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editorial My outlook for 2012

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s we enter 2012, the global macro-economic indicators look uncertain, and while India will continue to be one of the fastest growing economies, there is no doubt that the GDP growth rate will slow down. More than the global economy, the local factors are presenting growth challenges to the Indian economy. Primary one being the lack of any policy direction and reforms from the government. With several state elections slated over the next two years, the government will have to continue balancing between political compulsions and policy reforms. One event to watch out for is the upcoming UP elections . If the Congress party does well in UP, the political equations at the Center may work in its favor, and provide the government more leeway in pushing the reforms agenda. However, these are external factors beyond our control, and hence we need to focus on the business at hand.

Volume 1, Issue 06

Managing Director

: Sanjeev Khaira

Printer & Publisher

: Sajid Yusuf Desai

Director

: Kailash Shirodkar

Associate Publisher & Executive Editor : Dhaval Valia Group Commercial Director

: Salil Warior

Contributing Editor

: Ramdas S

Assistant Editor

: Sonal Desai

Principal Correspondent

: Abhijeet Mukherjee (Mumbai)

Senior Correspondent

: Amit Singh (Delhi)

Design Art Director

: Deepjyoti Bhowmik

Senior Visualiser

: Yogesh Naik

Senior Designer

: Shailesh Vaidya

Designer

: Jinal Cheda

Marketing Advertising Co-ordinator

: Jagruti Kudalkar

online Manager—Product Dev. & Mktg.

: Viraj Mehta

Deputy Manager—Online

: Nilesh Mungekar

Web Designer

: Nitin Lahare

Operations Head—Finance

: Yogesh Mudras

Director—Operations & Administration : Satyendra Mehra

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In my estimate, the IT industry will grow at 15-20 percent. The growth drivers will continue to be the Indian consumer. The appetite for new technology gadgets and faster refresh cycles will continue to drive demand. Having said that, rules for the IT channels will change. No matter what the vendors say, tablets are going to steadily eat into the PC market. I have been a tablet user for the past few months and I don’t miss my PC. On the SMB and enterprise side, pure hardware and software resale opportunities will decrease significantly. Solutions-led approach will be preferred. During any uncertain economic scenario, a company’s main focus is to enhance productivity and efficiency, and they invest in solutions that help them to do so. While, undeniably cloud computing is the future, vendors have failed to make a business case for their partner ecosystem. A large number of good partners continue sitting on the fence. Vendors will need to devise

Dhaval Valia

Associate publisher & Executive Editor, CRN

strategies that create more excitement for partners. Only then we can hope to see market momentum. My personal bet is on IP surveillance, managed services, smarter education, UC and collaboration, and security as key growth drivers for the IT channel. Write to me about your outlook and focus for 2012. n E-mail me at dhaval.valia@ubm.com

Sales USA Japan Huson International Media Pacific Business (PBI) bangalore (West) Shigenori Nagatomo Manager—Sales : Satish Kutty Tiffany DeBie nagatomo-pbi@gol.com satish.krishnankutty@ubm.com Tiffany.debie@husonmedia.com Tel: +81 3366 16138 (M) +91 98452 07810 Tel +1 408 879 6666 Fax: +81 3366 16139 Fax +1 408 879 6669 Delhi EMEA Manager—Sales : Sanjay Khandelwal Huson International Media Huson International Media sanjay.khandelwal@ubm.com (East) Gerry Rhoades Brown, gerry. (M) +91 98117 64515 Dan Manioci rhoadesbrown@husonmedia.com dan.manioci@husonmedia.com Tel: +44 19325 64999 Tel +1 212 268 3344 Fax: + 44 19325 64998 production Fax +1 212 268 3355 Deputy Manager : Prakash (Sanjay) Adsul South Korea Young Media, Young Baek , ymedia@chol.com Logistics Tel: +82 2227 34819, Fax: +82 2227 34866 Assistant Manager : Bajrang Shinde Subscriptions & Database Manager : Manoj Ambardekar manoj.ambardekar@ubm.com Senior Executive : Deepanjali Chaurasia deepa.chaurasia@ubm.com Head Office UBM India Pvt Ltd, 1st floor, 119, Sagar Tech Plaza - A, Andheri-Kurla Road, Saki Naka Junction, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400072, India Tel: 022 6769 2400; Fax: 022 6769 2426 Printed and Published by Sajid Yusuf Desai on behalf of UBM India Pvt Ltd, 6th floor, 615-617 Sagar Tech Plaza - A, Andheri-Kurla Road, Saki Naka Junction, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400072, India. Executive Editor: Dhaval Valia Printed at Indigo Press (India) Pvt Ltd, Plot No 1c/716, Off Dadaji Konddeo Cross Road, Byculla (E), Mumbai 400027 Associate Office - Pune Jagdish Khaladkar, Sahayog Apartment 508 Narayan Peth, Patrya Maruti Chowk, Pune 411 030 Tel: 91 (020) 2445 1574 (M) 98230 38315 email: jagdishk@vsnl.com

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


contents January 15, 2012 l Volume 1 Issue 06

Preparing for future growth Neelam Dhawan Managing Director, HP India

Intelligent networks emerging Naresh Wadhwa President & Country Manager, Cisco India & Saarc

Start of the virtual era Mahesh Bhalla, Executive Director & General Manager, Consumer & SMB, Dell India

From hype to maturity Rajesh Janey President, EMC India & Saarc

Year of reinforcement Sandeep Mathur Managing Director, Oracle India

The enterprise social network Sathya Prasad Rai General Manager, SMS&P, Microsoft India

No longer cloudy T Srinivasan Managing Director, VMware, India & Saarc

The new network is here Ravi Chauhan Managing Director, Juniper Networks, India & Saarc

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10

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The tipping point Venguswamy Ramaswamy Global Head, iON, Tata Consultancy Services

Consumerization of IT Amar Babu Managing Director, Lenovo India

Change is key S Rajendran Chief Marketing Officer, Acer India

Cautious optimism

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18

20

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Suresh Pansari Managing Director, Rashi Peripherals

The mobile revolution S Balasubramanian, Country Business Manager, Distribution & Local OEMs, Intel, South Asia

The game changer Manoj Nayee Managing Director, Boston India

Reincarnating the PC Alex Huang Country Head, System Business Group, Asus India

Deliver services with products K R Naik Executive Chairman, Smartlink Network Systems

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25

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contents Technology to be driven by apps Tushar Sighat CEO, D-Link India

Proceed with caution

34

KK Shetty, Director, Sales, TE Connectivity, Enterprise Networks, India

Rise in IP surveillance Oh Tee Lee, Regional Director, Axis Communications, South Asia Pacific Region

Video becoming ubiquitous

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36

Neeraj Gill Managing Director, Polycom, India & Saarc

Three strategic trends Ajay Goel Managing Director, India & Saarc, Symantec

Securing borderless neworks Vishak Raman Senior Regional Director, Fortinet India & Saarc

Seek recurring revenue

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37

38

39

Kailash Katkar MD & CEO, Quick Heal Technologies

The insider threat

40

Hemal Patel CEO, Elitecore Technology

Smarter security needed

Changing security paradigms

42

Ramsunder Papineni Director, Sales, India, McAfee

Primed with opportunities Soon Kwon President, South West Asia Region & MD, LG India

Promises to keep

Focus on the 5Cs

46

Dr. Alok Bharadwaj Senior Vice President, Canon India

Refocus on fundamentals

47

Samba Moorthy, Senior General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Epson India

The rise of tier-2 cities

48

Jaideep Mehta VP & Country Manager, IDC India

Partner ecosystems are changing Thomas George Vice President & Head, Cyber Media Research

Sanketh Arouje, Leader, Economic Analysis Group, Dun & Bradstreet India

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45

Mohit Anand Managing Director, Belkin India Sub-continent

Time to consolidate

41

Amit Nath Country Manager, India & Saarc, Trend Micro

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Preparing for future growth

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he year gone by was a challenging one for businesses across the country. The macroeconomic environment deteriorated while the uncertainty in global markets increased. However, the IT sector as a whole still managed to expand and innovate. According to Nasscom, software exports (which account for 85 percent of the $70 billion revenue of the Indian IT industry) are expected to record 16-18 percent growth in 2011 while the domestic software market is expected to record growth of 15-17 percent. The hardware business is expected to record muted growth of 9 percent largely due to rupee depreciation and the floods in Thailand which put pressure on costs and the supply chain respectively. 2011 saw the industry move toward consolidation, greater interest in cloud computing, RIMS, securing systems and increased government spending on IT. India accounts for 5 percent of the total global spends on IT products and services. A rapidly growing economy, a young population with rising disposable incomes, higher spending by the government on social sector schemes, and the use of technology to improve reach and governance point toward an increase in India’s share in the near future.

Continuing trends Predicting the future is a risky business, but if one thing can be said with a fair degree of certainty it is that technology will continue to be the bedrock for growth in the future. Looking at 2012, there are some trends which will gain momentum. These include cloud computing, mobile computing, security, and managing the vast amounts of unstructured data generated today. The proliferation of technology has created a new breed of customers who want connected, mobile, interactive and immediate

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information experiences. Cloud computing allows companies to meet the consumers’ demands. Research by HP indicates that senior executives believe that by 2015, nearly 18 percent of their IT delivery will be via the public cloud and 28 percent by private cloud; the remainder will be in-house or outsourced. What will also be of concern to most organizations will be the security of their information and systems. Over the last year we have seen a significant rise in cyber attacks, hence companies will have to augment their security infrastructure before they move their information to a cloud. Gartner has indicated that by 2016, almost 30-40 percent of enterprises will make proof of security a must for any type of cloud and mobile services. Companies will also focus their energies toward using technology to harness the information which is coming to them from a variety of sources. A key differentiator for companies will be their ability to analyze this data real time and offer useful insights. There’s a fundamental shift occurring from the ‘T’ in IT to the ‘I.’ The need for real-time analysis of information will decide which technologies prevail.

Need for transformation At HP India we have worked toward creating a foundation layer of PCs, printers, servers, storage and networking that will continue to be our core. We are expanding that core with software that will grow, optimize and manage that core. Our

For partners, the future growth opportunities exist in mobility, cloud computing, information analytics, security, and managed services

Neelam Dhawan Managing Director, HP India

services wrap our core infrastructure and software, and are essential to making sure customers get the most value from our products. Finally, our solutions are built on this layer and are intended to advance our customers’ business objectives in a holistic way. Our partners will form the crucial glue we need between each of these layers. For our partners to grow, we encourage them to look beyond their current revenue segment and take advantage of future growth trends in cloud computing, information analytics, security and managed services. The downward revision in growth estimates for the Indian economy, the decline in industrial production, the high interest rates and the turmoil in global markets seem to indicate that 2012 may begin as a challenging year. But it could also turn out to be a time when organizations start seeking technologies to increase their efficiencies. This in turn could increase the momentum in the cycle of business and technology innovation. One thing is for sure though—we can certainly look forward to an exciting year ahead. n


Intelligent networks emerging

A

s the network continues to grow in importance and becomes our customers’ most strategic IT asset, we believe that routing and switching lie at the heart of its future. Collaboration technologies will catalyze new ways of being together and working together; they will also drive 5-10 percent productivity gains. Data center virtualization and cloud technologies will help organizations to use their technology infrastructure more efficiently, while taking an architectural approach will enable them to adapt to new technology trends easily and quickly. In addition, increasing the adoption of video as a collaboration tool will continue to be a priority for customers.

Past and the future Despite fears of a global slowdown, the Indian economy showed strong growth momentum in the last fiscal. The union budget provided a number of measures to drive inclusive growth. The emphasis on rural telephony to boost connectivity in villages, the move to set up banks in villages having more than 2,000 people, the bill to allow RBI to grant more banking licenses and additional support to Nabard—all these focused on taking growth to the grassroots. Through its new telecom policy, the government hopes to provide broadband on demand by 2015, and increase rural teledensity from 35 percent to 100 percent by 2020. The introduction of 3G and 4G will enhance subscriber interaction with the network and drive demand for broadband availability. The government’s increased focus on National eGovernance Programs, the Unique Identification Development Authority of India program, and the National Population Register will help create large-scale IT infrastructure. The cable digitization bill passed by the government will provide the cable sector with industry status and thus enable it to attract

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institutional financing. According to Gartner, Indian IT spending will reach $79.8 billion in 2012; IT spending in telecom will reach $54.7 billion. We expect to see growth in the enterprise and public sector even while new opportunities open up in oil & gas and manufacturing. The SMB business is also expected to see continued growth.

Networking trends Look for device and content agnosticism. The network will unify wireless and wired access to support the proliferation of devices and ubiquitous mobility. Virtualization and cloud services will deliver content whenever needed, with a lower cost of ownership. Increased collaboration using video, data and voice across a variety of devices will become the norm. Video will become the cornerstone of collaboration for a range of applications from social networking to smart connected communities. Network security will gain prominence as the amount of data increases. New architectures will connect devices across a combination of networks, and increase costefficiency by integrating network security and management to improve business processes. We will see the convergence of firewalls, content security, and policy and identity management. Seamless connections and context-aware security will provide preferential user access to data. IP-based physical safety and security will gain prominence. Data center consolidation will ensure optimal utilization of existing

New architectures will connect devices across a combination of networks, and increase cost-efficiency by integrating network security and management

Naresh Wadhwa

President & Country Manager, Cisco India & Saarc

resources. Virtualization will help scale up the efficiency of IT infrastructure, enhance the performance of increasingly complex and consolidated systems, and help organizations achieve their green mandates. Smart and connected communities will become a reality as governments and urban planners seek smarter ways to deliver more with less. IT will act as an enabler for a more sustainable approach to designing, building and operating the cities of the future. Clearly, a new intelligent network is emerging which has the potential to transform IT into business technology.

Take-aways for the channel Tier-2 cities will drive India’s growth story. Heightened business activity; increased job opportunities; rapid urbanization; and the use of the Internet, PCs and smartphones are transforming upcountry markets. This, coupled with growing investments, is pushing the sales of small business product lines. Partners will benefit from opportunities opening up in sectors such as oil & gas, manufacturing, e-governance, remote healthcare, learning, connected agriculture, retail and rural banking. n


Start of the virtual era

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t the end of every decade, a new technology has thrust us into the next era. Minicomputers radically disrupted the mainframe era, then PCs ousted minicomputers with client-server computing and a PC on every desk. After this the Internet era drastically changed how applications and content were created and delivered to users. Today, the IT industry is again at an inflection point—the virtual era has arrived, and is truly upon us.

Trends to look for in 2012 The following are the key trends which I believe will drive the IT industry in 2012. IT as an enabler: IT is now being seen as a key enabler for almost all business activities, and is no more just about automating the back office. Also, most customers, especially the larger enterprises, will continue to look for vendors who offer a heterogeneous approach and do not tie them into proprietary technology costs. Consumerization of IT: Today’s virtual era is best defined by the blurring of lines between consumer and commercial technology. Consumerization is driving a new mindset—one of open collaboration and freedom with the blurring of work and home, the emergence of new mobile devices, and the changing expectations of IT and the work experience. Mobility: We see the rapid adoption of mobile devices such as handhelds, laptops and other portable Internet end-points creating new opportunities and challenges for Dell, our partners and customers. This is creating the first truly mobile workforce and virtual workplace, giving people the ability to work when and how they choose. Virtualization leading the way: Given the focus on driving cost efficiencies, productivity and business growth, we will continue

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to see technologies such as virtualization leading the way. Desktop virtualization will be critical in this aspect. Cloud computing: Cloud computing is at a tipping point, and we see it as an opportunity for businesses to keep up their growth without having to invest in and manage their infrastructure. IDC predicts that cloud computing will capture 25 percent of IT spending by 2012. For Indian market conditions, this is the right time to offer such services. The Big Data opportunity: Storage, especially for SMBs, is more important than ever. Data is growing at exponential rates, and while there is a need to secure data there’s also a demand for data to be shared so that remote workers, partners, customers and even mobile applications have several access points—anytime and anywhere.

Opportunities for channels As the IT market is evolving and moving into a specialized focus, and the pressure is for opex and end-customer budget optimization, partners need to evolve around solutions and add unique value for an end-customer to consider them. Channel partners are also facing the heat of profitable growth, and are looking for vendors who enable them in this area. The effort by vendors therefore is to be better technology solution providers by listening to partners and customers on every possible occasion. In order to reach more customers and more markets it is imperative that vendors and partners work in tandem. For this to happen partners

The IT industry is changing at a fundamental level. How we use and deliver technology is changing and this presents numerous opportunities for all of us

Mahesh Bhalla

Executive Director & General Manager, Consumer & SMB, Dell India

need to understand customer pain-points, and be educated about product/ solution offerings and their suitability.

The outlook Many reports suggest that this decade will see the emergence of new markets such as India, Africa and China. These emerging markets are seeing an unprecedented growth in the middle-class that is fueling massive technology demand. GenY is also a critical emerging market for new technology. The members of this generation grew up with technology and rely on it to make their lives simpler and perform their jobs better. In essence, the IT industry is changing at a fundamental level. How we use and deliver technology is changing. The trends shared here, and the ones we cannot even fathom yet, will present numerous opportunities for us as both consumers and providers of technology. The winners in the virtual era will be those who can simplify, standardize and automate their technology set-up so that they can spend more time living life and managing their business rather than managing technology. n


From hype to maturity

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ith the end of 2011, Indian IT has started the decade on a positive note. There are some new age trends emerging in the industry, especially concepts such as ‘Bring Your Own Device’ and the surge in mobility devices. The rapid adoption of the newest mobile devices—tablets and smartphones— will be a disruptive force in the enterprise segment in 2012. Apart from this, 2012 is likely to be the year when CIOs will come to terms with adopting disruptive technologies such as Big Data analytics. 2011 saw the proliferation of devices such as smartphones, tablets and digital cameras, thereby creating nodes for the creation and consumption of digital files and leading to a digital information explosion in the country. The APAC region became the largest market for smartphones, almost doubling the units sold to 37.3 million in 2011. The ongoing Internet revolution also contributed to the explosion of digital information in the country. Besides, India is leading the level of social media adoption globally. As per an industry survey, 70 percent of businesses in India use social media. Moving beyond the consumer side, even enterprises realized the importance of digitizing their data and hence are contributing to the digital explosion. In fact, India’s share of digital information is expected to grow 60-fold by 2020, which would be twice as fast as the worldwide rate. This would be driven by the roll-out of 3G/BWA networks, the digitization of TV networks, and increased technology adoption by individuals, SMBs, enterprises and governments. While 2011 saw the birth of some disruptive technologies, the new year will see organizations realizing the business value that IT presents with these technologies. Organizations have realized the value of virtualization, and the growing adoption of technologies

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like cloud computing have given immense confidence to Indian CIOs about their cost savings. An EMCcommissioned study by Zinnov Consulting estimated that the cloud market would reach $4.5 billion by 2015 from the existing $450 million. Some of the other trends witnessed were the rise in the uptake of converged infrastructure, as well as data backup and recovery tools. 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.

What to look for in 2012 CIOs are looking for new ways to compete more effectively and shorten the time-to-market for their IT investments. Analysts tip mobility, cloud, analytics and social media as the possible areas of investment by organizations. Companies are already realizing the value of virtualization. Meanwhile, the growing adoption of technologies such as cloud computing has given immense confidence to Indian CIOs about their potential cost savings. Another area to watch out for will be Big Data analytics. With the emergence of technologies which can make sense of Big Data, useful insights will come through high-end analytics which can be performed on the increasing volumes,

While 2011 saw the birth of some disruptive technologies, 2012 will see organizations realizing the business value that these technologies present

Rajesh Janey

President, EMC India & Saarc

velocities and varieties of data that organizations are generating. At the same time, there will be demand for people having skills in advanced maths, social sciences, visualization and storytelling; in other words, demand for data scientists.

Take-aways for IT channels With digital information set to grow further and faster, and the value of information becoming more important, the importance of information infrastructure/storage technologies will only increase. This by itself will create significant demand in the market. As we move up the ladder of socio-economic development, the demand for storage will continue to rise. In such a situation, it is imperative to become channel-friendly and partner-focused in a way we never have been before. The channel ecosystem needs to continue investing in workforce development, especially in areas like cloud computing and data analytics. The channel community will be key to customer confidence and technology adoption, especially in segments like SMB where unified storage and converged IT will be in great demand. n


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Year of reinforcement

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he use of IT in enterprises has been constantly evolving with the emergence of new technologies and trends. Some technologies show early promise and are adopted quickly, some move slowly, while others become hot topics but then disappear. 2011 witnessed technological advancements in areas such as cloud computing, social and mobile computing, the management and consolidation of vast data, and the constant need to reduce IT complexities. The adoption of cloud computing expanded with many enterprises opting for it, some companies introducing social networking policies within their organizations, and others betting on large-scale deployments of other technologies such as CRM, HCM and analytics to help improve their operational efficiencies. 2011 can be rightly termed as the year of transformation and adoption, while 2012 will be the year of reinforcement.

Government major growth driver With the introduction of projects such as Aadhaar, e-governance in the Commercial Tax Department, state-level projects, and the central government’s Mission Mode projects, many top IT firms in India are betting big on the government. Most of these projects have a significant technology play, thus opening doors for software products and services companies. The scale of opportunities is visible from the expenditure of the central and state governments—anywhere between `20,000 crore and `30,000 crore over the next five years—to roll out government-related services. Under the National e-Governance Project, nearly `10,000 crore has already been spent on activities such as digitizing government records and making them available to citizens through thousands of access centers.

Big Data gets bigger The growth of the Internet has

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transformed the dynamics of the way enterprises view and understand their customers. Companies today are resorting to the Web to gather enormous volumes of data about their customers and their behavior. The increasing volume and detail of information captured by enterprises, and the rise of multimedia, social media, mobile phones and the Internet, will fuel exponential growth in data. Big Data will no longer be confined to IT managers. Big Data analytics is at an early adopter stage, a stage where the cloud was three years ago. If companies haven’t started thinking about their Big Data strategy, my advice to them is to start now.

Sandeep Mathur Managing Director, Oracle India

Cloud offerings Cloud computing has taken the industry by storm. While the adoption of cloud-based applications and infrastructure is still at a nascent stage in India, cloud providers have started offering cloud-based services with limited functionality and options. End-user organizations have started exploring cloud offerings. They are seeking to take control of their data centers again and evaluate how they can leverage cloud infrastructure.

Enterprises turn social 2011 also saw the heightened acceptance of social computing. Enterprises implemented technologies which allowed them to connect with employees, applications, processes and customers. This has become important with devices converging into multiple modes of access. The year also saw CIOs and business units struggling to figure out

Big Data analytics is at an early adopter stage. If companies haven’t started thinking about their Big Data strategy, my advice to them is to start now

how to use social media effectively. In 2012, social tools will be more firmly integrated into existing communication channels. The rise and advance of enterprise social technologies will require investment in social technology tools that provide organizations with a new approach for disseminating, identifying, using and sharing information.

Converged infrastructure Converged infrastructure packages multiple technology components into a single, optimized computing solution. Components of a converged infrastructure solution include servers, data storage devices, networking equipment and software for IT infrastructure management, automation and orchestration. The adoption of converged infrastructure will rise in 2012 and permit IT organizations to centralize the management of IT resources, consolidate systems, increase resource utilization rates and lower costs. All these scenarios hold promising business for the channel community, but the channel will have to invest in building manpower competency to be able to execute these projects successfully. n


The enterprise social network

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f 2009-10 was a period of reset and realignment, 2011 was one of consolidation as demands continued to grow. As for 2012, with challenging times predicted, the onus will be on IT to build newer and deeper internal and external relationships; it will be a year when the sector will have to again prove its capabilities as the creative, prerequisite and fundamental force it has become. The business environment for SMBs will pose newer demands, and they have to be ready for it by engaging top-flight IT employees with better decision-making capabilities, helping them get sharper in honoring commitments, and assisting them in forging game-changing innovations.

Cloud precipitating With inflation threatening to cast a long shadow well into the new year, and constraints on supplies giving business managers permanent worrylines on their faces, companies can take heart in cloud computing. Although cloud computing is still at a warm-up stage, and IT must plug into cloud-based services individually today, cloud computing aggregators and integrators are fast adding to their numbers, and cloudbased services—from full-blown applications to storage services to spam filtering—are set to be in the spotlight. For SMBs, it makes sense to bank upon the talented developers in networked environments, who, as global research and advisory services provider Nucleus Research says, are set to challenge traditional systems integrators used to hiding behind billable hours and big-bang projects.

The enterprise social network Where resources are limited, and sustainability and seamless delivery are imperatives to combat the fears of operative losses and overall economic bleakness, SMBs can hope to be greatly aided by IT.

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Mobile devices’ access to collaborative networks can reinforce and increase an employee’s productivity irrespective of what time of the day or night it is, or where he or she is. Thus, enterprise social networks such as Yammer and Chatter will be put to use to combat the odds the new economic era brings. SMBs please note: Social networks function as open, tailor-made, 24x7 learningteaching bases to connect talents for any opportunity—just what you need to enhance productivity. Just like the rise of email took the business community by storm, instilled new disciplines, rewrote the way we communicate and operate across geographies and time, social collaboration technologies are set to enhance business managers’ outreach capabilities as they share insights, results, news and other information.

SMBs get sharper Given that small businesses constitute a key sector generating employment, there will be enhanced opportunities for SMBs in India. In spite of this encouraging trend, remaining competitive in the changing scenario is what they have to ensure. This challenge can be managed with low-input costs and quality. Expansion and diversity will also help SMBs break into new markets. Since they are largely based on traditional practices, SMBs will need to adopt technology in a big way to be on top of their game. A combination of the latest in technology and upgrades is the key. For example, easy-to-use,

Just like the rise of email took the business community by storm, social collaboration technologies are set to be a game changer

Sathya Prasad Rai

General Manager, SMS&P, Microsoft India

integrated and adaptable ERP and CRM applications help to aid business decision-makers to quickly respond to market shifts, take advantage of new trends, increase their competitive edge and drive successes. These solutions can also be customized for sectors such as agriculture, retail and BFSI. Because these solutions are built on a company’s preferences and work styles, they require less training and development time, thus giving quicker returns on investments.

IT is the key Since 2009 it has been a process of learning and relearning. First, it was to have tighter financial controls with stronger credit and debt management. Next, it was the realization of the need to keep a close watch not only on the competition at home but also on fluctuations in the global economy. For SMBs, edge pruning and rightsizing became necessities. Now is it the last leg of that turnaround? Indian SMBs would do well to continue on the road to persistence and tenacity. And IT is the key to make them nimbler. n


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No longer cloudy

I

n 2011 cloud computing was acknowledged as a profound shift in the IT model, evolving over time and having long-lasting implications for how IT builds, runs and delivers applications, and how end-users consume applications across an ever-expanding range of devices. According to the Annual Cloud Maturity Index (ACMI), a VMware-commissioned study conducted in association with Forrester Consulting, 91 percent of organizations in India consider the cloud relevant to their businesses. As a stepping stone in the journey to the cloud, several organizations started with server virtualization. Apart from huge savings in capex, implementations of virtualization also helped customers to reduce their opex such as costs of real estate, power and cooling. Another key trend was in tablets and smartphones, which made their presence felt in the corporate IT arena; CIOs now need to factor in tablets and smartphones when they devise their end-user computing strategy. With a growing focus on the security and management of desktops, desktop virtualization was an area that got some initial look-ins in 2011.

Tech developments Here are some of the technology developments we are likely to see in 2012. Heterogeneity will rule the enduser computing space: Today we experience heterogeneity in the devices we use. We all access multiple application types— certainly Windows, but also enterprise Web apps, SaaS and native mobile apps. The same applications can be accessed from different devices irrespective of our location, and on the go. We want our data accessible on all of them, and IT is left with a massive challenge. The continuing rise of Big Data and Big Analytics: We see a rapid

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increase in the number of enterprises (and not just big Web companies) looking to harness all the information they collect. We also see the arrival of a new wave of applications which will leverage the insights; they speak to high-scale, real-time data analytics, ultimately helping companies to provide better service and spend their time and money more wisely. Software defined networking to become a mainstay of data center architecture: 2012 will begin to see a marked increase in the deployment of SDN techniques including network virtualization, logical networks and software controllers as server virtualization, consolidation and convergence, and mobility requirements begin to expose the shortcomings and costs of existing data center networking. Data center cluster-based or hypervisor-based security: The security industry status quo is due for a major overhaul, with the emphasis shifting toward the proactive, and the security guards moving closer to the resources being protected. With the perimeter crumbling due to mobility and the omnipresent HTTP, perimeter defense is no longer sufficient. This necessitates bringing security controls closer to critical resources, that is, data center cluster-based or even hypervisor-based security. Open PaaS will see huge growth in adoption: With offerings like Cloud Foundry gaining rapid momentum, it is clear the PaaS area is critical to turn the hype cycle of the cloud into reality. More applications embracing this platform mean more power to the end-user.

Factors such as fears of vendor lock-in, loss of control over data, and interoperability issues between different clouds act as barriers to cloud adoption

T Srinivasan

Managing Director, VMware, India & Saarc

Drivers & barriers Cost savings, an incremental model and flexibility are the key drivers for cloud computing. According to the ACMI report, data privacy has been cited as a major barrier to cloud adoption. Apart from this, factors such as fear of vendor lock-in, loss of control over data, and inter-operability issues between different clouds are the other major challenges that will act as barriers to cloud adoption.

Take-aways for IT channel With commoditization taking firm root in the x86 hardware marketplace, channel partners will need to look at their software and services portfolio to differentiate themselves from each other. The partners will be looked upon to play advisory roles to customers on a number of issues. In order to ensure that partners are able to provide this value-add, a company needs to have a deep and meaningful focus with not just product knowledge but also implementation skills to ensure that customers benefit from the technologies. It also needs to update itself in the areas of expense control, security and business continuity. n


The new network is here

L

ooking back at 2011 from the perspective of the networking industry it is amazing how much comes as a surprise even though it was anticipated. Take mobility for instance. A few years ago smartphones were used by a select few. Today, more than 100 million smartphones (and an increasing number of tablets) are shipping every quarter. That is a runrate approaching a million a day. By the end of 2011 the world will have around 900 million mobile broadband subscribers who expect the Web to surround them at all times, and be available at a flick of the thumb. By the end of 2016 this number is projected to be close to five billion. IDC predicts that within the next 24 months the number of installed intelligent communicating devices will outnumber traditional computing devices by almost 2:1. Two of our predictions for 2012 deal with how we will connect and interact with these smart things. That is a huge change from the old paradigm of static and stationary IT, and this explosion in mobility—and the parallel explosion in data—has far-reaching implications.

Security on the move The expectation to be able to connect at anytime from anywhere extends to the corporate network; mobile staff are demanding full access to corporate data. This means that when employees log-in by using a coffee shop’s Wi-Fi access corporate security needs to extend across the public network. And by the way, they also want to connect with their own devices. A while ago that may have been seen as Mission Impossible for overworked network managers, but companies have been innovating to address this change for the enterprise. In the last year we have seen companies roll out solutions for the mobile enterprise that deliver comprehensive and easy-

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to-use mobile device security, management and control on all significant mobile platforms. The benefits of being able to blur the boundaries between the corporate and public network while maintaining full control extend beyond workforce mobility since it also enables business partners and customers to be brought into the loop. In addition, it sets up great opportunities for service providers.

Cloud computing Once connected, how are these demands for data to be serviced? Increasingly the answer is: in the cloud. With its promise of an increase in IT efficiency and a leap forward in IT flexibility, cloud computing architecture is clearly the strategic direction of the data center. But let us not forget that, as a term, ‘the cloud’ was originally coined to signify a system whose complex inner workings are hidden from the outside. Cloud computing architecture is certainly complex, with virtualization being applied across all data center resources, including the network. The demands of cloud computing are, of course, one of the factors behind companies’ calls for The New Network. The view is that the legacy approach to data center networking is simply not capable of meeting those demands because it involves too many layers and too much complexity. Enabling the level of performance, reliability and automation needed by cloud computing needs radical network simplification, hence companies

The result of all this is a foundation for the next decade of networking. The Old Network may be broken, but the New Network is already here

Ravi Chauhan

Managing Director, Juniper Networks, India & Saarc

are looking at innovative network strategies to flatten the network. Having any-to-any connectivity of virtual machines and virtual storage through a single switching fabric that spans the entire data center drives an exponential improvement in speed, scale and flexibility. The world of IT is now about dynamic motion at every level, from the user to the device to the app and finally to the virtualized infrastructure. When you look at all that, perhaps the most critical imperative which emerges is the need for end-to-end security. One thing we have learned is that single-point solutions are not a safeguard. Security cannot be bolted on to the network as an afterthought. The key is an integrated security platform which offers a centralized way to view and manage all vital security functions, including firewalls, VPNs, intrusion prevention systems and antivirus scanners. The net result of all this innovation is a foundation for the next decade of networking. So, as we move into 2012, have no fear. The Old Network may be broken, but the New Network is already here. n


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The tipping point

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he IT services industry is yet to see any significant impact of the global uncertainties though this is perhaps because the imperative to outsource IT and business processes does not decrease with a slowdown—but probably makes it more important. Yet, IT services and products would have to innovate by defining new needs to create new markets. Here I will talk about some of the ways this would happen. 2011 was a significant year for IT as several technologies entered the mainstream. We saw social networking consuming most of the Internet traffic, and Facebook exceeding Google in hits. We also saw tablets replacing PCs at a rate faster than predicted. Cloud computing took many forms—apps, browser extensions and even serious ERP solutions.

Swift changes In a way 2011 saw IT change so fast that we may tend to think that there is very little left to produce in 2012. On the contrary, 2012 will see the tipping point of a different class of technologies, so the Indian IT industry and start-ups should gear up for this. When iPads and mobile apps became ubiquitous, it was the signal that IT is seeping into the lives and behavior of people. There are two things to note in this. First, IT has started packaging itself in a way that it becomes a natural extension of human actions. Second, IT will seek opportunities to complement every human action and redefine living. Imagine the number of apps one can make for cars that embed tablets into their dashboards. Imagine the same when we have operating systems planted in home security systems. The possibilities are truly endless for app makers. For sure, in 2012, we will see

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apps shift from matters of fun and play to lifestyle. Embedded technologies will get redefined with intelligent and social systems. It will be the dawn of a new age where software would not be confined to computing devices. In 2012, many of the notions about social networks will give way to new ones. Today, the Internet is loaded with social data, but mankind has yet to learn how to use it. Many of the social network strategies are half-baked and not proven. Maybe one has to take examples from offline society to learn how online societies would evolve. Cultural themes, taboos, dialects—some of the elements of offline society—would be seen evolving into important intelligence parameters in the online world as well. And marketers will come up with innovative techniques to crack what are now just heaps of data put into questionable analytics.

IT outsourcing I must speak about cloud computing now. And I will do so in the context of IT services. The true benefits of outsourcing are reaped when it crosses the realm of reducing manpower to offloading the whole function. A business does not differentiate on the basis of what IT it employs—it does on how it uses it. Increasingly, business is learning to redefine IT consumption. It is becoming choosy about what business processes it should deploy

IT has started packaging itself in a way that it becomes a natural extension of human actions. IT will seek opportunities to complement human actions and redefine living

Venguswamy Ramaswamy

Global Head, iON, Tata Consultancy Services

while being agnostic about what IT that would require. With the cloud, in-house IT would become a burden that would need to justify its existence. With time, IT outsourcing will make providers host and even share software. Simultaneously, the providers need to be apt in cross-pollinating best practices and provide those in a shared manner. I firmly believe that when it comes to core business applications, especially ERP systems, this would be the paradigm. IT outsourcers will become formidable cloud providers in their own right, and in their own way. I spoke about gadgets, social computing and IT services, the three spaces in which innovations would happen. For sure, we will see surprising trends. More surprisingly, we will see adoptions happening even faster. We have come to the stage where the IT adoption cycle time has dramatically reduced. The key message is to innovate and not be reluctant to scrap things that fail the test of time—for time is now quick in its verdict. n


Consumerization of IT

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he past year proved to be ‘the year of social networking’ that saw people across diverse demographics flocking to social networking Websites to voice their opinions. Consumerization of IT took root, with the launch of new gadgets in the tablet, ultraportable and smartphone categories. As a result, India’s avid Internet user base has grown to over 100 million by 2011, an impressive YOY growth of over 13 percent. 2011 witnessed the introduction of an exciting new category namely ultraportable PCs that offer sleek and powerful design along with high battery life, bundled in a single device. 2012 will see devices that are able to integrate content creation and consumption, entertainment and gaming, among others. Portability, ease-of-use, convenience and mobility will be the propellers of change. Technology is a dynamic business to be in as it never ceases to evolve. 2012 will be yet another year of surprises. Despite the overall economic challenges, enterprises will continue to invest in IT, as technology helps them streamline processes and optimize resource utilization. For 2012, the IT spending in India is projected to be $79.8 billion, a 9.1 percent increase from 2011’s spending of $73.1 billion, according to Gartner. The consumer notebook market will grow significantly as government moves in with policy measures to bridge the digital divide. We have already seen two such initiatives—the tender from the Tamil Nadu government to buy 900,000 mobile computers, and Aakash tablet launched by the Ministry of ICT for the education sector. The tablet and ultrabook market will also see growth in the days

ahead, with consumer tastes veering toward more elegant design and compact sizes.

Growth amidst challenges The coming year will see a greater move to the cloud as consumers increasingly demand content that is not directly hosted on their PCs. Workplaces will see a growing number of personal and professional devices, and a convergence between the two might be inevitable. The need to be mobile and social will take precedence as the number of Internet users will continue to grow at an explosive rate. Tablets may well become the next growth engine for PC OEMs like Lenovo. Meanwhile, the depreciation of the Indian currency could create some challenges for the PC and IT companies as they grapple to avoid increase in prices of their products to the end-users.

Channel priorities As indicated by various Gartner and IDC reports, PC shipments will continue to increase in 2012, with tier-2 and tier-3 cities leading the PC demand. With cloud computing expected to grow at a phenomenal rate, there will be a marked shift among end-users to mobile and powerful computing devices such as tablets and smart phones. 2011 saw the channel contract, with several small box pushers exiting the market. With the transition to cloud-based devices, continuous globalization of retail and supply chains of large vendors,

2012 would see further consolidation of the IT channel because of the transition to cloud-based devices and globalization of retail and supply chains

Amar Babu

Managing Director, Lenovo India

and the consumerization of IT, 2012 could see further consolidation in the IT channel, particularly among the tiers that play a low value-add role in the chain. Most PC vendors will continue to invest, albeit cautiously, in retail and marketing activities, and also target newer consumption models, for example, social networking and smaller format stores in small cities. While the entry of the large format stores has changed some of the rules for IT retailers in large cities, by and large, this has also made them more structured. In the days ahead, all types of retail, and various types of corporate reseller models will co-exist.

Road ahead On the whole, as individuals become more connected, content will be increasingly consumed onthe-go; social networks will become all-pervasive; and the boundaries between work and play will blur further. Channel community will need to re-evaluate their go-to-market, and PC vendors, on their part, will need to provide them the right guidance and tools to transform. n

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Change is key

L

ooking back at 2011, it was an eventful year for the industry, in many ways. New product categories like tablets debuted while notebooks went slimmer. The launch of tablets and ultrabooks marked a new direction in the PC market and this would usher in newer computing models in future. The other significant change was in terms of consumer mindsets— increasing product awareness and changing lifestyles has seen consumers willing to explore new gadgets and technologies. This is proving to be a game changer for many brands as new technology adoption in most large cities in India is becoming similar to that in the Western countries.

Demand for new products For all of us, the New Year has started on a challenging note. The drastic depreciation of the Rupee against the US Dollar coupled with the floods in Thailand has meant that technology vendors have not been able to support the demand for new products as efficiently as they would have liked. An increase in price has become inevitable across all product categories. The good news though is that the industry is gathering momentum with the introduction of new technologies and fresh product lines. We expect the coming months to mark a recovery in the IT hardware industry and to regain a high growth track. However, to emerge stronger in 2012, IT vendors will need to adapt to and launch technologies to suit the current market requirements. Even marketing of IT products will have to become more innovative and the channel go-to-market will have to suit the changing consumer mindsets.

Emerging trends Significantly, 2012 will see a

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paradigm shift in the manner in which consumers are interfacing with computing devices today. We expect ultrabooks to gain increased momentum. Also displays of desktops and notebooks will incorporate advanced features like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3D, which will further make PCs more consumer friendly and an entertainment device. Manufacturers will focus on PCs with longer battery life, lighter weight and intuitive interface. Early adopters and avid technology fans already have their eyes on two emerging operating systems. Android with the launch of its version 4 aka Ice Cream Sandwich has emerged as a great unifier between tablets and smartphones. Many of its features and the increasing speeds of tablets will make it a healthy contender to the PC. On the PC front, Microsoft’s soon-to-be-released Windows 8, which features the Metro-style GUI and touch navigation, will help in making PCs more user-friendly and stylish. For us, the projector segment also looks promising. The use of projectors is increasing in the education sector and among the SMBs, as they have become more affordable. In addition, new technology features allow projectors to be put to multiple uses. Wireless and LAN connectivity, interactivity, ultra short throw and 3D technology are the new trends emerging that will increase the market. PC less projection is also fast catching on,

Changing consumer mindset is proving to be a game changer as technology adoption in large cities in India is becoming similar to that in Western countries

S Rajendran

Chief Marketing Officer Acer India

with customers now being able to project directly from their pen drives.

Channel connect Channel partner support is extremely critical for an indirect company like Acer to establish our presence across the length and breadth of the nation. We believe that over the next few years, truly channel-friendly companies, who consider partners as their lifeline, will be the ones to survive. Building strong relationships will be the key driver, facilitated by more tactical channel initiatives to drive sales, and power the success of the brand. In the New Year, the focus for a company like Acer will be to build an active partner base and witness a steady growth by focusing on new accounts. Channel partners also have important lessons to learn, with growing uncertainties in the global market and declining profit margins; they will need to adapt to the changing business dynamics. n


Cautious optimism

T

he year 2011 started with a big bang and business opportunities improved quarter over quarter. However, OND quarter saw unexpected dip especially in the assembled PC segment. The white-box market is normally low in OND quarter but the Dollar appreciation, HDD shortage further impacted the business downward. However peripherals, notebooks and other categories of IT products did well. 2011 also showed the maturity amongst the channel and also end customers who preferred reputed branded products over the cheap unbranded ones. This helped end Suresh Pansari customers have an improved user Managing Director, experience, which has created a Rashi Peripherals multiplier effect in business. Globally, while Asia is going strong, the Europe forecast looks relatively bleak and hence IT vendors’ focus on India will be high. This means there will be lot of pressure on India to achieve numbers and compensate for the business losses in other parts of the world. Technology investments to bridge the digital divide and drive inclusive growth in rural and semi-urban India are likely to gain momentum. 2011 saw a surge of growth in Class B and C cities. Business in every state capital witnessed an upswing. Notebooks saw continued growth momentum and, contrary to perception, desktops too, continued to show growth albeit at a slower pace. One major transformation underway is the realization by the channel that pure box-pushing is no longer viable and value creation is key to their survival. The outlook for 2012 is optimistic, however due to various macro factors the growth in the first six months will be slower.

Technologies to bet for Growth of smartphones and tablets will fuel the overall market and create demand for notebooks as well. Furthermore, higher disposable income and dependency on Internet for routine work will trigger IT purchases. Low-power peripherals like solar keyboards and

The outlook for 2012 is optimistic, however due to various macro factors the growth rate in the first six months will be slower

energy efficient CPU based PCs will be more prevalent. Although cloud computing has been touted to gain big momentum, I believe its visible impact on channels will happen only 2-3 years down the line. Tablets, AIO PCs, and solid state storage are new categories that will see increased adoption. Notebooks are expected to continue to grow at 40 percent while desktops will grow at 10-15 percent. Cautious optimism is the best way forward for the channel. They should cement their relationship with their suppliers and keep the existing customers very close to their heart as these repeat customers will bring more business opportunities. n


The mobile revolution

T

he start of a new year is always a good time to reflect on times past and ahead. 2011 might best be described as a year of disruptive change related not only to a difficult economy but also to deeper trends in the world. One of the key trends (and an industry highlight) was how everything has become mobile. In 2011 there were multiple technology changes in consumer markets such as mobility, cloud computing and social systems, in turn changing the way we interact with computers. The highlight of 2011 has to be how Asia, traditionally seen as the manufacturing hub of the world, has started shifting its focus to leadership, innovation and strategic thinking. Domestic consumption in Asia is also growing due to the increasing purchasing power and the increasing number of people comprising the middle class (with the mass urbanization of population). In India, along with urbanization, an increase in affordability, and the desire of parents (who see owning a PC as an important part of giving their children access to better education) have led to the growth of the PC market.

Notable trends In 2011 the industry saw the continued development of a number of trends which have been underway for some time, including the consumerization of enterprise IT, the growth of social networking and mobile commerce, and the rise of cloud computing. Enterprise IT grew, and consumer electronics saw big hits, with simple, easy-to-use devices, software and services. Many of the trends in consumerization and e-commerce can be traced to the ever-growing power and increasing use of cloud computing. Without the sheer computing power inherent in cloud computing, many services (such as live music streaming) would not

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be available. In 2011 this power increased further as companies developed cloud-based end-toend platforms for consumers and businesses. The changing adoption patterns fragmenting the global consumer device market can be viewed holistically as PCs, tablets, smartphones and other consumer devices which fulfill multiple interconnected needs. But as the global device market grows, vendors will need to understand the influencing factors which drive different device adoption trends and determine the total available market.

Temptations 2012 The Indian tech market in 2012 is expected to grow with business and enterprise purchases of IT goods and services. Cloud and smart computing solutions will continue to perform well. Given these various potential growth opportunities, tech companies may find it tempting to pursue several opportunities at once, creating new business models for each possibility. We, however, believe that the winners will be those who can develop a coherent business and innovation strategy based on a narrower, more carefully focused set of capabilities. In 2012 there will be some key growth drivers as well as challenges for the tech sector. The mobile revolution will continue to drive more devices and data consumption, demanding more energy efficiency and secure data centers to support the overwhelming Internet traffic. Data center demand will continue

Mobile revolution will drive more devices and data consumption, demanding more energy efficient and secure data centers to support the overwhelming Internet traffic

S Balasubramanian

Country Business Manager, Distribution & Local OEMs, Intel, South Asia

to increase, and by 2015 there will be more users, more devices and more data vendors who can provide efficient, secure and intelligent cloudbased solutions to the SMB market. The cloud ecosystem will also evolve as more manufacturers enter the market. Security will continue to gain strength in 2012 as PC manufacturers look to hardware-level security. One of the most important factors will be the role the channel partner plays in the market. The responsibility of the channel partner is evolving, and with the different levels of technology it also varies. Some partners have moved away from volume to value, some have carved their niche around technology domains, others have mastered supply chain logistics to ensure a lower cost of acquisition. The need is to work with partners to focus on upcoming technologies and continuously innovate keeping in mind the increased benefits that could be offered to customers. Don’t get too caught up thinking about the successes and failures of 2011. Instead, learn from your experiences, move on, and map out your goals for 2012—but you want them to be concrete-set goals with actual numbers. n


The game changer

B

usinesses are looking for efficient ways to access IT by using power saving and energy optimization technologies which not only reduce energy consumption but also ensure that processing and storage capabilities are increased. The market has started to realize that there has been too much focus on the initial purchase price of hardware as opposed to their actual operational costs which can be more significant in today’s energy-hungry climate.

Drivers for 2012 The technology adoption areas that will see increased momentum are as follows. Hybrid high-performance computing: For the past few years companies like Nvidia have been working very hard to educate the channel on the gains made available by hybrid computing. Platforms that are powered by both GPU- and CPU-based processing technologies help address the increasing desire for supercomputing speed and performance. In 2012 we will see some very exciting entrants into the hybrid compute area from key industry players such as Intel (with their codenamed Knight Corner GPU compute accelerator), Nvidia (with its Keplar next generation graphics core), and ATI (with its hotly anticipated New Zealand dual-GPU-based products). Liquid cooling technology: Liquid cooling technology, such as that employed by high performance computing specialist Hardcore Computers, which fully submerges heat-generating components in a biodegradable dielectric fluid, is becoming a highly cost-effective method of monitoring energy loss. This fluid has up to 1,350 times better thermal management than air cooling, and gives higher performance levels and vastly improved reliability. Because it is designed to operate in almost any environment, the cost of computer room air conditioning units

can be effectively reduced by as much as 90 percent. Ultra-dense, low-power computing: As companies look to cut data center costs—which are consuming up to 2 percent of the world’s total energy capacity—people will begin to consider using servers implemented with low-power Calxeda ARM-based processors—the very same used in most tablets and smartphones today— giving data center performance while consuming power comparable to a mobile device. Calxeda’s ARM-based server-ona-chip technology uses 1.5 watts (compared to over 100W that today’s server uses) and provides up to 90 percent power savings over traditional x86 platforms. Thanks to its mobile phone heritage, this new processor technology consumes less than one-tenth the power of today’s most energy-efficient server processors, and is ideal for workloads such as Webserving Big Data applications and use within data centers.

Game changer The increasing availability of the hybrid cloud will be a game-changing moment for enterprises in 2012. As IT faces the new normal of flat budgets and increased business demand, cloud computing promises to bridge the gap between IT capabilities and business expectations. But cloud computing also present new challenges, especially for security, availability and performance. While organizations currently engage with cloud computing through two different paths (the private and the public cloud), this is all

With data center consuming 2 percent of world’s energy, companies are looking to build ultra-dense, low-power data centers that consume the power of a mobile device

Manoj Nayee

Managing Director, Boston India

set to change. Previously, securityconscious companies would have used the private cloud model to keep everything within their own data centers, while organizations free from these restrictions were able to utilize the more flexible option of the public cloud. These single-cloud offerings became well-established in 2011. However, next year we will see the proliferation of a hybrid cloud model where organizations will begin to connect their private cloud with a public cloud, offering the benefits of both to their customers—the security of the private cloud and the flexibility of the public cloud.

Take-aways for 2012 There will be increased demand for hybrid GPU and CPU computing, enabling users to create platforms running at trillions of calculations per second. Liquid cooling technology will be adopted to meet the higher demands for processing power while reducing the total cost of ownership. New ultra-low power processors from Calxeda will provide data centers with power consumption comparable to a mobile device, assuring revolutionary low power with up to 90 percent power savings. n

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Reincarnating the PC

I

n 2011 the Indian PC market saw the adoption of various new form factors such as LED monitors (in the commercial desktop space), and netbooks, ultra lightweight notebooks and tablet computers (in the portable space). These four form-factors— desktops, ultra lightweight notebooks, netbooks and tablets—coexisted, leveraging on the increase in reach and penetration of mobile broadband data services, content and apps. Since the launch of the first tablet computer in India in November 2010, the market has seen a number of launches from various players. Some models focused on the enterprise user segment while others focused on the consumer segment. Another major product which was foreseen to create its own market soon after it was unleashed was ultrabooks. Ultrabooks solved the portability challenge with their thin designs and extremely low weights. Toward the end of the year, segments such as netbooks witnessed a drastic shrinkage in their market share after customer preferences shifted toward the new cutting-edge technologies.

Trends in 2012 Cloud computing is one segment which will continue to grow. Low-cost cloud-based projects are expected to pick up, especially those which do not necessitate heavy investments. 2012 will also witness the growth of a number of personalized software and applications, and consumers and enterprises will look at gadgets with portability. In the tablet arena, extra thin designs are expected to take over the glory. Features such as microSD expansion, HDMI output, LCD panel technology and rechargeable battery pack are likely to be covered by various vendors. Tablets are continuing to find their place in the market as not just consumption

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tools but also as productivity tools. The key for this to be useful in the workforce is the combination of a touch and a physical keyboard. Tablet operating systems are expected to see further progression with the introduction of Android 4.0 and Windows 8. Tablets are estimated to become even lighter and thinner than they are now. Slimmer and redesigned versions of first-generation tablets with Tegra 3 are also probably going to roll out. The first quad-core smartphones and tablets will be released in 2012; they will offer a substantial boost in processing power. As for the reincarnation of the PC in the age of tablets, thin, light and powerful ultrabooks are evidently going to gain momentum. The ultraportables series from various vendors will roll out with advanced and improved features in terms of things like design, build, battery life and USB ports keeping in consideration the areas which the existing portables couldn’t rule. The emphasis on touch interfaces with thinner and lighter designs of ultrabooks could make this new generation of convertible laptops more desirable than the convertibles of the past few years. New ultrabooks with higher-resolution displays are also likely to be unveiled. Ultrabooks are expected to flood the market next year as PC and laptop makers search for ways to compete against the proliferation of mobile devices. As new features such as mobile payments grow in popularity, these devices may become more popular as users demand more power, battery

Ultrabooks are expected to flood the market next year as PC and laptop makers search for ways to compete against the proliferation of mobile devices

Alex Huang

Country Head, System Business Group, Asus India

life and features to fuel their mobile activities.

Effect on netbooks Segments such as smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks have certainly resulted in some shift of preferences from the previously existing market segments. Because of the shift, the netbook and other minilaptop market is expected to shrink considerably; the notebook industry is expected to be in for a rapid upturn in the coming year. Netbooks fell out of favor with consumers as tablets became the hot mobile product, but the education market is still interested in them. There is still real interest in a lightweight, very low-cost laptop. While ultrabooks will fit the bill for those with more cash in hand, a fresh generation of netbooks could find new life at the very low end of the laptop market. In 2012 advancements in terms of designs and offerings with new technologies are expected to combine functionality and usability into one. Enhancements are expected in the new segments of tablet PCs and ultrabooks. n


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Deliver services with products

T

he Indian IT industry has witnessed tremendous growth since its inception in the country. India had been termed as a slow-paced economy, but the entry of this industry has brought it to the forefront by offering various IT services and making it a land of ground-breaking technologies. With the rapid growth of the Indian IT-BPO industry in recent years, Nasscom predicts that it can become a $225 billion industry by 2020. India is today in the midst of an explosive growth in the telecom and networking industry. The usage of the Internet has grown rapidly over the years, and the telecom industry seems to be flourishing. Growth in these sectors plays a key role in the growth of the hardware industry. With the growing number of Internet users, the demand for desktops, notebooks, tablets and mobiles will amplify. According to a study carried out by IMRB for the Internet & Mobile Association of India, the active Internet usage will increase by 98 percent in rural areas by the start of 2012. The asserted Internet consumer group has also grown by 96 percent. According to one estimate, 302 million individuals live in urban India. Of these, 38 percent know how to operate a computer; this number has grown from 32 percent in 2009. While 72 percent of the computer literates say they have used the Internet, 79 percent of these are actively accessing the Internet at least once a month.

Industry drivers The government sector is a catalyst for increased IT adoption through the NeGP and UIDAI programs that create large-scale IT infrastructure and promote corporate participation. The Indian IT industry seems to be going great guns, recording

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impressive growth in the past few years. Sales of computer, peripheral and networking products peaked, thanks to the increased demand from the corporate and education sector. (These days private colleges as well as universities strive to give the best of facilities to their students.) It is amazing to see how the education and health sectors are open to technological changes like cloud computing, which is a rage today. This popularity of cloud computing has helped other industries to recognize the importance of the software as well as the hardware industry. The growth of the electronics and hardware industry depends on the manufacturing of components/ semiconductors. Electronics and hardware are the major components of several industrial sectors such as telecom, automobiles, electronic applications and special medical equipment. What India really needs today for developing its manufacturing capacities are skilled labor, better infrastructure and more flexible government policies. When all these factors are right, the world will witness India’s growth in the software, peripheral, component and service industry.

Changing channels The IT channel in India has been considered to be a set of distributors, resellers, SIs and VARs. The coming years will see a lot more new channels opening up such as retail

In 2012, there will be more partners that will deliver services along with products. Channels will grow to become true solution providers

K R Naik

Executive Chairman, Smartlink Network Systems

channels, online channels and ISP channels. This will give rise to a lot of consolidation. We are witnessing the entry of organized retail in the IT arena. This is a new route, a new channel delivering products to the end customer, especially those in the home user and SOHO segment. With the Internet getting stronger by the day, we will also see the online channel getting stronger. These new channels will definitely take some part of the business currently governed by today’s traditional channel. The Internet user base in India is growing at a very fast pace, and B2C e-commerce figures are on the rise. Globally the online channel is responsible for a respectable value of business, and it is a very popular medium of sales as well as marketing. In 2012 we will have a more organized channel which will deliver services along with products. This will see the channels growing to become more of service delivery and true solution providers. n


Technology to be driven by apps

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rom major events such as the uprisings in the Arab world to the death of Osama bin Laden, from natural calamities such as the tsunami in Japan to the Lokpal debate led by Anna Hazare, it was interesting to see how new–age technology mediums like Facebook and Twitter were being adopted to promote mass campaigns and bring in awareness.

Highlights of 2011 The industrial sector witnessed moderate growth which is expected to be 7 percent for FY2011-12. The eight core infrastructure industries grew 6.8 percent in November. Industrial output registered a negative growth of 5.1 percent in October, the lowest in two years, with manufacturing, mining and the capital goods sectors showing major signs of concern. Education, IT, healthcare, FMCG and automobiles grew at a steady pace. The government’s decision to bring in FDI is a game-changer. The entry of foreign multinationals in retail will boost organized retail, generate employment, provide better price benefits for the farmers and SMBs involved, improve supply chain management and offer a wider choice to consumers. It’s also likely to have a positive impact on sectors such as realty, telecom, consumer durables and consumer electronics/IT. While organized retail looks very bullish, the major concern for the economy is the depreciating rupee. This has had an effect on imports, making commodities such as crude oil and products such as laptops expensive. Infrastructure projects dependent on international market borrowings and imported equipment have been affected due to the same. For technology and gadget lovers, 2011 was not at all disappointing, with innovative products like the Smart TV, iPad 2 and iPhone 4S being launched. India’s most euphoric moment was the introduction

of Aakash—the cheapest tablet. This year government initiatives in promoting broadband Internet usage have been commendable, and have led to good growth of ADSL products. The roll-out of 3G services further fueled the demand for better connectivity options.

Major trends The following are the key trends which I believe will drive the IT industry in 2012. Emphasis on IT infrastructure & virtualization: Organizations these days are investing in infrastructural support that can deliver end-toend, effective and reliable solutions which will eventually transform their business operations. Looking ahead there will be strong demand for wireless, storage, broadband, switching, security and cabling that form part of a complete end-to-end networking solution. Further, with virtualization, clients can look at reducing their hardware maintenance and operations cost while improving the utilization of existing resources. Cloud services: Several technology experts believe that in the near future cloud computing will be a common thing as it will change the way work is done and will become an acceptable platform for the delivery of services. Technology to be driven by apps: Moving forward, newer technologies will be driven by applications. Cloud computing will help accelerate the demand for more app-driven gadgets which can be regarded as the new drivers of tech innovation in the future. With the

Newer technologies will be driven by applications. Cloud computing will accelerate demand for more app-driven gadgets and this will drive future innovations

Tushar Sighat CEO, D-Link India

increase in Internet connections and the popularity of handheld devices, users have now started looking for ways in which they can access information anytime, anywhere. This has triggered consumer and enterprise requirements for application-driven technology. Lifestyle networking: These days networking is not restricted to businesses alone, but has made a strong foray into the home segment. Customers demand products that can enrich their lifestyle and that have a feel-good factor. Gadgets do add to the home décor, and are also being looked at as style statements. As technology surges forward the need for well-designed, reliable and efficient networking devices is also slated to grow. IP surveillance: Security has become one of the prime concerns after the terrorist attacks of recent times. While the government is taking measures to enhance the security infrastructure, even large enterprises, corporates and educational institutes are investing in securing their premises from external threats. In addition, the simplification of the technology has resulted in the increased adoption of surveillance. n

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Proceed with caution

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011 kept its promise of market growth predicted after the recession of 2009. The IT and ITeS segments bounced back after a serious dip, and the BFSI and telecom sectors picked up, especially in the data center segment. The government and education sectors began investing in IT, with projects such as UIDAI giving a boost to data center installations. In terms of technology, Cat6A installations picked up. However, Cat6 continued to dominate installations in horizontal networks and cabling projects in normal premises. Fiber applications remained in use primarily in campus networks and for backbone cabling in data centers. The key consideration for data center networks remained high-density solutions that minimized the requirement for real estate and allowed for better cable management while maximizing the use of aircooling which helped reduce carbon footprints.

Drivers & challenges The key growth drivers for the industry for this year (and even a few years beyond) will be government and infrastructure projects. A major growth driver for the market would be expansion in the banking and financial sectors. With less than one-fourth of the Indian population holding a bank account, this sector is likely to experience a huge lift in the years to come. The expansion would come in the form of office networks for the branch offices as well as the data centers that would be required at the back-end to house the data at the regional and national levels. Growth in the manufacturing sector is subject to the implementation of GST which would make India an attractive manufacturing destination in Asia and fuel the growth of IT in this

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segment. The current challenge for the industry is the shortage of trained manpower. The technology in the cabling market is changing rapidly, but the current installers still seem to use archaic methods while installing the network. It is imperative that we get good trained manpower that uses new tools and technology to deliver the best in installation. Vendors routinely offer certified training to their partners (and even to end-customers) in installation, certifying, warranting and designing networks; systems integrators should leverage on these to train their engineers. The escalating cost of copper for an industry that is primarily focused on copper connectivity is another challenge that has been the scourge of the cabling industry for nearly three years now. The rising cost of copper has forced vendors to raise the cost of their copper cables and components. Some vendors drop prices to win business, but that too has a negative impact on the business.

A thought for the channel As we step into 2012, we believe that the year will be good for the vendors and the channels, but even so the channels will have to proceed with some caution as far as cash flow and efficient management of inventory are concerned. If a recession materializes in 2012 the availability of cash would be a challenge, and it would have a direct impact on the procurement of goods. This would be a good

With less than one-fourth of the Indian population holding a bank account, the BFSI sector is likely to experience a huge lift in the years to come

KK Shetty

Director, Sales, TE Connectivity, Enterprise Networks, India

time for the channels to invest in upgrading skills, especially in passive electronic installations, and to learn about new technologies in the field. Their motto should be ‘finding, adding and creating value for the customer.’

Economic outlook for 2012 The global market is already going into a slowdown, and there is some wariness about how 2012 will shape up in terms of economics. The IT and ITeS segments are likely to be affected the most should this slowdown gain momentum and hit Indian shores. The Indian companies that weathered the economic slowdown of 2009 could be well-equipped to weather the new crisis. The government and education sectors may also rally to support the IT industry growth should recession become a reality in 2012. As such, we expect only 6-8 percent YOY market growth till 2015; thereafter the industry may even post 20 percent growth. If the GST laws come into effect sooner, the manufacturing market would definitely pick up and post excellent growth rates. n


Rise in IP surveillance

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he Indian security and surveillance market has been growing rapidly over the last few years. In the past, it has been largely dominated by analog-based installations, commonly known as CCTVs. However, currently, the industry is undergoing a radical shift, with IP–based video surveillance cameras gaining currency because of their superior technology, flexibility and affordability. According to the IMS 2011 Report, the network video surveillance market is set to grow at 52 percent in 2012.

Digital trends Key technology trends will drive IP surveillance, both globally and in the Indian market. These are as follows: High definition (HD) video: Most top manufacturers have already launched or are in the process of launching HDTV products. HDTV cameras offer high visual improvement in storage and recording server specifications, and video management application system abilities to handle high resolution streams. Open standards: As technology evolves, there will be very little differentiation at the product level; it will mostly be at the application level. This means solutions will be delivered after translating product features into user requirements, which in turn means greater and better adoption of open standards. 2012 will probably be the most defining year for ONVIF, allowing application developers to save on development costs by integrating ONVIF products into solutions. Thermal imagery: Thermal imaging is a critical component to plug in the gaps in normal visible surveillance solutions, especially when used in high risk environments. It is not hampered by environmental conditions like illumination levels, snow, haze, smoke and camouflage, helping get reliable information at all times besides proving a boon for analytics providers, who face challenges of performance

degradation in visible video under certain conditions. Surveillance-as-a-service (SaaS): This is a trend that many manufacturers are hopeful, will help them net the SMB or residential market that is still predominantly dominated by low-end analog manufacturers. The challenges here are mostly business model or ROI related rather than stemming from technology. Many TSPs (Total Solution Providers) may currently have an advantage since they control the end-to-end costs but user friendly do-it-yourself systems may prove to be a challenge.

The going’s not-so-rough Today, surveillance is not just restricted to the sphere of security; with the advent of embedded applications in security products, it is now emerging as a tool for gathering business intelligence among others. Many customers of analog surveillance are moving toward network video surveillance, mainly because of its real-time benefits. Compared to the entire surveillance market, the network video market is growing at a faster pace. With a growing number of industry verticals, and changing business trends, the adoption of surveillance cameras is on the rise. Also, intelligent applications incorporated within these cameras such as facial recognition, people counting and vehicle license plate recognition will allow users across segments like city surveillance, retail and banking to benefit even more from surveillance products. While the recent floods in Thailand might affect availability of products,

With the advent of embedded applications in security products, surveillance has emerged as a tool for gathering business intelligence among others

Oh Tee Lee

Regional Director, Axis Communications, South asia pacific region

thereby impacting sales to a small extent, overall, despite economic uncertainties, no major challenges are foreseen in the coming year.

Specialisation is the mantra With increasing demand for more specialised surveillance such as video management systems, there is a greater need for specialised channel partners who can customise solutions to meet client requirements. Also, with increasing demand from smaller cities and towns, it is becoming increasingly important for vendors to develop a strong channel network to cater to these demands. In terms of target industry verticals, core infrastructure development including sectors like transportation and government, remain a big focus. According to Frost & Sullivan, by 2017, the transportation industry is estimated to spend $3.6 billion globally on security. In India too, with increasing investment in airports, seaports, metros and other green field projects, transportation will be a key sector. Additionally, with India fast emerging as a key economic superpower on the global stage, sectors such as retail, hospitality and banking will also be big growth sectors. n

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Video becoming ubiquitous

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ideo-conferencing and telepresence are becoming hot topics as companies seek to cut travel expenses and employees see commuting as a burden on productivity. In today’s fast-paced world, videoconferencing plays an important role in reducing several complexities in the work environment. More importantly, an enterprise’s evolving needs in communication necessitate the coming together of its multiple modes of communication to interoperate and create an environment conducive to effective business. 2011 saw rapid adoption of these solutions by Indian enterprises and the government sector. In fact, the government has emerged as a significant user of telepresence solutions. Other sectors in India that emerged as strong adopters of telepresence include manufacturing, IT-ITeS and telecom. One of the challenges to the widespread adoption of telepresence is the lack of inter-operability between different platforms. No vendor is able to offer a complete solution—while CIOs need to choose solutions which are interoperable and work seamlessly with each other.

Take-aways for the channel Visual collaboration is a fast-growing segment and is not limited to large enterprises anymore. The breadth and spread of customers means that the industry will need many more partners in order to make this technology available in different avatars to different customer segments. However, the channel would need to invest in training and development for this area because once customers get to use this technology they have very high expectations. Further, they want very strong support to keep the solution uptime very high, because the technology has a huge ROI case upfront and on each case of usage.

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During 2012 the channel community should seriously look at the visual collaboration and telepresence opportunity in India because early movers will get a headstart and will be able to develop client portfolios quickly.

Outlook 2012 and beyond In 2012 we see these solutions gaining significance as enterprises aim to achieve sustainable growth despite the global economic downturn. According to a recently released Standard & Poor’s report, the 2012 credit outlook for the AsiaPacific corporate sector is generally stable with patches of weakness. Economic growth prospects in the region remain resilient despite a softer US economic outlook and the uncertainty surrounding European sovereign risks. Asia-Pacific’s public and private infrastructure sectors are also expected to continue to expand in 2012. 2012 will also see operators moving toward the deployment of 3G and 4G technologies which will result in more video applications and lead to a substantial growth in video collaboration. This will also be fueled by vendors providing video-conferencing and telepresence solutions, and helping to make visual collaboration more mainstream by creating applications to take visual collaboration beyond the boardroom to personal devices such as tablets and notebooks. Users will be able to conduct a videoconference from their tablet with another tablet. They will also be able to join a video-conference of their

With bandwidth issues fading away, visual collaboration solutions are set to move beyond big enterprises to gain momentum even with small enterprises

Neeraj Gill

Managing Director, Polycom, INDIA & Saarc

company from anywhere in the world. In 2012 telepresence will move beyond boardrooms, and will reach beyond the large enterprises to mid-sized companies. Also, with the bandwidth issues fading away, visual collaboration solutions are set to move beyond big enterprises to gain momentum even with small enterprises. In addition, we will see video-conferencing technology being made available to the SMB market through a service provider delivering at a monthly fee, thus making it an operating expense rather than a capital expense. Homes and small offices will drive video-conferencing in the years to come. This growth will be spurred by the application of visual collaboration solutions to sectors such as telemedicine and education where increasing availability of wired and wireless broadband networks is helping to create a robust infrastructure. As visual collaboration becomes more ubiquitous, in the next couple of years video will be built into almost every aspect of communication, wherein content can be shared easily. n


Three strategic trends

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oday we are in the midst of significant changes in the business and technology environment. A few strategic trends have changed the way we work, share and collaborate. As Indian enterprises embrace these trends, they are also faced with some new challenges. Enterprise IT has become much more heterogeneous and complex, and yet the business demands that it also be more scalable and costefficient. Information has become the most valuable asset; it is a key differentiator for market leaders in the knowledge economy, and protecting it from theft and misuse is a growing concern. Yet as digital data grows in volume, managing and securing the most critical data can be a challenge as it drowns under a sea of non-critical information. Adding to the challenge is the fact that infrastructure is becoming irrelevant; it does not matter where information and applications are hosted, as long as they are accessible anytime and anywhere. By implementing virtualization and cloud technologies, enterprises hope to realize many potential benefits.

Monetizing malware The ability to access information anytime and anywhere is also spurring the growth of mobile and smart employee-owned devices accessing corporate data. However, as increasingly critical information is stored on mobile devices, they become a target for attackers. Today, cyber attackers have discovered ways to monetize mobile malware; while earlier mobile attacks were relatively harmless, the increasing profits to be gained from cyber attacks on mobile devices are motivating a proliferation of threats. The most prevalent form of mobile attacks is legitimate applications being Trojanized. Even more than the Internet, the mobile has contributed to a globalized world,

and an attack from one location can be hosted in another and mounted on a third. All these trends—cloud computing, mobility and virtualization—are driving an information explosion. The biggest contributor to information growth is unstructured data, which does not reside in traditional databases and is therefore much more difficult to secure and manage. Today, information is located everywhere, it no longer resides behind the walls of a data center, hence protecting, storing and managing this information has become a real challenge. In 2012 these strategic IT trends will be leveraged by businesses to solve the four most pressing problems that they face in the current environment: reducing costs, improving business efficiency, optimizing the workforce and enabling a global business model. They will look for platform-agnostic solutions which work across the new, heterogeneous IT environment; which can scale easily; and which provide clear visibility into the information and infrastructure, whether physical or virtual. We also expect that in the coming year we will continue to see Mother Nature test organizations’ disaster recovery plans. Last year unplanned outages caused by human error, system failure and poor planning made the headlines of major newspapers and required corporate spin-doctors to repair damaged reputations.

Information has become the most valuable asset, a key differentiator in the knowledge economy, so protecting it from theft and misuse is a growing concern

Ajay Goel

Managing Director, India & Saarc, Symantec

Enabler, disabler Information is a great enabler, but can also be the great disabler depending on how it is managed. Companies that can gain control over the risks and costs of protecting their information will enable the adoption of new mobile, social media and cloud technologies. We are living in a new era of information and interactions driving a business, and technology will have to be a step ahead to enable the two to function seamlessly and add value. In this scenario, channel partners must ensure that they are prepared to meet the needs of their customers. They must not hesitate to broaden their horizons and capitalize on the opportunities new technologies like the cloud and virtualization present. Selling only traditional software is no longer enough; partners must add cloud-based services and applications to their offerings. Investments in business education and knowledge are also essential because they enable partners to understand, manage and anticipate customer needs. It is also a good idea for partners to map other partners with complementary expertise to service customer needs better. n

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Securing borderless neworks

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he past year saw some of the most daring security breaches that shook the industry. Not only that, it was interesting to see government bodies stepping in and laying down IT security guidelines which organizations in particular sectors have to follow. The new year will feature newer and more sophisticated threats, and companies will continue to be challenged to keep their information secure.

Network security in 2011 One of the common nightmares for CIOs is to have their company’s network security breached. Last year we saw that customer information of over 70 million Sony PlayStation users was compromised. The scope of that breach was such that Sony was forced to shut down its PlayStation Network for several weeks. The Chinese DDoS attacks on Facebook, Twitter and Google also impacted the services of these major companies. In the wake of these attacks, many organizations realized the importance of having the appropriate IT security policies and network security solutions. This realization, along with new government security mandates, are driving the growth of the network security market in India. One such mandate by the Department of Telecom (DoT) forced Indian telecom operators to adopt more stringent security measures. DoT stated that the telcos will be responsible for the security of their own networks. Likewise, the RBI’s mandate is forcing banks to follow its security guidelines. With its ruling, banks have been drafting and implementing IT security policies, and investing in network security to fight cybercrime. In addition, more SMBs are waking to the importance of implementing security solutions for their IT infrastructure. Their major hurdle for an IT deployment was the shortage of capital which has largely been overcome due to the commoditization of

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IT services. Network security is now being offered as a subscription-based managed service, moving SMBs’ IT expenses from capex to opex.

Challenges for 2012 The proliferation of mobile devices, and their use by employees to log on to the corporate network, has opened up a new threat window for network security administrators. Androidbased devices have seen a spike in the amount of malware that is targeted at the platform. This has prompted organizations to develop IT policies governing the use of personal devices for accessing corporate data. Mobile devices, the increased use of Webbased applications, and the pressures of compliance are forcing Indian organizations to broaden the scope of their security coverage. More Indian companies are also embracing cloud computing. They expect to move significant parts of their IT to the cloud at some point, and are anxious to secure these cloudbased assets. Mobile and cloud computing will also force a breakdown of boundaries in the corporate network. Networks are going to become more porous, and the traditional approach of safeguarding the enterprise by keeping all external parties out will no longer work. Organizations will have to look at IT security beyond the traditional static perspective and adopt intelligent technologies which allow them to protect and control the corporate network’s dynamic boundaries.

Industry outlook 2012 Technology convergence, regulatory compliance and the growth of net-

Mobile and cloud computing will force a breakdown of boundaries in the corporate network. Traditional approach of safeguarding the enterprise will not work

Vishak Raman

Senior Regional Director, Fortinet India & Saarc

work infrastructure will continue to drive sales for network security. The commoditization of network security also means that sales will come not only from the leading verticals but also from peripheral verticals. IDC has identified several drivers for the Indian security appliance market: † Growing awareness of cloud-based solutions and offering mobility to their workforces raised security concerns among large enterprises. † Growing threat to national security from Web espionage. † Increased spending by verticals such as IT/ITeS, government, education and BFSI. † Vendors focusing their product and pricing strategy toward the SMB market. Channels play a critical role in facilitating this growth. We believe that in 2012 channels can continue to participate in this growth by enhancing their business network, skills and operational efficiency. Further, by moving from a ‘selling product’ mindset to a ‘solving business issues’ mentality, channels will get a step closer to attaining a trusted advisor status in the customer organizations they work for. n


Seek recurring revenue

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he antivirus industry has undergone tremendous changes and it has become more erratic and challenging than ever before. The zero-time propagation of malicious programs nowadays makes the basic security parameters faulty and obsolete. But users are also more informed and aware. This makes it more important to cater to the increasing demand for security solutions that incorporate a whole lot of features, provide realtime and multi-layer security, and are cross-platform deliverable.

Drivers and challenges 2012 Cloud computing will continue to be the buzz in 2012. Moving everything to the cloud would also bring about its own set of challenges. As cloud computing gains traction, crime-mongers will focus their entire attention on breaching the cloud security and invent new and sophisticated malware, DDoS techniques, etc. As the proliferation of mobile devices continue, securing the smartphone will be a big growth area. Today a lot of personal and in many cases corporate data resides on these devices. Also there will be a marked increase in mobile malware, which till now has been non-existent. Mobile security presents a sound opportunity in India as we have a huge mobile base and the smartphone sales are increasing tremendously. Social media poses a new and unforeseen challenge to security vendors. It is a new and evolving phenomenon and security vendors will need to focus on developing tools and technologies for social media. The next-gen products will hence have to be holistic and include social, cloud and mobile security. While SOHO and SMBs have been a major contributor for security vendors, there has been little focus

to build solutions that cater to their price-performance requirements. The challenge and also the opportunity is to create easy-todeploy and managed solutions for these segments. The current economic scenario, with potential spillovers from western economies, presents a confusing picture for 2012. The upfront challenge is the shrinking liquidity in the markets that could influence growth rates. This will limit but not certainly torpedo demand. Introducing upgraded products which integrate cloud and cyber, mobility and social—in other words, basically taking care of segments which were not addressed earlier—would buffer the predicted sluggish demand. The idea is to embrace nimbleness, innovation and breakthrough thinking.

Business models The commoditization of IT products has highlighted the importance of creating recurring revenue business models, amongst the channel. IT vendors need to create business models revolving around recurring revenue motifs rather than the traditional reactive way of doing business. The global economic cycle will constantly face instability. Without recurring revenue, a business will find it difficult to predict revenue streams, and retain its existing customer base on a continuous basis. Our experience with channel partners who are dedicated to renewals for our products shows

The global economic cycle will constantly face instability. Without recurring revenue, a business will find it difficult to predict revenue streams

Kailash Katkar

MD & CEO, Quick Heal Technologies

that such models provide additional bottom-line benefits such as higher profits on product sales, greater ability to leverage technical resources, and more strategic customer relationships. Acquiring new customers and addressing recurring business will see us through the booms and busts. If we are successful in making the customer happy, we will sell the product once but reap its benefits forever. But, this is not easy and partners need to create an active niche for the long term; this implies becoming an IT security solution provider to many smaller businesses, and even more, their trusted advisor. This model is not some supplementary footnote. Rather, in our case, it has unlocked new revenue opportunities and enhanced profitability. Recurring revenue models are often more resistant to margin pressure than the more traditional reactive work outputs. But building such management practice requires partners to be really efficient and effective. What’s more, this practice is not restricted to the antivirus industry alone—it can be adopted by other segments as well. n

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The insider threat

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n 2011 we saw a sharp increase in security spending among Indian SMBs and enterprises due to a rapidly evolving threat landscape. There has been a spurt in attacks from a wide range of sources including insiders, botnets, phishing, spamming, Wi-Fi network misuse and social media malware. As a result, organizations are increasingly facing the need to deploy tighter controls at the perimeter level to protect their sensitive business data. Among purchase trends, we are seeing a clear shift from single point to converged security solutions such as UTM. According to Cyberoam research, the UTM market is recognized as the fastest-growing segment of the network security market, growing at 30-35 percent per year. In the past this market was dominated by multiple systems like firewall/VPN products, spam blockers and content filtering solutions. Key demand sectors for UTM solutions include financial institutions, telcos, BPOs, trade and hospitality, IT/ITeS, retail and government/PSU.

Growth drivers & challenges One of the key growth drivers is higher adoption of security solutions by SMBs and enterprises. In the past, cyber-security was simply a support function for most of them. However, in this era of business dependence on the Internet, cyber-security will become a more mainstream business operation along the lines of marketing and sales. Other key growth drivers are the rapidly evolving threat landscape, malware attacks crossing record levels each year, growth in financial crimes, and the corresponding loss in business revenue for organizations. The security market is getting an additional push from the compliance and regulatory norms which most industries have started following.

Outlook for 2012 We foresee continued growth across

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the IT security market in general and the UTM market in particular as organizations become more receptive to integrated solutions which give them the benefits of reduced TCO and complexity compared to stand-alone solutions. According to analyst research findings, insider threats in the form of data leakage, social engineering and malware comprise 83 percent of all security incidents in an organization causing enterprise loss out of ignorance or malicious intent. Because insiders have unaudited access to a significant amount of enterprise resources, enterprises suffer losses of a far higher magnitude in attacks through these individuals. Given the nature and extent of access that insiders enjoy, external attackers are targeting unsuspecting insiders to carry out their attacks from within the enterprise. Further, in trying to protect employee, customer and corporate data, regulatory compliance requirements are driving the need for securing and controlling users while protecting the enterprise. The insider threat landscape fuels the demand for a security solution which can give administrators greater visibility of and control over end-users. This year we will be seeing continuing demand for network security appliances across the home/ SOHO/ROBO segments. Currently, this market is being addressed by separate solutions such as wireless routers, parental controls, antivirus and 3G readiness. We foresee potential demand for a single device solution that can integrate these separate features to offer advanced security to home/small-office owners.

Insider threats in the form of data leakage, social engineering and malware comprise 83 percent of all security incidents in an organization

Hemal Patel

CEO, Elitecore Technology

Take-aways for the channel For 2012, our message to the channel community is that they should have a long-term commitment to the security business. Products like UTM have consistently proved to be a revenuegenerator with higher margins and a stable shelf life, and this trend will continue in future as well. To succeed in the security business partners must employ dedicated manpower and invest in their skill/competence development, aiming to become a cutting-edge solutions provider to end-customers. The key here is to find the right vendor who can offer a variety of security solutions under one umbrella, thus providing a single source of lead generation and support, and allowing partners to focus solely on their business growth. The emergence of cloud platforms represents a revenue opportunity for partners. Security is becoming a significant component of cloud networks due to concerns about data protection, compliance and business continuity during DoS attacks and service outages. Accordingly, channels should align their business models to become an enabler of cloud security services. n


Need for smarter security

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011 was a year of continued growth. Organizations increased IT budget; but it was lesser compared to the industrial growth before the recession. The trend of anytime, anywhere information has changed today’s business dynamics. The use of mobile devices by vendors, business partners, employees and customers made companies to think about security beyond their employees, data centers and firewalls. Another trend in 2011 was the growing mindshare of cloud computing. The partner community also realized the importance of these two technologies and started focusing on the same.

Market outlook According to the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, the Indian economy is expected to grow at 8.2 percent in 2011-12 with agriculture growing at 3 percent, industry at 7.1 percent and services at 10 percent. To keep the economy growing at 9 percent, it is necessary to boost fixed investment rates. The Indian ICT spend is forecast to reach $78.9 billion in 2012 as compared to $71.9 billion in 2011 as per Gartner. Besides enterprises, growth within smaller cities would provide the next level of opportunity to the IT vendors across categories.

Key Growth Drivers In 2012, there would be unit cost reduction combined with either improved customer experience or with compliance. Banks and their captive or IT partners (who have a global delivery model) will be at an advantage. Tech buyers would look at big tech vendors for their solutions as usability, integration and TCO become more valued criteria in buying decisions.

Virtualization would be vital. The focus would move more toward desktop, data and mobile virtualization along with the security needs. Internal and external growth would intensify. While one organization would focus on transforming internal business processes, the other would look at IT to improve customer engagement and increase revenue. 2012 would also provide good opportunities to the channel community. A large number of vendors would partner with the partners to target broader customer segments and geographies for product sales, vertical penetration and services support. In the security space, some vendors would enter into partnerships with local Indian outsourcers to provide managed security services as a strategic option.

2012 focus The coming year will see the launch of various new security models, virtualization and cloud security solutions with integrated threat and data protection capabilities within a unified framework to give visibility into who is accessing what, when, where and how. Businesses would need holistic and smarter security. With the rapid consumerization of IT and increased sophistication of attacks, businesses would need better and faster threat

Security vulnerabilities will be found in legitimate mobile apps, making data extraction easier for cyber criminals. They will further hone their attacks to target specific entities

Amit Nath

Country Manager, India & Saarc, Trend Micro

protection. Cybercriminals would become even more persistent, and the attacks more sophisticated as the world shifts from the PC-centric desktop to mobile, and cloud computing. The consequence for IT administrators would be an imperative to approach security with a data-centric framework to protect the data and not just the systems. Data center owners would also face challenges with the increasing complexities of securing physical, virtual and cloud-based systems. Security and data breachrelated incidents in 2012 will force companies worldwide to closely look at BYOD-related challenges. Security vulnerabilities would be found in legitimate mobile apps, making data extraction easier for cybercriminals. Attackers would hone their attacks to target specific entities and continue leveraging mobile platforms and social media. Virtual desktop deployments are expected to become increasingly popular over time. n

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Changing security paradigms

2

011 can be dubbed as the year of hacking as threats evolved in their sophistication, pervasiveness and frequency. Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) continued to play an influential role in defining today’s most sophisticated attacks. Cyber attacks on critical infrastructure in organizations dealing with energy, transportation, telecom and financial services are already widespread. Because of their inherent economic importance, such assets make strong targets for political sabotage, data infiltration and extortion. Some key recent cases where we have seen government enterprises being hit include the widespread infiltration of government and private networks in Shady RAT (named after the Remote Access Tool used to infiltrate) and the ongoing slate of retaliatory attacks by hacktivists against governments and their contractors. We saw a marked increase in malware sophistication and a continued increase in the overall volume of daily malware threats throughout the year. As mentioned in our latest threat report, we expect to count almost 75 million unique malware samples by the year end. We noted some significant increase in stealth malware techniques, often referred to as rootkits.

Smartphones & tablets The consumerization of IT is affecting all aspects of the way we work. As mobile devices continue to gain popularity among employees, IT departments are struggling to allow them to use these devices (smartphones, tablets) on the company’s internal network. Another challenge CIOs are concerned about is the increased manpower required to manage and provision these devices. One of the big dangers that companies are worried about with

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regard to Web 2.0 is data loss or data leakage. Although users can’t trust every link that people post or control, companies can put forward best practices to arm employees with the tools they need to be productive and safe. Between this type of education, and technology that can block dangerous links and applications, Web 2.0 can be used safely for business.

The outlook We saw an increase in the government’s expenditure on information security. We have seen mission mode projects in India envisage the benefits of better technology and innovation, and subsequently adopt them. From a security perspective, some of the biggest e-governance opportunities lie in these large projects such as UID, Natgrid, r-APDRP, state data centers, SWAN, DoP and paramilitary modernization, to name a few. The need for Internet security saw an increase especially with respect to banking and financial institutions. Contrary to the earlier banking set-up, where transactions were uni-directional, today most organizations have bi-directional transactions resulting in greater interactivity between financial institutions as well as between consumers. Consequently, securing customer information is gaining priority, and Web 2.0-compliant solutions, along with solutions for risk and compliance, will be in demand. The

There has been a huge increase in malware sophistication and the overall volume of threats. Almost 75 million unique malware samples were reported in 2011

Ramsunder Papineni Director, Sales, India, McAfee

Reserve Bank of India has exhorted banks to try and achieve greater financial inclusion by making available a basic no-frills banking account; security plays a key role in facilitating this vision. Financial inclusion would pave the way to increased usage of mobile devices which in turn would lead to the need for increased mobile security. The need for mobile security will also be triggered by the increasing demand for mobile devices. Increasing usage of social media would lead to increasing demand for Internet security.

Key take-aways for IT channel Partners are our face to our customers, and we look at all opportunities for their growth and empowerment. Partners should play the role of a consultant and understand the challenges facing the customer. This would help them in deploying cost-effective and relevant security solutions. Partners should also provide deployment as well as after-sales services and back-end support. n


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Primed with opportunities

T

he total consumption in India is likely to quadruple by 2025. Such an optimistic estimate— the result of a McKinsey Global Institute study, must have been a soothing sight for every productive sector contributing to the Indian dream. However, the huge numbers are not altogether surprising. As the nation continues to achieve one of the highest GDP per capita growth rates, the buoyant economy, experts feel, will successfully ride the recession storm and emerge stronger. It is therefore entirely possible (as per the McKinsey study) that the Indian consumer market will become the fifth largest in the world with urban India accounting for nearly 68 percent of the demand. The global meltdown accentuated by alarming inflationary trends ruffled a few feathers. However, the consumerist culture bolstered by rising disposable incomes continues to demand the best that the global market has to offer. As the economy chart of the nation rises, so does the number of the rich. There has been a discernable shift in preference for higher-end, technologically-superior, branded products; this has spurred top international luxury and tech brands to head to India. With an average GDP growth of 7 percent, the growth-intensive economy has made India a most-sought-after destination for all MNCs.

Changing mindsets There has been growing interest for high-end tech products such as LED TVs, 3D TV and notebooks. Moreover, perhaps for the first time, Indian consumers have started giving more importance to brand value than price value. The rising disposable income of consumers has ensured that they no longer mind spending a little extra on a wellcrafted, technologically-superior, branded gadget. While non-branded products enjoy their share of the market, the visible narrowing down

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of prices (in comparison with branded goods) has made Indian consumers more aware and vocal about what they are looking for. The tough task of occupying the consumer’s mindspace has prodded companies not only to continuously innovate in terms of their product offerings but also to invest in superior after-sales service and support. The IT sector has been on an upward surge, and the overall growth of this market in India looks very promising especially in the notebook business. As a result of users’ demand for increasing mobility, the market for desktop computers has stagnated. Desktop market growth in 2011 has been 5-6 percent whereas notebook market growth is around 25 percent (in quantity). In FY2011-12, the market size for laptops is expected to be 4.5 million units whereas the desktop market size is estimated to be 5.5 million units. A major impetus has come from the government’s e-governance program and its rural telephony policy. Affordability has also been a major factor for notebook category growth. There are macroeconomic factors such as the constant hike in material prices and rupee depreciation against the dollar which are major concerns for the industry. Manufacturers are looking at ways to innovate and improve efficiencies. External factors such as the earthquake in Japan and floods in Thailand have affected the supply chain.

Indian consumers are giving more importance to brand than price value. They want to spend a little extra on a technologically-superior branded gadget

Soon Kwon

President, South West Asia Region, & MD, LG India

Tech innovations 2012 should be one of most exciting years in terms of tech innovations, and consumers will be introduced to path-breaking 3D products. With data transfer speed reaching its zenith with 3G, consumers will be increasingly drawn to products which offer them an unparalleled experience in terms of productivity and entertainment. There is apparent scope in the notebook space due to innovations in the display area (slimmer, HD, IPS, 3D) at affordable prices. Moreover, there has been major innovation in the storage space with solid state drives; prices are currently prohibitive, but are expected to be more affordable within a couple of quarters. The challenge lies in marketing these products in a way that makes them resonate with consumers. Innovative and interactive marketing campaigns which engage the consumer at all levels will always pay rich dividends. India being a youth-oriented market, the digital sphere, which aggressively caters to the youth, should increasingly become the medium of choice for showcasing new brand offerings. n


Promises to keep

A

s the world begins 2012, it is important to take a step back from the excitement to analyze the year that has just passed by and evaluate what the next year holds for the IT/ITeS industry. It is essential for all companies to do a final review and to have a reality check in place as to where they really stand. In many aspects 2011 has proved to be a critical year for the IT industry in India. With numerous highs and lows defining the year, corporates really undertook tough stands to move forward to achieve their corporate as well as industry goals.

Mobility revolution The mobility industry witnessed a major boom across India. Mobile devices are becoming computers in their own right, with an astounding amount of processing ability and bandwidth. With handset and tablet manufacturers further establishing themselves in tier-2 and tier-3 markets, India’s exposure to quality mobility devices has increased. The launch of iPad in 2010 jumpstarted the tablet market in a big way. This led to other tablets flooding the market. Recently, the world witnessed its cheapest tablet, Aakash, being launched by the Government of India. The industry also saw massive broadband penetration across urban and rural India. With the popularity of the Internet as a tool for education gaining greater momentum, networking products have reached towering popularity. India’s infrastructural development has led to major growth in the structured cabling business. With companies demanding seamless networking architecture for their extensive office spaces, it is of utmost importance to ensure that solution providers have a strong supply chain in order to ensure timely execution. Social media has also evolved

into an important tool for corporates to reach out to their end-consumers. Social networking portals such as Facebook and Twitter have proved to be credible sources of information.

Better days ahead 2012 surely looks promising. All macroeconomic indicators are pointing to the fact that the Indian economy is well and truly back on the growth track. I definitely expect the industry to grow much faster than 8 percent. There is a major growth in household spending over the last few years. I expect consumer spending to increase from the current `17 trillion to `34 trillion by 2015 and `70 trillion by 2025. The rapid urbanization in India has led to an increase in income levels. According to one estimate, 41 percent of the Indian population will be in the middle-class category by 2025; this widens the scope for IT manufacturers. Foreign direct investment will also see major upward growth; I expect it to cross $35 billion compared to $23.4 billion in 201011. The growing Indian economy has opened up enormous opportunities for manufacturers and service providers in the IT sector. The increase in broadband penetration has given networking solution providers a platform to grow their business. Also, with mobiles and tablets strengthening their foothold among Indian tech users, the market for accessories has reached new heights. India’s infrastructural developments

The responsibility for getting customers back to the market lies with both vendors and the channel. We must keep up with the changing needs of the new-age consumer

Mohit Anand

Managing Director, Belkin India Sub-continent

have proved to be catalysts for growth in the structured cabling business. The PC market is another major market that will witness tremendous growth. A young tech-oriented population has led to the success of the computing and mobility business in India.

Challenges The increase in US dollar prices is a key challenge that organizations in the technology sector have to face. The drop in the value of the rupee has made imports all the more expensive. Also, fake and inexpensive Chinese products seriously damage the market share and reliability of sincere manufacturers in India. The recent floods in Thailand have hampered imports of hard disks, causing major revenue losses. The responsibility for getting customers back to the market lies with both vendors and the channel. Vendors will have to constantly innovate and keep up with the changing needs and demands of the new-age consumer. We need to offer products that consumers not only need but also desire. n

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Focus on the 5Cs

I

n today’s age, IT is no longer just a tool to connect people. It’s a catalyst for the economic growth of a nation. IT today forms the backbone of the economic activity and development of any country. The world today is experiencing and increasingly realizing the potential and power of IT. India on the other hand is at the nascent stages of IT integration in various economic activities. Whether we look at government services or certain segments in the industry, there’s a lot of scope for adoption of IT in India. 2011 was the year of niche technologies and innovations that enabled enterprises to connect with people effectively. Mobility became an integral part of both consumers and enterprises. New technological breakthroughs like cloud computing, smartphones, tablets and virtualization made mobility a buzzword for the future. This led to the extensive use of cloud technologies, smart mobile applications and social networking, blurring the lines between professional and personal. The devices that people used in offices or for professional reasons were also the devices they used for personal purposes and networking.

Outlook for 2012 I foresee seven areas making progress in 2012 in terms of technology adoption. † Analytics and metrics will become centric on outcomes and business decisions. This will transform the intelligence tools that are being adopted by organizations. † Data center management will see more migration toward data center services as a proposition under infrastructure as a service. † IT service outsourcing will see more consolidation as organizations are looking to reduce the number of service providers they are willing to handle to avoid multiple

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†

†

†

†

ownership of maintenance service responsibilities. Managed print services will see more adoption. It will move toward the entire range of MDS that includes digitization, archival, retrieval and workflow. As we move forward, customers’ IT investments will be driven by the 5Cs: cost, control, confidentiality, convenience and collaboration. More enterprises will subscribe to cloud services. In fact we will see more networking devices having cloud accessibility as a default option. Business communication will see migration to more color printing due to better controls. ‘Bring Your Own Device’ will gain acceptance as a concept in organizations as cultures undergo transformation. Because mobility and social networking are increasingly becoming an integral part of the personality of the new generation workforce, there would be pressure on CIOs to connect more smart devices to their network; this will pose big challenges in 2012. Finally, more organizational functions such as HR, marketing and sales will adopt IT to create more collaborative working.

Channel play In this digital age, where technology and products need to be synced very closely, one area that is undergoing revolutionary change is digital imaging. Photography and digital imaging underwent many changes in 2011, and we feel that 2012 will be

As we move forward, customers’ IT investments will be increasingly driven by the 5Cs: cost, control, confidentiality, convenience and collaboration

Dr. Alok Bharadwaj Senior Vice President, Canon India

an important year for the players in this space. Vendors are broadening their offerings and trying to become complete imaging companies by introducing niche products with revolutionary technology in cameras, and at the same time deepening their reach in the digital production printing industry. 2012 will also witness a boost in the new domains of wireless and 3D printing. This means that vendors will need to work at streamlining their distribution and channel networks to reach out to customers across wider areas. Vendors across different categories are exploring newer markets and audiences for their products. These vendors are creating newer target segments. It is essential to promote these products through a strong distribution system which includes both channel partners and retailers. It is very important for IT companies to design and develop new channel and distribution strategies to cater to a market of diverse needs. Their strategy must be to strengthen and increase the distributor and retail network across all states including tier-2 and tier-3 markets. n


Refocus on fundamentals

2

011 was a year of monumental change. A year when nothing could really be taken for granted any longer. The Arab Spring swept across North Africa and the Middle East, ousting dictators nobody believed could ever be dislodged. Developed economies, that till recently controlled the world economy, continued to battle the fallout of an economic downturn triggered by uncontrolled excesses of the past. Even the world’s most valued tech company was dislodged from its pedestal by a company that has been introducing products that have turned entire industries on their head. Nothing can be taken for granted. Change was the only thing constant.

The Indian growth story In this scenario, we find ourselves smack bang in the middle of an India growth story which has been the buzz for the last few years. Rapid economic growth, consumerism like never before, rising affluence and increasing clout on the world stage have made everyone sit up and take notice of us for some years now. But success can often be accompanied by complacence. And recent indications on several fronts in India seem to indicate this. Perhaps it is time for us to sit back, pause for a moment, take stock and collectively ask a few questions to ourselves. Have we been taking things for granted? Are we assuming that growth is a given and nothing other than the skies falling down can stop this from happening? Have we been simply coasting along as a country and an industry? Have we just let the fire that drives us dim a bit?

The year ahead I believe 2012 will be the year where we will need to refocus our energies and work twice as hard as a nation and as an industry to simply ensure we stay in the same place. Our traditional virtues of hard work and industriousness will be called on as never before. Businesses, both large and small, that have realized this and who are planning and adapting for the journey ahead will be the winners in the short and medium term. Business and brands that do not stand for anything truly distinctive or memorable could be heading for trouble. The ones that do stand for something distinctive and memorable will increasingly create value for themselves in this economy. Those with a middle of the road approach will suffer because in an era of so much change the middle of the road has become the road to nowhere. For those who have become afraid to innovate and experiment, they would do well to remember that the biggest risk is not taking a risk. Our IT channel partners would do well to embrace the changes that are happening at all fronts in the market. As always, this year too we will see exciting product developments and rapid new technology adoption, but at the same time consumers will also expect a greater value proposition. Brands that understand this subtle shift and tailor their offerings

For those who have become afraid to innovate and experiment, they would do well to remember that the biggest risk is not taking a risk

Samba Moorthy

Senior General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Epson India

accordingly will be the winners at the end of the day. As a result, we expect that in the printer segment the focus this year will be on economy and the lowest possible cost per print. All this, while not compromising on the print quality. The drive for more economical printing will be across both consumer and business segments. In projectors, we will see interesting developments in interactive projectors, sleeker and slimmer projectors and ultra short throw projectors. Moreover, exciting developments in 3D projectors and projectors that are engineered for compatibility with portable Apple devices can be expected to energize and spur growth in the home theatre projector segment. All in all, 2012 will be another exciting year of change. Companies, businesses, brands and individuals who embrace this change, move with speed, focus on the immense possibilities and disregard any sort of status quo will be the ones who succeed. n

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The rise of tier-2 cities

W

e live in a shrinking world where uncertainty is the order of the day. We are troubled by the fluctuating Sensex, worried about the rising cost of imports, and try hard with our limited capacities to woo the increasingly knowledgeable customer. The key to success in times of change is to identify opportune moments and carefully target the pockets of growth. A lot of this growth in 2012 will be driven by investments from the market players as opposed to the natural demand generated by the market.

Rise of tier-2 cities Fast saturation and increased competition are depleting both margins and market share for players in tier-1 markets. Given such a scenario, tier-2 cities will witness growth and drive IT spending in 2012. Players are investing heavily to strengthen their channel presence in these cities. The prospect of less competition, large unexplored territories and an overwhelming presence of SMBs make these markets attractive.

Betting on business analytics In the enterprise, leaders today are overwhelmed with data. Access to market information is a necessity, and keeping a tab on trends, their second nature. The utilization of Big Data for informed decision-making is a major challenge for every business leader. Invariably, they fall back on their CIOs who are now transforming themselves into Chief Data Scientists. The business need is to have data-driven insights for multiple scenarios at the finger-tips, run predictive analytics to ascertain future risks, and yet consume the required information in the simplest possible way. 78 percent of software user companies in India consider deployment of business analytics solutions as a high priority in 2012.

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Emerging from the clouds 2012 will drive the long-awaited ascent into the cloud across the ecosystem in India. The search for new market growth, the need to replace slow and costly traditional approaches, and competitive pressure from new players will strengthen investments in clouds. While security issues will continue to remain the top concern for customers, service vendors will have to innovate on the delivery ecosystem to establish their leadership. EA vendors will focus on the on-demand delivery model to drive growth. The bundling of partner-developed products/services/solutions with vendor products will be seen as a distinct strategy. The cloud paradigm in India will finally emerge from the clouds.

Growing sectors to drive spend The grant of new banking licenses and the evolution of the financial services industry will drive IT spending. Cooperative banks and PSU insurance will demand infrastructure investments, while the consolidating PSU banks and stock exchanges will spend heavily on software and services. Financial inclusion, alternative delivery models and risk management will be key priority areas where banks would seek the intervention of strategic IT. The manufacturing sector contributes 16 percent of the nation’s GDP, and if the efforts of the government were to bear fruit, it would rise to 25 percent of the GDP by the end of the 12th plan. This sector has been a silent consumer of IT over the years. The mid-market in

Increased competition is depleting both margins and market share for channels in tier-1 markets. Hence tier-2 cities will drive IT spending in 2012

Jaideep Mehta

VP & Country Manager, IDC India

manufacturing is expected to grow considerably through 2012 driven by domestic demand and exports to subSaharan Africa; its consumption of IT will be very high. With the 12th Five Year plan round the corner, education and healthcare will drive government spending in IT in the coming years. The government plans to increase expenditure on both these sectors to about 3 percent each as a percentage of GDP. While the healthcare sector expenditure will be primarily infrastructure-driven, the IT expenditure in education is expected to be more strategic.

The wise leader While identifying pockets of growth may not be a challenge for leaders, harnessing the same will be quite a task. The choice of the right partners, a readiness to leverage disruptive technologies, and understanding the new age customer will be some of the strategic priorities for leaders. A vendor’s ability to create the best possible solutions ecosystem for its clients will drive quick wins in an uncertain environment. The ability to engage as a preferred partner will build sustainable competitive advantage for vendors. n


Partner ecosystems are changing

A

s 2011 draws to a close, dark clouds seem to hover on the global macro-economic horizon, so the need of the hour is to implement bold policy measures and identify new ways to reinvigorate the market for the commercial sector at large.

IT innovation as growth enabler While the situation is challenging, the current generation has been through similar or worse situations; such events [in the past] triggered a series of changes in technology and business models that led to periods of sustained economic growth and a stronger IT industry. For instance, as mainframes and mini-computers waned, newer platforms like the x86 server architecture signaled the emergence of a cost-effective solution to host corporate business applications. New, more powerful 32-bit and (later) 64-bit PC operating systems (such as Windows 2000 and Windows 7), better graphics applications and powerful dualcore processors eliminated the need to invest in dedicated engineering workstations. Then networked laser printers allowed multiple users to share a common system, leading to savings in both capex and opex. Over the last few years IP-PBX systems and corporate social media applications like IBM’s Lotus Sametime or Microsoft’s Meeting and now Skype have allowed interand intra-group collaboration to scale new highs. Supply chain management solutions allow OEM systems to talk to their partners’ systems in real time and make the required corrections/updates in production and supply schedules. This brings in previously unimagined levels of efficiency while lowering the overall cost of doing business by way of reduced inventories. Going forward, technologies such as virtualization, cloud computing

in all its three main flavors (SaaS, PaaS & IaaS), unified communication solutions, big data analytics, medical and healthcare electronics, smart grids, net metering and smart infrastructure applications, such as airport monitoring systems and intelligent building systems, represent a host of emerging, new business opportunities for vendors/ OEMs and their partners.

Opportunities for partners According to a recent Cyber Media Research study, the India public cloud computing market is expected to touch Rs 2,434 crore in 2014 at a CAGR of 53 percent over the fiveyear period of 2010-14. These numbers indicate that customers are evaluating cloudbased offerings seriously, and that cloud computing will be a fixture in the IT market for a considerable length of time. It becomes important to understand the implications of this for partners. With the advent of the cloud model, customers would not have to invest in setting up hardware infrastructure. There would be no need for hardware and software resale by partners. Customers would be able to access applications on the fly. This is a major concern for partners. While the above is true, partners also agree that very little value addition (read profit margin) is involved in the resale of software licenses per se. The icing on the cake comes in the form of services. High taxation levels and demands for discounts by customers eat into

With the advent of the cloud model, customers would not have to invest in hardware. There would be no need for hardware and software resale by partners

Thomas George

Vice President & Head, Cyber Media Research

the already low margins on the resale of software. The other end of the software spectrum involves applications like CRM, DBMS, ERP and BI that require a good degree of customization and alignment to the business needs and processes of the customer enterprise. Even if these applications were moved to the cloud, there would be some requirement for customization and integration services. This is an area where partners could consolidate their position. Also, with the advent of the cloud ecosystem, a range of services like data integration, data migration and consulting would be demanded by customers. For partners who provide these services and invest in skill-sets, industry estimates have put the break-even at anywhere from 18 to 22 months. To conclude, the cloud will dramatically change the way software is sold and IT applications are deployed. There will be changes in the ecosystem such as a modification in the role of partners from being just resellers to becoming partners. n

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Time to consolidate

T

he contribution of the Indian IT sector to the country’s GDP increasing from 1.2 percent in FY1997-98 to 6.4 percent in FY2010-11 is a testimony to its growing significance in India’s development. The industry has been reasonably resilient in the face of global uncertainty which continues to affect businesses worldwide. As per Nasscom estimates, the total revenue of the IT industry stood at $88.13 billion for FY2010-11, registering a CAGR of nearly 16 percent from FY2006-07. While exports continue to account for more than 60 percent share in the total IT revenue, its growth has slowed down from around 29 percent YOY in FY2007-08 to an estimated 19 percent YOY in FY2010-11 with the impact of the global economic slowdown. However, the economic crisis in the US and European markets during FY2010-11 has meant that companies have begun to explore the untapped potential of the domestic market. According to Nasscom, the domestic IT market is estimated to have reached nearly $29 billion in FY2010-11, outpacing the CAGR of the export market at 14.8 percent since FY2008-09. This superior growth in the domestic market is primarily supported by increased IT spending by the government on various e-governance programs, increased IT expenditure by domestic SMBs, growing end-user adoption, and improved IT adoption across various industry verticals.

Highlights of IT industry During FY2010-11, the hardware and IT services segment together contributed more than 78 percent of the total domestic IT revenue. The domestic IT services market recorded a faster CAGR of 15.2 percent as compared to 13.9 percent CAGR in the exports market from FY2008-11. The software product and

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engineering services segment continued to contribute about 12 percent to the total domestic IT revenue during FY2010-11. Even in this segment, the domestic market recorded a superior CAGR of more than 21 percent as compared to about 15 percent CAGR in the exports market from FY2006-11. This growth was primarily driven by the replacement of in-house software applications by Indian corporates. The hardware segment continues to dominate the share of the domestic IT revenue during FY2010-11 with a share of about 40 percent. This segment registered a CAGR of almost 10 percent in the domestic market as compared to the negative growth witnessed in the exports market from FY2006-11. Increased consumer spending, enhanced focus by the government and growing demand from SMBs are some of the main factors driving growth in the domestic hardware segment. Going forward, the Indian IT industry will witness consolidation whereby firms will enter into deals to widen their service portfolio and broaden their geographical presence. On the domestic operations front, in order to retain their low-cost advantage, BPO companies will further expand their rural operations. IT vendors are expected to further focus on building specialized domain expertise. Further, in order to build on their global delivery capabilities, players will increasingly explore the option of onshore delivery centers which will help in combating competition. While the global economic slowdown has resulted in increased

The Indian IT industry will witness consolidation whereby firms will enter into deals to widen their service portfolio and broaden geographical presence

Sanketh Arouje

Leader, Economic Analysis Group, Dun & Bradstreet India

protectionist tendencies, in the longer term there still exists growth opportunities in many fields. For instance, the fast-aging population in developed countries would provide a fillip to the healthcare vertical.

Domestic market While the export market for the industry is large, there are ample opportunities in the domestic market. For example, India has one of the largest markets for IT vendors when it comes to the mid-market segment. IT adoption among this set of companies continues to be comparatively low. With the recurrence of an uncertain global economic situation, SMBs are facing increased pressure to sustain margins, and are increasing their focus on adopting technology to increase their productivity and expand scale. IT vendors are identifying their needs and adopting customized business models such as cloud computing, infrastructure as a service or software as a service. As per Nasscom estimates, in the near future, the Indian IT industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.25 percent from FY2010-15, generating total revenue of $130 billion. n


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Computer reseller News

15/01/2012 www.crn.in


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

CRN- January 15, 2011  

Computer Reseller News