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with Juniper’s ex series ethernet switches, your customers can start with a single rack-unit device and, as requirements grow, add new units incrementally, avoiding the large up-front investments required by chassis-based solutions while keeping power and cooling costs to a minimum. ex series switches support Juniper networks virtual chassis technology, allowing up to six switches to be interconnected over high-speed uplink ports and managed as a single logical device, delivering a scalable, pay-as-you-grow solution for expanding network environments. in today’s high performance business environment, the ex series switches are ideal for meeting the challenges of server virtualization and distributed applications. by implementing Juniper’s 3-2-1 data center architecture, the ex series ethernet switches enable enterprises to not only improve performance but also to increase operational efficiency. welcome to the future of enterprise switching at juniper.net

+

Þ Inbound Response Management Priya Sharma v:1800 209 3062 f:022 66765553 Authorized Distributor: Transition Systems Pvt. Ltd. | Rohit Sobti | Email: rohit@transition-asia.com


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contents

December 01, 2012 l Volume 2 Issue 03

Cover Story The technology is expected to take off in 2013, but while vendors will help partners to address opportunities in the space, channels cannot expect vendors to help them build skill-sets

20 Cover Design : Deepjyoti Bhowmik

NEWS Analyses

Channel Chief

HP pens SDN strategy

6

IBM on storage virtualization drive

6

ESET eyes top-5 spot in the Indian antivirus market

8

Avaya to focus on healthcare

8

Toshiba to focus on SSDs

13

Samsung bullish on Windows 8

13

READ More Opinion

12

Feedback

12

Channel Buzz

32

New Products

33

Shadow Ram

34

Get Personal

34

Computer Reseller News

01/12/2012 www.crn.in

14 Special Focus Prescribing a dose of technology Healthcare, pharma and life sciences companies are increasingly adopting technology to optimize cost and ensure better health services

16 Market Focus

26

Editorial 10

4

Manish Sharma VP, APAC, NComputing, speaks about the growing adoption of thin clients in India and shares the company’s partner-led strategies

Leveraging social media for business Individuals can afford to ignore it, businesses can’t. Social media has become so universal that it is now an essential ingredient of any marketing plan worth the name

Role Model Treading a different path He could have opted for the family’s restaurant business but Amarnath Shetty chose to develop his own identity in a different field. The Managing Director of LDS Infotech looks back—and looks ahead

28


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starting line MUST

Read

IBM on storage virtualization drive Continuing its campaign for smarter storage, the STG division of IBM is now optimizing storage infrastructure and making it cloud-agile. In many SMBs data has doubled, leading to multiple storage requirements. According to Akhil Kamat, Business Manager, STG, IBM, compared to earlier, when performance issues were minimal in SMBs, the segment is now asking for storage space of 10PS and capacity of 30,000-45,000 transactions per second. “That is how we designed our V7000 and the recently-launched v3700 series which provides 8 GB of cache at the entry level and goes up to 16 GB.” Kamat said that the v3700 will be a channelonly product which will be priced between the v7000 and v3500. “Customers who have seen the benefits of server virtualization will experience the same benefits of storage virtualization. This being a volume product, we are not going industrywise.” IBM is leveraging its relationship with ISVs to launch bundles around v3700. “We have Akhil Kamat already launched two bundles on DR and CCTVs,” said Kamat. “In all we will be launching 7-8 bundles to be sold by our partners. Partners will be trained around the solutions, specing, software configuring and pricing. Any partner registered on the Partner Vault will be able to sell the bundles.” Further, IBM is adding features to its Storage Specialty Partner Program (SSPP) which the company launched in February this year. Said Kamat, “In alignment with our ongoing focus on partner education and training, we have launched the Delight program in SSPP. Under the new program, partners will be able to implement complex storage virtualization to meet the needs of SMB and mid-market customers. We will launch two incentive programs in the near future.” Kamat informed that while none of IBM’s customers has gone live on v3700, ‘customers in double digits’ are running beta pilots.. n — Sonal Desai

6

Computer Reseller News

01/12/2012 www.crn.in

HP pens SDN strategy n AMIT SINGH

H

P is making a significant push into software-defined networking (SDN) and is targeting enterprise and SMB customers from verticals such as telecom, manufacturing, media, entertainment, IT-ITeS and BPO. As early adopters, the company is targeting service providers and organizations with branch offices. “In the cloud era, clients need a single point of control for the entire network,” said Prakash Krishnamoorthy, Country Manager, HP Networking, HP India. “Our SDN solution simplifies the management, configuration and console provisioning, and reduces deployment time. It automates configuration tasks across hardware, software and applications.” With the increasing adoption of virtualization in data centers as well as the ongoing server and storage virtualization, HP sees SDN as a natural step forward. “Organizations have evolved with the proliferation of data centers, BYOD and mobility, and the size of the network and branches has increased. However, we expect most organizations to first partly transition to SDN and then gradually move the entire network over the software,” Krishnamoorthy said. To strengthen its virtual application networks strategy, the company recently introduced an SDN controller, SDN applications and SDN services covering all three critical layers— infrastructure, control software and application. It announced nine additional switch models providing OpenFlow-enabled support for the HP FlexNetwork architecture. The HP Virtual Cloud Networks software enables cloud providers to deliver automated and scalable public cloud services to enterprises. Using this

“Our SDN solution automates manual configuration tasks across hardware, software and applications, thus reducing time for deployment” Prakash Krishnamoorthy Country Manager HP Networking, HP India

software, enterprises can create an isolated virtual cloud network environment through a self-service public cloud infrastructure. The HP Virtual Cloud Networks software and SDN controller will be available in H22013. As part of its GTM, HP is creating awareness and training partners in solutions, technology insights and architectural design. In phase-1, which will last for about 3-4 months, the company will enable large SIs; it will then include regional SIs for detailed training and POCs. After that it will rope in VARs. “Although we have not set any target for the number of partners, we are scouting for SIs with a national and regional presence as well as VARs for our SDN portfolio. The preferred candidates will be partners who have customers with complex networks, and those who are wellversed in legacy networks and are willing to get to the next level,” informed Krishnamoorthy. In January 2013 the company will start road-shows for SDN covering tier-1 cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. “Next will be cities like Pune, Chennai and Kolkata,” Krishnamoorthy said. “We will also create a buzz around the technology during our HP Discover 2012 event scheduled in Frankfurt, Germany, from December 4-6, 2012.” n


starting line MUST

Read

Avaya to focus on healthcare Having tasted success globally with installations in 5,500 healthcare institutions, Avaya is now seeking new opportunities for its unified communications (UC), contact center (CC) and data solutions in the healthcare vertical in India. It has installations in some large hospitals here. The company is leveraging its three major acquisitions—Nortel for contact centers and data, Aurix for analytics and data, and Siperia for SIP and session border control. Affirming the development, Sanjeev Gupta, GM, Avaya Healthcare Solutions said, “We have taken UC and CC solutions to develop mobility, patient monitoring and other applications enabling pro-active outreach for patients.” According to Gupta, technologies such as big data and analytics can play a part in medical treatment. For instance, in the case of chronic diseases, predictive analysis enables nurses to proactively send reminders to patients to make appointments, go for the required tests, and carry their reports to Sanjeev Gupta the specialists. Avaya is also encouraging ISVs to develop mobile applications to promote tele-medicine in rural areas. Gupta said that a large hospital chain is using its patient management application which enables access to the patient and his electronic medical records over video on smartphones. The company is looking at opportunities within hospitals. “Hospitals are transforming from analog to IP telephony, integrating UC and CRM, deploying Wi-Fi, and transforming the entire clinical process. A few hospitals have started using the cloud to access data, and this can be a great opportunity for our partners who are developing vertical-specific applications,” he said. While Avaya will continue to work with its four partners who are active in the healthcare sector, it will also scout partners for opportunity-based deals. Stated Gupta, “We are looking for partners beyond the metros, but we will work only with those partners who can value-add.” n — Sonal Desai

8

Computer Reseller News

01/12/2012 www.crn.in

ESET eyes top-5 spot in the Indian antivirus market n ABHIJEET MUKHERJEE

E

SET, the antivirus company, is eying a spot among the top-5 antivirus brands in the next two years. According to industry estimates, it currently stands at number eight. Said Pankaj Jain, Director, ESS Distribution, the sole distributor of ESET in India, “According to Gartner, ESET has a 5 percent share of the total installed base of 70 million PCs in India. We have grown 200 percent in 2012 and expect to grow 150 percent in 2013. For this we are strengthening our channel and penetrating deeper into Class B and C cities. Plans are also afoot to convert our free home users to paid licensees, and acquire new customers in the home, SOHO and SMB segments.” In the enterprise segment ESET earns most of its revenue from the education and government verticals. It recently won a deal for more than 15,000 licenses from the Pearson Group, and sold 7,000 licenses and installed its SMTP gateway at BHU. In the government segment it sold more than 10,000 licenses to the DRDO. “We have strengthened our sales team from 12 to 20, and will improve our partner program and back-end incentives for enterprise VARs,” Jain informed. “We will also increase the number of our direct partners from the current 350 to 500 by December 2013.” For mobility, the company is planning to launch the business edition of ESET for Android in December 2012. According to Jain, “This will be a game-changer because Android is in vogue.” In the consumer segment the company is focused on channel and geographical expansion. In order to increase its presence in regions where it lags ESET has

“ESET has a 5 percent share of the installed base of 70 million PCs. We grew 200 percent in 2012 and expect to grow 150 percent in 2013” Pankaj Jain

Director ESS Distribution

appointed regional distributors; it recently appointed Param Systems for UP, RS Computers for south India, and Link Telecom for east India. The west currently contributes 40 percent of ESET’s revenue, the east and south contribute 25 percent each, and the north 10 percent. Informed Jain, “We will strengthen our penetration in upcountry regions in the north, south and east with our RDs who in turn are appointing resellers in different strategic positions. We expect to have a total of 25 new resellers in each of the major cities in these regions by March 2013.” The company now has 2,500 active resellers, a figure it wants to double by the end of next year. It also plans to increase the number of sub-distributors from the current 200 to 550 by the end of the year. ESET recently concluded road-shows in 30 cities including Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Lucknow and few cities in Haryana. Besides an offshore channel meet, it also concluded its channel scheme ‘Unseen Thailand with ESET’ under which it took 15 partners to the southeast Asian country. The company plans to repeat the scheme this fiscal. n


edit opinion A new world order

Volume 2, Issue 03

dhaval valia

E

very enterprise solutions company is today talking about big data. IDC predicts that worldwide big data technologies and services will grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $16.9 billion by 2015. In India, a recent IDC study commissioned by NetApp estimates the figure at $153.1 million by 2014. Another study conducted by Nasscom suggests that 90 percent of Indian Fortune 500 companies are likely to roll out big data initiatives in 2013. Data volumes in enterprises have grown 10 times in the past 5-6 years and are expected to grow at more than 40 percent YoY till 2020. There are several factors behind this growth— more companies are capturing more data about their customers from various channels, data is being gathered more frequently, mobile clients are proliferating, and the popularity of social media is rising. Take the example of a mobile service provider like Airtel which has over 20 crore subscribers. If each of these subscribers had 10 interactions or service requests in a year, imagine the amount of customer data that would be generated. To complicate matters, these customer interactions are captured across various data structures—SMSs, email, Websites, phones and social media. How a company homogenizes this data, feeds it into the CRM, and processes it with BI tools to gain strategic business insights is key to its success in our age. Of course, it’s not like companies haven’t been using BI and analytics to gain insights. Enterprises have been making decisions based on transactional data stored in relational databases. However, with the unimaginable growth in data and the sources of this data, some of these deployments don’t work in the new world order. Today, behind data stored in relational databases, enterprises are capturing non-traditional, multi-structured data such as Weblogs, social media, email, sensors, device logs, SMSs and images which can be mined for useful information using big data. In essence, what makes big data analytics more critical for enterprises today is the speed at which data is growing as well as the speed at which analyses needs to be done. For this reason there is no skepticism regarding the potential of big data. Most vendors are now building strong referrals of customer use for their big data technologies. Next year onward they are likely to roll out more aggressive initiatives and they will want to work with channel partners. To be able to leverage this opportunity, partners will need to build skill-sets around new storage technologies, databases and applications such as CRM and BI, which are key drivers for big data technology adoption. The question is, are you ready for it? n E-mail CRN Executive Editor Dhaval Valia at dhaval.valia@ubm.com 10

Computer Reseller News

01/12/2012 www.crn.in

Managing Director Printer & Publisher Associate Publisher & Executive Editor Group Commercial Director Contributing Editor Assistant Editor Principal Correspondent Senior Correspondent

: : : : : : : :

Sanjeev Khaira Kailash Pandurang Shirodkar Dhaval Valia Salil Warior Ramdas S Sonal Desai Abhijeet Mukherjee (Mumbai) Amit Singh (Delhi)

Design Art Director : Deepjyoti Bhowmik Senior Visualiser : Yogesh Naik Senior Graphic Designer : Shailesh Vaidya Graphic Designer : Jinal Chheda Designer : Sameer Surve Marketing Advertising Co-ordinator : Jagruti Kudalkar online Manager—Product Dev. & Mktg. : Viraj Mehta Deputy Manager—Online : Nilesh Mungekar Web Designer : Nitin Lahare Sr. User Interface Designer : Aditi Kanade Operations Head—Finance : Yogesh Mudras Director—Operations & Administration : Satyendra Mehra Sales bangalore Manager—Sales : Sudhir K sudhir.k@ubm.com (M) +91 9740776749 Delhi Senior Project Manager : Sanjay Khandelwal sanjay.khandelwal@ubm.com (M) +91 98117 64515 mumbai Manager—Sales : Ranabir Das ranabir.das@ubm.com (M) +91 9820097606 production Production Manager : Prakash (Sanjay) Adsul Logistics Deputy Manager : Bajrang Shinde Subscriptions & Database Manager : Manoj Ambardekar manoj.ambardekar@ubm.com Senior Executive : Deepanjali Chaurasia deepa.chaurasia@ubm.com Head Office UBM India Pvt Ltd, 1st floor, 119, Sagar Tech Plaza - A, Andheri-Kurla Road, Saki Naka Junction, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400072, India Tel: 022 6769 2400; Fax: 022 6769 2426 Printed and Published by Kailash Pandurang Shirodkar on behalf of UBM India Pvt Ltd, 6th floor, 615-617 Sagar Tech Plaza - A, Andheri-Kurla Road, Saki Naka Junction, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400072, India. Executive Editor: Dhaval Valia Printed at Indigo Press (India) Pvt Ltd, Plot No 1c/716, Off Dadaji Konddeo Cross Road, Byculla (E), Mumbai 400027 RNI No. MAHENG/2011/39915 Associate Office - Pune Jagdish Khaladkar, Sahayog Apartment 508 Narayan Peth, Patrya Maruti Chowk, Pune 411 030 Tel: 91 (020) 2445 1574 (M) 98230 38315 email: jagdishk@vsnl.com USA Huson International Media (West) Tiffany DeBie Tiffany.debie@husonmedia.com Tel +1 408 879 6666 Fax +1 408 879 6669 Huson International Media (East) Dan Manioci dan.manioci@husonmedia.com Tel +1 212 268 3344 Fax +1 212 268 3355

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South Korea Young Media Young Baek ymedia@chol.com Tel: +82 2227 34819 Fax: +82 2227 34866

EMEA Huson International Media Gerry Rhoades Brown, gerry. rhoadesbrown@husonmedia. com Tel: +44 19325 64999 Fax: + 44 19325 64998

Important Every effort has been taken to avoid errors or omissions in this magazine. In spite of this, errors may creep in. Any mistake, error or discrepancy noted may be brought to our notice immediately. It is notified that neither the publisher, the editor or the seller will be responsible in respect of anything and the consequence of anything done or omitted to be done by any person in reliance upon the content herein. This disclaimer applies to all, whether subscriber to the magazine or not. For binding mistakes, misprints, missing pages, etc, the publisher’s liability is limited to replacement within one month of purchase. © All rights are reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent courts and forums in Mumbai only. While care is taken prior to acceptance of advertising copy, it is not possible to verify its contents. UBM India Pvt Ltd. cannot be held responsible for such contents, nor for any loss or damages incurred as a result of transactions with companies, associations or individuals advertising in its newspapers or publications. We therefore recommend that readers make necessary inquiries before sending any monies or entering into any agreements with advertisers or otherwise acting on an advertisement in any manner whatsoever.


edit opinion Every Website tells a story ROBERT FALETRA

Y

ou’ve heard the old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.” It obviously refers to people who talk a good game about what they are going to do but far too often don’t follow through. Vendors often talk in terms of how dedicated they are to the channel and how they want to push more sales through partners. But how do we measure this? On a whim I decided to take a look at company Websites, and in a completely unscientific way determine who is really putting partners front and center. To me this means if I were a customer and I went to a company Website to investigate from whom to buy, the Website would make it really easy for me to find a partner. Here’s what I found on the morning of November 16, 2012. IBM.com: Sorry IBM, but I have to put your site in the really bad category. You need a magnifying glass to see the ‘find a business partner’ link in the footer of the page, and even then it is sixth on a list of buy possibilities where all the others are geared toward a direct sale. SAP.com: SAP deserves to be congratulated. ‘Our Partners’ is prominently displayed at the top of the page, and in just two clicks I was well on my way to getting a partner contact. Juniper Networks: ‘Partners’ is prominently displayed at the top of the homepage, but when I clicked and then went to ‘partner locator’ the message came back that Juniper is updating its partner locator to serve me better, and I should come back another time. Serving me better would be giving me access to the old locator until you make whatever improvements you feel necessary. HP: The site seems to be totally geared toward a direct sale. I did find a way to search for a solution provider partner on the site. It wasn’t easy however, and even when I drilled down into buying a Point of Sale solution, the ‘find a reseller’ option was below ‘request a call from a POS specialist’ which I suppose could generate a lead that might be passed to a channel partner—but it might also go to the direct team. Microsoft: For a company that is so partner-focused, I was surprised by what I found. The homepage is totally geared toward what seems to be a direct-sale attempt, and there is no easy way to find a partner contact. I was able to get to a partner locator but it took five clicks, and frankly, wasn’t simple to get to. Of course, a Website doesn’t tell the whole story of channel commitment, but the little things do count. n Email Robert Faletra at robert.faletra@ec.ubm.com 12

Computer Reseller News

01/12/2012 www.crn.in

Role Model: Rajiv Gupta Your profile of Rajiv Gupta, Director, Sara Infoway, was aweinspiring. It is wonderful to know that Rajiv is a self-driven person with an amazing entrepreneurial spirit. It is noteworthy to see how he has been transforming his organization to stay ahead of the curve and stay relevant to customers in the IT industry. Anoop Nambiar IBM, Bengaluru

Through all hardships and challenges I have not seen anyone coming out as strongly as Rajiv Gupta. He pioneered the IT hardware and consulting markets, and made the competition take notice. He is a great visionary, and I feel honored to have worked with him in my initial years. I cannot even wish him success because it is his destiny.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for everything that he taught me. Piyush Mittal Syntel, Pune

The recent article on Rajiv Gupta was very inspiring. His way of studying the market and changing the business strategy accordingly is a must for upcoming entrepreneurs and even for established firms. I wish him all the best. Rajasekhar Reddy Ultrafil Systems, Hyderabad

I admire Rajiv’s persistent nature and extend my heartiest congratulations upon his journey so far. I want to wish you all the best for his future plans. Vipul Datta Futuresoft Solutions, Mumbai

Send your feedback at editor@ubmindia.com or post your views on www.crn.in

Advertiser Index Company name

Page No Web site

Sales Contact

Juniper

2

www.juniper.in

Priya Sharma 1800 290 3062

Fujitsu Disk Storage

3

www.lifebook.in.ts.fujitsu.com

marketing-india@ts.fujitsu.com

Compuage-Odyssey

5 www.compuageindia.com

odyssey@compuageindia.com

Symantec

7 in.norton.com

in.norton.com/support

Rashi

9 www.rptechindia.com

feedback@rptechindia.com

IBM

11 www.ibm.com

ibm.com/ipuresystems/in

RDP

15

1800 200 2444

NetApp

www.rdpcomputing.in

18-19 yepnetapp.in

CDRS

29 www.crn.in/CDRS

salil.warior@ubm.com

Biz

34 www.indiaantivirus.com

sales@indiaantivirus.com

IBM

35 www.ibm.com

ibm.com/ipuresystems/in

Kaspersky

36 www.kaspersky.co.in

sales@sakri.in


starting line Toshiba to focus on SSDs n amit singh

“Increasing use of flash in enterprise solutions, the growth of mobile client devices, and lower SSD pricing are creating conditions for increased SSD uptake”

T

oshiba is targeting significant growth from its storage division in the next three years. The company had 14 percent share worldwide in the HDD and SSD segments in 2011, and is targeting 25 percent share in FY2014-15. Its revenue from storage stood at $5 billion in 2011—about 6 percent of the overall global revenue. The company is expecting major traction in the SSD and enterprise HDD segments. Said Ryusuke Kashiwabara, Senior Manager, Marketing, Toshiba Digital Media Network, Taiwan, “The increasing use of flash in enterprise solutions, the growth of mobile client devices, and lower SSD pricing are creating conditions for increased SSD uptake. We have a technological edge over the competition with the world’s first SSD using 19nm MLC Nand flash memory. Enterprise storage is also growing due to the cloud and

Ryusuke Kashiwabara

Senior Manager, Marketing, Toshiba Digital Media Network

aggressive uptake from data centers.” On the enterprise storage front, besides SSDs, Toshiba offers mission-critical HDDs with 10,00015,000 rpm for mid-to-high-end server storage. It also offers 7,200 rpm HDDs for enterprise use. Hybrid drives with both Nand flash and HDD technologies will

add to the storage revenue, said Kashiwabara. “Our hybrid drives are already available with some OEMs for integration in ultrabooks and high-end notebooks. We will make them available for distribution in February 2013.” At the client storage end, the company recently expanded its HDD product line with the addition of 3.5 inch SATA HDDs. The desktop series of 3.5 inch HDDs are targeted at AIOs, gaming PCs, home servers, external HDDs and consumer electronics products such as set-top boxes. Toshiba has Rashi Peripherals and Transtech as NDs and more than 950 reseller partners. It will introduce a new certification program in Q12013. Kashiwabara said that for brand awareness Toshiba will participate in exhibitions and seminars, and advertise in channel and consumer magazines. n

Samsung bullish on Windows 8 n amit singh

“Apart from increased uptake of touch-enabled notebooks and ultrabooks, the Windows 8 growth story will be led by tablet PCs”

S

amsung is expecting high uptake of Windows 8-based devices in the coming year. Uday Bhat, Director, IT Solutions Business, Samsung, asserted that 2013 will be the year of Windows 8-based touch devices. “Apart from increased uptake of touch-enabled notebooks and ultrabooks, the Windows 8 growth story will be led by tablet PCs.” The company expects the Indian tablet PC market to triple to three million units in 2013 from one million units in 2012. Of this, at least one lakh units will be Windows 8-based. Riding on the trend toward Windows 8-based touch devices, Samsung is targeting 10-12 percent share in the consumer notebook market in India in 2013. It currently has 10 percent share in mid- to high-end notebooks and 7 percent in consum-

Uday Bhat

Director, IT Solutions Business, Samsung

er notebooks. The company has charted a 3-pronged strategy—product innovation, projection as a premium notebook brand, and retail expansion—to paint its Windows 8 story. On the product innovation front Samsung has launched its touch-enabled notebooks and hybrid devices. It introduced two hybrid models,

ATIV Smart PC and ATIV Smart PC Pro, which are powered by Intel Atom Z2760 and Core i5 processors and priced at `53,990 and `75,490 respectively. The company also introduced its new series 5 Ultra Touch ultrabook packed with a third-generation Core i7 processor and priced at `64,990, a 15 inch series 9 notebook measuring 14.9 mm for `1,07,990, and a series 5 ultrabook with an AMD quad-core processor for `43,990. With the launch of the new Windows 8-based devices, Samsung has four SKUs of ultrabooks and 30 notebooks. “We are looking at ultrabooks and tablets as major growth drivers for our notebook business,” stated Bhat. To project itself as a premium notebook brand, the company is organizing its portfolio targeting professionals, executives and techsavvy youth. n

Computer Reseller News

01/12/2012

www.crn.in

13


channel chief “India is our biggest market in Asia” Manish Sharma, VP, APAC, NComputing, spoke to Ramdas S about growing adoption of thin clients in India and shares the company’s partner-led go-to-market strategies to tap these opportunities There have been several challenges reported from both Microsoft channels as well as your own channels on the confusion regarding the software licensing when implementing your thin client-based VDI solution. How are you planning to address the issue? We don’t see this as an issue among government and enterprise customers which are presently our largest markets. Customers are fine accepting the licensing terms of all software vendors and show no resistance to abiding by the norms. However, we see this as a challenge in the SMB segment and even more in Class B and C and smaller cities. There are two reasons for this. The first is that many customers are not aware that VDI does not reduce software licensing costs especially when you are running Microsoft platforms. They are not aware that you are supposed to run a thin client-based solution on Microsoft Terminal Server and that each user needs a client license. This often ends up as being a spoiler for a customer who is looking at saving on upfront costs. A thin client-based architecture is all about reducing infrastructure costs from a TCO perspective. The second reason is the lack of awareness among the SMB customer base. Over the past year or so we have been traveling to smaller cities and informing customers that they can save money on running costs even while adhering to licensing requirements. We will continue informing customers that the benefits of VDI are much more than the software licensing costs, and that the benefits in terms of power savings and reduced management costs give faster ROI compared to PCs.

Computing is becoming highly GPU-centric. However, thin clients are lagging. How do you plan to bridge the gap? Traditional thin client technology was not meant for power-intensive applications. However, with our latest update to the vSpace platform, which is a true virtual desktop, our thin clients are able to support more power applications and even GPU-intense applications. We have customers who have 3-4 clients running CAD applications simultaneously. Video streaming

“Our biggest wins have been in the government and education sectors. However, in the last one year, buying from enterprises and SMBs has also increased significantly” 14

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without latency and audio drops is easily achievable. We are offering a better user experience with every update to our technology.

How are you distributing your products in India? Today, India is our biggest market in Asia. In fact, in some quarters, India contributes as much as 60 percent of our business. Our biggest wins have been in the government and education sectors, in states such as AP, Haryana, Bihar, Punjab, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. However, in the last one year, buying by enterprises and SMBs has increased. We distribute products through Redington, and we have close to 800 partners. Almost 80 percent of these partners are in Class B and C cities, which speaks about our coverage.

You also seem to be targeting Citrix channels. Is this a conscious effort? More than a strategy it’s synergy for Citrix channels to align with us, and hence both the companies share a number of common partners. Our new N-series thin clients for Citrix HDX deliver rich HDX experience at approximately one-third the cost of typical HDX-capable PCs and traditional thin client devices, and simplify XenDesktop, XenApp and


channel chief VDI-in-a-box desktop and application virtualization deployments with full HD video. For this reason some of the top Citrix partners are suggesting our thin clients for their VDI projects on Citrix. Two examples are the Chennai-based Futurenet Technologies and Mumbai-based SK International.

There have also been allegations about the availability of clones of your products in the Indian market. How are you controlling this situation? We admit that some spurious manufacturers have managed to make fairly good imitations of our earlier product line by copying our firmware. However, with many improvements in our technology and the shift to the Numa SoC, we have introduced an advanced product line which cannot be imitated. To our channel partners our only request is to buy from authorized sources to avail the best service and support from NComputing.

Bring Your Own Device is a trend that’s expected to revolutionize enterprise computing. How are you planning to position your product line to address the opportunity?

“Some spurious manufacturers have managed to duplicate our products by imitating our firmware. We request our partners to beware and buy from authorized sources” BYOD is a trend which we have been studying for the past two years and we have readied ourselves to address this opportunity. One of the key technologies that would assure enterprise security would be VDI because the users bring their own devices that need to connect seamlessly without resulting in potential data loss or other security breaches. We have been developing client software which can be installed across different devices and which would enable the devices to access enterprise data in a manner that’s similar to the way our thin clients access data. This means that by enabling PCs, laptops and tablets We believe this would be the most cost-effective way an enterprise can extend VDI as they embrace BYOD culture. n

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special focus prescribing a dose of technology Healthcare, pharma and life sciences companies are increasingly adopting technology to optimize cost and ensure better health services n Ayushman Baruah

S

ome years ago, a patient at the operation theatre would be enraged, irritated or at the least nervous if the doctor was seen fiddling with his mobile device. Things have changed much since then and patients have begun to accept technology/mobile devices as an aid rather than a distracting element. Today, both hospitals and doctors make profound use of technology at every move. The Indian healthcare sector is expected to reach $100 billion by 2015 from the current $65 billion, growing at around 20 percent a year, according to rating agency Fitch. Given the huge metamorphosis, competition and fast growth, the industry is going through, healthcare providers and pharma companies are increasingly investing in IT to improve the quality and delivery of patient care. “Video conferencing is becoming an important tool in the healthcare ICT portfolio to deliver care more effectively and efficiently. It has become an important tool within a wider portfolio of telehealth services, and is being used in a range of different healthcare settings, for a multitude of different purposes,” says Deepak Braganza, Country Manager, LifeSize, India & South Asia. The telemedicine center of Nanavati Hospital, the largest telemedicine service provider in Western India, is an example of how a hospital has used video conferencing and communication technology based on ISDN/ broadband/satellite-based connectivity. Using this technology, the hospital provides teleconsultation and tele-education in India through its network of 34 peripheral rural centers in India and in 45 African countries through its international network. “Since inception in 2006, the center has provided over 4,000 teleconsultations and over 100 Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs to doctors and paramedics in rural India and Africa. With over 4,000 teleconsultations and 500 treatments, the hospital has till date saved approximately over `1 crore in travel and consultation fees, stay and treatment of patients,” says Dr Pavan Kumar, HeadDepartment of Telemedicine, Nanavati Hospital. Consider the case of Bengaluru-based specialty pharmaceutical company Allergan India, a joint venture between Allergan Inc and Piramal Healthcare that commenced commercial operations in 1996. Given that India is a vast country with varying geography, the company was facing a big challenge in meeting the needs of its customers and employees. It was looking at innovative ways of making

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customers and employees meet virtually with a first-hand feel of virtual presence during the meetings. To achieve this, the company embarked on an IT project called virtual connect where 7 primary locations namely Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Delhi were connected through hardware equipment, and other locations through thirdparty connectivity. The new system handled calls from other VC equipment, VoIP, software-based solutions, and multi-party calls. With the new VC system in place, Allergan India has benefitted in many areas, such as HR recruitment, product launches, campaigns and employee sales review meetings. For example, earlier the HR had to invite candidates from multiple locations to Bengaluru for interviews and the travel charges would be reimbursed to the candidate. Now, the candidate can walk into the Allergan zonal office, connect VC to Allergan Bengaluru, and the interview can happen in 30 minutes at no cost. This has saved the company approximately `20 lakh per annum, says KT Rajan, CIO, Allergan India. Another example is that of Max Healthcare, which has been at the forefront of delivering healthcare services in Delhi-NCR. The Group moved to an Electronic Health Records (EHR) system from its existing Hospital Information System (HIS). It implemented an open source EHR system, WorldVistA, with the goals of minimizing the need for paper records, allowing order entry by the doctors in the system itself, and enabling easy access to patient records. The system was hosted on a private cloud and was interfaced with laboratory, radiology and pharmacy to allow real-time access to any patient record. The system included Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS) for documenting, ordering, reporting and viewing of clinical information. Apart from this, Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA) was implemented along with unit dose dispensing policy to track and reduce waste, returns and medication errors. An m-health system for accessing laboratory reports and radiology images was also implemented for improving turnaround times. Today, Max Healthcare facilities catering to 1,000 beds have gone live using the system and all the patients admitted have their records on the system. Till date, the system has approximately processed data of 1,04,130 patient-days across the facilities that are live with 3,123,900 pharmacy orders, 2,603,250 laboratory orders, 5,20,650 radiology orders


special focus “Smartphone apps provide regular updates and also warnings about adverse effect on a patient, or withdrawal of drugs without proper permission”

“With the new VC system, an interview can happen in 30 minutes at no cost. This has enabled us to save `20 lakh per annum”

Dr Sanjay Gogoi, Senior Consultant, Kidney & Urology Insistute, Medanta

KT Rajan

CIO, Allergan India

and 312,390 bedside procedures.

Tablets & social media Physicians have also realized the importance of technology as it helps them make decisions that are better informed and offer patients with more personalized care. Not surprisingly, today doctors use iPads and smartphones that enable them to work more efficiently. There are numerous iPad applications available in the market that are used for different purposes. “Smartphone apps have been helping doctors a lot to fine tune their practice. Epocrates app is an invaluable tool to help review drug dosages, interactions, and adverse effects. These apps regularly update and provide with warnings if any new adverse effect is reported or if any drug has been withdrawn. There are other apps that provide doctors with medical calculators to calculate important patient parameters like body-mass index, creatinine clearance, anion gap, etc, which enable critical patient bed-side decisions,” says Dr Sanjay Gogoi, Senior Consultant, Kidney and Urology Institute, Medanta, a super-speciality hospital in Gurgaon. “Micromedex from Thomson Reuters also provide similar information and is free. The Apple app store is full of specialty specific apps, which are invaluable and cardiologists and intensivists regularly use them.” Pharma companies too are conducting trials with tablets. For instance, Cipla is now testing the Windows Surface tablet (Windows 8 RT) and plans to deploy it for its field force of medical representatives in India. Social media platforms have also helped doctors to form clinical groups for instantly sharing important inputs regarding patient care. Today, inside the operation theatre, most procedures are being documented with videos and clinical photographs, and these go a long way in improving treatment outcome. “Advances in video technology have brought 3D imaging for laparoscopic procedures wherein during surgery, the surgeon and his team sport high tech glasses to view 3D images in large format LCD panels. Dedicated video recorders are increasingly used to record high quality videos for datakeeping and presentations,” says Medanta’s Dr Gogoi.

Tackling data deluge Market research firm Ovum expects the global IT-related spending in the life sciences sector to grow modestly during the next five years to reach $ 37 billion in 2016. In the short-term, Ovum expects this IT spending to increase faster than the rate of total revenue growth for the sector, due to a series of large-scale IT initiatives and changes in

the industry’s structure. Interestingly, the research firm predicts that by 2015, most of these initiatives would have been completed and there could be negligible IT spending growth in the fifth year of the forecast. By this time, the industry will be reaping the benefits of cloudbased delivery methods, systems simplification and centralization. According to Ovum, the emerging markets, particularly the Asia-Pacific region will drive IT spending through 2016. An increasing amount of R&D and manufacturing is being sourced primarily from India and China. APAC countries are rapidly becoming centers for life sciences innovation as well as contract manufacturing. In addition, more clinical trials are being conducted in the region to take advantage of lower costs and large “drug-naive” patient populations. Life sciences companies are currently facing a daunting data deluge produced by experimental runs in this industry, which they need to optimize, manage, transfer, store and protect. Such challenges have led to companies such as BT to set up BT for Life Sciences R&D, the first cloud service designed to enable collaboration within the life sciences industry. The new service is designed to allow customers to comply with the industry’s stringent security, regulatory and compliance requirements. The platform will allow participating groups to securely upload documents, share results and communicate via IM, voice, video or chat to analyze results. To ensure faster data transfer, BT is working with Aspera, a provider of next-generation data transport technologies, to integrate its innovative file transfer technology into the cloud service. “Aspera’s patented fasp protocol eliminates the fundamental bottlenecks of conventional file transfer technologies and provides high-speed, reliable end-to-end transport over public and private networks fully utilizing available bandwidth, independent of network delays and is able to deal with extreme packet loss,” BT said in a statement.

Conclusion Though the healthcare sector has traditionally seen lower levels of IT investment and adoption, the trend is fast changing. Today, healthcare providers are increasingly turning to IT as they are operating in a competitive environment, each one trying to offer the best possible quality of patient care. This has in fact driven the emergence and growth of sophisticated telemedicine centers, mobile health services, EHRs and medical apps. n Courtsey: www.informationweek.in

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Yep, NetApp.

In fact, NetApp is saving IT more than $25 billion and counting. Learn more at yepnetapp.in #yepnetapp

© 2012 NetApp. All rights reserved. NetApp, the NetApp logo and Data ONTAP are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetApp, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries. Source: NetApp internal estimates, June 2012: VNX, VNXe, Celerra NS can run any of Flare and Dart Operating Systems. Contribution of these products to the OS share has been estimated based on the proportion of NAS and SAN installations in these products (NAS – Dart; SAN – Flare).

NetApp Data ONTAP is the world’s #1 storage OS?


cover story

The technology is expected to take off in 2013, but while vendors will help partners to address opportunities in the space, channels cannot expect vendors to help them build skill-sets n RAMDAS S

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cover story

I

n the past 12 months no technology in the IT industry has been hyped as much as big data. Every large enterprise vendor wants to ride the hype wave and capture both mindshare and potential marketshare around big data. The channel community is viewing the developments cautiously, and while some of the solution providers are eager to address the opportunity, few have a go-to-market strategy in place. While some of the vendors have readied product lines to address the big data opportunity, few have a convincing channel delivery model in place that can help channels to generate sustainable revenue.

The data boom Big data, by definition, is the process of deriving meaning from a large quantity of structured and unstructured data in a very short span of time. While this has been the goal of IT systems and database systems for the past three decades, it has become a reality following the advent of a number of new technologies in both software and hardware in the past half a decade. And big data is riding a sharp growth curve. IDC predicts that big data technology and services will grow worldwide from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $16.9 billion in 2015. An IDC study commissioned by NetApp, Here Comes Big Data: Perspectives from Indian Enterprises, puts the market size at $153.1 million in India by 2014. A recent study by Informatica of the top 600 enterprises indicated that nearly 70 percent organizations are now considering, planning or running big data projects, with 44 percent considering, 22 percent planning, and rest running big data projects. “A NASSCOM study reveals that 90 percent of Indian Fortune 500 companies are likely to have big data initiatives underway by the end of the year. However, we believe that big data implementations have just begun rolling out globally, with Indian firms in the consideration phase,“ says Venkatesh Krishnan, Head, Systems Business, Oracle India. According to Krishnan, the biggest reason for an interest in big data has been the availability of big data. “According to analysts, data volume has grown over 900 percent in the last five years and is expected to grow at the rate of 40 percent year-on-year till 2020. Research indicates that people created 150 exabytes of data in 2005, and that the figure grew eight times to 1,200 exabytes by 2010. Four trends are driving this growth in data: the capture of detailed data more

frequently across every customer interaction; the prevalent use of multimedia; the widespread adoption of social media such as Facebook and Twitter; and the roll-out of intelligent sensors embedded in physical devices that can sense, create and communicate data.” Observing that customers are looking at ways to make better use of data, Ramendra Mandal, Country Manager, QlikTech India, says, “What makes big data captivatingly critical to organizations of all sizes is the competitive gap between enterprises that manage data effectively and those that do not.” Speed matters, notes Jaskiran Bhatia, Country Manager, Information Management, SWG, IBM ISA. “What is different now is velocity—the rate at which data is growing and the speed at which analysis needs to happen, and variety—multiple unstructured formats in which they receive this data such as Twitter feeds, sensor readings and GPS feeds. Today, devices which we earlier never considered as computing devices are generating so much data every second. For example, energy meters.” Another reason for solution providers to utilize big data better has been the availability of software tools that can handle both structured data and unstructured data better. Krishnan of Oracle estimates that around 120 open source tools NoSQL (non RDBMS) databases have evolved over the past few years. Says Rainer Hettinger, Principal, SAP Business Developer, Fujitsu Global, “You also have new techniques such as the Map Reduce algorithm and in-memory databases. SAP, for instance, has launched SAP Bana which takes advantage of low cost of main memory (RAM), the data processing abilities of multi-core processors and the fast data access of solid state drives to deliver better performance of analytical and transactional applications.” There have been several innovations on the hardware front which are helping customers to analyze big data better. “Over the past few years we have seen remarkable technology innovations in terms of multicore processors, faster bus speeds, and faster solid state drives including new innovations such as Fusion I/O and more cache memory. Today, servers perform the same amount of transactions as last decade’s supercomputers,” points out Sandeep Lodha, Director, Netweb Systems.

Getting more out of data While for many years customers have been

“We believe that big data implementations have just begun rolling out globally, with Indian firms in the consideration phase”

“Devices which we earlier never considered as computing devices are generating data every second. For example, energy meters, sensor readings and GPS feeds”

Venkatesh Krishnan

Jaskiran Bhatia, Country Manager, Information Management, SWG, IBM ISA

Head, Systems Business, Oracle India

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cover story “What makes big data critical to organizations of all sizes is the competitive gap between enterprises that manage data effectively and those that do not”

“We expect channels to sell scalable storage and data management technologies. You will see sector-specific analytics business taking off by end 2013”

Ramendra Mandal

Praveen Sahai

Country Manager, QlikTech India

implementing data warehouses and business analytics to get solutions for most of their problems, vendors feel that big data could well be the panacea they have been seeking. They are quick to point out that while data warehousing and business analytics also try to provide similar answers, big data approaches the problem differently. “It’s not just about the data size. The methodologies, the techniques used, and the technologies behind big data are vastly different from how data warehouses approached a problem. Data warehouses worked in a world where it was possible to fit most data in

Director, Channels & Alliances, EMC India

a traditional RDBMS. You cannot create a big data solution by fermenting data warehouses, it’s not old wine in a new bottle,” explains Vishnu Bhavaraju, Regional Manager, Greenplum, EMC India. Mandal of QlikTech adds, “For decades, companies have been making business decisions based on transactional data stored in relational databases. Beyond that critical data is a potential treasure trove of non-traditional, less/multi-structured data like Weblogs, social media, email, sensors, device logs and images that can be mined for useful information using big data.”

Partner view Unilog Content Solutions specializes in big data analytics and product data management for ecommerce. Suchit Bachalli, its EVP for Global Marketing & Sales, offers some insights insurance sectors are prime candidates for big data Big data is perceived as a reincarnation of data in India. warehousing and business analytics. Do you agree? How important are analytic skill-sets to a It’s a wrong perception, though big data is set to deliver many goals that data warehousing and company focusing on big data? Either directly or through a partnership, it’s business analytics had set out to achieve. At important for you to acquire analytic skills if you the same time, it enables you to find answers to want to address big data opportunities. It’s also many questions that you could not find with data extremely important for a solution provider to warehousing. In the classical data warehouse model, a cola company got answers to questions build domain expertise in the verticals it plans to address. such as ‘how many bottles are consumed in a day in this territory?’ However, a question like ‘how Suchit Bachalli What would be the optimum GTM strategy for many bottles are being consumed by teenagers Indian solution providers? during morning hours?’ was something that was To start they need to focus on one segment based on their not possible to answer. This is because the data warehouse existing customer base, domain expertise or technology was limited to data generated and stored in traditional RDBMS, while big data allows you to store, process and analyze data leadership. Personally I would try to tap the market through the IT-ITeS industry. During the past decade hundreds of from a wide range of unstructured sources such as email, videos, scanned images and spreadsheets. BPO companies have generated petabytes of data for their global customers on various aspects of their business. Most of these companies are clueless about the treasure trove they Your company is not focused on the Indian market. Why? are sitting on, or how they could add value and retain their We are presently addressing a very niche space within the customers. If you build big data expertise you should try whole big data opportunity—the eretailer segment which is quite a large segment in North America. At present very few talking to a BPO customer and provide a plan for them to go back to their customers for PoC projects on big data. This is a Indian enterprises have invested in data to reach the level of maturity that’s required for big data. At the same time, I win-win-win situation for the solution provider, BPO company and customer. n will not write off market opportunities. I feel the telecom and

Big data allows you to store, process and analyze data from a wide range of unstructured sources such as email, videos, scanned images and spreadsheets

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cover story But how big is big data? Most vendors refuse to classify big data according to a database size limit. “It’s mostly about the business problem which you are trying to solve. Even a data size of 2 TB which cannot be mapped and fitted into a traditional RDBMS may fall into the realms of a problem that can be addressed by big data,” says Bhavaraju. Rajesh Awasthi, Director, Telecom & Cloud Service Provider, NetApp India, agrees. “One way to think of it is that it’s so big that the tools we use today cannot cope with it. This is the reason why the core thinking around how we ingest data and transform it into insight and information is changing. Data by itself has no value unless it is translated into information which can help drive business results, and time-to-information is critical to derive maximum value from data.”

Is there a channel role? The million rupee question is whether traditional Indian IT channels can effectively address this growing opportunity. The industry as well as the partner community are showing cautious optimism. Oracle is a vendor which seems to be optimistic. It has already launched programs around training and enabling its channels around products such as Oracle NoSQL Community and Enterprise editions. The software giant has already announced partner training and PoC initiatives around the ZFS Storage Appliance, Pillar Axiom Storage and the Oracle Big Data Appliance for its hardware channels. “At Oracle we believe that channel partners play a very vital role in our larger go-to-market strategy. Channels can partner with Oracle to create solutions to manage the entire lifecycle of big data—to store, stream, acquire, organize, analyze and visualize big data,” says Venkatesh of Oracle. EMC has been pushing its Scaleout NAS offering Isilon and Greenplum, the database and database appliance solutions, for big data, and over the past couple of quarters has been enabling channel partners. “Some of the top-tier partners have been enabled to identify opportunities, and we are game to start PoCs with channel partners,” says Bhavaraju. However Praveen Sahai, Director, Channels & Alliances, EMC India, feels that big data adoption through channels will happen in two phases. “We expect channels to sell scalable storage and data management technologies, and help business manage data in 2013. You will see a much wider sector-specific analytics business

“Data by itself has no value unless it is translated into information that can drive business results, and time-to-information is critical for maximum value from data”

How Satyamev Jayate used big data

O

n May 6, 2012, as curious Indians sat down in front of their TV sets to catch the first episode of Satyamev Jayate, a television series focused on social issues in India, there was nervousness in the air. Besides the producers who were eager to gauge viewer feedback, a team from Persistent Systems was waiting in the background to analyze social media messages. While it had no operating guidelines, Persistent designed a system it believed was flexible enough to handle the load. The first episode on female foeticide gathered 1.4 million responses. The data was in different formats—text, audio and video—and in different languages. As the popularity of the show grew, so did the tweets and the messages from different social networks. Although the company had done many big data projects earlier, this project was unique because the scale and type of data was difficult to comprehend. “We aggregated more than half a million tweets for Season 1. We saw traffic of around 40,000 tweets on an average during the 90 minutes of the show, and observed that Twitter traffic used to be higher on Sundays and Mondays. We followed a 2-phase approach for the live analytics used during the show. We leveraged crowd-sourcing for analysis, and for deeper insights we built algorithms to filter out the irrelevant tweets. What made all this much more complex was the fact that we had no dry run,” says Mukund Deshpande, Head, BI & Analytics Mukund Deshpande Competency, Persistent. Persistent divided close to 1,000 people into three groups. It built a software platform to filter/tag contents by assembling an array of automated tools (to parse the data) and a user interface (for several analysts to process messages for deep analytics). The result was a cluster-based analysis along with the trend, demographic and sentiment analysis of each message. The final step involved a manual check to find the latest and most relevant top story. The results were aggregated and then used for creating visualizations and dashboards. The analysis was done for all the 13 episodes over a 13-week period. Persistent’s challenge was building the right taxonomy for helping the system to automatically sort out messages and unearth the right ‘emotion’ from the message. The team tweaked its algorithm on a constant basis so that it could analyze and present the most relevant tweets, and created dashboards and the most meaningful visualizations for the producers. The data was also made available on the impact section of the show’s Website. When the Satyamev Jayate team spoke to government leaders, the team from Persistent made sure that the team had the data to back its claims. n — SRIKANTH RP

We aggregated more than half a million tweets for Season 1. We saw traffic of around 40,000 tweets on an average during the 90 minutes of the show

Rajesh Awasthi, Director, Telecom & Cloud Service Provider, NetApp India

Courtesy: www.informationweek.in

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cover story “We have hardware and solution stacks for a big data project. We have also enabled our channels to sell the products through comprehensive channel programs”

“You cannot build a commoditized channel program to address the big data opportunity. It requires domain expertise and data analytic skills”

Santanu Ghose, Santanu Ghose, Director,

Sriram S

Business Critical Systems, HP India

taking off toward the end of next year with a huge channel play.” IBM says they have been investing considerably in building channel competence to address big data. “We are extensively engaged with a large number of partners who are working with us as big data SIs and resellers. They possess skills in our big data platform and suite of products. Apart from our analytics portfolio, Cognos, we have recently announced the newest member of the PureSystems family, PureData System for Analytics, a simple data appliance for serious analytics,” says Bhatia. S Sridhar, Director, Enterprise Solutions Business, Dell India, feels that channels can play a major role. “You can divide the big data opportunity into three aspects. The first is the supply of servers, storage and software components; the second is the systems integration; and the third is the business analytics. There are easily 200 good partners in the country who can do an effective job on the first two. The third

CEO, iValue Infosolutions

element is the tricky one. But then the partner does have the choice to work either with a vendor like Dell or a third-party solution provider for the analytics bit.” Dell has announced big data in a box solutions with Cloudera, the commercial vendor behind Hadoop. Sridhar said that Dell will soon launch the product in India. While agreeing that the triangulation of a partner and an ISV is the best model to enable channels to address the big data opportunity, Santanu Ghose, Director, Business Critical Systems, HP India, explains that for most vendors evolving a commoditized and predictable channel model is not easy. “We have hardware and solution stacks to address a customer’s requirement for a big data project. We have also enabled our channels to sell the products through comprehensive channel programs. However, big data requires considerable domain expertise and data analytic skills, and it’s up to the partners to build these skill-sets.”

commonly used big data terms Here is some terminology from the world of big data MapReduce: MapReduce is a programming model which was created (and is used) by Google in the early 2000s to process massive amounts of data. Its name comes from the common functions in programming known as map and reduce, but they serve functions which are different from the traditional definitions. It is important to understand the concept because MapReduce technologies are responsible for decentralizing data storage and processing to increase the speed and reliability of dealing with large data sets. A popular free implementation is Apache Hadoop. Hadoop: Hadoop was developed to enable applications to work with thousands of independent computers and petabytes of data by a team of engineers working at Yahoo. The product is open sourced, and is core to many independent initiatives for solving big data problems. The project has been adopted by the Apache Software Foundation. NoSQL Database: Document-oriented database using a key/ value interface rather than SQL to classify and organize; it does not use the relational database management system, RDBMS. It was created to manage volumes of data that do not have a fixed schema. NoSQL gained popularity as major companies adopted the system due to an overload of data which could not use the traditional RDBMS solutions. NoSQL databases provide efficient performance because the captured data is

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stored quickly using a single identifying key; this database can therefore quickly store a lot of transactions. In Memory Database: A NoSQL database where the data is almost always stored in memory. This makes access to information very fast and almost instantaneous. An example is Redis. Scale Out NAS: A distributed storage architecture where traditional NAS arrays are connected to store large amounts of unstructured data without compromising on performance. Examples are Nexenta and EMC Isilon. Natural Language Processing: Extracting information from human-created text. This type of processing requires sorting through data that is created by humans but not necessarily from their actions. For instance, if you are analyzing Twitter data from the previous six months, you might be looking for keywords and sentiments which would require natural language processing. Serialization: Converting data structure or object state into a format able to be stored. Serialization occurs after the data is collected and when it is being processed. As the data gets sorted and pushed around between systems it may need to be stored. During these steps, the data will require serialization and it will be based on the different languages and APIs. n


cover story “We know that analytics is where the big money is, but we don’t have a first-mover advantage. We are content to bet on the Scaleout NAS side of the business”

“For an aviation client, we implemented a solution that collects information from GPRS phone activities at DIAL for customer data study”

Deepak Jadhav

Kamal Sharma

Director, VDA Infosolutions

ITIM SBU Head, Mindlance

Sriram S, the CEO of iValue Infosolutions, is more forthcoming. “Big data is not an opportunity which can be addressed through commoditized channel programs. It requires immense domain expertise, data science skill-sets, and above all the patience to deliver projects over a period of 6-12 months.” However, Ghose says that it’s just a matter of time before vendors such as HP come out with channel initiatives to address the space. “Years back the business intelligence and data warehousing market went through such stages, and today we have fairly exhaustive channel initiatives to address the space.” Awasthi of NetApp says that partners need to look at data and not just at storage, and that there are opportunities beyond analytics. “We at NetApp view big data a little differently. We categorize the big data solutions into the ABC of big data—Analytics, Bandwidth and Content. We believe our partners can address the opportunity to create storage for dataintensive workloads at really high speeds (Bandwidth), and boundless, secure, scalable data storage to write it, find it and keep it forever (Content).” Deepak Jadhav, Director, VDA Infosolutions agrees with Awasthi’s view. Admitting that at present most vendors are keener to get global SIs on board for big data projects because of their reach and better skill-sets, Jadhav says, “We know that analytics is where the big money is, but we don’t have a first-mover advantage. We are therefore content to bet on the Scaleout NAS side of the business. We are presently readying a team with cross-domain skills to go after the analytics side of the big data business.” Noting that presently there are no qualified big data projects which the company is addressing, B Shankar, Director, Ashtech Infotech says, ”Almost all the vendors including IBM, HP, Oracle and EMC have been trying to educate the enterprise channels. The hype is huge, but the potential is bigger. It’s just a question of time before the tier-2 channels will be activated.” Other partners are more optimistic. “Today in India we have done close to half a dozen projects that can be classified under big data. This includes a project for an aviation giant for whom we implemented a solution which collects information from GPRS phone activities at the Delhi airport terminal and uses that to build a large information store to build a massive customer data study,” says Kamal Sharma, ITIM SBU Head, Mindlance, Bengaluru. Another project Mindlance has recently executed

has been for a leading quasi-government transportation entity in Bengaluru; a massive data store has been created to analyze and understand the customer base using the company’s services. Sharma advises that channels or customers should not be intimidated with the term ‘big data.’ “You need to look at it as handling a project which involves data which cannot be cataloged with known RDBMS tools.” A number of startups which are eying the Indian market have also sprouted up. Comments Sridhar Dhulipala, Co-founder & Director, Solutions, Bizosys Technologies, which is focused on opportunities in big data, “When we started we were looking at the north American market which had companies with data stores that were really mature. However, we have recently bagged a project from a Bengaluru-based pharma vendor which wanted us to improve the performance of its Hadoop cluster. Another project we have bagged is for a Mumbai-based BFSI company.” Most vendors believe that the telecom, retail and BFSI sectors hold the biggest potential for rolling out big data projects. “The telecom industry has generated petabytes of information, and there’s huge scope to mine this information and come up with answers to questions that were previously impossible to answer. Retail, especially e-commerce companies, will be offloading projects to collate visit reports, log reports and purchase data for big data projects,” says Bhavaraju of EMC. Ghose of HP feels that BFSI is considering big data seriously. “After implementing core banking projects, the BFSI segment has generated tons of data which are impossible to sieve through with the present tools, so this segment will start piloting big data projects next year.”

End note While big data is still perceived as hype, there is no skepticism regarding its potential. However, vendors need to figure out channel initiatives and business models that would allow partners to build sustainable revenue, build predictable funnels, and address real opportunities in the space. At the same time, channels cannot expect vendors to help them build skill-sets and domain expertise. The number of new channel partners is increasing, and several partners are building crossdomain skills to address the opportunities in the space. 2013 promises to be the year when the action is likely to start in the big data world. n

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market focus leveraging social media for business Individuals can afford to ignore it, businesses can’t. Social media has become so universal that it is now an essential ingredient of any marketing plan worth the name n ABHIJEET MUKHERJEE

S

ocial media as a platform for marketing started becoming popular after the launch of Orkut in 2004 when corporates realized the potential of the platform to reach out to their customers and engage with them. Prior to that, companies did not have a proper and interesting online medium to communicate with their customers (and vice versa), and they were mostly dependent on mailers which were considered spam. The entry of Facebook into the social media world, followed by Twitter, changed the face of social media marketing. Today, most vendors are active on the platform, communicating with their customers and partners. The use of social media is growing tremendously in India. The social media user base in India is at 55 million which primarily comprises Facebook users. According to eMarketer, this number is expected to grow at 38 percent in 2013. Meanwhile, Gartner believes that India has the potential to take a lead in the nexus of social media, in addition to cloud, mobile and information computing, in the next couple of years. The Gartner study reveals that the total penetration of the Internet in the country is only 12 percent, which leaves ample space for the Internet to grow and social media to spread its wings. With a backdrop of changing lifestyles, increased income, demographic variability and vibrant democracy, a sharp rise in the use of social media in India can be expected, the study notes. In addition to Facebook, companies are also taking to other platforms. Informs Sunil Kripalani, Senior VP, Global Sales & Marketing, eScan, “We are present on various social media platforms such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Twitter, Flicker, Pinterest and Plurk. We also have our presence in the form of blogs in social media.” Today, companies have realized the potential of social media, and one can hardly afford not to be in any kind of social media. “Social media is a

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very great platform. We are active in social media like Facebook and Twitter for the last 18 months, and have a 120,000 fanbase on Facebook,” says Mohit Anand, Managing Director, Indian Sub-continent, Belkin. Although most of the IT vendors have been on various social media for around two years, some have only recently realized the potential and become active. For instance, Zenfocus initiated its social media interaction just about a month ago. “We launched our Facebook page in October 2012 and within one month we have around 5,000 fans,” says Mike Dhall, President & CEO, Zenfocus. Some like Trend Micro have been active for longer. “We have been active on the social media for the past seven months and have a fanbase of 90,000. Out of these, an average of 4,000 users interact with us on a regular basis,” informs Rajat Sahu, Product Marketing Manager, India & Saarc, Trend Micro.

Why social media? “The main reason why companies are willing to use social media is that it offers a medium of promotion which is low-cost, has high visibility, and offers wide reach,” explains Jagannath Patnaik, Director, Channel Sales, Kaspersky Lab, India. Agrees Anand of Belkin, “It helps in creating a buzz in the market, helps in reaching the right audience, and serves as a trusted source of information and intelligence because it gets us insights for our future course of action.” In addition, social media is not restricted by geographies. It reaches approximately 80 percent of the Web audience in India. “Social media cannot be ignored, and the majority of start-ups, corporates and MNCs are investing in social media marketing. The general tendency of corporates is to allot around 30 percent of their marketing funds for social media marketing. The total spend is approximately `1,400 crore,” adds Patnaik.


market focus “Companies are using social media because it offers a medium of promotion which is low-cost, has high visibility, and offers wide reach”

“It’s easy to get likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter. However, the conversion of these into actual product sales is a major concern”

Jagannath Patnaik

Sunil Kripalani

Director, Channel Sales, Kaspersky Lab, India

What OEMs are doing OEMs and partners use the media with offers, contests, apps, groups and discussions. For example, eScan introduced a poll on LinkedIn for around a month for Apple’s offers. “We received 72 percent response for the activity. Another was a contest on Facebook during the recent T20 cricket tournament for which we received 86 percent response,” discloses Kripalani. Acer recently activated two of its campaigns on social media. During the 2012 Olympics it had launched its first activity called ‘Stand for India’—a 360-degree communication approach to reach out to all customers across India. “To show support for the Indian Olympic contingent, the public had to sing the national anthem and upload it on YouTube. This was followed by encouraging messages posted on Acer-owned social media channels and microsites. It helped in increasing footfalls at our retail outlets,” says S Rajendran, CMO, Acer India. Kaspersky Lab used the Facebook page of its distributor, Sakri IT Solutions, to introduce its ‘Safeguarding Me’ campaign for a month which attracted more than 7,500 likes. Another company, Data64, conducted a contest on Facebook titled ‘Coolest Engineer Contest’ over a period of two weeks. “More than 200 students took part and more than 10,000 people voted. We also released a free online book titled A2Z of Cyber Crime. The book was downloaded almost 12,000 times over two months,” informs Debasis Nayak, Director, Data64 Techno Solutions.

Partner benefit Partners are not behind in using social media and have jumped on to the bandwagon, some in a mild way, others aggressively. “In the north-east, almost 80 percent of the IT retailers have a presence in the social media,” says Manoj Bajaj, CEO, CAS Computers. “We leverage the platform not only for product and consumer offer information but also for discussions, service issues and any other issue escalation.” For IT partners, the social media provides an excellent platform for branding, enhancing customer reach and cultivating relationships with customers, all of which can lead to enhanced revenue generation. Remarks Dhall, “Just creating a Facebook page will never be good enough. People want activities and good content. Also, without advertising on the Facebook page, the visibility will not come.” “Many of our retail partners are using social media

Senior VP, Global Sales & Marketing, eScan

in a big way to educate consumers, and develop and maintain relationships with them. In turn consumers can approach the retailers with issues and queries. Some of our partners who are seriously engaged in social media activities are Thane-based Bell Computronics, and Mumbai-based Prime ABGB and SAM 7 Computers & Networks,” said Anand. “To increase traffic to a social media page and gain prominence, it is advisable to regularly update social media channels with relevant details, be prompt in replying to customer queries and complaints, and use ads to drive traffic, thereby increasing the number of fans on the social media channels,” says Rajendran. Adds Akhil Singh, Director, AVS Informatics, a New Delhi-based retailer, “I feel brand presence in social media is like an advertisement with the added benefit of user endorsement. In a way, it is the same old concept of ‘word of mouth’ in its new avatar as ‘social media marketing’ in this era of technology.”

Challenges Though social media has been successful in aggregating its audience and engaging them, companies are still facing issues when it comes to the conversion ratio. “It’s easy to get a high number of likes on Facebook or followers of tweets on Twitter, and continuously engage customers in activities taking place on these social media platforms. However, the conversion of these into actual product sales is a major concern,” states Kripalani. Although it’s easy to see how social media could grow rapidly during the next few years, privacy concerns and the cultural fabric of the country may suggest otherwise. “There is a certain degree of abuse that happens when people misuse the platform to post wrong comments. This is the challenge which we face when we open a discussion portal to all. But roles can be played by moderators or by intelligent marketing teams who can divert such negative comments into other directions,” says Sushmita Das, Country Manager, Kobian, India. Another challenge for the growth of social media is to provide regular updates on Facebook. To meet this challenge most IT vendors have a dedicated team for social media marketing or they have outsourced the entire process to specialized companies. For example, Belkin’s marketing team has dedicated a few members for social media marketing while Acer has outsourced it to R Square Consulting. n

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role model Treading a different path He could have opted for the family’s restaurant business but Amarnath Shetty chose to develop his own identity in a different field. The Managing Director of LDS Infotech looks back—and looks ahead n ABHIJEET MUKHERJEE

A

marnath Shetty spent eight years learning the nuances of the IT business from his first and only job as Regional Manager with a company called Datapro Infoworld which was into software distribution. The experience provided him the requisite knowledge of the software business as well as the experience to start his own venture. Today, he is one of the well-known corporate resellers selling software licenses to the who’s who of the corporate world and to education institutes. Having graduated in computer science and engineering from the Malnad College of Engineering, Hassan, in 1988, Shetty joined Datapro as a trainee manager. After a succession of promotions he decided to start his own business in 1999. “Though I come from a business background—my father ran a chain of restaurants in Mumbai—I dared to tread a different path,” says Shetty. He started LDS from a small office in Mumbai with three employees and seed capital of `1.5 lakh. The initial years were spent on cold calls and establishing the brand. “I used to sell Microsoft, Oracle and Macromedia (now acquired by Adobe) software to educational institutions and the corporate sector. Since there was huge demand for software solutions I did not have any problem explaining the importance of the software to customers, but I did face stiff competition. Thanks to the business acumen I inherited from my father, I survived,” chuckles Shetty. In the first year itself LDS signed on clients such as Mahindra, Bank of Baroda and Batliboi, and sold 1,000-1,200 licenses on the average to each of these. The company clocked revenue of `1.5 crore. However, all was not hunky-dory. Shetty had to multi-task for various functions and that also proved to

In the first year of operation, LDS signed on large clients like Mahindra, Batliboi and BoB and sold an average 1,000 licenses to each, clocking a revenue of `1.5 crore 28

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be a challenge. “I had to arrange for finance, recruit people and define strategies to fight the competition. If not for my selfmotivation, communication skills and business acumen, I would not have been able to fight the odds,” he remarks. Having developed a stronghold in Mumbai, LDS started geographic expansion in 2002. It bought a 1,500 sq ft office in Bengaluru and increased its team strength to 20. The revenue jumped to `4 crore. 2004 was a milestone for LDS as it ventured into Microsoft Exchange Server and back-up solutions from Veritas (now a Symantec company). It acquired customers in the education sector, especially engineering colleges such as San Francis. The company also clocked revenue of `15 crore, and was recognized by Microsoft as a most preferred partner. In view of the opportunities in the booming education vertical in Maharashtra, LDS renewed its focus on the state in 2006. The company’s engagement with the education vertical continued in 2007 when it acquired more than 100 educational institutions as its regular clients in Maharashtra and Karnataka. It bagged large orders for software implementation from the KJ Somaiya Institute for `2.5 crore—one of the largest for LDS till date. It also bagged a `50 lakh software implementation deal from the Maharashtra Prathamik Shikshan Parishad, in addition to several deals worth `50 lakh-`1 crore from SMBs from the pharma, IT/ITeS and finance verticals. This focus reaped benefits, and LDS was named the Number One Partner in the education vertical by Microsoft. LDS grew 25 percent to clock revenue of `18 crore in 2007. “By then we were being noticed and were at par with other established partners,” notes Shetty. In 2008, when the whole world was coping with a slow-down or recession, LDS consolidated its business, especially Microsoft. “Our business is recession-proof because we are more of a bottomline-driven company. We actually grew by 10 percent that year. Our major strength was our employees who had been with us for 8-10 years,” says Shetty. The company also took up the new concept of cloud computing.


Presents

Defining Strategies & Best Practices for Future Growth With cloud computing, consumerization of IT, smarter mobile devices, customer preference is witnessing a paradigm shift. Add to that the growing trend of online buying and specialty retail, the IT distribution and retail segment is undergoing a transformation. While this ongoing transformation is expected to pose many challenges in the short term, in the long term it promises to open new avenues of opportunities for the IT channel. To leverage the emerging opportunities, however, requires the IT sub-distributors and the retailers to adopt new business models and strategies. This will be the key focus of the forthcoming edition of the CRN Distribution and Retail Summit 2012. After its successful launch last year, CRN promises a bigger and better event at the scenic Orchid Vits, Pune from December 11-13, 2012. The Summit will witness participation from CXOs of India’s 80 leading IT sub-distributors and retailers, handpicked by CRN through a comprehensive awards nom ination process. Certainly, the 3-day Summit offers technology vendors the best integrated platform to launch new products, share renewed market strategies, and gain the mindshare of the best partners in distribution and retailing.

Conference

Technology Showcase

Communicate your company’s strategic technology and market initiatives

Showcase latest products through display and live demonstrations

Awards

Backed by a comprehensive nomination process, the awards will be presented in 20 categories

Gold Partners

Presenting Partner

Exhibitors

www.crn.in/cdrs

Associate Partner


role model response and a high level of customer satisfaction. “We have implemented CRM and ERP solutions internally, and use Started LDS as a software advanced mailing and collaborative reselling company in Mumbai solutions to keep our customers with seed capital of `1.5 lakh updated with the constant changes taking place in the technology Bought a 1,500 sq ft office in landscape,” Shetty says. Bengaluru In terms of employees, LDS Current business ensures their individual growth. LDS grew 15 percent from `42 Ventured into Microsoft It believes that only satisfied crore in FY2010-11 to `50 crore in Exchange Server and back-up employees can ensure satisfied FY2011-12. Shetty attributed the solutions from Veritas customers, and that this will result growth to Autodesk and Microsoft. in better retention of customers. “We signed quite a few deals In a single year, acquired 100 “We encourage our employees to with companies in verticals such provide inputs to top management as manufacturing, pharma and customers in education sector on the challenges faced by them at BPO. For example, for a MumbaiOpened an office in Pune; the ground level. Working on their based manufacturing company we feedback has helped us achieve provided onsite licensing worth `1 bagged multi-crore deals better engagement,” says Shetty. crore for 800 users; for a PSU we The company has streamlined provided Autodesk worth `70 lakh Reached a turnover of and enhanced its financial capabilifor 300 users. We also bagged a deal `50 crore due to increased ties by the use of the right applicafrom a windmill manufacturing demand for Autodesk and tions and technologies. Continues company for Microsoft and Adobe Shetty, “Apart from BI tools, we software licenses worth `70 lakh Microsoft software have implemented MIS and ERP for 300 users.” applications. This helps us maintain Today, Microsoft forms the major credibility in the market and improve the turnaround of chunk of LDS’ business contributing 50 percent to its working capital. This in turn reduces our interest costs turnover. It is followed by security brands like Symantec, and results in improved utilization of financial resources.” McAfee, eScan, Trend Micro, Fortinet and Quick Heal. Oracle and Autodesk contribute 10 percent each and the rest comes from Red Hat. Future business Vertical-wise, SMBs contribute 60 percent to the LDS expects to grow 40 percent in FY2012-13 to clock turnover, enterprises 25 percent and education 15 revenue of `70 crore. The company wants to increase percent. LDS currently has more than 1,000 SMBs, 300 its focus on cloud-based solutions. “The contribution of enterprises and 180 educational institutions as its clients cloud-based solutions is currently minimal, but seeing which include some large names such as L&T and ICICI the vast adoption of the cloud by SMBs I see good Prudential. prospects for the cloud,” adds Shetty. LDS has offices in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune, and The company plans to hire more sales executives around 60 employees out of whom three sales persons who are trained in cloud-based solutions and products. are Autodesk-certified, 12 are Adobe-certified and eight It has a target to provide Microsoft’s cloud-based have MCSE certification. solutions to 10,000 users by March 2013, and double that number by FY2013-14. “We have a vision and a mission to become one of Best practices the leading software and IT solutions companies,” states LDS ensures customer engagement by offering a better Shetty. Geographically, LDS wants to expand to cities product mix and related services. “We hire technical spelike Chennai and some parts of Gujarat in the next fiscal. cialists to understand and address the customer’s technology challenges pertaining to IT infrastructure, mailing, collaboration, data availability, network security and DLP. On a personal note We also take a consultative approach while selling softAn avid reader, Shetty likes to read management and ware licenses and related services,” informs Shetty. self-improvement books. He is currently reading Good LDS has implemented technology to ensure better to Great by James Collins. “I also like to listen to old, melodious, Hindi film numbers by Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh.” “Apart from BI tools, we have implemented His love of travel has led him to various destinations, both foreign and domestic. He has already visited the US MIS and ERP. This helps us maintain and Europe with his family, and is planning a leisure trip credibility and improve the turnaround of to Switzerland with them. He also loves to drive to his paternal home in Mangalore. n working capital”

2002

1999

MILESTONES

2011

2010

2007

2004

In 2010 LDS opened an office in Pune and bagged several large deals for Microsoft Office 365. The first such deal was to manage 1,000 nodes for a Nashik-based BPO; smaller deals to manage 150-300 nodes for the IT/ITeS segment followed.

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tech focus Scores In Look and Feel For the mobile pro looking for a super-cool Windows 8 device that’s both laptop and tablet, the CRN Test Center recommends the Dell XPS 12 n Edward J Correia

N

ot since the first ultrabooks have we seen a device with as much wow factor as the Dell XPS 12 Convertible Touch ultrabook. The sleek unit’s bright and crisp 12.5-inch, 1,080 p display is nearly indistinguishable from its 13.3-inch counterpart in the XPS 13. The wows happen when the XPS 12 transforms from a Windows 8 laptop into a Windows 8 tablet. Rather than spinning horizontally and boringly as do most convertibles, Dell’s screen flips vertically in its metal frame, snapping out of the invisible magnetic stays and locking back into place with a solid, confident click. Close the lid and viola! The XPS 12 is now a 12-inch tablet running Windows 8 Pro. Starting at `90,490, the XPS 12 includes a Gorilla Glass-covered IPS display with 160-degree viewing angle and a 400-nit LED backlight, a maximum resolution of 1,920x1,080 that’s driven by Intel’s HD 4000 series graphics processor with 512 MB of dedicated video memory. Also included is a 1,280x1,024 (1.3 MP) webcam and Realtek ALC 3260 audio with stereo speakers that sound surprisingly good even at extremely high volume levels. The tested unit was on the high end of the line, and built around an Intel Core i7 3667 U, dualcore 2.0 GHz third-generation Ivy Bridge processor running 64-bit Windows 8 Pro on 8 GB, 1,333 MHz DDR3 memory in a two-channel configuration from a 256 GB Samsung eSATA SSD. The XPS 12 turned in a top Geekbench score of 8775, making it the fastest ultrabook the CRN Test Center has seen to date and placing it fourth on our top all-time list behind two other machines from Dell and one from Samsung. Dell’s latest thin-and-light also scored well in the look-and-feel. Like its XPS brethren, the XPS 12 is constructed of machined aluminum, magnesium-alloy and carbon fiber materials, giving the case a sturdy feeling that’s resistant to fingerprints. A rubbery coating inside and out makes it easy to hold in one hand

At `90,490, XPS 12 is well outside the sub$1,000-price guideline set by Intel for ultrabooks. Still, it has returned the wow to portables, at least for now

whether it is open or closed, and the bottom remains cool to the touch and to the lap at all times. Wide vents on the underside help to keep air flowing. At its warmest on the bottom surface, we measured the unit at 102 degrees Fahrenheit. At nearly three and a half pounds, the XPS 12 is still a laptop after all, and workers would grow weary if holding it in one hand for too long. A stiff hinge allows the display to rest at any angle, and when in tablet mode, it also allows the XPS 12 to stand up like a pup tent. The versatile unit also permits the screen to face outward while the operator controls the keyboard, but requires manual screen orientation. A function (Fn) key could be dedicated to this purpose. Starting with a fully charged battery, we put the XPS 12 in airplane mode and configured Dell’s power-saving feature to maximum. The only variation was to manually over-ride the screen to its brightest setting. We then loaded several 1,080 p HD videos to the SSD and watched them in fullscreen mode mostly through headphones in a continuous loop until the battery was completely drained. Windows warned us at when remaining battery power was 10 percent and again at 7 percent. The XPS 12 delivered 4 hours and 45 minutes of continuous use on a single charge. During playback we listened for a few minutes to the speakers, which delivered deep, rich sound that was not tinny and was totally free of distortion. Its 4-inch wide touch pad is bigger than most, and although we had trouble with it initially, new drivers resolved all problems. The unit performs a cold boot in about 8 seconds. Ports include two USB 3.0 and a miniDisplayPort. There are dedicated hardware controls for volume and power, and open and closed LEDs indicate charge and sleep status. With a starting price of `90,490, the XPS 12 is well outside the sub-$1,000-price guidelines set forth by Intel for ultrabooks. Still, this versatile unit has returned the wow to portables, at least for now; it even communicates while in sleep mode thanks to support for Intel’s Smart Connect. For the mobile pro who’s looking for the latest in a super-cool Windows 8 device that’s both laptop and tablet, the CRN Test Center recommends the Dell XPS 12 Convertible Touch ultrabook. n

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channel buzz Busy conducts partner meet

B

usy Infotech, which makes accounting and inventory management software, recently concluded its partner meet in Uttarakhand. The meet was held from November 1-4, 2012, and attended by 120 partners, including overseas partners. Dinesh Gupta, MD, Busy Infotech, emphasized the importance of developing the Busy education ecosystem, and announced a tie-up with Smart Choice Learning to set up Busy Academies which will train people in a number of skills and provide hands-on experience. “The purpose of the meet was to bring everyone on the same platform and collectively move forward. We shared our product and marketing roadmap with partners, along with other key initiatives taken to strengthen our ecosystem,” said Varun Yadav, Senior Manager,

n Partners lend an ear to the company’s product and marketing roadmap

Marketing & International Business, Busy Infotech. Apart from this, a demo session was also held for ‘Mipsum for Busy,’ an application which allows access of Busy data using any Androidbased phone, and ‘Busy on Web,’ another application which allows

one to access Busy data remotely through a browser-based interface. The meet ended with fun activities that included tug-of-war, cricket, a treasure hunt, archery, swimming, table tennis and trekking. n

Epson partner meet in Amsterdam

E

pson recently concluded its Accredited Partners Meet 2012—named Carats & Courage—at Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The Accredited Partners Meet is an annual event for Epson’s key tier-I partners across the country. The event was used as a forum for discussions between the partners and management. It served to review Epson’s performance for the year so far, and to discuss the roadmap and strategies for the year ahead. Epson’s business managers presented their plans and updated partners on the key objectives and strategies. “The presentations were very informative as the company’s message was clear and focused; this in turn will help us to penetrate unexplored avenues. The presentations also covered aspects which will help us in our personal

n Epson Accredited Partners posing for a group photograph after the Carats & Courage meet

lives—it was a nice touch from the company. As usual, the trip was fun-filled with great activities for all of us including the cricket tournament in the cold weather of Amsterdam,” said Hemant Agarwal, Director, Intech Systems, a New

Delhi-based Epson partner. The team also visited several tourist sites in Amsterdam including windmills, cheese factories and the Vincent van Gogh Museum. n

To feature your company’s events in CRN, send write-ups with photographs to editor@ubmindia.com 32

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new products WD VelociRaptor hard drive

Asus Taichi notebook-tablet

W

A

estern Digital recently launched its new WD VelociRaptor 1 TB with 10,000 RPM hard drive. It is designed for high-performance desktops, Mac computers and professional workstations which require a balance of high performance and capacity. The product also comes in capacities of 500 GB and 250 GB. The 2.5-inch hard drive comes in an IcePack enclosure, a 3.5inch mounting frame with built-in heat sink—a factory customization that fits the drive into a standard 3.5-inch system bay and keeps the drive extra cool when installed in a high-performance desktop or workstation system. Its other features include SATA 6 GB/s interface and 64 MB cache; it consumes less idle power. In addition to being RoHS-compliant, the VelociRaptor also has a halogen-free design. The 1 TB HDD is priced at `15,499 excluding taxes, the 500 GB is priced at `9,299 and the 250 GB is priced at `6,199. They come with a 5-year limited warranty, and are available with WD authorized distributors. n

sus recently launched Taichi, a fusion of a notebook and a tablet. When the lid opens Taichi is a notebook with a full HD screen, Intel Core processor and backlit keyboard. When the lid is closed Taichi becomes a lightweight tablet with a slim, tapered profile and a multitouch, full HD screen with Windows 8. The 13.3-inch, dual LED-backlit, Windows 8 Pro notebook comes with TFT LCD display, full HD non-glare with touch function, Intel Core i7 processor, HD camera 5 MP, stylus, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, and storage of 256 GB SATA-III SSD. The backlit keyboard has ambient light control and a large multitouch touch pad. It has built-in motion sensors which make it ideal for mobile gaming, while its dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connect to the latest wireless devices. Its mirror-mode shows the same image on both the back-to-back screens. The Asus Taichi is priced at an MRP of `139,999, comes with a 3-year warranty, and is available with Asus authorized distributors. n

Titanium Maximum Security 6.0

ZenFocus tablet

Z

enFocus recently launched its 7 inch tablet, the 708B. The tablet comes with 5 point multi-touch screen and a resolution of 800x480 pixels packed in a solid plastic shell. The tablet is based on the Boxchip A13 chipset and is supported by a Mali-400 graphical processor unit. It comes loaded with 512 MB DDR3 RAM and Android OS 4.03, and supports Flash 11.1. The tablet has a front camera of 0.3 MP and external support for an OTG, USB mouse and keyboard. It supports a 3G dongle to access 3G networks, and has built-in Wi-Fi support for 802.11b/g/n. It also has internal storage of 4 GB Nano Flash and external memory expansion support of 3 GB RAM. The 708B is priced at `5,999, comes with a 1-year warranty, and is available with ZenFocus authorized distributors. n

T

rend Micro recently launched its Titanium Maximum Security 6.0. From the main console screen users can run AV scans, get status reports, and use short-cuts to features like the Facebook Privacy Scanner. They can also view the status of the protection, including details about the software, online help, and account. Titanium Maximum Security protects data in five ways: there’s the 5 GB Trend Micro SafeSync for secure online storage, Trend Micro DirectPass for password management, Trend Micro Vault to keep confidential files safe, Secure Erase File Shredder to make files permanently unreadable, and Data Theft Prevention to prevent hackers from stealing sensitive data. The Titanium Maximum Security 6.0 for one year for one user is priced at `1,599; and for one year for three users is priced at `2,499. The products are available with Trend Micro authorized distributors. n

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 editor@ubmindia.com

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shadow ram GET

For old times’ sake

Personal

I

n the second week of December, Bengaluru will witness the biggest gathering of IT industry veterans as part of the alumni meet of Digital Equipment Corporation India. Many leaders from the IT industry, especially in IT channels, are Digital ex-staffers. Digital Equipment, which started operations in India in partnership with the Hinditron Group of Companies in the 1980s, dominated much of the IT industry during the eighties and nineties. A decline in the popularity of mini-computers saw its fortunes falling, and the company was acquired by Compaq in 1997. Despite a very hostile acquisition, in India, the newly merged entity saw mostly Digital Equipment staffers. Digital’s networking business was later acquired by Cabletron Systems. Majority of Digital staffers survived another acquisition as Compaq merged with HP in 2001. After the acquisitions the merged companies chose Digital staffers to lead the business with Som Mittal and later Balu Doraisamy. Other high-profile ex-Digital employees include Bhaskar Pramanik, Anil Valluri, and Uday Birje. n

“I will pass the Jan Lokpal bill” Manish Malhotra, Manager, Channel Marketing, Belkin, India Sub-continent, is responsible for enhancing the visibility of the brand and its products through traditional and digital marketing platforms. He has more than 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Manish Malhotra

If not in the IT industry: I would have been in the aviation industry.

Biggest passion: Work. Behind the wheels: Honda City. Gadgets I can’t live without: Notebook and BlackBerry. Weekends are for: Family. Favorite holiday destination: Las Vegas. Hate the most: People who spread communal hatred.

Total PC Protection 2013 Call :

098 22 88 25 66 092 72 70 70 50

Favorite movie: 3 Idiots. Favorite star: Kareena Kapoor. Role model: Swami Vivekananda. Ultimate ambition: To become a trainer. Wildest thing I have ever done: Sky-diving. Thing I most want to do in life: Open my own restaurant. If I became the PM: I will pass the Jan Lokpal bill. Celebrity I would like to spend a day with: Kareena Kapoor. One person I would like to meet and why: Sachin Tendulkar. The man is a true icon who has not only elevated cricket in India but also displayed a commitment to his work even after so many years of success. Deepest and darkest fear: None so far. n 

34

Computer Reseller News

01/12/2012 www.crn.in

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CRN December 1, 2012  

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