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August 15, 2012 l Volume 1 Issue 20

Cover Story Every move they make has a significant impact on channel business. Presenting the 15 chieftains of India’s most influential channel-led IT companies, and listing out their priorities and challenges from a channel perspective

19 Cover Design : Deepjyoti Bhowmik

NEWS Analyses

Channel Chief

McAfee gets aggressive


Dell gets court protection


Lenovo turns its attention to productivity


Juniper looking for tier-2 partners


16 Market Focus IT for Generation Next Today’s kids and teens are far more aware and savvy than we were in our younger days, so selling IT products to them is not exactly child’s play

Editorial 12 Opinion




Tech Focus


Shadow Ram


Get Personal


Computer Reseller News


26 Role Model



Bimal Raj, CEO, Smartlink Network Systems, talks about his company’s new focus on enterprise networking market and discusses plans of other businesses


In search of excellence He earned a PhD in high energy physics, absorbed best practices at Tata Unisys, and recently became a Master VAR for Microsoft in India. Meet Ajay Mian, CEO, All e Technologies

Channel Buzz At the CRN Leadership Summit For those who missed it, here is a round-up of keynote addresses, workshops, technology tracks, lighter moments and other happenings at the 5th edition of CLS


starting line MUST


Dell gets court protection Dell has won an order from the Delhi High Court which protects it from unauthorized parallel imports. The order, CS (OS) No 1641/2012, also resulted in an ex-parte injunction against a parallel importer of Dell products. Last year Dell managed to get an Indian customs notification to confiscate goods imported by parallel importers. However, Delhi-based All Delhi Computer Traders Association, managed to get a clarification from the government which provided protection for parallel imports. In this third round of the battle Dell has managed to get the court order protecting its interest based on the Trademark Act 1999. “The honorable court has passed an order which protects our interest, and only Dell India and our authorized distributors can legally import Dell products into the country. The earlier clarifications offered by some government officials to a channel association do not have legal backing,” said Mahesh Bhalla, Executive Director, CSMB, Dell India. Partners have been blaming Dell for Mahesh Bhalla the parallel imports which they say is the result of differential pricing across the world. Responds Bhalla: “It is impossible to keep uniform pricing across the world. Some products get discontinued, some partners run special schemes, and some products get obsolete faster in some mature markets. Traders make use of this to indulge in parallel imports.” He added that the cost of supporting IT products are higher in India compared to other markets, hence Dell India needs a premium for supporting customers. “We are only interested in protecting our partners and customers. Customers end up buying an unauthorized imported product which does not carry an India warranty, and our image suffers. The high court has recognized that because of parallel imports the Dell brand suffers, and has given directions to the customs to impound unauthorized imports.” n — Ramdas S


Computer Reseller News


McAfee gets aggressive n SONAL DESAI


cAfee, which lost some ground after the departure of Ambarish Deshpande as its channel chief in India, is going all out to make a comeback. Besides developing a strong national team, the company is leveraging its acquisitions of Sentrigo (a provider of database security) and Nitro Security (a security information and event management solutions provider), preparing partners for deep-selling opportunities through DeepSafe (the platform on Intel), and introducing more partner incentives. “We have outdone the market by 10-12 percent, and these initiatives will take us a notch above the rest. We have had a few wins in manufacturing, banking and telecom for DeepSafe, and are preparing partners to tap further opportunities,” said Jagdish Mahapatra, MD, India & Saarc, McAfee. Responding to concerns that DeepSafe is difficult to upgrade Mahapatra said, “The technology is based on our ePolicy Orchestrator software which centrally manages and streamlines endpoint, network, content security and compliance. Deploying it is therefore not difficult. In fact, going by Gartner reports, McAfee is the only security vendor which provides end-to-end security and is present in all the four vectors. With DeepSafe we are penetrating the hardware layer, tackling the rootkits at the OS level. This kind of dialog will take the conversation that our partners have with their customers to a new level.” Asked whether the company would have a separate partner program for DeepSafe Mahapatra replied in the negative. “Since the product is not different we are encouraging McAfee partners to work closely with Intel’s system builders and vice versa. I also believe that deep security inspection will no longer be a choice—it will become a norm.”

“Going by Gartner reports, McAfee is the only security vendor which provides end-to-end security and is present in all the four vectors” Jagdish Mahapatra Managing Director India & Saarc, McAfee

Outlining other opportunities for McAfee partners Mahapatra said, “Mobility and BYOD will present immense opportunities for security partners. We are drafting a security-connected story for our partners, and will train them to join all the dots from a mobile security point of view.” McAfee is also rebuilding its team in the country. Mahapatra said that McAfee sales and technical executives would be more visible on the field and will aggressively venture into territories which were hitherto not tapped. The GTM would essentially be around the enterprise, commercial, SMB and SOHO segments. The enterprise team would be focused on large corporates, BFSIs, telcos, PSUs and IT/ITeS entities. The commercial team would tap opportunities in the mid-market (250-1,000 users), the SMB market (20-250 users) and SOHOs and consumers (less than 20 users). The company has also ramped up its partner profitability program. Partners who up-sell, crosssell, renew contracts or upgrade existing customers are eligible for tiered pricing, incumbency advantage (first renewal) and upgrade advantage via deal registration. Partners who register new opportunities would be eligible for deal registration; for those deals found by McAfee partners would have access to the teaming plan. n

starting line MUST

Lenovo turns its attention to productivity

Juniper looking for tier-2 partners



Juniper, which has traditionally been focussed on large SIs, is looking for tier-2 partners to tap opportunities in enterprise networking. Kevin Ackhurst, VP, APAC Partners, Juniper Networks, said, “Enterprises contribute 40 percent to our business. In order to grow we need new partnerships for Junos, Junos Pulse and Junos Space. In fact the last quarter in India was our best quarter. We grew 30 percent YOY over the last fiscal.” The company recently launched its Rebate Program for partners in APAC. Informed Ackhurst, “44 partners have signed from the APAC for the program and eight of them are from India.” The Rebate Program is part of the Juniper Partner Advantage which was globally launched at the Juniper Partner Conference in January 2012. The Rebate Program is two notches above the Reach and Accelerate Programs. In the Reach, Juniper provides market expertise and meets the tech and sales requirements of the partners. Under Accelerate the vendor Kevin Ackhurst enables solutionbased marketing campaigns. In the Reward Program it helps build momentum around the products and solutions, provides sales and marketing tools, and added incentives. “We have already rolled out applications for iPad, and are enabling partners to market their skill-sets and solutions on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook,” Ackhurst said. “In India we are scouting for opportunities on the campus and in branch networking, enterprise mobility, cloud, wireless, etc.” He added that the company would ramp up its commercial acceleration sales activity for the sales executives at partner sites. “It is an ongoing activity in which our sales force spend half day or an entire day with the sales executives and conduct activities that create a funnel.” Up next is the Partner Satisfaction Survey, Ackhurst stated. n — Sonal Desai


Computer Reseller News



fter investing in the expansion of its exclusive retail stores (LES and LESlite) in 2011, Lenovo has turned its attention to increasing the productivity (revenue contribution per store) of the 1,000-odd stores in 2012. Lenovo currently has close to 800 LESLite and 200 LES stores which the company wants to leverage to increase its overall revenue contribution by at least 60 percent. Currently, the two store formats fetch close to 45 percent of the overall revenue. “The primary focus this year for Lenovo would be to increase the revenue contribution of LESLite and LES on per-store basis though we will expand uniformly across India to a certain extent,” said Shanil Madollathil, GM, Sales (West), Lenovo India. Lenovo will take the exclusive store count to 1,300 by the end of the current fiscal. “We see the expansion of retail stores in sync with the company’s overall strategy to drive hyper growth in the retail segment by tapping into high potential tier-2 to -5 cities across India. Having established a stronghold in the metros, the increasing PC penetration in the hinterland offers a huge opportunity for growth. This year we would like to consolidate and strive for the profitability of our partners,” added Madollathil. Lenovo’s increased investment in LES and LESLite stores in tier-2 and -3 cities has gone up with special promotional activities such as regional advertisements, kiosk promotions and back-tocollege programs to boost student purchases. In addition, the company is focusing on Lenovo melas which showcase its entire range of notebooks, desktops and AIOs in tier-3 cities. To increase the footfalls per store Lenovo has used in-shop

“The primary focus for Lenovo this year would be to increase the revenue contribution of LES and LESLite on a per-store basis” Shanil Madollathil GM, Sales (West), Lenovo India

branding for a better touchand-feel experience. It recently hired Ranbir Kapoor as its brand ambassador and has launched a TV campaign in addition to other ATL and BTL activities. “With this campaign more youth can connect with our brand,” Madollathil explained. It has also leveraged its new partner program called Go-Pro wherein retailers undergo vigorous training in products, soft skills and selling skills. “With this program our partners will be much better equipped to convert footfalls to actual sales,” Madollathil said. “We have just concluded a 7-city program and aim to conduct such quarterly programs to train around 350-400 partners in each region.” Lenovo recently launched its ultrabook U310, U410 and Z580, and for the first time launched products in various colors to attract youth. Some of the key features are a one-piece glass touchpad, 40 percent faster boot-up, high definition camera, long battery life and Dolby home theater. According to IDC, Lenovo emerged as the top PC player in Q12012 with 15.8 percent marketshare of the total 2.63 million PCs shipped during this period. Lenovo’s consumer PC shipments during the same period were close to 1.33 lakh. n

edit opinion India’s most influential channel chiefs dhaval valia


n this, our annual edition of the Most Influential Channel Chiefs for 2012, we have chosen 15 heads of channeldriven IT majors. These distinguished people have a massive influence on the channel business as each of their companies is a leader in the IT space. Every move they make, or don’t make, affects the channel business. Neelam Dhawan, for instance, has a tall task in front of her. As her boss Meg Whitman continues to restrategize and reorganize HP globally for the future, Dhawan has to ensure that those reorganizations are implemented in India without affecting the momentum of the company. HP has managed the merger of its printing and PC divisions well; however, one sees more consolidation and reorganization on the cards. Lenovo’s mission to lead the PC market is yielding results, but as the company nears the top it is running the risk of overcrowding its channel and creating margin pressures for partners. On the consumer front Lenovo has embarked on an ambitious marketing blitzkrieg. Amar Babu has his task cut out—to make a dent in the consumer market and to continue with its momentum in the commercial segment. Tushar Sighat is taking D-Link to new heights; the company has almost doubled its turnover since he joined. A founder member of the D-Link team, he knows the strengths and weaknesses of the brand very well, and so far he has been playing to its strengths. Bimal Raj had a remarkable track record as Allied Digital’s CEO for over a decade. He brings the fresh perspective of an SI to Smartlink Networks, and he is making a strong bid to move the company into the enterprise space. His key test will be to build and manage channels—something he has not done in the past. Similarly Cisco, with its new partner-led model and emerging new areas of solutions focus, requires Naresh Wadhwa to be agile in the way he reorganizes the company’s India business and channel strategies. T Srinivasan of VMware has the challenge of making a mark in the VDI space having conquered the server virtualization market. Soon Kwon is transforming LG’s distribution model. In the process he has upset many of LG’s long-time RDs; however, the tier-3 partners are happy with the wider coverage and access to distribution credit. Kwon’s real test lies in the coming months. Will the new strategy finally deliver on his goals of making LG a more profitable and widely available brand? Continue reading this special edition and do let us know your views. n E-mail CRN Executive Editor Dhaval Valia at 12

Computer Reseller News


Volume 1, Issue 20

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edit opinion Playing the tablet card Robert Faletra

A great event


he competitive landscape in the tablet market is heating up with new offerings from Google, Microsoft and eventually other OEMs to come to the market with a Windows device. It is difficult to imagine that Windows-based tablets will not have an impact in the business market, and Microsoft may be using its own offering as a way to push its OEM partners to get up to the table quickly. But there are some issues Microsoft needs to get past in order to have the type of success that can blunt Apple’s rise. The first thing is to put in place a plan to drive its own tablet through solution providers. Microsoft has an advantage with its partners supporting millions of businesses. Windows integrates easily with the network, its security features make enterprise customers comfortable, and there is a support system second to none via its channel. That advantage will not last forever. Apple is building a value-added channel and support structure and having real success recruiting partners to join its force. At the same time, Microsoft is anything but a powerhouse in the retail space beyond the successful Xbox. So on the Apple vs Microsoft account you have to give an advantage to Microsoft in the business environment and an advantage to Apple in the consumer space. Microsoft may have other issues in tablets now that it is building its own device. Steve Ballmer has said MS will create a level-playing field for OEM partners. What does that mean? I guess it means MS will not take the obvious pricing advantage it could, but it will make more profit given that it is not paying for the OS. This may not sit well with the OEM partners who could push in addition the Android OS. Ballmer however has assured its OEM partners that the company will not share information about the OEMs’ tablet plans with its own Surface team nor will it hold back any information from them. For hardware partners, the tablet market is becoming a necessity. Having an offering and integrating tablets into the network is only going to get bigger. Will the margins be any better here? Absolutely not. But there will be the opportunity to build company-specific apps which accomplish specific tasks, so the development work around it could be interesting. By this time next year there will be a number of viable alternatives to Apple’s iPad. When that happens, the market may expand because more offerings drive more interest. Notebooks have, in all likelihood, peaked from a yearly shipment perspective. While none of us expect it to collapse, there will be fewer sold on an annual basis. n Email Robert Faletra at 14

Computer Reseller News


Just wonderful The group photo of the winners of the CRN Xcellence Awards was just wonderful. Being a part of the event was a fulfilling experience. I am sure the winners will inspire and motivate others in the field. I cannot resist saying that the event was indeed scintillating, and that CRN has made it bigger and more organized year after year. I appreciate the efforts made by CRN to offer a great platform. Kudos to team CRN! Sandeep Vahi Compton Computers, New Delhi

CLS 2012 was indeed a great event for the channel community and the CRN Xcellence Awards ceremony was the feather in the crown. It was exhilarating to see all the winners together, they who were recognized for their best practices in the business. CRN had offered the largest platform to felicitate the leading SIs and VARs. The event also provided a lot of networking opportunities; to connect with the business leaders was itself a great learning experience. We wish an even bigger gathering of the leading partners the next time too. Navinder Singh Chauhan Smartlink Network Systems, Mumbai

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channel chief “We will focus on the enterprise segment” Bimal Raj, CEO, Smartlink Network Systems, joined the company in April 2012 after a successful stint as CEO, Allied Digital Services. He spoke to Abhijeet Mukherjee about Smartlink’s performance and plans You joined Smartlink in the last quarter. How has the journey been so far? After the de-merger of D-Link and the sale of Digilink one-and-half year back we launched our own brands— Digilite for components and peripherals, and Digisol for networking products. Both brands have done remarkably well. Last year, despite the HDD crisis and economic slowdown, we sold more than two lakh Digilitebranded motherboards, out of which around 65,000 units were sold in the last quarter. We clocked revenue of `72 crore in FY2011-12 of which `60 crore came from Digisol and Digilite brands while the rest came from our services arm, Digicare. The last two quarters have been particularly good as we witnessed 70 percent month-on-month growth.

Take us through your plans to make a mark in the enterprise segment. Digisol presently has a strong portfolio comprising core switching solutions that support Layer 2 and 3. In addition, we are adding new products at regular intervals to strengthen our offerings in the enterprise segment. In the recent past we have had a few large wins from the government, PSUs, BFSIs and large corporates. We are developing and providing referrals of deployments made, especially in the government and PSUs. Since we have a local manufacturing unit, we will benefit from government subsidies amounting to about 30-40 percent. This makes our product offering the most competitive in the marketplace. In terms of GTM we have a dedicated team of 15 members to drive our enterprise business which will rise to 25 by the end of the current quarter. With strong referral customers and resources on the ground, we are aggressively launching engagement with SI partners. We are confident that with our value proposition and partner programs we will be able to create a strong partner network. We are planning to increase the contribution of the enterprise segment to 45 percent in the next 18 months.

What are the challenges you envisage in targeting enterprises where you have well-entrenched

“We clocked revenue of `72 crore in FY2011-12 of which `60 crore came from Digisol and Digilite products while the balance came from Digicare” 16

Computer Reseller News


global OEMs with a bigger portfolio and strong customer preference? Smartlink has a credible history of developing great quality indigenous products, creating a strong partner ecosystem and delivering the best post-sales services. We have done it with Digilink and D-Link in the past, and with those fundamentals in place we are confident of making a mark in the enterprise segment.

Strong management software is key to gaining entry into the enterprise segment. I absolutely agree. Manageability with ease is key to selling to enterprises. For this our R&D team is already working overtime to develop a network management layer using an open source platform. The open platform will provide our customers the same features which our competition provides by using licensed software. It will not only provide ease of use but also be affordable because we will build drivers of our products around open source. To give you a sense, for a large enterprise with 2,000 users and multiple manageable switches, the cost of the management platform alone would be `20 lakh-`30 lakh. Implementation of network management on an

channel chief open source platform can save 20-30 percent in terms of maintenance and deployment costs.

What is the other key focus for you? IP surveillance is a key element of our strategy to move into the enterprise segment. In the past few months we have strengthened our offerings in this space to include several high-end products, and we will launch similar products going forward. We believe our main strength in the surveillance segment is our post-sales service. We have created a special post-sales strategy for surveillance products through Digicare. Partners will be able to leverage the large network of our Digicare centers to minimize the TAT. Damaged products can be replaced over the counter at any of our 300 locations. This will provide our SI partners the confidence to sign more SLAs.

What more do you have in store for partners and customers in the home, SOHO and SMB segments? In the home, SOHO and SMB networking space we will launch a series of lifestyle networking products which will include 3G routers. There are plans to launch cloud-enabled storage services by Q32012. The concept is based on file servers—after a USB hard disk is attached to our broadband router users can share and access data anytime, anywhere. It can also be used for back-up, and sharing images and videos with friends and families. We are expanding business not only within the country but also abroad, and will open offices in Saarc, the Middle East & Africa. The move to the cloud will provide existing partners with opportunities to earn more revenue by upselling and cross-selling solutions. The opportunities will further increase as we increase our focus on the enterprise segment.

What are your plans for Digicare? Digicare is perhaps the largest network of service centers today—including 64 RMA centers and 20 repair centers—with a presence in 300 cities. We are RMAs to a lot of brands including Intel which recently joined hands with us in addition to MSI and Jetway motherboards. We cater to around 60 percent of the motherboard brands for RMAs. This year we are looking at the tablet and mobile computing space since we find there is lack of support in this segment; we are in talks with some of the manufacturers. We are upscaling our infrastructure in terms of new equipment and trained personnel. Digicare as a brand has provided tremendous confidence to our SI partners because their customers

“Since we have a local manufacturing unit, we will benefit from government subsidies to 30-40 percent. This makes our products competitive” 18

Computer Reseller News


“We will launch cloud-enabled storage services by Q32012. USB hard disks attached to our broadband routers will give users access to data anytime, anywhere” look for fast resolution of post-sales issues which we have been able to cater to by virtue of our thick service center network.

How is the Digilite brand doing? In the motherboard space we have recently launched Digilite fanless motherboards which are very compact, save energy, and are being used by digital signage and POS vendors. We have launched motherboards based on AMD’s AM3+ socket and Llano series, as well as embedded motherboards based for Intel Atom platform. In the PC space we recently launched five new models of Nettop PCs which are priced between `9,950 and `11,950, and are available with all authorized dealers. They can be mounted on the back of TVs for media streaming, and Internet and PC functionality in the living room.

How have you mapped your channel strategy? We are present in almost all locations in India either directly or through our distributors. We have a strong distribution network of 22 exclusive territory distributors, more than 400 sub-distributors and 4,000 resellers across the country. Traditionally, ours was a strong regional distributor sales model. Over the years we have upgraded the skill levels of many of our business partners to systems integration and solutions/services offerings. We plan to increase the number of our 4,400 subdistributors and resellers by another 3,000 across the country in the first phase.

What are the new partner initiatives for your enterprise and SMB business? We have initiated the Digisol Alliance Partner Program (DAPP) which offers exclusive benefits such as post-sales technical support, prioritized partner support, advance product replacement, technical & sales training, GTM tool kits and access to marketing collaterals. The program is targeted at Digisol’s current as well as new and emerging SIs, dealers and resellers across India. It will help them get ready access to cater to the fast-growing SMB and enterprise markets in India. We will be launching a series of road-shows and seminars across the country. Under DAPP, Digisol will be appointing Digisol Premier Partners, Digisol Connect Partners, Digisol Select Partners and Digisol Registered Resellers. We have another program which we launched this year called Digisol SI Empowerment Program. It provides sales and pre-sales training to SIs. The program will cover around 30 cities and more than 1,200 partners. n

Most Influential Channel Chiefs Every move they make has a significant impact on channel business. Presenting the 15 chieftains of India’s most influential channel-led IT companies and listing out their priorities and challenges from a channel perspective n RAMDAS S


Amar Babu


Rajesh Janey


Bimal Raj


Sameer Garde


Debjani Ghosh


Sandeep Mathur


Naresh Wadhwa


Sanket Akerkar


Natarajan Chandrasekaran


Shanker Annaswamy


Neelam Dhawan


Soon Kwon


Oliver Blum


Tushar Sighat

Managing Director, Lenovo India

CEO, Smartlink Network Systems

MD, Sales & Marketing Group, Intel, India

President & Country Manager, Cisco India & Saarc

Managing Director, TCS

Managing Director, HP India

President & MD, Schneider Electric


President, EMC, India & Saarc

Managing Director, Dell India

Managing Director, Oracle India

Managing Director, Microsoft India

GM & MD, IBM India

Managing Director, LG India

CEO, D-Link India

T Srinivasan

Managing Director, VMware India

Computer Reseller News



cover story Amar Babu

Bimal Raj

Sustaining margins

Great expectations

Managing Director, Lenovo India

In Q12012 Lenovo became the No 1 PC brand in terms of unit shipments, largely due to delivering a portion of the ELCOT contract. Amar Babu. MD, Lenovo India has told channels that Lenovo wants to be No 1 irrespective of the ELCOT tender (which even Lenovo insiders admit is at negative margins). However, Babu has the benefit of the momentum being with Lenovo. Lenovo is the fastest-growing PC brand globally and recently unseated Dell as the No 2 PC brand worldwide. The Chinese brand has been leveraging its IBM legacy which is helping it in the enterprise market. Lenovo expanded its retail channels to around 1,000 partner-driven stores during the last fiscal. While its new SMB strategy seems to have started off well, partners have been upset about the rebate restructuring across various channel programs. The biggest challenge however is about the relevance of the PC business for many of its partners because margins have hit an all-time low while the costs of running the business have shot up. “At the present margins, selling PCs, especially to the enterprise market, is no more sustainable as customers are demanding more. We need better margins to run the business,” remarks Prarthana Gupta, Director, Cache Technologies. Lenovo recently entered into a partnership with EMC for server-storage bundles and joint ownership of the Iomega business. This is seen to be promising, especially by Lenovo’s SMB channels, and they are waiting to see how Babu’s team executes it. Partners have something else to look forward to. Lenovo is expected to re-launch its servers later this year. n

Debjani Ghosh

MD, Sales & Marketing Group, Intel, India

Market leader blues Debjani Ghosh took over the reins at Intel India when its system builder confidence hit lowest ebb. 2011 saw multiple attrition at Intel. Channels say although Ghosh has inherited a new team, they are missing the old hands. One factor favoring Ghosh is the technology leadership Intel enjoys over rival AMD which has invested in manpower and OEM engagements. But Intel enjoys above 85 percent marketshare. Now it is trying to gain some marketshare in smartphones and tablets where its vendors such as Qualcomm and nVIDIA are dominating the market.


Computer Reseller News


CEO, Smartlink Network Systems

There are high expectations from Bimal Raj who took over as the CEO, Smartlink, last quarter. Raj starts with an advantage because the goodwill among channels enjoyed by promoter KR Naik is perceived to be among the best in IT channels. Moreover, Smartlink has managed to woo the majority of D-Link’s regional distribution channel. These advantages aside, things are not going to be easy for Raj. Digisol, the company’s flagship brand, is still perceived as an upcoming brand, and is yet to see the same acceptance as D-Link or Linksys. Similarly Digilite, the motherboard brand, is facing stiff competition from the likes of Asus, Gigabyte, Intel and MSI which have economies of scale in their favor. Despite these odds, Digilite has done very well and has signed on several key sub-distributors as re-distributors across the country. Raj’s experience in systems integration and understanding of how large projects get implemented are expected to help position Digisol as a vendor for SIs pitching for large projects. Smartlink partners also feel that Raj’s leadership would help Digicare, the service arm of the company. Channels want Smartlink to continue investing in both branding and promotions. “Promotions, schemes and service would be key for success in the business especially when the brand is positioned to address the SMB market,” states Narayan Rao, CEO, Matrix Systems. Smartlink is flush with funds following the acquisition of Digilink by Schneider, and the cash should help Bimal Raj build the brands and grow the business. n

To Ghosh’s credit, Intel launched the first Atom-based Android smartphone (XOLO, through Lava) in India. Intel is now exploring partnerships with Indian OEMs to sell tablets based on the Atom architecture. Ghosh has also taken several initiatives to grow the PC market especially in verticals such as education in Class C and D cities. However, the system builder channel continues to feel neglected. While some feel that there is little Intel can do because the desktop market is shrinking, others feel that driving a healthy assembler market helps overall industry activity. “Intel needs to re-introduce some of the older rebate programs and engagement programs which they dropped once the MNC PC market grew. These programs helped thousands of partners to sell technology better,” says Harish Kumar, CEO, Connoisseur Electronics. n

cover story Naresh Wadhwa, President & Country

Natarajan Chandrasekaran

Services push

Pumping iON

Manager, Cisco India & Saarc

Over the past year Naresh Wadhwa and his team have taken several initiatives to create opportunities for partners to earn more from networking services. The vendor has been pushing partners to start offering value-added services such as auditing, network optimization, IPv6 consulting and monitoring. Cisco’s SMB focus remains strong, and in February this year the vendor announced strategies through the Partner Business Group (PBG) to mop up $400 million worth of revenue outside the top six metros as part of its geoexpansion plan. The new channel GTM is under the PGB where almost 1,500 partners were brought under different channel programs last year. Cisco has emerged as a niche player in the data center server market, and its UCS strategy has gained more acceptance among partners. Cisco was also focused on the unified communications front where it has signed on nearly 100 partners to sell its Unified Communications Manager. A worrying factor is that the competition is slowly waking up to the market potential of the country and is making serious investments. Juniper, HP and Extreme have all announced that they will beef up their infrastructure and manpower to cater to Indian market needs. The biggest concern of SIs is the aggression with which Cisco is going after business. “We want to focus on quality business, but the pressure on numbers is high. Two years back Cisco was more keen to do solutions selling, but now their entire sales machinery is number-driven,” comments AL Srinath, CEO, Shell Networks. n

Neelam Dhawan

Managing Director, HP India

Missing aggression The past three years saw many HP strategies backfire both in India and globally. To her credit, Neelam Dhawan has held the fort together. Last year HP nearly committed harakiri by announcing an exit from the PC business only to roll back the announcement later; this brought a lot of negative PR globally. However, Dhawan and her team were proactive when it came to damage control. She also oversaw the merger of HP’s PC and printer business earlier this year. Channels note that HP continues to lose good managers, and they are not happy with the

Managing Director, TCS

Two years ago TCS announced its entry into the SMB market with cloudbased business applications which were formally launched in February 2011 under the brand name iON. The strategy was channel-centric, and TCS hired some of the best channel managers and signed on some of the best partners to push iON. By the end of 2011 almost 300 customers pan India had signed. However, India’s largest software services company is reported to be going slow since then. Channels offer a mixed reaction to the performance of the business. There are even doubts whether iON will end up as a promise undelivered. An issue TCS is grappling with is customizing a cloud-based business solution to meet the demands of individual business users within a single vertical. It is presently focused on education, manufacturing, healthcare/wellness and retail. Another challenge is the resistance to change, with many partners reporting that customers are not willing to abandon existing business software to shift to a cloudbased model. The company has been secretive about its strategies for iON, while partners feel that a mass-marketing approach would help. TCS recently hired Girish Krishnamoorthy, former MD, Kaseya India to push iON, though there is no official confirmation. Meanwhile, partners want a bigger share in implementation revenue. “We are looking at a model where we can share more revenue in pre-sales and post-sales services,” says L Ashok, CEO, Futurenet Technologies. n

replacements or the pace of the replacements. Consumer channels feel HP’s lack of marketing aggression is hurting because competitors such as Lenovo, Dell and Sony have stepped on the spending pedal. Partners say that despite the acquisition and successful integration of 3 PAR, the storage story is still not very convincing. They feel that competitors such as IBM, EMC and NetApp are still ahead of HP. While HP Networking has definitely gained better acceptance, Cisco remains miles ahead. On a positive note, channels say that HP’s channel engagement is back to normal, but they cite a lack of aggression. “Today, the only thing missing is the lack of aggression especially because in the current market conditions the competition is very aggressive. We cannot find any more fault with their channel policies or product mix,” says Rajeev Mehta, CMD, Zest Systems. n

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cover story Oliver Blum

Rajesh Janey

Inorganic growth

Channels impressed

President & MD, Schneider Electric

Oliver Blum has overseen the six large acquisitions Schneider made in the Indian market over the past two years. The power electronics vendor has grown from less than a thousand employees to a 12,000-strong team which offers solutions from home inverters to networking cables to commercial infrastructure products. A key challenge over the past few quarters has been to integrate the various acquisitions and build synergy. There were also people challenges, and channels feel that Blum and his team have done a good job. Most of the acquisitions have worked despite initial hiccups. For example, Digilink is presently being exported to over 22 countries, and partners are benefitting with larger volumes and economies of scale. The biggest gainers have been consumer channels, which are reporting the availability of more products to sell as well as aggressive campaigns. However, the commercial channels are not very happy. They feel that despite the availability of more solutions Schneider is not as channel-friendly as the erstwhile APC was prior to the acquisitions. There are growing concerns about the vendor dictating terms and going direct to customers. “Most enterprise partners are today looking at being all-round data center and power solution vendors themselves, and want to deliver the A-Z of services. We would like Schneider to help us become a complete solutions vendor,” says KV Jagannath, CEO, Choice Solutions. Meanwhile, many erstwhile partners are considering an alignment with Schneider’s competitors such as Eaton, Emerson and Numeric. n

Sameer Garde

Managing Director, Dell India

Managing transition Earlier this year Sameer Garde returned to helm Dell India’s sales after a brief stint with Dell corporate. Garde came at a time when Dell is transitioning itself into a channel-centric technology solutions vendor after almost a dozen acquisitions over the past four years. Garde’s biggest challenge is gaining the confidence of the enterprise channels which are still treating with caution. Since launching its Global Commercial Channels Program, Dell has been winning new partners, yet many mid-market resellers it as a partner to align with only for opportunities. Some partners still see Dell as competition, and point out that more


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President, EMC, India & Saarc

Rajesh Janey took over the reins around three quarters ago, and has since been on a hiring spree. EMC has been the most visible storage brand in the country, but faces intense competition for both mindshare and marketshare from IBM, HP, NetApp, Oracle and Hitachi. Channels are impressed by the storage maker’s steady focus on tier-2 channels. With Dell snapping ties with EMC, channels say their chances of succeeding with EMC are better. They also note that despite EMC signing up a number of partners the competition among them is not bad, and there seems to be growth for everyone. EMC recently announced a tie-up with Lenovo, which channels are viewing with a bit of caution. Iomega resellers feel that there may be added competition once Lenovo partners also start selling the products. Meanwhile, EMC has launched the VMAX SP, a new platform to deliver enterprise-class storage to service providers. Channels say that last year EMC altered its channel programs to ensure that channels make more money, and that the company has stopped controlling partner margins. Partners feel that EMC must enable them more on the solutions selling front. “They have to work harder to improve their image from being just a storage company to a solutions company, and in turn help us to position ourselves as solutions vendors. In the next few months we are expecting EMC to handhold us in larger projects where the required expertise spans multiple domains,” says Deepak Jadhav, Director, VDA Infosolutions. n

than 50 percent of Dell’s business is still direct. Others who have taken the plunge express satisfaction regarding the transparency of the deal registration model and the aggressiveness of Dell’s price clearance. However, consumer channels are of the opinion that Dell’s price aggressiveness has declined over the past few quarters, and they want the company to be more aggressive. Dell also recently lost the PC market leadership to Lenovo. The company, which has acquired several channelcentric companies such as Quest, Wyse and SonicWall, will need to expand its channels to accommodate the new businesses. “It will be interesting to see how Dell makes available the new product lines in networking, software, security and storage for partners to sell,” comments Suketu Shah, CEO, My Genie Systems. n

cover story Sandeep Mathur

Sanket Akerkar

Sitting pretty

Ear to the ground

Managing Director, Oracle India

Sandeep Mathur, who took over the reins at Oracle a little over a year ago, is said to be lucky to have inherited a robust hardware and software business. Oracle today enjoys almost 100 percent penetration in telecom and over 80 percent in BFSI for its database platform, a segment where it has emerged as a clear market leader with over 7,000 customers in the country. India has been a market where Sun had traditionally done well, and Oracle India is leveraging on this legacy. In 2012 Oracle launched the Sparc T4 servers, and communicated to both channels and customers a 5-year road-map for the Sparc platform. Oracle has also been advertising the advantages of Oracle software optimized on Oracle hardware. The company has gained several new partners as a result of its acquisitions over the past three years, and has simplified the Oracle Partner Network which allows just about any partner to build expertise to sell any product line. While this looks good on paper, many smaller partners have been feeling sidelined because 70 percent of the hardware business is controlled by national SIs and the top five mid-market partners. Channels want Oracle to broad base, and make the entry points easier for them to sell. One challenge Mathur has is to grow the channels especially in smaller cities where potential customers exist, but there is a lack of channel empowerment. There are several erstwhile Sun partners who want to return to the fold but they need an impetus from Oracle. “We are keen to work closely again with Oracle,” asserts Ajit Mital, CEO, Acme Digitek. n

Shanker Annaswamy GM & MD, IBM India

Problem of plenty Shanker Annaswamy heads IBM India’s operations which span hardware, software, services and consultancy with a head count of 1,60,000 employees. In the past year IBM’s push toward the mid-market, expansion into Class B and C cities, and focus on selling software and services through channels have been pivotal to its growth. The company’s Systems & Technology Group has ramped up both its server and storage offerings over the past 12 months. IBM has taken Cisco and HP head-on with the launch of PureFlex systems for the data center market. It has also roped in more partners to sell its power systems,


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Managing Director, Microsoft India

The company’s channels say that Microsoft has been listening to its partners and acting on the feedback, and that a lot of credit for it goes to Sanket Akerkar, MD, Microsoft India. The vendor has listened to the demand for toplinebased business for the cloud, and has started allowing partners to bill Office 365 cloud services directly to the customer. It overhauled its certification program for IT professionals and developers in an effort to address the growth of cloud computing and the skills gap in the industry. In a bid to push its cloud story further, it has decided to stop support for the Microsoft Small Business Server. While the vendor earned brownie points for its decision to introduce rupee billing for its partners last year, it was criticized for a recent move to stop paper licensing. Partners believe that customers will squeeze them dry for payments once they receive their e-licenses. Although the distributors have provided templates of the letters and other collateral to the partners, clarity on how the partners can extract timely payments from customers is lacking. Off the cloud Microsoft has appointed Avnet and Redington as its value-added distributors to cater to the partners and customers in the SMB space. The company launched the Small Business Competency within the Microsoft Partner Network in June 2012. “We are quite happy with the recent efforts of Microsoft. The challenge will be to keep the momentum going,” observes Paresh Shah, Partner, PH Teknow. n

even launching an MOQ model last year. Partners have welcomed IBM’s entry into security with the launch of IBM Security Systems earlier this year. The biggest move IBM has made is in software, where the vendor has enabled nearly 100 partners to build services revenue around its enterprise software. IBM also forayed into public cloud services with channels. Annaswamy now has two challenges. IBM has been exploring ideas to sell services through channels, but has not figured out a concrete model yet. The bigger challenge is to create rules of engagement that span across the multiple divisions of IBM and that protect partner interest. Neel Shah, MD, Insight Business Machines, remarks, “There are several teams within IBM working on the same case, and it is becoming complex for the partner. We want a more fluid approach.” n

cover story Soon Kwon

Tushar Sighat

Distribution rejuggle

Turnaround man

Managing Director, LG India

Kwon since taking over as MD, LG India, is said to have brought in a lot of focus in to the Korean giant’s various business units in the country, and LG continues to invest more in Indian market. LG is facing tough market conditions in the country as new competitors have started emerging. The biggest of them have been the PC companies such a Dell, Acer, and Fujitsu who are making large inroads. However LG has moved beyond the IT peripherals market by introducing new products such as network monitors (through an OEM deal with NComputing), video conferencing and surveillance, and notebooks. While these businesses have helped LG gain new partners, it is changes in distribution that is concerning them. In 2011, LG fired some of its old regional distributors and signed on Rashi to sell select display SKUs, Redington as a RD for nine territories, and Supertron Electronics for its notebook line. While the company retained 250 RDs for IT peripherals business it removed 60 RDs who were selling notebooks. The move has angered several of them who feel threatened. Partners also alleged that because of flattened growth in white goods and AC business, there is extra pressure on the It and B-B teams to do bigger numbers. Rakesh Agrawal, CEO, Pioneer Computers says. “LG is currently confused about its distribution strategy due to which partners are losing faith in the company. The company needs to revisit and analyze their strategy all over.” Channels expect Kwon and his channel management to provide clarity on distribution, and provide a long term road map. n

T Srinivasan

Managing Director, VMware India

Private cloud story VMware India has been making steady progress under T Srinivasan’s leadership over the past three years. He has been backed by VMware’s worldwide management which has been making significant investments in India. Last year VMware changed its licensing model from a regular CPU-based pricing model to a memory entitlement-based licensing model. It also spent heavily on educating channels about its vertical solutions targeted at enterprise software such as MS Exchange, Oracle and SAP. It launched the VMware Service Provider Program targeting partners who wanted to set up public cloud services, and signed up around

CEO, D-Link India

Tushar Sighat took over as the CEO, D-Link India at a time when many partners had abandoned the vendor and chose to shift loyalties to Digisol. But Sighat has managed to turn around the company, and the financial figures are evidence. D-Link India’s revenue grew almost 90 percent from `129 crore in FY2010-11 to `223 crore in FY2011-12. Quarterly revenue grew over 150 percent from `28 crore in Q12011 to `71 crore in Q12012. Channels say that this remarkable growth is the result of some strong policies as well as some smart marketing initiatives. In September 2011 the company launched a number of products around IP security, surveillance, Internet security, 3G and networking. The vendor also launched its structured cabling business and, according to partners, has quickly gained significant market share. Another move that helped was setting up a volume channels team to work on run-rate products and a value channels team for SIs. Besides, D-Link made some investments in setting up education centers. Some partners believe that by the end of the year the vendor will be second only to Cisco in professional networking courses. D-Link also launched personal cloud services under the ‘mydlink’ brand. Partners expressed satisfaction with the company’s revamped channel programs and rebate schemes. According to Dinesh Nair, VP, AG Distribution, “From a product positioning point of view and the market connect, D-Link has got almost everything perfect. They just need to keep the momentum going.” n

40. However, the vendor could not entice many tier-2 partners to offer its public cloud services despite very aggressive sales pitches. Desktop virtualization remains a space where VMware is lagging behind Citrix. Partners cite a lack of the infrastructure products (such as WAN accelerators and application accelerators) which Citrix offers. Channels feel that the existing tie-up with Radware is not helpful enough to clinch deals against Citrix. Though VMware’s biggest sales pitch was surrounding the private cloud, channels feel that offering good technology is not enough. “Technology-wise no one is questioning VMware’s leadership. However, the private cloud is not just about technology—it is a major business decision. We want VMware India to invest in educating our customers on the business impact of setting up private clouds, and help us win business,” says Sudarsan Ranganathan, CEO, Veeras Infotek. n

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market focus IT for Generation Next Today’s kids and teens are far more aware and savvy than we were in our younger days, so selling IT products to them is not exactly child’s play n ABHIJEET MUKHERJEE


ne industry estimate says that the kids (8-12 years) and teenagers (up to 15 years) IT retail market is currently worth `200 crore and is expected to grow to `1,500 crore by 2016. Notes Shishir Singh, Director, Product Marketing, Dell India, “According to a survey conducted by Cartoon Network India, out of the total purchase decisions of IT and consumer electronics goods made in a household, school-going kids have a major say in almost 69 percent cases.” “Kids and teenagers are now tech-savvy. In many cases, the need for a consumer IT purchase originates from the kids. They are also particular about the brand as well as the content,” says Ajaya Kumar, MD, Park Networks. A campaign launched by Smartlink Network Systems in early 2012 showed that children dominated consumer IT-buying decisions in most households. “We had organized an FM campaign wherein SMSs and calls were invited from listeners. Surprisingly, more than 75 percent of the callers were children who inquired about wireless products such as routers and methods to connect to Smart TVs,” says Bimal Raj, CEO, Smartlink Network Systems.

Growth factors The growing exposure of children to IT devices including notebooks, tablets, smartphones and printers is one of the reasons for the growing demand for PCs and mobile devices among them. “Kids today are heavily exposed to technology. Most of them have PCs at their homes and get access to advanced technology through smart classes with projectors, notebooks and tablets. In addition, they also get plenty of exposure through the Internet and television,” explains Singh. The emergence of newer form factors like tablets and AIOs is another reason for the demand for IT products by children. “Kids and teenagers have a craze for tablets. We can see higher sales if the prices of branded tablets and AIOs decline,” says Manoj Bajaj, CEO, CAS Computers.

Trends IT vendors are gradually becoming aggressive, targeting kids and teenagers with customized products. For example, HCL has a range of educational laptops such as Disney Princess Kidspad, Asder Studious Pad AP-

“Children across all age groups have a craze for tablets. We can see higher sales if the prices of branded tablets and AIOs decline”

“Education as a driver for printing resonates in India where parents have a strong desire to do their best for their children”

Manoj Bajaj

Nitin Hiranandani

CEO, CAS Computers


Kids and teenagers are also the primary users of IT products in a household. Apart from PCs purchased for educational purposes, a significant majority of inkjet printers are purchased by households. Studies commissioned by HP have found that the printing of educational material for schools and colleges tops the list of printer usage in both volume (number of pages printed) and frequency. “Education as a driver for printing resonates in India where parents have a strong cultural desire to do their best for their children, and the children want to do their best in education,” remarks Nitin Hiranandani, Director, Printing Systems, PPS, HP India.

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Director, Printing Systems, PPS, HP India

market focus “We have tied up with a US company which is a leader in generating content for children. We plan to launch a tablet for students by this year-end”

“This segment is unique when it comes to selling devices because we cannot make hard sales. We can only educate them”

Champakraj Gurjar

Shanil Madollathil

MD, Maxtone Electronics

GM, Sales, West, Lenovo India

100, HCL ME Topper D1-48 and HCL ME Topper L1-88 meant for kids from 5-8 years. It has also launched My EduTab, one for the K12 and another for the higher education segment. OEMs have come up with customized devices for children to make learning fun for them. For example, Micromax has introduced a tablet, Funbook Pro, with lots of educational and fun learning content. It offers Android 4.0 Ice-cream Sandwich OS and is powered by a 1.2 GHz processor. Maxtone, a Mumbai-based regional distributor of PCs, is working on a tablet for students. The tablet will contain customized content for different categories of students on various subjects. “We foresee huge potential for such products and therefore we have tied up with a US company which is a leader in generating content for children. We plan to launch the tablet by this year-end,” says Champakraj Gurjar, MD, Maxtone Electronics. Schools in metro cities have started distributing notebooks and iPads to higher secondary students. Although this is an enterprise trend, it is helping the sale of the brands even on the home front.

Opportunities According to industry analysts, having a specialized shop for kids’ IT products is a good idea. “If not a separate store IT retailers can at least have a shop-in-shop for kids’ products with matching in-shop branding. This will ensure better footfalls,” believes Singh. While tablets are recognized as a high-growth segment in kids’ IT products, the kids’ specific software and content will create the distinction. “We see great traction in tablets from kids, and since there are a number of tablets available in the market retailers can leverage the opportunity. Moreover, it is a high opportunity area because the content requirement is different for different age groups,” explains Kumar. Accessories for kids are another opportunity for partners. “Out of the `200 crore IT retail market, the IT accessory market is 10 percent,” says Sandeep Ramani, COO, Envent. Gaming PCs can be an added opportunity in the kids’ and teenagers’ PC market. “Kids and teenagers are specifically demanding gaming PCs with graphics cards. About 15 percent of our notebook and desktop sales come from gaming PCs. OEMs have also increased their focus on these PCs, and we now have 8-10 SKUs with dedicated graphics cards as compared to 10-12 SKUs with integrated graphics,” reveals Bajaj.

Vendor initiatives Besides focusing on the target group with customized products, vendors are also generating awareness through campaigns. For example, Dell has a TV campaign through which it targets kids for its AIO desktops. “We conducted one of the largest school campaigns which saw participation from four million children from classes 6-8 from 5,000 schools in 83 cities. Contests were run, demos on AIOs and netbooks were provided, gift vouchers were distributed and short films were screened. We spoke chiefly about the netbook, Latitude 2110, which is aimed at children for their class and home work, drawing, etc,” informs Singh. HP also conducted its Write & Read program in partnership with Prasoon Joshi, the lyricist and poet, and Katha, an NGO, to help the little authors. “At the end of the program the 29 best stories written by children across India were shortlisted and published as a book titled By Us, For Us,” informs Hiranandani.

Challenges The challenge in kids’ IT retail products is more about the sales pitch and marketing activities. “This segment is unique when it comes to selling devices because we cannot make hard sales. We can only educate them about the use of the product,” says Shanil Madollathil, GM, Sales, West, Lenovo India. Moreover, beyond the metros, households in tier-2 and other upcountry locations consider kids-focused IT purchases as secondary. “Most of the families in these regions go for regular IT products or prefer to continue with the existing PC in the family. Rarely does it happen that they purchase specific products meant for kids,” informs Bajaj. Also, as the access to technology gets easier, kids are demanding a touch-and-feel experience before making a buying decision. “The parents should know about all the features of the product, especially if the product involves the kids’ safety,” explains Ramani.

Conclusion Though the kids’ specialty IT market is in its nascent stage, both vendors and partners are recognizing the potential. They realize that each product sold to a smart kid will bring them a lot of recurring revenue—and possibly a permanent customer. n — With inputs from Amit Singh

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role model in search of excellence He earned a PhD in high energy physics, absorbed best practices at Tata Unisys, and recently became a Master VAR for Microsoft in India. Meet Ajay Mian, CEO, All e Technologies n SONAL DESAI


fter obtaining a doctorate in high energy physics from Delhi University in 1983, Ajay Mian, now CEO, All e Technologies (Alletech), started teaching physics at the university. He also worked with the Department of Computer Sciences from mid-1983 to mid1986. “I joined the department, that is where the IT bug hit me,” recalls Mian. Aptly supported by wife Suman who is a practicing gynaecologist & obstetrician, Alletech is today a 300-employee strong company with more than 300 customers.

The journey Mian joined Tata Burroughs (TBL) in January 1987 and worked for domestic and international customers like Swiss Bank, a US-based insurance company and the Department of Central Excise and Customs. “At the Swiss Bank, we automated the documentary credit system which is a crucial part of their banking operations,” he informs. “We got a similar project from the insurance company.” In mid-1994 Mian joined Eurolink Systems, a start-up in Delhi. “We began as a generic IT services company but soon built competencies in SAP. We became an exclusive HP partner and worked on their SAP customer projects worldwide,” he says. “I headed Business Consulting & Software Services for five years. The team strength grew to 250 over this period.” Mian also tapped the booming dotcom segment. He joined Netacross, a provider of Internet business solutions in 1999. “I stayed with Netacross for about a year, but later decided to venture out on my own.”

“Our vision is very clear—to become by 2020 one of the most prominent organizations providing business solutions to growing companies globally” 30

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Alletech in July 2000. “Our core focus was to be an outsourced product development company. In 2001, German market research firm, Gfk AG, acquired 50 percent stake, and the company started providing services and developing products for Gfk and its customers.” “We developed a sophisticated campaign management solution which helped in segmenting customers, running parallel campaigns, tracking responses and taking follow-up action,” says Mian. Eighteen months later—in the wake of 9/11 and the dotcom bubble burst—Gfk decided to exit all IT businesses. Most of Alletech’s business evaporated, and Gfk tried to force a shut down. Not one to give-up easily, Mian exploited his position as 50 percent stake holder to revive the company. He signed on two stake holders — one Swiss and the other from UK. “We did not have a sales network because all our business was coming from Gfk,” Mian recalls. “Global economic conditions were also unfavorable. We decided to focus on the Indian market. We realized that Indian businesses needed solutions that they could deploy quickly, and get tangible ROI. We decided to work with growing companies and provide them with business solutions such as ERP, CRM and BI to enhance productivity, reduce costs and become more competitive,” he states. The company partnered with Navision, and became the first Navision partner in India in 2002. Navision was subsequently acquired by Microsoft, and Alletech became the first Microsoft Navision partner in India. The focus shifted completely to Microsoft. One of the large scale deployments involved deploying Microsoft Dynamics ERP in more than 20 international operations of Asian Paints in 2003. The deployment automated the processes across its offices, improved inventory carrying costs, visibility to material requirements and customer orders, decision support

Role model




2002 2001


being used by more than 200 system capabilities and enabled MILESTONES concurrent users across more than the India HQ to have quicker and one hundred locations through its reliable access to operational information. Started All e Technologies as a Dynamics ERP solution. It deployed a dealer “We have provided solutions software solutions provider management system separately for for large projects involving 500 Bridgestone and Michelin Tyres. to 1,000 users and for mid size Gfk exit Alletech post 9/11 Bridgestone can now provide companies with 50 to 300 users. access to the sale and inventory Over the years, we developed data to all the 200 dealers in the expertise in online travel, discreet Signed on Navision as first country. Michelin is rolling out the and process manufacturing, India partner system at the company’s Tyre Plus automobile and ancillary,” stores pan India. observes Mian. Carved Microsoft focused Acknowledging the changes For online travel company, business units; acquired the IT that Microsoft has introduced in its MakeMyTrip (MMT), Alletech division of a conglomerate partner program and otherwise, he provided back office and mid claims, “We earned the MPN Gold office systems developed on Acquired a Chennai-based MS competency in Navision and AX. Microsoft Dynamics. The system is We have spent the highest in terms used by more than 1,000 internal partner of MDF, customer ads, solutions, stakeholders and dealers of MMT, Appointed sole Master VAR by training and certifications and and enables booking/cancellations Microsoft acknowledges this.” of air, train, buses, hotels, etc. Microsoft Another claim to fame comes The company has made similar from the recent appointment deployments at Cipla, Saffron Art of Alletech as the sole Master VAR by Microsoft in and Overseas, Alletech deployed large ERP India in June 2012. As a Master VAR, Alletech works projects for Marico Egypt. with start-ups and volume partners who could not In 2007, the company achieved two mile stones—it meet targets. “We will provide those partners with carved out three business units focused on Microsoft, partner advisory services. This also gives us a platform and acquired the IT division of a large conglomerate. to spread our network and generate business from Informs Mian, “The first business group provides territories where we do not have presence.” Microsoft solutions to customers, the second acts as Says Mian, “At the moment, 10 companies from a product development center for Microsoft globally, class A, B and C cities have signed up with us. and the third group caters to international Microsoft Our target is to take the number to 30-40 within customers and partners. While the domestic group 6-9 months.” contributes two-thirds of the revenue, the international business contributes one-third.” Between 2007 and 2010, Mian strengthened his Future growth team and integrated customers and employees. He also Mian claims that his company is into a fairly aggressive opened offices in Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. His growth mode. “This fiscal, we will surpass last fiscal’s fifth office was opened in 2010, in Chennai. figure. Microsoft has become very aggressive with Office365 and we are also witnessing a lot of demand from our existing customers. Also, we are very clear Current business that we will not sell an operating system; we will Alletech closed the year FY2011-12 with revenue of gradually add Office365 to our basket. We will bring more than `35 crore, up from `28 crore in FY2010Office365 and CRM to our customer, but they will not 11. Business applications and services contributed 50 be our core,” he insists. percent each to the revenues. Businesswise, the company is focused on the In 2010, it acquired a Chennai-based Microsoft e-commerce space. “A lot of current e-commerce solution partner. “It gave us footprint in south. Till companies are our customers. We have integrated their FY2008-09, we were only a Delhi-based company. The supply chain and back end. Some of the customers acquisitions gave us a pan India presence,” Mian says. include,, dealsandyou. In the last 12-18 months Alletech has executed com. We will soon launch Microsoft ‘InstaNAV’ – the several prestigious projects. It helped logistics company ‘Business in a Box’ solution for Indian market,” he adds. Blue Dart to manage its complex financial system

“Break from the small organization mindset. The limitation is not because opportunities are not there but because people have not learnt to scale up”

On a personal note Having worked with the Tatas, Mian has deep respect for Ratan Tata. He supports a couple of NGOs, is a yoga enthusiast, and enjoys squash games whenever possible. White-water rafting thrills him, and he finds mountains and forests enchanting. n

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tech focus Intel server platform tops CRN performance chart The high-end S2600 GZ motherboard, code-named Grizzly Pass, gives white-box solution providers a host of new high-performance options for their purpose-built servers and appliances n Edward Correia


here has been a change near the top of the performance heap for servers here in the CRN Test Center, and the newcomer’s name could be your own. Earlier this year, the Enterprise Platform and Services Division of Intel rolled out eight new server platforms, giving white box solution providers a host of new high-performance options for their purpose-built servers and appliances. And perform they do. For testing, Intel sent its high-end S2600 GZ motherboard, code-named Grizzly Pass, in a 2U rack server chassis with a pair of Intel Xeon E5-2660 eight-core processors running at 2.2 GHz with 128 GB of memory. After testers helped it clear a few technical hurdles, the system proceeded to break a performance record that had stood here in the CRN Test Center since February 2011. To prepare the machine, testers installed the 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and set the operating system for maximum performance. Then the 64-bit version of Primate Lab’s Geekbench 2.2 was installed, and testers were amazed at the results. With only a minimum hardware-specific drivers installed, Intel’s Grizzly Pass motherboard turned in five Geekbench scores in excess of 23,000, with a top score of 23,766. This was good enough to land the Intel machine in second place, just ahead of the PowerEdge C6145, Dell’s dual-node AMD box, which turned in a score of 22,607 with 48 Opteron cores. Intel’s box exceeded that

With only a minimum hardware-specific drivers installed, the motherboard turned in five Geekbench scores in excess of 23,000, with a top score of 23,766 32

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score handily with 16—that is with two-thirds fewer cores. All tested systems were equipped with processors running at speeds greater than 2 GHz. Dell still holds the record for the fastest server so far to come through our labs with its PowerEdge R720. That screamer broke 30K. Grizzly Pass is one of eight new fulland half-width motherboards from Intel’s Enterprise Platform and Services Division, a group that its leader hesitated to call an OEM. “EPSD is a branch of Intel that creates systems and server boards for the channel under other company’s brands,” said David Brown, General Manager and Head, Marketing, EPSD. “We are a building block supplier. HP and IBM take our silicon and build their products, while others take products at a higher level of integration and build solutions,” he said, referring to the S2600 GZ motherboard tested by CRN. That board was installed in an R2000 chassis, one of 37 new chassis that include high-density 2U boxes for high-performance computing applications, traditional towers, configurable 4U pedestal form factors and highend chassis for enterprise deployments. The Grizzly Pass motherboard offers 24 DIMM slots capable of accepting memory at speeds up to 1600 MHz. Also included is a pair of third-generation PCI x 24 super slots, one PCIe 3.0 x 8 storage module slot, eight SAS/SATA 3 GB/s ports and two 6 GB/s ports, integrated quad gigabit Ethernet ports and two E5-2600 Sandy Bridge sockets, designed into an energy-efficient, spread core layout. Other models are designed for specific applications. The boards code-named Jefferson Pass and Washington Pass are half-width boards that are intended for high-performance computing apps that require large amounts of memory or optimized memory throughput. The Canoe Pass, Copper Pass and Iron Pass boards are intended to provide maximum I/O support and expandability. n

At the CRN Leadership Summit For those who missed it, here is a round-up of the keynote addresses, workshops, technology tracks, lighter moments and other happenings at the 5th edition of CLS which took place from July 26-29, 2012 n AMIT SINGH


he CRN Leadership Summit (CLS) has again proved itself to be the most influential platform to network and engage with leading SIs and enterprise VARs. The 5th edition of the summit, held at Holiday Inn, Goa, from July 26-29, 2012, was attended by over 110 leading technology integrators and over 130 executives of 28 leading technology companies. The summit was planned to create multiple networking and interaction opportunities for technology companies to achieve and optimize their channel expansion and engagement objectives. CLS 2012 sizzled with belly dancing, performances from Sonia Jaffer of Jhalak Dikhla Jaa fame, live musical performances, a gala dinner, a partner talent night, water sports and a quiz—apart from keynote addresses, workshops and technology

presentations from industry leaders. For the first time, a live video of the summit was streamed online to enable partners to witness the event through their PCs. More than 542 unique visitors logged in to view the live streaming of the technology tracks, keynotes and workshops. The four-day conference program anchored by Kavyaa Chavali, also witnessed the 12th edition of the CRN Xcellence Awards wherein 28 leading SIs and VARs took home their crowns.

Keynotes The Road to the Cloud Sudarsan Ranganathan, CEO, Veeras Infotek, compared the current business scenario with the Kauravas and Pandavas in the Mahabharata. “In the epic, while the Kauravas were manipulators and always strategic in their approach, the Pandavas were at the receiving end of the manipulation

and always reactive.” Comparing it to the real world he advised, “We are becoming reactive like the Pandavas whereas we need to become strategic like the Kauravas.” He said, “The road to the cloud is the road to heaven. It can act as a good strategic move in your business.” He then explained the three models in the cloud space: own managed cloud services data center, white-labelled cloud services, and the reselling of cloud services. He advised partners to apply the arrow strategy in their GTM: start with narrow offerings, achieve success, gain references, and leverage the momentum to win additional business from existing customers. “Additionally, it is important to define what our core competencies are. The closer you stay to your core competencies the higher the success rate,” Ranganathan concluded. Computer Reseller News



n Sudarsan Ranganathan, CEO, Veeras Infotek, provided insights on how partners can build a successful cloud business

n Ranjan Chopra, CMD, Team Computers, spoke about balancing life and work, and emphasized the key mantras for leadership

n Ajay Sawant, MD, Orient Technologies, shared his company’s best practices to highlight how system integrators need to prepare for the future

n KV Jagannath, MD, Choice Solutions, highlighted the key imperatives for partners to survive and thrive in the future, amidst the changing paradigms

n Dr Pawan Agrawal, CEO, Mumbai Dabbawala Education Center, conducted a workshop on management using the Dabbawalas as a case study


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The Big Thing—Happiness In his keynote, Ranjan Chopra, CMD, Team Computers, emphasized the importance of continuous cash flow. He advised partners not to put their short-term cash into long-term investments. Declared Chopra: “Topline is vanity, bottom-line is sanity, cash is reality. Partners should not forget this basic law of finance. They should measure the income-expenditure difference and find out the frequency of non-payments.” He urged partners to rewire their brains, tastes and preferences in terms of their businesses. He also asked them to jump orbits and do the unusual rather than follow the ofttreaded path. Citing lessons he learnt from Zorba, his Jazz bar in New Delhi, Chopra said, “This is one place where musicians experiment with different forms of music. There is a lot of fusion and blend. A similar business mind will help you reach higher levels.” Epitome of Systems Integration Ajay Sawant, MD, Orient Technologies, spoke about the current business scenario, the challenges in systems integration, and shared the best practices of his organization. After commending the delegates, Sawant asked, “How many of you want your children to fill your shoes?” The question was met with an eerie silence. He then asked, “Why do you not want your children to enter the business? What are the changes you need to make to improve the value proposition for them? These are the questions you need to consider.” According to Sawant, the current scenario is complicated by eroding margins, employee attrition, lack of entry barriers and delayed customer payments. “Direct OEM engagement (with customers) has increased, and

n Shoaib Ahmed, President, Tally Software, conducted a workshop on how to drive a growthoriented business, and being happy

“Along with the leaders of the IT industry, there was a heady mix of OEMs presenting their best solutions. It was a great opportunity to network, share and learn Anubhav Gupta

Director, Artek Enterprises

they are using the channel as an option to pass on business risk rather than as a business compulsion.” Sawant shared some of the best practices followed by his organization including an employee self-service portal, a solution-centric approach, multiple OEM engagements, and bottom-line-driven targets for the sales team. Nevertheless, he said that “the mantra for success lies in collaboration with other partners.” Imperatives for Survival KV Jagannath, MD, Choice Solutions, spoke about the imperatives for partners to survive and thrive in the future. According to him, partners should do a SWOT analysis of their strategies for an overview of their viability. “Do not be content with your strengths, be sensitive to dynamic changes, eliminate your weaknesses, push away the threats, focus on opportunities, create key differentiators for customers (such as flexibility, responsiveness and value-added services) and be a trusted partner with the right advice,” Jagannath said. He emphasized value creation. “Do not over-promise and under-deliver. Read the market right and keep a hawk’s eye on emerging opportunities. Create incremental value and focus on a strong bonding with your customers. My suggestion is not to be content with your core strengths. Be sensitive to dynamic changes and strategize to counter the elimination

n Chand Narayan, Co-Founder, Value Inc., conducted a workshop on the imperatives of managing HR in a SME organization

of middlemen.” Jagannath advised the channel community to lead by example, build a following, dream big, invest in themselves and their people, think ahead, strategize, and communicate the belief to all stakeholders.

Workshops n Kevin Ackhurst, VP, APAC Partners, Juniper Networks, spoke about his company’s India plans and partner strategy

n Ganesan Arumugam, Director, Channel & Alliances, VMware, highlighted opportunities in virtualization and private cloud deployments

n B Srinivasan, National Technical Manager, Leviton, shared the products and channel strategy of his company

n Patrick Mathias, VP, Mid-market and SMB, Partner Business Group, Cisco Systems, discussed opportunities in cloud computing and BYOD

n GB Ravichandra, Director, Network Connectivity, Schneider Electric, spoke about building channel topline through energy-efficient solutions


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Management Lessons from Mumbai Dabbawallas In a session on management lessons from Mumbai dabbawallas, Pawan Agrawal, CEO, Mumbai Dabbawalla Education Center, mesmerized the delegates with a commentary on the lives of the dabbawallas and their time management techniques. The 5,000 dabbawallas deliver tiffin boxes to more than two lakh Mumbaikars working across the island city. Their procedure is simple—they follow a code-based system. Each tiffin box is marked with a code based on the destination, the railway station (boarding and alighting), and the office address. Agrawal said the dabbawallas take pride in the fact that their association has not seen a single strike, a court case, or a police NC in its more than 120 years of existence. According to Agrawal, the dabbawallas do not let illness fall in the way of fulfilling their duty. “So precious is their time and such is the respect they command that Britain’s Prince Charles went to meet them on the footpath outside Churchgate station—at an hour appointed by them.” Toward the end of the session Agrawal honored some of the attendees with the dabbawallas’ trademark topis and miniature tiffins. Math of Happiness Although the last to take the stage on Day 2 of the summit, Shoaib Ahmed, President, Tally Software, created

n Pradeep Khemani, Country Manager, Channel and SMB Sales, ESSN, HP India, highlighted his company’s focus on converged infrastructure

“Attending CLS 2012 was a great moment of us where we shared our views with peers and principals. Hope CLS 2013 will be more attractive and beneficial Asis Chaudhuri

CEO, Duckback Information Systems

excitement among partners and his peers from the vendor community with his interactive workshop. He drove home the point of having detailed discussions with customers and said, “The danger is not in dreaming too high and not achieving it, but in aiming too low and achieving it. Discuss the latest technologies with customers, set up the trust that is required for the business, and lead them. The challenge is to go out and create demand and motivate our people. If our employees approach us with an idea we need to support them to work on the idea so that they take ownership of and pride in their work.” Ahmed said that one should inculcate such concepts to motivate staff beyond their routine work areas—and the results will be very visible. Leverage your HR Chand Narayan, Co-Founder, Value Inc., explained how organizations can leverage human resources in an age of shrinking margins, rising competition, growing demands from customers and an increasingly complex business environment. Using the analogy of orchestra conductors, who are chiefly responsible for the conduct of the musicians on the stage, and whose one mistake can have embarrassing consequences, Narayan, in his brief but effective presentation, put forth the idea of effective communication, clarity in thought and a happy work

n Prakash Krishnamoorthy, Country Manager, HP Networking India, spoke about how HP is betting big on networking

“Attending CLS 2012 was a nice experience. It was a wonderfully arranged conference. Moreover, it was a good platform to network with peers and principals SR Nautiyal

MD, Spark Technologies

environment. “People need to connect with each other because they spend around 10-14 hours per day at the workplace. They need a community to interact with or they will not be happy working. In such a scenario the biggest challenge for a leader is to make a team perform in sync,” he said. Through videos, Narayan demonstrated the role of a leader’s behavior in people management.

AllTimeIT Launch AllTimeIT Solutions, a conglomerate of 15 IT partners, leveraged the CLS platform to formally launch the company and their cloud offering, Efficloud, which is targeted at SMB and enterprise customers. The company will offer enterprise services such as virtual private server, backup-as-a-service, virtual desktop infrastructure, portal-as-a-service and SaaS in areas such as ERP, hospitality, retail and education. As a certified HP CloudAgile partner, AllTimeIT Solutions will be able to tap HP’s network of channel partners, as well as sales and marketing support, to promote the adoption of Efficloud. Inviting the delegates to partner with the company, Ajay Sawant, MD, AllTimeIT Solutions, and CEO, Orient Technologies said, “In India the cloud is likely to cross an opportunity of $5 billion in the next five years.” Rajiv Gupta, Director, AllTimeIT Solutions, and Director, Sara Infoway,

n Sunil Sharma, VP, Sales and Operations, India and Saarc, Cyberoam, spoke about the opportunities in network security market

said that the new cloud service is by the channel, for the channel and with the channel. “The company is committed to provide full-fledged services within the next one month and will provide PaaS, IaaS and SaaS on the cloud.”

Technology Tracks Partnering for the New Network Kevin Ackhurst, VP, APAC Partners, Juniper Networks, said that concepts such as cloud computing and mobile Internet are driving the need for a new network. He highlighted the company’s thrust to engage partners to tap enterprise business. “Enterprises contribute 40 percent of our business, and to grow this further we need new partners to tap opportunities. The last quarter was our best in India. The demand for our products and solutions has increased.” Providing glimpses of the new Juniper Partner Advantage Program launched at the Global Partner Summit in January 2012, Ackhurst said that the company wants to network with more partners for its newly-introduced Reach, Accelerate and Reward programs. Later, in an interview with Dhaval Valia, Associate Publisher & Executive Editor, CRN, Ackhurst said that Juniper is betting big on the opportunities in corporates that require a network refresh. Explaning the benefits of partnering with Juniper, Ackhurst said, “You will get a 30 percent discount on products just for being a Select Partner. If you invest more and specialize, you can become an Elite Partner and earn more discounts and rebates.” Business Opportunities with VMware Said Ganesan Arumugam, Director, Channels & Alliances, VMware India, “We would like to make the claim that

n Alok Gupta, MD, Unistal, provided an overview of his company’s solutions, services, partner programs in the backup and client security space

n Mohammed Nasir, Senior Manager, Canon India, explained the trends and opportunities in the printing solutions space

n Mathew Philip, Head, Partner and Corporate Sales, Wipro, spoke about his company’s new green client portfolio and discussed partner strategies

n Bimal Raj, CEO, Smartlink Network Systems, briefed partners about Digisol’s plans to tap the enterprise segment

n Sarabjeet Khurana, Director, Trust Services, South East Asia, Symantec, India and Saarc, highlighted the importance of secured online transactions

n Rajiv Rao, Director, SMB, Lenovo India, spoke about his company’s achievements in SMB segment, product innovations, and focus on channels

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n SK Lau, Director, Presales Consulting, APAC, Quantum, emphasized the importance of data protection and shared his company’s strategy

n Anand Naik, Managing Director, Sales, India and Saarc, Symantec, spoke about the changing security landscape in an era of mobility and cloud

n Ashish Gupta, Head, Channel & Service Business, India & South Asia, Polycom, shared details about his company’s new visual collaboration solutions

n Praveen Sahai, VP, Channels, EMC India and Saarc, stressed upon the changing marketplace and how partners need to realign customer strategies

n Bhupendra Patel, CEO, Horizon DataSys, shared details about his company’s client data recovery solutions and India plans


Computer Reseller News


we are the friendliest enterprise software channel company. Did you know that we spend more than 10 percent of our annual revenue on channel incentives and channel programs?” Though VMware is popularly accepted as the leader across various markets, Arumugam stressed that the company is not resting on its laurels. “We are constantly listening to partners and are finding ways to improve our programs. We spend close to $377 million every year on channel programs.” Arumugam urged partners to focus on certifications and build competencies. “A certified partner with a solution competency ends up increasing the deal size by 2-4 times and earns double of what a partner without the solution competency earns. Increased expertise ensures increased revenue.” “It is never too late for you to approach us for building a new partnership,” he added. “We are open to new partners especially from Class B and C cities, and partners keen on building new solution competencies.” Smart Choice for a Better Network B Srinivasan, National Technical Manager, Leviton India, spoke about the presence and long-term plans of the company in India. He highlighted the company’s 3PL warehouse located in the Chennai free trade zone. “At any point of time we have stock worth $2 million. With the presence of a local warehouse we ensure turnaround of less than a week. It is an added advantage for customers availing STPI/SEZ custom exemptions.” Srinivasan spoke about Leviton’s plans to extend its reach to tier-2 cities through strengthening its logistics and partner base. “We aim to double our manpower to get into these areas. To address the demand, we will look to

n Altaf Halde, MD, South Asia, Kaspersky Lab, talked about his company’s enterprise client security offerings and highlighted partner program benefits

“CLS 2012 was a meticulously designed and cleanly executed event. It was a win-win proposition for delegates, sponsors and organizers. Hats-off to CRN Inderpal Singh,

CEO, Aman Technologies

increase our partner base across India. We will also increase the number of Leviton-trained engineers.” He highlighted the recentlyintroduced Leviton Star Performer scheme for the sales personnel of business partners with incentives ranging from `20,000 to `1 lakh on an order value of `10 lakh to more than `50 lakh. “The scheme is valid till September 2012,” Srinivasan said. BYOD: Changing the Face of the Workplace Patrick Mathias, VP, Mid Market and SMB, Partner Business Group, Cisco Systems, discussed opportunities for partners in the cloud and BYOD. He said that there will be 15 billion new networked devices by 2015, and that 90 percent of organizations will allow personal devices for work by 2014. “This is the business that has budgets, will mature before being commoditized, and is therefore profitable. BYOD and the cloud are no longer part of the hype cycle—they have reached the stage of early adoption.” According to Mathias, “Although a lot of CXOs are bringing their own devices to their offices, many are fumbling because of network, security and infrastructure-related issues. This opens the door for partners. From reselling smart devices to configuring IT architecture (to suit BYOD needs), the opportunities are immense.” He remarked that the deployment of smart devices is not a one-time sale.

n Snehal Parikh, GM, Distribution and Strategic Partners, Eaton, emphasized the importance of power solutions in a virtualized environment

“CLS 2012 was an extravaganza unmatched by any other IT event in India. It helped us in rethinking and re-defining business, which is an imperative in this extremely fast changing world Ajit Mital

MD, Acme Digitek Solutions

“The tech cycles will not collapse any time soon. Partners can tap opportunities in securing an access point, managing complexity and scale, and delivering a high-quality experience.” Smart Path to Business Growth GB Ravichandra, Director, Sales & Marketing, Network Connectivity & Lifesize Business, Schneider Electric, said that energy demand is expected to double by 2050, and that there is a need to cut energy consumption and CO2 emission by half to avoid drastic climate changes. “The best thing is to conserve energy, and Schneider offers solutions which can help save energy by up to 30 percent.” Continued Ravichandra, “Our EcoStruxure is an architectural approach which unites the five domains of power management, process & machine management, security management, building management and white-space management. Partners can leverage on the 1.46 lakh products from Schneider.” He spoke about the benefits of Schneider’s opportunity registration program, rewards program and backend rebates. The company also offers Partner Online Destination, an online embodiment of the Schneider Channel Partner Program which offers training to partners’ sales and marketing personnel. Ravichandra revealed that Schneider will soon introduce the SI Engagement Program for SIs catering

to enterprises, mid-market and the government; as well as the APC Smart Samurai Program to train, incentivize and build the competencies of partners’ sales personnel. Power of Convergence HP’s message for partners was all about the power of convergence cutting across multiple domains— servers, storage, software, networking and infrastructure. Addressing delegates, Pradeep Khemani, Country Manager, Channels & SMB Sales, HP ESSN, unveiled the company’s storage strategy. “The 3PAR acquisition has assured that all the missing blocks in HP’s enterprise storage are now in place. Our converged infrastructure story has been strengthened by the launch of the Proliant G8 series of servers. We have announced three projects this year which will further revolutionize the way servers will be designed in future.” These are Project Moonshot (focused on low-energy servers), Project Odyssey (for mission-critical computing) and Project Voyager (to cut down data center costs). HP is betting big on networking, where the strategy will be to focus on open technologies such as OpenFlow and HP’s no-compromise lifetime warranty. “But the biggest story is the cloud. We have the best-of-breed product line for partners who want to set up cloud infrastructure for their customers.” Khemani said that in just one year HP has bagged over 1,000 customers for its CloudSystem. New Mantra in Printing Space Mohammed Nasir, Senior Manager, Canon India, said that the opportunity for managed print services (MPS) is huge with the expectation that 140 billion prints will be required by 2015. Though he admitted that the last

n Kevin Ackhurst, VP, APAC Partners, Juniper Networks, engaged with partners at the Power Breakfast held to share details of its partner programs and India plans

n Navin Mehra, Regional Manager, Fortinet India, spoke about the emerging opportunities in security solutions with changing IT landscape

n Leo Veluthukaran, Head, Enterprise Sales, eScan, shared details about their company’s new cloudbased security offerings

n Charles Clarke, Technical Pre-Sales Manager, APAC, Veeam Software, spoke about the future of data protection in the virtualized data center

n Ankesh Kumar, Director, Channel Products and Marketing, Emerson, highlighted his company’s allround data center portfolio

n Nitin Verma, National Manager, Volume Business, Fujitsu, addressed a focused group of partners about his company’s channel expansion plans during the Power Breakfast

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n Ajay Sawant, MD, AllTimeIT, spoke about new partner-led consortium, its objectives and business plans

n Devendra Taneja, Chairman, AllTimeIT, sharing market and partner strategies of the newly formed company

n Canon showcased its new range of MFDs for SMBs and enterprises

n Cisco demonstrated its CloudVerse—the end-toend framework to build, manage and connect clouds

n Digisol showcased its range of switches and IP surveillance products for SMB and enterprise segments


Computer Reseller News


six months were not very encouraging for the industry, he said the future was bright. “The traditional way of doing the (printing) business will not help partners to survive in the long run. MNC brands are coming in a big way with their MPS, and partners can leverage their technology in a profitable manner.” He said that the industry is moving toward a pay-per-use model, and that print services via the cloud are gaining ground. “We are leveraging the cloud and have introduced features such as Easy Web print, Apple Airprint and Google cloud print.” Nasir invited partners to leverage Canon’s solutions such as auto duplexing, e-copy and document management. He mentioned retail, government and BFSI as some of the verticals with the biggest opportunities. “Segment-wise, surveillance is also a big opportunity for print services,” he stated. Productivity Now Advocating the concept of open computing, Mathew Philip, Head, Business Partner & Corporate Sales, Wipro Systems & Technology, said that open computing breaks barriers between people, processes and technology. He took the opportunity to familiarize CLS delegates with Wipro’s products in open computing, data center, storage and server solutions that form a part of its Green IT portfolio. Philip also spoke about its Green IT desktop solutions and its range of mobile computing products that include its e.go range. Besides, Philip spoke about Wipro’s enterprise mobility offerings which include wireless data communication, voice and convergence on a single device. The solutions are built on an Intel platform and are available on the Microsoft

n Donjin displayed its range of multimedia switches and enterprise communication solutions

“CRN has set a new standard for summit planners. It did a superb job selecting thought-provoking topics and keynotes. Thanks for making it such a worthwhile and memorable experience Vikas Gupta

Director, Veltronics India

handheld OS. The company already has customers in manufacturing, retail, government, defense, power, utilities and supply chains for its enterprise mobility solutions. Philips also touched upon the company’s infrastructure support practice. We are Smartlink Bimal Raj, CEO, Smartlink Network Systems, explained Smartlink’s evolution from 1993 when it started the first SMT line set-up at Goa through the launch of Digisol in 2010 to the Digilite launch and transfer of Digilink to Schneider Electric in 2011. “The journey can be summarized as our tryst to rediscover our capabilities. Smartlink has been instrumental in the successful launch and growth of many MNC brands in India. Today we are building our own truly Indian MNC brands.” He said that the Digisol brand offers a wide range of products from wireless and broadband routing to switching, IP surveillance and VoIP. “With core technical expertise in the networking industry, the brand offers over 150 products.” Raj underscored the competitive edge of Digilite riding on its costeffective manufacturing and strong distribution. “Capitalizing on our strengths and experience in designing and manufacturing motherboards, Digilite is one of the fastest-selling motherboard brands in India with over 20 models launched and more

n Eaton exhibited its range of power solutions including its newly launched enterprise class UPS range

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than two lakh motherboards sold within nine months of inception. Digilite is also the exclusive service provider for Intel motherboards.”

n EMC showcased its newly launched VSPEX private cloud solution and VNX range for SME and midmarket segments

n Emerson demonstrated its entire range of power solutions including its newly launched monitoring and management software

n Fujitsu showcased its volume product range including servers, workstations and PCs

n Horizon Datasys displayed its disaster management, backup and client recovery solutions

n Juniper showcased its QFabric network architecture and the new range of data center switches based on the new platform


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Differentiate, Maximize, Accelerate What keeps an online business rocking? Customer satisfaction. Sarabjeet Khurana, Director, Trust Services, South East Asia, India & Saarc, Symantec, highlighted the importance of a secured online transaction for customer satisfaction. “The ultimate dream of partners is to ensure customer success. They therefore need to understand customer needs and align with our solutions which have become a trusted brand over the last couple of years with Verisign.” Khurana spoke about the key challenge of an online business which is to protect the brand reputation. The objective is to drive more customers to the Website and increase transactions, protect customer and corporate data, and reduce exposure to threats and time to compliance. “There is a huge opportunity with Symantec Verisign for partners because the online transaction market is growing at the rate of 51 percent YoY,” Khurana said. SMB and Channel Focus Rajiv Rao, Director, SMB, Lenovo India, quoted IDC and said that Lenovo is second in worldwide PC marketshare, and was the fastestgrowing company in the last 10 straight quarters. He informed that Lenovo recently introduced the ThinkCenter Tiny M92p small-factor desktop with 40 percent less energy consumption. Its ThinkPad X1 Carbon commercial ultrabook weighs less than 1.3 kg. “We have also introduced the firstever tablet for commercial usage with a true pen experience, email set-up,

n Lenovo exhibited its ThinkCenter Tiny range built for energy and space savings for SMBs

“We thank CRN for warm hospitality at the energetic CLS 2012. Moreover, we find the CRN Xcellence Awards selection process extremely detailed and transparent Nikit Rambhia

Director, Vardhaman Technology

collaboration software and USB port.” He said that Lenovo had established 233 LES stores and 780 LESLite stores as well as the first SMB-focused Lenovo Business Store in Pune. “We have plans to open five more such stores in August 2012,” Rao disclosed. Rao explained the benefits around its deal registration and ISR alignment process as well as Partner Demo Program and Partner Rebate Program. “While we offer Lenovo PCs at discounted rates for demonstration, our rebate program enables partners to earn up to 4 percent more through the linearity bonus and new customer acquisition incentive.” Profitability with Protegent Alok Gupta, Managing Director, Unistal, provided an overview of the company’s products, services and solutions, its partner programs as well as the profitability it offers. He spoke about the various Protegent products and emphasized the company’s service pack software with benefits such as proactive data recovery, do-it-yourself data recovery, and no requirement of technical expertise. Speaking about activity monitoring and reports, Gupta said that Protegent products generate system-wise usage reports of all the applications which are blacklisted; they also generate user-wise records of all the blacklisted Websites. Gupta explained the benefits of

n Leviton showcased its entire range of passive networking and intelligent cabling solutions

“CLS 2012 was an excellent platform for a partner to do a reality check of his business. Moreover, the Talent Night and water sports were awesome Suresh Ramani CEO, TechGyan

partnering with Unistal which has a dedicated 24x6 toll-free support and resolves problems with the help of remote access. “We have a solutionbased approach, dedicated software developers for specific products, and a technical team with strong analytical and developing skills.”

Fostering Leadership Sunil Sharma, VP, Sales & Operations, India & Saarc, Cyberoam, said that the total network security market in India was estimated at $230 million in FY2011-12 and is expected to reach $280 million in FY2012-13. Of this, the UTM market had a share of $60 million in FY2011-12 that is expected to become $80 million in the current fiscal. “With our presence in more than 125 countries and with 5,000+ partners, we have shipped 45,000 UTM appliances till date. Currently, about 41 percent of our business comes from the education segment, 12 percent from government and defense, 10 percent from IT/ITeS, 8 percent from BFSI, 5 percent each from healthcare and MSSP, and 19 percent from others.” Sharma explained that Cyberoam’s growth strategy for partners stood on the four pillars of marketing support, training & certification, pre-sales support and post-sales support. “We can assure our partners of prompt support with our local presence in 12 cities.” He urged the delegates to partner

n NComputing lined up its thin client products showcasing specific solutions for education and government

with the company which has been classified as visionary in the Gartner magic quadrant for UTM. Addressing Data Growth Concerns Once a dominant HDD brand, Quantum has transformed itself into a provider of niche and mission-critical storage and back-up solutions. Said SK Lau, Director, Presales Consulting, APAC, Quantum, “With us you can be certain you are maximizing the value of your data by protecting it over its entire lifecycle in any environment and on any scale.” He said the exponential growth in data has transformed CIO priorities. “Improving DR and backup, increasing server virtualization, searching for new DR options and making the best of storage infrastructure are the new top priorities.” Lau introduced new Quantum products for de-duplication, scalability, storage virtualization and management. He said that new diskbased de-dupe storage boxes offer compression up to 40 times, and have reduced the restore time from days to minutes. “Big data is another area of growth. Customers want costs to be controlled and value maximized even as data grows uncontrollably,” Lau said. Lau also said that tiered architectures are in demand for large data customers, and that Quantum is positioning its Quantum N-tier storage as a solution to address this requirement. Data Protection in Current Scenario Anand Naik, Managing Director, Sales, Symantec India & Saarc, spoke about mobility, cloud and virtualization redefining IT. Naik emphasized the importance of data protection in the current scenario where data is doubling every

n Symantec exhibited solutions for online transactions under the brand Norton Secured

n Wipro demonstrated the e.go range of small form factor and energy efficient mobile PCs

n Unistal showcased Protegent enterprise security solutions, and its range of backup and recovery solutions

n Schneider showcased not just its power solutions but also its connectivity portfolio

n Quantum showcased its backup, de-duplication line of products and also its upcoming cloud storage solutions

n Polycom demonstrated its new range of video conferencing solutions

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n Ashutosh Sharma, VP, Futuresoft, and Sarabjeet Khurana, Director, Symantec, won the first prize for a singing-whistling duet

n Ranjan Chopra, CMD, Team Computers, won the second prize, Wipro netbook, for singing

n Alok Gupta, MD, Cache Digitech won the third prize, `5,000 gift voucher, for whistling Hindi songs

n Rushabh Shah, CEO, Graham Information Systems, won the fourth prize, `3000 gift voucher for his stand-up comedy

year with the proliferation of mobile computing devices. “The customer threat landscape continues to evolve and an advanced kind of filtration is required for data protection. It is the responsibility of the partners to figure out the pain-points of the customers and provide solutions.” Explaining the value proposition of Symantec Naik said, “We solve three key problems of customers: protect both corporate and consumer information, manage infrastructure both on the cloud as well as in physical form, and provide data back-up and retrieval as well as IP protection.” He spoke about the benefits of Symantec’s partner programs wherein partners get preferential status with special support resources, technical assistance, etc. Excel with Video Ashish Gupta, Head, Channel & Service Business, Polycom India & South Asia, took the audience through the evolution of video from standard definition to high definition. Gupta underlined the customer demand for integration of video hardware and applications. “OEMs stood up to offer the integration with investment protection. They also integrated the legacy voice systems with the video collaboration.” He however said there was still a need to provide easy to use and deploy solutions. “OEMs came up with touch functions to increase ease of use, as well as a facility to initiate and attend calls from the desk. This provided the much-needed relief from the hassle of booking a conference room and requiring another person to initiate a call.” Gupta added that with many organizations allowing their employees to bring their own devices to work, solutions are now available

n The Talent Night jury comprised Sanjiv Bhavnani, Founder & Chief Mentor, Mentorpreneur Advisors; Bimal Raj, CEO, Smartlink Network Systems; Denny John, GM & Sales Head, Wipro, and Devesh Aggarwal, CEO, Compusoft


Computer Reseller News


n Team CRN

“CLS 2012 was a mix of right delegates. The smallest of the things were taken care of and everything was beautifully planned. The awards night was really thrilling Dipesh Mangla

Director, Computers Network & Telecom

which offer video connectivity on any platform. “Although tablets are at a nascent stage, the number of tablets is likely to increase from the current 64 million to about 320 million by 2015. Many tablet buyers are now using them for video calls as well.” Accelerate Growth with EMC Praveen Sahai, VP, Channels, EMC India & Saarc, stressed the importance of the relationship of partners with their customers and principals. “Any sale that takes place is a by-product of the relationship we have with the customer.” He added that having a multiple vendor approach is a good idea. “However, the 80:20 rule applies here because 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your vendors.” Sahai said EMC was committed to its partners’ success in growing the total addressable market. “Being at the top of the storage market, EMC offers a range of solutions covering transactional storage, big data storage, back-up & archiving, hybrid technologies and big data analytics.” He underlined the company’s channel focus through its recentlylaunched channel-only VSPEX. “Moreover, to mobilize partners, we have started small-format one-toone discussion sessions in which a partner invites 15-20 of his potential customers and the EMC team helps to position our products in a structured way followed by Q&A and lunch. It is

“The CRN Xcellence Awards are considered as benchmark of merit for channel organizations and receiving this award motivates us to continue our commitment to excel Ranjan Chopra

CMD, Team Computers

a 100 percent EMC-funded activity.” Excellence in PC Maintenance Bhupendra Patel, CEO, Horizon DataSys, introduced the company as an organization that delivers software utilities which have evolved to simplify PC maintenance. “Ever since the PC was born a long line of PC maintenance utilities—from registry cleaners to disk imaging solutions—have been invented. Horizon DataSys has been delivering PC tools which protect IT assets, make IT departments more efficient, and save time and money.” He offered a live demo of RollBack Rx, a method of recovering from any PC disaster by continuously taking real-time snapshots of your hard disk and files, thus providing absolute system DR. He said, “RollBack Rx has revolutionized DR by making it quick and easy to restore PCs up to the second of a disaster without any data loss.” Patel invited partners to join hands with Horizon. “You can help Horizon to excel in delivering desktop solutions and customer satisfaction. Join us as a Horizon DataSys Partner, choosing a program that best fits your business model.” The company offers two partner programs: Horizon DataSys Online Affiliate Program and Horizon DataSys Tier One Reseller. Beyond Traditional Security Altaf Halde, MD, South Asia, Kaspersky Lab, asked delegates what came to their minds when they thought about Kaspersky. “Let me take this opportunity to state that Kaspersky is not only about retail; we also offer multi-layered enterprise AV protection which protects the gateway, mail sub-system, servers and workstation layers.” He informed that in India they have recently booked their “largest order for 10,000 licenses from a government agency.”

According to Halde, Kaspersky ensured a minimum 20 percent margin for partners. “Margins may go even higher based on the size of the project and the role of the partner.” Halde said that a partner will get an additional margin of 15 percent over the assured margin in the first single order of 100 or more user licenses of Kaspersky’s B2B product before September 10, 2012. “Moreover, as a special offer for CLS delegates, partners who sign up before August 10, 2012 and sell a total of 5,000 B2B licenses by December 31, 2012 will get to meet Kaspersky’s brand ambassador, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.” Power Management Snehal Parikh, GM, Distribution & Strategic Alliance Partners, Eaton Power, highlighted the importance of communication between the UPS and IT system in a virtualized environment. “Without communication, a UPS will perform its tasks but your IT system could still go down if you are not warned about the remaining battery time in case of an extended power failure, or if the UPS gets overloaded for too long.” Parikh explained that virtualization has challenged the concept of what a server is, or indeed, where in the world the server is at any given time. The under-utilized hardware problem is solved, but wherever the server is it still requires electrical power. He compared traditional and modern power management, and said that in the traditional method the approach is to treat each virtual machine as a traditional server, and install and configure the UPS agent on each VM (and not on the hypervisor). By contrast, in the modern approach, the UPS agent is integrated with the hypervisor (single host) or central management server (multi-host), and reports power conditions to a single location. The Power of Control Navin Mehra, Regional Manager, Fortinet India, threw light on the opportunities for partners due to new trends such as the transition to IPv6. Inviting partners into the Fortinet fold Mehra said, “Our new product

n Live Goan live music being played at Fisherman’s Wharf where the gala dinner was organized on the final night

n Partners having a gala time at the dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf

n Partners getting ready for water sports activities on day 4 of the event

n A group of partners enjoying the banana split ride

n Ringo water ride was the key attraction of the water sports activity

Computer Reseller News



for SMBs has an inbuilt SIM card and 3G in the box. Partners can deploy it directly at the customers’, and we will provide them with 24x7 support.” The company has also made it easier for partners to appear for the exams and obtain certification. “You can appear for Pearson Vue for Rs 25,000. Once certified, you can earn an operating margin of 15 percent. For each migration (from the competition) the entire team is eligible for a tour of places like Nepal and Sri Lanka.” Mehra also explained the procedure for incentives (for OEMs) and buybacks. Fortinet, he said, has introduced a deal registration system on its partner portal. “We will introduce 40-minute training on all the products on WebEx. The training will include TCO calculation including YoY cost and recurring cost. The portal will also update partners about renewals, projects, opportunities, etc.” Enterprise Value Proposition In a joint presentation, Leo Veluthukaran, Head, Enterprise Sales,

eScan, and Amancio Britto, Manager, Techno Commercial, eScan, dwelt on the scope that cloud computing can provide partners and why they should partner with the company. Taking a leaf out of the launch of AllTimeIT, Veluthukaran said, “The cloud has given thrust to ensure that we are the company the consortium can leverage.” Talking about big ticket deals Britto said, “We have the right products and opportunities to earn more revenue from existing accounts. Abroad there have been instances where we sold 20,000 licenses month-on-month through partners. We are seeing those opportunities opening up in India, and want to replicate the model here. These are the opportunities for our partners to service their customers’ customer, and the margins are more than 25 percent.” Discussing the company’s strategy for the cloud-based MSP program he added, “The security market will reach $15 billion by 2015. There is a lot of scope for partners to provide security solutions. For cloud-based

Juniper-CRN Mind Challenge One of the biggest attractions for partners this year was the Mind Challenge quiz jointly presented by CRN and Juniper. The quiz sessions, held between the presentations, achieved the objective of breaking the monotony and refreshing the minds of the delegates. The quiz tested delegates on their general knowledge and rewarded the winners with attractive prizes. Armed with voting meters in their hands, delegates tested their general knowledge in all the quiz sessions on three days of summit. The partners won attractive prizes like gift voucher worth `5000 as first prize, gift voucher worth `3000 as second prize, and Sheaffer pens as third, fourth and fifth prize. The winners of the Mind Challenge included Ashok Shiroor, MD, Mikroz InfoSecurity; R Madhav Chandran, MD, Cyberland Technologies; Rushabh Shah, CEO, Graham Information Systems; Suresh Ramani, CEO, Tech Gyaan; Akhil Ranjan Jha, Director, Comprehensive Consultancy; Ajit Mital, MD, Acme Digitek Solutions; Ketan Khimani, Director, Microlink Solutions; and SR Nair, MD, Team Frontline. n 2012

n Ashok Shiroor, MD, Mikroz, won the top honors for first two days of the Juniper-CRN Mind Challenge


Computer Reseller News


n SR Nair, MD, Team Frontline, won the first prize for the Juniper-CRN Mind Challenge on the day 3

“The CRN Xcellence Award recognizes our efforts to adopt best practices and apply sound business acumen. It endorses our commitment to innovate and grow further to attain new milestones Ashutosh Deuskar, Director, VDA

Infosolutions, Winner, Best Solutions Provider

MSPs we provide a cloud-based Web management console and a security dashboard.” Securing VMs With virtualization gaining acceptance across the industry, the new IT challenge is all about securing virtual machines. “A VM is a fairly complex piece of software which cannot be reliably backed up and restored using common back-up tools and conventional storage strategies,” said Charles Clarke, Technical Pre-Sales Manager, APAC, Veeam Software. Veeam is a Switzerlandheadquartered software company which sells virtual infrastructure management and data protection software. “Veeam Back-up & Replication is a VM back-up solution which supports both VMware and MS Hyper-V. Our Veeam ONE provides 24x7 real-time monitoring, performance analysis, resource optimization and management reporting for VMware and Hyper-V,” Clarke informed. “Last year we shipped more virtualized servers than stand-alone physical servers, and we will see more customers betting on virtualization this year.” According to Clarke, “Customers want to document and monitor their virtualized IT infrastructure. They want to build testing into the back-up plan and have a well-documented strategy for DR. We are the best solution provider for all this. We are a 100 percent channels organization and are looking for partners to sell our solutions in India.” Experience the Critical Difference Ankesh Kumar, Director, Products & Marketing, Channel & DCIM, Emerson Network Power, compared a data center with the human autonomic nervous system. He however said, “There is no coordination between application, IT and physical layers of the data center. Virtualization has aggravated

“This award is the most rewarding surprise and will boost our commitment for greater heights. We take this opportunity to thank my entire team Parminder Singh, MD, Mm9 Information Technologies, Winner, Best Enterprise

the trouble. Traditionally, we overprovision the data center, at the cost of efficiency, to the point that no matter what you do to it will never fail.” He presented the Universal Management Gateway (UMG) and Trellis architecture as a solution to data center infrastructure management woes. Kumar offered a 50 percent discount to all the delegates on the purchase of the UMG range for demos. Highlighting the company as a total power solutions provider, Kumar said that with the acquisition of Avocent Emerson was offering a wider portfolio which includes data center management software, KVM, infrastructure management appliances and power distribution units. “With Emerson partners can own the entire pie of the IT infrastructure business— that is the critical difference. On the same lines, we have planned to introduce a Critical Difference Partner program from October 2012.”

Lighter moments The Talent Night The jovial mood and positive ambience on the first day was further pepped up by hi-octane performances by partners who whole-heartedly participated in the Partner Talent Night, a new feature added this year. Several partners showcased their talents during the hour-long session which varied from reciting shaayris to stand-up comedy, singing and whistling songs. The Partner Talent Night was judged by Sanjiv Bhavnani, Founder and Chief Mentor, Mentorpreneur Advisors; Bimal Raj, CEO, Smartlink Network Systems; Denny John, General Manager and Sales Head, Wipro; and Devesh Aggarwal, CEO, Compusoft. The performances were adjudged on parameters such as stage presence, originality, quality of performance and uniqueness. Ashutosh Sharma, Senior VP, Futuresoft Solutions, and Sarabjeet

Khurana, Director, Trust Services, South East Asia, India and Saarc, Symantec, who performed a unique singing-whistling duet on super hit song Yeh Shaam Mastani took home the first prize of MapmyIndia GPS navigator worth `18,000, presented by Smartlink Network Systems. Ranjan Chopra, CMD, Team Computers, sang Piya Tu Ab To Aa Jaa, for which he was adjudged the first runner-up and won a Wipro netbook worth `16,000. Alok Gupta, MD, Cache Digitech, whistled his way to the third prize of a gift voucher worth `5,000, Rushabh Shah, CEO, Graham Information Systems, won gift voucher worth `3,000 as the fourth prize for his stand-up comedy. Shah, with his trademark style and witty one-liners, did not spare Dhaval Valia, Associate Publisher & Executive Editor, CRN, and Salil Warior, Group Commercial Director, CRN. Revelry at Fisherman’s Wharf One of the key attractions for delegates came in the form of a gala dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf, a multi-cuisine restaurant, on the bank of river Sal. After completing 3 days of hectic sessions, delegates indulged their senses with live musical entertainment and

socializing over drinks. While some of the delegates rocked the dance floor from evening till mid-night, others preferred to enjoy the combination of a spirited atmosphere and delicious food. Besides live music, the audience also cherished Goan folk dances by a local dance troupe. Leaving the official and formal talk behind, delegates and vendor representatives indulged in informal networking and shared some light moments and laughter. Water Sports Jet skiing, ringo rides, banana split rides or just motor-boat rides, water sports is yet another reason why people come back to Goa again and again. The fourth day of the event was marked by water sports, which was most appreciated by the daredevils among the delegates. While the motor-boat rides gave an opportunity to delegates to come closer to nature, most of them enjoyed the banana ride with a splash in midwater. Speed lovers were thrilled by the hair-raising speed of the jet ski. n — with inputs from the CRN team

passport lucky draw


July 26-29, 2012

| Holiday Inn, Goa

To attract delegates to the exhibition booths, CRN floated the Passport scheme where delegates were rewarded on visiting all booths. Those who got their Passport stamped by all booths were eligible to participate in a lucky draw. The lucky ones won gifts ranging from `2,000 to `5,000. Utpal Hazarika, CEO, Integrated Systems and Services, won the top prize in the lucky draw. The other lucky winners included Vipul Thakkar, MD, Silver Touch Technologies; Kirit Joshi, Senior VP, Sai Infosystems; Nityanand Shetty, MD, Essen Vision Software; Yogesh Godbole, Director, Ace Brain Systems and Software; Rahul Meher, CEO, Leon Computers; Vikas Gupta, Director, Veltronics India; Ahtesham Khan, Director, Robotics Computers; Suresh Ramani, CEO, Tech Gyan; Utpal Hazarika, CEO, Integrated Systems; and Nilesh Kuwadia, MD, ITCG Solutions. n

n Chand Narayan, CEO, Value Inc., picking the lucky draw for the Passport scheme

n Utpal Hazarika, CEO, Integrated Systems and Services, won the top prize in the Passport lucky draw

Computer Reseller News



n Nehal Shah, GM, Allied Digital, received the award from Ankesh Kumar, Director, Channel Products & Marketing, Emerson Network Power

n B Shankar, Director, Ashtech Infotech, received the award for the data center deployed at Adani Group

n KV Jagannath, MD, Choice Solutions, received the award from Dhaval Valia, Associate Publisher and Executive Editor, CRN

Critical Difference Partner Awards India’s six leading systems integrators were honored with the Critical Difference Partner 2012 awards at the Summit. Instituted jointly by CRN and Emerson Network Power, the Critical Difference Partner Awards aim to recognize and honor systems integrators who excel at providing end-to-end data center solutions, that include not just the core compute and network infrastructure but also the design and integration of power and cooling solutions, and the lifecycle management services. The winners are listed in the alphabetical order and not in the order of importance: Allied Digital Services: For the project that involved remodelling of HDFC Life’s existing data center into a private cloud and migrating existing applications to the cloud. Ashtech Infotech: For the project at Adani Group in Ahmedabad that involved the re-architecture and re-location of existing tier-1 data center to tier-3.

n Sandeep Vahi, Director, Compton Business Solutions, received the award for data center deployed at Century Communication


Computer Reseller News


Choice Solutions: For the project at NABARD, Mumbai, where the system integrator consolidated and virtualized the existing server and storage infrastructure into a 700 sq ft data center deploying energy savings and management as per Uptime Institute matrix. Compton Business Solutions: For the 3,000 sq ft tier-3 data center at Century Communication its postproduction facility in Chennai. Network Techlab: For the new tier-3 data center at Just Dial, Mumbai, to manage the customer’s growing business. Pentagon Systems and Services: For a turnkey tier-3 data center project for a leading financial institution (name withheld due to NDA). The data center solution had complex and hybrid power and cooling requirements, and also involved integrating legacy and technologies from different vendors. “With consolidation, virtualization and concepts like private cloud taking center stage, data center design and technology is

witnessing paradigm shift. As a result, the role of the partner in providing end-to-end data center solution from design to integration has become the key. Hence, we decided to institute this award along with CRN,” said Ankesh Kumar, Director, Channel Products & Marketing, Emerson. The winners of the Critical Difference Partner Awards 2012 were decided based on an open nomination process, where system integrators were invited to nominate their best data center project in the past 12-18 months. CRN received several nominations, which were shortlisted to 15 by the CRN editorial team and referred to a jury consisting of industry experts. The jury consisted of Mandar Marulkar, Associate VP, Head IT and CISO, KPIT Cummins; Anwer Bagdadi, Founder & CEO, Kashif Technology & Innovation; and Pratik Chube, General Manager, Product Development & Marketing, Emerson Network Power. n

n Sanjeet Shah, Director, Network Techlab, received the award for deploying the new tier-3 data center at Just Dial

n Sairaman Mudaliar, Director, Pentagon, received the award for a turnkey tier-3 data center project at a leading financial institution

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Biggest pain in the ….



hat do you think is the biggest pain-point for an enterprise systems integrator? Technology hassles? Account receivables? Financial issues? Nope. According to a prominent enterprise channel partner in the `100 crore club, it is vendor involvement. To an audience that consisted of around half a dozen other partners the gentleman in question did an impromptu presentation during the recently concluded CRN Leadership Summit 2012 in Goa. He said that of the 80 decent-sized bills his company had cut, 60 had a vendor salesperson involved in negotiations while the other 20 were closed by his team and he on their own. He says he made double the margins in the 20 orders which his team had handled. The problem? When a vendor is involved the customer talks directly to the vendor and then the vendor’s salesperson is often forced to get involved in pricing. That’s when all the margins disappear. His audience had only one answer. “Aap sahi bol rahe ho boss!” (“You are right boss!”) n

“I will promote inter-caste marriages” Vishal Khare, Director, Corporate Sales, Citrix India, looks after the enterprise business of the company. He has more than 12 years of experience in the IT industry. If not in the IT industry: I would have run my own restaurant or a gadget shop.

Vishal Khare

Biggest passion: Life. Behind the wheels: Ford

Endeavor. Gadgets I can’t live without: iPad and BlackBerry. Weekends are for: Family and friends. Favorite holiday destination: Monte Carlo. Hate the most: People with double standards. Favorite movies: Dil Chahta Hai and 3 Idiots. Favorite stars: Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra. Role model: Steve Jobs. I love his drive for perfection and details. Ultimate ambition: Keep on learning and improving myself. Wildest thing I have ever done: Snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea and watching a sunken ship underneath. Thing I most want to do in life: Fulfill my wife’s dream of opening a school where the focus can be on the all-round development of kids. If I became the PM: I will promote inter-caste marriages. Celebrity I would like to spend a day with: Priyanka Chopra. One person I would like to meet and why: Amitabh Bachchan for his enthusiasm, excellence, passion and drive to succeed every time. Deepest and darkest fear: That the country will become full of greedy and corrupt people, leading to internal war. n 


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— CRN Network

RNI NO. MAHENG/2011/39915 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



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To know how EMC VSPEX solution helps you grow your business or to become a VSPEX partner, write to: or call 1800 209 3016.

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CRN August 15 issue  

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