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contents

October 15, 2012 l Volume 1 Issue 24

Cover Story

protect & attack

24

With eight consecutive quarters of growth, Lenovo has moved to the top slot in the PC market, globally and in India. We analyze the strategy behind the company’s rise and whether it can sustain its market leadership

Cover Design : Yogesh Naik

NEWS Analyses

Channel Chief

Kaspersky increases focus on enterprises

8

Albion enters consumer business

8

Acer revamps GTM

10

Quantum pens vertical strategy

10

HDS takes EMC and NetApp head-on

12

TE bets on intelligent cabling

12

READ More

Kalyan Sridhar, Country Manager, Business Partners, IBM Software Group, speaks about partner opportunities in software and outlines the new channel strategy

18 Market Focus Not alone at home With crime increasing at an alarming rate, the demand for home safety and security devices has also risen. The market is estimated to be worth `300 crore in 2012

30 Role Model With a little help from grandpa Apurva Dave is the CEO of the `70 crore Innova Systems, a leading systems integrator in Gujarat. To think that it all began with a `50,000 loan from his grandfather

33

Editorial 14 Opinion

16

Feedback

16

Channel Buzz

37

New Products

38

Shadow Ram

42

Get Personal

42

6

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15/10/2012 www.crn.in

Tech Focus Issues eroding cloud confidence A new survey estimates it will take three years before cloud platform and infrastructure services experience a full growth stage

35


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starting line MUST

Kaspersky increases focus on enterprises

Albion enters consumer business

n ABHIJEET MUKHERJEE

Read

Delhi-based cloud provider, Albion Infotel, has entered the consumer business and is scouting for partners to set up a distribution network. The company recently launched Albion Secure, an antivirus for consumers, and Albion DataSafe, a cloud back-up and DR solution for home and SMBs. Albion Secure, priced at `699 for a single PC and `1,299 for a three-PC license, is an application-level firewall with Web filtering. While the consumer version of Albion DataSafe is available from `99 per month for 20 GB storage, the commercial version for 100 GB storage starts at `469 per month. The DR-as-aservice version is available at `2,499 per month for 500 GB. The company plans to sell 1.5 lakh licenses of Albion Secure in the current fiscal. “The product will be available online as well as through our partner network in India and abroad,” said Sanjeev Gupta, MD, Albion. Albion is targeting $600,000 from DataSafe, of which Sanjeev Gupta 40 percent will be from consumers and the rest from commercial entities. “We already have 600 consumers on DataSafe,” Gupta revealed. For its GTM the company will create a regional distribution network. “We are in an advanced stage of finalizing RDs for the north and west. We are currently scouting for RDs for the south, central and east regions,” added Gupta. Down the road Albion will have resellers for in-depth penetration. Informed Gupta, “For our consumer products we are looking for resellers who sell or want to sell software. For our commercial offerings we will engage with VARs.” For the overseas market Albion will announce a distributor for Canada in October, and will appoint distributors in the US, South America, UK and Australia in November. The company will spend about `40 lakh per month on marketing. n — Amit Singh 8

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K

aspersky Lab has increased its focus on the enterprise segment. The company plans to increase its enterprise revenue contribution from the current 20 percent to 30 percent in the next 12 months. “In terms of revenue contribution, the enterprise segment has grown from 5 percent in 2010 to 20 percent in 2012. We want to grow it further through our new enterprise product which is due for launch by Q12013. The product will put us on par with our competitors,” said Suk Ling Gun, Director, Corporate Sales, Kaspersky Lab, Asia Pacific. While the company is currently targeting domestic enterprise customers with less than 10,000 users, with the new product it will focus on large MNC enterprises with more than 10,000 users. Kaspersky won some deals for 1,000-6,000 users from large enterprise customers including Western Railways, Financial Technologies, Axis Technology, Jagati Publications, First Flight couriers and an Indian airline. The company has about 800 active resellers in India; it intends to increase this figure to 1,200 in the next 12 months. It also has 10 Focused partners—dedicated SIs and VARs—and plans to substantially increase this number too in 2012. “We have tiered the Focused partners into Platinum and Master Platinum partners. They have dedicated resources for Kaspersky, and share their business plans, GTM and revenue commitment with us,” informed Gun. To help its partners grow, the company has started the K Konnect partner program which is a platform to exchange industry insights with security leaders and leaders from multiple business domains in the spirit

“We are trying to implement the 60:40 rule where 40 percent of the partners will contribute 60 percent of the enterprise revenue” Suk Ling Gun

Director, Corporate Sales, Kaspersky Lab, Asia Pacific

of collaboration; the program is targeted at the Focused partners. The company will also launch the Kaspersky Lab Green Team partner program in the coming months to cater to its regular and Focused partners. Disclosed Gun, “We aim to be among the top three enterprise security players by 2014. We are trying to implement the 60:40 rule where 40 percent of our partners will contribute 60 percent of our enterprise revenue.” For SMB customers the company will launch the Kaspersky Small Office Security which will be available for 15 users with two file servers and 25 users with three file servers. “This product will provide a simple solution considering the lack of dedicated IT managers in SMBs,” explained Gun. “We will also price the product keeping in mind the price sensitivity of the segment. We have taken this step to fight piracy which is rampant in this segment.” On the marketing front Kaspersky plans to sponsor sporting events, chalk out new partner schemes, and conduct promotions for the education vertical. The company also intends to double its sales team in India which currently has four people. n


starting line MUST

Read

Quantum pens vertical strategy Storage vendor Quantum is searching for verticalspecific opportunities in data protection and big data to promote its de-duplication, back-up and archival solutions in India. “We see substantial opportunity across government sectors; large enterprises in entertainment, financial services, healthcare, media, PSUs, ITeS, manufacturing, seismic data processing, oil & gas, HPC and the mid-market,” stated Guna Sekaran R, the newly-appointed Country Manager, Quantum India. The company will leverage its StorNext scale-out storage virtualization software which is being globally used in industries such as oil & gas exploration, satellite imaging and research. “In an era when data growth continues at approximately 50 percent per annum, and companies are keeping data over an extended period, it becomes default to keep everything,” Sekaran said. “Our recently announced StorNext 4.3 software incorporates a new database, and supports up to one billion files and dozens Guna Sekaran R of petabytes of tiered storage for file systems and archiving.” Quantum, which has more than 85 of the Fortune-100 companies as customers, has over 1,000 successful deployments till date in India. Informed Sekaran, “We are a 100 percent channel company, and our business is addressed through the partners both in tier-1 and -2 markets.” The partners, the core of the company’s Quantum Alliance partner program, have access to technical support and sales documents, deal registration, sales promotions and incentives, and information about Quantum, research and survey documents, and online training and certification courses. The focus now is on involving the partner network for the big data opportunities. Sekaran said that “from in-depth technical training to online certification, Quantum supports its partners from end-to-end.” n — Sonal Desai

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Acer revamps GTM n RAMDAS S

A

cer India has restructured its distribution and GTM strategies in select product lines, recognizing changing buying patterns. The vendor intends to invest more in support centers, and is planning exclusive service outlets across the country. Other plans include revamping the product line around Windows 8, and launching tablets based on the new operating system. Last year Acer had dropped its emachines brand and repositioned it with the Gateway brand. “In an uncertain economy it was not viable to keep a bouquet of three brands,” said S Rajendran, CMO, Acer India. Over the last 12 months Acer has also made several changes to its distribution. It has national distributors such as Ingram Micro and Supertron Electronics selling almost all products under the Acer brand, while Redington sells all products except for the displays. Mumbaibased Savex has been roped in to sell displays. Its desktops see territorial exclusivity for distributors with the north and west zones managed by Ingram Micro while for the south and east it is Redington. The desktop business in UP is being managed by Supertron. Neoteric has been roped in to manage the options business. Gateway will be sold exclusively through Neoteric in Karnataka, J&K, Delhi and TN, while in the rest of the country it will be sold through Supertron. Iris Computers and Cyberstar have been signed to sell other products such as servers, and also to act as fulfillment partners for some of the orders. Meanwhile, Acer has merged the commercial and consumer desktop business under a new sales team called MOQ Desktops. Rajendran explained. “We saw that commercial resellers were selling our consumer

“We have merged the commercial and consumer desktop business under a new desktop sales team called MOQ Desktops” S Rajendran

Chief Marketing Officer Acer India

brand Aspire, while retailers were positioning Veriton, our commercial desktop, for the home market. We therefore took a call to bring the desktop business under a single sales engine, and this has helped us sell better.” He confirmed that Acer will exit the smartphone market even as competitors such as Lenovo and HP are planning to enter the space. “We find the returns in the smartphone business disproportionate to the amount of investment and management effort required. We are however betting on our Windows tablets which we will launch around Diwali.” Rajendran said that along with the Windows 8 launch the company will announce new notebook models. “We are considering a leap in the technology curve and selling more notebooks with touchscreens. We are working very closely with Microsoft to launch several notebooks and tablets that would be integrated tightly with Windows 8.” Rajendran said that Acer is thinking of further strengthening its support base by launching exclusive service outlets in select cities. The company has launched exclusive service centers in Delhi and Bengaluru, and by the end of the fiscal will launch more in Lucknow, Pune and Mumbai. n


starting line MUST

HDS takes EMC and NetApp head-on

TE bets on intelligent cabling

n JOSEPH F KOVAR

Read

Data centers and enterprise customers in the IT/ITeS segment will drive TE Connectivity’s intelligent cabling solutions in India. Said Mylaraiah JN, Country Manager, Technical & Marketing, Enterprise Networks, TE Connectivity India, “IT/ITeS companies spread over multiple buildings in large campuses have a huge number of cables to be managed across each floor. A simple change—such as transfer of people from one building to another—throws the process and workflow of that department into a toss. To counter this we recently introduced Connection Point Identification solutions where we have built a chip in each cable so that whether somebody plugs a cable or removes a cable from a port the ID does not change.” The transition of DCs from 10G to 40G or 100G is also increasing the demand for intelligent cabling solutions. “Plug-andplay solutions is the new trend. Customers need systems to be agile and reliable, and provide the best performance,” Mylaraiah added. Mylaraiah JN Another trend driving intelligent cabling is Fiber to the Home (FTTH) solutions. “We are doing many projects across the country,” Mylaraiah said. “It is all about convergence on a single fiber. 5-6 years down the line customers will start questioning the need for copper lines.” GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network), which is being used by Reliance Industries for its Jamnagar, Gujarat-based refinery, is also picking up. Customers such as IIT and Taj Hotels are looking at the technology. “Customers in the hospitality industry who want to offer video conferencing solutions to multiple guests are using GPON,” Mylaraiah said. According to him, new-age builders are also looking at GPON. He said many builders developing hi-tech apartments and villas in metro cities are currently investing in FTTH. “Some are also looking at GPON to offer converged services such as video, voice and data.” n — Sonal Desai

12

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H

itachi Data Systems (HDS) is directly attacking storage rivals EMC and NetApp with converged infrastructure solutions that tie its storage with a choice of Hitachi or Cisco servers and Cisco or Brocade networking technology. The new Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) is slated to be available in two versions, including a fullyintegrated version that directly competes with the VCE Vblock and a reference architecture that competes with EMC’s VSPEX and NetApp’s FlexPod offerings. It will also compete against IBM’s PureSystems and Oracle’s Exadata, said Ravi Chalaka, VP, Solutions Marketing, HDS. For enterprises running mission-critical applications, HDS developed the Hitachi UCP Pro, a solution which combines the enterprise-class Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) with Hitachi’s CB500 blade servers, Brocade networking technology, VMware vSphere virtualization software, and Hitachi’s UCP Director management software. The UCP Pro scales to up to 8,000 virtual machines, and UCP Director is tightly integrated in VMware’s vCenter software for the management and orchestration of both physical and virtualized servers as well as virtual desktops, Chalaka said. Like the converged infrastructure offering from VCE, the Hitachi UCP Pro is available only as a completely integrated solution. The second version is the Hitachi UCP Select reference architecture which can be integrated by solution providers either before shipping to customers or in the field. It offers a choice of the Hitachi VSP or the Hitachi Unified Storage unified storage platform, said Chalaka. Customers and their solution

“To offer Hitachi UCP solutions, partners will need certifications and skill-sets related to the customer’s choice of operating system, hypervisor and applications” Ed Parolisi

VP, Infrastructure Solutions, Global Partners & Alliances, HDS

providers can also choose from either Hitachi or Cisco UCS servers, Cisco or Brocade networking gear, and VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization technology, he said. Ed Parolisi, VP, Infrastructure Solutions, Global Partners & Alliances, HDS, said the Hitachi UCP solutions offer multiple opportunities for the company’s solution provider partners. While the Hitachi UCP Pro is completely integrated by HDS before shipping to customers, partners manage the final deployment at the customer site. With Hitachi UCP Select, solution providers can choose to build and deploy the solution, especially when Cisco servers are involved, as HDS is not reselling the Cisco servers, he said. According to Parolisi, to offer the Hitachi UCP solutions, partners will need certifications and skill-sets related to the customer’s choice of operating system, hypervisor and applications. However, HDS is adding a full suite of training including storage, servers, networking and software as part of its Hitachi Services Specialization Program, he said. Eight new Hitachi UCP Pro and Hitachi UCP Select solutions based on a variety of mission-critical operations are already available, with two more slated to be ready to ship later this month. n


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edit opinion Can Lenovo stay ahead? dhaval valia

L

enovo’s success in the PC market over the past two years has been commendable, and worth a case study of what a well-crafted and well-executed strategy can do for a company. The Protect & Attack is the oldest and the most fundamental technique in chess. Identifying what to protect and how to protect is the key to this strategy. Lenovo’s Protect & Attack strategy has been about securing its existing markets and geographical strengths while attacking new markets. Lenovo protected its home turf in China while it attempted to capture high-growth emerging markets. In the US, where it was strong in the enterprise segment owing to the IBM ThinkPad business, it went after the consumer business where it literally had no business. The 2-pronged strategy has worked wonders for Lenovo. Globally it has moved to the top slot in PC market. In India too the company has witnessed a straight 8-quarter growth which has resulted in its market share rising from 7.1 percent in Q22010 to 17.1 percent in Q22012. This is partly because Lenovo has done well in the retail segment. Emulating its strategy in the Chinese market, the company today has more than 800 Lenovo stores, small and big, in the country. In China it has a network of more than 15,000 retail outlets. Its concept of LESLite is unique, enabling even smaller players to become exclusive retail partners. Though Lenovo has executed its strategy well, it has also been helped by its competitors—HP’s flip-flops over its PC business, and Dell’s ambition to build its enterprise business. The other reason for its rise on the market share ladder has been its dominance in China which toppled the US to become the world’s largest PC market last year. Lenovo has more than one-third market share in China. Getting to the top may be tough, but staying there is tougher. Just two years ago Acer climbed to the No 2 global PC maker slot; today Acer has slipped to the No 4 position. Dell is another example; the company failed to maintain its leadership and has dropped to third place. By Lenovo India’s MD, Amar Babu’s own admission, the PC business has become cut-throat and profitability has eroded. Many partners allege that Lenovo has amassed volumes at the cost of their profitability, which, if true, is neither prudent nor sustainable. However, Babu says that Lenovo’s strategy is sustaining at the top. It will be interesting to see how Lenovo manages to do this. Everyone will be watching. n

E-mail CRN Executive Editor Dhaval Valia at dhaval.valia@ubm.com 14

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Volume 1, Issue 24

Managing Director Printer & Publisher Associate Publisher & Executive Editor Group Commercial Director Contributing Editor Assistant Editor Principal Correspondent Senior Correspondent

: : : : : : : :

Sanjeev Khaira Kailash Pandurang Shirodkar Dhaval Valia Salil Warior Ramdas S Sonal Desai Abhijeet Mukherjee (Mumbai) Amit Singh (Delhi)

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edit opinion Microsoft’s case of Apple envy ROBERT FALETRA

A

pple’s playbook centers on looking at the market and finding product categories which are proven but can be exploited with significantly better execution. It was not first to music players; Sony was. It was not first to the cellphone market; dozens of others beat it there. It was not first to the tablet; Amazon beat it in the category. But in each and every category it brought a product to the market that was so superior it left competitors without a ride home from the dance. In essence, Apple shows up late to the prom but understands that when you do you have to be prettier than everyone else. In October Microsoft is finally coming to market with an operating system that is optimized for the tablet. The challenge is that it is not only late on this one, it is going to have to compete against Apple which takes a verticallyintegrated approach where it controls every element of the products it builds. Despite the odds being in Apple’s favor, I believe that in the enterprise, Windows-based tablets will do very well and have a high likelihood of being bigger than Apple. Microsoft’s channel is going to make tablets from Lenovo, HP, Samsung and a host of others successful because it has the relationships and Windows will integrate better with the network. For reasons of security and compatibility, Windows based-tablets have an advantage—plus Apple does not yet have a large value-added channel and Microsoft does. But Microsoft has a serious case of Apple envy these days and has convinced itself it can copy Apple’s model and effectively compete. Trouble is, Microsoft cannot seem to envision how to do what Apple does better. An Apple store to Microsoft store comparison is an example—just look at the traffic in any Apple store and compare it to a nearby Microsoft store. One problem Microsoft has is it cannot provide the level of support that Apple does via its Genius Bar because Windows is just an operating system and the rest of the product is built by someone else. In addition, the number of apps that are available on the Win tablet is and will be woefully behind iOS for the foreseeable future. In the end, Microsoft has a very real shot of beating Apple in the enterprise space because of its channel and that of its OEMs. It is in the consumer space where Microsoft’s hurdles are higher and its leverage points far lower. Two years from now I am betting Windows tablets have high penetration in the business world and low penetration in consumer. n Email Robert Faletra at robert.faletra@ec.ubm.com 16

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HP services

The parallel debate

Mike Nefkins, Acting Head, HP Enterprise Services actually gets it. He understands that 10+ years of disinvestment in services, as well as an army of slimy sales people (who only cared about revenue...not about the fact that they were selling services below cost), have dug a very deep hole for HP. Unfortunately, Meg Whitman, CEO is hinging the turnaround on some sort of ‘demand management’ crap that is being sold to her by McKinsey. Services are delivered by people (she only needs to look at voice of the workforce survey over the last 8 years). They need to re-invest in the people who deliver the services. The services profit cycle cannot be re-started unless there is an engaged and motivated workforce behind it.

The coverage of parallel imports is praiseworthy and has cleared the confusion created by the vendors on legal and ethical grounds. It is clear that parallel imports are legal in India, and the recent decision by the Delhi High Court against Samsung has made things crystal clear. The debate remains on the ethical aspects. But seeing the kind of hefty margins the vendors are making by implementing differential pricing on account of warranty and support, the ethical debate also falls flat. Whoever is talking about ethics against parallel imports must first teach ethics to vendors. The whole concept of parallel imports is generated because of huge price differences between markets. Vendors must think about bridging the price differences.

Tunny Vandalay via email

Sushil Tomar via email

Send your feedback at editor@ubmindia.com or post your views on www.crn.in

Advertiser Index Company name

Smartlink Smartlink Emerson HP-IPG Compuage-Odyssey Rashi HP-PSG K7 Schneider HP-IPG Dell Symantec NEC IFSEC Trend Micro Quick Heal Asus Biz Dell EMC

Page No Web site

1 www.digisol.com 2 www.digisol.com 4 emersonnetworkpower.com 5 www.hp.com 7 www.compuageindia.com 9 www.rptechindia.com 11 www.hp.com/in/notebooks 13 www.k7computing.com 15 www.SEreply.com 17 www.hp.com 19 www.dell.co.in 21 www.getnorton.com 23 www.nec.com/expresscluster 31 www.ifsecsouthindia.com 39 www.trendmicro.co.in 40 www.quickheal.com 41 www.asus.in 42 www.indiaantivirus.com 43 www.dell.co.in 44 www.emc.com

Sales Contact

helpdesk@digisol.com helpdesk@digisol.com marketing.india@emerson.com in.contact@hp.com odyssey@compuageindia.com feedback@rptechindia.com in.contact@hp.com enterprisesales@k7computing.com in-care@schneider-electric.com in.contact@hp.com dell.co.in/vostro anupam@fortune-it.com enquiries@necindia.in pankaj.jain@ubm.com avneet.kaur@trend-micro.in info@quickheal.co.in www.asusservice.com sales@indiaantivirus.com dell.co.in/vostro VSPEXIndia@emc.com


channel chief “We protect business interests of our partners” Kalyan Sridhar, Country Manager, Business Partners, IBM Software Group, speaks to Ramdas S about partner opportunities in aligning with Big Blue’s software business and outlines the new channel strategy What are the different product lines of IBM Software? We now broadly address around eight major segments and nearly 100 sub-segments within the enterprise software space. Under the IBM Software umbrella there are several brands such as Rational which is positioned for application lifecycle management and Tivoli which is used in enterprise asset lifecycle management. We also have many other solutions.

The general perception is that IBM Software is meant only for large enterprises. Why should channels be interested? On the contrary, we feel that every SMB customer and above has the potential to buy some software or the other from our portfolio. This is precisely the reason why we have invested in channels.Four to five years back 80 percent of our revenue was perhaps direct, and the rest was through some select partners, including many of the national or global SIs. From there we have come a long way. In some quarters the contribution from channels has been as high as 70 percent.

Your channel policy is said to be very stringent. How does a partner become an IBM Software partner? We are fairly protective of the business interests of our channel partners, so to become an IBM Software Value Plus Partner, a partner needs to show commitment. The partner needs to attain certifications depending on the tools or the market segment he chooses to address. We insist on two certified engineers and one certified presales professional as a mandate for each product line. Our distributors (Ingram, Redington, Avnet) sell only through authorized partners, and we are not overrepresented. Most of our partners are specialized in one or two products from our portfolio though there are exceptions to the rule. If a new partner sees an opportunity in working with us we do give that partner an option to go through certifications and be an authorized partner. If the partner

“Leads of less than $100,000 are passed on to channels. Larger accounts are managed by IBM, but billing on licenses and services is routed through a partner in many cases” 18

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is not interested and wants to treat the opportunity as a one-off case he works with an existing partner on that opportunity. At IBM India all potential leads that are valued at less than $100,000 are passed on to channels. Accounts where the annual billing could be larger than $100,000 are managed directly by IBM, but billing on licenses and services is routed through a partner in many cases.

But are you expanding the channel? Yes. We are on the lookout for new partners for unrepresented areas especially in the smaller cities and towns as part of our geo-expansion drive. We are also on the lookout for partners who can address specific verticals and specific product lines in some of the large cities.

You say you are offering some of the best margins in the industry. Is that correct? Theoretically a partner is well-positioned to earn up to 60 percent of the license value if he participates in all the programs, achieves the committed targets, and avails all incentives. This is one of the highest, if not the highest, margins in the industry. The Software Value Incentive program for partners— whereby the partners are rewarded for identifying and selling to customers on their own—fetches the partner 20 percent additional rebate apart from the normal rebate on sales. The Business Partner Led Market (BPLM) incentive provides partners with a flat 8 percent margin on their first sale in the BPLM territories which are about 27 cities. In case they meet their targets they get an extra 7 percent. If the partner is also an IBM STG partner he gets an additional 15 percent as part of IBM’s Solution Accelerator Incentive program. We also have three national distributors who occasionally run their own incentive programs which the partner can tap into.

What about services revenue? Globally, a dollar in terms of license revenue brings in 3-4 dollars of services revenue. In India I would be very conservative to put that figure at a dollar to a dollar. We have been encouraging our partners to build services revenue. These could be training, deployment, consulting, customization or development. We do have partners who have built services revenue that is comparable to the license revenue. n


special focus

What’s up in UPS?

Projects which were deferred during the economic downturn are now taking off, generating demand for UPS solutions. We could be looking at an $828 million market by FY2017-18 n AMIT SINGH

A

ccording to Frost & Sullivan, India’s UPS (uninterruptible power supply) market was worth $528.5 million in FY201011 and is estimated to reach $828.2 million by FY2017-18. “The size of the India UPS market in 2011 was about `3,500 crore; this included both the commercial and consumer segments,” says Arunabh Ghosh, Head, Channel Sales, Socomec UPS India. “Of this, the commercial segment accounted for `1,500 crore to `2,000 crore.” F&S says that several projects which were deferred during the economic downturn are now getting off the ground, generating demand for UPS and power solutions. “UPS and power solutions are finding application in telecom, manufacturing, BFSI, mining and marine. The penetration of the IT/ITeS sector in tier-2 and -3 cities, and the computerization initiatives in various government departments will also be a key,” says Jayabalan Velayudhan, Director, Strategy & Business Development, IT Business India, APC by Schneider Electric.

DCs paving the way According to Velayudhan, “The main growth of UPS is expected in hosting and application-providing services, where large DCs will fulfill the growing needs of consumers looking for cloud services. Such installations will need high efficiency, compact and scalable solutions such as modular or rotary UPS systems in order to decrease costs and space, and enable future expansion.” “About 40-45 percent of the DC cost goes into UPS,” informs Haresh Gada, Director, Network Techlab, Mumbai.

The SMB push While 90 percent of Indian SMBs are currently not using servers of any kind, 78 percent report that they plan to

“SMBs are expected to spend `80,000 crore on IT by 2015. UPS, being a back-bone of IT infrastructure will see greater acceptance” Jaya Shetty

Director, Grid Power Conversion 20

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add hosted servers in the next 3 years. “SMBs are expected to spend `80,000 crore on IT by 2015. UPS, being a backbone of IT infrastructure, will see greater acceptance,” says Jaya Shetty, Director, Grid Power Conversion. “The size of the UPS market for SMBs is estimated at `500 crore-600 crore,” says Suhas Joshi, Director, Delta Power Solutions. “The SMB customer uses UPS ranging from 1-10 KVA 1-phase input/1-phase output to 40 KVA with 3-phase input/1phase or 3-phase output.” Adds SR Nautiyal, MD, Spark Technologies, “The deal size from SMBs is small, from `3 lakh to `20 lakh, but the number of projects is many. Many mid-market customers with branch locations and 300-800 employees are opting for value-added services.”

Growth drivers Due to the increasing demand for requirement analysis, power savings and performance reports, the UPS industry is advancing toward providing various value-added services such as power quality audit, thermograph surveys and remote monitoring services. “Remote monitoring is the most popular facility being adopted by DCs,” says Gada. “It is in demand from enterprises and mid-market customers.” UPSs now come with in-built communication devices for remote monitoring to avoid additional resources at branch locations. “Besides, they offer daily status reports on power loads, humidity and temperature, as well as fire alarms, remote shut-downs and SMS notifications,” points out Ankesh Kumar, Director, Channel Products & Marketing, Emerson Network Power. Adds Velayudhan, “With the anticipated growth in small towns because of the expansion of the IT/ITeS sector to tier-2 and -3 cities, we expect a lot of customers to focus on remote management in the 8-40 KVA space.”

Green UPS Power is becoming more critical by the day, hence companies are committed to using energy productively and efficiently. “Customers are adopting green UPS technology which offers higher efficiency of up to 90-92 percent against the normal 80-88 percent,” says Kumar.


special focus “We have done 20 projects in solar UPS. While 1 KVA of conventional UPS cost about `30,000-40,000, in a solar solution it can cost `3 lakh-5 lakh”

“Partners have understood the flaws associated with Chinese and Taiwanese boxes. They are not keen to put their reputation at stake”

Haresh Gada

J Velayudhan, Director, Strategy & Business Development, APC by Schneider Electric

Director, Network Techlab

“High efficiency is achieved through double conversion topology,” explains Shetty. “Green UPS not only requires less power but also enhances cooling power thereby reducing air-conditioning requirements and extending the life of UPS components and batteries. A transformerless design adds to the green concept.” Gada says that almost 30 percent of customers are now opting for green UPS technology.

Modular UPS Modular UPS systems are gradually gaining prominence and replacing conventional ones primarily due to their hot-swapping features and the flexibility they offer in terms of redundancy. Details Shetty, “Modular UPS maximizes the efficiencies of parallel UPS systems at low load levels without compromising on reliability. This technology allows engineers and facility managers to get the best possible performance from their UPS while reducing financial and environmental costs.” Adds Prarthana Gupta, CEO, Cache Technologies, “Modular UPS is in demand in DCs of large enterprises.”

Rack-mounted UPS Thanks to its space advantages, rack-based UPS is readily finding acceptance in the branches of large enterprises, banks, and the retail and logistics segments. “Almost 18 percent of our UPS sales comprise rack-based UPS,” discloses Kumar. “It offers back-up of 5-10 minutes which can be stretched to 1-2 hours with extended batteries. Many of the SMBs are opting for rack-based UPS because they have limited space for the UPS.” “Rack-mounted UPS is best suited for high-density computing environments,” explains Nautiyal. “Capacity can be expanded by combining modules in a buildingblock fashion for redundant back-up power from a single rack enclosure. Internal batteries provide the ride through power until an auxiliary power source takes over.”

Solar UPS Solar UPS enables companies to reduce their carbon footprints, save on electricity bills, and reap excellent ROI. Says Kumar, “Customers in rural areas are showing interest in solar-chargeable UPS. However, the additional investment in solar panels is restraining higher uptake.” With attractive ROI, UPS with solar charging is in demand in departmental stores. “Although the initial investment is high, it provides savings on electricity bills. For a big project a solar solution may give a ROI in 5-7 years, which may go up to 10-14 years in small projects,”

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details Gada. “We have done about 20 projects in solar UPS. While 1 KVA of conventional UPS cost about `30,000-40,000, the same configuration in a solar solution can cost `3 lakh-5 lakh.”

End-to-end solutions Vendors are consolidating their offerings. Their portfolio includes DC management software, KVM, infrastructure management appliances and power distribution units. Some UPS companies like to be perceived as packaged power solutions providers. In the process they are acquiring companies which complement their offerings. Earlier this year the French group Legrand acquired Numeric to leverage Numeric’s robust sales and service network for its UPS business. Emerson acquired Avocent for its power management software and to broaden the capabilities of Emerson’s DC equipment business. Schneider acquired APC and Luminous, and now offers combinations such as APC UPS coupled with APW racks, APC Netshelter racks, Uniflair cooling solutions, advanced software solutions and energy management solutions.

Challenges While IT players observed delayed investments in IT infrastructure projects through 2011 and the current year for most segments, they have not felt the impact of the slowdown in manufacturing, education and BFSI. “Telecom, which was a big contributor for UPS and power solutions, has been slow this year, but the situation is likely to improve once fresh 2G auctions happen,” says Dipesh Mangla, Director, Computers Network & Telecom. Another challenge is mounting input costs due to the rising dollar. Due to this, many UPS vendors have increased their prices. Fumes Rajesh Barbhai, Director, Modular Electronics, Pune, “Prices have increased by 15-20 percent in the last six months. Our margins have shrunk to 2-3 percent, against 8-10 percent.” To make matters worse, the competition is intensifying, with barriers to the entry of new participants, especially in the up to 20 KVA power range, becoming lower. This is further complicated by cheap imports from China and Taiwan. “In our estimate there are more than 500 brands of entry-level UPS systems currently available in India,” says Velayudhan. “However, over time, the partners have understood the flaws and pains associated with Chinese and Taiwanese boxes in areas such as service and product quality. Now they are not very keen to support these short-lived vendors and put their reputation at stake in the market.”n


cover story

With eight consecutive quarters of growth, Lenovo has moved to the top slot in the PC market, globally and in India. We analyze the strategy behind the company’s rise and whether it can sustain its market leadership n RAMDAS S

A

ccording to research agency IDC India, from just 4.8 percent in Q12009 Lenovo’s market share climbed to 17.1 percent in Q22012. For the record, Lenovo became the No 1 PC maker in Q12012. Research analysts confirm that Lenovo edged past its competition as a result of winning a tender in October 2011 from Elcot to supply 300,000 notebooks. Lenovo has shipped around 80,000 notebooks each over the first two quarters of the year for the Elcot order which has boosted its market share. Amar Babu, MD, Lenovo India, who will complete five years at the helm of affairs in November, differs. “Every major PC maker gets the benefit of a few deals of large sizes. If you ignore such deals across all major vendors we will still be a market leader.” For Babu, success has been sweet considering the various trials the team had gone through over the past three years. He is candid enough to admit that he did not expect almost all strategies to click. “Frankly, there was little that was inspiring in Q12009. Our market share had hit an all-time low, we had a perception problem among customers and channels, there were huge rebate claims from partners, and we also had the challenge of aging inventory.” The Lenovo management took some hard calls. “We decided to clean up the mess and start with a fresh slate. We cleared almost all partner claims of rebates and other issues. We decided to take a call on the inventory,” says Babu. The biggest move was to draw inspiration from China. “Our leadership in China suggested that we look at the strategies they employed since they saw several similarities between India and China. That is how we launched our regional distributor (RD) strategy and Lenovo Exclusive Stores (LES),” he continues. However, India is different from China in many ways, and each strategy had to be tweaked to Indian market conditions. Adds Rajesh Thadani, Director, Consumer & Home Business, Lenovo India, “China has a PC market which is almost seven times that of the Indian PC market. In China we operate 12,000 LES stores. In India smaller towns cannot do justice to a larger footprint speciality store, and that is how we came up with the idea of LESlite, a smaller footprint store.” Another move which helped Lenovo India to get its priorities right was the relocation to India of a number of executives from

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cover story “Margins have hit an all-time low, and cost of managing an account has gone up. This is certainly a point of major concern for most Lenovo relationship partners”

“SIs use PC business as an entry point, and hope to make margins in enterprise hardware or service. Unlike competition Lenovo doesn’t eye partner’s services pie”

Prarthana Gupta,

Rahul Agarwal

CEO, Cache Group

Executive Director, Commercial Business

Lenovo’s biggest gains over the past three years have been in the relationship business. According to IDC India’s PC market tracker, Lenovo’s relationship business grew from a 17.1 percent market share in Q22010 to 33 percent in Q12012. IDC says that Lenovo was the only vendor which saw quarter-on-quarter growth during this period. The Protect & Attack strategy is at the crux of Lenovo’s success in the relationship business. The PC maker has been traditionally strong in the enterprise market, a legacy of acquiring IBM’s PC division and the Think brand. “We recognized that the enterprise business is where we stood the best chance, and we have left no stone unturned to strengthen our leadership. Our game plan for the past three years has been to protect the relationship business and attack the businesses where we were traditionally weak—the consumer and the SMB,” explains Babu. Many partners feel that some of the gains have been at the cost of partner margins. “There’s no doubt that Lenovo has evolved into a very aggressive vendor. However, margins have hit an all-time low, and the cost of managing an account has gone up. This is certainly a point of major concern for most relationship partners,” says Prarthana Gupta, CEO, Cache Group, Delhi. There was further confusion earlier this year when Lenovo announced a policy of removing rebates on certain large orders. Some partners complained that they made virtually nothing on order values exceeding

3 crore due to the change in policy. Counters Rahul Agarwal, Executive Director, Commercial Business, Lenovo India, “We have not really slashed rebates. There are certain orders we call ‘no backhand deals,’ which is a technical term used for very low margin transactions which were earlier accounted for as part of the overall business. Partners used to claim rebates on such orders too, which was questioned by our finance team. To rectify any possible loss of revenue for channels we have restructured the model so they make more overall. However, we admit that many partners did not understand the realignment.” Not many partners are convinced with this explanation. They also allege that the PC vendor has gained market share because it has cut many direct deals that cut out channel partners. Agarwal refutes this. “Eighty percent of our business is channel-driven. We have around 200 global accounts with rate contracts where we are contractually obliged to bill direct. This includes accounts such as IBM which buys Lenovo for both internal use and for projects. Outside this, for every transaction, there’s channel involvement. In some cases, for logistic reasons, customers demand direct billing. Even in such cases we involve partners at several stages including delivery, deployment and support, and they get compensated adequately.” As an example he mentions the Elcot order, where a channel partner, Origin Computers, is involved in inspection, delivery, installation, demonstration, post-sales support and collection of payments.

Lenovo has steadily grown its market share for past eight quarters

Lenovo’s biggest gains have been in the Relationship Business. In Q12012, it sold one out of three clients

China to help the Indian managers get their act correct.

Protecting strengths

2012 Q2

17.1%

2012 Q1 15.8%

2012 Q2

32.5%

2012 Q1 33.0% 2011 Q4

2011 Q4

23.3%

13.4% 2011 Q3

2011 Q3

12.1% 2011 Q2

24.9% 2011 Q2

10.6%

2011 Q1

17.7% 2011 Q1

10.0%

17.8%

2010 Q4

2010 Q4 10.3%

2010 Q3 2010 Q2

21.8% 2010 Q3

9.2%

2010 Q2

7.1%

20.9% 17.3%

Source: IDC India

Source: IDC India

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25


cover story Both Agarwal and Babu are clear that there is little the vendor can do as far as margins are concerned. “The PC industry is driven by market dynamics, and margins have been coming down across vendors, across segments. It’s in the public domain that Lenovo’s gross margin is 11-12 percent depending on the quarter, and our net margins have been just 1.5 percent globally,” says Babu. Agarwal explains why channels feel that the vendor is cutting more direct deals. “We have almost doubled the revenue and market share from the relationship business over the last two years. Many partners have not grown that much, hence it’s possible for them to speculate that we are cutting more direct deals. The truth of the matter is that we have signed on more partners, especially in verticals such as education and government, and have improved relations with national SIs.” He is also quick to drive home a truth about margins. “We still have some partner or other coming forward and saying they are willing to work at a single percent or in some cases at no margins. At the same time we have partners who are saying no to an order for lack of margins. Many systems integrators use PC business as an entry point to engage with customers, and hope to make their margins in other enterprise hardware or

services. Unlike two of our major competitors, you can rest be assured Lenovo won’t eye your services pie.” In December 2011 Lenovo took a call to restructure its relationship business according to verticals as in Global Accounts (GA), Very Large Enterprise (VLE), Large Enterprise (LE), Education and Government, appointing heads for each business. The company also removed the regional structure of channels for the commercial business. “We have around 200 GA, 1,600 accounts in VLE, 2,400 in LE and 4,000 in Education, and this number might grow only marginally. We obviously cannot go after the whole pie, but we will try to service these accounts better with more proactive partner alignment.”

Attacking weaknesses In 2009 Lenovo recognized the consumer and SMB segments as its weak spots and worked on multiple strategies to build its strength in these segments. “The consumer PC market was booming, and in Q12009 our market share was less than 3 percent. We lacked practically on all counts—products, partners and positioning,” recalls Babu. In July 2009 Lenovo launched its regional distribution strategy, appointing close to 60 partners across the country. Informs Babu, “We launched as

Amar Babu, MD, Lenovo India, clarifies vital issues There is a perception among a crosssection of the channel that you have become inaccessible. I wonder how such a perception has come about. The only reason I can gather is my absence from a couple of channel events due to some travel plans. I thought most partners knew my handphone number, and I still speak with partners even at 11 in the night. That aside, we have three executive directors with their own teams of channel managers handling various business units. Still, if a partner feels there is an issue which needs my attention he is welcome to escalate it to me. Many partners feel that rebates have been slashed because Lenovo made losses on the Elcot order. A large order such as Elcot is a separate P&L account at Lenovo India. Any kind of numbers in that balance sheet does not influence decisions in the regular business. It is coincidental that we announced the rebate changes around the time we started making supplies for the Elcot deal. That would have led to such perceptions; however, there is no truth in it. In the next few years we will see bigger tenders which will almost certainly be very low margin deals. Lenovo will try to participate in such deals; the participation will be subject

to specifics at that point of time, and will not in any way influence business decisions regarding channels. How would you improve partner profitability? The PC market is evolving, and we are moving to an era where PCs will co-exist with other devices. The margins are depleting for both the vendor and the channel. There is little Lenovo or any other vendor can do about margins since it is market dynamics. We are already seeing some of our competition adding more services and in fact competing with channels. Today, Lenovo is selling PCs; tomorrow we may sell smartphones, storage, servers, etc. But we will always remain a product company, and we will leave the services revenue to our partners. This is our assurance to our partners. Are you buying HCL Infosystems? This is speculation and we do not comment on speculation. That aside, we will never shy away from an acquisition or a strategic investment if we see value in it. Lenovo has made several acquisitions over the past few years. Remember, we started the business in most parts of the world following the IBM PC acquisition. n

I thought most partners knew my handphone number, and I still speak with partners even at 11 in the night

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cover story “RDs are the lifeline of our retail business. And the relationship is symbiotic. If Aegis—an exclusive RD for Gujarat—catches a cold, we catch a fever”

“We measure each campaign, and learn from the successes and failures. We decided to spend hard on All-in-One PCs. Today it has 50 percent market share”

Rajesh Thadani, Director, Consumer & Home Business, Lenovo India

Shailendra Katyal

Director, Marketing, Lenovo India

many as 50 new models targeting consumers in 2009, and kept refreshing the models 2-3 times a year from then onward. Slowly the numbers started growing, and we had better predictability of stock.” Despite pressure from peers such as Dell and Acer which continued high- decibel ads in print, Lenovo remained subdued from 2009 to 2011. “We believed in slow, steady and organic growth. We identified retail as the GTM, and set the target of launching LES stores, and then the smaller footprint LESlite stores. Towns beyond the top 30 cities cannot be reached through the print media alone; it’s a market where customers prefer to walk in, see the product and buy,” says Thadani. In the initial days the regional distribution strategy had its own hiccups; there were multiple RD partners in a territory, and they were dropping on price. However, with the launch of LESlite stores which were funneled through RDs, the volumes through RDs picked up. From less than 100 stores in 2009 to 1,000 stores by March 2012, Lenovo plans to add 300 more stores by the end of the current fiscal. “We have today reduced the number of RDs to 43. We have given exclusive territories and a list of LESlite stores for each RD to support. An RD is free to do business with another brand, but we do not have two RDs in a territory.” adds Thadani. Thadani says that RDs are the lifeline of the consumer and retail business today. “More than 800 LESlite stores depend on the 43 RDs. In some states such as Gujarat we have nearly 100 LESlite stores. And the relationship is symbiotic. If Aegis—an exclusive RD for Gujarat—catches a cold, we catch a fever.”

Lenovo focused on depth and breadth, and set up the 1,000 stores across 600 towns and cities. The company will now add a second store in some towns and cities, but to prevent as far as possible competition between the two retailers, the first chance of starting the new store will be given to the existing owner of an LES or LESlite. Lenovo has also launched a program called 2XRP, which stands for Double Retail Productivity. “It’s easy to add more stores to our platform, but it’s more important to see that the existing stores make money. Apart from massive spends in the electronic media, and below-the-line activities in the catchment area of each store, we are investing in training, lead management and CRM for employees of the stores,” explains Thadani. To manage the 2XRP program Lenovo has around 30 in-house channel managers and retail managers, and around 60 outsourced retail managers. Since last year Lenovo has been aggressive on national television, and recently signed on actor Ranbir Kapoor as its brand ambassador. Shailendra Katyal, Director, Marketing, Lenovo India, estimates that the company is today the secondlargest spender (after Dell) on marketing among IT companies. Says Katyal, “We measure each campaign, and learn from the successes and failures.” He adds that some of the company’s bets have worked very well in the past. “The classic example is the all-in-one PC. We decided to go hard and spend on marketing, and today we have created a category with 50 percent plus market share.”

Lenovo has been making steady gains in Consumer Business, but is still No 3

A late entrant in SMB market, Lenovo hopes to get into top three from the 5th spot in next 2 quarters

2012 Q2

11.6%

7.3%

2012 Q1

2012 Q1

4.6%

10.9%

2011 Q4

2011 Q4

11.7%

2011 Q3

10.1%

2011 Q2

9.7%

2011 Q1

9.6%

2010 Q4

9.7%

2010 Q3 2010 Q2

2012 Q2

6.5% 2011 Q3

4.5%

2011 Q2 4.7% 2011 Q1

3.6%

2010 Q4

3.4%

2010 Q3

8.2%

2010 Q2

6.3%

Source: IDC India

3.0% 2.4%

Source: IDC India

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27


cover story One problem that is almost a thing of the past is the inventory issue. “We were plagued by excess inventory. With volumes, we have figured ways to manage inventory better. Moving our incentives to a sell-out model gives us intelligence on the inventory carried at each store; this helps us plan better at tier-1 and tier-2.” adds Thadani. Lenovo has also invested in analytics to improve predictability. “Today, when we launch a new product, we already have an idea about which stores the product needs to be retailed at first. This helps us reduce the risk of inventory pile-up,” says Thadani. Another strategy which Lenovo is focusing on is to be ahead of the technology curve. “We have been ahead of the rest of the market in launching the latest; that is not just our brand mission but also a way we function across the company,” says Katyal. “In fact our product ramp-ups were so fast that we were ready with our Huron River range before Intel formally launched it in the country last year.” Lenovo is presently No 3 in the consumer market with a share of 11.6 percent, behind HP with 15 percent and Dell with 12.6 percent. What is inspiring for Thadani has been confidence shown by several channel veterans in the Lenovo brand. The Vijay Mandora-promoted ECS has set up 37 Lenovo stores across Gujarat. When Chennai-based Inspan Infotech launched its retail arm they chose Lenovo as the first store. “We found Lenovo’s retail strategies to be the best among the top PC makers,” explains Sudhir S, MD, Inspan. “Beyond this, we can bet that Lenovo is more likely to be around in the PC

“We can bet that Lenovo is more likely to be around in the PC business a few years down the line compared to some of its competitors” Sudhir S

Managing Director, Inspan

business a few years down the line compared to some of its competitors.”

Cracking the SMB market Till the end of 2010 Lenovo did not have a conclusive strategy for the SMB segment; instead it had a combined consumer and SMB team. In May 2011 Lenovo hired Rajiv Rao to head its SMB division. Though Lenovo has almost doubled its market share over the past one year—according to IDC’s SMB tracker—it is still fifth behind HP, Dell, Acer and HCL in the space. “Last year we restructured our sales teams on a regional level for the SMB and consumer business, and that has given a fresh impetus to our sales,” says Rao, Director, SMB, Lenovo India. Lenovo has sub-segmented the SMB market into three: smaller SMBs which are likely to buy on a retail model, mid-sized SMBs which are addressed by VARs, and high-end SMBs whose purchase patterns are closer to those of a large enterprise. Says Rao, “Since SMB customers are increasingly looking at touch-and-feel before buying, we believe

The Lenovo-EMC deal

E

MC and Lenovo have signed a new deal that reminds some in the channels of the EMC-Dell relationship. But Amar Babu insists that this deal is good news for channels, and that in no way would channels be threatened. “We are not a direct company like Dell was, hence there’s nothing for channels to be concerned about. We will make EMC’s technology and product line more accessible to channels.” The partnership involves three main areas. First, Lenovo and EMC have formed a server Joe Tucci technology development program that will help Lenovo build better industry-standard servers. These servers will be brought to market by Lenovo and embedded into selected EMC storage systems over time. Second, the companies have forged an OEM and reseller relationship in which Lenovo will resell the EMC storage line first in China and then in other emerging markets such as India, Russia and Brazil. Third, EMC and Lenovo plan to bring certain assets and

resources from EMC’s Iomega business into a new joint venture which will sell SMB storage. “We have not announced any timelines for the country. However, this relationship will enable and empower even the smallest SMB partner to start selling server and storage,” says Babu. An EMC press release expects the new venture to kick off by the end of 2012. Adds Joe Tucci, Chairman and CEO, EMC, “We expect Lenovo to be a dominant player in the server space. Lenovo has clearly demonstrated its ability to apply its considerable resources and expertise to not only enter but also lead major market segments.” Babu said that 2013 will see Lenovo relaunch its server line in the country. “We have been evaluating strategies for a while, and are waiting for an opportune moment. This time we are here to stay.” Lenovo had earlier launched servers in 2008, but exited the market following poor response to a line which was limited to single and dual processor entry-level towers and racks. n

Lenovo has demonstrated its ability to apply its considerable resources and expertise to not only enter but also lead major market segments

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cover story “Unlike consumer stores that focus on walk-ins, Lenovo Business Stores will have sales people visiting SMB customers and inviting them for demos”

analyst view

W

Rajiv Rao

Director, SMB, Lenovo India

that creating a user experience is important. We have already invested in around 300 partners to set up experience zones for our commercial range within their stores and shops. Our target is to reach 1,000 such retail touch-points.” The company has also opted for a regional distribution strategy and roped in 37 RDs across the country, of which 34 are exclusive for the SMB business. “We also have around 200+ VARs who will be focused on opportunities in the SMB space,” Rao says. Apart from the retail touch-points, Lenovo has launched exclusive SMB stores now branded as Lenovo Business Stores, which showcase ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktops for consumers and small businesses. So far the vendor has launched three such stores and is planning to launch 30 more by the fiscal year-end. Explains Rao, “Unlike consumer retail outlets which are present near shopping malls and consumer buying spots, we are targeting these stores at SMB hubs. Unlike consumer stores that focus solely on walk-ins, these stores will have sales people visiting potential SMB customers in the catchment area and inviting them for demonstrations. We are also planning to invite ISVs to showcase solutions through the stores.”

PCs and beyond Babu recognizes the transformation in the PC market with the advent of tablets and smartphones. “We see an era which we call PC-Plus where the PC, tablet, smartphone and smart TV will all co-exist. Lenovo is already the No 2 smartphone maker in China, well ahead of Apple and just behind Samsung. We are the fourth largest tablet maker globally. We will relaunch the tablets in the country and maybe mobile phones also around Diwali.” While he does not rule out tapping into telecom channels, he is clear that the smartphones and tablets will be sold through LES and LESlites. “We will never abandon IT channels in favor of any other channels. We will have to be present in mobile phone stores to sell our phones, but that will never be at the cost of our own stores.” Babu says that Lenovo will relaunch its servers and introduce its storage product line in 2013 to offer a bigger choice for the enterprise partner. “Whether you are an enterprise, SMB or consumer retail partner, by next year Lenovo will be the preferred choice for a product line ranging from smartphones to storage.” n

hile Lenovo became the No 1 PC player in the country largely as a result of the Elcot order supplies, it is wellpositioned to continue the momentum. I see five points that have worked for Lenovo. Channels: Lenovo has built its channel network in a very organic manner. They still enjoy the trust of most of the erstwhile IBM partners. Although a late entrant in the retail market, in terms of numbers, depth and width they have overtaken the competition, launching 1,000+ stores. Competition: HP has slipped up in its focus on the PC business in the past two years, both in India and globally. Dell, the market leader last year, is trying to transform itself from a PC maker to a solutions and services vendor. Lenovo has made the most of this, a reason for its phenomenal growth in the relationship business. Products: Though the Think brand always had a huge mindshare among enterprise customers, Lenovo has shown the ability to fix the holes in the product portfolio. Some of the gambles they have taken, such as AIOs, have worked for them. Aggression: Lenovo has shown a lot of passive aggression, which has surprised the competition. This can perhaps be attributed to improvements in its inventory control, or the legacy of its Chinese origin which helps it to source products better. Lenovo has VISHAL TRIPATHI grabbed many opportunities that have come its way. Leadership: Amar Babu has been a well-grounded leader and patient enough to grow the business organically for the past 5 years. He also has the confidence of the leadership in China. India is emerging as an unpredictable market, and market leadership may change hands depending on who grabs the large state tenders in future. For Lenovo to sustain its position and be a market leader outside these large orders it will need to continue expanding its consumer and SMB business. While signing film star Ranbir Kapoor has helped Lenovo to gain mindshare among consumers, it still needs to do more to build the Idea brand and have a bigger consumer connect. Lenovo has been over-aggressive in the enterprise market, and there are allegations by some channel partners of the vendor going direct. The management needs to be wary of the long-term impact of such moves. In the next two quarters Lenovo will need to start a balancing act of maintaining a healthy P&L account for its Indian business, growing marketshare, and demanding the premium that a market leader would. Remember, the competition is waking up, and they will try to regain their lost marketshare. n —The author is a Principal Analyst with Gartner India

Lenovo has shown a lot of passive aggression, which has surprised the competition. This can be attributed to improved inventory control, or its Chinese legacy

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market focus

not alone at home With crime increasing at an alarming rate, the demand for home safety and security devices has also risen. The market is estimated to be worth `300 crore in 2012 n abhijeet mukherjee

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ccording to an industry estimate, the Indian home safety and security market, which includes CCTVs, video phone devices (VDPs), fingerprint locks and intrusion alarm systems is estimated to be around `300 crore in 2012. The industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 35 percent for the next four years. As per an IMS report, the residential surveillance deployment market was estimated to be $1.7 million in 2012 and is likely to go up to $7.1 million by 2016 with a CAGR of about 44.8 percent in India. With crime increasing at an alarming rate, the increase in the demand for home safety and security devices should not come as a surprise. Companies like Zicom, Dax Networks, Axis Communications, Digisol and D-Link are some of the names which are riding on this bandwagon.

Crime-driven market According to reports, India is fast becoming an unsafe place for children with a 24 percent increase in crimes against children in 2011 compared to the previous year. Nearly 33,100 cases were reported in 2011 against 26,694 cases during 2010. Such an alarming crime rate against children is a big concern for parents, hence they are taking every step to protect the kids. “More and more double income single kid families are going in for IP cameras and other home safety devices. A typical building with 100-odd flats goes in for CCTVs in the kids’ park, corridors and parking areas not only to keep a watch on the overall premises but also to keep an eye on the children,” says Subhashini Ramakrishnan, CTO, Dax Networks. According to a study by HelpAge India, an organization working for the welfare of senior citizens, Delhi—home to nearly a million senior citizens, crime against elderly people is four times more than in Mumbai and double that of Bengaluru. The study said that of the total cases of crime against elders registered in Delhi last year, the highest form of crime was hurting a senior (42.2 percent) followed by murder and robbery which accounted for 35.5 and 13.3 percent respectively. A major chunk of these crimes happen within the confines of the senior citizen’s home.

Lifestyle changes Says Sudhindra Holla, Country Manager, Axis Communications, “The changing lifestyle of consumers is another big reason for the increasing demand of CCTVs. Technology is enabling parents to keep an eye on their parents and children over a mobile phone.”

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IP cameras allows consumers to see videos using the Internet over a PC or a mobile phone.

Demand drivers Products with increased features are another reason why consumers want to install physical security devices like CCTVs, VDPs and fingerprint locks at home. “Compared to the last three years, security devices now come with added features such as the facility to send an email to mobile devices if a visitor arrives in the absence of the owner. Prices have dropped, but due to the rise in the value of the dollar that advantage has been negated,” says Manoj Khadkikar, Head, Channel & Distribution, Zicom. What a typical security solution at home requires is a 7 inch VDP that comes at an MRP of `9,900, an entrylevel DVR that comes for `7,500, and a camera that costs around `2,000. For premium high-tech security a fingerprint lock costs `19,000 in addition to 10 percent of the cost as installation charge.

Analog to IP A major trend in the home safety and security market is that consumers are moving from analog to IP cameras seeing the advantage of the latter. “The pace is slow because of the cost difference and complexities of an IP environment, but the advantages of IP are many,” adds Ramakrishnan. An IP camera has advantages such as distinguishing an intrusion, providing alert-based SMSs and recording, and providing more data, but it is 200 percent costlier than an analog camera. “That is one of the reasons why people still buy


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market focus “Changing lifestyle of consumers is a big reason for growing demand of CCTVs. Technology is enabling parents to keep an eye on their children over a mobile phone”

“Partners selling home networking devices should sell security. Home customers are increasingly buying surveillance solutions”

Sudhindra Holla

Manoj Khadkikar

Country Manager, Axis Communications

analog cameras,” says Akshay Sawant, Director, Siddh Tech, a Mumbai-based distributor. “But people are also gradually understanding that an analog camera can cost more than an IP-based solution due to the power cabling required by analog cameras.”

Wireless finds a place Instead of wired devices, consumers are now vying for wireless devices. Consumers are opting for wireless connectivity to avoid cluttered wires and have low maintenance. Wireless connectivity is also available beyond home premises in the range of 2-10 km. “For long-distance wireless needs we provide point-to-point wireless connectivity where we install hardware devices at certain points so that a consumer can watch his office premises or home from as far as 10 km. Since the quality of the Internet cannot be trusted this is becoming a viable option,” informs Manoj Bajaj, CEO, CAS Computers. “A typical wireless solution comprising three cameras, DVR and HDD can cost around `20,000, but the actual cost depends on what devices and cameras are installed,” adds Sawant.

Intelligent homes Devices that can differentiate between an intrusion and a visitor movement, that can send an SMS alert to the owner when intruded, that can differentiate between a family member and a guest, and that record only suspected movements are donning premium residential complexes. The Mumbai-based Wadhwa Group has installed Zicom multi-apartment VDP systems in its 1,100 premium apartments across India. “There are other companies as well, like the Pune-based Puranik builders, which have installed similar VDP solutions in their projects. The spending on such technology can start at `3 lakh-5 lakh depending on the number of devices attached,” informs Sawant.

Night vision A night vision surveillance camera can cover 200 feet in total darkness which makes it much more in demand; add to it the favorable prices. “Day/night cameras are more in demand because of the lack of major price differences between the two. The price difference is only `500-700 depending on the model. We sell around 400 cameras on an average per quarter, and more than 60 percent of these are day/ night cameras,” says Harish Motwani, Director, SB Data, Mumbai-based distributor of Zicom.

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Head, Channel & Distribution, Zicom

Immense opportunities Since the home safety and security devices market is in its nascent stage, partners have a lot more opportunities to sell the products. “The penetration of these products has a long way to go and partners can have their hands full because this segment has the potential to grow at least 10 times more than the home networking business,” says Bajaj. Home security devices provide partners another key avenue to make money. “This is a less treaded path, and partners who have been selling notebooks and home networking products have an option to sell security devices. For example, to their home customers retailers can convince them to instal a CCTV at home,” says Khadkikar. On the profit margin Bajaj says, “One can even make as much as 50 percent profit by selling these devices especially in the metro markets where the trend is spreading like wildfire.”

Challenges One of the biggest challenges manufacturers and partners face is that consumers still demand analog cameras to save on costs. “Many times consumers look for cheaper alternatives; they buy analog cameras and expect the features of an IP camera. This lack of awareness is one big hindrance for the growth of IP cameras,” says Holla. Analog cameras need separate cabling for power, have poor image resolution, and lack video analytics and customized recording. Lack of awareness, both at the partner and consumer level, is another challenge that manufacturers face. “Both consumers and partners need to be educated about the technicalities and benefits of the products. While partners hesitate to speak much about the products due to lack of knowledge, consumers do not know where to buy these products and who to trust,” comments Khadkikar. With the growth in technology and the increase in demand, prices are expected to drop, but this is not happening currently. “Since prices are not dropping as per expectations it has become a restricting factor for the devices to penetrate,” notes Bajaj. According to Anuj Bhall, VP & Business Unit Head, SIMS, Wipro Infotech, “This segment is very price sensitive and requires highly qualified 24x7 manpower support for the maintenance of these systems. As the cost of maintenance is high and the segment is very price sensitive, getting the right balance between the price and the offering is a challenge.” n


Role model With a little help from grandpa

Apurva Dave is the CEO of the `70 crore Innova Systems, a leading systems integrator in Gujarat. To think that it all began with a `50,000 loan from his grandfather n ABHIJEET MUKHERJEE purva Dave, CEO, Innova Systems, is a first-generation entrepreneur who has transformed his reselling business into a systems integrator with a reputation for excellent post-sales support and customer retention. Ahmedabad-based Innova has regular clients from several verticals including BFSI, education, hospitality, healthcare, pharma and SMB. Armed with an engineering degree in electronics and communications from B&B Polytechnic in Vallabh Vidyanagar, Dave worked as a support engineer at Printer House for one and half year. His entrepreneurial spirit and ambition to grow beyond a 9-to-5 job led him to defy his family tradition of working in banks and venture into the IT business. In 1992 he started selling dot matrix printers and providing pre- and post-sales support from his home in the name of Printer Plus Services. Though Dave’s father was not in favor of him doing business, his grandfather, Chimanbhai Chotalal Dave, came to his rescue and provided loan of `50,000. “Apart from my grandfather who loaned me the seed capital, what helped me in my venture was my job experience in support engineering, the desire to excel, and a clear focus on the business,” recalls Dave. His initial clients were small offices and SMBs in the manufacturing and automobile sector. In addition, he got a good number of leads from his family contacts in cooperative banks. Dave was excited when he realized that his first year revenue was `40 lakh. In FY1994-95 he expanded his product portfolio and started selling assembled desktops to his existing customers. “In the same year I started distributing Godrej speaker and cordless phones. We clocked revenue of `3.5 crore though the phone distributorship flopped and I had to shut it, incurring a loss of `10 lakh in the process,” informs Dave. In 1996, Dave started focusing on systems integration and provided networking and server solutions to

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“In 1995, my first venture of reselling Godrej cordless phones flopped and I lost `10 lakh in the process. However I did not lose heart and moved to IT”

cooperative banks. That year the company bagged one of the biggest deals of the year from Dairy Den—an ice-cream manufacturer—for installing a campus-wide network and supplying servers and desktops at multiple locations. The project was worth `2 crore. “We received a high volume of repeat business for many years from this particular customer, and also got quite a few reference customers because of this relationship. For example, we did similar work for Swaminarayan Mandir- Akshardham in Gandhinagar, selling printers and desktops worth `50 lakh. We also got customers from the hospitality industry including Le Meridian and Airport Authority,” informs Dave. In late nineties Dave ventured into selling branded desktops by partnering with Compaq and subsequently HP. Dave explains, “All my competitors were selling assembled desktops so I thought it was about time I differentiated myself and started selling Compaq and HP Pavilion to SMBs, small restaurants, etc.” Later in 2001 he bought a small 4-room office and renamed his company Innova Systems. The company was renamed because the earlier name reflected a pure hardware profile. The company also started a software development center to develop applications based on Dot Net; one of the applications developed allowed sending bulk SMSs. “Our software was unique and popular as there were not many players. We got business from automobile companies, clubs and entertainment organizations. We grew our topline to `6 crore,” informs Dave. The software business did well till 2004 when demand went down after telecom companies started providing bulk SMS services free of cost to large corporate clients. Dave consequently stopped selling the software. Around that time large private and nationalized banks started offering customer-friendly services, and cooperative banks found it hard to compete with their scarce infrastructure. Seeing the opportunity, Innova focused on Gujarat-based cooperative banks like Rajkot Nagrik Sahakari Bank for its requirements like thin client solutions and central banking solutions. The strategy and focus paid off as Innova got good orders 2005 onward. In 2007 Innova deployed a data center solution with infrastructure (including high-end blade servers with

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role model

2012

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1996

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employees spread around a 5-acre virtualized storage as part of a DR MILESTONES area. The project was worth solution) for Havmor Ice Cream, one `20 lakh. of the largest ice-cream brands in Innova recently bagged a west India. The project was worth Started peripherals business as `5 crore deal to install biometrics `1.5 crore. Printer Plus Services and fingerprint readers at 6,250 A big boost for Innova came in government ration shops in 2008 when Dave, in association Began selling assembled Gujarat. It also supplied 1,000 HP with the Federation of Cooperative desktops notebooks and desktops to a private Banks in Gujarat, organized Flood IT, an innovative program to Focused on SI business; bagged school in the state; the deal was worth `2.5 crore. provide notebooks and desktops networking project worth The company is now focusing to students of higher educational `2 crore on capitalizing the tie-ups and institutions at zero percent interest associations it has developed over credit. “Due to this our revenue Renamed company as Innova the last five years with OEMs and jumped 80 percent from `9 crore to Systems; started software vendors like WatchGuard, NetApp, `15 crore,” informs Dave. Symantec and TCS. In FY2009-10 Innova ventured development The company currently has into retail and started a 500 sq ft HP clients such as Blue Dart, Arvind World in Ahmedabad. It opened Deployed data center solution Mills, NID, Gujarat Gas and Adani. another store in the heart of the city for Havmor Ice Cream worth Retail contributes 10 percent to at CG Road, and then in Mehsana in `1.5 crore Innova’s revenue. It has five stores; north Gujarat. three HP Worlds and one multiIn FY2010-11 Innova bagged Ventured into retail; started HP brand store in Ahmedabad and one a project worth `4 crore to install World in Ahmedabad Lenovo exclusive store in Mehsana. approximately 1,100 desktops, UPSs, printers and scanners across Bagged `4 crore project to 250 locations of the Office of Rural Future business install PCs and peripherals for Development, Gujarat; it also had to Innova aims to clock `100 crore the Office of Rural Development revenue in FY2012-13. “There are provide training. The company also started a POS quite a few large projects in the Bagged `5 crore deal to install implementation in association with pipeline. If these projects fructify biometrics at 6,250 government we will cross the `100 crore mark,” Rance Lab’s Fusion Retail software, and sold the solution to restaurants says Dave. ration shops and hotels in Gujarat. Eateries, The company will focus on the ice-cream parlors and restaurants cloud, and has tied up with TCS iON of Havmor are a few places where it installed the for providing ERP solutions. It has already bagged two application. “This helped us get new businesses in orders and expects to grow substantially in this segment. avenues we had not tried before,” remarks Dave. Vertical-wise, Innova will continue to focus on SMBs, BFSIs and educational institutions. It also wants to start a digital signage business and work with banks and LFRs. Current business In terms of geographical expansion, Innova is eying Innova Systems grew 180 percent from `25 crore in other markets with its retail presence as well as its FY2010-11 to `70 crore in FY2011-12. Today, corporate systems integration business. “We are also beefing up reselling contributes around 70 percent to Innova’s our manpower resources in tandem with our expansion revenue while services and retail contribute around plans; as a result, we are at 100+ employees today,” 10 percent each and solutions around 5 percent. The informs Dave. company added new product lines such as biometrics and CCTVs which contributed around 12 percent to the topline. Its expansion to south Gujarat and Saurashtra On a personal note contributed around 30 percent to its turnover. Dave is inspired by his uncles Kaushik Dave and Kirit For Kataria Automobiles, one of the largest Maruti Trivedi who taught him to think big and out-of-the-box dealers, Innova installed CCTVs in 14 locations across with transparency, and develop loyalty in relationships. Gujarat. The project was worth `1 crore. For Arvind He is also a fitness freak and loves to hit the gym for Mills the company installed biometrics for 8,000 an hour of aerobics daily. Dave is also passionate about cars, and loves to drive on weekends with his family. He currently owns a Honda City, but is planning to add a Innova is aiming FY2012-13 turnover of Jaguar soon. Dave loves to dance and does not mind shaking `100 crore with focus on cloud services, his hips once in a while during parties and family getgeographical expansion, and large projects togethers. “I am passionate about dancing and learnt hiphop,” he reveals. n in the BFSI and education sectors 34

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tech focus

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issues eroding cloud confidence A new survey estimates it will take three years before cloud platform and infrastructure services experience a full growth stage n Jack McCarthy

survey to gauge the level of maturity and innovation in the cloud market by the Cloud Security Alliance and the ISACA, shows that the market has not yet met high expectations. Drawn from 50 countries and 252 participants ranging from service providers, cloud users, integrators and consultants, the survey estimated it will take three years before cloud platform and infrastructure services experience a full growth stage, and two years for software services. JR Santos, Global Research Director, Cloud Security Alliance, said that while the respondents believe the cloud offers great opportunity there are still many issues that hinder its development. “In general, a lot of the folks felt the cloud is still fairly immature,” he said. Here is a list of the issues concerning cloud users, and those inspiring the least confidence.

Government regulations not keeping pace with the market The survey said that businesses must pay significant amounts of money to meet regulatory requirements, while putting up with the limits regulators place on tech innovation. It is critical for government and regulators to adopt a regulatory stance that enables, rather than limits, adoption of the cloud. “Right now government regulations in countries around the world are in their infancy,” Santos said. “When it comes to cloud standards, development organizations are working hard to determine cloud and security issues. But a lot of it has not really been covered.”

Exit strategies Many issues that arise in the business world also affect companies interested in working in the cloud. Among such issues worrying cloud users or those considering working in the cloud is having a strategy to end a relationship if a cloud partner falters. “How do you terminate a relationship with a cloud provider?” he asked. “How do you get out of that relationship? If you cannot get out, you may be stuck with unworkable contracts or SLAs.”

protected represent real concerns for cloud users, the survey said. Multiple regulations can represent maddeningly complex requirements for businesses. “For one example, if you work with a cloud provider and it has a subcontractor in the UK, how does that impact the privacy of your data?” Santos asked. “You are going to have to indicate when the data is shared and how it is used by a third-party provider in the cloud.”

Legal issues Cloud users face worrisome legal issues arising from the new cloud business model. “You will have to figure out how legal issues impact your choices going to the cloud,” Santos said. “Dealing with break notification issues, for example, if your provider is in California and you are in Texas, you need to figure out how that provider is going to meet break notification requirements. You need to see how those issues are addressed.” “Data privacy laws in the EU are different than in the US,” he added.

Contract lock-In

A slew of differing privacy requirements and laws around the world addressing how data needs to be

Cloud users are growing increasingly uncomfortable with long-term commitments in the cloud as changes occur so frequently. Businesses are wary that their cloud model may

One of the issues worrying cloud users or those considering working in a cloud is having a strategy to end a relationship if a cloud partner falters

Cloud users face worrisome legal issues arising from the new cloud business model. One of them is the data privacy laws which are different across different geographies

International data privacy

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tech focus Users may enlist providers that have third party partners for services. But who owns and who is responsible for the users’ data? These issues need to be addressed in SLAs

Legacy systems can hamper businesses from venturing onto the cloud. A service provider should know how to integrate existing systems and processes to the cloud

change while they are stuck with contracts. “The business models may change, so if you buy in for reason X and later they are no longer providing that service, what happens next?” Santos asked.

Integration of cloud with internal systems

Data ownership and custodian responsibilities Cloud users may enlist cloud providers that have thirdparty partners that provide services. But who owns and who is responsible for the users’ data? These issues need to be addressed in SLAs. “People still need to understand the flow of their data through these complicated cloud services,” Santos said. “Who is responsible for what? And if the data breaks, who is going to be responsible and who pays customers if there is a lawsuit?” he asked.

Longevity of suppliers In a new, rapidly changing market, users worry that they will lose partners, suppliers and other business associates. “A lot of these cloud solutions are fairly new, so if users are looking at putting the crown jewels of information in the cloud, how can they determine if the solution’s going to be around?” he queried.

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“Businesses want to go to the cloud, but they have legacy systems,” Santos said. “How do you integrate existing systems and processes to the cloud?” A good example is the healthcare industry, with an abundance of critical systems and devices that need to be maintained on-premise, and therefore hold back cloud adoption, he said.

Credibility of suppliers “With a lot of new solutions, are they all trustworthy and do they have a track record?” Santos asked. “To find trusted suppliers in the space, focus on which ones have the credibility.”

Testing and assurance Many of the concerns with the cloud listed by the survey respondents are being addressed by the Cloud Security Alliance, the ISACA, and many other organizations. “There are not a lot of standards and certifications out there now,” Santos said. “But work is being done to try to address standards like HIPAA, SOX 1 and SOX 2. We are working so people can understand what is needed to ask their cloud provider.” n


channel buzz IBM rolls out Channel Yatra

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BM has launched its Channel Yatra, a new initiative to strengthen its engagement with partners and highlight its solutionscentric approach to enable partners to deliver greater value to their clients. Channel Yatra has been rolled out in eight cities—Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kolkata—covering 70 key business partner CEOs. In Delhi and Mumbai, over 50 CEOs of various partner organizations celebrated the achievements of top performers from IBM Business Partners. IBM addressed the key concerns of partners in these cities by providing

assistance in deep technical sales skills, lead generation, sales transaction progression, training and certification in order to facilitate growth. This platform helped partners to discover collaborative ways to work with IBM, tap IBM’s technology resources for better product positioning, and benefit from various incentives that are in store. IBM’s offerings for business partners in the areas of cloud computing, business analytics and Smarter Planet solutions were among the focus areas. Said Alok Ohrie, VP, Systems & Technology Group, IBM India & South Asia, “With a competitive

n Alok Ohire, VP, Systems & Technology Group, IBM India & South Asia

marketplace and an ever-demanding clientele, it is important that our business partners are well equipped to handle these requirements. Channel Yatra is an initiative which builds our business partner interface and enhances partner incentives across brands.” n

ASIRT workshop on cost calculation

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SIRT recently conducted its Techday where it demonstrated how to calculate costs to run a business successfully and earn good profits. The first session was part one of Evolve, a workshop to help SIs and retailers calculate their costs. The session was conducted by Prakash Agarwal. His research had showed that most partners keep playing the price game as their major USP. Later, Harshal Charya, Business Development Manager, Netgear, spoke about the company’s latest products and forthcoming technologies. Charya offered special hand-holding for sales and joint pitching to end-customers for Netgear’s products through their distributor, Hallmark Systems.

The second part of the Evolve session was restricted to SIs and retailers due to the sensitive nature of the content. Kshitij Kotak, President, ASIRT, conducted the session titled Swear by the Deep Blue Sea that questioned the relevance of several existing business practices, trends, methods of work, etc. During the Swear by the Deep Blue Sea session Kotak narrated the story of an IT SI to show how financial miscalculation turned a business into a financial disaster. The story went on to explain how the SI revived his business by calculating his real costs. The story concluded with a lesson on how to transform a failing business into a successful and profitable venture. n

n Kshitij Kotak, President, ASIRT, presenting a workshop

n Prakash Agarwal, Virtual CFO during the Evolve workshop

n Harshal Charya, Business Development Manager, Netgear

n Dhaval Valia, Associate Publisher & Executive Editor, CRN, with Chetan Shah, CEO, Xpress Computers

n The attendees listening to the presentation

To feature your company’s events in CRN, send write-ups with photographs to editor@ubmindia.com

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New Products Winknet 3G pocket Wi-Fi router

Busy 12 accounting software

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Sony short-throw home projector

Buffalo TeraStation NAS storage

inknet has launched its MF50 3G pocket WiFi router. The product is targeted at young professionals, entrepreneurs and mobile consumers. The router has an LCD display and provides highspeed Internet with the USB interface of a PC or Wi-Fi. The device works with GPRS/ EDGE/WCDMA/HSPA, and is a multi-mode wireless terminal which connects up to 10 devices simultaneously. The Wi-Fi channel bonding increases the amount of data that can be transmitted, and improves download and streaming speeds two-fold. It has an inbuilt signal booster with a download speed of 14.4 Mbps and an upload speed of 5.76 Mbps; it weighs 80 gms. With its powerful 1500 mAh, the device has an expandable memory of up to 32 GB. The product is priced at `5,800, comes with a 1-year warranty, and is available at Winknet authorized distributors. n

S

ony has launched its new short-throw home projector, VPL-BW120 S for small living spaces since it can be placed close to a wall or screen without the need to mount the projector. It is capable of projecting a large viewing area equivalent to a 100 feet screen from 1.34 meters away while maintaining image fidelity and brightness. It reproduces picture quality with a high brightness output of 2,600 lumens (in high lamp mode) at WXGA (1,280x800) native resolution by using 3LCD display technology. It also boasts of a contrast ratio of 4,000:1 and 12-bit 3D gamma correction. The projector is lightweight, portable, and has a power savings mode, standby mode and a synchronized lamp and filter replacement cycle of 6,000 hours. Built-in speakers enable a convenient one cable (HDMI) connection. The projector comes with a variety of other input options such as RGB, Composite, S-Video, RS-232 C control input/output and audio ports. The product is priced at `88,000, comes with a 1-year warranty, and is available at Sony authorized distributors. n

usy, an accounting and inventory management software developer for micro, small and medium businesses (MSMBs) in India, has now launched the Busy 12. The new software has added functionalities such as sale and purchase quotations; customizable reports; data access through SMS and email; auto backups; and a provision for voucher audits. It comes in three editions. The basic edition is for traders and distributors requiring basic features; the standard edition is for traders, retailers and manufacturers requiring power features; the enterprise edition is for small and medium businesses. The licenses for Busy SS/SC 12 (standard single user), Busy SM 12 (standard multi-users), Busy ES/EC 12 (enterprise single user) and Busy EM 12 (enterprise multi-users) are priced at `10,800, `27,000, `16,200 and `40,500 respectively. n

B

uffalo recently launched its TeraStation 5000 series of NAS storage; the series is available in 2, 4, 6 and 8 bay and enclosure models. It has two USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports with accessory support. The series comes with 2 TB to 32 TB capacity, business-class NAS features such as file sharing and client/server back-up which keeps up to 10 back-up generations with incremental back-up and supports NAS and iSCSI. It also replicates data between two TeraStations. It allows to record high quality video, and store and manage it for easy access and playback. TeraStation 5200 (2 bay), 5400 (4 bay), 5600 (6 bay) and 5800 (8 bay) offer multiple ways to remotely access and share your important data. The TeraStation 5000 series supports up to 10 IP camera connectivity. The product is priced at an MRP of `91,000, 1,17,000 and 1,43,000 for 2 bay with 2 TB, 4 TB and 6 TB respectively, comes with a 3-year warranty, and is available with Ingram Micro and Supertron. n

The products featured here have not undergone any benchmarking or testing. The trailers contain information provided by vendors and distributors. To feature your company’s products in CRN, send write-ups with photos to editor@ubmindia.com

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shadow ram GET

UP to re-tender for 1.5 million PCs

T

he UP tender for 18.6 lakh laptops is likely to be re-tendered. Many vendors who took part in the pre-bid meeting raised objections about different terms and technical details of the tender. An executive of an IT major described the tender details as ‘draconian,’ and said that it would have been impossible to participate if some of the clauses were retained. As many as 270 questions were raised, which could mean multiple corrigenda to be issued. An official with the UP education department said the board would meet again later in October to take a final call. Meanwhile, the tender process for 2.6 million tablets has also been postponed, the reason given being the lack of consensus among the technical advisors. Since there are three major operating systems competing in this space, and it is difficult to arrive at a tech spec that does not give undue advantage to a particular technology or player, the tendering process has literally come to a halt. n

Personal

“I will change election system” Anup Nair, Head, Neoteric Technology Solutions, drives technology solutions and business and strategic initiatives for the company. He has more than 10 years experience in the IT industry. If not in the IT industry: I’d be teaching or writing books.

Anup Nair

Biggest passion: Experiencing new places, cultures and cuisines.

Behind the wheels: Volkswagen Vento. Gadget I cannot live without: iPhone. Weekends are for: Rock & roll. Favorite holiday destination: Paris. Hate the most: Procrastination. Favorite movie: A Few Good Men.

Total PC Protection 2013 Call :

098 22 88 25 66 092 72 70 70 50

Favorite star: Aamir Khan. Role model: Different people on different aspects. Ultimate ambition: It is constantly evolving. Wildest thing I have ever done: Jumped from a 250-meter tower. Thing I most want to do in life: Do a road trip across India. If I became the PM: I will change the election system in India. Celebrity I would like to spend a day with: Barack Obama, to understand how it feels to be perceived as the most powerful man on earth. One person I would like to meet and why: Ayrton Senna, the best F1 driver ever. Deepest and darkest fear: Losing my closest loved ones. n 

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— CRN Network


Registered with Registrar of Newspapers under RNI No. MAHENG/2011/39915 Postal Registration. No. MH/MR/NORTH EAST/193/2010-2012 Posted at Patrika Channel Sorting Office, Mumbai-400001. Posting date 2nd, 3rd & 16th, 17th Of Every Fortnight.

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CRN October 15, 2012