June 15, 2011 l Volume 5 Issue 04
32 NEWS Analyses
Dell warns parallel and grey importers 8 Sighat is D-Link India’s new CEO
Symantec’s Sood to head Adobe channels
Belkin targets `1,000 crore
iViZ seeks partners
Kingston on SSD drive
Avaya eyes data center biz
Editorial 12 Opinion
Computer Reseller News
20 Market Focus Why assembled PCs continue to flourish Demand remains strong in upcountry, and distributors love doing components business because it is simply more profitable
30 Role Model Soaring ambitions Kamal and Sandeep Vahi are keen to take Compton Computers to greater heights
Atul Mehta CEO, Compuage Infocom speaks about his company’s performance highlights in the last fiscal and shares its future plans and strategies
Tech Focus Double specs AMD’s Radeon HD 6990 raises the bar on video graphics cards
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starting line MUST
Sighat is D-Link India’s new CEO Tushar Sighat, Vice President, Operations for Cyberoam, has taken over as the CEO of D-Link India. Sighat, who joined Cyberoam in February 2008, is credited with putting the brand among the top three in the UTM Tushar Sighat appliance market. Sighat is not new to D-Link and was part of the team that started the company’s India operations. Before joining Cyberoam he headed channels at D-Link and helped create the latter’s vast channel network. In a related move, Rajesh Sahore, Head of Sales, D-Link India, has resigned and has been replaced by Kerman Rana, ex-Managing Director for Netgear’s Central Asia Pacific business. n
Symantec’s Sood to head Adobe channels Vineet Sood, Director, Channel & Alliances at Symantec, has quit to join Adobe as Director, Channel & Alliances for South Asia. Ajay Goel, Managing Director, Symantec, will also oversee the channel responsibility until a vineet sood replacement is found. Symantec partners are unhappy with Sood’s exit and the lack of communication in this regard. “Sood drove the entire channel. He kept in touch with us regularly and was very active in organizing marketing and training programs,” said Ankit Desai, Director, CDP India. He added that Symantec will find it tough to find a person who can fill in Sood’s shoes. Devesh Aggarwal, CEO, Compusoft, said, “Symantec should have handled the exit of Sood better. At least it should have informed key partners beforehand—we got to know about it from unofficial sources.” n — CRN Network
Computer Reseller News
Dell warns parallel and grey importers n Ramdas S
ell India has cautioned its partners against parallel and grey imports, asserting that products sold in India through such imports will not be eligible for warranty. Coming from Sanjay Yadav, Director, Distribution, Dell India. The email, a copy of which is with CRN, lists 11 partners among those who regularly indulge in parallel imports: Champion Computers, Momentum Technologies, Link World, ProDot Computers, Venktron Digital Systems, Topmark Technologies, Geeyess Imports and Exports, Shiltron Digital Systems, Peegee Sales, E Life, and P Gee Sales Corporation. According to channel sources, this is only a partial list and there are another 20odd companies who are regular parallel importers, especially from markets in the Far East, Russia and North America. Citing the practice of parallel imports as “totally unacceptable,” the email from Dell reads: “Please note that warranty support by Dell is accorded only to those products that are purchased through Dell’s authorized channel or those that are transferred in accordance with Dell’s policies and procedures. Any products that are purchased in violation of the above will not be eligible for warranty support by Dell India. These products will also not be eligible for Dell Gainz Program and Dell Empower Program.” Parallel imports are nothing new in the IT channel business. However, partners allege that vendors are doing little to address the root cause: disparity in pricing across the globe. “If one wants to see the wide disparity between the prices in India and other international
“Such products will not be eligible for India warranty and also for our various incentive programs such as Gainz and Empower” Sanjay Yadav
Director, Distribution Dell India
markets, all one needs to do is visit the Dell US website, and configure the same product in dollars. The US$ price then needs to be multiplied by 57, which is what he will pay in India if he were to import the product, including dollar exchange rate and local taxes. In 90 percent cases, you would see that products imported from Dell US website are at least 15 percent cheaper compared to Indian prices,” explains Sudhir Sankar, CEO of IBS Technologies, Bengaluru. A check by CRN found that, a Dell T110 server sells on Dell’s US website at $379 which amounts to `21,600 when converted at `57 per dollar. In India the same product is billed by the distributor to the reseller at a price of `33,000. PN Prasad, Advisor, ConfedITA, agrees: “There is a huge markup in prices of MNC products sold in India compared to prices in many international markets. This is bound to lead to parallel imports.” Meanwhile, Dell’s email advises partners to contact the company’s area sales managers in case of doubts. Partners can also get the details on the origin and warranty of a product by punching its service tag number on the company website. n
starting line MUST
iViZ seeks partners Bengaluru-based iViZ Security, a cloud-based, ondemand, penetration testing provider, is scouting for partners. According to IDC, the global security and vulnerability testing market would be worth $5.2 billion by 2014. “There are no India-specific numbers available, but since India is a great source of technology services, this presents an opportunity for security resellers, consultants and solution providers,” said Bikash Barai, CEO & Co-founder of iViZ. Barai said that traditional penetration testing services are billed at `10,000-`30,000 a day depending on the level of customization offered. “Typically, a large organization running hundreds of applications takes weeks to complete a cycle of penetration testing. This amounts to a lot of investment—and needs to be repeated every quarter.” iViZ offers penetration testing by using SaaS model Bikash Barai whereby reports are generated and actual tests are executed by using the company’s portal (or a portal which can be set up for the client) with delivery over the cloud. Depending on the services rendered, it costs `50,000-`400,000 a year. iViZ offers over 100,000 tests, plus compliance testing for PCI DSS and ISO 27001. The company is looking at three types of partners—Business Partners for reselling SaaS, Premier Partners who will act as security consultants and work with the company to provide customized services to customers, and Elite Partners consisting data centers and cloud service providers. For an investment of $10,000-$40,000, iViZ will help a reseller set up his own white-label portal through which he can provide virtually all the services. “We are considering special pricing for the Indian market based on partner feedback,” informed Barai. He added that apart from application and network penetration testing, partners can also offer business logic testing. The company has signed three partners in India, and has around 55 customers across the globe. n — Ramdas S 10
Computer Reseller News
Belkin targets `1,000 crore n Abhijeet Mukherjee
elkin India plans to introduce new product lines, augment distribution and expand market coverage in order to meet its ambitious turnover target of `1,000 crore by 2015. The company, which expects to clock revenues of `140 crore for its financial year ending September 2011, is gunning for the `300-crore mark by next fiscal. For geo-expansion, Belkin plans to open branch offices in the top 15 cities over the next three years. It will open its eighth branch in Pune next month. “Apart from opening branches, we plan to have a significant number of channel sales executives in our market outreach program. At present, we have 70 employees on our payroll in 24 cities. Already, through our distributors, we cover an active channel base in 206 cities. These factors will triple our market coverage,” said Mohit Anand, Country Manager, Belkin India. Another key investment area for Belkin is post-sales support infrastructure. The company plans to double the number of its service centers from the existing 50 to 100 by 2015. “We plan to have warranty support reach in more than 400 cities. In cities where we do not have service centers we have doorstep pickup and drop service; this will also be expanded to more cities,” added Anand. Belkin will make significant investment in brand building as well. “We are penning new strategies for demand generation, awareness and brand recall. The investments would help us become the number one brand in consumer technology in the next four years,” claimed Anand. The company has put together what it calls a “Crawl-WalkRun” strategy for its product portfolio. “We will Crawl into wider and deeper geographies for our fast-moving products. The
“We will invest significantly in brand building which would help us become the number one brand in consumer technology in the next four years” Mohit Anand
Country Manager Belkin India
Walk strategy revolves around customizing products based on customer demands, and Run entails introducing new product categories, for instance, the recent launch of structured cabling portfolio,” elaborated Anand. In early 2010 Belkin acquired Zensi, a developer of technology that senses and monitors energy use. It plans to launch the Zensi portfolio in India this year. “In the next quarter, we will launch the Conserve brand of products that include energy-use monitors, surge protectors with remote and timers, sockets and smart USB charging stations,” informed Anand. “The India opportunity is huge. We are selling 50,000 units a month in the surge protection market. India sells around 25 lakh extension cords, which is a big market. With new categories added, `1000 crore target is achievable,” he opined. Besides, Belkin has also partnered globally with Samsung to sell accessories for Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and tablets. According to IDC, Belkin is ranked market leader in wireless networking with 22 percent share, while in surge protection it has a market share of more than 70 percent. Of the `1,600 crore structured cabling market, Belkin has garnered five percent share in the first year of its entry in India.n
edit opinion Volume 5, Issue 04
Getting on the cloud dhaval valia
recent report from a leading market research firm says that only one in six customers interested in cloud computing will move to the cloud without the help of a solution provider or partner. Customers are challenged to find the right services that fit their environments and will rely heavily on the channel to build and integrate cloud solutions. So Enterprise VARs needn’t be worried about being disintermediated because of the cloud. In fact, cloud services will make solution providers more important as they help customers navigate the complex cloud waters. Solution providers who still believe that cloud computing is all hype should think again. According to a recent report by IDC, 14 percent of Indian organizations are already using the public cloud, and another 76 percent are considering cloud computing within the next six months. According to various estimates, the Indian cloud computing market was pegged at `425 crore in 2010 and is expected to grow to `2,200 crore by 2014. Looking at some of these figures, solutions providers can’t continue to sit on the fence. If they want to succeed in the cloud services game, they better get into the market soon. The first movers can get cloud services into the market sooner than the competition and create stickiness with clients. Many solution providers are still contemplating whether selling branded services is the right strategy or should they build their own white-label services. Gartner forecasts that cloud service brokerage will represent the single largest revenue growth opportunity in cloud computing by 2015. The research agency believes that most large IT companies will not sell services directly: they will need partners. While I am not against solutions providers creating their own services, the fact is it’s a time-consuming affair. In the meantime, selling branded services will provide them a better idea of what branded players offer and what their customers require— eventually helping them develop more market-relevant services. Having said that, moving to the cloud isn’t going to be easy and will require a complete mindset change. From being project-driven and topline focused, resellers need to get accustomed to a commission-based annuity revenue model. On the financial side, solution providers will have to plan and prepare, build an annuity business, and stabilize their revenue forecast. While on the sales side, they must change their selling practice, retrain their sales forces, build new customer relationships and alter sales incentives for sales teams. Choosing the right cloud offerings that customers are and will demand in future and choosing the right cloud service providers is going to be another critical area. So if you still haven’t moved to the cloud, the time is now! n E-mail CRN Executive Editor Dhaval Valia at email@example.com 12
Computer Reseller News
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edit opinion Burns: Blazing a new trail Kelley Damore
ven before Ursula Burns stepped into the Xerox CEO role, she had big shoes to fill. She was replacing Anne Mulcahy, who turned Xerox around in the toughest hour of its 100-year history. And she became the first female African-American CEO of a Fortune 500 company. After less than two years on the job, Burns is fitting into that designer Stuart Weitzman shoes very nicely. Burns has aggressively moved Xerox beyond its copier and document management roots with the acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services in 2009. ACS brings business process management and services to the company’s roster. As a result of the acquisition, Xerox bolstered its services revenue from 23 percent to 50 percent within one year. This number is only expected to grow as Xerox shifts to a model of locking in customers with multi-year contracts and generating a steady stream of recurring revenue. Burns also has set her sights on growing the channel. Last month she introduced herself to more than 200 of Xerox’s most loyal partners at the company’s Fusion conference. This was the first time she spoke as CEO to the partner community. She told her personal story, articulated the company’s strategy and outlined its initiatives. At the show, Xerox said it would dramatically expand the number of office products that VARs can sell as well as provide them with a tool to garner recurring revenue off the supplies business. This tool, called eConcierge, will alert users when they need supplies, and with a click of a mouse they can order them. Xerox partners can sell the service to their customers as their own branded offering. Some VARs said they would use it as a way to engage more closely with existing customers by offering a service warranty for free and getting revenue through this service. Others see it as an opportunity to resurrect inactive accounts. The company is looking to recruit managed service providers who can add a managed print practice with very little investment. If a VAR is managing other back-office applications such as email hosting, security or storage, then document management and printing becomes a no-brainer. A few weeks earlier, Burns announced an alliance with Cisco. The alliance allows VARs to offer Xerox managed print services over Cisco’s own Borderless Networks. It potentially expands its footprint to Cisco’s vast channel. What’s more, Xerox will deliver its Cloud ITO services built on Cisco’s Unified Computing System and Vblock and take it through partners. It also will bring Xerox’s mobile print solution to Cisco virtual desktops and its Cius tablet, letting customers print from any email-capable device to any Xerox mobile-print enabled device. These moves open up opportunities for Xerox and position both companies nicely against rival HP. n E-mail Kelley Damore at email@example.com 14
Computer Reseller News
Dell perturbed with parallel imports
Sabse Muskhil Business
Why should consumers pay more for someone’s infrastructure expenses in India? Consumers like us have been cheated a lot by MNC brands who are much cheaper outside India, even when imported and after paying full duties to the government. And still we let many of these MNCs milk us in India and sell cheaper in their own countries. Customers will buy whatever gives them best price performance. Dell must provide warranty support on all products that carry international warranty.
The cover story in June 1, 2011 edition of CRN titled ‘Sabse Mukshil Business’, captures the essence of the wide and disparate Indian SMB sector. Most vendors despite focusing on this sector for the past several years have failed to understand its dynamics. Their strategy has been to force fit their solutions on the SMB customers has been their biggest failing. If IT companies are serious about converting the SMB potential into business they will need to think outside the box.
Chill Boy New Delhi
Rajan Vyas IT Shopee, Bareilly
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starting line Kingston on SSD drive n RAMDAS S
ingston has set an aggressive agenda to promote SSD drives, and has launched several customerfacing events and campaigns to promote the new technology. It has also restructured its distribution. To promote its SSD drives, over the past few months the company has conducted multiple events for select communities such as CIOs and power users. The events were centered on technology hubs in cities such as Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The company is also planning to launch schemes to promote SSD upgrades. “At Kingston we are clear that SSD is the future, and are doing everything possible to accelerate to that future,” said Nidhi Sethi, Sales Director, Flash Business, Kingston India. “We did the same thing five or six years back with USB drives, and though competition is stiff we are the No 1 brand in the
“At Kingston we are clear that SSD is the future, and are doing everything possible to accelerate its adoption in the market place” Nidhi Sethi
Sales Director, Flash Business Kingston India
USB flash drive market even today.” An immediate market, according to Sethi, is the upgrade market, and the vendor has already started a campaign for the same. It is offering free demo units to select customers to evaluate the technology. “We have had instant responses to this campaign. Some companies have given partners orders to upgrade their laptops to SSDs.
A major airline has also ordered close to 6,000 drives for inflight entertainment,” informed Sethi. Sethi said that though the current India market size is just a few thousand drives, it’s growing 40 percent month-on-month. “We are expecting NAND flash prices to drop further, and this will further increase the market. We are educating partners on how to market SSDs better.” Meanwhile, Kingston has restructured and consolidated its distribution, and reduced the number of tier-1 distributors from eight to five. Vishal Video and Sunrise Infosolutions, which were focused on the flash business, are no more direct distributors, while another distributor, Transtek, is limited to the DRAM business. Avnet, Neoteric, Sripathi Computers and Compuage will continue to sell DRAM and flash, while HCL Infosolutions will promote only the flash business. n
Avaya eyes data center biz n RAMDAS S
vaya India has rolled out its go-to-market to grab share in the growing data center market in the country. The enterprise networking vendor recently conducted a series of partner and customer-facing events to promote its updated Virtual Enterprise Network Architecture (VENA) product line, including a new line of 10GbE switches, new Virtual Provisioning Services software, and services targeted at data center customers. “We’ve just completed a round of promotional events for VENA, and have met several customers and partners in the country who have shown interest in our data center offerings. VENA is a game-changing, fit-forpurpose solution for the virtualized data center and enterprise campus,” informed Ujjal Bajaj, Director, Data & Virtualization, Avaya Asia Pacific. Avaya, which acquired Nortel’s enterprise solutions business in 2009,
Computer Reseller News
“We believe VENA is a game-changing, fit-for-purpose solution for the virtualized data center and enterprise campus” Ujjal Bajaj
Director, Data & Virtualization Avaya Asia Pacific
has been aggressive in the recent past with its channel strategies in the data communication space. The company earlier signed on Beetel and Redington as distributors for India, and is trying hard to keep former Nortel partners and customers within the Avaya stable. Avaya faces stiff competition from vendors such as Cisco, HP and IBM which are offering end-to-end solutions for the data center market.
Bajaj admitted that the competition is tough, but said, “We believe we have a superior product line, especially with the updates to VENA. While Avaya does not have the computing piece for a data center, our solutions are interoperable with all enterprise hardware and software. With our solutions customers can virtualize their networks better, especially through our partnership with VMware.” Customers choosing VENA will be able to configure a ‘Virtual Services Fabric’ that Avaya says enables one-touch provisioning of network services, helps to create a ‘private cloud’ which simplifies access to content and applications, and eliminates human errors involved in manually handling or provisioning services inside a data center. The company has also announced a series of switches and routers in the VPS 7000 series for the nextgeneration 10G and 40G/100G networks. n
Deduplication on EonNAS
Unified Storage Systems Maximize Storage Capacity Utilization Reduce Data Storage Costs
IT application environments tend to feature many redundant copies of identical data sets. Storing these redundant copies consumes large amounts of storage space, leading to inefficient use of capacity resources and increasing costs associated with hardware resources and power consumption. Deduplication – available on Infortrend’s EonNAS 3210/3220 unified storage systems – is designed to combat this phenomenon by ensuring that all duplicated data on storage systems is removed, freeing up capacity that would be otherwise unnecessarily fille d. Deduplication offers many benefits: • Maximizes storage resource utilization • Increases lifespan of storage systems • Lowers power consumption • Reduces storage costs The EonNAS 3210/3220 unified storage systems offer support for file-level and blocklevel applications to enable datacenter consolidation. Key system features include: • Support for file (CIFS, SMB, AFP, NFS, HTTP, HTTPS, FTP) and block (iSCSI) storage protocols • User-friendly management tools • Excellent data protection (Snapshot, Rsync, ZFS end-to-end data integ rity) • On-demand capacity scaling with expansion enclosures • Efficient utilization of storage capacity (deduplication, thin provisioning) • Performance acceleration by integrating SSDs For more information, please visit www.infortrend.in.
Infortrend Technology, Inc.
channel chief “We’ll be looking at all growth options” Eaton is planning a channel-focused go-to-market to ramp up its UPS business. Dhaval Valia spoke to Anoop Nanda, MD, Electrical Sector, South Asia, South East Asia & Japan, Eaton Corporation, on the company’s India strategy Globally, Eaton is a leader in the UPS segment. What’s the reason for your late entry in the Indian market? We have been selling our entire range of UPS for the past many years, but our focus was largely on selling direct and through large OEM partners and the electrical channel. We have created a strong customer base across high-growth segments such as the government, telecom, IT-ITeS and manufacturing. Our focus now is on broad-basing our go-to-market by leveraging the IT channel. We have put in place a strategy to increase our market coverage and penetration, and have signed up Redington to drive our volume business which consists of entry-level to 40kVA UPS models. This is in addition to our one-year-old distribution partnership with Lipi Data Systems to tap demand from systems integrators participating in large tenders and providing solutions to BFSI customers. Redington will drive our entire volume portfolio, and also drive channel engagement and fulfillment. In addition, to create a structured and consistent engagement with distribution-led partners, we have rolled out a welldefined partner program called PowerAdvantage. After our partnership with Redington began we have started making good connect with their top 100 partners. We have embarked on a channel enrollment plan by conducting road-shows across class B and C cities, and plan to triple our partner base this year.
Could you explain the benefits that partners can derive from the PowerAdvantage program? Under the program we have three partner levels— Premium, Authorized and Registered—designed around the investments and targets. The program offers significant benefits including priority in lead generation, attractive rebate schemes, and training and development. PowerAdvantage partners will also get access to marketing materials and sales tools, channel marketing
“The Indian UPS market is $500 million. The single-phase segment under 40kVA is nearly 60 percent of the market while the rest is contributed by 3-phase products” 18
Computer Reseller News
tools and Eaton product literature, as well as sales and product training. A dedicated development manager will enable partners to stay up-to-date with the latest channel information, campaigns and events.
What’s the addressable UPS market for Eaton and the market share you expect to garner? Going by the figures available from various research agencies, the Indian UPS market is worth upward of $500 million. The single-phase UPS segment under 40kVA constitutes nearly 60 percent of the market while the other $200 million is contributed by 3-phase products and is growing at roughly 20 percent. Globally, as per Frost & Sullivan figures, Eaton’s market share in UPS is 17 percent, so our aim would be reach that mark in India as well.
APC and Emerson are already entrenched in the market and have a strong partner connect. Also, the high-end UPS channel is very vendor-exclusive. How do you plan to align with large partners who are already aligned with one of these two competitors? Our USP is our technology and our brand. Competitively, we have a portfolio of the most feature-rich products with strong power management tools. We are the only UPS vendor to offer a pre-configured VMware and cloud-ready UPS range for the data center. Thus, partnering with Eaton provides solution providers access to our entire power protection and management portfolio including the complete range of AVR UPS, online UPS of up to 40 kVA, and even a higher range of 60-1100 kVA.
Schneider has been bolstering its power protection business with an aggressive acquisition strategy. It recently picked up Luminous. Does Eaton also have inorganic growth plans? Absolutely. With a sustained GDP growth of 7-8 percent and a huge infrastructure roll-out expected over the next decade, India has become the most strategic market for Eaton. On his recent trip to India, our global CEO, Alexander Cutler, set a sales target of $500 million by the end of 2015, which would amount to tripling our current revenue from the country. We’ll be looking at all growth options, both organic and inorganic. n
channel chief “There will be convergence of channels” Compuage Infocom has recently strengthened its portfolio by adding several leading brands. Atul Mehta, CEO, spoke to Dhaval Valia on the company’s performance highlights in the last fiscal and shared future plans and strategies Take us through the financial performance of Compuage Infocom in FY2010-11. We grew by approximately 30 percent in the last fiscal, recording a turnover of `1,414 crore compared to the topline of `1,100 crore in FY2009-10. We witnessed growth across all the verticals we cater to— software, PC components, PCs, peripherals, lifestyle, power protection and networking. Some of the growth came from the addition of new product lines and part came from geographical expansion which contributed to our existing verticals doing well. We now have 52 branch locations and seven locations where we have strong sales representation. Our active billing coverage has increased to 500 cities. Our growth in the past couple of years has been satisfactory and well above industry growth rates.
Last fiscal you added new product lines. Which of these contributed to the growth of Compuage? Last year we added many prestigious brands to our portfolio. We expanded our relationship with the HP Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) from a regional distribution to a national role. We distribute the entire HP IPG printer and supplies portfolio countrywide. We also witnessed remarkable growth from Cisco’s S series products. As a result, in January 2011, Cisco signed us for their Fast Track range as well. We signed up with Microsoft Hardware, with CA Technologies for their range of backup and recovery software solutions for the SMB segment, and with NEC for their flat-panel display. We have also been appointed exclusive distributor by Olympus for its camera range for the north and east. In March 2011 we signed up with
“We expect to grow much faster than the industry, and are aiming to cross the `2,000 crore mark in the current fiscal” 20
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Samsung as its regional distributor for Delhi for its entire smartphone range, including tablets. All these tie-ups happened during the last fiscal, helping us to strengthen our offerings in the market and providing growth. Then very recently we signed up with HP as the distributor for their consumer business portfolio for the Gujarat region.
What are your growth projections for the current fiscal? We expect to grow much faster than the industry, and are aiming to cross the `2,000 crore mark. This means that within two years we will have almost doubled our topline. For us, the current fiscal is for consolidating our IT brands and growing those businesses at higher than industry growth rates, and moving into new non-IT product categories and growing at an exponential pace. For instance, the Samsung smartphone business has great potential to grow exponentially for us in the current fiscal. In the first quarter itself we have started billing 140 telecom retailers in the Delhi region, and are now engaging with many of the IT retailers. Also, by our performance, we intend to convince Samsung to give us a larger geographical mandate. We are confident of covering a couple of more regions for Samsung within the next six months or so. Samsung smartphones have been winning significant mind and market share, and this augurs well for our growth plans in the telecom space.
What are the reasons for moving into digicams and smartphones? Will you be selling through your traditional IT channel base or will you tap the traditional camera and mobile phone channels? Including smartphones in our portfolio has been on our agenda for a pretty long time. With the convergence of smartphones, tablets and PCs, we see this area as the biggest growth engine for the next several years. We have already made significant investments in this business, and the evidence of this is that we have hired a team of 15 made up of distribution and sales
channel chief professionals from the mobile industry. In the case of Olympus too we saw great growth potential and an opportunity to connect with a large channel consisting of traditional camera retailers. Going forward, eventually, there will be massive convergence of all channels and we as distributors need to be ready for that scenario.
What are the top three priorities for Compuage during the current fiscal? The first and foremost is to drive efficiency in our business processes and resources—that’s the only way to build a sustainable organization. We have made some progress in this over the past 2-3 years, but I believe it’s not enough and there needs to be a lot more focus on this aspect. We have therefore hired an external consultant to advise on how we can be more efficient in our logistics, credit distribution and collection, optimization of internal resources, etc. The second focus is to engage with the alternate channels—camera, telecom and lifestyle—and build a strong partner base. Also, to make our existing IT channel sell digital lifestyle products and help them augment their businesses. Finally, since future growth will come from small towns, geographical penetration will be another core focus. We plan to expand our presence to 70 locations, and while this may not include opening branches in
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“One key focus is to engage with the alternate channels—camera, telecom and lifestyle—and build a strong partner base and also to make our existing IT channel sell digital lifestyle products” each of the new locations we will have strong sales teams in these regions.
What’s your growth forecast for the IT industry in the current fiscal? Do you expect factors such as high inflation, rising interest rates and increasing cost of living to slow down demand? I expect the IT industry to grow between 15-20 percent, which is a healthy growth rate. Rising inflation and the other factors you mentioned will have some impact on demand, but that will not be of much consequence; it might impact growth by 1-2 percent. India’s GDP will continue to grow at 7-8 percent, and this is enough to drive IT growth. Also, everyone, including the government and private sector, has realized that to sustain high GDP growth information technology will have to play a big role. n
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Ext. DVD RW
sales to home segment
Contrary to the belief that sales of printers to home segment would have declined after the advent of social media, where consumers share their photos online, printer companies claim significant increase in photo printing n Abhijeet mukherjee
commonly expressed view nowadays is that social media such as Facebook and Orkut has reduced the use of photo printers in the home segment. Vendors and partners however, tell a different story—that they are witnessing increase in the demand by 10-15 percent. Says Ramprasad SM, Business Manager, Consumer Product Group, Epson India, “In our internal survey we saw a rise in the photo printing segment to the tune of 1015 percent after social media gained popularity in the last 1-2 years. We have found that photographs of family and friends that are posted online are printed and framed to be kept at home or in the office. Also, despite the popularity of filling forms online, consumers keep a backup in the form of a hard copy at home.” Agrees Sandeep Bothra, Proprietor, Jupiter Infology,
“We have seen a rise in the photo printing segment to the tune of 10-15 percent after social media gained popularity in the last two years” Ramprasad SM
BM, Consumer Product Group, Epson India
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a Guwahati-based sub-distributor, “Social media was already popular during the last two years, and if they were to reduce printer sales in the home segment my numbers would not have increased by 100 percent. I think home consumers have increased their use of photo printers in the last year and a half. Earlier, I used to sell 150 entrylevel photo printers every month—now I sell 300.” Social platforms like Facebook, Flickr and Picasa have led to an explosion in both the creation and sharing of digital content, including photographs, says R Manikandan, Director, Inkjet & Web Solutions, HP IPG. “This digital explosion has increased the demand for printing as people do not want to limit their digital images to only friends or family members who are online and connected over social platforms. They want to leverage these images in creative ways; for example, by printing collages on T-shirts. A color inkjet printer allows them to indulge in these pursuits.” Another trend is the use of laser printers by the home segment. “The reason why lasers are getting popular in the home segment is that they come with large toner capacity, thus reducing the cost per page,” explains Chirag Talwar, Partner, Creative Computers, a Dehradun-based sub-distributor. Besides, the laser printer’s ability to print in volumes,
market focus as well as its higher lifespan and speed, is making it popular among SOHOs and home users. “We have observed a unit-wise increase of 20-25 percent in laser printers for the home and SOHO segment; the value-wise increment has been around 20-30 percent,” informs Sandeep Samaiya, Partner, Info Solutions, a Jabalpur-based reseller. “Users have started taking entry-level laser printers home,” adds Bothra. “The reason could be that consumers are getting more value-conscious, and home users with greater printing requirements are therefore opting for laser printers. Of late I have started selling 8-10 laser printers on an average per month to home users.” Vendors such as HP and Canon say they have not yet seen significant demand for lasers in the home segment, but concede that laser printers are moving into homes that have large printing requirements—which was not the case a year and a half ago. Also, while the demand for single-function inkjet printers is falling, multi-function printers (MFPs) are witnessing a 70 percent rise in demand. “The demand for single function printers will gradually end except for some specialized printer requirements,” Ramprasad says. According to a recent Gartner report, the combined sales of serial inkjet and page printers, copiers and MFPs in India was an estimated 6,81,142 units in Q42010, a 10 percent increase from Q42009; HP remained the market leader during this period. Factors such as the growing adoption of smartphones and tablets are also pushing printer sales, and vendors like HP and Canon have come out with e-printing solutions. “Consumers today are becoming increasingly mobile; they
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“Mobile consumers want access to information at any location. HP’s latest range features e-print, which allows users to print from mobile device over the Internet” R Manikandan
Director, Inkjet & Web Solutions, HP IPG
could be at any location but still want access to information, to the Web, to their email,” points out Manikandan. “It is very difficult to print a hard copy of a document when we are mobile, but HP’s latest range of inkjet and laser printers features e-print capability which allows users to print from any mobile device over the Internet. Our research suggests that 85 percent of smartphone users want to print easily, and iPad users said that they missed the printing function in their device. We see this as a huge opportunity ahead of us.” Seeing price-conscious consumers who are shifting to printing options with lower costs, vendors have come out with revised prices of consumables. “In the preceding 12 months we have introduced a new portfolio of low-priced inkjet printers, with cartridges priced at `425 for the home segment,” Manikandan informs. Other vendo such as Canon and Epson also have low-priced cartridges; Epson has cartridges available for `260. With the aggressive marketing strategies of the players and the lowering of prices, the MFP market is expected to reach new heights. n
Why assembled PCs
continue to flourish Demand remains strong in upcountry locations. And India’s distributors love doing the components business because it is simply more profitable n RAMDAS S
espite predictions by several analysts of its impending death, the assembled PC market segment continues to grow. One reason for this is the large demand for assembled PCs which is still coming from smaller cities. The other reason is that many distributors are heavily reliant on the component business for driving their margins, and hence they want to ensure that the market for assembled PCs stays robust. Analysts believed the white-box PC market would disappear because of the decline in the growth of desktops vis-à-vis notebooks. But distributors such as Rashi Peripherals, Inspan and Cyberstar are much dependent on their component business. In addition, there are several niche distributors such as Aditya Infotech, Ralco Synergy, Digital Waves and Tirupati Computers which are attempting to grow specific product segments. In the case of Rashi, almost 75 percent of its business is accounted for by building blocks, components and accessories, with the rest contributed by branded desktops, servers, notebooks and software. “Around 90 percent of our bottomline comes from the component and accessories business. If I wanted to double my turnover, I could easily do that by signing on more PC vendors and taking on all their product lines. However, it would seriously affect our bottomline,” reveals Suresh Pansari, CMD, Rashi. Sudhir S, CEO of Inspan, agrees. “We don’t see any reason why we should stop doing our existing business and graduate to selling branded desktops and notebooks. Margins are already low in our existing line, and it’s even worse in branded PC products.” Pansari points out that Intel and AMD have been reporting healthy numbers and growth in the domestic
“90 percent of our bottomline comes from the component and accessories business. Only doing branded PC business would seriously affect our bottomline” Suresh Pansari
CMD, Rashi Peripherals
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market. “Moreover, partners tell us that they make more money as a percent of the bill on selling components than they do on selling branded desktops,” says Pansari. He also stresses the fact that some of the biggest brands are continuing to drive the desktop business globally, and though they do have a share in making building blocks or accessories for notebooks and other mobile platforms, their bread-andbutter is largely the desktop market. Pansari says that some of the biggest brands such as Nvidia, AMD, Asus, Gigabyte and Creative will not allow their revenue to shrink that easily. “They are world-class brands, and will innovate and reinvent to keep a market growing.” Many partners who have switched to selling branded computers say that the margin on assembled computers is healthy, and that given the choice they would still push an assembled desktop. “We make somewhere around three percent when we sell a branded laptop, and though we sell few white-boxes, the margins on those are in excess of five percent,” says Sudhir Sankar, CEO of IBS Technologies, Bengaluru. Meanwhile, the upcountry market for white PCs simply refuses to die. “In Kerala we believe that even today 50 percent of the market is assembled, and there’s definitely money to be made,” comments PK Harikrishnan, CEO of Alltime Power Systems. Several distributors have also shifted focus to specific market segments, and are staying away from being an authorized distributor of the big PC or software brand. For instance, Tirupati Computers focuses on the high-performance computing market, while Aditya Infotech focuses on graphics, video editing and allied markets. “We are not chasing huge numbers or revenue. We are quite passionate about the business we do, the brands we represent, and we as well as our partners are focused on bottomlines,” says Abhishek Kejriwal, GM of Tirupati Computers. Nevertheless, distributors agree that if they want to increase their topline they must sign on large PC, software or peripheral brands. “We have recently signed on with Dell and Acer. Optimal growth includes having a balance of both volume brands and niche vendors,” says Raj Rathi, MD of the Bengaluru-based Cyberstar. n
n Ramdas S & sonal desai
he cloud has been the most hyped technology in recent times. Vendors have often touted a variety of clouds—public, private and the hybrid—as the panacea for all existing business computing problems. While opportunities in the private cloud for channel partners are largely seen as systems integration, reselling or consulting opportunities (which are not very different from the usual large server-storage or network deployment contracts), opportunities presented by the public cloud are a bit fuzzy as of now. The primary reason for this vagueness is that while pricing models of public cloud vendors are transparent, it’s not so for the revenue-sharing opportunities for channel partners. Also, since cloud itself is a new business paradigm, channel partners are also being forced to rethink about their go-to-market strategies. However, there is a lot of optimism among the analyst community. Analysts are of the view that channel opportunities do not die with the public cloud; rather, they get enhanced for partners. “Public cloud is a huge opportunity, especially for the smaller partners who are focusing on the SMB segment. This is a model where upfront investments are
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lower, and it is easy for a small partner as well as small business customer to jump in,” says Neha Jalan, Senior Associate, AMI Partners India. A large vendor like IBM seconds this claim. “Public cloud opportunities for channel partners are definitely healthy in the country. IBM is helping partners choose the right strategy, irrespective of the cloud computing model,” says Anoop Nambiar, Country Manager, Business Partner Organization, STG, IBM India. Research done recently by a business magazine suggests that the Indian public cloud computing market will reach `2,434 crore or $543 million in 2014, growing at a CAGR of 53 percent in 2010-2014. The main drivers of the public cloud in India include government, healthcare and education segments. Besides, startups, SMBs and SOHOs too are key adopters of the cloud. And all these segments have one thing in common: they are seeking advisers or consultants who would enable their journey into the public cloud, and thereafter. “All customers are looking forward to a partner to help them move to public clouds and take advantage of the SaaS model. This is where thousands of partners will see opportunities in future,” says Jalan.
cover story Understanding the public cloud A public cloud is one based on the standard cloud computing model, in which a service provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to the general public over the Internet. Public cloud services may be free or offered on a pay-per-use model. It can be described as the retail version of cloud computing, with pricing and all details to operate cloud offerings open to the users. The classic examples of public clouds are those offered by Amazon, Google, Rackspace and Microsoft, among others. The pay-per-use model starts as low as a single cent per hour in some cases. The billing model depends on factors such as the number of virtual cores, amount of memory, disk space, operating system and software used, incoming traffic bandwidth and outgoing traffic bandwidth. While the basic premise is very
“We are helping partners choose the right strategy, irrespective of the cloud computing model they choose” Anoop Nambiar
Country Manager, BPO, STG, IBM
similar to the model used by Web hosting companies, with a public cloud, users can scale the infrastructure in a matter of minutes with a few clicks of the mouse. “Typically, if you are ordering a dedicated server with a hosting vendor or an ISP, allocation would take anything from a single day to ten days, depending on the configuration you require. And then, you need to
Analyzing Cloud Opportunities for Partners As more and more SMBs hop onto the cloud bandwagon, ample business opportunities lie ahead for resellers geared for a services-oriented model
nalysts and research agencies have been pursuing trends in cloud computing for the past few years. And all of them are quite gung-ho about the opportunities in this space for channel partners. Various reports estimate the size of the public cloud market in India between `400 crore and `475 crore in 2010— which is expected to grow to `2,434 crore by 2014. According to an IDC white paper, titled Hybrid Cloud on the Rise: A Key Strategy to Business Growth in Asia Pacific, 14 percent of Indian organizations are already using cloud computing, and another 76 percent will at least consider this technology after six months. “There’s immediate opportunity for cloud vendors and their partners, as Indian CIOs are now actively thinking about switching to a new computing paradigm,” quotes the paper. “Channels should move away from just ‘clipping a ticket’ as is the practice when they resell a product or service. Channel partners who just view cloud services as another SKU to resell will struggle,” says an analyst with IDC India. According to the IT Risk/Reward Barometer study released by Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), 36 percent of enterprises in India have adopted “Public cloud cloud computing, with 11 percent using it is a huge for mission-critical services. A research firm that has been studying opportunity the cloud opportunity in the SMB market for the smaller is AMI Partners. By 2015, says the firm, partners who as many as 200,000 Indian SMBs will are focusing join the cloud bandwagon, and the Indian Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market will on the SMB grow at 32 percent CAGR over the next segment” five years. “Since more and more SMBs have mobile executives, there is demand Neha Jalan for ubiquitous data access. Also, the value Senior Associate that the cloud provides is in sync with the AMI Partners modern thinking of Indian SMBs,” opines
Neha Jalan, Senior Associate, AMI Partners. AMI estimates that by 2012 almost 65 percent of SMB-focused resellers will be involved in some kind of SaaS-based business, either reselling third-party solutions or customizing an offering. A recent study by the firm, titled 2010-11 India SMB SaaS Channel Partners, says that partners involved in reselling SaaS solutions make roughly twice the money made by other partners. The AMI survey finds that SaaS partners are keen to work with vendors who offer competitive pricing, postsales technical support and help through lead generation or referrals. Dev Chakravarty, Assistant Manager, AMI Partners India and the author of the study, points out that over the years there has been a slight drop in the proportion of traditional channel partners or value-added resellers concentrating purely on hardware. A key reason is that partners feel the need to offer several product lines and increase their portfolio to include upcoming and innovative solutions, such as SaaS, to cater to customer demand. This also enables options to cross-sell and up-sell solutions and thus increase revenues. This is emphasized by the fact that SaaS-focused India SMB partners account for more than 10 percent of the revenues of all India SMB partners—in spite of constituting a much smaller share by volume. However, there’s need for better communication from the vendors to their partners. Says Jalan, “While cloud vendors present a clear pricing model, they have not been very communicative of how partners can earn and share revenues from offering cloud services. This has been a feedback of the study.” n
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cover story do further configurations and installations. But in the case of a cloud, irrespective of whether it is a public or private cloud, scaling from a single core instance running 2GB RAM to a four-core instance running 8GB RAM will take minutes at the maximum. This kind of scalability is something that makes cloud computing special,” explains Akash Saxena, VP, Infrastructure Services, IBM Global Technology Services. However, building expertise in public cloud is not easy for channel partners. One reason is that most partners have not dealt with cloud market leaders such as Amazon, Rackspace or Google—who are yet to penetrate the Indian market aggressively. This means they are yet to benefit from the accumulated wisdom of these vendors. Fortunately, things are looking up. “Google has started talking, and some of the channel partners have started doing business for Google Apps, but they are yet to do a massive go-to-market approach by targeting the wider reseller community. Microsoft has been betatesting Office Live, and we expect the market to take off in a big way very soon,” says Ashok L, CEO of Futurenet Technologies, Chennai.
“Scaling from a single-core instance running a 2GB RAM to a four-core instance running 8GB RAM takes minutes” Akash Saxena
VP, Infrastructure Services, IBM GTS
Apart from the fact that their association with most cloud vendors is new, the business model itself is a novelty for many partners. “Most partners, especially the smaller ones, are used to selling products and are heavily transaction-oriented. Here, you have a sudden change in the model, and this would make it a little difficult for them to adapt,” says SR Nair, MD of Team Frontline. Sriram S, CEO, iValue InfoSolutions, a distributor, sheds more light on partners’ readiness. “The reach and resources of tier-2 partners are limited. But there are some who are reaching out to the customers—advising them, handholding them. Their customers are mostly SMBs or SBs who are not afraid to experiment. SMBs
case study: Instant Gains from the Cloud Binary Systems implemented Tata Communications’ InstaCompute cloud solution for Bizprout and saved it lakhs of rupees in the process
to explore the cloud further. In fact, we izprout Corporate Solutions ä Customer was spending `45,000 are developing a system for business remotely manages payroll, labor and a month on dedicated servers analytics—with Tally as the back-end— compliance-related services for more co-located with an Indian ISP for financial planning. We would take it to than 100 SMB customers. ä Switching to Tata Communications’ the cloud in the next six months,” The company had two servers—both InstaCompute has reduced the says Vasan. of which were hosted by Net4India in its customer’s bill to `20,000, and The cloud gives Bizprout options data center. The company began offering annual savings of `240,000 during testing, which enables the document management services (DMS) ä No capex investment and no company to change the configuration of to support the accounting process of its requirement for additional tech servers on the fly. “For example, from customers. But the existing capacity was support 4GB RAM and 50GB hard disk during not enough for payroll and DMS. deployment to 8GB RAM and 100GB hard “We needed Web space and capacity disk post-deployment—at the click of a from service providers. We were button,” he enthuses. spending `45,000 for both the utilities,” says Raghunandan H. Edward Jeevan, Director, Binary Systems, which enabled Vasan, Director, Bizprout. “Also, the payroll was on the Linux the migration of Bizprout onto InstaCompute, says that the platform while DMS was on Windows 7, so we had to rely on company acted as an adviser to Bizprout: “We introduced the two service providers. At the time of upgrade, we migrated onto cloud to them. We also provided them with a test platform to the cloud, and signed up with Google for their cloud services. put their applications and observe whether they worked, the Unhappy, we jumped to Amazon’s EC2 soon after. At Amazon, problems they encountered, etc. They used the test platform for the services were very good, but we ended up paying more— a month and then migrated to the cloud.” `35,000 for the DMS and `13,000 for payroll. Binary Systems While Binary would earn its fee from Tata Communications, then introduced us to Tata Communications’ InstaCompute it would provide the cloud platform and manage the interface cloud service.” for Bizprout. Says Jeevan, “We are happy to have saved lakhs “Now we are paying `20,000 for both the services, and the of rupees that the customer would have otherwise spent on best part is, we have to interact with only one service provider. hardware and power systems.” n They have promised us 99.99 percent uptime. We are planning
Moving to the cloud has saved us `2,40,000 per annum in actual cost and provided us intangible savings in terms of better uptime and ease of management
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cover story are actually putting non-critical applications on the cloud and they are doing it piecemeal. They essentially leverage on the long-term relationships they have developed with their partners.” Shailesh Palande, IT Manager of Mumbai-based Urban Infrastructure, endorses Sriram’s view. Sharing his experience of the cloud, he says, “Suresh Ramani, CEO, Techgyan, helped us throughout. Our entire corporate email was on Zimbra. But there were some issues, and
Ingram bets big on the cloud
ountry’s largest distributor Ingram Micro is betting big on the cloud. The company has constituted a 15- member dedicated team led by Ajit Joshi to strategize and focus on the emerging cloud opportunities. The company over the past few months has signed up with leading cloud service providers including Salesforce.com, Google Apps, Net Magic, Microsoft, HP and IBM. “Cloud is emerging as the next big wave in IT and we are getting ready to capitalize on this opportunity for ourselves and our partner ecosystem. We are evaluating various business models around cloud computing, that will create a value proposition for Ingram and its partners,” said Bimal Das, Senior Director, Enterprising & Computing Systems Group, Ingram Micro India. The company recently held a series of education events across tier-1 cities to create a platform for free exchange of ideas within the partner community on the impact of cloud computing on the overall channel business. The India cloud opportunity is expected to grow at 63 percent CAGR from 2010 to 2013 to cross $1 billion, according to IDC. Ingram believes that the distribution ecosystem will have to play a leading role in the adoption and growth of cloud services in the country. Das informed that in the past six months, since Ingram signed up with Salesforce.com for its cloud CRM, the distributor has signed up 67 customers through its select solutions partners. “Salesforce.com has been a huge success story of our cloud foray. In a very short period, we have signed up 67 SMB customers for its CRM offering. Not only do we generate leads for Salesforce.com, but we have also invested significantly in pre-sales, implementation, and training skills in order to support partners,” he averred. Ingram is looking at various go-to-market models to leverage the opportunities in the cloud landscape. “There are several ideas we are contemplating including creating our own white-label services, and setting up a cloud exchange to help service providers to take their offerings to the market in a customer-relevant bundle,” informed Das. n
Cloud is emerging as the next big wave in IT and we are getting ready to capitalize on this opportunity. We are evaluating various business models that will create a value proposition for Ingram and its partners
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“Messaging is the easiest application to move on to the cloud. Moreover vendors have ready-to-reckon packages” Edward Jeevan
Director, Binary Systems
based on Ramani’s suggestion, we migrated the entire email account to Microsoft Exchange Online. More than 60 users are now on the cloud, and we are saving $5 per user per year, besides cost savings on server and storage.”
Opportunities Public cloud opportunities for resellers can be classified into a few broad categories: Consulting and advisory services: While these usually do not come to smaller partners, the real big money on public clouds is in helping customers pick and choose different public cloud offers. “Consulting on which application to migrate to the cloud, which cloud offering to chose from the plethora of vendors, which model to opt for, what should be kept on-premise and what would work on the cloud are some of the basic questions that need to be answered before a customer actually signs on the dotted line. If you as a tier-2 partner have the basics right, there is no stopping you from entering the role of the consultant,” says Sriram of iValue InfoSolutions. Mail Services: Messaging on the cloud has wide acceptance. Many enterprises have moved to Hosted Exchange, a service rendered by Microsoft. Google is offering Google Apps, while VMware has hosted Zimbra. There are third-party vendors as well who use public clouds to build their own hosted mail offerings. “Messaging is the easiest application to move to the cloud. With 99.99% availability and the opportunity to scale up fast, it is easier to sell. Moreover, vendors have ready-to-reckon packages,” says Edward Jeevan, Director, Binary Systems, Bengaluru. Office Apps: Google and Microsoft have locked horns as far as this market is concerned. Google offers Google Apps, a bouquet of services from mail to Web-powered collaboration apps: Google Docs, Google Sites and Google Video for businesses. Microsoft has announced Microsoft Office Live. Another player, Chennai-based Zoho, claims to have four million users for its Web-based offerings. All these vendors have reseller plans and programs in place. Application Hosting: Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Rackspace are the market leaders. They have their own set of APIs which require specific software skills. Therefore, they normally partner with solution providers who help customers to host the applications. “An average reseller may not qualify for application hosting, since this requires some amount of software experience. However, many ISVs are willing to work with channels,” says Subbu Joise, CEO, Compusol, Bengaluru. There are several specialized cloud application
cover story providers such as Engine Yard, which provides hosting for Ruby on Rails (a software development and deployment platform), and Eladrion, which provides support for Django Framework—all hosted on the public cloud. Application Migration: Application migration is a huge opportunity for partners. “Whenever a customer migrates from the conventional IT infrastructure to the cloud, his primary concern is whether the applications on the traditional IT system would interoperate with the cloud. Once you convince the customer that everything would be fine and that seamless application migration is a part of your SLA, they put the ball in your court,” says Suresh Ramani, CEO of Techgyan. Delhi-based Futuresoft has implemented one of the largest migrations from a data center to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Services for Acme. “This is not just the largest application migration in India, but also in Asia, for an application that’s migrated from a private data center to a public cloud,” says Sandeep Salman, VP, Futuresoft. CRM and ERP: These two offer sizable if not significant opportunities. “While some customers are reluctant to move mission-critical applications to the cloud, others see obvious cost benefits,” says Jeevan.
“Once you convince a customer that seamless application migration is part of your SLA, they lay the ball in your court” Suresh Ramani CEO, Techgyan
Salesforce.com and Zoho are examples of cloud-based CRM solutions. CRM is one of the easier applications to move to the cloud. And since hosted CRM models have been popular for long, a customer has no issues in accepting cloud-based CRM solutions, say partners. With ERP, hosting applications have been tried for some time but the domain has met with muted success. DR and Backup: Net4India, an ISP, is in the process of launching a backup service in the cloud. Not all organizations in India take backups but the growing need for regulatory compliance is now forcing them to take backups or store their data in a way that it can be retrieved whenever required. The cost of such backups is very high and the manageability is complex. That’s where a cloud-based backup service will gel.
Opinion: Cloud will change the role of distributors and partners Sriram S, CEO, iValue InfoSolutions shares his list of how partners need to change their business and outlook to move to cloud
he cloud represents the next paradigm of business computing on the Internet. While the large entities will focus on the private cloud, it is the smaller entities, including startups, that are driving the public cloud in India. On the ground, the large system integrators are signing on the dotted line with the larger enterprises. So, the tier-2 community has an entire universe of SMBs, SBs and SOHOs to look after. The startups are the flourishing segment in India and I am very optimistic that they would adopt the public cloud. Similarly, the SMB segment is also looking at their partners to handhold them toward the cloud. Analysts estimate that there are more than 7.6 million SMBs in the country, and that is a huge opportunity. Overall, the total public cloud computing opportunity “Customers in India is estimated at close to `2,000 will leverage crore in the next three years. With the cloud, the role of the on the distributors and the partners will long-term change—and so will the manner in which relationship a partner does business with the customer. they have For example, the ROI and the opex developed with model are of paramount importance to a their partners” customer. The partner should be ready with answers to questions such as: What Sriram S is a cloud? Why should I go to the cloud? CEO Which cloud should I opt for? Why? iValue InfoSolutions How do I transition from capex to opex?
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What is the ROI? Which are the applications I first move to the cloud? Who will take care of the SLAs? And the MOST important of all, Will my data and information be safe? As a partner, one has to internally scale up to meet the cloud requirement and be confident that one has the answers to all the customer questions. As for distributors, it is their role to convince partners that the cloud will compensate for the drop in revenue from sale of software and hardware. A value-added distributor can help partners by identifying and creating a basket of cloud offering relevant to the Indian market, developing services to meet different budgets, and working with like-minded partners for new business opportunities. The distributor can also develop referral case studies and invite CEOs to speak to partners and customers. The role of partners is also significant, but they have to take the initiative by understanding customer needs and advising customers on what to leverage on the cloud. Partners need to understand the various cloud offerings so that the right ones can be offered to the right businesses. For this, they have to invest in understanding cloud technology so that the perceived threat is converted into opportunity. And finally, partners should be willing to work with several key players, including ISPs, MSPs and SPs. n
Size of the domestic IT Industry `78,700 crore
11% *As per ind Y2010 ustry estimates for C
Turnover of 100 partners present at the
CRN Leadership Summit 2010 To be held between August 18-20, 2011 at Marriott Hyderabad, CRN Leadership Summit 2011 will offer the best platform to IT companies to network and connect with the finest solutions providers and systems integrators.
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cover story Besides Net4India, Tata Communications and Sify have announced similar offerings. Storage vendor Hitachi Data Systems is also trying to align with ISPs to offer cloudbased storage.
Selling the public cloud Selling the public cloud is not easy and requires a lot more lateral thinking for partners. While distribution behemoth Ingram Micro has a dedicated team of 15 people to market cloud services from different vendors, overall, the distribution model for public clouds is yet to evolve. One key challenge is to convince customers, who are usually wary of security issues associated with the public cloud. As Raghunandan H Vasan, Director of Bengaluru-based services company Bizprout Solutions, points out, “We do not know who or where our servers would be hosted.” Sriram of iValue says, “The lack of water-tight compliance laws further discourages enterprises from moving onto the cloud. For example, in Europe, there is a law that no data will leave the shores; which is not the case in India.” Costing is another issue. Cloud costing may not
always come out as cheap. “For example, a full-fledged instance running on Amazon can cost you around $300 a month. So if your customer wants to just host a Website, a cheaper option would be shared hosting,” remarks Jitendra Janardhan, Head, Services, Websphere Technologies, Bengaluru. Furthermore, smaller partners do need to build expertise in setting up solutions. Also, almost all vendors in this space have fairly proprietary solutions, and have their own set of APIs, deployment rules and even storage systems. For example, if you really need to migrate applications to the Google Apps Engine, you need to be conversant with either Java programming or Python skills. For other vendors, there will be different skill sets. Another cause of concern, especially for smaller resellers, is that not all vendors currently offer billing in Indian rupee (though Google and Microsoft currently do so). So, there are several challenges for channel partners who do want to exploit the cloud. But for those who are able to manage the complexities, re-skill their people and convince their long-standing customers, there will be showers of blessings. n
Clear Credible Competent Consistent Compassionate Communicative Creative CRN CRN – the 8th C of Channel Marketing www.crn.in 40
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IPv6 Readiness What the channel need to know about the IPv6 transition n CRN Network
une 8 was the World IPv6 Day, an event in which some of the most recognizable technology companies in the world, including Google, Facebook and Akamai, offered content over the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) format for a 24-hour test flight. As solution providers, governments, enterprises and small businesses alike prepare for the transition from IPv4 to IPv6, they’ll need to determine whether their infrastructure is ready to make the transition—a big move that’s not only inevitable, but is creating opportunities for solution providers that can advise businesses on the transition. The opportunity for IPv6 in the channel isn’t a question; it’s the level of that opportunity that’s up for debate.
It’s not optional The short version of why IPv6 transition is happening is a matter of supply and demand. Internet Protocol Version Four (IPv4) has been the standard for formatting Internet addresses since its adoption in 1981, but its format enables 32-bit addresses. Therefore, there’s a limit to the supply of IPv4 addresses for addressable devices—nearly 4.3 billion—and thanks to astronomical growth in Internetconnected devices over the past decade, that limit is fast approaching. Technically, IPv4 address exhaustion has already happened: the last blocks of IPv4 addresses were allocated to the world’s Regional Internet Registries (RIR) in early February 2011. And in mid-April, the Asia Pacific Network Information Center released the last block of IPv4 addresses in its available pool, meaning that, effectively, the Asia Pacific region has run out of IPv4 addresses. Structurally speaking, IPv4 addresses are four sets of numbers ranging from 0 to 255, separated by periods, whereas IPv6 addresses are eight sets of four-digit hexadecimal numbers—a 128-bit address format that yields enough theoretical addresses that exhaustion will never be a problem.
IPv6 transisiton readiness Recent milestones for the depletion of IPv4 addresses,
A recent survey found that 80 percent of IT managers didn’t feel educated enough to tackle an IPv6 migration element, and half didn’t know which of their network elements supported IPv6 at present 42
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coupled with a stepped-up effort by vendors to market their products and services as IPv6-ready, have created plenty of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) around IPv6. The US government has set a steep deadline to get IPv6 ready. Last September, the US Federal CIO Vivek Kundra issued to a memo stating that all government agencies will have to upgrade public/external facing services to native IPv6 by the end of the 2012 fiscal year, as well as upgrade internal client applications that communicate with public Internet servers and supporting enterprise networks to operationally use native IPv6 by end 2014. All US agencies also need to designate an IPv6 Transition Manager, and ensure that all procurements of networked IT comply with the requirements for use of USGv6 Profile and Test Program for evaluating IPv6 readiness. But in the private sector, a recent survey from Infloblox found that 80 percent of responding IT managers didn’t feel educated enough to tackle an IPv6 migration element, and half didn’t know which of their network elements supported IPv6 at present. The interest in IPv6 is there, but the urgency is not. Says Chris Morales at Accuvant, an Internet solutions expert, “The news in Asia is that we’re out of IPv4 addresses. That’s a big deal—to Asia. North America doesn’t have the shortage of addresses that Asia has. For a lot of companies, as I talk to them, until someone makes them do it, there isn’t a big rush to do it. However IPv6 is your future, whether you like it or not, and that’s going to be true sooner rather than later. I think it will hit home with IT managers regardless of the mandates.”
Opportunities for solution providers Solution providers might be poking around wondering how they can monetize IPv6 assessment and IPv6 infrastructure upgrade opportunities. “I think the large majority of resellers have totally ignored V6,” says Scott Hogg, Member, IPv6 Task Force. “There’s really a lack of IPv6 knowledgeable resources at the reseller level. Although there is some chatter: those that hear a lot about it and say, ‘I want to get in on this.’ But there’s a small group that’s been doing it since 2000 or earlier, and have far more experience on IPv6.” At the very least, say IPv6 experts, solution providers can be in a position of knowledge—when customers ask “what do I do,” they can troubleshoot, offer advice, and craft assessments and professional services that can help customers smooth out their own transition, as well as answer questions about security. n
is your company
super achiever If your company has demonstrated business performance par excellence in FY2010-11, through a combination of innovations and smart strategies, nominate for Indiaâ€™s most coveted recognition in the IT channel space
Winners of CRN Xcellence Awards 2010
To download the nomination forms visit www.crn.in/awards Last date to send in your companyâ€™s nomination form is July 15, 2011
Leveraging their complementary skills and specialty-led growth strategy, Kamal and Sandeep Vahi are keen to take Compton Computers to greater heights n abhijeet mukherjee
elhi-based Compton Computers has evolved into a leading systems integrator by growing rapidly into new, specialized technology niches. Last year the company recorded `75 crore in topline, with several large and prestigious projects coming its way. With new capabilities and additional domain expertise, the company has now set its sight on becoming a `300-crore company by 2015. “Having built our capabilities in high-performance computing, particularly in the media and entertainment sector and data center solutions, we are now moving on to create our own cloud services. We have lined up some innovative solutions for retail and education sectors and have invested significantly in building expertise in new technologies. We believe this will provide us with the impetus to quadruple our turnover over the next four years,” says Kamal Vahi, Founder Director, Compton.
The journey Way back in 1993, Kamal Vahi, all of 23 years, started Compton along with his younger brother Sandeep. At that time Kamal, who had a technical bent of mind, was working with the R&D division of Vintron, while Sandeep was working with Magnum Enterprises, a distributor of Collier’s Encyclopedia in India. With an investment of `10,000 the duo began their venture. “In the early days, we assembled keyboard PCBs under our own brand and did well. Two years later we expanded into training students on animation software,” says Sandeep, Co-Director in the company. Word-of-mouth publicity about the quality of training attracted more students. Ex-students who wanted to purchase computers also came to Kamal for advice. That is when Compton started reselling PCs. “Initially the demand for PCs was from the students, and later their parents too helped us with orders from their offices. That’s how we got into the IT business in 1996,” recalls Kamal. By then the market for branded PCs was developing and the Vahi brothers decided to join hands with PCL. “In 1996, PCL launched an attractive and affordable scheme for their PCs to make it easier for consumers to own a PC. At a time when a PC cost `45,000 they offered it at `20,000. We became a PCL partner and made `3.5 crore in a quarter,” says Sandeep.
“In the early days, we assembled keyboard PCBs under our own brand and did well. Two years later we expanded into training students on animation software” 44
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Kamal Vahi and Sandeep Vahi
But this success was short-lived, as PCL, due to mismanagement, went bankrupt and had to shut down. However, having seen their hard work, HCL approached the Vahi brothers for partnership. “In a short span we became HCL’s top performing partner in the North. We introduced several new marketing concepts like monthly PC Carnivals. This increased sales and HCL became the number one PC brand in India,” claims Kamal. The Vahi brothers remember their second PC Carnival very vividly. “A gentleman by the name of Abhishek Tewari purchased a laptop from us and we built a strong rapport with him. Little did we realize that he was the Director of a leading media and entertainment company, Century Communications. He liked our approach to serving customers so much that he decided to source all his company’s requirements from us. Within a year of meeting him, we sold 200 desktops and 10 servers to his company. Today, he is one of our most valued client, and over the last 10 years we have done a total business of `40 crore with Century. One can say he introduced us to the world of corporate selling and systems integration,” says Sandeep. However, in 1999, Compton entered a low phase when Vahi’s father was diagnosed with renal failure and put on dialysis. The duo scaled down the company’s growth plans in order to take care of him. Compton’s fortunes turned in 2005 when the brothers
Role model 1993
Founded Compton Computers made PCBs
Signed up with PCL and sold PCs worth `3.5 crore in the first 3 months
Business growth suffered due to father’s illness
Bagged one of the biggest projects from Century Communications
started focusing on turnkey projects from SMBs. “After a lull of six years we decided to focus on the business with renewed vigor. We decided to touch `10 crore in revenues by 2006. We started getting projects for end-to-end solutions for data centers and server rooms. And we surpassed the projected revenues to clock `15 crore,” recollects Kamal. One project closest to the brothers’ heart is one that Compton executed in FY2007-08 for Century Communications. “We deployed a rendering farm of 250 blade servers and 350 graphic workstations with scalable storage on a 10Gbps backbone. Blade servers meant lower real-estate costs, lower cooling and power needs, and overall savings. The project amounted to a total of `20 crore,” says a proud Sandeep. From that point, there was no looking back. The company recorded `20 crore in revenues in FY2007-08, `34.67 crore in FY2008-09 and `59 crore in 2009-10.
Implemented an end-to-end IT infrastructure project for the largest post-production studio, Pixion
NHPC, the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, and Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd (TCIL). “We are really proud of the TCIL project, which included setting up of tele-medicine centers across Saarc countries. Once fully implemented, this project will ensure that all the countries in the region will be able to share medical knowhow. Besides, the best doctors in India will be able to treat patients even in remote villages,” says Kamal. In terms of size, Compton is today a 260-employee organization with a 8,500 sq ft head office in Delhi and two more offices in the city. It also has a presence in Chennai, Lucknow, Mumbai and Kolkata.
Compton targets revenue of `300 crore by 2015 and will focus primarily on providing innovative Deployed India’s first solutions to the media and state-level virtual university entertainment, education and retail segments. Posted a turnover of `74.8 “We have been specializing in crore providing mall management solutions Current business and have deployed it for two malls in In FY2010-11, Compton posted a Jalandhar. The solution captures footfalls, movements of turnover of `74.8 crore, a growth of 27 percent over the visitors to malls, their preferences, etc. Having deployed previous fiscal. Of this, 55 percent came from media and two projects, we will roll it out on a national level and we entertainment, 20 percent from education and 10 percent see significant opportunity,” says Kamal. from government. The rest was contributed by hospitality From this year onward, Compton will also focus on and retail. cloud computing and data storage. The company has Compton bagged several large projects during last developed and deployed an innovative solution for fiscal. These included: a `3-crore data center project an Italian chain of restaurants. The application allows for Hotel Crown Plaza in Delhi; Learning Management waiters to take orders on their PDAs and, through a server System (LMS) projects for Jamia Milia Islamia University connected over a Wi-Fi network, passes those inputs and Agrasen Engineering College–each worth `2.5 crore; simultaneously to the kitchen as well as the billing and a `2.5-crore data center project for BITS Pilani. counter. Compton intends to take this solution to other The company also deployed its own data center last restaurants in India as well. year to host a virtual university for Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak. “We are now cloud-ready, as we have our own data center. The virtual university project was Dual chemistry valued at `5 crore and we are 80 percent ready. Students One of the major success factors for Compton has been can have the feel of a university from the comfort of their that there are well-defined roles for both the brothers. home. They can search courses, check eligibility criteria, “Sandeep’s job is to drive growth of the sales team take admission and the entire course online by attending and closing large deals and thus keep the cash register virtual classes. Even the certificates would be available ticking, while my role is to identify new technology online,” explains Kamal. areas that will bring value to our customers and drive In the government sector, the company bagged many vendor alliances. Also, I look after the service and multi-crore infrastructure projects, including those from support business, which is a profit center for us and not a cost center,” says Kamal. In the words of Sandeep, Kamal’s strong logical “We built expertise in new technologies thinking allows them tight control operational costs while providing technically sound solutions to their clients. and solutions for sectors like education and With a sharp focus on its technology niches and wellretail. This will provide us the impetus to coordinated execution, Compton seems set to achieve its rather ambitious financial goals. n quadruple turnover over the next four years”
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tech focus Capable alternative to iPad For the serious Gmail user, Acer’s Iconia Tab A500 offers more seamless integration than iPad n Edward J Correia
ong battery life, a bright, 10-inch HD screen and full-size USB host port are hallmarks of Acer’s Iconia Tab A500, which the CRN Test Center has been evaluating for the last few days. Running Android 3.0.1 Honeycomb on a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 1 Ghz Cortex-A9 processor, Acer’s $449 entry into the Android tablet market is a worthy contender to Apple’s $499 iPad. If only it weren’t so darn heavy. One pound, 10 ounces might not sound overly burdensome, but try holding an Iconia with one hand for about 20 minutes while navigating with the other; it starts to weigh on the consciousness—and the wrist. And while the brushed aluminum casing is as easy on the eyes as on the finger tips, we might have added some rubberized accents to keep it sticky. Still, the Iconia A500 has a lot going for it. Its beautiful 10.1-inch WXGA TFT LCD capacitive screen offers multitouch capability, and is driven by an ultra low-power Nvidia GeForce GPU. The screen is highly visible from any angle up to about 80 degrees. Native resolution is 1280 x 800, support for 262,000 colors, and an aspect of 16:10; adequate for viewing HD 720p content. Later this year, a scheduled update will support 1080p output to the Iconia’s HDMI port. The Iconia A500 measures 10 x 7 inches and is onehalf inch thick, compared with the iPad’s one-third inch thickness. Apple also beats Acer on weight at one pound, five ounces. What does one receive for those extra five ounces? Starting with a full charge, we used the tablet on and off for about 18 hours, which consumed just 27 percent of the battery’s charge. Acer says that it’s two 3260 mAh Lithium Ion batteries will deliver about eight hours of continuous HD playback or 10 hours of Internet browsing. The iPad 2 has a single 2500 mAh battery (but extremely long life nonetheless). The differences between Android 3.0 and prior versions are many; some are glaring, others subtle. The first thing we noticed was that controls for Home, Back and Menu—which once had their own dedicated hardware buttons—are now implemented in software that apps can make disappear. This gives the Iconia bezel a clean, clutter-free look without gloaming up too much screen real estate. A new Android system bar, which has moved from the top of the screen in Android 2.3 to the lower righthand corner, makes quick work of adjustments to screen brightness, network connections, battery and Wi-Fi connection status, notifications and so on. There’s also a button that opens a redesigned settings control panel that takes full advantage of the larger screen. There’s another subtle change that we think will serve users better over time. When swooping between desktop pages, a light blue box appears to indicate the current
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page’s position relative to other pages. This builds on a feature introduced in Android 2.3 that flashes an orange bar when reaching the top or bottom of a scrolling list (in Honeycomb, it’s a more subtle blue). Acer’s Iconia A500 incorporates most of the hardware that’s required for a tablet these days, including front (2 megapixel) and rear (5 megapixel) cameras, dual microphones, Wi-Fi (b/g/n), 1 GB of dual-channel DDR3 system RAM plus 16 GB or 32 GB of eMMC flash storage, a headphone/microphone combo jack and stereo speakers. There’s also a GPS receiver, acceleromoter, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR (enhanced data rate). What’s also present and not always found elsewhere is an Micro SD card reader with support for up to 32 GB, a full-size USB 2.0 host (rectangular) connector, Micro USB 2.0 (slave) connector and a docking port. Acer includes several excellent apps with Iconia, including an eBook reader and three classic eBooks, a golfing game and one called Need for Speed: Shift (the latest version of EA’s excellent driving game), and a utility called Clear.fi, which permits file sharing and media streaming from Windows desktops and DLNAcompliant devices. When setting up the unit for the first time, prompts appear for selecting a network, opting in or out of Google’s anonymous data collection program, setting the date and time and for signing into and synchronizing with a Google account. There were just a few things we didn’t like about the Iconia A500. Foremost, there’s no way to charge the unit from either of its USB ports; it can only charge by using the included AC/DC adapter (with its cannon plug). We also had trouble navigating the many significant UI changes in the Honeycomb Gmail client and found ourselves unintentionally tapping the screen with unintended parts of the hand. Also, a flare in the case around the docking port causes the unit to teeter when stood up with this side down. On the whole, Acer’s Iconia A500 ($449 list) is a capable tablet with much to offer its intended audience of individuals and families for accessing e-mail, social networks entertainment and media; students for accessing learning apps, eBooks and courseware; and for business people to take written and spoken notes and for accessing company and client data and email while on the road. Options include 3G connectivity ($50), a full-sized Bluetooth keyboard ($70) and a docking/charging station ($80). For the serious Gmail user that’s looking for seamless integration with a tablet that’s cheaper than an iPad, the CRN Test Center recommends the Acer Iconia A500 tablet. n
With twice the processors of the 6970, AMD’s Radeon HD 6990 raises the bar on video graphics cards n Edward J Correia
n a world of 96-core servers, it takes a lot to wow us. And 3,072 stream processors comes close. That’s what’s inside the Radeon HD 6990, the latest video card from AMD that’s known in some circles as “the best video card you can buy.” And it ought to be. With not just one, but two DirectX 11-capable GPUs, 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory, 64 dedicated color raster operators (ROPs), another 256 z/Stencil ROPs (for shadowing) and an 830MHz clock speed, this board would win the prize for the most densely-packed video card available, if such a prize existed. If you’re familiar with the Radeon 6970, the 6990 doubles that spec. In fact, the board even has two BIOSes, permitting power-hungry users to toggle between a standard (factorysupported) BIOS of 375 watts of thermal design power (TDP) and 450 watts TDP and higher clock speeds. For all those video-game tweakers out there, it even lets you crank up the core speed to 880MHz. A dedicated video playback accelerator keeps the MPEG and Flash video action fast and furious, and support for dual-stream 1080p playback and HD3D, Blu-ray 3D and active shutter technology are just the beginning of its full immersion capability. What’s all that hardware doing? For one thing, it’s slinging pixels and texture maps around at speeds of up to 320GBps, and at resolutions up to 2560 x 1600. At that resolution, we were able to get a sustained rate of 60 frames per per second when running DIRT 3, the latest version of a driving game from Codemasters Software. The frame rate jumped to 90 fps at 1920 x 1080. For these tests, we set the multi-sample antialiasing (MSAA) to 4x and vertical sync was off. Testing was done on an Asus Crosshair IV motherboard with a six-core AMD Phenom II X6 processor, 4GB DDR 3
The board has two BIOSes, permitting powerhungry users to toggle between a standard factory-supported BIOS of 375 watts of thermal design power (TDP); and 450 watts TDP and higher clock speeds
memory in a two-channel configuration running 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate N. Frame rate was measured using Fraps 3.2.2 from Beepa. Like most video boards of this caliber, the Radeon HD 6990 requires a pair of extra PCI PEG eight-pin power connectors and it occupies a PCIe x16 and two card slots at the PC’s rear, one for its five outputs (four HDMI, one DVI-D) and another for heat exhaust (which topped out at 94 degrees after 24 hours of continuous use). Of course, the 9660 is compatible with AMD’s Eyefinity technology for connecting as many as five displays as if they were one.
Included with all Radeon graphics controllers is AMD’s Vision Engine Control Center, which provides control over all of the board’s settings for performance and user preferences. Among them is AMD Overdrive, which by default sets clock speed at 830MHz and memory at 1250MHz. The AMD control panel, which can be launched by right-clicking the desktop, also provides control over video settings such as edge enhancement, flesh tone correction and mosquito noise reduction, the latter of which is great for keeping things comfortable during those hot sticky nights in trenches. When state-of-the-art video control is called for, the Radeon HD 6990 is the recommended product by the CRN Test Center. The Radeon HD 6990 is priced at `46,000 plus local taxes, and is available with Rashi Peripherals and Aditya infotech. n
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channel buzz Winners of CRN Virtual Show announced
Virtual Channel Show The winners of the CRN Virtual Channel Show have been announced. The winners were selected through a lucky draw from among 603 partners who participated in the CRN Virtual Channel Show—India’s first virtual exhibition and conference—held on May 17-18, 2011. Participants of the virtual show became eligible for prizes based on their interaction-levels during the live show hours. For instance, participants received 350 points for attending a live conference session; while they received 100 points for visiting a virtual exhibition booth; 100 points each for downloading every whitepaper or viewing every video at the exhibitor booth; and 50 points each for exchanging their contact information via VCF card with every exhibitor and participant. Based on the score slabs, CRN conducted a lucky draw and picked the winners. The first prize of LG Cinema 3D monitor (MRP `16,500) was given to the lucky-draw winner from among all the participants who scored more than 15,000 points. Following are the winners of the 26 different prizes sponsored by the IT companies: LG Cinema 3D Monitor: Vipin Mittal, Kings International LG LED E90: Paresh Shah, PH Teknow LG LED E60 Stylish Monitor: Aejaz Bhat, Cyber City Tally ERP-9 Silver license (2 units): Sajid Attar, Leon Computers; and Anil Mohan Semwal, Lakshya Computer Services Kingston 30GB SSDNow (2 units): Prashant Rajurkar, Micropro Software Solutions; and Chetan Mandani, Aspen Infotech Kingston 4GB Server RAM (2 units): Manish Mishra, Computime; Deepak Kumar, Bay Datacom Solutions D-Link 3G Pocket Router (2 units): PN Prasad, Microplus Computers; Prakash PC, Futurenet Tech eScan single-user Internet Security license (15 units): Murari Somani, Soft Creation; Sanjeev Kaushik, Computer Vision; Rajesh KK, Zodiant Technologies; Taslim Ahmed, Bits & Bytes Computers, Ajay Sawant, Orient Technologies; Mahesh K Agrawal, Mainframe Computers; Nilesh Buchade, InfoCom Systems; Inderpal Singh, Aman Technologies; Shital Nahar, Nahar Integrated System Services; Rahul Deshlahra, Deshlahra Infotech; Manoj Surana, Surana Computer Links; Vishal Bindra, ACPL Systems; Murtaza Sapatwala, Reliable Enterprises; Kazi Russell, Spectrum Engineering Consortium; and Sushil Trivedi, Embee Software. n
n Team Intex with it’s premium partners and CMD Narendra Bansal (Center)
Intex completes partners meet Intex Technologies concluded its India Premium Distributors Meet. The annual meet was held in four stages covering key distributors from the four regions. Attended by 100 partners, it had sessions on product knowledge; new corporate identity which Intex has recently acquired and one-to-one interactions with heads of the company. The activity also involved a guided trip of the office premise. The participants were acquainted with the business plans, product road map, growth trigger points, opportunities and learnings from last year’s performance. n
n Winners of D-Link Premier League
D-Link partners celebrate DPL II Winners of D-Link’s annual partner program, D-Link Premier League (DPL II) were flown for a 4-day trip to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 53 partners from across the country qualified for this event which also included a day-long excursion to Samarkand, the cultural capital of Uzbekistan D-Link had rolled out DPL II, an exclusive three month nation-wide sale promotional program in October 2010. During the first season of DPL launched in 2009, 35 partners had qualified for the scheme and were rewarded with an exclusive trip to Hongkong. n
To feature your company’s events in CRN, send write-ups with photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org 52
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shadow ram GET
Silent about default
agercoil in Southern Tamil Nadu recently witnessed a major payment default by one of the city’s large sub-distributors who is also a member of the local channel association. The default is to the tune of `1 crore which by the size of Nagercoil market is huge. CRN tried speaking to a reseller in Nagercoil but he refused to comment as the person who has defaulted is a very influential member of the IT community. Those affected by the default are not willing to escalate the matter fearing backlash from other influential members connected with the defaulter. n
Making the most of the transition
“Would like to change the education system” Vikram Kalia, General Manager, Products, Intex India has over 17 years of experience in business development, strategic market planning and product marketing. He has earlier worked with Luminous Power, Neoteric, Thames Technologies, and Next Retail.
If not in the IT industry: I would have been in the Indian Army.
Biggest Passion: Driving. I would love to cover India on the wheels from Kanyakumari to Leh, and from Kolkata to Jaisalmer. Weekends are for: Relaxing and charging up. Mostly I spend time with my son playing PlayStation. Favourite holiday destination: Diu because of its zero crime rate. Hate the most: Bickering, and people with self righteous attitude. Favourite Movie: Action-oriented movies. Jackie Chan is my favorite star. Favourite Stars: Amitabh Bachchan. Role Model: My Parents, who taught me the importance of integrity and the value of simplicity.
ith most PC OEMs shipping the second-generation Core i products, notebooks with first generation processor lineup are being dumped in the market. In the volume market a full-featured dual-core notebook from leading brands is available at less than `18,000, and a Core i3 notebook is available at under `21,000. But consumers may not get this price, as most resellers are selling the products at the old market operating price and making huge profits. “The consumers are unaware of the transition from first generation processors to second generation. Most resellers are taking benefit of this and selling the notebooks at old prices, despite getting them at rock bottom prices,” said a reseller in Mumbai, adding that such platform transitions are often a good time for resellers to make money. Intel and PC OEMs are ramping up their marketing of the second-generation Core i and this will address the awareness gap sooner rather than later. n 54
Computer Reseller News
Ultimate ambition: To reach the highest level of meditation so that I can be one with the ultimate source of energy. Wildest thing I have ever done: Spent a night at a grave yard with my friends. If I became the PM: I would change the education system, and introduce severe laws against corruption. Celebrity I would like to spend a day with: Bill Gates. One person I would like to meet and why: Warren Buffet, to know where he gets his simplicity and humbleness from, to understand philanthropy, and how he identifies opportunities in difficulty situations. n
— CRN Network
RNI NO. MAH ENG/1999/635 Postal Reg. No. MH/MR/NORTH EAST/193/2010-2012 Posted at Patrika Channel Sorting Office, Mumbai Due Date 2nd, 3rd & 16th, 17th Of Every Fortnight