December 15, 2012 l Volume 2 Issue 04
Cover Story We list 10 events during 2012 that will have a significant impact on the IT industry and channel business in 2013
20 Cover Design : Deepjyoti Bhowmik
Intel unveils new motherboard roadmap 8 IBM eyes enterprise social biz
CommScope to increase mid-market focus
Canon to double Image Squares
Juniper intensifies SMB focus
Ajay Kaul who recently took over as Director and GM, Global Commercial Channels, Dell India, shares the companyâ€™s new plans and strategies
18 Role Model A seasoned player Pradeep Jhawar, Managing Director, Bardroy Infotech, recalls the origins of his `60 crore company and how he got to where he is nowâ€”with a little help from his better half
Netgear plans aggressive expansion 12
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30 Attaining new heights Held on November 29-30, 2012, the CRN Virtual Expo was a huge success with the participation of 1,045 unique partners from 180 cities
Tech Focus ViewSonic monitor with Android built-in The VSD220 Smart Display is truly that. With a built-in dual-core OMAP 4 computer, it can run Android apps and browse the Internet like any tablet
starting line MUST
Intel unveils new motherboard roadmap
IBM eyes enterprise social biz
n RAMDAS S
IBM Software is readying channels to sell its social business tools for the SMB and enterprise market. Promoted as a technology which takes collaboration tools beyond email, IBM is pitching IBM Connections, a software suite that helps business users use social networking applications within the enterprise. “Today, people are more keen to use applications such as Twitter and Facebook rather than plain email,” said Himanshu Goyal, Country Manager, IBM Collaboration Solutions. “With Connections, an enterprise can provide the same power to a user, and offer security and secrecy behind the corporate firewall.” The overall initiative targets the adoption of social networking by businesses, a market opportunity that’s expected to grow from $600 million in 2011 to $6.4 billion globally, according to Forrester Research. IBM feels that enterprises will look at social networking tools as a more entertaining way to engage their users, which in turn will increase productivity. Himanshu Goyal “For a channel partner who is looking at opportunities beyond basic collaboration suites around email, deploying social networking tools within an enterprise is a big opportunity to work closer with the customer,” Goyal added. The tools are not cheap. IBM lists the per-user license at $110 (around `6,000). There is also the cost of systems integration, which, Goyal pointed out, is the real business opportunity for channels. “Many of our partners have made investments in teams with core Java skills to address the opportunity. Around 50 partners have already been roped in, mostly in the larger cities.” Despite the high acquisition costs, IBM says that social networking drives innovation. According to the company, 95 percent of what are termed standout organizations will focus more on getting closer to the customer over the next five years, and 57 percent are more likely to allow their people to use social and collaborative tools. n — Ramdas S 8
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ntel sees a healthy desktop market in the days ahead, and is readying its channels to address new opportunities in this market. The chip major has affirmed that it will keep working with the system builder channel for the motherboard business and will drive innovation in the space. “Our biggest message is that 2013 will be an exciting year for the desktop business, and you will see bigger innovations happening. The desktop market is not dead, it’s simply evolving,” said Taha Mughir, Worldwide Customer Marketing Manager, Intel Client Board Division. Mughir said that Intel will unveil a new form factor called Next Unit of Computing in the country. The 4-inch x 4-inch motherboard features an integrated Core i3 with 7-series chipset, mini-PCIe slot, mSATA slot, two SO-DIMM slots and three USB ports. Power is supplied by an external AC/DC adapter, but there’s also a small 2-pin header for optional internal power supply. “We have already launched the product in other markets and are excited about introducing it in India. In the US a full-fledged system without monitor and OS, but having a 80/120 GB SSD drive, is retailing at $399. We expect similar pricing from our system builder partners here,” he said. According to Mughir, Intel sees four other form factors existing simultaneously. “The ATX form factor will be around as the enthusiast/gaming segment needs a larger form factor, Micro ATX will remain for the mainstream desktop market, the mini ITX for the Atom and PClike embedded market, and the thin mini ITX for the AIO.” He forecast that AIOs will gain
“Our biggest message is that 2013 will be an exciting year for the desktop business. The desktop market is not dead, it’s simply evolving” Taha Mughir
Worldwide Customer Marketing Manager, Intel Client Board Division
a dominant marketshare to the extent of 30 percent by 2014. “We now have 7-8 strong suppliers of building blocks (such as chassis) for this market, and building block costs are coming down.” He added that channels must look beyond the value PC market to stay ahead of the competition. Mughir identified markets such as high-end gaming and workstations, PC-like embedded, and AIOs as the three market segments where system builders are likely to dominate. “We have introduced new models for the PC-like embedded market, and now have embedded form factors supporting up to Core i7. Though we have partners building solutions for nearly 200 niche segments, we have identified PoS, digital signage and surveillance as the three key markets for our channels.” Meanwhile, Intel has released solution recipes (popularly known as cookbooks) which allow resellers to build solutions for these target markets. Mughir said that in 2013 Intel will launch Haswell, the next generation of the Core series of processors. He also said that next year the mainstream motherboard chipset market is likely to see a transition from the H61 to H67/77. n
starting line MUST
Canon to double Image Squares Canon India is planning to refocus on the home and SOHO segment in 2013, a segment which the vendor says is expected to grow more than the enterprise segment. The vendor also plans to double the number of its branded stores and grow its retail presence in LFRs and other multi-brand stores by over 50 percent. “We feel 2013 will be the year of the inkjet as home purchases of inkjet printers are going to grow considerably. The biggest reason for this is the high penetration of ICT in schools. Most school projects need a printer, so parents are buying printers along with computers,” said Rajeev Tewari, Director, CSP Group, Canon India. To address the opportunity Tewari said that Canon is recruiting street sales professionals in 50 markets across the country. “These markets are spread over metros and states. We will have a feeton-the-street person employed directly by Canon who will fuel sales activities, engage with the local channel and retail community, and promote Canon products.” Rajeev Tewari He said that the investments should trigger growth in business for Canon channels. “We are doubling the number of Canon Image Squares, our branded stores, to around 150 next year. This is again managed by our channel partners, and we are looking for more coverage in B- and C-class cities this year.” Canon does not expect flat sales or singledigit growth in laser printer sales. However, the company has decided to strengthen its corporate and enterprise sales by adding around 50 VARs; the vendor plans to recruit many of them from its copier sales distribution network. “We have a strong copier sales network, and many partners have a good understanding of enterprise customers, and have formed strong relations with them,” Tewari stated. Canon is also planning to focus on the business inkjet market, which Tewari said is emerging as one of the fastest-growing markets. n — Ramdas S
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CommScope to increase mid-market focus n SONAL DESAI
ommScope will increase its focus on the mid-market segment in 2013-14. The company defines organizations spending $9,999 on product purchases as mid-market. It will closely involve its 50 tier-2 partners in the process— it refers to these partners as installation and systems integration partners—especially in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, and top tier-2 cities such as Pune, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. At present it has about 20,000 MNC and domestic companies in the BFSI, telecom and hospitality industries as customers. Based on analyst and industry reports, CommScope pegs the structured cabling market in India at $250 million, of which $100 million is high-end, $135 million is mid-market, and the rest is run-rate. According to Alamuri Sitaramaiah, Director, Channel Sales, CommScope Enterprise Solutions, India & Saarc, “Our next drive is to develop robust and performance-driven cables which can support emerging applications. We are demoing 40 G and 100 G today, and I am sure that mid-market customers will consider investments in solutions that work for 8-10 years.” Emerging and maturing technologies such as video streaming, virtualization and cloud also require bandwidth, and Sitaramaiah is getting ready to tap these opportunities. The company recently launched PartnerPro, a new partner program which goes a step beyond Commscope’s traditional business management portal. “In the earlier system, we had a business relationship and a formal engagement. It was limited to defining the category
“We are looking for opportunities in the data center, and for consolidation with alliance partners. Vertically, we will penetrate deeper into BFSI” A Sitaramaiah
Director, Channel Sales CommScope Enterprise Solutions
and criteria to position and deliver products and solutions. With PartnerPro we have launched an internal vision of OneCommScope which integrates PON, solutions from Andrew and Systemix,” Sitaramaiah explained. The program will have five categories of partnerships— distributors, installers, SIs, consultants and alliance partners. “We will increase the number of partners, but it will be a continuous process. As markets emerge we will focus on geographic and vertical coverage. We are specially looking for opportunities in the data center, and for consolidation with alliance partners. Vertically, we will penetrate deeper into the BFSI segment, and scout for opportunities across industries that are rolling out branches. While the alliance partner will lock the deal, the implementation will be done by CommScope installers. Besides, we will commercialize 40 G and 100 G once CAT 8 becomes the new norm,” he informed. Other areas of focus will be training and certification. Said Sitaramaiah, “We offer online and instructor-led training in design, engineering and installation to the sales and pre sales teams.” n
starting line Juniper intensifies SMB focus n amit singh
uniper is sharpening its focus on its SMB and mid-market business. Enterprises currently contribute about 40 percent of the company’s business; the rest comes from the mid-market and SMBs. The company is now looking at increasing the chunk brought in by SMBs at its next level of growth. “Although we have not set any particular target, we are confident of added business from SMB customers. We are channelizing our partners to increase their focus on SMB customers and start talking about and showcasing Juniper’s portfolio,” said Jitendra Gupta, Director, Channel & Alliances, India & Saarc, Juniper Networks. Juniper is focusing on verticals such as IT-ITeS, BFSI, healthcare, insurance, PSUs and telecom. The company has increased the sales force of its commercial team by 20 percent
“We are channelizing our partners to increase their focus on SMB customers and start talking about and showcasing Juniper’s portfolio” Jitendra Gupta
Director, Channel & Alliances Juniper Networks
in the last one year. Building on the momentum of its Partner Advantage Program (consisting of Reach, Accelerate and Reward components) meant for tier-2 partners, the company is now aligning its 80 focused partners into four tiers: Elite, Elite Specialized, Select and Reseller. Explained
Gupta, “Elite partners will have specialization and certification across the Juniper portfolio. Elite Specialized partners need to select a combination of two or more specializations. Select partners need to specialize in any one of the portfolios. No certification is required at the Reseller partner level.” While Juniper has already aligned six Elite and 12 Elite Specialized partners, it is targeting about 30 partners to be aligned as Select partners by December-end. The company is also scouting for 25 more partners to widen its base in tier-2 cities, Gupta disclosed. To support its partners, the company recently established a partner portal, Juniper Marketing Concierge, which hosts marketing collaterals. It has also formed a Champion Community for the presales and post-sales personnel of partner organizations to interact with experts and colleagues. n
Netgear plans aggressive expansion n ABHIJEET MUKHERJEE
fter increasing its focus on SMBs, Netgear is now building its infrastructure to support its growing SMB business. The company is eying 40 percent growth in FY2013-14. The total addressable market for storage and networking in the SMB space is estimated to be close to $100 million in 2013. In a bid to enrich the partner and customer experience, the company recently opened demo centers in Delhi and Bengaluru. “We have displayed all our products in switching, storage and wireless for our customers. We have plans to open two more centers by Q22013 but the locations are not finalized,” informed Subhodeep Bhattacharya, Regional Director, India & South Asia, Netgear. In terms of channels, the com-
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“We are recruiting partners who are solutionfocused because customer interest is now moving from being pricesensitive to tech-focused” Subhodeep Bhattacharya Regional Director Netgear
pany is looking to expand its base from the current 40 partners to 70 by Q22013. “We are recruiting partners who are solution-focused because customer interest is now moving from being price-sensitive to tech-focused. We see a trend of more gigabit uptake in SMBs apart from increased focus on security
and manageability,” he said. The company will provide comprehensive channel training through events, and has already concluded such events in the top eight cities. A refresher program is on the cards, Bhattacharya said. “We want to conduct 10 more channel events by H12013.” In addition, Netgear has prepared a new partner program called the PowerShift Partner Program which will give partners access to sales, marketing, training and support resources. Besides, partners will have dedicated account managers to help them with pre-sales and sales. The program is expected to be launched in India in H22013. Netgear is now planning strategies for geographic expansion. Said Bhattacharya, “We want to expand our presence from the current 24 cities to 40 in the next 12 months, more so in Class B and C cities.” n
edit opinion Five takeaways from CDRS
Volume 2, Issue 04
e have just concluded the annual CRN Distribution & Retail Summit which was held in Pune from December 11-13, 2012. With more than 70 leading distributors and retailers present, it was truly a great knowledge-sharing experience. There were several takeaways from the event, but I will list my favorite five.
Focus on new category products: Today, the IT consumer channel is largely focused on PCs and printers. However, these categories are shrinking, so it’s time sub-distributors and retailers begin looking for new category products. Tablets and smartphones are the categories that most distributors and retailers said they would include in their portfolios in the coming months. A few even said that rather than waiting for vendors to launch new category products they have begun identifying and sourcing exciting new products from markets in the Far East. Unite to fight challenges: The core theme of the event was unity, with leading partners and office bearers of channel associations giving a call to unite and collaborate to win in the marketplace that is being challenged by the increase in online retail, FDI in retail, and the frequently changing policies of vendors. Associations like CMDA-Pune, Compass, CIITA, FITAG and Confed-ITA expressed keenness to form a national body that will lobby against unfavorable policies of governments, address industry malpractices, and fight unfriendly vendor policies. Win together: Rather than cribbing about the threat from online retail and LFRs, many partners felt that it is time to collaborate. Taking the example of AllTimeIT Solutions—the consortium of 15 partners who formed a cloud services company—partners opined that such a consortium is needed in IT sub-distribution and retail. A few partners said they would explore such a consortium to create an online ecommerce portal with the participation of 10-15 partners. Automate to grow: Most partners emphasized the need for using IT within their organizations to automate and streamline systems and processes. Many spoke about how they have automated their inventory, credit and retail processes, and how it has helped them save time from the transactional aspects of the business to focus on core areas. Reduce vendor dependence: Partners admitted that a large chunk of their time was wasted on managing vendor relations and conducting price negotiations with distributors, and that not enough time was being spent on customers and organization building. With frequent changes in vendor policies, a majority of sub-distributors and retailers agreed that it was not only futile but also unproductive to be vendor-dependent, and that focusing on internal organization and customers was the best way to future growth. n E-mail CRN Executive Editor Dhaval Valia at email@example.com 14
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edit opinion Which compensation model will win? RAULINE OCHS
ill the insurance-agent model, pay-for-the-life-ofthe-contract model, or pay-onlythe-first-year model win, over time, when it comes to incentivizing sales teams around recurring revenue business? In response to my inquiry, partners volunteered three models for sales compensation. In the insurance-agent model, sales reps are paid not only for the first year of the recurring revenue but also for all subsequent years of the service sold, for the life of the contract. The objective is to maintain and manage the customer relationship, as well as the renewal, for the life of the customer relationship. In the second model the sales rep is paid for the first year of the recurring revenue contract. In the subsequent year commissions or service margins go to the â€˜houseâ€™ or are recognized at the solution provider company level rather than the rep level. The objective is to avoid building a book of recurring revenue business that might foster dependence on the recurring book of business rather than on the sales of new solutions to customers. The third model increased first-year commissions, effectively incorporating a sales bonus into the first-year commission payment. Subsequent-year commissions are paid to the sales rep who sold the deal, at the actual, rather than inflated, rate for the balance of the life of the contract. The objective is to add an incentive to sell a lower TCO solution to the customer, and to add that incentive upfront. In 2012 there is not yet an agreed-to industry standard for managed and cloud services recurring revenue treatment from a sales compensation perspective. Both vendors and solution providers are dealing with this, each solving the question in a way that works best with their current company culture. Service provider vendors, IT and carriers alike, are watching solution provider uptake of recurring services. As the service provider vendors refine the value propositions they make to you, they are watching your response to upfront or bonus-driven compensation. In a 2012 IPED study specific to carrier services adoption by solution providers, solution providers indicated upfront commissions as a motivating factor for sales rep adoption of voice and data network services sales. I see one carrier service provider and a couple of IT service provider vendors paying upfront commissions or bonuses on recurring services. The question is whether more service providers will, over time, incorporate a greater use of upfront commissions or bonuses to capture the minds of IT sales reps. n Email Rauline Ochs at firstname.lastname@example.org 16
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CRN Virtual Expo
Kshitij Kotak President, ASIRT
2012 was an innovative event which offered a set of relevant topics and valuable inputs from industry experts such as Kshitij Kotak, President, ASIRT; Rushabh Shah, President, TAIT; Saket Kapur, General Secretary, PCAIT; Sudarsan Ranganathan, Secretary, ISODA; Ashish Gupta, Head, Channels & Service Business, India & Saarc, Polycom; Ashok Pamidi, former VP, IBM, and Director, Channels, HP India; and Brijen Shah, Past President, CMDA Pune. The Expo saved time and cost, and our work did not suffer while attending it. We expect more such events in future.
The CRN Virtual Expo
Ajay Patil Teamwork Systems & Solutions
The CRN Virtual Expo 2012 was an event to learn from, right from its conceptualization and organization to the content offered by presenters and exhibitors. CRN takes up issues which are relevant to our industry and ropes in experts who can make an impact. I feel that such virtual events are is the need of the hour for serious business vendors, partners and corporates. It is more effective than offline exhibitions for companies wanting to focus on their key business verticals in terms of offerings and target partners.
Send your feedback at email@example.com or post your views on www.crn.in
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channel chief “Dell has truly transformed” Ajay Kaul, who recently took over as Director & GM, Global Commercial Channels program, spoke with Ramdas S about how the company is transforming its business and evolving its relationship with the channels Dell has announced several small but significant changes in the Global Commercial Channel (GCC) program after you took over. Could you elaborate? I have been meeting partners, and listening to their suggestions. Based on the feedback we have started making some sweeping changes to our GTM strategy as far as channels go. Whatever changes we bring in, we want to assure partners that it is just the beginning of an evolution that could make Dell one of the most channel-friendly companies in the industry. Traditionally, Dell has been a direct company, and one of our strengths has been our built-to-order model with a faster turnaround to meet customer demands and embrace changing technologies. We therefore started working with our channel partners whereby they did direct business with us. While there has been constant growth QoQ in the business, we are now actively engaging with just around 320 partners. Many partners, especially in B- and C-class cities, complained that the model meant that Dell was inaccessible to many. Due to factors ranging from credit issues to an acute need for getting the products off the shelves, many partners have not been able to do business. We are changing that by appointing distributors who can provide us the reach. We have started with Digilife Distribution & Marketing Services (DDMS), the distribution arm of HCL Infosystems. They will start carrying around three models of servers, three models of our storage line, and around two enterprise switches, and make stock available to partners across the country.
What about your enterprise PC range such as Latitude and Optiplex? Our first need is to ensure that the enterprise technology product line gets a reach so that a small partner in a place like Mysore or Agra need not speak to Dell but take support through the DDMS distribution network. Again, I wish to clarify that we are just starting off. We will add more enterprise product lines as the business develops and we gather more understanding. We will appoint more
“We are appointing distributors who can provide us reach. We have started with Digilife Distribution & Marketing Services, the distribution arm of HCL Infosystems” 18
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distributors who can give us better coverage. The idea is to reach beyond the few hundred partners addressed actively through GCC. Once we have established the reach we will consider ways to bring the rest of the product line closer to our remotest partners.
There seems to be more focus on B- and C-class cities. How are you going to build sustainable revenue for the channels in smaller cities? Till now I would say that we have been active in the top eight cities as far as enterprise channels go, and we plan to change that. We will be increasing our customer communication and engagement efforts in B- and C-class cities, and this would naturally mean that our partners generate more leads and larger funnels. We are also identifying select partners in select cities and are building deeper relationships with them. We will start-off from may be just two partners from eight tier-2 cities. Once we are able to build a predictable revenue model we will add more cities and more partners. Our idea is not just to reach more partners; a bigger goal is to see that existing partners start addressing more opportunities. Our recent entry through DDMS will set us on a path that will make Dell product lines more accessible to smaller partners, but our main focus will be to enable and strengthen our current channel partners.
Your deal registration program has a lot of critics. Many partners say that less than 20 percent of the deal registrations go through. They are suspicious that the leads are being passed on to the direct sales team. How are you addressing the situation? I do not deny there are such allegations, but I want to assure channels that we follow transparent and fair policies in deal registration. We follow an opportunitybased deal registration model. However, since there has been a demand from channels to protect them from our direct sales and other partners on accounts, we are bringing some changes to the program. We are now talking to select partners and asking them to name accounts which they would manage for Dell, we will have them as partner-managed named accounts. We also want to expand our reach in SMB through such an initiative. This could mean that several thousand accounts in future would be managed by partners for Dell.
Partners are also unhappy that there has been much
channel chief chopping and changing in the Dell sales team, and this they say is hurting the business. As part of the change to ensure efficient and timely support to our partners, we have fine-tuned the GCC organization for effective engagements and to drive priorities such as solutions and coverage. Some people’s aspirations were not cohesive with the change. They decided to move on, and we respect that. The above channel strategy is in sync with what we believe will benefit the end-customers and partners. We are creating more touch-points closer to partners specifically in tier-2 and -3 cities. For that, we will hire people in these locations. In terms of absolute numbers, GCC is growing.
You have made several acquisitions in the last couple of years. How are these acquisitions affecting channel initiatives? Our acquisitions have been centered around the transformation strategy from being largely a PC player to being an enterprise solutions vendor. Our storage acquisitions, Equallogic and Data Domain, Force10 for enterprise networking, Quest for infrastructure management software, and SonicWall for security are some examples. An interesting thing to note is that many of these companies have a strong channel legacy and Dell has not changed that. For instance, SonicWall has been integrated into Dell India operations, and that is another opportunity for partners. The national distributors remain, and the Dell direct sales team will not quote on SonicWall.
HP and IBM have evolved partner programs for the solutions business. How is Dell adapting?
“To ensure efficient and timely support to our partners, we have fine-tuned GCC for effective engagements and to drive priorities such as solutions and coverage” In the last year and half we have made the journey of being an end-to-end solutions provider, and it has been our endeavor to make this transformation holistically by aligning with partners based on their priorities and expertise because we never had such a large portfolio covering most of the solution areas. In this journey we have introduced few programs specifically designed to cater to our customers in the mid-market space. These programs equip our channel partners to be the best the industry has to offer. Today, Dell’s partners are differentiated by their ability to deliver to the IT needs of our customers rather than just push products that will give them a high margin; they give scalable and highly capable IT solutions to our customers.
What is the message to Indian enterprise and commercial channels? We are still learning the ropes of the business. However, we have come a long way, and our commitment to be a channel-driven entity and our dependence on channels have grown. There may have been challenges in the past, but today we have better systems, programs, processes and people in place to enable channels better. As a vendor we have truly transformed, so do talk to us—we are more than eager to work with you. n
Clear Credible Competent Consistent Compassionate Communicative CRN Creative CRN – the 8th C of Channel Marketing www.crn.in
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We list 10 events during 2012 that will have a significant impact on the IT industry and channel business in 2013 n RAMDAS S
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cover story Delivering on IPG-PSG merger
Government schemes keep the PC market afloat
HP has received a thumbs up from partners for the manner in which it has managed the integration of its IPG and PSG divisions. The challenge now, is in terms of delivering on the promise, and facing ground realities
After schemes by TN and UP, the trend of state governments doling out free laptops to students is growing. Many political parties have announced free laptop schemes as part of their manifestos in the upcoming state elections
P merged its Personal Systems Group (PSG) and Imaging & Printing Group (IPG) in March 2012 to form the Printing & Personal Systems (PPS) Group. HP also combined its Global Accounts Sales organization with its Enterprise Servers, Storage, Networking & Technology Services business under the newly named HP Enterprise Group. Still, the spotlight remained on PPS. HP had been on a cost-cutting spree for the past two years, and this was seen as the prime reason for the merger. Another reason was that since the divisions were addressing common customers and partners, a unified team would be able to share intelligence and address customer demands faster. Once the news about the merger was confirmed, there was speculation that it would not be smooth. Questions on both the people and process front were raised. Some partners feared it would not work in their favor as the dynamics of the offerings from the two groups were different. Volume partners also feared that HP might consolidate distribution of printers and PCs. However, the merger was bloodless, and most partners have given it a thumbs-up. “The two divisions worked in silos, but now in most territories the same channel manager addresses all requirements and hence the potential for cross-selling and subsidizing has increased,” says Rajeev Mehta, MD, Zest Systems, Delhi. After the merger there was speculation about who would head PPS. Rajiv Srivastava, VP & GM of the erstwhile PSG, pipped Neeraj Sharma, VP of the erstwhile IPG, to take over the role. While HP has managed to regain lost marketshare and is firm at the top position in the printer market, its PC marketshare has taken a beating as Lenovo and Dell have emerged market leaders. The success of PPS in 2013 depends on how fast the company is able to launch newer products, especially PCs. HP seems to have understood that while the PC business does not provide it with healthy margins like the enterprise business, it is critical from a strategic point of view. 2013 will certainly be critical for PPS as channel expectations from the combined unit are high. n
ver the past three years PSUs, and state and central governments, have increased their spending on IT. The vertical, which was earlier lagging behind traditional sectors such as BFSI, IT-ITeS and manufacturing, beat all expectations and topped the list of IT spenders in 2012. The chief reason was the freebies (usually laptops) announced by various political parties during elections. For example, vendors are meeting their obligations with Elcot to supply 9.12 lakh laptops to schools in TN. The nodal agency has called for a new tender for the current academic year. Many other state governments have also announced plans to offer free laptops to students. The UP government has announced a tender for 18 lakh notebooks which will be re-tendered for technical reasons. With nearly a dozen states expected to go in for elections over the next 18 months, many political parties have announced free laptop schemes as part of their election manifestos. Since these purchase programs are expected to run through the year, the government has definitely become the biggest customer in the PC market. However, these freebies are impacting the channel business. Many retailers targeting the home and student market in TN fear that their marketshare will dwindle. Others believe that this will represent a different opportunity. “PC vendors cannot provide the depth and width when it comes to managing and supporting such large deals. We have extensively used a partner in TN for everything from supplies to support. With PC penetration growing through such schemes, more awareness will be created as more buyers are created,” says Amar Babu, Managing Director, Lenovo India. Beyond such deals, prestigious government projects such as the Unique Identification Authority of India and state datacenters have been won largely by national SIs or vendors themselves. Many tier-2 SIs have identified the government as a strategic sector to focus on in 2013. Some of them have started setting up consortiums while others are positioning themselves as potential sub-contractors. Vendors such as HP are leveraging their channel strengths for project roll-outs especially in upcountry markets. n
Computer Reseller News
cover story The new age of partner collaboration
Unified architecture gains ground
Whenever a new vendor enters the market, channel partners usually believe in joining them instead of beating them. Alltime IT is perhaps the first initiative where channels are uniting to take on MNC market leadership
With Dell, IBM and HDS joining the fray, suddenly the datacenter infrastructure solutions market place has more single breed unified fabric options, making it an exciting market place to watch in 2013
erhaps the biggest news of 2012 was the formation of AllTimeIT Solutions. A conglomeration of 15 HP partners, AllTimeIT announced in July 2012 the launch of EffiCloud, a pay-per-use cloud model customized to meet the needs of SMBs. The idea of launching the company originated two years back at an HP meet, with some HP enterprise partners showing interest. Finally, 15 partners joined hands to create an independent cloud service provider. The partners are Ashtech Infotech, CI Infotech, Dixit Infotech, Dotcad, Future Biz, Orbit, Orient Technologies, PC Solutions, Precision, Progression, SK International, Sara Infoway, Shro Systems, Valuepoint Systems and Vintech. HP has provided mentoring, technical, marketing and financial support to the new venture. AllTimeIT is a certified HP CloudAgile partner. The EffiCloud is built on the HP CloudSystem Matrix and delivers Infrastructureas-a-Service branded as EffiCompute, Platform-as-aService branded as EffiBase, and Software-as-a-Service branded as EffiApp. Apart from the fact that established partners united to start a new enterprise, the initiative seems to be a change from the existing channel partner philosophy. Whenever a disruptive new technology is launched, or a new vendor enters the market, channel partners usually believe in joining them instead of beating them. But in this case the motto seems to be to unite and take on the cloud market leaders. Says Ajay Sawant, Managing Director, AllTimeIT Solutions, “With EffiCloud AllTimeIT aims to be a leader in the space. Our management team has a combined experience of over 300 years, and the total revenue of the companies would be over $300 million. Between the partner companies and associates, we have a presence in 72 cities in India. This reach will allow us to service customers and still provide a local touch and support.” He adds that the company is banking on the existing sales and technical support of the partner companies, and that it has trained over 200 sales and 300 technical personnel. If AllTimeIT succeeds, it lays the foundation for more partners to come together and create initiatives which can potentially change the market dynamics. n
Computer Reseller News
efore 2012, Cisco along with NetApp/EMC, and HP on a stand-alone basis, was the primary pusher of converged infrastructure which packages and manages server, storage and networking technology in a single solution whether it was built to order like a VCE Vblock or assembled in the field like a FlexPod or VSPEX. The other vendors were seen as best-of-breed infrastructure providers. They mixed and matched their own product line, along with technologies and solutions borrowed from others, to build data center infrastructure. This changed in 2012 as all the other storage and server vendors joined the fray. These included Dell with its Active Infrastructure and Converged Blade Data Center solutions, HDS with its Hitachi Unified Compute Platform, and IBM with its PureSystems. ‘Converged Infrastructure’ itself is a brand name used by HP to promote its data center infrastructure solution. Cisco has branded its offering as Unified Computing Systems. Dell has joined the battle after successfully integrating the product lines from its acquisitions such as Data Domain (storage), Force10 (networking), and Case (systems management). “Over the years we have used our knowledge to create active infrastructure, hence it’s not only converged infrastructure from us but also best-of-breed practices,” says S Sridhar, Director, Enterprise Solutions, Dell India. IBM says it is winning many orders despite being a fairly late entrant in this business. Analysts expect the game to change with these enterprise vendors pushing their own technology stacks. Not surprisingly, there was a rise in the uptake of converged infrastructure in 2012. “Over the last few years the industry has seen the border between hardware and software narrow, and enterprises are now working in a converged IT infrastructure environment. Converged infrastructure is being embraced by IT departments as a way to reduce data center complexity and simplify workload management,” said Rajesh Janey, President, EMC, India & Saarc, in an earlier interview with CRN. All this holds much promise for the channel community in 2013, but the channel will have to invest in building manpower competency to execute such projects successfully. n
cover story Parallel imports get legal backing
Banking on Windows 8 to deliver
Parallel importers received legal backing from the Delhi High Court and the Ministry of Finance. However there are also a few stringent guidelines that they will need to follow. The legality of parallel imports will be tested in the coming years
Windows 8 has perhaps had the slowest start compared to all previous Microsoft OSes. It also happens to be Microsoft’s biggest bet to sustain its relevance in the market where the PC share is waning
012 proved to be a landmark for parallel importers in the country. Perhaps for the first time in the history of the IT channel business in India, the community received legal backing from the Delhi High Court as well as the Ministry of Finance. Essentially due to the relentless efforts of the All Delhi Computer Traders Association (ADCTA), parallel imports became legal. Bogged down by over-distribution and loss of business, IT vendors told the channels and customers that parallel imports were both unethical and illegal. They also filed court cases against parallel importers. However, after ADCTA took up the cause of parallel importers, the tide changed in their favor. Earlier in June ADCTA got a directive from the Ministry of Finance which recognized parallel imports as a legally-sound practice as long as the trademarks are not violated and customs laws are respected. “We have a Ministry of Finance Notification Circular No. 13/2012-Customs which categorically says that parallel imports are legal,” says Swarn Singh, Joint Secretary, ADCTA. Parallel importers received a further boost when the Delhi High Court ruled that parallel imports are authorized under Indian trademark laws and do not infringe the trademark of the rights-holder. In a lawsuit between Samsung Electronics and Champion Computers, a Delhi-based IT hardware and peripherals distribution house, the bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Siddharth Mridul overruled the findings of a single judge who had in February 2012 held that trademarked goods should be imported into India only through the authorized distributors of the trademarkholder or with his permission. Vendors such as Dell and Samsung, who were vocal against parallel imports, are now silent. They are clear that they will not provide warranty for products sourced through unauthorized channels. Many authorized partners are also not happy with the verdict. They allege that parallel importers are hijacking the goodwill and brand image of the vendors, and upsetting the market operating price due to lower pricing. 2013, could see a further influx of IT products through parallel channels because of the slowdown in several parts of the world. n
large number of PC makers were betting on a revival of their fortunes with the launch of Microsoft’s brand new operating system Windows 8. However, the softness in the retail market during Q22012 and Q32012 was attributed to the fact that customers were waiting for the new OS. Unfortunately, Windows 8 proved to be a damp squib. While Microsoft says it has sold 40 million licenses since the launch, in India at least it has not been able to create ripples. Analysts say the lack of interest in Microsoft’s new OS is because a majority of the software’s users upgraded their Windows 7 in the last two years, and they do not have the budget for another upgrade. The response from the enterprise segment is more depressing. According to Forrester Research, 24 percent of the more than 1,200 North American and European IT hardware purchasers interviewed in Q3 said that they had no plans to migrate to Windows 8 compared to the 49 percent who had shown willingness to upgrade to Windows 7 in 2009. In India the situation is no better. Says Rajiv Rao, Director, SMB, Lenovo India, “As far as the enterprise and SMB market go, we are not expecting any major migration. In fact many of our models are still loaded with Windows 7.” Another reason for the lack of interest is the OS’ new interface called Metro. Although this makes it an interesting alternative to tablet and smartphone OSes, it lacks the ease of a PC navigation. It may also prove to be a liability for enterprises that would have to educate their users on the new interface, and this would increase their IT cost. Low sales of Windows 8 could mean a tough year in 2013 for many enterprise partners who were banking on providing services and solutions to customers wanting to upgrade to the OS. Mass migration to a new OS is often cited as a good reason for desktop virtualization projects. With not many takers for Windows 8, VDI projects driven by OS migration are likely to be few. n
Computer Reseller News
cover story Big momentum for tablets
The hype and promise of big data
The tablet market in India is growing exponentially and this has led to the influx of low-cost brands. Many partners have begun sourcing tablets directly from China and are looking at making a quick buck. It will be interesting to see how they fare
The hype around big data analytics is growing. It needs to be seen if customers embrace the technology. Several partners took baby steps to explore the big data opportunity, and more are expected to take the plunge in 2013
ccording to analysts, tablets have already started cannibalizing the PC market. MAIT estimates that tablet sales in India will cross 1.6 million units in 2012, a growth of 40 percent over 2011 and way above the 16 percent growth registered by PCs. MAIT further estimates that the tablet market in the country will grow to 7.3 million units by 2015-16. While MAIT says that tablets are a great opportunity for the IT industry, the fragmented nature of the market is hardly appealing for the channels. The market is led by Micromax, a home-grown mobile phone maker, and Samsung’s mobile phone division, with 18 and 13 percent share respectively. 77 percent of the market is shared by around 80 brands offering various versions of Android for between `5,000 and `50,000. What’s alarming for the IT channels is that most traditional IT vendors with whom they have built relationships over the years have not been able to gain a foothold in this market. Established PC vendors such as Acer have decided to quit the low end of the tablet market (read Android) and limit themselves to highend Windows tablets. Other known brands such as Dell, Lenovo and HP are expected to focus on some comfortable price bands and not compete head-on with the local brands which are importing tablets from China. “The tablet market at this moment is not very lucrative, so we have decided to carve out our niche and wait for the market to mature. The Android market is likely to be highly fragmented with Chinese manufacturers offering to build tablets for whatever budget you can come up with,” says S Rajendran, CMO, Acer India. This leaves channels with two options. One, to develop relationships outside the confines of the IT industry, and two, to start importing tablets on their own and branding them. Says Kochi-based network specialist Madhav Chandran, MD, Cyberland, “Recently a number of channel partners have started importing cheap tablets in the hope of making a few extra bucks. It will be interesting to see how many of them survive.” n
Computer Reseller News
here’s little doubt that the most hyped technology in 2012 was big data. Big data is the process of deriving meaning from a large quantity of structured and unstructured data in a very short span of time. While this has been the goal of IT systems and database systems for the past three decades, it has become a reality following the advent of a number of new technologies in both software and hardware in the last five years. The emergence of in-memory databases, software platforms such as Hadoop which can crunch huge volumes of data, storage ideas such as scale-out NAS which store large volumes of data without performance degradation, and faster hardware including multi-core processors and SSDs have been instrumental in making big data a reality. Many vendors such as EMC, NetApp, Oracle and IBM are exploring ways to engage channel partners in what they believe is one of the biggest opportunities. Praveen Sahai, VP, Channels, EMC India & Saarc, says that channels will be involved in two phases. “We expect channels to sell scalable storage and data management technologies and help businesses manage data in 2013. You will see a wider sector-specific analytics business taking off toward the end of next year, with a huge channel play.” Software vendors such as IBM and Oracle, who already have a channel legacy in database and analytics, say that many of their partners are ready to work on opportunities in the space. Some partners and vendors point out that the opportunity is not limited to analytics or capabilities in software alone. “Big data provides benefits that give a customer a very good reason to keep storing data, and give more importance to data, so that the customer can make best use of it in future. If all customers understand this benefit, it could result in more storage wins for channels,” says Rajesh Awasthi, Director, Telecom & Cloud Service Provider, NetApp India. In 2012 several partners took baby steps to explore the big data opportunity, and more are expected to take the plunge in 2013. n
cover story Policy paralysis to continue
Back to the hybrid distribution model
Several states going to election over the next 12 months; stalemate in Parliament; and the big issue of corruption— all these factors are likely to hinder the government’s movements on the much-needed reforms
The hybrid model of national and regional distribution is gaining ground as vendors look to increase their coverage beyond 500 cities and towns. Interesting distribution models are likely to emerge as IT penetrates rural India
hough even at 5 percent growth India remains one of the fastest growing countries in the world, the lack of a proper policy framework and the general lack of proper leadership in the political system to push reforms has been one of the biggest stories of 2012. “We have seen signs of recession without the economy itself being in a recession. While the macroeconomic parameters look sound, the lack of political will to resolve issues and move ahead with policies has certainly affected the sentiments of the enterprise buyer,” says KV Jagannath, CEO, Choice Solutions, Hyderabad. Analysts say that compared to the slowdown of 2008 and 2009, the current stagnation in investment growth is largely self-created. Many bureaucrats are known to have put off decisions on major projects in the wake of scam allegations. In fact a senior central minister has gone on record to say that bureaucrats are cautious about taking any decision because they are worried that their actions will later be misinterpreted and used against them. Though the government has emerged as the biggest IT buyer, project delays are affecting project costs and the bottomlines of partners focused on this segment. While the government has managed to get the bill on FDI in retail passed in parliament, most large players who are likely to invest in the segment will move cautiously considering that there’s likely to be a national election in the next 18 months or so. Many IT retailers feel that though the presence of foreign retailers would affect their business, FDI in retail could further expand the economy and may be beneficial in the long run. “FDI in retail could affect many specialty retailers,” says Reeta Budhay, Director, Finance, Business Algorithms, Nagpur. “Perhaps the biggest news which the entire channel will be following in 2013 will be a non-industry one. Every state election will be closely watched as we approach national elections in 2014. For channels to grow, for the IT industry to thrive, a reformist political leadership that has stability is absolutely necessary,” observes Kishore Makhija, CEO, Priyanka Computer Services. n
he new thought process in IT distribution seems to be horses-for-courses, hence through 2012 several vendors started micro-managing their distribution. This model is described as hybrid distribution. For example, over the last 12 months, Acer India has made several changes in its distribution. The company has split its distribution across states and regions among select national and regional distributors. As a result, Redington sells all Acer product lines except displays, while Mumbai-based Savex Computers has been roped in to sell displays. “Vendors would have a mix of national and regional distributors, and there would be some amount of micro-management to produce the desired results at a regional level,” believes Suresh Pansari, CMD, Rashi Peripherals. HP, Lenovo and Toshiba have announced similar distribution changes over the past 12 months. They are going in for a mix of regional and national distributors and cutting across models too. There are several reasons attributed to this shift. The most common being that no single distributor has the reach and capacity to cater to every region of the country. Another reason is that by providing some amount of regional exclusivity to a distributor, vendors can protect their margins and build channel hygiene. “Also, all resellers do not enjoy similar credit lines with a distributor, and no vendor wants its business to be stopped because of credit chokes. The idea is to route business to enhance channel hygiene and maintain cash rotation,” explains Pansari. Yet another reason is the presence of very strong regional players who have originated from other industry segments (electronics and telecom), and whose revenue size is comparable to that of national IT distributors. According to Mohit Anand, CEO, Belkin, “We have many distributors from the telco and FMCG sectors who want to move into IT. Linkworld Communications in Kolkata is `800 crore plus in revenue, while the SSK group of companies from Pune is `3,000 crore in revenue.” n
Computer Reseller News
a seasoned player
Pradeep Jhawar, Managing Director, Bardroy Infotech, recalls the origins of his `60 crore company and how he got to where he is now—with a little help from his better half n ABHIJEET MUKHERJEE
radeep Jhawar hails from a business family. His forefathers migrated from Rajasthan to Kolkata 40 years ago, and are involved in the raw jute business. But Jhawar wanted to do something different and chose IT distribution. Today, he is undoubtedly one of the renowned distributors/system integrators in West Bengal. After graduating from NIT Jaipur in electrical engineering, Jhawar took up a job as Executive Engineer in Indian Rayon—part of the Aditya Birla Group—and worked there for two years before starting his own IT business in 1995. “I started Bardroy with seed capital of `25 lakh and two friends as partners. We started as corporate resellers and distributors of HCL and Microsoft products. The competition was tough, and PC prices were as high as `70,000 which acted as a deterrent but we managed to attract customers with our strategy,” he recalls. Bardroy’s signed on big customers like IOCL, BPCL, Exide, Wesman Engineering and Sarda Brothers who bought 12-15 PCs per month on an average in Bardroy’s first year of operations itself. The company clocked first year revenue of `15 lakh. “We started an OEM partnership with Microsoft and HCL. The contribution from software used to be more than 70 percent then. We sold mostly to SMB customers and a few licenses to enterprises and government verticals,” adds Jhawar. A year later the partners quit, and Jhawar had to manage the business on his own with help from his wife, Amita, who took charge of the support department. “Amita was the source of immense inspiration to me.
“Amita was a source of immense inspiration to me. She supported me at a time when I was looking around for help desperately” 30
Computer Reseller News
She supported me at a time when I was looking around for help desperately. Another source of inspiration was my father who taught me how to maintain my cool during those tough times,” he recalls. In 1998 Bardroy sold approximately 20 PCs per month. It also started its AMC business in the same year. A year later in 1999 it focused on strengthening its customer base, recruited more employees, and tied up with more software vendors like Oracle, Norton and Quick Heal. The Y2K bubble burst in 2000 helped Bardroy in its hardware business as companies had to upgrade their incompatible systems for new software. The company made revenue of `5 crore. “The price of PCs had reduced, and our PC sales increased to 30 units per month on an average,” he says. In 2006 Bardroy decided to add retail to its kitty and opened a 300 sq ft exclusive Logitech showroom. The contribution from retail in the first year was not much, but from 2007 the retail business contributed 10 percent YoY. In FY2007-08 Bardroy started another retail store in Kolkata—a multi-brand store. The contribution of retail to its revenue increased to 12 percent in 2008. In 2008 the company opened another multi-brand retail store in Kolkata. In the same year it diversified into the IT device rental business. “We started the rental business because we saw a big demand from corporates especially BPOs because they did not want capex and wanted to rent equipment instead. We provided notebooks, projectors, etc on a monthly rental basis. The period of rental varied from 3-24 months. Though the new business did not impact our topline much (2 percent), it made a healthy addition to our bottomline (10 percent),” shares Jhawar. The company clocked revenue of `26.15 crore in FY2008-09. The diversion into different businesses also helped Bardroy fight the recession. “We not only grew by 12 percent but we could also increase our staff strength
Role model 1995 1996
The partners quit, and Jhawar began managing the business with help from his wife, Amita
Added 30 employees; signed-on Oracle, Norton and Quick Heal
Started PC rental division; added clients like ICS Technologies, Aegis and CMC Entered retail with a 300 sq ft exclusive Logitech showroom
Started Bardroy with seed capital of `25 lakh and two friends as partners
Bagged a major deal worth `1 crore from IOCL Haldia plant
by 10 as well as open an office in Ahmedabad,” he avers. Some of Bardroy’s customers for the product rental business included names like ICS Technologies, Aegis BPO, Adhunik Technologies and CMC. In 2009 Bardroy bagged a major deal from IOCL’s Haldia plant worth `1 crore to deploy servers and integrate 300 PCs with SAP ERP— one of the largest single deals for the company. Having gathered enough experience in the field, in 2010 the company decided to test the waters in IT enabled services. It created a separate services division. “We acquired QCI certification and worked on government projects enabling IT in rural areas. We bagged a deal from the government of West Bengal to provide insurance to BPL families in several districts under its Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna card scheme. This added 10 percent to our bottomline,” he informs.
Set up a separate division to provide ITeS for e-governance projects
Bardroy grew 20 percent from Registered a `49.94 crore in FY2010-11 to `60 `60 crore crore in FY2011-12. Several multi-crore deals from the private as well as government, the expansion of its retail business as well as the addition of new brands to its portfolio contributed to its growth. The company won a deal worth `65 lakh to computerize government offices at Barasat, West Bengal. For `40 lakh each it provided desktops for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to the state government, and deployed storage, servers and power supply for the media lab of St Xavier’s College, Kolkata. The company is working with the State Bank of India for project on financial inclusion. It will enable the bank to start 500 customer service centers equipped with notebooks and Internet in West Bengal. These service centers will help people in rural areas to open a savings account with the bank. Currently the company has a presence in two cities, Kolkata and Ahmedabad, and over 150 employees, 40 percent of whom are certified. Bardroy added new brands such as Eaton for UPS, Dell and Acer for their entire range of commercial products,
“Cloud computing will be big and the demand for applications will increase as a result; we will add applications to our kitty with the help of ISVs”
and Sony Vaio for its consumer notebooks. It also has tablets from brands like HCL, Micromax and BSNL on display. It opened a retail store dedicated to gaming in Kolkata; the store will also display all kinds of gaming products. For that the company has tied up with Microsoft for Xbox, Sony for its Play Stations, AMD and Sennheiser. Currently, distribution and systems integration form the major chunk of its business and contribute 40 percent each to its revenue. Retail contributes 10 percent while Bardroy’s rental business contribute 10 percent to the revenue, others contribute the rest.
Future business Bardroy is targeting growth of 15 percent in FY2012-13 to garner a turnover of `70 crore. “The focus will be on increasing our profitability rather than the turnover. We will expand in a big way in West Bengal after the state’s panchayat elections in May. We expect to start our branches in cities like Burdwan, Siliguri and Asansol. We will have a retail-cumdistribution office in each of these
cities,” adds Jhawar. The company wants to focus on new gadgets like tablets as its sees tremendous opportunities in the next three years. “Cloud computing will be big and the demand for applications will increase as a result; we will add such applications to our kitty with the help of ISVs. For example, an application for the education vertical which offers content for junior- and seniorlevel schools is now being offered in pen drives. We will scout for more ISV partnerships to launch cloud applications,” he says. The company will increase its focus on the hospitality, research and education verticals in the next fiscal. “With increasing business goals we also plan to increase our employee strength to 200,” informs Jhawar.
On a personal note Jhawar is a movie buff, and Amitabh Bachchan is his favorite star. He is also fond of reading management books, and is currently engrossed in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Having a passion for long drives, Jhawar takes off for a ride with his wife for a coffee every Saturday and for lunch every Sunday in his Honda City. “I am also fond of traveling and have visited all the major destinations of the world but would still love to revisit them,” adds Jhawar. n
Computer Reseller News
CRN Virtual Expo attains new heights
The third edition of the CRN Virtual Expo, which was held on November 29-30, 2012, saw the participation of 1,045 partners. Here are the highlights of the event during the two live days n CRN NETWORK
combination of a Web- and video-based live conference program and an interactive online exhibition, the CRN Virtual Expo has been well accepted by partners; this is evident from the fact that about 30 percent of the partners were repeat attendees at the third edition of the CRN Virtual Expo which was held on November 29-30, 2012. The expo saw the participation from 1,045 partners. The event had 13 live and seven on-demand presentations from industry leaders, analysts and consultants. The interactivity of the virtual platform ensured deep and qualitative engagement for exhibitors and partners. Each visitor spent an average of about four hours on the presentations with an average of 163 attendees per session. The virtual show witnessed participation from leading vendors including Canon, Dell, McAfee, Schneider Electric, Polycom and Socomec. The event was ably supported by 14 leading IT channel associations—AIT, ADCTA, ASIRT, BITA, CMDA-Pune, COMPASS, FITAG, IAMCP, ISODA, JCDA, NECTA, PCAIT, RCTA and TAIT. Here are the highlights of the presentations made during the two days of the CRN Virtual Expo.
Partner profitability with McAfee
The first live presentation from Pinakin Dave, National Manager, Channels & Alliances, McAfee, was viewed by 214 unique partners. Dave introduced the new McAfee Profitability Stack which provides
Unique visitors: 1,045 from 180 Indian cities Visitors on two live days (including repeats): 1,463 Videos/documents/viewed or downloaded: 4,337 Average attendee per live conference session: 163 Average visitor per booth: 146 Average time spent by attendees: 4:01 hours Total hours spent by all attendees: 5,124 hours
partners the opportunity to design their own value stacks and help drive business. The company has reduced the minimum deal size from $5,000 to $1,500 MSRP, expanded the product type rules to align with the Pricebook, added new products for SMB deal registration, and allowed distributors to register deals on behalf of their partners in Insight. McAfee launched six new programs—tiered pricing, deal registration, incumbency advantage, teaming plan, rebates and McAfee rewards—for partners. Dave informed that the Elite and Premier partners will be eligible for pricing advantages on select products. “The company will offer up to 25 percent margin enhancement on new business, 10 percent on suite upgrades, deal protection, and faster approval under deal registration,” he said.
Building large with small—Dell Networking shows the way Amandeep Singh Dang, Country Manager, Dell Networking, spoke on how Dell can help meet the
testimonials “CRN Virtual Expo is a cost effective platform to connect with a large gathering. That the audience was attentive was evident from the quality of questions asked after the presentation”
“The CRN Virtual Expo is really innovative. I liked the session on the legal aspects of parallel imports. Most resellers are not aware of the facts. The session has made things clear”
Former VP, IBM India
Computer Reseller News
View On-Demand www.crn.in/virtualexpo
DEMOGRAPHICS demands rising from data growth, mobility and virtualization, delivering scale-in/scale-out capabilities on open standard-based infrastructure orchestrated platforms. According to Dang, what is driving the deployment of Dell datacenter Amandeep Singh solutions are its price performance, packaging and power innovations. It provides a lot of compute power, and the best way to utilize workload and optimize network traffic. Dang informed that Dell networking products come with a scalable fabric. “The components that Dell uses are the same that our competition uses; what acts as the differentiator is that the fabric is scalable. We provide a lot of choice in terms of offerings which include performance parameters and ergonomics. One can start small, and with changing business goals can increase the capacity of the computing power using the same hardware,” he said.
Participation by region South
Participation by type of city Class D & E cities
Class A cities
29% Class C cities
Preparing for a tougher economy
Class B cities
Ashok Pamidi, former VP, IBM, and former Director, Channels, HP India, stressed on the need for partners to build a structure for the overall business and ensure that they get their mathematics right. The presentation was attended by 217 partners. Ashok Pamidi “Customers are changing, their demands are evolving. At the same time you have new disruptive technologies such as cloud computing, big data, mobile computing and BYOD that will impact business. In addition, vendors are showing less patience and are looking for partners who can give faster results,” he said. Pamidi pointed that vendors are cutting down on incentives and consolidating channel programs. With customers putting projects on hold, and demanding RoI for every rupee spent, partners need to be more solutionfocused with demonstrable ROI. “It’s extremely important for partners to build expertise in either a few technologies or across a few domains.”
Participation by job roles Finance & Operations Department Management
5% 9% 2%
Sales & Marketing Managers
Participation by turnover of organization `125 crore or more annual revenue
Less than `1 crore annual revenue
Boosting channel collaboration Saket Kapur, General Secretary, PCAIT, and MD, Green Vision, highlighted the challenges faced by the channel. He said that value addition and out-of-the-box thinking
`50-125 crore annual revenue
`1-5 crore annual revenue
`15-50 crore annual revenue `5-15 crore annual revenue
* Base: 1045 unique visitors from 180 cities
“I thank CRN for this amazing platform. We believe that Virtual Expo will eventually replace the traditional form of expo, and CRN is to be credited for taking the lead in this direction”
“The CRN Virtual Expo is an amazing platform to share, contribute, think, contemplate and learn from each other. Maybe this is a portent of the days to come when most expos will be virtual”
Director, Durga Computers
MD & CEO, Veeras Infotek
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are the mantras of success. “Ironically, the IT channel lacks its own branding and piggybacks on the credibility and brand of the vendor.” Kapur stressed that the need of the hour is to synergize the strengths of channel partners. He informed that PCAIT would Saket Kapur initiate a Web-based platform endorsed by IT channel associations. “The mission of the platform is growth for one and all. It will create a pool of talent and resources which will be made available to all members.” Explaining the working of the platform he said, “Members will be able to post specific requirements for solutions or skilled resources. Co-members will respond to the requests and adequately support them. Members will gain points and credibility through successful bids and execution.” Kapur informed that all the ideas will be tabulated and finalized by the end of January 2013 and that the platform will be launched in Q42013.
Socomec: non-stop energy for critical applications Lohithashan Potti, Product & Presales Manager, Socomec, highlighted the kind of partnerships the company offers. He spoke about some of the ongoing partner schemes like Socomec Festive Bonanza, Grand Finale and Monsoon Mayajaal. Potti also announced the Lohithashan Potti launch of new UPS solutions for the channel community; these include its NETYS range of line interactive, single-phase UPS and ITYS range of online double conversion, single-phase UPS. Potti underscored the benefits of its Green Power 2.0 online double conversion UPS which comes from 10 to 400 kVA/kW. Further, he mentioned Socomec’s partner programs which are meant to reward the channel partners for creating new opportunities. Socomec also offers instructor-led training with product experts, self-paced online training modules, as well as practical and hands-on technical and installation training.
Evolution of the software solution provider—a journey from reselling to solution provisioning Sudarsan Ranganathan, Secretary, ISODA, and MD & CEO, Veeras Infotek, outlined the journey of a reseller. He said the mindset of customers had changed and therefore partners needed to make relevant adaptations.
Said he, “During 1990-1995 there was tremendous opportunity to build a vocational stream and grab the attention of the CXOs. Later in 1999-2002 people started talking about TCO; justifications were required for every investment.” Then in 2002-2006 people talked Sudarsan more about ROI than TCO. Break-even Ranganathan became the subject of discussions. Finally, during 2007-2012, there was an explosion of applications, structured and unstructured data, and social networks. “People now talk about RIMS, information delivery, apps, BYOD, cloud and virtualization,” observed Ranganathan. Some of his interesting predictions were that by 2015, new revenue generated each year by IT would determine the annual compensation of most new Global 2000 CIOs, and that information-smart businesses would increase IT spending per head by 60 percent. He also predicted that by 2015, tools and automation would eliminate 25 percent of the labor hours associated with IT services.
Best practices to survive a low-margin business Brijen Shah, Past President, CMDA Pune, and Director, Dikibi Technologies, said that most channel partners are operating in a low-margin business. “To meet the expenses and make profits, we should keep targets high, estimate expenses correctly, and do more Brijen Shah numbers.” He emphasized that partners need to clearly define their A, B and C class inventories, gain control over turnaround and clear aging inventories regularly. “Moreover, to control bad debts, we must study customer credentials before extending credit.” Shah identified men and money as the two important resources for a business. “Besides team motivation, we have to be strict to reward performers and remove nonperformers.” On money management, he said that overall working capital requirements can be reduced by 30 percent by reducing credit from 30 days to 21 days. “One can add more products/services with the release of additional working capital. These additional products/services can generate more business to make up for the reduced business due to reduction in credit days,” he opined.
testimonials “The technical support for the event was good, and made sure that everything was running seamlessly. I would like to congratulate CRN for bringing IT channel partners and vendors on a single platform” R Madhav Chandran
MD, Cyberland Technologies
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“Offline events suffer from scanty attendance, but the CRN Virtual Expo will prove to be a game changer. However, I feel that the audience should be enabled to ask questions verbally” Diptarup Chakraborti
AVP & Head, Global Marketing, Mastek India
View On-Demand www.crn.in/virtualexpo
Partner profitability and growth with Polycom Ashish Gupta, Head, Channels & Service Business, India & Saarc, Polycom, spoke about how the unified communications (UC) scenario has changed from conferencing and video conferencing in 1990 to immersive telepresence to software based video conferencing. Ashish Gupta He stated that mobile device proliferation, network readiness of 3G (and shortly 4G), and cloud delivery are the drivers of visual communication. Social networking would be another key driver that is fast transforming culture and opening new markets. Gupta stressed that 66 percent of mobile traffic would view video content by 2015, and that Polycom would focus on all these key drivers. Elaborating on their partner support he said, “Once partners are certified they can provide solutions on our behalf. Our video delivery options include on-premise, private cloud, public cloud and hybrid cloud. These enable service providers to offer video-as-a-service, 3Gand 4G-enabled high-definition video conferencing.” Gupta also spoke about the Open Visual Communication Consortium, a global forum created for cooperation among service providers and managed solution providers to provide ubiquitous video communications around the globe.
Opportunities in storage consolidation & virtualization Avik Rudra, Manager, Enterprise Product Management, SMB, Dell India, explained the significance of adopting virtualization as a strategy to increase efficiency and optimize resources. Rudra suggested that channels should advise their customers to follow Avik Rudra a 3-pronged strategy to introduce virtualization that would culminate in easier migration to cloud-based resources. “IT leaders can save enterprises 20-50 percent with virtualization projects which also provide increased flexibility and speed, and improved quality of service.” He suggested that enterprises must attempt to virtualize 100 percent of their applications. “Virtual servers require virtual storage. Consolidate silos of storage and collapse them. Remember, resource pools lower costs and simplify management.”
Rudra advised partners to create a virtual volume for each virtual server without pre-allocating the physical storage capacity upfront through thin provisioning. He said that efficiency can be achieved by automatically moving blocks of data between storage tiers and the RAID level based on user-defined rules with automated tiered storage.
SI stands for systems integrator, not sick industry Kshitij Kotak, President, Association of Systems Integrators & Retailers in Technology (ASIRT), and CEO, Fortune Grecells, emphasized that the IT systems integration, retailing and services industry is not a sick industry but an ailing one because of thin margins, bad Kshitij Kotak debts, high vendor targets, manpower shortage, employee attrition and rising costs. He said that SIs can transform an ailing industry to a healthy, thriving one if they focus on calculating their costs in comparison to their revenue which most of them fail to do as they get busy snatching deals from their competition. He informed that with ASIRT’s Evolve tool—an Excel sheet which helps business people understand their costs versus profits through minute business expenditure information—SIs can actually increase their profits. Kotak said that instead of providing free services (like free deployment), SIs should charge their customers. In their efforts to be in the good books of the customers to bag deals, SIs are actually destroying their business existence. “Taking to the Evolve tool will not only help SIs survive but also grow in the long run.”
Smart path to business growth with energy-efficient solutions Gurudutt M, Director, Transaction Business, Schneider Electric, spoke about the opportunity that exists for energy-efficient solutions and the business benefits that come from being associated with the company. “About 5.14 million square feet of DC capacity Gurudutt M is expected by the end of 2012; this will enable the uptake of energy-efficient solutions,” he predicted. With its wide portfolio of offerings that include power management and security management, Schneider is the
“The CRN Virtual Expo is the need of the hour for vendors, and partners. It is more effective than offline events, especially for vendors who want to identify partners in remote locations”
“Through the CRN Virtual Expo, CRN has once again taken the lead in presenting a beautiful mix of channel-relevant topics through experienced speakers”
CEO, Fortune Grecells
Chief Mentor, Mentropreneur Advisors
Computer Reseller News
perfect partner to cash-in on this opportunity, he added. “Apart from point-based incentives, partners can earn up to 5 percent in back-end. Moreover, we reward up to 15 percent for identifying, developing and winning new APC business.” Explaining the new initiatives, he highlighted the Smart UPS Pull Campaign, a marketing campaign targeting SMBs (15-500 employees) across India.
Parallel imports: The legal perspective Swarn Singh, Joint Secretary, ADCTA, and CEO, Lotus Systems & Services, put forth the legality of parallel imports in India and said that it occurs due to the high price difference between markets. “The recent decision of the Delhi High Court and the clarification from the Swarn Singh Ministry of Finance over the issue have cleared all the clouds over parallel imports. It’s fairly legal according to the law of the land.” Moreover, it boosts the economy with free trade and genuine prices. “These are authentic products and not counterfeits. MNCs are misguiding consumers as well as channels,” he remarked. He said that MNCs are exploiting inadequate awareness around parallel imports, gray areas in intellectual property rights, and delays in judicial procedures. “Moreover, they are resorting to threatening retailers and importers involved in parallel imports.” According to Singh, the existing anti-competition laws are not deterrent enough and the punishment is not proper. “There are several loopholes, no nodal agency to deal with the issue, and no single window for enforcement.” He said that partners must unite against the unfair practices adopted by the MNC vendors, and inform both channel associations and the media about any unfair trade practice.
Impact of online media on channel business
Describing the paradigm shift from onpremise to online, Diptarup Chakraborti, AVP & Head, Global Marketing, Mastek India, said that 23 percent of all IT purchases by 2015 will be made online. In a SWOT analysis, he identified business knowledge, strong client connect and the ability to cross hurdles as strengths; and limited reach, difficulty
in moving beyond box-selling and inadequate vision as weaknesses. “IT vendors and customers bypassing partners, the emergence of new players who quickly adapt to changes, and the risk of business failure are some of the additional weaknesses,” he said. He warned that traditional channel partners would lose their existing business if they do not adapt to the newer demands of or developments in the market. He said that partners can use online media to penetrate large enterprises; they can sell hardware, software and services, and add margins by adopting a consultative approach. Chakraborti recommended adding consulting to the business portfolio, becoming a cloud aggregator, expanding geographically and increasing spend on online marketing as survival tips for partners.
Surviving and thriving—opportunities and challenges for the IT channel Champak Raj Gurjar, Director, TAIT, and MD, Maxtone Electronics, and Rushabh Shah, President, TAIT, and CEO, Graham Information Systems, discussed the dilemmas the IT channel face to manage inventory and finance operations. The duo threw light on current trends as Champak Raj consumers shift their attention to online Gurjar media. Shah stressed on building strengths in solutions for SOHOs and SMBs where LFRs will always be lacking. “Understand your strengths for solutions and make your customer aware to encash them. Poor inventory management, credit management and resource management are the weaknesses, while LFRs, online purchases, and non-availability of skilled resources are the threats which the IT channel has to be wary about.” According to the duo, opportunities like value additions in products and services, and technology changes, need to be leveraged. For example, the introduction of new form factors like AIOs and tablets which the channel can sell as white label brands. “The channel can create its own identity/brand with customized offerings with good logistics and after-sales support. Like-minded solution providers can come together and create their brand. Similarly, one can provide tablets with content pre-loaded,” suggested Shah. n
testimonials “CRN Virtual Expo is an excellent platform. Partners benefitted from the thought-provoking presentations. It also gave us the flexibility to attend the event from the comfort of our offices”
“I personally liked the presentations from Ashok Pamidi and Sudarshan Ranganathan. The on-demand session on Management Lessons from Mumbai Dabbawala was exceptional”
MD, Park Networks
Computer Reseller News
MD, Future Businesstech
For your support in making CRN Virtual Expo Indiaâ€™s largest IT Channel Virtual Event Thank you Speakers
Pinakin Dave National Manager Channels & Alliances, McAfee
Past President, CMDA-Pune
Joint Secretary, ADCTA
Amandeep Singh Dang
Country Manager Dell Networking
Head, Channels & Service Business, India & Saarc, Polycom
AVP & Head, Global Marketing, Mastek India
Former VP IBM India
Enterprise Product Management, SMB, Dell India
Saket Kapur General Secretary PCAIT
Champak Raj Gurjar Director, TAIT
Product & Presales Manager Socomec
Director, Transaction Business, Schneider Electric
Thank you Sponsors Platinum Partners
Thank you Knowledge Partners
Thank you Association Partners
Association for Information Technology
Federation of Information Technology Association of Gujarat
View on-demand sessions at virtualexpo.crn.in
tech focus ViewSonic’s Tablet PC With Android Built-In The VSD220 Smart Display is truly that. With a built-in dual-core OMAP 4 computer, it can run Android apps and browse the Internet like any tablet n Edward J Correia
f you thought that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 was the largest Android-based device with a touch screen, think again. ViewSonic last week unveiled the VSD220 Smart Display, a 22-inch high definition LCD display with Android 4.0 built right in. The VSD220 is available for `31,999. Like many other all-in-one PCs, the VSD220 offers control of its operating system via two-point touch screen and includes a webcam and mic, USB ports, an HDMI input, wired and wireless Ethernet, built-in stereo speakers and Bluetooth, and it’s controlled via touch and on-screen keyboard. There’s no optical drive, keyboard or mouse. ViewSonic sent a unit to the CRN Test Center for review, and opinions were mixed. Because of its browser, ViewSonic is positioning the Smart Display as a low-cost means of accessing cloud-based applications. And we like the idea of an Android-based all-in-one for setting up kiosks, self-service menus, digital signage, waiting-room entertainment screens and other mono-functional applications. There also are a number of kiosk apps in Google Play that resellers can use to set up browser-based apps that restrict users to a set of boundaries. Still, the VSD220 is a nice looking unit. Its 21.5-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 LED-lit LCD panel is bright and crisp, offers a 170 degree viewing angle and displays Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system as well as any tablet we have seen. To adjust brightness,
This Android-based all-in-one is targeted at purpose-built applications such as kiosks, self-service menus, digital signage, and waiting-room entertainment screens 38
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contrast, speaker volume and the monitor’s other settings, ViewSonic cleverly nestles an OSD control next to Android’s on-screen controls for Back, Home and App-switching. We liked this Android-integrated control for its instant responsiveness and intuitive ease of use. We also found favor with its media playback capabilities. The Smart Display with Android 4.0 supports most major media formats, including .mp3, .mkv, .ogg and .wav audio, .mp4 and .avi video and VP8 streaming. To test video playback, we launched the media player from within Android’s Gallery app to play 720 p .avi and .mp4 videos from a USB stick. Both played smoothly and with loud and clear audio. We also tested the unit’s ability to work out of the box with a variety of Bluetooth and USB keyboards and mice; all worked flawlessly. Its rear panel is home to a VESAmounted kickstand, which can be swapped for an optional ViewSonic wall mount or other third-party option. A small plastic cover hides the DC power and RJ 45 connectors, a MicroSD slot and its micro HDMI input port. Of its three USB 2.0 ports, two are Type-A connectors and one is micro. ViewSonic says it will include a cable for this as well as for the micro HDMI port; none came with the test unit. There’s also a Kensington security slot and 3.5mm headphone jack. We wouldn’t recommend the VSD220 as a productivity workstation; the dual-core OMAP 4 processor in the VSD220 seemed underpowered, and the touch screen was sometimes unresponsive and had trouble keeping up with fast finger-swipes. But for its intended purpose as an Internet-ready all-in-one PC for purpose-built applications, digital signage and information kiosks, we recommend the VSD220 Smart Display; it fits the bill nicely. n
shadow ram GET
Inflexion acquires Iris
S-based Inflexion Point has acquired Delhi-based Iris Computers. Inflexion is led by ex-Apple and Pepsico CEO John Sculley, and Neeraj Chauhan, the former Managing Director of Global Infonet is also a part of its global management team. Inflexion is keen to build its Asia business and recently acquired Dragon Technology Group, a Singapore-based distribution company. “Our investment in Iris will provide us with a robust IT distribution platform in the Indian market which will be an important part of our Asian operations,” Sculley said in a media statement. “We are impressed with Iris’ market knowledge, execution capabilities and customer orientation.” It is learnt that Iris Chairman Sanjeev Krishen will continue with the company for a brief period to ensure that the acquisition is completed smoothly. And eventually a new management is likely to take over. Partners close to the company say that some of the managers in Iris have already put in their papers. n
“I’ d improve the election process” Arunabh Ghosh, National Head, Channels, Socomec UPS India, has overall experience of 18 years in business development, predominantly in distribution and channel sales. He has also worked with Ingram Micro, Redington and Emerson.
If not in the IT industry: I would have been in the construction industry.
Biggest passion: Giving joy and bringing smiles to people. I am passionate about making a difference. Behind the wheels: Hyundai i20. Gadgets I can’t live without: I am not addicted to any gadget. Weekends are for: Family and friends. Favorite holiday destination: Any hill-station. Hate the most: Loneliness.
Total PC Protection 2013
Favorite movie: Comedy and romantic movies. Favorite star: Amitabh Bachchan. Role models: My father and brother—I respect their values and principles. I would like to be as hardworking, down-to-earth, strong and honest as they are. Ultimate ambition: To be financially independent.
098 22 88 25 66 092 72 70 70 50
Wildest thing I have ever done: Once I had timed crackers with incense sticks; they went off during the assembly in the senior school classroom and washroom. Thing I most want to do in life: Give true love. If I became the PM: I would improve the election process to ensure that the right people with the right motives drive our nation. Celebrity I would like to spend a day with: APJ Abdul Kalam. One person I would like to meet and why: Amitabh Bachchan. He has seen every aspect of life. Deepest and darkest fear: Death. And being totally helpless while watching a loved one die. n
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— CRN Network
Registered with Registrar of Newspapers under RNI No. MAHENG/2011/39915 Postal Registration. No. MH/MR/NORTH EAST/193/2010-2012 Posted at Patrika Channel Sorting Office, Mumbai-400001. Posting date 2nd, 3rd & 16th, 17th Of Every Fortnight.
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