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contents

June 01, 2011 l Volume 5 Issue 03

Cover Story Why SMBs are the toughest segment for India’s IT vendors and how vendors plan to empower channels to make inroads into SMBs

24 NEWS Analyses

Channel Chief

Smartlink enters motherboard market 8

18

HP PSG gets new head and distributors 8 IBM gets partner ready for cloud 10 Quick Heal eyes `200 crore topline 10 MMD to give Philips to monitor biz

Rajesh Goenka, VP, Sales & Marketing, Rashi Peripherals talks about the company’s growth plans to achieve `1,500 crore topline in the current fiscal

Event

Editorial 12 Opinion

14

Feedback

14

New Products

39

Shadow Ram

42

Get Personal

42 01/06/2011 www.crn.in

Virtual Channel Show Huge success

31 Role Model Kedar Shah, CEO, Nirmal Datacomm, talks about his journey of making the company a leading network integrator in the country

35

READ More

Computer Reseller News

for making the

16

Intel to revitalize white-box servers 16

6

Thank You

CRN Virtual Channel Show With 603 unique channel partners from across 139 cities participating, India’s first virtual exhibition and conference was a blockbuster success

Tech Focus Good things in a small package Dell PowerEdge R415 rack server represents a solid value for the small business

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starting line MUST

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HP PSG gets new head and distributors HP India has appointed Rajiv Srivastava as the Head of HP Personal Systems Group (PSG) in the place of the outgoing Sunil Dutt. Srivastava is currently the Chief Operating Officer of HP India and will continue to execute the dual responsibilities. Srivastava is no stranger to HP PSG, and was the Director at PSG between 2002 and 2006. He also headed Channels at Compaq India, before the PC-maker was acquired by HP. He has a vast experience of 25 years in the industry. Further, HP has completed the realignment of its consumer PC distribution. It has relieved five zonal distributors (ZDs) with a telecom or FMCG background, and replaced them with IT distributors. There’s no change in south India where Redington is the ZD in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. H2 Technologies, a local distributor with telecom background has been retained for Karnataka, while Ingram Micro will operate in Andhra Pradesh. Priyanka Telecom has been replaced by Savex Computers for Mumbai. Savex was already in charge of HP consumer PC business in the rest of Maharashtra and Goa. Savex is also in charge of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. Gujarat will be with Compuage, while Rajasthan will be managed by Savex. Earlier, these states were managed by a regional telecom distributor, Aditya Telelink. Ingram Micro has replaced Unicorn which managed Punjab and Chandigarh. Ingram will also take over distribution in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, earlier managed by Shalimar Enterprises. Spectra has been retained for Delhi and NCR, while Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal will remain with Shivalik. Redington will be the zonal distributor for Orissa, Bihar and Jharkhand which were previously managed by Karuna Management; West Bengal and north-east will continue to be managed by Linkworld. Savex will continue supplying to HP Worlds, while Ingram will look after large format retailers. HP is likely to announce major changes in its partner engagement model. It is expected to move from a monthly payout model for incentives to the quarterly model. n — Ramdas S

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Smartlink enters motherboard market n dhaval valia

S

martlink Network Systems has entered the Indian motherboard market under the brand name Digilite. The company aims to corner 10 percent of the projected four million unit motherboard market in the first year itself. Smartlink has hired Rajan Sharma, the person credited with the success of Gigabyte India, to drive its motherboard business. “We believe that with our brand equity, strong regional distribution, and quality and coverage of direct post-sales support, we can make a significant impact in this market,” said Sharma, now Associate Vice President at Smartlink. The company has launched seven motherboard models. These include three for the AMD platform, one Atom bundle, and three for the Intel platform. Smartlink will leverage a dual distribution model—national distribution through Ingram Micro, and regional distribution through the 22 Digilink partners. Smartlink will be assembling the motherboards at its Goa unit. According to Sharma, this will give the company a 4 percent cost advantage on taxation and also reduce the time-to-market. “Our plan is to price-position our products on par with those of Gigabyte and Asus. The cost advantage of 4 percent will enable us to provide partners with better margins. In addition, Gigabyte and Asus have a market leadtime of 6-8 weeks, while local manufacturing will give us a leadtime of less than 2-3 weeks.” This would also help the company to work closely with OEMs because a shorter timeto-market helps them bring new products to the market faster and also contributes toward efficient rotation of their working capital.

“The motherboard market will touch the four million unit mark in the current year, and our goal is to win at least 10 percent of this market” Rajan Sharma

Associate Vice President Smartlink Network Systems

“Many OEMs are already talking to us,” said Sharma. “We expect OEM business to contribute 40 percent to volumes while channels will contribute 60 percent.” As per Smartlink’s estimates, 3.6 million motherboard units were sold in India in 2010, with 50 percent going to OEMs and the other 50 going to the white-box PC market. Said Sharma, “Contrary to all predictions, the white-box desktop market is growing at a robust 10-15 percent. We expect the motherboard market to touch the four million unit mark in the current year, and our goal is to win at least 10 percent of this market.” While Sharma admitted that the competition is tough because the three big players (Asus, Gigabyte and Intel) have strong brand equity, and together command nearly two-third of the market, he believed that Smartlink’s strong local RMA support would be its biggest USP. “In the motherboard market post-sales support is key, and through Digicare we have direct support in more than 55 cities. Our entire RMA process is managed locally, hence we can achieve faster turnaround. Don’t forget that Smartlink has strong experience in the motherboard segment through its earlier JV with Gigabyte.” n


starting line MUST

Read

Quick Heal eyes `200 crore topline Quick Heal is aiming at a turnover of Rs 200 crore during the current fiscal by venturing into new product categories, and beefing up its market share in the enterprise segment. The company closed FY2010-11 at Rs 145 crore, 45 percent above its previous fiscal topline of Rs 100 crore. “We have a two-pronged strategy,” explained Abhijit Jorvekar, VP, Sales & Marketing, Quick Heal. “First, to grow by adding new security product categories, and second, to expand our addressable market in the antivirus category by strengthening our presence in the enterprise segment, and venturing into the mobile security domain.” The company will launch UTM appliances in July 2011, and introduce antivirus for smartphones in the following quarter. In client security, it aims to capture at least five percent market share. “We are running beta tests for UTM Abhijit Jorvekar products. Our focus will be on the 25-400 node segment, and we will offer all the features currently available with competitors. Our team of eight people is meeting small and mid-market customers and offering them our products for trial,” informed Jorvekar. The company plans to streamline its distribution by helping partners with capabilities to move up to distribute client security and UTM products. On the consumer front, the company’s core focus is to increase its share in the south where it has less than 10 percent of the market compared to 25-30 percent in other regions. According to Quick Heal, the Rs 800 crore Indian antivirus market is picking up steam and will grow much faster than in the past. “In the last fiscal we sold close to four million licenses. There has been tremendous growth in the last one year in overall sales of the 1-5 user market as awareness about security is increasing,” Jorvekar said. n — Abhijeet Mukherjee

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IBM gets partner ready for cloud n RAMDAS S

I

BM has readied its cloud, under the umbrella of the IBM Smart Business Cloud, which will be sold exclusively through partners. The company has also set up a data center which will cater only to channel-driven offerings, and unveiled its new Cloud Computing Specialty Partner (CCSP) Program. “The adoption of the cloud is increasing, and IBM has packaged the most comprehensive portfolio spanning public, private and hybrid cloud environments,” said Akash Saxena, Vice President, Offerings Management & Development, Global Technology Services, IBM India & South Asia. “Since India is a value-conscious market, we are offering services starting as low as Rs 10 per hour.” The data center, for its channeldriven offerings for the South Asian market, has been set up in Singapore at an investment of more than $40 million. Saxena said that unlike other players, IBM will not have any direct engagement with the customer. “Anyone who wants to use our cloud services has to come through partners. They cannot buy our services online by using a credit card.” He said there’s keen interest among customers to move from a capex to an opex model. In addition, interest in IBM’s cloud services is also coming from customers who require a scaled-up infrastructure for a short period. “For instance, in a segment such as BFSI, companies need to process a huge load around quarter-ending and year-ending as the number of transactions goes up. Previously, these customers were forced to invest in infrastructure which supported such loads. Today, they can lease for a short period around a highintensity event.”

“Anyone who wants to use our cloud services has to come through partners. They cannot buy our services online by using a credit card” A Saxena

VP, Global Technology Services, IBM India & South Asia

At present IBM is focusing on providing infrastructure services (including virtual machines) on lease. “Customers can opt for an hourly usage plan, or go for bulk payment, or pay per virtual machine, or bring their own software and pay just for the services they need from IBM,” explained Saxena. The company also unveiled its CCSP Program, and has enabled Ingram Micro and Avnet Technologies to drive its cloud offerings. It plans to bring 40 business partners on board over the next six months. “The new program has been created to bring together the broadest ecosystem of companies working together to provide a wide range of cloud computing services and technologies for clients of all sizes and industries,” said Anoop Nambiar, Country Manager, Business Partner Organization, IBM India & South Asia. “Partners need to meet three criteria to become cloud specialists—build skills which are cloud-specific and productspecific, meet revenue targets, and submit at least two references of customers who are keen on using our services. We are expecting at least eight partners from India to attain the Cloud Specialist status in 2011.” n


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edit opinion Volume 5, Issue 03

Tips to tap SMBs dhaval valia

A

MI Partners estimates there are around 4.15 million organizations in India. Of these, around 4,660 are classified as large organizations with more than 1,000 employees. Then there are around 32,600 medium businesses with more than 100 IT users. Apart from these there are 1.6 million small businesses which have some form of IT. And, more than 2.5 million small businesses exist which would buy a PC in the next few years. Vendors have focused on this vast number of small and medium businesses (SMBs) over the past few years, and yet few can claim that they have figured out the correct strategy to get SMBs to invest into IT. This continues to be both — a challenge and an opportunity. Indian SMBs contribute more than 90 percent of the industrial output and generate nearly 85 percent employment in the country. Yet beyond some basic trends, there are no fixed patterns regarding how an SMB thinks and buys, thus making it a difficult terrain to operate. However, vendors are not giving up; every day they develop new ideas to fish in this sea of opportunity. For example, in 2010, IBM set up a business unit that aligns with other units to work on SMB opportunities. IBM says it has on its radar over 30,000 companies which employ 100-1,000 people, and which would be spending `5 lakh to `15 lakh on IT over the next two years. Similarly, HP has its White Spaces initiative whereby it has identified over 10,000 mid-market entities with little or no IT penetration. There’s no doubt that over the next decade SMBs will continue to be the focal point of many vendors’ go-to-market, and partners will have a critical role to play. The question for partners: What’s the right strategy to follow? Here are 5 ideas: Align with the right vendors: Give weightage to a vendor who would also pass leads to you. Have vendors who can provide you wider coverage for mid-market customers because they’re looking at standardizing on a single brand. Build a story: SMB businesses run on personal relations with key decision-makers in the organization. Peer recommendations and word of mouth help. Servicing is the way to go: SMBs value prompt service, and prefer to buy from suppliers who also provide support. Be a Jack of all Trades: Since most SMB customers are looking for a single supplier, they would expect you to take care of all their needs. Get cloud-ready: Software-as-a-service and the cloud are happening, and will be sought-after solutions by SMBs. Get on to the bandwagon. n E-mail CRN Executive Editor Dhaval Valia at dhaval.valia@ubm.com 12

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Managing Director : Sanjeev Khaira Printer & Publisher : Sajid Yusuf Desai Director : Kailash Shirodkar Associate Publisher & Executive Editor : Dhaval Valia Group Commercial Director : Salil Warior Contributing Editor : Ramdas S Assistant Editor : Sonal Desai Principal Correspondent : Abhijeet Mukherjee (Mumbai) Design Art Director : Deepjyoti Bhowmik Senior Visualiser : Yogesh Naik Senior Designer : Shailesh Vaidya Designer : Jinal Cheda Marketing Senior Executive : Sejal Acharya Advertising Co-ordinator : Jagruti Kudalkar online Manager—Product Dev. & Mktg. : Viraj Mehta Deputy Manager—Online : Nilesh Mungekar Web Designer : Nitin Lahare Operations Head—Finance : Yogesh Mudras Director—Operations & Administration : Satyendra Mehra Sales bangalore Deputy Manager—Sales : Satish Kutty satish.krishnankutty@ubm.com (M) +91 98452 07810 Delhi Deputy Manager—Sales : Sanjay Khandelwal sanjay.khandelwal@ubm.com (M) +91 98117 64515 production Deputy Manager : Prakash (Sanjay) Adsul Logistics Assistant Manager : Bajrang Shinde Subscriptions & Database Manager : Manoj Ambardekar manoj.ambardekar@ubm.com Senior Executive : Deepanjali Chaurasia deepa.chaurasia@ubm.com

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edit opinion Where’s distribution headed? Robert Faletra

I

get this question in the market more than any other. It generally comes from the vendor community although solution providers at the cutting edge of the market often ask it as well. It’s a question that has come and gone during every major technical and business model shift since the PC era began in the 1980s. But is this time different? Can distribution find a role in the world of cloud computing where most of the world buys computing power much like it does electrical power? The answer to all three questions is yes in my opinion. It seems to me that in order to predict the future of distribution you have to first answer some questions around the value that distributors offer and look at some of the innovations they are bringing to market that could help them in the future. At the most basic level, distributors are efficient at moving a physical product from point A to point B so the question becomes, will there be a need for that in the future? I think it’s hard to argue that over the next five or 10 years the need to move hardware is going away. In terms of software, we haven’t really been moving it around physically for a number of years so I’m not sure a lot changes there. There are a host of other things distribution does that adds value. One of the most important is providing credit to solution providers. Might there be other ways to inject credit into the market? Of course, but there is efficiency and, therefore, savings as a result of the distribution credit system. One of the most fundamental questions that has to be answered is, when will everyone buy computing power like they do electricity? The answer to that is probably never. Cloud computing is real and it is undoubtedly going to change much of what we know today about building, selling and supporting computing power. But in most of our lifetimes it has zero potential to be the only way technology solutions are sold and purchased. Changing supply chain will challenge distribution to add value in a world where warehousing and physically shipping product will become less important. But there is constant innovation within distribution as well. It’s hard to argue that distribution is going away because of cloud computing. In some ways you have to wonder if this shift doesn’t give distribution an opportunity to launch highermargin services. Cloud computing is going to be a major force in the market, but it won’t be the only one. Will it change much of what we know today over time? You bet. But distribution has been dealing with the pressures of the market for four decades. This isn’t its first hurdle, and it’s not going to be the last, either. n Email Robert Faletra at robert.faletra@ec.ubm.com 14

Computer Reseller News

01/06/2011 www.crn.in

Cancer of corruption

Mahavir Sanyal Shree Computers West Bengal

strong chord with me. I have very strong views about corruption and how it is affecting us. I believe it is the people who are corrupt and not the organizations—be it government departments, or private sector companies. The more serious problem is the social acceptance of corruption. For example, what will we do, if we learn that our closest friend is highly corrupt? Will we terminate friendship with him? Will we not go with him for outings? Will we not invite him for social gatherings? What we can do is for all IT dealers to come together and light candles and stage a protest.

The editorial on corruption has struck a

Harikrishnan PK Alltime Power Technologies Kochi

The editorial in the May 15 issue on the ‘Cancer of Corruption’ is timely. India’s progress would have been much faster had it not been for the corruption that is spreading like cancer. All of us are aware of corruption and are part of it in some form or the other. In fact my view is that its so ingrained in our culture now, that often we don’t realize a corrupt act of our own. Just to blame the government or private companies is not right. If we don’t bribe, and fight against corruption, then can the government continue to be corrupt?

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

Digilink

1-2 www.digi-link.com

Samsung

4 www.samsung.com

support.india@samsung.com

BenQ

5 www.BenQ.com

sales.enquiry@BenQ.com

Compuage

7 www.compuageindia.com

info@compuageindia.com

Wipro

9 www.wipro.com

reachus@wipro.com

Cisco

11 www.cisco.com

in_assistant@cisco.com

IBM

13 www.ibm.com

Alcatel Lucent

15

www.neoteric.co.in

K7 Computing

17

www.k7computing.com

EMC

19 www.emc.com

NEC

21 www.nec.com/express

Seagate

27 www.seagate.com

EMC

29 www.emc.com

Biz Secure

40

Epson

40 www.epson.co.in

BSY Network

40

HCL

41 www.hclsmb.in/partners

Microsoft

43 www.microsoft.com/india/visualstudio

McAfee

44 www.mcafeepartner.com

www.indiaantivirus.com www.bsynetwork.com

smbsolutions@neoteric.co.in

enquiries@necindia.in

sales@indiaantivirus.com srinu.i@bsynetwork.com hclpartners@hcl.com


starting line MUST

Read

Intel to revitalize white-box servers Intel India will re-ignite the white-box server market with the launch of its next generation Xeon platforms—E3 and E7. The E3 platform allows white-box server manufacturers to configure an entry-level tower model for less than Rs 30,000. “The Intel server board S1200BT takes advantage of the architecture capabilities of Sandy Bridge. Because of their deployment and configuration flexibility, S1200BT products enable resellers to offer customized solutions for their small business customers at aggressive pricepoints,” said R Ravichandran, Director, Sales, Intel South Asia. Ravichandran admitted that there has been a slight decline in white-box server sales in India, and stated that Intel’s top priority is to revive the market. “We are launching a number of customer-facing programs to make further inroads in the SMB market.” Intel is confident that the new products will ramp up in the next two quarters. R ravichandran “We are currently in a transition phase as many OEMs are carrying inventory based on older versions of Xeon,” Ravichandran explained. Meanwhile, channels are hoping for a better response to the new platform. “There’s always a first-mover advantage for system builders since the OEMs are yet to launch the new servers. We want Intel to create higher demand for the new platforms which will help us leverage the early opportunities. But right now the processors are expensive, and we are yet to see availability of boards for E7,” said Sunil Kumar, CEO, Lampo Computers, Bengaluru. Intel is also focusing on its modular server platform which, according to Ravichandran, has given the white-box channel a stronger play in the blade server market. “We are happy with the initial numbers of white-box blade servers, and we plan to create more such opportunities for server channel.” n — Ramdas S

16

Computer Reseller News

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MMD to give Philips to monitor biz n DHAVAL VALIA

M

ultimedia Displays (MMD) has embarked on an aggressive strategy to revitalize the Philips range of monitors and is aiming for the top three slot in two years. MMD—a wholly-owned company of TPV Technology, the parent company of the AOC brand—was set up in 2009 through an agreement with Philips to globally market and sell the latter’s range of monitors, digital signage displays and All-In-One (AIO) PCs. Since January 2011, the company has put in place a regional distribution network comprising Roop Technologies for west, Technocrat for east, Nook Micro Distribution (the newlyformed micro-distribution arm of Redington India) for south, and Global Infonet for north. “Having put in place strong regional distributors (RDs), we are already seeing strong market traction. In the first operational quarter (Q12010) we have shipped 32,000 units and are expecting 50 percent QoQ growth over the next three quarters to reach a market share of 6-7 percent. This will put us in the top five list of brands,” said Gautam Ghosh, Country Director, MMD India. Quoting IDC research, he said the standalone monitor market averages around 3,50,000 units a month. “The top four brands— Samsung, LG, AOC and Acer— control 75-80 percent of this market, so it’s going to be tough for any new player to capture share. However, with the strong brand equity Philips enjoys in the consumer space, our aim is to be among the top three players within two years.” MMD recently concluded a 4-city channel meet to activate new partners. “We activated 500 partners through this campaign,” Ghosh informed. “We will follow

“With the strong brand equity Philips enjoys, we are confident of capturing good share. Within two years our aim is to be among the top 3” Gautam Ghosh Country Director MMD India

this up with a series of multi-city channel activation programs.” The company has priced its range at par with Samsung and LG, but promises better margins to channels. “We have defined tier-2 distribution wherein the RDs will sell directly to retailers and system builders. This will guarantee higher margins,” said Ghosh. “Beginning next quarter we will roll out a partner program to incentivize resellers.” MMD will pay equal attention to the commercial segment, and plans to put in place a team by Q3 to tap corporate demand. MMD’s portfolio ranges from 15-inch to 27-inch LED and LCD displays. It will soon introduce 3D displays. The company intends to create a strong USP around warranty by offering 4-year onsite support compared to the 3-year provided by competitors. For this MMD has partnered with Intarvo Technologies and Cadensworth India (Redington’s new services arm). MMD’s initial focus is the monitor market. The roll-out of its digital signage and AIOs will happen subsequently. Informed Ghosh, “We will launch digital signage by November, and AIOs next year after studying the market potential.” n


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channel chief “We will revamp our entire post-sales support” Rashi plans to achieve `1,500 crore topline this fiscal. Rajesh Goenka, VP, Sales & Marketing, spoke to Dhaval Valia about the company’s growth plans How did Rashi fare in the last fiscal? We have been growing at 30 percent CAGR for the past several years, and we continued that momentum even in the last fiscal. Our revenue for FY2010-11 touched `1,090 crore as compared to `837 crore in the previous fiscal. It’s good to have crossed the `1,000 crore milestone.

Could you highlight the factors that boosted your growth? We saw robust growth across all brands and product categories. For instance, our Sandisk business grew by almost 80 percent last year, while brands such as Logitech and Asus grew by 30-40 percent. The addition of new brands also aided growth. Last fiscal we added brands like Targus, Toshiba, Microsoft and Lenovo. Put together, these brands contributed close to `125 crore to the topline. The other growth aspect has been our increased market coverage. Rashi now routinely bills to 7,700 customers across 470 cities. In fact we are now seeing a larger chunk of business coming from smaller cities. Our vision is to have coverage across all the 600 districts of the country.

What’s the forecast for the current fiscal? Rashi believes in planned growth, hence we will continue with a growth target of 30 percent which would take us well past `1,400 crore. If we push it a bit, `1,500 crore looks possible. To achieve this we will continue with our strategy of equal emphasis on organic and inorganic growth. Half of the topline growth planned will come from our existing portfolio; the other half from signing new brands and adding new products. We expect notebooks, tablets, memory products and flat panel displays to bring in high growth. We intend to strengthen our PC portfolio by adding new brands or expanding the portfolio of existing principals. Tablets and smartphones are new categories which are of great potential. We are exploring these markets. This fiscal you will also see us adding 10 new branches, taking our direct reach to 65 locations.

The USP of Rashi is that it provides post-sales support for most brands it distributes. What are the plans for enhancing the service business? We currently have 64 service locations and will expand

“We are investing substantially in upgrading our existing service centers to improve the post-sales experience of resellers and end-customers” 18

Computer Reseller News

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them to 70. The other important target we have set for ourselves is upgrading our existing service centers in order to improve the post-sales experience of resellers and end-customers. There’s a significant investment outlay for the same. We have already begun this process, and two of our largest and busiest service centers, at Lamington Road in Mumbai and Nehru Place in Delhi, have been completely overhauled. The change is not just in terms of new interiors but also in processes, people and the overall experience. For this we have upgraded our SAP ERP and created a more efficient process of tracking RMA and sales data. I can promise that our partners will experience a completely seamless and speedy post-sales support.

Retailers and sub-distributors have noticed a certain slowdown in the past few months due to rising inflation which they say has dampened consumer sentiment. What’s your outlook for the IT market? Inflation may have had some impact on consumer sentiment but considering that India has meager IT penetration I do not foresee any slowdown in overall demand. In my estimate the IT market will grow at 30 percent during the current fiscal. But the demand is shifting from large cities to small. Places like Coimbatore, Ludhiana, Guwahati and Vizag are seeing much higher demand than metros for PCs. With broadband penetration continuing to rise, this demand will further accelerate. Rashi is bullish about the education segment, particularly schools, which will drive PC growth over the next few years both at the institutional and individual level.

There are many disruptive changes occurring in the market today. Tablets, smartphones and cloud computing. What will be the impact on channels? Recent reports have indicated that globally tablets and smartphones are turning out to be dampeners for the PC market. In India I see the three having a positive rub on each other. Consumers having notebooks will go for tablets, while those having smartphones would need a PC. With regard to cloud computing, our belief is that it is still at a very nascent stage in the country, and hence in the foreseeable future will not have much negative impact on hardware sales. The big challenge is how the different vendors look at these factors and realign their channel strategies. That could be a red herring for all of us. Large format retailers will also be more demanding of distributors due to their increasing volumes. However, as the market is poised for rapid growth, these challenges would not hamper the overall enhancement of the market and will be part and parcel of the business. n


market focus Consumer demand down The CRN Channel Confidence Survey was conducted online between April 15-30, 2011. Here are the highlights of the results n abhijeet mukherjee

D

emand from the consumer market has been dented. This has led to a slowdown in the business for retailers and sub-distributors, according to a majority of the channel partners who took the CRN Channel Confidence Survey conducted online between April 15-30 2011. More than 70 percent of the 85 respondents who took the survey said that they had experienced a noticeable decline in the consumer and SOHO demand. “The first half of FY2010-11 was fantastic, but postDiwali the market began slowing down,” said Ashish Vastani of Shreeji Infotech, a Surat-based retailer. “We have seen a dip of nearly 30 percent in average monthly numbers compared to the pre-Diwali period. Compared to the same period last year, the demand decline has been close to 20-25 percent.” Agreed Manindra Bhandari of Arham Computronix, a Chennai-based reseller, “There has been a decrease in demand to the extent of 15-20 percent from October 2010 to March 2011.” In addition, respondents said that the increasing presence of large format retailers (LFRs) is impacting their business. While the impact is still limited, it is taking away demand from their shops. Almost 54 percent respondents said that their business was impacted because of LFRs. Nearly 18 percent estimated a negative impact of more than 30 percent on their overall revenue, while 7 percent estimated the impact in the 20-30 percent range. Close to 47 percent retailers

“We have seen a dip of nearly 30 percent in average monthly numbers compared to the pre-Diwali period. Compared to the same period last year, the demand decline has been close to 20-25 percent” performance in fy2010-11 Above expectation

Much below expectation

2% 5%

revenue growth in fy2010-11 Less than 10 percent

40-50 percent

32% 61% Slightly below expectation

As per expectation

and sub-distributors estimated the impact on revenue at less than 10 percent. “LFRs buy in volumes because of which they get good price discounts and back-end incentives, while small retailers like us cannot spend on buying large stocks and therefore miss the back-end incentives. LFRs then sell the products at prices less than the MRP,” added Vastani. “With more malls sprawling in our vicinity, LFRs are emerging as a big threat because our potential customers are moving there,” said Jai Prakash Agrahari of the Jaiprakash Group, a Lucknow-based regional distributor (RD). Despite the negative factors, 65 percent of the respondents grew between 10-30 percent during the last fiscal. Nearly 15 percent grew at 30-50 percent while the remaining saw growth of less than 10 percent. From a product point of view, notebook sales led the growth in the retail market, followed by printers, desktops, accessories, and retail software. “For us notebook sales have grown 45 percent while desktops have shown a growth of 30 percent. In retail printers, peripherals and accessories have also shown good growth,” said Agrahari. On the business operations front, most retailers and distributors focused on adding new products, aggressive marketing, and driving repeat business. “Adding new products helped us grow by 30-35 percent. We also added more partners,” said VR Kirubakaran of Micro Village Communications, a Bengaluru-based RD. “We launched innovative schemes for both dealers and end-consumers,” said Vipul Garg of Saviks Distributors, the Bareilly-based RD. “For example, for every 10 units of notebooks a dealer bought we sponsored a trip to Thailand. On the consumer side we started an exchange offer for old PCs. With help from our vendor, we launched a scheme wherein we bundled digital cameras with notebooks. We got tremendous

30-40 percent

Negative growth

7%

No

30%

13% 5%

Did you face slowdown in 6 months?

41%

10%

70%

10-20 percent

Yes

24%

20-30 percent

Base: 85 retailers and sub-distributors

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Base: 85 retailers and sub-distributors

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Base: 85 retailers and sub-distributors


market focus “Like the automobile industry, we too should have limited dealers in a particular city. Too many partners only creates pressure, ruins the market, and does not generate sales”

product categories THAT BOOSTED GROWTH IN FY2010-11 Notebooks

59%

Printers

43%

Desktops

41%

Retail software (antivirus, Windows OS, gaming software, etc)

41%

Options and accessories (USB drive, external HDD, laptop carry bag, etc)

41%

Peripherals like keyboard, mice, web-camera

30%

Netbooks

21%

Scanners

18%

Broadband connectivity

18%

Services like AMC

18%

Home networking devices

16%

Mobile phones Tablets

14% Base: 85 retailers and sub-distributors

5%

business ACTIVITIES THAT BOOSTED GROWTH IN FY2010-11 Added new products

57%

Aggressive marketing

48%

Focused on repeat business

Challenges ahead

48%

Added new services

34%

Cost cutting Tied up with new vendors Added more branches

34% 27%

16%

Added new retail stores

14%

Base: 85 retailers and sub-distributors

Projections and focus areas After a slowdown in FY2010-11, retailers believe that FY2011-12 could be better. Nearly 30 percent respondents expect 30-50 percent growth, 22 percent

impact of LFRs on business in fy2010-11 Impacted revenues by more than 30 percent

Yes

45%

Sub-distributors say that payment delays and defaults by resellers are impacting their business. Almost 75 percent of the sub-distributors who took the survey complained that their business is suffering due to delays, while 60 percent have cited payment defaults as a big issue. “Most resellers do not want to invest in their business and want to survive on credit periods, but

“Apart from good price, customers also want good post-sales support. Most of the time the onus for post-sales falls on the reseller, and when we fail to satisfy customers they move to a different reseller”

response to these schemes and sold close to 200 units in one and half month.”

Has LFRs impacted your business?

said they will grow by more than 50 percent, while 20 percent anticipate growth to be anywhere between 2030 percent. Notebooks will continue to be a focus area for almost all retailers. “Consumers are opting for notebooks because they have become necessary, more so for students of engineering, medical and management. With more colleges opening every year, this number is bound to go up,” said Kishore Makhija of Priyanka Computer Services, a Raipur-based sub-distributor. Retail software such as operating systems and antivirus seem to have a better future in FY2011-12. “We see the retail software business picking up because reduced prices of original licenses are driving down piracy rates. Last year we witnessed a 12 percent rise in the original license business,” said Bhandari. Added Arun Nath of Anything MAC, a Delhibased reseller of Apple products, “We plan to focus on the software segment to meet the needs of doctors, architects and photographers.”

20-30 percent

7%

2% 21%

32%

48% No

27% 10-20 percent

Base: 85 retailers and sub-distributors

Computer Reseller News

Negative growth

20-30 percent

18%

55%

22

revenue growth expected in fy2011-12

Base: 85 retailers and sub-distributors

01/06/2011 www.crn.in

Less than 10 percent

30-50 percent

23% 10-20 percent

23%

Base: 85 retailers and sub-distributors

Grow more than 50 percent


market focus challenges that may hamper GROWTH IN FY2011-12 Payment delays by customers

75%

Payment defaults Vendors changing their distribution strategies Lack of customer financing schemes More customers buying from large format retailers

59% 50% 48%

32%

Competition from telecom retailers and distributors

27%

Negative customer sentiments

23%

Shorter credit cycle

11%

Base: 85 retailers and sub-distributors

product categories THAT will BOOST GROWTH IN FY2011-12 Retail software (antivirus, Windows OS,gaming software, etc)

59%

Notebooks

57%

Desktops

48%

Printers

46%

Services like AMC

43%

LED Monitors Peripherals like keyboard,mice,web-camera

41% 32%

Options and accessories (USB drives, external HDDs,laptop carry bags,etc)

32%

Netbooks

30%

Home networking devices like broadband routers

30%

Broadband connectivity

27%

Smartphones and tablets Digital cameras and camcoders LED/LCD/3D TVs

25% 23%

21%

Gaming Consoles like XBox/PS3

5%

Base: 85 retailers and sub-distributors

vendor support required by channel Maintain Market Operating Price (MOP)

55%

Have limited partners in your city/region

48%

Provide better post-sales support

46%

Consistency in channel strategy and programs

43%

Ensure more profts

43%

Provide regular training More qualitative incentives, rather than quantity based More MDF support for developing new business

43%

36%

30%

Pass more leads

21%

Introduce more customer financing schemes in partnership with finance companies

14%

“There is no consistency with vendor policies as they are only bothered about achieving numbers with hardly any emphasis on developing partner relationships”

Base: 85 retailers and sub-distributors

even after the credit period ends they fail to pay and cite issues such as stockpiling. We have seen incidents where resellers have fled without paying sub-distributors,” said RK Srivastava of Rajat Systems & Services, a Lucknow-based sub-distributor. Other issues like the lack of consumer financing and vendors changing their distribution strategies could be major challenges during the current fiscal. According to Nath of Anything MAC, “Earlier, Bajaj Finance used to provide financing for IT products, and this benefited both the reseller and the consumer, but since the last one year financing has been completely stopped.”

Expectations from vendors Maintaining consistent MOP is a key expectation channels have from their principals. “Customers want a good bargain, and to get the business resellers fight among each other with price. While earlier our margin was close to 10 percent it has gradually reduced to 5 percent. We fear it might go even below, maybe 2 percent,” added Srivastava. Agreed Prasanta Kumar Mohanty, CEO, Maa Sarala Computer, a Bhubaneshwar-based reseller, “A price war is one of the most dreaded issues for us. There are many retailers who sell products lower than the MOP. Once or twice is fine, but if that persists then it impacts us directly.” Channel overcapacity is also a key issue. More than 47 percent respondents complained that vendors are not choosy about partners and have too many of them in the same location. “Like the automobile industry, we too should have limited dealers in a particular city. Too many partners only creates pressure, ruins the market, and does not generate sales,” explained Bhandari. More than 40 percent respondents said that vendors need to have a consistent channel policy. “There is no consistency with vendor policy as they are only bothered about achieving numbers with hardly any emphasis on developing partner relationships. They change partners very frequently, and also have too many of them in the same area which hampers our business due to price wars,” said Rajesh Tayal of Computer Touch, an Ambala-based sub-distributor. Another issue is post-sales support. More than 45 percent respondents want vendors to improve their post-sales support. Said Mohanty, “Customers today are very aware and demanding. Apart from good price they also want to ensure carefree post-sales support. Most of the time the onus for post-sales falls on the reseller, and when we fail to satisfy customers, they move to a different reseller.” n

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cover story

Why SMBs are the toughest market for IT vendors and how they plan to empower channels to make inroads into this segment n Ramdas S

F

or most Indian IT vendors as well as resellers, the SMB segment remains a large jigsaw puzzle which seems to be growing multi-dimensionally every day. Pundits say that the enterprise business is easier to tap because of the smaller set of customers. Also, most vendors are engaging with large enterprises directly, at least from a relationship perspective. “The enterprise landscape in India today is charted very well, and most mature vendors have good understanding of the accounts and what these customers plan to do,” says Vishal Tripathi, Principal Analyst, Gartner India. Similarly, the IT consumer market is not regarded as different from any other consumer market, and strategies used in businesses such as FMCG seem to be working in the IT consumer market. The SMB business appears to be a different ball-

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game. Basic activities such as aggressive pricing, and investments in marketing and brand building, help in garnering consumer market share. “The Indian SMB market is one of the toughest in the world. In fact, inside Lenovo, we call it the ‘Sabse Mushkil Business’ (The Toughest Business),” comments Aditi Ganguly, GM, SMB BU, HSB Lenovo India. “It’s tough because the market size is huge and spans across the diversity of the country. And beyond some of the basic trends, there are no fixed patterns on how an SMB thinks and buys, making it a very difficult terrain to operate.” According to market research firm AMI Partners, which does multiple studies on the Asian SMB market, the Indian SMB market is the biggest opportunity for IT vendors. The number of business organizations in India is


cover story huge, and AMI classifies around 4.15 million separate entities in the Indian landscape. Of these, around 4,660 are considered large businesses which are already on the radar of most IT vendors; these are organizations with more than 1,000 employees. AMI says there exists around 32,600 medium businesses in the country with an excess of 100 (IT) users. Apart from these, there exists 1.6 million small businesses which have seen some form of IT penetration. At the same time, more than 2.5 million small businesses exist which would buy a PC in the next few years. “According to Government of India statistics, there exists 20 million small businesses. However, we estimate that only about 4.1 million of them can be tapped by the IT industry. Many of the other small businesses on the government radar do not even have electricity,” explains Neha Jalan, Senior Associate, AMI Partners. Both partners and vendors say there are very few recognizable patterns for doing business with SMBs. “Apart from some common challenges, the needs of SMB customers are so different that it’s difficult to formulate a specific strategy to tap the market if you are going after them,” says Ajit Mital, CEO of the Lucknowbased Acme Digitek Solutions. One of the challenges of an SMB is that depending on its size and focus it can display the characteristics of both enterprises and consumers. “You are bound to see companies of similar sizes operating in different modes in this segment. Some of them may have corporate policies, systems and processes, while another company of a similar size would be working with a more personalized management and thinking more like a consumer,” observes SR Nair, MD, Team Frontline, Kochi. According to Jalan, another challenge for a vendor or partner is to identify the right customer profiles among thousands of SMB profiles in a territory, and work out a strategy to communicate with them. “At AMI, we have segmented small businesses and medium businesses into smaller sets, and have identified the specific needs of each segment. Depending on your exact offering, the target market also changes.” Unlike in an enterprise, where there are clearcut roles and functions for people involved in an IT purchase decision, in the case of an SMB, and especially a smaller business, there is little clarity on who the decision-maker is. “It’s often hard to identify and even harder to profile the decision-maker. While in many cases the final decision is taken by the proprietor

“The Indian SMB market is one of the toughest in the world. In fact, inside Lenovo, we call it the ‘Sabse Mushkil Business’ (The Toughest Business)” Aditi Ganguly

GM, SMB BU, HSB, Lenovo India

“Apart from some common challenges, the needs of SMB customers are so different that it’s difficult to formulate a specific strategy” Ajit Mital

CEO, Acme Digitek Solutions

or key business owner, the person influencing the decision can often be someone lower in the ranks,” says Nair. Not surprisingly, enterprise vendors such as IBM, HP, Microsoft and Cisco invest considerable amount of time, energy and money in acquiring intelligence on mid-market opportunities. For example, in 2010, IBM set up a business unit that aligns with other units to work on mid-market and SMB opportunities. “We adopted a systematic approach and first acquired databases, then built market intelligence for ourselves,” says Jyothi Satyanathan, VP, Mid-size Businesses & Inside Sales, IBM India. “Today we have on our radar 30,000-40,000 companies which employ 100-1,000 people, and which would be spending `5 lakh to `15 lakh on IT over the next two years.” Similarly, in 2008, HP launched its White Spaces initiative whereby the company identified 9,000 midmarket entities with little or no IT penetration and went along with SAP to tap these accounts. Since then, HP is known to have appointed multiple agencies to build data on SMB accounts, specifically building intelligence across more than 60 cities on accounts having 49-499 users. Acer India has also set up an SMB engine with an outsourced agency making telecalls and being involved in other lead-generation activity. The engine tracks enquiries across all campaigns that Acer does, and distributes leads among the 120-odd Acer Select partners. “Unlike an enterprise vendor, we as a PC company have a very large base to cover, a millionplus potential SMB customers. The SMB engine plays a proactive role in ensuring that our partners are fed with enough leads,” says Saji Kumar, Head, Product Management, Acer India. Security vendor Fortinet has additional methods for identifying an SMB opportunity. “While we do opt for classifications such as 100 employees and above, we also look at WAN connectivity. A qualification cut-off for us is 4 Mbps of combined bandwidth. We have identified close to 16,000 potential accounts in the country,” reveals Vishak Raman, Regional Director, Fortinet India/SA. PC vendors also depend on their own OEMs and tech partners to reach SMBs. “Every quarter in every territory we have at least three customer-facing and partner events. Sometimes these events are held at the behest of our OEMs such as Intel, Microsoft and AMD. We collect data, then start pitching to these SMB

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cover story 5 tips for partners tapping SMBs Align with the right vendors Channel partners interested in making inroads in the SMB space should choose the right vendor to go to market. Remember, price is a key consideration when SMBs take calls, and they seldom pay a premium for brands. Also, if you are targeting small businesses it’s important to offer products for their complete needs. In addition, remember that an SMB business in your territory cannot be tapped without assistance from a vendor. Give weightage to a vendor who would also pass leads to you. Have vendors who can provide you wider coverage for mid-market customers because they are looking at standardizing on a single brand. Build a story According to most resellers who have found success with SMBs, it’s important to build a story around you to take to the market. Unlike the enterprise market, SMB businesses run on personal relations with key decision-makers in the company. Peer recommendations and word of mouth help a lot in getting business. Frequent communication with customers is important to ensure that you are on their radar. Sending e-mail to customers with the latest updates helps in being on the radar. Servicing is the way to go The biggest grouse of SMB customers is the lack of good support from their vendors. Many SMBs refuse to refresh hardware and software and so face frequent breakdowns, unlike an enterprise which has a technology refresh every three years or so. Most SMBs value prompt service and support, and prefer to buy from suppliers who also provide support. A classic example is the Delhi-based Zest Systems which started providing service and support, and built an SMB customer base in excess of 3,000. Be a Jack of all Trades You cannot afford to be only a specialist if you want to be the local SMB specialist. Since most SMB customers are looking at a single supplier, they would require you to take care of all their needs. Whether it’s supplying servers, storage or printers, you need to have the right partnerships. You must also be able to provide advice on all their needs whether it’s open source or ERP. Remember, SMB customers receive both solicited and unsolicited advice from various sources, but would like to rely on a single source when it comes to taking IT purchase decisions. That’s why basic information on all topics is necessary. Get cloud-ready There’s little doubt that software-as-a-service and the cloud are happening, and will be sought-after solutions by at least a small percentage of your customers. Get on to the bandwagon if you don’t want to lose them. n

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“We have on our radar 30,00040,000 companies that employ 100-1,000 people, and which would be spending `5 lakh to `15 lakh on IT over the next 2 yrs” Jyothi Satyanathan

VP, Mid-size Businesses & Inside Sales, IBM

customers,” informs Kumar. In 2009 both Dell and Lenovo integrated their SMB sales teams with their consumer divisions. The understanding at that time was that SMB requirements were changing, and that the segment needed PC models which were more consumer-oriented with faster deliveries. However, of late, both these companies have made changes to their structures, and now have separate SMB teams. “We have always had the SMB segment addressed by the relationship team. We have both a back-to-back business as well as a stock-and-sell model to address the space,” says Kumar of Acer. “We have traditionally worked on doing back-toback deals with enterprises,” says Rajesh Dixit, Director, KAB, Think Classic Product Group & Channels, Lenovo India. “But we introduced a stock-and-sell model for the Think range especially since the decision-making and buying patterns of medium-sized businesses are often spontaneous.” Lenovo has also set up exclusive distribution arrangements for select models of Thinkpads which go through Rashi Peripherals alone. The vendor has also started two specific programs: Think In Retail for SMB customers who want to buy products after a look-and-feel, and Think Stock & Sell for faster deliveries of the SKUs. Dell uses a channel different from its consumer channel for the SMB business. The Vostro model which Dell positions for SMBs is sold through national distributors, while Inspiron, positioned for consumers, moves through its master sales affiliates (regional distributors). For businesses that are medium-sized or more, Dell has set up the global commercial channels (GCC). “Partners who need to service small businesses can definitely buy through our consumer distribution channels. GCC will help them address specific customer requirements on a back-to-back business model,” says Mahesh Bhalla, Executive Director & GM, Dell India. Getting the right communication to the SMB market is another tough task. Most vendors who tap small businesses focus on conveying the message through their consumer branding, which was the original reason for PC vendors to club their SMB and consumer divisions together. By contrast, communication with medium-sized businesses is more through events, direct mailers and social networking. “One of the interesting discoveries we made during our latest channel study was that SMBs are increasingly using social networking tools to make purchasing decisions,” informs Jalan. However, some partners complain that vendors


cover story Why the cloud makes sense for SMBs Neha Jalan of AMI Partners expects that by 2015 almost 200,000 SMBs will be using some kind of cloud-based solution. She sees several reasons why SMBs in India will embrace the cloud, the primary one being the infrastructure boom in the country. Today, penetration of mobile broadband is slowly catching up with PC penetration. Telcos are also investing in infrastructure and making mobile broadband available at very low cost. Another driver is the positive sentiment with the Indian economy being in good shape. There are also a number of SMB executives who have started telecommuting, and thus own mobile devices. Observes Jalan: “There’s an acute need for anytime-anywhere data access in the SMB segment. This will again drive cloud usage as users would like to stay connected to the small enterprise.” Yet another likely driver is the non-availability of qualified and dedicated manpower to manage IT in small enterprises. With only 23 percent of small enterprises having their own dedicated IT professional, the choice of a hosted IT ecosystem which needs no management may look attractive, feels Jalan. Finally, remote managed IT services are being accepted by SMBs to cut down costs. This would eventually result in more acceptance of cloud computing as SMBs will slowly start looking at third parties remotely managing their infrastructure. Last year TCS started piloting its cloud offerings (later named TCS iON) for the SMB market. While TCS’ success has been limited to a few hundred customers, many channel partners feel that the acceptance of the platform is very good. “We are yet to see any aggressive moves from TCS. They are still getting their act right, but I feel they are on the right track. We have had some success taking iON to the market with a few wins. We are expecting several customers to sign on in the near future,” says Ashok L, MD, Futurenet Technologies, Chennai. Ashok is of the opinion that once other vendors join the race the pricing will rationalize and there will be more acceptance of the cloud. “We are still in the early stages. I would imagine there would be more vendors taking the TCS route in future. With more vendors there will be bigger sales pitches and campaigns, awareness will grow, and the average price per client will drop. It will be good for the SMB customer.” AMI Partners expect 65 percent of partners to start selling some kind of software-as-a-service applications in a year or two. n

With only 23 percent of small businesses having their own dedicated IT professional, the choice of a hosted IT ecosystem which needs no management may look attractive

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“An interesting discovery we made during our latest study was that SMBs are increasingly using social networking tools to make purchasing decisions” Neha Jalan

Senior Associate, AMI Partners

do little to tap medium businesses beyond making products available through channels. “Only enterprise vendors are focusing on building a direct communication channel to SMBs through events or any other activities,” says Nair. Enterprise vendors are also introducing specific models which are said to be tailor-made for small businesses. For instance, HP India launched storage products under the ‘Just Right IT’ portfolio for SMBs. Similarly, EMC launched new models under its VNXe range of unified storage products which are specifically targeted at small businesses. “When you position a product for SMBs you need to remember that many of your clients do not have the luxury of an in-house storage expert, hence the product should be designed to be configured and deployed easily,” says Manoj Chugh, President, EMC India & Saarc. Meanwhile, companies such as EMC, Citrix and Novell are increasingly leaving the job of developing the SMB market and channels to value-added distributors. Though EMC drives the Iomega business itself, its Affiliate channel program (that’s targeted at resellers working with small businesses) is managed by distributors. “We work with Inflow for most of our SMB opportunities. In Inflow, we can rely on a partner who can further address the demands of smaller partners,” explains Sandeep Menon, Country Head, Novell India. Enterprise vendors have also started geo-expansion drives to reach more SMBs. While IBM has been very vocal about its plans, HP’s ESSN division has also been going upcountry with its wares. “HP has launched a geo-expansion program—spanning 22 upcountry towns and cities/clusters—that targets the next emerging markets in India, pushes our entry-level storage and servers, and develops the channel ecosystem in these regions,” says Faisal Paul, Head, Marketing & Solution Alliances, ESSN, HP Enterprise Business India. AMI Partners believes that all SMBs go through three waves of ICT adoption. The first wave will involve the purchase of computers, setting up a network, opting for a high-speed broadband connection, and getting financial accounting software and accounting software. In the second wave, the small enterprise will opt for dedicated servers, think about security, and buy more software applications. The third phase would see massive upgrading of infrastructure, opting for dedicated leased lines, and considering CRM/ERP/ supply chain solutions for deployment. “The challenges of SMBs change as they grow from one stage to another, and the way they do business


cover story “Small businesses do not have an in-house expert, hence the product you position for SMB market should be designed to be configured and deployed easily”

“You have to be on constant alert when you handle small accounts, and be in touch with decision makers because they often purchase based on impulse”

Manoj Chugh

AL Srinath

President, EMC India & Saarc

moves from a reactive to a proactive to a complete systems/processes-oriented mode,” explains Jalan. Jalan says there are several important characteristics which both small businesses and medium businesses are displaying and which need special attention. For example, irrespective of size, most SMB companies want to buy from a single supplier for all their IT needs. Medium-sized companies want to standardize on a brand for their desktops and notebooks. All of them are clear that solutions must be tied to the TCO. Another important fact is that small business purchases are based on pure priorities and cash flows. “You have to be on constant alert when you handle small accounts, and should be in touch with decisionmakers to find out when they want to make a decision. They often purchase based on impulsive decisions,” notes AL Srinath,CEO of Shell Networks, Hyderabad. Jalan has a message for vendors and partners addressing the space. “Competitive pricing is a key factor driving partners’ engagement with vendors. This has been constant for several years, but a recent

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CEO, Shell Networks

addition to the partners’ wish-list is post-sales support and training. It has emerged as a leading factor because vendors often update their product portfolio and come out with new offerings. Training needs to be imparted to partners so they can keep themselves updated.” Depending on the size of the segment, different sectors offer bigger potential. For example, in the case of very small businesses, it’s likely that services will do better than manufacturing or trade. However, midmarket manufacturing companies spend a lot more as the size of their business grows. AMI Partners sees the financial investment and real estate segments as being very consistent in their IT investments irrespective of size. SMBs present one of the biggest opportunities for partners. According to Gartner India, this is estimated to be worth around $5 billion and growing at a CAGR of 15 percent. Vendors and partners can seize this opportunity by aligning with each other, following simple rules, and attending to the specific needs of the market. Together, they can crack the SMB puzzle. n


Thank You for making the

Virtual Channel Show Huge success

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ith 603 unique channel partners from across 139 cities participating in the CRN Virtual Channel Show, India’s first virtual exhibition and conference was a blockbuster success. Exhibitors, channel partners and industry experts were all praise for CRN for launching such an innovative concept. “This is an impressive and thoughtful event. A partner can meet up with his principals, new vendors, and attend a relevant conference program. It is indeed a very innovative concept for India and CRN ought to be congratulated for organizing it,” said Ajay Sawant, MD, Orient Technologies. A similar view was expressed by Rahul Meher, CEO, Leon Computers. “The interactivity of the virtual show, and the rich and relevant content, made it very good. The punch-line for the show should be ‘crossing boundaries, connecting communities.” The CRN show witnessed participation from vendors such as EMC, HP Networking, Belkin, D-Link, LG, Eaton, See Beyond Technologies, Tally, Tata Communications, and eScan. “We are impressed with the innovative platform CRN has launched. The format was non-intrusive, and partners could attend on the basis of their convenience and priorities. For vendors it provided reach at lower cost, and a platform for meaningful dialogue. A true

Platinum Partner

Platform Partner

win-win proposition. Congratulations CRN,” said Amit Mehta, Director, Marketing, India & Saarc, EMC. Many exhibitors were pleasantly surprised with the coverage of the event as channel partners from 139 cities logged in during the two live days of the show, thus providing exhibitors the opportunity to connect with channel in locations where they don’t have a direct presence or distribution connect. “We interacted with prospective partners from places as far as Kashmir all the way to Puducherry, and this speaks about the reach the event created. All this from the comfort of our desks. Not to forget that the show was completely zero-carbon, which is core to the philosophy of our company,” commented VK Kripanand, Founder & Director-Solutions, See Beyond Technologies. The interactivity of the virtual platform ensured deeper and more qualitative engagement for exhibitors. Over the two days, 747 visitors (including repeat visitors on the second day), spend a total of 2,366 hours, which works out to an average of 4.47 hours per unique visitor. Remarked Navinder Singh Chauhan, Head, Marketing, D-Link India, “We are pleased with the response the event garnered. We were able to reach the remotest markets with neither our partners nor our marketing team leaving their offices. We look forward

Exhibitors

Knowledge Partners

Organised by

Partner Associations

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View On-Demand http://crn.in/vcs to working on more such initiatives which run high on interactivity as well as content-rich format, and at the same time have a focused audience.” “Great concept and great execution. Compared to physical events this is so much more comfortable and interactive. I would like to congratulate CRN for bringing such an innovative concept to India,” said Vibhav Mehta, Director-Marketing & LFR, Belkin. Leading channel associations—TAIT, COMPASS, ISODA, CONFED-ITA, GIBA, MITDA, CMDA (Pune), PCAIT and IAMCP—extended their support to the show because it allowed their members to learn from the conference program. Said Nagraj Prabhu, General Secretary, Goa IT Business Association (GIBA), “This is an extraordinary effort by CRN which benefits the larger channel community and even the employees of channel organizations. It is indeed a unique platform, and we are proud to partner with CRN.” The conference program was well-attended with nearly 353 unique partners attending at least one presentation. An average of 146 partners attended each of the seven presentations. The total time spend per visitor across the conference program across two days was approximately two hours. Here are the highlights of what was discussed at the conference sessions of the CRN Virtual Channel Show.

Business-IT alignment According to an Ernst & Young online survey, business-IT alignment is among the top five priorities for IT investment among enterprises. The results of the survey were presented at the CRN Virtual Channel Show—the first virtual Nitin Mehta show in India—by Nitin Mehta, Senior Manager, IT Risk & Assurance, E&Y. The survey, which was taken by more than 200 CIOs, indicated that 61 percent of the respondents identified business-IT alignment as one of their top five priorities, out of whom 78 percent identified it as their first or second priority. Other areas of spending which topped the list included business continuity (which received 54 percent responses) followed by information security (47 percent). CRM/BI and data warehousing secured 41

Unique visitors: 603 from 139 Indian cities Visitors on two live days (including repeats): 747 Videos/documents/whitepapers viewed or downloaded: 4,317 Average attendee per live conference session: 146 Average time spent by attendees: 4:47 hours Total hours spent by all attendees: 2,366 hours

percent votes while cost reduction received 38 percent. Another trend in the survey was smaller companies are spending more on innovation then larger ones. Spend allocation on risk management and maintenance is on the decline. According to the survey, what most CIOs will explore in 2011 is data leakage prevention, single sign-on, data encryption and DRM. The top three technologies identified by the respondent group were mobility or PDA technologies, unified communications (UC) and RFID systems.

Exponential cloud opportunities According to Neha Jalan, Senior Associate, AMI Partners, by 2015 200,000 Indian SMB companies will join the cloud wagon, and the Indian software-as-a-service (SaaS) market will grow at 32 percent CAGR. Neha jalan Jalan said that as of Q12010, 70 percent of SMB companies across the Asia Pacific were willing to pay for third-party solutions by using a flexible, monthly, per-user payment model. “The infrastructure is in place to support accelerated cloud growth, and the new economic environment in India is accentuating the benefits the cloud model can offer. Since more and more SMB companies have mobile executives, there’s demand for ubiquitous data access. Also, the value that the cloud provides is in sync with the modern thinking of Indian SMBs,” said Jalan. “Other drivers include the demand for remote managed services and the demand for solutions that are services-oriented.” As per AMI estimates, by next year almost 65 percent of SMB resellers will be involved in some kind of SaaS-based business, either reselling third-party

testimonials “Congratulations CRN for launching such an innovative platform. The format was non-intrusive and partners could attend at their convenience and priority. For vendors it provided reach at lower cost and a platform for a meaningful dialog. A true win-win proposition”

“Great concept and great execution! Compared to physical events this is so much comfortable and interactive. I would like to congratulate CRN for bringing such an innovative concept to India”

Amit Mehta

Vibhav Mehta

Director, Marketing, India & Saarc, EMC 32

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Director, Marketing & LFR, Belkin

“We met and interacted with prospective partners from places as far as Kashmir all the way to Puducherry and this speaks about the reach the event created. Not to forget the show was completely zero carbon” VK Kripanand

Founder and Director, Solutions, See Beyond Technologies


DEMOGRAPHICS

solutions or customizing an offering.

Embrace the cloud The cloud is for real, and partners need to chart their growth strategy around it. That was the message from Suresh Ramani, CEO, Techgyan, and Founder President, IAMCP India West Chapter. “The cloud addresses several pain-points Suresh Ramani of on-premise IT infrastructure. These include high capex, service downtime during migration, 50 percent extra storage, user licenses for future use, trained manpower, geo redundancies, lack of best practices, and internal threats. The online model can provide features such as data center redundancies and free upgrade to the next version which would not be possible in the on-premise model,” Ramani explained. He estimated that over a 3-year period the cloud services model can be 30 percent more cost-effective than the onpremise model. “Over a period of three years, a standard on-premise for Exchange for a 75-user organization would cost roughly `4.59 lakh for hardware, `3.37 lakh on software, while `10.46 lakh on services. On the other hand, the cloud model would cost a total of `6.82 lakh for the same period, including services.” Ramani also demonstrated the cost difference between on-premise and cloud offerings of UC solutions for 300 users. While the on-premise UC solution (comprising Exchange, Share Point and Lync server with a complete BPOS suite of Microsoft) costs `70.60 lakh for on-premise deployment, it costs `50.10 lakh if availed over the cloud.

Region wise participation

North 26% South 24%

East 14%

West 36% Base: 603 unique visitors

Participation by type of city

Class D & E cities 16%

Class A cities 37%

Class C cities 21%

Class B cities 26%

The opportunity in the cloud A recent Springboard survey of 100 SMB CIOs and IT managers suggests that awareness and acceptance of cloud computing is on the rise in the sector. Informed Sanchit Vir Gogia, Senior Research Associate, Software, Springboard Research, Sanchit Gogia “In the survey, 13 percent of the respondents said that their organizations are currently using the cloud, 29 percent said they are planning to use cloud services, while the remaining 58 percent have no intention of moving to the cloud. Nearly 46 percent of the respondents said they were aware that the cloud as a service was available from 2009. This means there is still a lot that needs to be done to inform and educate customers, but that at the same time one-third of the

Base: 139 cities

Participation by type of visitors Others 3% Finance and Operations 4% Sales staff 4% Technical staff 4% Department management 3% Technical management 4% Marketing and Sales management 14%

“The event garnered stupendous response and reached to the remotest part of markets, without neither our partners nor our team leaving their offices. It was high on interactivity, the format was content rich and the audience very focused”

“We are privileged to have participated in India’s first virtual exhibition and conference held by country’s number one channel media brand. The interactivity and engagement provided by the virtual platform were impressive”

Navinder Singh Chauhan

Sanjoy Bhattacharya

Head Marketing, D-Link India

Product Group Marketing Head, IT, LG

Owner/CEO/ Partner/ Director 64%

Base: 603 unique visitors

“An innovative concept, it will be widely accepted in future given the convenience for participating companies and attendees. Our experience was incredible. Many visitors to our virtual stall had appreciative comments on the concept” Sunil Gupta

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View On-Demand http://crn.in/vcs

organizations surveyed are ready to move to the cloud.” According to the survey, information security is the biggest concern among SMBs that are thinking of moving to the cloud; 19 percent referred to security as major concern. Gogia said that the channel’s role in cloud adoption will be crucial. “SMBs require a lot of hand-holding in moving to the cloud, but vendors cannot do this job by themselves in a market as big as India; they have to work with partners.”

Accept social networking Sampath Iyengar, Social Engagement Officer at Neosocial 7 Media Solutions, gave a presentation on the fundamentals of social media networking and marketing. “Social media is not about selling. Sampath Iyengar It’s about communicating, connecting and building relationships. You can build a community which would evangelize you and your business,” Iyengar stated. He cautioned that finding business opportunities in the social media is an effect and shouldn’t be the cause. “Online social networking is farming and not hunting. If you go online with the intention of selling your products or expertise it will not work.” He also highlighted certain rules that need to be followed. “It’s important to be politically correct on social networks. You have no idea who is watching your comments.” Replying to a question on whether access to Facebook and Twitter impact employee productivity, Iyengar said that social media should become a part of the corporate culture. “Keeping employees away from social media sites at the office is not the solution. The solution lies in allowing them to access social media during specific times of the day with the precondition that they should contribute to the company’s social media page in some way.”

Goods & Services Tax

Sunil Gabhawalla

With the new taxation model of Goods & Services Tax (GST) expected to be introduced in the next 12 months, it wasn’t surprising that a large number of partners

logged in to listen to Sunil Gabhawalla, Founder and CEO of SB Gabhawalla & Co, a leading tax consultant. According to Gabhawalla, the India version of GST will consolidate several indirect taxes and make the process of taxation simpler. “From the various white papers presented by the government so far, it’s clear that GST will have two components—C-GST (central) and S-GST (state), so in that respect we will be adopting a GST model which is deployed in both developed and emerging countries.” By using examples, he compared the current VAT+ST system and the GST model. “Services will get costlier while products will become cheaper,” he forecasted. Gabhawalla also highlighted the challenges the government would face in improving tax compliance with the introduction of GST.

Say no to double taxation Rajesh Kothari, Chairman, ISODA, made a passionate plea to all the channel partners viewing his live presentation to unite to fight double taxation. “It’s imperative that we speak in one voice against double taxation. We also Rajesh Kothari need to take customers on board and educate them about double taxation and the negative impact it has on their business,” said Kothari, adding, “The problem lies with the government, judiciary and software vendors. There’s a huge disconnect between these three, and till that is bridged the issue will not be resolved.” He explained how double taxation blocks huge amounts of the working capital of both customers and partners. “A reseller who makes 4-6 percent margin by selling a software product has to provide for a TDS of 10 percent, refund for which is a long and tedious affair. In the process, it creates negative cash flows among the partner community.” To a question whether GST will address the double taxation issue Kothari replied, “It will not. GST will have a state levy and a central levy which is the case even now since VAT is a state subject and service tax is collected by the central government. Anyone who is pinning his hopes on GST resolving this issue will be disappointed.” n

testimonials “The show was a trendsetter in direct engagement and marketing. We strongly believe this kind of virtual show should happen more often, as it engages the partners and vendors on a single platform with out the time and geographical barrier”

Ajay Sawant

Rajat Sahu

President, Orient Technologies

Head Marketing, eScan 34

Computer Reseller News

“This is a very impressive and thoughtful event. A partner can meet up with his principals, meet new vendors and attend to a very relevant conference program. I would like to congratulate CRN for bringing such an innovative concept to India”

01/06/2011 www.crn.in

“The interactivity of the virtual show, and the relevant content made this a very good show. Compared to physical events this is so much comfortable and interactive. The punchline for this show should be—crossing boundaries, connecting communities” Rahul Meher

CEO, Leon Computer


Role model believing in yourself They told him he couldn’t do it, but Kedar Shah was determined to succeed in the IT business. He did. Last year his company, Nirmal Datacomm, registered a turnover of `42 crore n abhijeet mukherjee

K

edar Shah, the 47-year-old CEO of the Mumbaibased Nirmal Datacomm, is among the leading network integrators in the industry. Soon after completing his bachelors in engineering in 1986 from Bangalore University, Shah joined Hinditron, a PC manufacturing and system software company in Bengaluru. Then, like so many ambitious engineers, Shah shifted to the US in 1989 when Digital was formed. He spent two years there working as a system software engineer before moving to Malaysia where he spent a year and a half working with a friend in the software business. It was only in 1992 that Shah felt the first tremors of uncertainty. “I was forced to quit and lost all my savings because of the stock market crash. I understood the literal meaning of the word broke, and returned to India for a new beginning,” Shah recalls. He decided to leverage his expertise in networking, and started Nirmal Computers in a 100 sq ft office in Mumbai. “The beginning was difficult. I had to borrow `1,000 to open a bank account. Couple that with the opposition I faced from my father who was against my venturing into business. Many people were convinced that I would not survive in this difficult business environment because of the shortage of funds and opposition from immediate family members. But I was determined.” Shah started by selling Banyan VINES products. “There were two prominent names in networking products—Novell and Banyan VINES. Novell was known more for its LAN software and there were also piracy issues. I chose Banyan VINES.” Nirmal Computers bagged its first order within three months. “Schweitzer Hall, a Swedish pharma company, placed an order worth `2.5 lakh. I borrowed money from the open market to complete it. My first major break came in the form of a `14 lakh order from Suditi Hosieries. Although Suditi was willing to sign on the dotted line, it wanted a reference from a large customer—something I could not furnish. Eventually I bagged the order, but Suditi paid me 30 percent at the time of delivery, 50 percent on installation and 20 percent in the next six months. Today, it is one of my biggest references,” says a

“Instead of downsizing on manpower and pay in 2008, we focused on growing our revenue and increasing skill sets. We also spent more time with our customers, developing deeper relationships”

beaming Shah. In 1994 Shah decided to expand and signed on RAD Communications. Orders and projects started flowing in, and the company crossed the `1 crore mark in March 1995. In 1996, it graduated from corporate reselling to network integration. Shah then started Nirmal Datacomm. In 1997 Shah became a Cisco partner. “The brand pulled customers to our shop. We bagged some of our biggest projects after we partnered Cisco. From 1997 till 2000 we scaled up our operations. In 1997, we had less than 25 employees and only one branch office. By 2000 we crossed 65 employees with branches in Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi,” informs Shah. In 2004 Nirmal got the opportunity to revamp the entire LAN networking at L&T’s Mumbai office; the project was worth `2.5 crore. Shah invested in voice and video technologies between 2000 and 2008. But he too fell prey to the recession that hit the global markets in 2008. “Our customers were hit and so we too were impacted. Yet instead of downsizing on manpower and pay, we focused on growing our revenue and increasing skill sets. We also spent more time with our customers, developing deeper relationships.” The market improved gradually, and Shah used his relationship with his customers to deep sell. Result: Nirmal registered a turnover of `32 crore in FY2009-10 as compared to `24.2 crore in the previous fiscal.

Current business Compared to the last fiscal, in FY2010-11 Nirmal grew by

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role model

2011 2011

2004 1997

1995

1993

partner in the western region. 32 percent and clocked revenue of MILESTONES `42 crore. With growth in mind, Shah Looking ahead decided to enter the IT infrastructure Shah wants to cross revenue of `60 Launched Nirmal Computers space in FY2010-11. “Networking crore in FY2011-12. The growth reselling networking products typically forms 10 percent of would be catapulted by the addition the entire IT investment of any of new verticals which include Reached `1 crore in organization. To grow beyond, one infrastructure management apart turnover needs to expand into other verticals from certified trainings. “Also, this as well and build more capabilities,” year looks pretty stable, and with a Became a Cisco partner and explains Shah. new team on board we see a positive began scaling operations Nirmal is now recruiting people year ahead. In addition, I see a lot of and developing skill sets. Says Shah, opportunities in the storage space.” Bagged `2.5 crore project “We have tied up with EMC as our He states that in the next two from L&T storage vendor and VMware as our to three years customers will virtualization partner. For services, consolidate their IT infrastructure Reached `42 crore in sales Cisco has come on board. We are so that they can manage it well. turnover also planning to join hands with “Everyone is gradually moving on to Microsoft for the implementation IP infrastructure. This will certainly Achieved ISO 9001:2008 part. Most Microsoft partners benefit us because we have expertise certification only sell licenses; we want to in this domain.” also implement the products and In H12011 Nirmal Datacomm solutions of Microsoft.” achieved the accreditation of Cisco Learning Solution Shah has put a plan in place. Nirmal will provide Partner which will be an added attraction for network backup, archival, recovery and disaster management managers and system administrators. Shah also aims to solutions for storage, and primary storage for train around 2,000 professionals in FY2011-12. “We are virtualization. The company has achieved the requisite looking forward to catering to the education and training certifications from EMC and VMware. needs of IT professionals in a comprehensive manner and Nirmal has already bagged a few projects in by reaching out to them closely.” For this, Nirmal has nine infrastructure management. It recently bagged a certified instructors who provide training related to data virtualization project worth `50 lakh from Toyo centers, voice, network security and wireless, among other Engineering. areas. The Cisco-certified training provides the company Among the projects Nirmal executed during `4 crore in revenue, which is expected to increase by 50 FY2010-11 was one for setting up the entire data center percent this year. networking of petrol pumps in Hyderabad and Mumbai Nirmal is now eyeing ISO/IEC 20000, the international for HPCL. The project was estimated at `3 crore. The standard for IT service management which promotes the company also executed a similar data center project adoption of an integrated process approach to effectively worth `3 crore for L&T. Another project during the year deliver managed services. It also wants to achieve the was setting up a voice and data network, and routing and ISO/IEC 27000 certification for security techniques— switching capabilities, for BARC. information security management systems, by the end of From an employee strength of less than 10 in 1995, FY2011-12. Nirmal today has more than 200 employees, of whom 85 By 2015 Nirmal Datacomm plans to achieve `100 crore are Cisco-certified professionals. The company has its in turnover. “We want our clients to perceive us as an IT own 10,000 sq feet four-storied office in Mumbai. infrastructure company rather than only as a networking Another feather in its cap is the recently achieved company,” says Shah. ISO 9001:2008 certification. On a personal level too Shah has won accolades and awards. He won the Outstanding On the personal front Sales Achievement Award from Cisco for three Shah loves scuba diving. “I used to do a lot of scuba consecutive years, apart from the Partner Of The Year diving when I was in Malaysia. I find Lakshadweep one of Award, Premium Partner Of The Year Award, as well the best destinations for scuba diving in India.” as the Cisco Pace Award for being the best performing He is also the proud owner of an 8-acre farm in Karjat, 30 km from Mumbai. “I visit my farmhouse at least twice a month and spend time chilling away from all sorts of pollution. I also spend time taking care of my plantations “I respect JRD Tata for his vision and his and farm animals,” he smiles. ability to implement his thoughts because Shah has a special liking for JRD Tata. “I respect him for his vision and his ability to implement his thoughts being a visionary is one thing and because being a visionary is one thing and executing plans executing plans is another, and not many is another, and not many have the capability to do so.” n

have the capability to do so” 36

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tech focus Cisco 300 Series Managed Switch The latest offering from Cisco packs enterprise-class features at a price SMBs can afford. Moreover it can be set up and managed by even a non-techie n Edward J. Correia

G

one are the days when programming a Layer 3 Ethernet switch required special training or certifications. The Cisco SG300-10MP 10-port Gigabit PoE Managed Switch is easy to administer from start to finish, and even provides useful feedback about its status on the network the moment it’s powered up. Designed for any size organization, the 300 Series comprises models from 8-port 100-Mbit units to its high-end 50-port Gigabit enterprise devices. For testing, Cisco sent the CRN Test Center a 10-port unit, with eight powered Gigabit ports for copper, and another two non-powered ports than can handle copper or optical connections with optional GBIC adapters. The handsome 1U device measures 11 inches wide, and includes brackets for rack mounting and rubber feet for shelf locations. A serial port permits out-of-band command-line administration, when necessary. Not that Cisco intends its target users—typical office personnel—to be whipping out those old DB-9 cables any time soon. With software this easy, there’s certainly little reason to do so. Cisco’s 300 Series managed switches are designed to be maintained by the end-user, people that are usually more interested in processing orders from their small business’s Web site than in mucking around with IT technologies and protocols.

Getting started To simplify switch operations for these reluctant IT pros, Cisco’s embedded software presents a ‘Getting Started’ screen by default, grouping routine start-up

and maintenance tasks in a single place at every log in. If choosing not to show this screen, the system instead defaults to the System Summary, which is among the first places a troubleshooting service tech will visit. The page provides an image of the target switch with near real-time information about its health and status, with hot-links to each of the fixed-purpose and communication option ports. Clicking on an on-screen port permits editing of that port’s settings in a new

Cisco simplifies the setup process with a free utility called FindIT, which discovers any compatible Cisco device and provides IP information for browsing to the log in screen

Getting Started console that makes set-up simple browser window. Configuring the ports and other settings of Cisco’s 300 Series switches is fairly fool-proof, thanks to some clever HTML coding. Available settings are bold and black, and unavailable ones are a ghostly grey. It’s also possible to configure and apply settings to multiple ports from this single screen, and to label individual ports with their purpose, connection or other descriptive text. For those in the know, the embedded software provides granular access to many of the port settings of 300 Series switches, including output of the Power Over Ethernet (PoE) injected into each of this unit’s eight PoE ports, and the ability to assign power priorities. By default, power supplied is 15,400 milliwatts, which is the maximum wattage per-port allowed by the PoE specification. This screen also displays information invaluable when troubleshooting a PoE device, such as power consumption and power overloads. But enough of all that advanced stuff, most of which will never be touched anyway. Cisco further simplifies the setup process with a free utility called FindIT, which seeks and discovers any compatible Cisco device connected to same network as the Windows machine that runs it, and provides IP information for browsing to the log in screen. Series 300 switches also are discoverable with Bonjour, which is available as a stand-alone Java app, or as an add-on for Firefox. But before you go there, check the switch’s power LED. If it’s flashing, then the device didn’t find an IP address on the network and is using its factory default IP address which is found in the manual along with log in creds. As tested, the Cisco SG300-10MP 10-port Gigabit PoE Managed Switch lists for `10,000, and for the small office or department, the CRN Test Center recommends Cisco every time. n

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tech focus Good things come in small packages Dell PowerEdge R415 rack server represents a solid value for the small business n Edward J. Correia

E

nterprise computing power at a small-business price--that’s catch phrase, but in the case of Dell’s PowerEdge R415, it could very well be true. The PowerEdge R415 is a 1U rack server that can sport one or two of AMD’s Opteron 4100 series processors for a total of 12 cores, 128 GB of memory and 8 TB of RAID storage. And that’s without adding any options. Throw in any of a score of optional host bus adapters and you’re ready for high performance computing a price point that’s less than $3,000. The PowerEdge R415 is designed to be powerful to serve all the needs of the small office or department, including file and printer services, e-mail, DHCP and Web hosting, and the like. It also can be used for VDI and other small virtualization deployments. But available options and expansion capabilities such as PCI x16 slot and proprietary option slots give it the flexibility to be used in high performance computing environments and other specialty scenarios. The R415 is a replacement for Dell’s venerable SC1435 rack server. It’s available with a variety of Opteron models, from the low and ultralow power HE and EE four-core parts. The PowerEdge R415 is also intended to mimic the capabilities and avoid the complexities of blade systems costing much more in capex and power consumption costs. For testing, Dell sent the CRN Test Center a mostly stock unit, with two 3.5-inch 250GB 7200 RPM SATA drives, an optional second six-core AMD 4184 2.8GHz processors and 4GB of 1333MHz memory. Its eight DIMM slots officially support 64GB, but the company told me that systems board’s logic will handle 128GB in certain circumstances.

The price is right The PowerEdge R415 with a dual processor comes at

The PowerEdge R415 with a dual processor comes at average selling price of `1.35 lakh while the entry-level model with a single processor is available at `1 lakh 38

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average selling price of `1.35 lakh while the entrylevel model with a single processor is available at `1 lakh. Standard equipment in the stock system is a two-port Gigabit Ethernet adapter, Matrox G200 video and a single 480 watt power supply with room for a redundant, hot-swap unit. A 500 watt power supply also is among the list of options. Geekbench performance was excellent. After firing up Windows Server 2008 R2 and loading Geekbench 2.1.13, the benchmark delivered a high score of 13,540, ranking the PowerEdge R415 league with virtually all of the other high-end servers we’ve tested other than Dell’s own C6145 two-node server, which set a totally new standard in performance. Also impressive was its throughput performance as measured with IOmeter. When processing sequential reads of a 512-byte file, the R415 was able to process close to14,000 input-output transactions per second. And it was able to transfer 4K files at a rate of 43 Mbps. For all testing, the R415’s hot-plug hard drives, released from inside the cabinet, were configured as a RAID 1 array with the built-in LSI PERC H200 controller logic. There’s room in this chassis for a total of four 3.5-inch drives. Drives and all other internal components are accessed by sliding the top cover off rearward. Memory and processors are shrouded for maximum air flow. With the cover in place, the unit is completely quiet. And at just under 23 pounds, the R415 is also quite light and easy to handle, install and maintain. In addition to all major versions of Windows Server, the PowerEdge R415 also is certified to run and come pre-installed with Novell SUSE Enterprise Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and hypervisors from Citrix and VMware with the addition of a few options. For the small business or department on a budget, the Dell PowerEdge R415 would make an excellent choice and is recommended by the CRN Test Center. All hardware is covered by a three-year warranty. There are also 1, 4 and 5-year warranty options available. n


new products XFX AMD Radeon HD 6670 graphics card

X

Stellar photo recovery software

S

tellar has launched Phoenix Photo Recovery 4.0 software that recovers lost photo, audio and video files from camera cards, mobile phone memory cards and hard drives. It is specially designed for home users and recovers over 50 images, video and music file formats like JPEG, MP4, MIDI, Nef and MOV, and works with Windows PC and Apple Macs. Users can also use advanced features like scan, resume recovery, and create image to recover corrupted memory cards. The product is available online at a MRP of `1,650, and comes with 30-day, money-back guarantee.

FX launched the XFX AMD Radeon HD 6670, XFX AMD Radeon HD 6570 and XFX AMD Radeon HD 6450 graphics cards which are designed for everyday computing. The new graphic cards use DirectX 11 and AMD’s HD3D. The graphics cards use AMD technologies like Eyespeed, which optimizes everyday applications, and feature APP Acceleration. The XFX 6670, XFX 6570 and XFX 6450 graphics cards are available at MRP of `7,500, `7,000 and `5,000 respectively through Rashi Peripherals, and come with a 3-year warranty.

Raritan expreZo EZswitch

R

aritan has launched its expreZo EZswitch, a new KVM for SMBs. This entry level switch comes in 8-port and 16-port models, and can be scaled to connect up to 5,000 servers. With an on-screen display and cascade chain functions, it ensures server uptime and minimizes travel costs. The switch can be connected to computers via PS/2 and/or USB plugs and supports Windows, Linux and Mac OS9/OSX. It also allows switching between connected devices and supports video resolution of 2048px 1536p. The product is available at a MRP of `13,500 through Transition Asia, and comes with a 2-year warranty.

Fujitsu Futro S700 and S900 thin clients

F

ujitsu launched Futro S700 and Futro S900—the first Fujitsu thin clients to use Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology. Futro 900 can be connected with four displays by using an additional graphics card. System performance is enhanced with two memory slots for increased local performance, while both models feature integrated WLAN for improved connectivity. The thin clients can provide processing capabilities to cope with 3D modeling, and are among the first to introduce support for DirectX11 graphics technology. The products are available from Fujitsu, and price is available on request.

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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Major people movements expected in IT

Personal

O

ne of the well-known head hunting agencies in Bengaluru tells Shadow that over the next three months, many senior executives from IT vendor companies will be changing jobs. “Be ready for a musical chair of sorts. Many IT vendors are expected to change part of their leadership teams and over the next couple of months you would see several movements among senior IT executives.

Our agency itself is facilitating four such high-profile placements for various companies in Bengaluru,” said the Managing Director of a leading head hunting firm in Bengaluru. Several IT companies are either expanding or are keen to change many of their senior managers either because they have lost poeple, or due to lack of performance of the managers. “However the market for senior profiles is looking good, and anyone who leaves or is fired is sure to find a matching job, or even better,” averred the head-hunter. n

Intel partners regret the exit of senior managers

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any Intel partners who recently attended Intel Partner Summit at Melbourne, Australia were surprised to find several key managers missing from the event. However it wasn’t until they landed in India, they learnt that the six key managers have exited the company. This has shocked most Intel partners as many of these managers were instrumental in driving channel relations and business. Partners believe that it is difficult to replace these executives and it would lead to Intel suffering in the market at a time when AMD is getting focused and aggressive. The common perception among Intel partners is that the key managers were let off on the basis of some compliance and auditing issues concerning Intel’s OEM business. “These were the best managers Intel had. They shared a strong rapport with channels which was built over years, and replacing them will be difficult for Intel. Their absence will hurt not just Intel but the partners as well,” opined a leading Intel partner from Bengaluru. Intel’s loss seems to be Lenovo’s gain. Both, Gopal Swaminathan, Director, Sales and Marketing, and Ashok Nair, National Channel Manager, have joined Lenovo. n

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Computer Reseller News

01/06/2011 www.crn.in

“I would love to play with Dhoni”

samir mishra

Samir Mishra, Regional Manager, Advanced Technologies & Architectures for Partners, Cisco India & Saarc, is responsible for architecture adoption and the acceleration of advanced technologies by empowering partners. He has been with Cisco for seven years. Prior to joining Cisco, Mishra worked in a senior management position at Avaya.

If not in the IT industry: IT has been my passion and my driving force to succeed in life, so I can’t imagine myself outside this industry. Biggest passion: To excel in whatever I do. Behind the wheels: I love driving my Toyota Innova. It’s a sturdy car, technologically superior, and apt for Mumbai’s roads. Gadgets I can’t do without: BlackBerry and my flip camera. Weekend activities: I spend my free time with my family. Weekends are reserved for playing with my two sons. I also enjoy dining at fine restaurants with my wife. Hate the most: People who tell lies, and people who have double standards. Favorite movie: 3 Idiots. Role model: Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his leadership and commitment values. Thing I most want to do in life: To make a meaningful contribution to the society. Wildest thing I have ever done: Sneaked out of my room to watch an India-Pakistan cricket match during my exams. If I became the Prime Minister: I would ensure that child labor is completely eliminated in India. Celebrity I’d like to spend a day with: I would love to play cricket with Dhoni. One person I would like to meet and why: Ratan Tata. The story of how he built the Tata empire, diversified it, and grew it consistently over the years is one of grit and ambition. Deepest and darkest fear: Failing health. n

— CRN Network


RNI NO. MAH ENG/1999/635 Postal Reg. No. MH/MR/NORTH EAST/193/2010-2012 Posted at Patrika Channel Sorting Office, Mumbai Due Date 2nd, 3rd & 16th, 17th Of Every Fortnight


CRN India - June 01, 2011