year, with so many variants, partners have more options to sell to consumers and it considerably increases our addressable market,” said Thapar. Sony also plans to increase its reseller base from the present 800 to 2,000 across 200 cities. It will open 30 new exclusive Vaio
“We sold close to 2.5 lakh Vaio notebooks in 2010 and are confident of doubling this number in the next 12 months” Sachin Thapar
Head, IT, Mobile & Gaming, Sony India
flagship stores in the current fiscal, taking the count to 50. For post-sales support, Sony will increase its service centers from 129 to 200. Thapar said that despite the aggressive expansion plans, Sony will continue to govern the market operating price (MOP). “We have largely succeeded in ensuring standard MOP for our products which is important for healthy channel business. In order not to create overdistribution we will make our channel sales more focused by defining which model to display at which counter; this, we believe, will help partners grow profitably without creating conflict among them. We will continue to provide them price protection,” said Thapar. Partners are excited about Sony’s game plan. “Over the past 12 months Sony has increased its market share significantly, and this has happened primarily with strong MOP policies, limited but strong partner engagement, and smart marketing. With more investments in marketing and channels, Sony is on its way to becoming the No 3 brand in the consumer notebook segment,” said Ramesh Vora, Partner, Gigahertz, Mumbai. n
starting line Wacom bullish about India n DHAVAL VALIA
acom, a digital interface solutions company, is planning to ramp up its sales and support infrastructure, and expand its channel footprint in the Indian market. The company also plans to scale up its enterprise business for which it will scout for enterprise VARs focusing on sales force automation. “India is the fastest-growing market for Wacom, hence we are investing significantly in sprucing up our Indian subsidiary. This will include adding more sales people, expanding and enhancing post-sales, and increasing demand for our products both in the consumer and commercial segments,” said Shigeki Komiyama, Director & Executive Officer, Japan & APAC, Wacom. The Wacom tablet range includes the entry-level pen and multi-touch input device under the Bamboo series
“India is the fastestgrowing market for Wacom, hence we are investing significantly in sprucing up our subsidiary” Shigeki Komiyama
Director & Executive Officer, Japan & APAC, Wacom
for consumers; Intuos for creative pros; high-end Cintiq pen input with LCD display; and the business range for the commercial segment. “Bamboo, Intuos and Cintiq are the most preferred brands in their categories. While we will continue with market creation and expansion
for these ranges, our focus will be directed on the business range. We recently bagged two large deals— one for the AP state transportation company for 350 devices, and the other from Kerala’s fisheries department for 400 units,” said Rajeev Nagar, Country Manager, Wacom. The business range includes specific solutions for education and healthcare, digital signature devices for sales force automation, and LCD pen devices. To ramp up this range Wacom is signing up local and regional software vendors. “We are sharing our SDKs with these application providers who have their own applications for specific automation and digitization projects in the government, healthcare and education sectors,” said Nagar. Wacom will soon be introducing its pen tablet for iPads in India. n
NetApp to increase focus on SMBs n Sonal Desai
etApp is formulating strategies with an increased focus on Indian SMBs. The company defines SMBs as organizations which spend more than $50,000 per year on storage, or which have 250-1,000 employees. NetApp will pitch its FAS 2000 product line (entry level) for the SMB segment. Informed Surajit Sen, Director, Channels Marketing & Alliances, NetApp, “At a price point of under $10,000 (`3.5 lakh), the box offers unified storage with integrated backup, data protection, de-dupe, compression and thin cloning. It starts off with 5TB and can scale up to 100 TB. Our distributors will be able to customize pricing depending on the additional services they offer.” Continued Sen, “Although SMBs contribute 30 percent of our revenue, we want to increase focus on places such as Chandigarh, Lucknow,
Computer Reseller News
“We focus only on technology and do not sell services. We enable partners to architect end-to-end solutions and implement them” Surajit Sen
Director, Channels Marketing & Alliances, NetApp
Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Goa, Kochi, Coimbatore, Vizag, Nepal and Bhutan. The company will work with its distributors—Redington and Avnet— to achieve this goal.” As part of an increased focus on the east, NetApp has appointed a regional manager in Kolkata. Sen said that Redington will
identify partners, enable them, and help them with pre- and post-sales training. Avnet will share its global best practices and make the partners industry-ready. “We will work with select partners and help them with cross-functional training.” The training gels well with NetApp’s services strategy. Explained Sen: “We focus only on technology, and do not sell services. We enable partners to architect end-to-end solutions and implement them. They can build services around our products and also white-label them.” According to Sen, NetApp does not want to appoint too many partners and congest the space. “I would rather distribute the opportunities equitably than give all partners a smaller pie. Today, we have 91 partners, of whom 61 are active and 30 reactive. I want to increase the number of active partners to not more than 100 for the SMB opportunities we have identified.” n
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edit opinion Volume 5, Issue 07
Scam waiting to happen? dhaval valia
he Tamil Nadu (TN) government’s scheme to offer students free notebooks sounds like another scam waiting to happen. The TN government has budgeted `10,200 crore for this scheme which entails distributing 6.8 million notebooks over five years to students of Class 10 and above. The state-run Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (Elcot) has floated an international tender for sourcing 9.12 lakh notebooks in the first phase of the scheme. According to the tender document, the first batch of supply is expected to commence from September 1. The notebooks will have a warranty against any manufacturing defect for a period of 36 months from the date of supply. The government is aiming to help rural and poor students, and Elcot hopes to provide them training to handle the laptops. Many would argue that this is a great scheme as it would help increase PC penetration and help bridge the digital divide. However, I have serious reservations about this scheme, and feel it is going to lead to another scam. TN has a very bad track record in implementing such schemes. The previous DMK government’s scheme of giving free TVs had cost the state `2,265 crore. The big allegation against the scheme was that the TVs distributed were imported from China at `2,000 per unit but accounted at `6,000 per unit. There have also been media reports about a large number of these TVs landing up in showrooms. Soon after her swearing-in as the CM, Jayalalitha not only cancelled the free TV scheme but also alleged that the TVs distributed under the scheme earned the Maran brothers (who run the Sun Cable Network) `4,000 crore for cable connections due to this scheme. Now the same Jayalalitha plans to spend `10,200 crore for a laptop scheme. There is no clarity in terms of how Elcot plans to execute the scheme. How will it ensure that the notebooks reach the intended audience and that there will be no pilferage? Elcot says that to ensure that no such abuse takes place it will have the government logo embossed inside and outside the notebook. Another big question the government will have to answer is how it will ensure the well-being of several small IT resellers who will lose significant business due to the scheme. As per market estimates, TN sold roughly 4.5 lakh PCs (including 2.2 lakh notebooks) last year, while the free notebook scheme aims to distribute close to 1.4 million notebooks a year. As with the TV scheme, if the notebooks distributed under this new scheme make it to the showroom, it will crash the MOPs not just in TN but in other states as well. This is bound to impact the health of the overall IT channel business. I have my fingers crossed. n E-mail CRN Executive Editor Dhaval Valia at email@example.com 14
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edit opinion Tale from the field Kelley Damore
was at one of the many partner conferences recently and I heard a story that is unfortunately all too familiar and illustrates the implications of bad field behavior. Let’s call our VAR Joe who has been in business for many years. He has been loyal to a few key vendors and has been appreciative of the partnerships they have had together and the money he has made through them. Quite simply, he is a relationship guy. It is how he built his business and stayed in business. Joe has great relationships with his customers who trust him. He knows their budgets, their goals and is the go-to guy when they need help. Enter a young, ambitious direct/field sales rep under pressure to make his numbers. We’ll call him Steve. Steve doesn’t have the experience and he doesn’t have the relationships. But what Steve does have is the logo of a large vendor on his business card. And with this logo he assumes he calls the shots. Steve decides that Joe is charging too much and making too much money on a particular deal with one of his longstanding customers. But Joe knows what he can charge. Joe has been working with this CIO for years. Joe is generating monthly recurring revenue on his managed services offerings. Joe knows his total budget for the year and his top initiatives. But Steve undercuts him and forces Joe to respond. The move costs Joe hundreds of thousands of dollars and time on a highly consultative business solutions deal that is now at a much lower margin. Joe isn’t happy. He begins to question the vendor and complains about the deal to someone higher up in the food chain. Mired in bureaucratic red tape, there is no response. Meanwhile, other vendors are courting Joe. He starts talking to competing vendors and begins to understand their technologies. In a matter of months he lands two deals worth millions. The new vendor, excited by the prospect of market share gains, commits resources and joint engagement that is well above what the one-time preferred vendor provided. Steve may be happy because he made his number for the quarter but in the process he has hurt a relationship that took years to build. Short-term goals obfuscated the vendor’s longer-term needs. This is a perennial problem with channel and vendor partnerships. If a vendor has a channel, the executives at the very top of the company must truly understand the benefits of scale the channel provides. Channel religion needs to be ingrained in their DNA. And most importantly, it needs to reach all the way down to the field. For all the vendors out there, manage all your Steves in the field and compensate them in a way where it is a win-win for the vendor and the channel. If not managed correctly, it can actually be a big loss for you. n E-mail Kelley Damore at email@example.com 16
Computer Reseller News
Most influential channel chiefs The cover story on Most Influential Channel Chiefs in the July 15 edition was interesting. I believe such topics are good as they make the channel chiefs aware of their future channel priorities. However, this section should have also covered leaders of distribution firms like Ingram Micro and Redington. These companies are responsible for the channel movement of a large number of companies. K Ramakrishnan Mumbai
AKITDA pickets Intel service center The same issues with regard to Intel service are there in Chennai and Tamil Nadu also,
and no improvement [is there]. Digicare has also announced warranty support for burnt boards for its own products. This is how brands like Intel slowly disappear from the market place. Rajesh Krishnan Chennai
What AKITDA did was a very good thing. We too have been facing issues with Intel support for a long time. Intel needs to wake up to the problems of the channels or they will lose market. Already in motherboards Asus and Gigabyte are taking away Intel’s market share. Vendors who don’t have good support shouldn’t be allowed to sell in the market. Amit Khanna Agra
Send your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org or post your views on www.crn.in
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channel chief “We want to grow with partners” CA Technologies has acquired a lot of companies in the past and broadened its infrastructure management portfolio. Chris Ross, VP, Data Management, EMEA & APAC, CA Technologies, spoke to Sonal Desai about the company’s new partner model, product integration issues and much else How big is the Indian opportunity for CA? CA today has a wide portfolio of products and services offerings around data management, security and applications that could be woven for infrastructure management, which is our core. Where there were gaps we filled those through acquisitions such as ArcServe and the recent ITKO. The products and solutions offerings have widened the portfolio to cover the entire infrastructure management segment. In our estimate, the addressable opportunity for CA in India is $100 million, and growing at double digits. India is the second-fastest growing market for CA in APAC, so we are investing significantly in India to create the right go-to-market strategy to target this vast opportunity.
CA has organized its partner program around competencies. Can you give some details about the new program? The new partner program initiatives were announced at the Global Partner Summit in New York in May 2011. We have redefined our channel program according to competencies. The certifications will be closely linked to the roles and expertise partners have and build. The new competencies are around identity and access management, network and application management, data center rationalization and transformation, and hybrid cloud management. Our focus over the next few months will be to work closely with partners to transition to the new competencies and fine-tune their business models accordingly. One of the most important elements of our new partner initiatives is that we will share the IPs of the entire stack of the infrastructure management portfolio with partners to enable them to use our products, tools and utilities to customize and provision the managed services that their customers require. This is a very big step and we are the first to initiate such a deep engagement and enablement of partners.
“An important element of our new partner initiatives is that we will share the IPs of the entire stack of our infrastructure management portfolio with partners” 18
Computer Reseller News
What is your channel strategy? We have put in place a strong distribution-led partner program to target SMBs. We are creating opportunities in margins, loyalty and recurring revenue for our growing base of partners. To target the vast SMB opportunity we are empowering distributors to enable partners in every way to reach out to customers, and also to provide sales and technical training. The distributors will also engage with partners, share their market intelligence to help them drive business, and craft effective market strategies. For mid-market and large enterprises, we are identifying and recruiting partners with a dedicated storage practice. We are building a network of storage VARs. These partners have to build a message around our products and solutions, so the training for these partners would be around the storage framework. We are also encouraging resellers to transition to managed service providers using our platform and products.
There’s a lot of excitement around CA’s alliance with VCE. Can you share some details? We offer certified products to drive VCE (Virtual Computing Environment) adoption, integration and optimization. We have started offering solutions on the virtual desktop for the healthcare and government segments. CA is certifying 28 offerings for VCE by May
Grow your Business... “To target the vast SMB opportunity we are empowering distributors to enable partners in every way to reach out to customers, and also to provide sales and technical training” 2012, and we are the only company with so many offerings certified for VCE. We will sell these offerings through the channel. Presently, the CA cloud solutions are available on the VCE infrastructure, and we are encouraging Cisco, EMC and CA partners to sell our solutions and services to manage the unified infrastructure smartly.
One feedback from many partners is the lack of integration of many of your products, which, they say, puts them at a disadvantage with customers.
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That is a feedback we have been working on for some time now. One has to understand that CA has made several acquisitions over the past several years, and our focus is always on quickly integrating the products, solutions, services and people. We are working on the technology and channel integration, and believe that composite applications will soon be a reality.
Going forward, what can partners in India expect from CA in terms of products, policies and opportunities? In FY2011-12 we want to grow with partners. There have been changes in how we operate as a company, in the way we work with partners and execute strategies. The partner business model is also changing quickly. We are also open to feedback on which application is working and what is not working. We want our partners to deepen their relationship with named accounts, improve the cost of acquiring and sustaining customers, and tap into infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) opportunities. We understand that the CIO’s budget has come down dramatically, and will stay down. Most of their money is locked in the existing infrastructure. Our products offer customers [a way] to unlock these investments and move to IaaS, hence we are enabling partners to move into providing managed services over the cloud. CA has the most powerful portfolio of products and solutions, and a growing channel business. Our solutions are new and different from what they were 10 years ago. And we are aggressively chasing the competition. n
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special focus Virtual Campus, Real Gain Vendors and partners are reaping real benefits from the boom in virtual campuses in India’s expanding education sector n ABHIJEET MUKHERJEE virtual technologies. The Indian private sector will have to be a part of this agenda,” says Shridhar Shukla, Managing Director, GS Labs, provider of KPoint, a virtual education platform.
he education sector in India is set to grow from $28 billion in 2010 to $47 billion by 2017, and analysts believe that providing education virtually—through virtual classrooms and campuses—will be a key element of that growth. Given the vast geographic spread of India and the shortage of teachers and instructors, the government is planning to take the virtual route to make quality education available in remote areas. This also fits in with the government’s objective of including the masses in the overall economic progress of the country. There’s a strong element of public-private partnership as well. For instance, University18, a non-profit organization, is working with many leading universities in Karnataka for developing accredited degree and diploma programs and delivering them to students across the state. Recently, the Indian government proposed setting up the India-Africa Virtual University which will provide scholarships to 10,000 African students to enroll for virtual courses imparted by leading Indian institutions. These developments imply that there are significant opportunities for IT vendors and solution providers focused on the education sector. “To meet its objective of social inclusion and bridging the economic divide, the government will have to rely on
“To meet its objective of social inclusion and bridging the economic divide, the government will have to rely on virtual technologies. The Indian private sector will have to be part of this”
“We have tied up with Tata Interactive Systems for their virtual classroom projects. We have also tied up with big SIs to reach out to customers with our projectors”
Managing Director, GS Labs
The opportunities in setting up virtual campuses or classrooms lie across technology integration, hardware and software. These will involve vendors and partners extending the reach of existing data centers; setting up clouds; providing hardware such as networking equipment, server and storage boxes, LCD screens, projectors, video conferencing systems, interactive white boards, touch panels and HD cameras; and fulfilling content needs through a Learning Management System (LMS) or other software components. Networking major Cisco is driving a project that aims to bring high-quality education well within the reach of students in Chhindwara (in Madhya Pradesh) by connecting them with teachers located elsewhere in India. In another of its initiatives, Cisco’s WebEx collaboration tool is being used by the Shankar Mahadevan Academy to impart music lessons to students across the globe. Epson, which has deployed its interactive projector EB 455wi in many virtual campus projects, is also partnering with other players in the market. “We have tied up with Tata Interactive Systems for their virtual classroom projects. We have also tied up with big SIs to reach out to customers with our projectors,” says Harish AK, Senior Business Manager, Epson. Business Octane is another company targeting the virtual education market with its TeleAllpresence collaboration suite. “The most important advantage of our product is that the trainer can see students in each of the locations and can interact with all of them,” says Sanjay
Computer Reseller News
Senior Business Manager, Epson
special focus “The most important advantage of our product is that the trainer can see students in each of the locations and can interact with all of them”
“We are seeing many universities in the north set up virtual campuses. This has provided us immense business opportunities over the past two years”
Founder & Managing Director, Business Octane
Bansal, founder and Managing Director, Business Octane. Among the company’s customers are L&T and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. Partners too are making the most of the virtual campus boom. Says Sandeep Vahi, Director, Compton Computers, Delhi, “We are seeing many universities in the north set up virtual campuses to expand their reach to other parts of the country and even globally as a way of expanding their business and bringing in revenue growth. This has provided us immense business opportunities over the past two years.” Sharing details of a private cloud infrastructure Compton recently developed for the Rohtak, Haryanabased Maharshi Dayanand University, Vahi says, “The `5 crore project is complete and the university is doing the final testing to launch its virtual campus which will be available to students globally over the next couple of months.” Compton has undertaken similar data center projects to support virtual campuses, including one for Agrasen Engineering College and another for BITS Pilani—each worth `2.5 crore.
Director, Compton Computers
Another solution provider bullish on the education sector is Patna-based Graphic Trades, which recently did a virtual classroom project for Sainik School. Partners however feel that virtual campus opportunities would be more beneficial for them if they provide end-to-end solutions rather than just selling hardware and software. “Customers look at partners as end-to-end solution providers and they would prefer an entire package of services right from the installation of hardware, storage and servers to the provisioning of LMS and video conferencing and even down to the interiors,” says Ajay Maitin, CEO, Graphic Trades. “Partners have to prepare themselves for such projects as the future is in virtual classrooms. It would be advisable for them to provide end-to-end solutions but they can also specialize in data centers, video conferencing or security solutions,” says Vahi. Indeed, as more universities realize the benefits of virtual campuses and as broadband connectivity in India improves, there will be even more opportunities for different players in the market. n
Clear Credible Competent Consistent Compassionate Communicative CRN Creative CRN – the 8th C of Channel Marketing 22
Computer Reseller News
Partners may have missed out on big data center deals, but thereâ€™s growing demand for server room and modular data center solutions in the mid market n Sonal Desai & Ramdas S 24
Computer Reseller News
ccording to the India findings of the Symantec State of Data Center Report 2010, mid-size enterprises are more aggressive and pioneering than either small or large enterprises. They are adopting new technology initiatives such as cloud computing, replication and deduplication at rates that are 10-15 percent higher than those of small or large enterprises. This should be encouraging news for partners, especially in the light of the healthy growth in the data center market. IDC India estimates that the India data center market will grow from `6,300 crore in 2009 to `10,000 crore by the end of 2011. As per Gartner, by 2012, the amount of data center space in India would cross five million square feet, placing it among the top 10 data center markets globally. Over the past two years there have been large data center deployments in big banks and state governments, with project sizes from `5 crore to `100 crore. However, there have been few wins for the midmarket partners. “This was perhaps on expected lines, since most tenders had stringent guidelines which disqualified most partners—and the banking sector is a named account operation for many vendors,” explains Anoop Nambiar, Country Manager, Business Partner Organization, IBM India/South Asia. Another reason for the limited exposure of partners to data center projects could be financing. Says Vishak Raman, Director, India & Saarc, Fortinet, “Setting up a large data center project is not just about management or skill sets; it’s also about financing a deployment that may span months.” Though national or large data center projects have been out of the reach of channel partners, several stateor department-level data center deals have been picked up by mid-market partners. “We took a call to be a support partner in a consortium led by a major national systems integrator for the statewide data center deals,” says KV Jagannath, CEO, Choice Solutions, Hyderabad. Another example: the Karnataka State Police Data Center project was deployed by Trimax IT Infrastructure & Services. Similarly, across the country, several state and central government departments as well as PSUs are opting for small captive data centers, and are open to working with small partners. “One of the key calls our management is expected to take when we opt for new data center expansion is to relax tender norms to help more vendors take part,” says R Kalamegham, Deputy Manager, ITI Data Center,
“Most tenders had stringent guidelines which disqualified most partners—and the banking sector is a named account operation for many vendors” Anoop Nambiar
Country Manager, BPO, IBM India
“Setting up a large data center project is not just about management or skill sets; it’s also about financing a deployment that may span months” Vishak Raman
Director, India & Saarc, Fortinet
Bengaluru. Similar views were expressed by Ashu Batta, Director, H&H Technologies, Chandigarh. “In our region, and also across India, many government departments and PSUs are opting for captive data centers. The typical project size is `1.5 crore-`2 crore, and partners like us are winning orders.”
The server room boom Even as large opportunities are being well mapped by vendors through their direct sales team and tier-1 systems integrators, there are opportunities for partners in smaller data centers which are classified as server room data centers. While no precise figures are known, industry estimates suggest that anywhere between 15,000 and 150,000 server rooms are likely to be upgraded or set up over the next two years. “There are several customers who have small server rooms—some of them 8x8 square feet—all stacked with racks, servers and storage. When these customers add power and cooling to the server rooms, they are typically said to have set up tier-1 data centers. As a solution provider, we see opportunities with customers who want to move from tier-1 data centers to tier-2,” says Ujjwal Mhatre, Director, Orient Technologies, Mumbai. The budget of a tier-1 data center is typically `5 lakh-`50 lakh. This includes racks, air-conditioning, power backup (usually eight hours), networking equipment and servers. Most vendors also note that the real opportunity for partners lies in data centers that are classified as tier-1 and tier-2. “Typically, all vendors prefer to address the SMB segment through partners, and the smaller data centers are mostly owned by the SMB customers,” observes Raman of Fortinet. There are relatively fewer tier-3 and tier-4 data centers in India, and they are either addressed directly by vendors or through select national systems integrators. Nevertheless, an increasing number of midsize organizations in India have business applications (such as ERP and CRM) that are hosted in server rooms or tier-1 and tier-2 data centers. These throw open opportunities for both vendors and partners. What vendors such as IBM, Dell, HP, APC, Emerson and EMC have done for the mid-market is offer pre-fab, factory-fitted and modular data center solutions. Such pre-fab solutions exist for both active and passive components of the data center. Says Ankesh Kumar, Director, Channel Products and Marketing,
Computer Reseller News
cover story Emerson, “We are into the passive part of the data center, the support value. Around 40 percent of the spend is on passive components where the solutions are pre-fitted based on the number of racks or square feet of space.” Emerson provides these solutions through its tier-2 partners, who, says Kumar, have deployed them at more than 150 customer locations. Remarks Shankar Bhamidipaty, Director, Ashtech, “There are large clients who want to break down the pricing into separate components. We appoint subcontractors who work to our specifications, and partner with OEMs to fulfill specific demands. We have done 4-5 projects of this nature. These projects offer us 15-20 percent margins.” There are also opportunities to up sell and deep sell, say Kumar and Bhamidipaty. The opportunities
“We took a call to be a support partner in a consortium led by a major national systems integrator for the statewide data center deals” KV Jagannath
CEO, Choice Solutions
arise during data center revamping, when partners can also pitch for IP surveillance, digital access control and other solutions that go into the data center. Many partners are realizing data center opportunities through other engagements with existing customers. For instance, for the core banking project of
sizing Data Center Opportunities Classification of Data Center
Single non-redundant distribution path serving the IT equipment
Non-redundant capacity components
Basic site infrastructure guaranteeing 99.671 percent availability
Fulfills all Tier-1 requirements
Redundant site infrastructure capacity components guaranteeing 99.741 percent availability
Fulfills all Tier-1 and Tier-2 requirements
Multiple independent distribution paths serving the IT equipment
All IT equipment must be dualpowered and fully compatible with the topology of a site’s architecture
Concurrently maintainable site infrastructure guaranteeing 99.982 percent availability
Fulfills all Tier-1, Tier-2 and Tier-3 requirements
All cooling equipment is independently dual-powered, including chillers, and heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems
Size of Data Center/ Project Costs
50-250 sq ft `5 lakh to `50 lakh
Opportunity for partners This represents the biggest opportunity as the typical customer base is SMB which is almost exclusively handled by partners for almost all vendors. There are an estimated 40,000 such server room opportunities in the country
`30 lakh to `5 crore
The opportunity could be in the range of 5,000-10,000 projects over the next two years. Limited to certified partners of vendors and serious players
More than 500 sq ft
Few partners in India are in this league. Opportunities are limited to less than 100-odd cases, which would mostly be routed through large national systems integrators or the vendors themselves
100-2,000 sq ft
`3 crore to `30 crore
`5 crore and above
Not many cases known. Very few opportunities for mid-market resellers
Fault-tolerant site infrastructure with electrical power storage and distribution facilities guaranteeing 99.995 percent availability
Source: Classification of data centers based on specs by Uptime Institute; Market opportunity estimates based on industry inputs 26
Computer Reseller News
cover story India: The Next Hosting Hub? The biggest opportunity industry pundits see in data centers is in the global hosting space. “Shrinking budgets, rising energy costs, increased preference for outsourcing and the adoption of blade servers in data centers have led to new engagement and management models ranging from co-location services to pay-per-use platforms,” says Sitaram Venkat, National Manager, Enterprise Solutions Marketing, Dell India. However, the cost of hosting in India is prohibitively expensive compared to the global market. Typically, the rates are around 3-4 times more than those in the US and other competitive places. There are peculiar reasons for this disparity. “If you discount a city like Mumbai, our data center costs are cheaper than anywhere else in the world except for the cost of bandwidth. Once the present 2G fiasco the government is facing is over, we are expecting new announcements which would perhaps provide us with bandwidth rates that are on par with a country like US or Canada. Then India could well become the hosting hub of the world,” says Dileep Kumar, Chairman, BICSI. Many partners are also considering the hosting market very seriously and are waiting for the opportune moment to take the plunge. “We have been seriously thinking of hosting applications for enterprises,” says Anoop Krishnan, VP, Quadsel. “If the bandwidth costs drop to even half of what they are today, you can see Indian hosting companies winning back at least 50 percent of the hosting business that’s gone to providers abroad. This could also mean that the existing data center vendors will need to increase capacities by another 50 percent to cater to the new demand,” says Satheesh G Nair, Director, Unified Stickman India. n
Our data center costs are cheaper than anywhere else in the world except for the cost of bandwidth a Mumbai-based cooperative bank, Ashtech came on board for server and storage solutions, but later became its tech consultant. “Over a period we built the entire data center for the bank and also set up infrastructure for the core banking solution,” says Bhamidipaty. Avaya is another vendor looking at providing prefab solutions. “Avaya provides Data Center Network Solutions which are ‘fit for purpose’ for every type of customer in the industry from very large enterprises to small customers,” says Darshan Watve, Country Sales Manager, Data Business, Avaya India. IBM too is seeing high traction for portable and modular data centers. These solutions are being targeted at SMBs likely to relocate their infrastructure. “Most fast-growing SMBs are thinking of relocating their premises as they build bigger capacities and expand their business. Portable data centers ensure that investments are protected,” says Akash Saxena, Vice President, Offerings Management & Development,
Computer Reseller News
“We are seeing increasing opportunities with many customers who want to move from their existing tier-1 data centers to tier-2” Ujjwal Mhatre
Director, Orient Technologies
Global Technology Services, IBM India/South Asia. These solutions are being heavily pitched through channel partners. APC is another vendor pushing the idea of portable and modular data centers. “We have introduced new technologies such as in-row cooling where the cooling unit resides inside the rack. This is preferred especially in the case of an SMB customer who may want to relocate his data center tomorrow. Contrast this to a raised floor which is used for fitting cooling equipment that cannot be [easily] relocated,” says GB Ravichandra, Head, Enterprise, APJ, APC. Dell’s vStart is a pre-configured solution aimed at the pre-fab data center market. “We are releasing vStart shortly. It is a pre-sized, pre-tested, racked and ready set of virtualization resources to support a predetermined number of virtual machines,” explains Sitaram Venkat, National Manager, Enterprise Solutions Marketing, Dell India. To prepare their partners for providing data center solutions, many vendors such as APC, HP and Cisco have been giving extensive training to them for the past couple of years. HP has the Data Center Systems Specialist program for partners as part of its AllianceOne program, while Cisco has launched the Data Center Architecture Specialization (DCAS) program that would be made mandatory for certified data center partners. “We have the Cloud Partner Program (CPP) and the DCAS which would be essential for partners who want to go after the growing opportunity in the cloud and data center space. We already have two mid-market partners, SK International and Nirmal Datacomm, which have attained Silver status in data center specialization, and Locuz from Hyderabad is presently undergoing certification,” informs B Raghavendran, Head, Partner Organization, Cisco India & Saarc.
Technology drivers Virtualization remains the biggest driver for the data
“There are large clients who want to break down the pricing into separate components. We appoint sub-contractors who work to our specifications” Shankar Bhamidipaty Director, Ashtech
cover story “The challenge to do ‘more with less’ is changing the way enterprises approach their data center strategies, so they look beyond traditional technology”
“IT virtualization projects that don’t factor security result in weaker data center protection. Hence, there’s a need to build stronger security layer”
Director, Partners Sales, VMware India
center boom in the country. Server virtualization is the key as there are direct savings in terms of fewer hardware units to buy and maintain as well as fewer support staff to manage. “After the global meltdown, for all organizations the key challenge is to do ‘more with less.’ This is changing the way enterprises approach their data center strategies and so they look beyond traditional technology infrastructure,” says Ganesan Aramugam, Director, Partners Sales, VMware India. “Most customers who started virtualization of their non-business critical applications are now moving to get their production applications also virtualized.” Desktop virtualization, while not as popular as server virtualization, ensures that a customer going for VDI architecture would automatically need a data center. “Desktop virtualization customers automatically need servers, storage and faster networks, and would need a data center to consolidate,” says Anoop Krishnan, VP, Quadsel, Chennai. The cloud is another key driver. While service providers are investing in setting up public clouds, customers are also building private cloud infrastructure which once again means setting up or expanding data centers. “We do not expect many customers to completely run their infrastructure off a public cloud. The hybrid cloud model is popular. That’s where the opportunity lies for partners,” comments T R Madan Mohan, Managing Partner, Browne & Mohan, Bengaluru. Another trend partners are seeing is the move toward RISC-based architecture. “The acceptance of RISC-based servers, whether Itanium-powered or Power 7-based, has suddenly gone up. In fact, with mainframe prices crashing we see customers buying into non-x86 platforms for their ability to deliver more for a lower data center footprint,” says Mohan. The enterprise data boom is also a key reason for consolidating information at a single point. “Customers are struggling with the data explosion within their enterprises. From silos of information there are definite plans to consolidate data into easily retrievable and more secure central storage. This is another reason why customers are opting for data centers,” says D Bhaskaran, Director, Mach Data System. Yet another reason is the deep penetration of business-critical applications within the SMB segment. “Many SMBs have started implementing ERP applications, while some of them are rolling out the second generation of their ERP applications. And it’s
Computer Reseller News
Regional Director, India & Saarc, Check Point
not just applications; data needs to be protected, and securing everything inside a server room or data center is the usual thought process,” says Ashok L, Managing Director, Futurenet Technologies, Bengaluru. The affordability of technology is also driving customers to invest in data centers. “Today, blade servers are no more an expensive option, and make perfect sense for customers. Also, 10G has become the norm,” says Kedar Shah, CEO, Nirmal Datacomm, Mumbai. Structured cabling vendors too are seeing the opportunity. “For a structured cabling vendor, the opportunities are indeed very good. The new standard TIA 942 was ratified last year, and with 10G becoming a norm you need cable to support similar speeds. Data center cabling is far more complex, and needs a lot of attention to detail,” says Dileep Kumar, Chairman, BICSI, an independent association of telecom and networking vendors. Security is another opportunity partners can tap. “IT consolidation and virtualization projects that don’t directly address security issues can result in weaker and less efficient data center protection. As a result, there’s a stronger need to build the security layer and thus the confidence of the end users,” says Bhaskar Bakthavatsalu, Regional Director, India & Saarc, Check Point.
Future direction Consolidation is at the top of the mind for the IT industry, and organizations are in the process of redefining their data centers in order to manage the pressure to reduce costs while protecting data. Says Ajay Goel, Managing Director, India & Saarc, Symantec, “Whether the consolidation involves a physical move, virtualization, decommissioning, or any combination thereof, organizations need to manage the risks and complexity of data center consolidation. In addition, organizations must ensure that information and applications are protected and available to avoid unplanned downtime and data loss.” According to most research agencies, the data center market continues to grow at a CAGR of 20-25 percent, and with prospective changes in government policy, which could help India become a hosting hub, the country could become one of the biggest data center markets globally. For partners, the server room revolution triggered by SMBs will continue to provide ample business opportunities. n
SUPER ACHIEVERS The benchmark for business leadership in Indian IT channels, the CRN Xcellence Awards will recognize companies that have achieved business performance par excellence in FY2010-11, through a combination of innovations and smart strategies
Winners of CRN Xcellence Awards 2010 Presenting Partner
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role model Calculated Aggression
One of the first Compaq partners, Vasant Vartak, Managing Director, Kalyx Infotech, has done well by leveraging his relationships and learning his lessons nabhijeet mukherjee
asant Vartak, the 44-year-old founder and CEO of IT solution provider Kalyx Infotech, prides himself in predicting trends and tapping new opportunities before anyone else does. As a result, he has many firsts to his credit over the past 20 years he has been in the IT business. “I was one of the first authorized partners for Compaq [now part of HP] servers in 1997. I am the first tier2 Compaq partner to sell its rack-mountable servers in India, and the first to sell its Itanium servers and enterprise storage solutions. I was also the first among peers to recognize the trend of desktop virtualization back in 2005. We have won awards from vendors for the same,” says a proud Vartak. Vartak started his career in IT as a customer support engineer with Prompt Infotech soon after completing his engineering in electronics and telecom from Pune in 1987. He moved to Zenith as an in-house manager for customer support, then eventually started his own venture. “At Zenith I learned about the basics of business and decided to start with services. I was very clear from the beginning that whatever we sell we should be able to provide services ourselves and should be able to take complete ownership,” says Vartak. With two other partners, in 1990 Vartak launched a company called Debug, which specialized in selling networking services on the Novell platform to small offices. LAN was catching up at that time. However, within three years, he moved out to join another IT company, F-Disk, as a co-promoter. It wasn’t until 1996 that Vartak actually jump-started completely on his own. “I exited F-Disk as I was not convinced with my co-promoter’s opinion about the future course of business. I was keen on venturing into new products and solutions, and taking an aggressive market approach, while my partners had a conservative business approach. I therefore decided to start my own venture without any partners so I could test my own business instincts and acumen,” explains Vartak. That’s how Kalyani Informix was born. In 1997 Kalyani Informix became one of the first business partners of Compaq when the latter launched its commercial PCs and servers in India. Vartak describes this as a milestone. Leveraging his “special relationship” with Compaq and later with its new owner, HP, he has
“The size and expanse of the pan-India IT deployment for Coca-Cola gave us the confidence to take on large projects” 32
Computer Reseller News
grown by leaps and bounds. “Those were the times when Wipro, HCL and Tata-IBM were market leaders, and Compaq was largely seen as an MNC whose products were extremely costly. However, with my aggression, a great team at Compaq and our strong sales efforts, we cracked the market open for Compaq in quite a few large accounts. That was the most exciting phase, creating a new market for a new brand and thus expanding the overall market,” he recalls. The Compaq partnership worked wonders for Kalyani Informix: from a turnover of `51 lakh in FY1998-99, the company grew exponentially and clocked revenue of `11 crore in just four years. Recalling the Coca-Cola deal in 2000, which involved deploying pan-India IT infrastructure for the beverages giant, Vartak says, “The project worth `15 crore saw us deploying IT at all their plants, offices and warehouses over a four-year time frame. The size and expanse of the deployment gave us the confidence to take on large projects.”
Learning from mistakes No success story is free of failures, and that’s exactly what happened to Kalyani in 2003. A combination of two factors—the HP-Compaq merger and the slowdown that continued after the dotcom bust—seriously affected business. “2003 can be termed as the worst year. The market had slowed down tremendously, and our costs didn’t justify expansion plans. A real re-look at the method [of our business] and restructuring it were
Size of the domestic IT Industry `78,700 crore
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CRN Leadership Summit 2010 To be held between August 18-20, 2011 at Marriott Hyderabad, CRN Leadership Summit 2011 will offer the best platform to IT companies to network and connect with the finest solutions providers and systems integrators.
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role model 1997 1996
necessary,” he says. But there was learning even from this hardship. “We realized that aligning with one company has its perils as there is always the possibility of that company being acquired. Secondly, we realized that having excessive dependence on hardware solutions wasn’t healthy and we needed a stronger services focus to ensure annuity-based revenue streams,” says Vartak. Applying these lessons, Vartak reorganized his business into three different arms—Kalyani Informix for the import of IT products, Kalinfo Computer Services for IT services, and Kalyx Infotech for product distribution and sales. By 2007, Kalyx had become a specialist in storage and server integration. However, says Vartak, servers were increasingly being looked at as commodities. “We spotted the trend of VDI and invested in building expertise in desktop virtualization and thin clients. This foray helped us create our own niche and post steady growth even in the recessionary period of 2008-10,” says Vartak.
Started Kalyani Informix Joined hands with Compaq for servers Bagged a pan-India IT infrastructure project worth `15 crore from Coca-Cola
providers in other technology domains like security surveillance and asset management. Through such an alliance, it recently bagged an order to provide the IT components for a large physical security and asset management tracking project for an oil refinery.
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Kalyx expects to grow by 30 percent in FY2011-12, and says it has a strong order pipeline. It plans to Bagged `2.5-crore project venture into cloud services in a big from Dhan Dhana Dhan way. “In the past two years we lost lottery several of our customers to clouds, and that is why we are keen to take Recorded losses of the cloud seriously. We have tied `2 crore up with Google to sell Google Apps, and we are looking for more such Reorganized business into partnerships to provide a wider three separate units portfolio of cloud offerings,” says Vartak. Bagged a large order for Over the next two years, Kalyx plans to consolidate its IT servers from Rediff.com infrastructure business and expand Ventured into thin clients and into new solutions and services, including disaster recovery, data desktop virtualization backup and mobility. “Mobility solutions are going to be in demand Recorded revenue of as cloud computing and new access `21 crore devices like smartphones and media tablets gain ground. Over Current business the next two years we will see more customers invest in In FY2010-11 Kalyx registered a topline of `21 crore, mobility solutions and we need to be ready to tap this including a direct billing ORC of ` two crore and services opportunity,” he says. (which amounts to roughly `22 crore of direct billing revenue), a growth of 10 percent over the previous year’s revenue of `19 crore. The IT/ITeS sector contributed On a personal note more than 50 percent to total revenue, while the real Vartak adores Steve Jobs of Apple as his role model estate and travel sectors contributed the rest. because of his confidence and bold approach toward The company has now emerged as the largest HP business. In an industry where making margins is a partner for thin client solutions in India, but it hasn’t big issue, Apple products are superior and command been a cakewalk. “When we ventured into thin clients a premium. “Their products talk, not the promotions,” we had great trouble convincing customers. Many started says Vartak. with just 15-20 thin nodes,” says Vartak. Today, he boasts A travel enthusiast, Vartak loves adventure sports. of a total deployment base of 17,000 thin clients across “I have traveled almost the entire world and love to do various customers, most of them from the BPO and BFSI things that most people are not aware of. For example, segments. this year I took a shark diving tour in South Africa—the The focus on thin clients also led to opportunities tour is known to very few people—with my family. Every in infrastructure consolidation and virtualization. As a year I move out of India with my family for around 15 result, Kalyx has bagged several large projects in the past days of enjoyment,” he says. A bungee jumping buff, two months. Vartak would love to do sky diving some day. Vartak is also aligning his company with solutions Vartak also loves to go for long drives and the one destination in his mind at the moment is Leh in Ladakh. “I want to go to Ladakh because I have heard it is not “We realized that aligning with one only beautiful but very tough to drive into, and I want to relish the beauty all along the route,” he says. company has its perils as there is Vartak calls himself a shopaholic and often ends always the possibility of that company up buying the same stuff again and again. Not much being acquired” different from repeat business deals, isn’t it? n
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tech focus Smart printing for smart devices Apps for printing from a tablet or smart phone may be hard to find, and may be less than intuitive, but here are five that will work on devices from iPhones to devices running Windows Phone 7 n CRN Network
PrintTool for BlackBerry PlayBook
rinting from smart devices has long been possible, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy or without aggravation. Printing apps work with varying degrees of ease of use, and few are free. Here are five apps, free and paid, that will let users print wirelessly from your device.
Print n Share for iPhone One of the toprated printing apps for the iPhone is called, simply, Print n Share. It’s not free: the download from the Apple iTunes App Store will run $8.99. Once installed, and with the iPhone connected to a network via WiFi, the app will do all the work of configuring a connection to a printer. Six easy, one-touch buttons will let you print files, email, Web pages, contacts and images either from a camera roll or new photos taken just to print. We tried it out, and literally within a few minutes of download our phone was sending files to a printer on our network for printing.
PrinterShare Mobile Print for Android This is a $12.95 app that’s available for download from the Android Market. There are several printing apps available for the Android platform, but we chose this one because it works, and provides a straightforward, automated way to print through the network without going through a third-party service. Once connected to a network over WiFi, print from your Android device by letting PrinterShare do the heavy lifting. It will locate available printers on a network, allow for test pages to be printed, and then permit you to send documents or photos to a printer for output. It works and, unlike numerous other printer apps for the Android platform, is clean and not kludgy.
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If you search through the BlackBerry App World online market for printing apps, the pickings are as slim as they get: One app is listed. PrintTool is a minimalistic, straightforward, text-printing app. You’ll need to connect to a network via WiFi, manually enter the IP address of the printer you wish to use, and then cut and paste any plain text into the dialog box for printing. It’s got three major things going for it: It’s free, it works and it’s the only printing app you can find in the BlackBerry App World store.
PrintCentral Pro for iPad For $8.99 from the Apple iTunes App Store, you can download and install PrintCentral Pro for iPad. It allows for printing documents, images and email from the device to any printer on a network—once you connect to the network via WiFi. Some configuration is needed to import documents and verify email addresses on the device. It won’t allow you to print directly from an app, like Pages, but rather provides a path to import the data into PrintCentral Pro which then sends it to the printer.
ImagePrint for Windows Phone 7 Without ImagePrint, the only way to print directly from your Windows Phone 7 device would be to put it face down on a copier and press the green ‘print’ button. A $2.99 download from the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, ImagePrint does require manual integration of the device with a print server on the network. n
Tackles Wireless Management A real time-saver, Netgear’s wireless management appliance is solid value for the small office with a dozen or more access points n Edward J Correia
all it a security flaw, but the CRN Test Center likes the convenience of having a device’s default IP address printed right on the underside of its networking gear. Such small touches were a big help when configuring the WMS5316, Netgear’s ProSafe Wireless Management System and the Netgear WNDAP350 access point it was managing. For an MRP of `53,690, the WMS5316 can manage as many as 16 Netgear access points from a central console, and delivers solid value and convenience for the small office or department network administrator. Once connected to the network using one of its four Gigabit Ethernet ports, the WMS5316 automatically discovers and lists only Netgear access points, thanks to some clever Netgear-only filtering embedded in firmware. The downside to this method is that it requires a firmware update whenever new access points are added to a network; the WMS5316 will be unable to discover them otherwise. A recommended best practice would be to periodically update the firmware. Better still, perhaps Netgear should add a feature that automatically checks for firmware updates. Admins can select which devices they’d like to manage by clicking that device’s check box and adding it to their basic list of managed devices. As a security measure, each device’s password would be required
The WMS5316 offers some advanced features such as load balancing across multiple access points, settings for the maximum number of clients per access point or radio, and centralized RF management
here. Once a list of managed devices has been created, they also can be designated as members of groups, and can have settings attributed to them in bulk, or according to departments or any other category. Once testers adjusted to the Netgear’s user interface, they were able to create groups, and create and apply settings to members with relative ease. Changes to settings in a group are propagated to members of that group automatically; updated devices are designated as ‘synchronized’ in the management interface. Caution: the existing settings of synchronized access points are overwritten without warning. The WMS5316 offers some advanced features such as load balancing across multiple access points, settings for the maximum number of clients per access point or radio, centralized RF management, and channel allocation monitoring. We also liked the network usage graph, which displays the average transmit and receive rates. Also attractive was the rogue access point monitor, which displays a list of access points on the network, their SSIDs, broadcast channels, communication speeds, the number of beacons and their frequency, and the closest neighboring access point of the ones that are managed. Among other things, this tool can be helpful for minimizing channel interference, man-in-the-middle attacks and other security intrusions. For the small office with a dozen or more access points, managing them individually can be a real nuisance and a time drain, to say nothing of troubleshooting intrusions or RF problems. For companies that have deployed Netgear access points, there’s really only one choice: The WMS5316 ProSafe Wireless Management System. n
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channel buzz DSCI Excellence Awards 2011 The award validates best practices and security frameworks within organizations, and creates a platform for companies to share security initiatives
he Data Security Council of India, a Nasscom initiative, announced the winners of the DSCI Excellence Awards at a ceremony in New Delhi on July 22, 2011. Sachin Pilot, the Minister of State for Communications & IT, Government of India, presented the awards to the winners. Through its Excellence Awards, DSCI aims to annually honor organizations which and individuals who have made strategic, proactive and innovative security efforts to help their organizations address real risks and elevate the role of security and its contribution to the overall business and economy of the country. Pilot lauded the steps taken by the winning organizations and individuals to establish safe practices in their organizations, and also highlighted the initiatives being taken by the government toward promoting data protection. He emphasized the role of public partnerships in building the trustworthiness of Indian companies. While congratulating the winners, Dr Kamlesh
Dr Kamlesh Bajaj, CEO, DSCI said we need to approach security in a way that not only safeguards our data, but also builds confidence
Bajaj, CEO, DSCI said, “Given the constantly evolving threat landscape in which we operate today, and our dependence on technology for our business operations, there’s a need to approach security in a way that not only safeguards our data but also builds confidence in our stakeholders. The results of the DSCI Excellence Awards evaluation process have reaffirmed the very high standards of information security deployed by Indian companies.” The awards ceremony was the culmination of a detailed evaluation process developed by DSCI in consultation with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, with eminent experts from the industry serving on the jury panel. InformationWeek had an exclusive press conference immediately after the awards ceremony and spoke to the winners. Said Felix Mohan, Senior Vice President and Global Chief Information Security Officer, Airtel, “The DSCI Award is a validation of the best practices and the implementations within a company. It serves the same purpose as
Dr Jai Menon, Director , Global Innovation & IT, Bharti Airtel, receiving an award
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Dr Bajaj presents a citation to Nandita Jain Mahajan of IBM Daksh Business Process Services for Security in Global BPO
benchmarks and surveys — ways that organizations use to find out where they stand vis-à-vis others, and which are the best practices they are following.” According to Sumeet Parashar, CISO, CSC (India), “This (awards event) also creates a platform for the industry to come together and share what everyone is doing in a more structured format. The proposed DSCI workshop (in November 2011) will also be meaningful for all of us.” P Unnikrishnan, Worldwide Manager, BCP & Security, HP
The awardees suggested ways in which private companies can work with the government to establish security standards and frameworks
DSCI Excellence Awards Winners l l l l l l l
Bharti Airtel for Security in Telecom HDFC Bank for Security in Banks Cognizant Technology Solutions for Security in IT Services (Large) IBM Daksh for Security in Global BPO Financial Technologies for Security in IT Services Company (SME) Hewlett-Packard GBS, Global E-Business Operations, for Security in Captive BPO CSC for Raising Security Awareness
Security Leader of the Year l
Felix Mohan, Global CISO, Bharti Airtel (Domestic Industry) l Raja Vijay Kumar Adapa, VP & Global Information Security Leader, Genpact (IT-BPO)
said, “Such awards create healthy competition in the industry. They motivate organizations to improve their information security frameworks and hence the overall security level in the industry.” Dr Jai Menon, Director, Global Innovation & IT, Bharti Airtel said, “An award of this nature signals a point of inflection. We now have a clear recognition to say that India will lead through a new set of standards, a new genre of what data security really means because data has proliferated everywhere.” n
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[ Photographs by: Brian Pereira ]
New Products Asus EEE Pad Transformer TF101 tablet
sus launched its EEE Pad Transformer TF101 tablet which features a qwerty keyboard, multi-touch touchpad, 1.2MP front and 5.0MP rear Webcam, two USB ports, 3.5mm audio jack, built-in SD card reader and batteries with stand-by time from 6-16 hours. The tablet weighs 680gm, is 13mm thick, is powered by Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core processor, and runs Android v3.0 Honeycomb. It comes preloaded with Polaris Office 3.0 and provides Asus WebStorage with one year of unlimited storage space. The product is priced at `32,999, comes with a 2-year warranty, and is available with Asus distributors.
Epson L100 and L200 inkjet printers
pson launched its L100 inkjet printer and L200 inkjet AIOs—the world’s first ink tank system printers. The main attraction of the product is the printing cost. It provides monochrome printing at 10 paise per page and color printing at 20 paise per page. The printers come with one black 70ml ink bottle that can print 4,000 black pages and three 70ml color ink cartridges that can print 6,500 color pages. The product uses a Micro Piezo print head that can achieve a maximum print resolution of 5760x1440 dpi. The L100 and L200 are priced at `8,999 and `10,999 respectively. The printers come with 1-year warranty, and are available with the company’s regional distributors.
HP Omni 200-5310IN
H Simmtronics solar powered desktops
immtronics has launched its new range of solar powered desktops. The desktop can work up to 3-4 days without sunlight. Simmtronics is also planning to extend this technology to laptops, tablets and netbooks. The product is available at a price of `29,999 across the world, comes with a 2-year warranty, and is available through authorized channel partners.
P has introduced the HP Omni 200-5310IN, a desktop with functionality of both the computer as well as TV. It comes with a 21.5 inch screen with inbuilt speakers, Windows 7 Premium with media center for TV viewing, live TV recording, and an inbuilt TV tuner card. It features an Intel dual core processor, 2GB RAM, 500GB HDD, DVD drive, wireless LAN, inbuilt Webcam, microphone, USB ports, a standard keyboard and optical mouse. The HP Omni 200-5310IN is priced at `36,040, comes with a 2-year warranty, and is available with authorized distributors.
The products featured here have not undergone any benchmarking or testing. The trailers contain information provided by vendors and distributors. To feature your company’s products in CRN, send write-ups with photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
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shadow ram Two birds in one shot
n July 25, AKITDA, the channel association in Kerala, carried out protests at the Intel service center in Kochi which is managed by Digicare. More than 100 members of the channel association took part in the protests aimed at highlighting their frustration against the deteriorating post-sales support on Intel motherboards. While picketing outside the Intel service center, a few members also raised the issue of warranty support with regard to Samsung hard drives sold by the now-defunct SES Technologies. So, soon after the members got an assurance from the local Intel channel team and Digicare staff that they would improve the service, the delegation marched toward the authorized Samsung service center. Samsung officials immediately got in touch with them and offered reconciliation. n
“I would make India a happy country” Sunil Sapra, Regional Director, India & South Asia, Astaro, has a total experience of 17 years in the industry. Before Astaro, he was with WatchGuard as Regional Director, India & South Asia. He has also worked with Hitachi Data Systems and Veritas as Sales Manager
If not in the IT industry: I would be teaching at my alma mater, BITS Pilani.
Biggest passion: Be the change agent—create value, touch lives and make a difference. Behind the wheels: Honda City. Gadgets I can’t live without: None. I own my possessions, they don’t own me. Weekends are for: Family, books, clean sweeps and Facebook. Favorite holiday destination: Any place that has ocean, river, waterfall or lake. Hate the most: Negative attitudes, apathy, excuses and lack of integrity. Favorite movie: Main Azad Hoon, Satyakam, Shor, Anand. Favorite star: Dharmendra. Role model: Mahatma Gandhi. Ultimate ambition: Experience renunciation. Wildest thing I have ever done: At BITS Pilani, I have travelled on the roof-tops of buses in rains, and slept on the main road to win a bet. Thing I most want to do in life: I have converted all my wishes into well-defined goals and am working toward achieving them. If I became the PM: I would make India a happy country at par with the most developed countries yet maintaining our precious values. Celebrity I would like to spend a day with: Dev Anand. He is an incredible man. He’s almost 90, yet he still has the excitement and enthusiasm of a child. One person I would like to meet and why: N R Narayana Murthy. He is the man behind the new India. Deepest and darkest fear: None. Main kya laaya tha jo main kho doonga? n — CRN Network
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RNI NO. MAH ENG/1999/635 Postal Reg. No. MH/MR/NORTH EAST/193/2010-2012 Posted at Patrika Channel Sorting Office, Mumbai Due Date 2nd, 3rd & 16th, 17th Of Every Fortnight