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A 9.9 Media Publication

Channel Connect

Get to know from tech wizards the brands you should trust PAGE 40

Channel Connect Vol 03 | Issue 2 | December 2010 | Rs. 50

EXCLUSIVE INSIDE

2011

VIPIN TUTEJA

on the Xerox GDO solutions PAGE 08

JAYA SHETTY

on what makes Grid PowerConversion tick PAGE 20

BVS PHANI on where should vendors set up service centres PAGE 35

2011 AIMING HIGH

HIGH AIMING

VOL 03 | ISSUE 2 | DECEMBER 2010

THE TOP I LEADERS T WRITE O WHAT THN THINK IS EY BUSINES THE S OUTLOO K FOR THE CURRENT YEAR. ALIGN YO STRATEG UR I WITH TH ES FORECASE MADE BY TS THE LEAD ERS PAG E 22


EDITOR’SNOTE

GEETHA NANDIKOTKUR

BOARD

“From a partner perspective, there are three areas where partners can see a growth opportunity. This includes new core transition, emergence of newer upcountry markets and growth in the SMB and home segment.”

Be The Change

T

he year 2011 brings in a lot of hope. The IT industry players expect a lot of changes, be it the analysts, vendors or partners. From the array of views provided by the chieftains of the IT industry in their outlook for 2011, it is evident that the year ahead looks promising. The reasons are obvious. There is a positive euphoria prevailing as far as the economy is concerned. The steady GDP growth is driving major hope amongst the IT fraternity, as they expect it to have a cascading effect on the IT spending. Consensus is that the customer spending from across the industry segments will be around 18% to 20% in 2011. However, one should not forget the trauma that the industry went through during the recessionary phase. The learnings of vendors and partners has resulted in the maturity curve going up to handle situations. Well, the year 2010 has had surprises for most. The IT industry has witnessed an 8 to 10% growth, while most vendors claim to have observed a 15% growth in their business. It is just the beginning, as 2011 is all out for a change in thinking. It is vital for you to be the change as our Father of Nation - Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change if you want to change the world.” Change could be around three Ps — Platforms, Processes and People. A whole lot will depend upon how you use the platforms and processes to increase consumer awareness and utilization. Dwell around new technologies, new business initiatives, new service models, logical and pragmatic thinking and more. Not to forget, bring the change to get you closer to the cloud revolution. A change in perspective in evolving business strategies, investments, skills, approach, and technologies or challenges is the need of hour.

SOUNDING

— B. SURYANARAYANAN, DIRECTOR- SALES & MARKETING GROUP, INTEL SOUTH ASIA.

This is what Digit Channel Connect intends to do: ‘Bring the change’. I recall a statement made by one of the top PC vendors, “Partners could not have been in a better industry and time, given that the PC industry throws up a $30 billion revenue opportunity in 2011.” We, at DCC, comply with an affirmative note. You can see us making positive strides in the year 2011, with more absorbing content coming your way. It is time you demanded more from all and drove the change. It is time that you look at opportunities, to find challenges, minimal. Changes will be around new content, communication that will guide you through the changes in the rules of business, ways to adapt to new dynamics faster and more effectively. Join the DCC team in inviting the change and work towards the expected growth. DCC wishes its readers a happy and prosperous New Year, 2011.

GEETHA NANDIKOTKUR EXECUTIVE EDITOR DIGIT CHANNEL CONNECT

“The biggest challenge for partners is to move beyond their comfort zones. They need to look at new opportunities beyond their areas of expertise, focus on a solution led approach, and constantly enhance their domain knowledge and skills.” — MUKUL MATHUR, DIRECTOR, BUSINESS PARTNERS & CSI, IBM INDIA / SOUTH ASIA.

“It is critical to make the foundation for cloud computing and enable IT to be an accelerator of the business. We are influencing our customers and partners to adapt to this transition towards shared storage infrastructure.” — SURAJIT SEN, DIRECTOR – CHANNELS, MARKETING & ALLIANCES, NETAPP INDIA

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INDEX

VOLUME 03 | ISSUE 02 | DECEMBER 2010

COVERSTORY

22

08

31

COVER STORY

20

COVER STORY

22 2011:

AIMING HIGH

COVER DESIGN BY BINESH SREEDHARAN

As the global economy heads out of recession and shows much visible signs of recovery, 2011 promises to kick off on an optimistic note for the IT industry. Get to know what the top IT leaders think is the business outlook for the current year

4

SPECIAL REPORT

48

40 WHO DO YOU TRUST?

In a country like India, perceptions play an important role in purchase decisions. And perceptions can be swayed in a number of ways. So, which are the brands that you should trust? Find out what India’s most influential tech community has to say

40 SPECIAL REPORT

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DIGIT CHANNEL CONNECT

KNOWLEDGE EDITION

THEY SAID IT

10

31 AT YOUR SERVICE

FOCUS

48 READING REDEFINED

A text-only means of communication could never sustain itself with a much better conglomerate of voice, data, text and video at lower costs. With books, we’re witnessing a similar scenario. To satiate your thirst for knowledge, and especially reading, the latest offering is that of eBook readers, which has gained popularity

Exclusive survey on how partners react to the services element in the IT business: Large service threats, customer demands. Read to find more....

OTHERS 02 EDITORIAL 08 VENDOR CONNECT

10 UP-TO-DATE 36 36 LEADING THE CHANNEL

DCC conducted the Channel Leadership Survey to ascertain what are the challenges limiting channel partners’ business growth.

20 PARTNER CONNECT

50 EVENT -

CMDA PUNE IT EXPO


Channel Connect VOL 03 ISSUE 02 DECEMBER 2010

Managing Director: Dr Pramath Raj Sinha Publishing Director: Vikas Gupta EDITORIAL Executive Editor: Geetha Nandikotkur Copy Editor: Akshay Kapoor Sr. Correspondents: Sandhya Malhotra (Delhi), Payal Pruthi (Bengaluru) DESIGN Sr. Creative Director: Jayan K Narayanan Art Director: Binesh Sreedharan Associate Art Director: Anil VK Sr. Visualiser: PC Anoop Sr. Designers: Prasanth TR, Anil T Suresh Kumar, Joffy Jose, Anoop Verma NV Baiju & Chander Dange Designers: Sristi Maurya & Charu Dwivedi Chief Photographer: Subhojit Paul Photographer: Jiten Gandhi SALES & MARKETING VP Sales & Marketing: Navin Chand Singh (09971794688) National Manager - Events and Special Projects: Mahantesh Godi (09880436623) National Manager - Channels: Krishnadas Kurup (09322971866) Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai: Vinodh K (09740714817) Delhi: Lalit Arun (09582262959) Kolkata: Jayanta Bhattacharya (09331829284) BRAND COMMUNICATION General Manager: Ankur Agarwal Asst Brand Manager: Arpita Ganguli PRODUCTION & LOGISTICS Sr. GM Operations: Shivshankar M Hiremath Production Executive: Vilas Mhatre Logistics: MP Singh, Mohd. Ansari, Shashi Shekhar Singh Published, Printed and Owned by Nine dot Nine Interactive Pvt Limited. Published and printed on their behalf by Kanak Ghosh. Published at:

WEBINDEX www.digitchannelconnect.com

WEB EXCLUSIVE NEWS

Cloud computing adoption soars in APAC

A VMware-sponsored survey of senior business and IT executives in Asia Pacific shows that cloud computing adoption has soared over the last 18 months. Firms adopting cloud computing doubled to 83% over the last 18 months. http://www.digitchannelconnect.com/ content /cloud- computing-adoptionaccelerates-asia-pacific

WEB EXCLUSIVE FEATURE

Storing the digital universe

Printed at: SilverPoint Press Pvt Ltd D- 107, MIDC, TTC Industrial Area, Nerul, Navi Mumbai- 400706 Editor: Anuradha Das Mathur Bunglow No. 725, Sector - 1 Shirvane, Nerul Navi Mumbai - 400706

Teradata Corporation has recently announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Aprimo for approximately $525 million including the assumption of approximately $25 million of cash at closing. http://www.digitchannelconnect.com/ content/teradata-acquire-aprimo

OPINION POLL

Do you think laptop sales will be dented by netbooks & tablets? 50%

We are currently in the midst of a digital revolution that is changing the way we communicate, work and live. It is critical that we have a easily managed unified storage platform. http://www.digitchannelconnect.com/ content/storing-digital-universe

NEWSLETTERS

Subscribe to web newsletters for constant updates! http://digitchannelconnect.com/content/ newsletters

Nine dot Nine Interactive Pvt Ltd Kakson House, A & B Wing, 2nd Floor,80 Sion Trombay Road, Chembur, Mumbai- 400071 INDIA.

Teradata Corporation to acquire Aprimo

Yes

25%

No

25%

Cannot say

The majority opinion is that people might opt for a netbook or tablet device rather than a laptop. QUERIES

For any customer queries and assistance, please contact : help@9dot9.in

AD INDEX MOLEX................................. INSIDE FRONT COVER IBM........................................................... BACK COVER EPSON..................................... INSIDE BACK COVER RASHI...............................................................................1 COMPUAGE...................................................................3 IBALL.......................................................................... 5,13 FENDA..............................................................................7 AMD..................................................................................9

SUPERTRON............................................................... 11 WESTERN DIGITAL................................................... 15 ABACUS........................................................................ 17 GIGABYTE.................................................................... 19 JUPITER......................................................................... 21 EMERSON....................................................... 41,43,45 INDIA ANTI-VIRUS HPC........................................ 47 SAKRI............................................................................. 51


VENDORCONNECT PRINTING

INTERVIEW WITH VIPIN TUTEJA, ED, MARKETING & BIZ SUPPORT, XEROX INDIA

Xerox has changed from a product-centric firm to a pro-customer one “We want to have more than 100 GDO customers by year 2011, with focus on new big clients.” Vipin Tuteja, Executive Director of Marketing and Business Support, Xerox India.

Q What are the technology domains or product categories Xerox is banking upon in 2011? A The Indian digital printing industry has experienced a very good growth rate in the last few years and we hope this growth momentum to continue in the year 2011 also. Currently, India’s digital printing industry is growing at a CAGR of 25.8% in three years. The digital printing market is estimated to grow to $2.5 billion by 2012, from $505 million in 2006. The year looks promising for digital and laser printing growth. Xerox has transitioned itself from being a product centric company to a customer-centric one to provide personalized solutions to its customers through its various offerings, in order to meet their business specific needs. Q How is Xerox Global Document Outsourcing (GDO) adoption gaining momentum? A Our portfolio of document services - Xerox Global Document Outsourcing (GDO), which is basically a suite of services for managing document output and infrastructure assets, is gaining

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DIGIT CHANNEL CONNECT

fast growth momentum. These solutions help organisations deliver measurable efficiencies, reduce costs and improve productivity. SMBs are the major demand drivers for GDO, as they look for solutions to save cost and increase operational efficiency. Managed print services can be a savior for SMBs in terms of cost reduction and simplifying the management of their imaging and printing environment. With the focus on automation, there is an increased need for GDO solutions by the large enterprises.

Q How are Xerox’s partners pushing GDO to their end customers? A The market for document management services in the printing industry has gathered momentum over the past three to four years. GDO is undoubtedly an emerging opportunity for vendors/channel partners, as large businesses continue to use paper and traditional means of storage. Growth has been primarily triggered by the increasing need for automation in the enterprise. The vast amount of

information stored on physical storage disks is now on digital mode. As a result, there are immense opportunities created for partners selling the document management solutions. Xerox has a huge channel partner base of more than 500 all over the country. The role of channel partners in document management services depend on the magnitude of the businesses. Xerox, in most cases, deals with its customers directly; so, it does not have a specific network of channel partners for distribution. But, we would soon have more partners selling the GDO services.

Q Do you have any further plans to strengthen your customer and channel network? A Xerox launched GDO services across seven cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata in a span of four years. We have over 70 customers in the country representing BFSI and telecom verticals. More than five large banking customers and over five large telecom service providers use our GDO services extensively. We have plans to reach 100 customers in 2011, roping in clients from the government sector, besides the existing BFSI and telecom sectors. sandhya.malhotra@9dot9.in

For more UPDATES, Log on http://digitchannelconnect.com/resources/ctofconnect


UPtoDATE 38.4bn

is the worldwide semiconductor capital equipment spending, according to Gartner.

CHANNEL BUZZ

Micro Focus appoints Nitin Dang as Channel Head Micro Focus, a provider of enterprise application modernization, testing and management solutions, has appointed Nitin Dang as Head, Channels and Alliances, Micro Focus India. He will be based in Delhi and reporting directly to David Taylor, President of Asia Pacific & Japan, Micro Focus. –Payal Pruthi

Digisol rolls out new Wireless Access Point

Strontium’s new gaming memory module series

Digisol has introduced its Wireless Access Point DG-WA1000N for communication between wireless and wired notebooks and desktop computers in a network. It can provide wireless data transmission rate up to 150Mbps.

Strontium has rolled out Strontium pWn gaming memory modules. The product comes in four models enclosed with DR2 and DDR3. The modules have dual and triple channel kit. The products have 2GB capacity.

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ViewSonic launches Andriod, Windows 7 based tablets

AFTER APPLE, DELL, Samsung and Olive, ViewSonic has made a foray into the burgeoning tablets market with the launch of the All-in-One Tablet ViewPad 7 and ViewPad 10, which are priced at Rs 32,000 and Rs 38,000, respectively. The two models, which come with one-year warranty, will hit the market soon. Talking about the distribution strategy for the new tablets, Kuldeep D Ramaiya, National Head, Sales, ViewSonic Technologies India said, “We are targeting netbooks and smart phones consumers. For our tablets, we are setting up a new channel. We will sign up with a national distributor to sell tablet PCs.” ViewSonic will rope in the telecom channel and collaborate with two telecom distributors to sell to the targeted customer segment. “Besides tablets, we are also focusing more on projectors and digital signage products and doubling our market share,” said Ramaiya. – Sandhya Malhotra

For more UPDATES, Log on http://digitchannelconnect.com/resources/news


UPtoDATE

ChannelConnect.com

QUICK LINE: THE WORLDWIDE CONNECTED e-reader sales to end

Juniper rolls out SGI programme

Buffalo unveils new Ministation BUFFALO TECHNOLOGY HAS unveiled a new design of the Ministation USB 2.0 hard drive. Ministation USB 2.0 is a high performance portable device in a compact and contemporary form. “MiniStation USB 2.0 is an innovative storage solution for consumers, as it comes with simple plug and play option. Designed for mobility, this drive is idle for secure, high speed storage and backup,” said Susumu Kobayashi, Country Head, Buffalo Technology. The user can simply plug it into any available USB port on his PC or Mac and instantly add capacity or store files. Compatible with PC and Mac, it is easier to access files from it. Backed with 3 years of warranty, the Buffalo Ministation USB 2.0 is available is three different capacities: 320GB, 500GB and 640GB. They are priced at Rs 3,000, Rs 4,000 and Rs 4,500 respectively. The product will be sold through Buffalo’s reseller partners and through large format retail stores.

THROUGH THE NUMBERS

12

EVENT UPDATE

ISODA’s summit: Infotech Software Dealers Association (ISODA) will be organising its first tech summit in Bangkok from 20th-23rd January, 2011. The top 100 CEOs from the software channel partner organisations will participate.

DIGIT CHANNEL CONNECT

THE NETWORKING VENDOR, Juniper Network, rolled out its Switch Growth Incentive (SGI) Programme, a global initiative to boost its switching business. The vendor expects to drive partner profitability through this programme, and achieve significant breakthrough in the switching market. The programme offeres back end rebate as a high as 25% to its partners without a fixed upper cap, in addition to the direct product margin. This is applicable on the entire switching range that the partners sell. The SGI programme will rope in Juniper’s select partners including the elite partners in an effort to target data center projects. “SGI is going to fuel the switch sales big time,” said Sudhindra M Holla, Head-channels, Juniper Networks. Juniper intends to increase its pie in the switching market with this programme. –Payal Pruthi

Siemens Enterprise Communications has announced that it is going to acquire FastViewer GmbH & Co KG, extending its OpenScape Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) portfolio to include multi-media conferencing and collaboration solutions. Based in Germany, FastViewer is a provider of software-based collaboration tools, delivering innovative & enterprise-grade collaboration in an affordable & simple package.

INDIAN PC SHIPMENTS WILL GROW 25% IN 2011: GARTNER

Indian PC shipments will total 13.2 million units in 2011, a 24.7% increase from 2010, according to Gartner. Vendors are seeing increasing demand in the upcountry markets and the PC penetration is growing considerably. Rising income and declining PC prices are significantly contributing to this growth. Gartner estimates that roughly 35% of PC vendor revenue today comes from tier III and IV cities. This will grow to 50% by the end of 2013.

25%

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SIEMENS TO ACQUIRE FAST VIEWER

the rate at which Indian PC shipments will grow In 2011: Gartner

76%

in India want to virtualise and adopt cloud computing in the next 18 months: VMware

u


users are forecast to total 6.6 million units in 2010, according to Gartner.

FOUR 1

YOU TUBE IS OFFERING 500 OF ITS favorite content providers $1000 each in credit to camera equipment store B&H Photo - as a thank you for generating “billions of video views in 2010,” according to a post on the official YouTube blog.

INTERESTING READS

2

ALCATELLUCENT HAS DECLARED WAR on Apple, Canon, LG and TiVo. The firm has filed a new lawsuit alleging that each of the companies is knowingly using Alcatel-Lucent patented technology without appropriate royalty payment.

3

ACCORDING TO A REPORT RELEASED BY comScore, millions of Britons (under 25) are shunning e-mail for social networking sites. Further, it stated that popular websites in the UK - Yahoo! Mail, Gmail and Hotmail have experienced a consistent fall in terms of number of people visiting their sites.

4

A US ARMY INTELLIGENCE ANALYST copied classified documents from the US military network & saved them on a disk before giving it to WikiLeaks. Following the leaks, online service providers like PayPal, MasterCard & Amazon, pressurized by US govt., excommunicated WikiLeaks.

TOSHIBA LAUNCHES CANVIO 3.0 PORTABLE HARD DRIVES: Toshiba has announced the availability of the Canvio 3.0 portable hard drive product line in India through its distributor, Rashi Peripherals. Toshiba’s Canvio 3.0 portable hard drives come in a 500GB & 1 TB capacity. A 500 GB HDD enable users to store up to 142,000 digital photos, or 131,000 digital music files, or 410 downloaded digital movies. The Canvio 3.0 HDD includes NTI Backup Now EZ software, which scans the system and recommends the best coverage for computer. The restore button can help recover a file or folder and if users chose to boot to Canvio 3.0 portable hard drive, it will restore all the files saved on the computer. The Canvio 3.0 HDD comes with a utility, which helps to burn a boot CD/DVD to make the process even simpler. Canvio 3.0 portables HDD 500 GB & 1TB are priced at Rs 7,990 and Rs 13,790.

10.6%

the rate at which APAC (Asia Pacific) enterprise spending is expected to rebound in 2010: Gartner


UPtoDATE

QUICK LINE: BUSY INFOTECH RECENTLY organised its Annual Partners Meet in Alwar Bagh and Sariska.

Cisco re-aligns India partner strategy IN A MOVE to capitalize on the rapid convergence of multiple market transitions from collaboration and video, to virtualisation and cloud-based services, Cisco India has re-aligned is partner strategy. Under the new approach, Cisco has renamed its partner business as ‘Partner Organisation’. According to B Raghavendran, Vice President and Head, Partner Organisation, Cisco India, the re-alignment wants partners to think beyond B RAGHAVENDRAN, VICE networking and focus on Cisco’s three architecPRESIDENT AND HEAD, PARTNER tures - collaboration, virtualisation and borderORGANISATION, CISCO INDIA less networks. “Over the last four quarters, Cisco has evolved its strategies, and hence, the effort to re-organise the partner structure to suite the needs,” said Raghavendran. To this end, Cisco’s channel organisation and strategic alliance division will work as a single unit under the new structure. “The objective is to enable the two groups and to tap opportunities around these three architectures and increase the penetration across industry verticals and markets,” said Raghavendran.

VENDORVOICE

“Our Xerox Global Document Outsourcing solution helps firms deliver measurable efficiencies, reduce costs & improve productivity.” VIPIN TUTEJA, ED OF MARKETING & BUSINESS SUPPORT, XEROX INDIA

MAIT to extend membership to regional IT bodies MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION FOR

of the tie up with IT associations is to make an assoInformation Technology ciation interface for the ICT (MAIT), the apex body ecosystems. This will help representing the computer the IT bodies to identify hardware, training and ground issues.” software industries, has “Having IT associations plans to extend its memon our rolls will enable bership to regional IT assous to increase our footciations. prints, as we already To start with, MAIT has have all distributors as ASHWINI AGGARWAL, taken Ahmedabad-based our members,” as per EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MAIT Ahmedabad Computer Aggarwal. Merchants Association (ACMA), According to Girish Rathore, Kolkata based COMPASS and Mumbai President, TAIT, the association is based Trade Association of Information taking up larger issues with MAIT’s Technology (TAIT) into its fold. It will support, regarding taxation policies, rope in more associations in future. tender processes and best practices According to Ashwini Aggarwal, for IT. Executive Director, MAIT, “The objective – Sandhya Malhotra

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“As far as the peripheral business goes, the competition is very stiff; but it has been changing recently, from being just price driven to value driven.” RAJESH DOSHI,

DIRECTOR-PURCHASE & MARKETING, TOP NOTCH INFOTRONIX INDIA


UPtoDATE

QUICK LINE: SYMANTEC HAS ROLLED out its new ‘Symantec Enhanced Partner Programme’.

Seagate launches new home network storage

SEAGATE UNVEILED THE new addition of the GoFlex Home network storage system. Connected to a wireless router, the device will enable the users to backup files from Windows and MaC OS X operating systems on the home network. The centralized network storage device simplifies the backup process and is compatible with the Apple Time Machine and Windows. The GoFlex home storage features help in streaming photos, movies, and music to DLNA devices, besides TV HD media player. Its modular design enables the drive

to upgrade when needed by simply removing the drive from the base, with no additional tools, while replacing it with a higher capacity GoFlex Desk hard drive. Families can also add more storage to the GoFlex Home system by simply connecting additional drives to the USB port. Seagate’s select retailers and resellers will sell GoFlex Home network storage system at an indicative price of Rs 8,000 for 1 terabyte and Rs 12,000 for 2 terabytes.

DELL UNVEILS NEW XPS LAPTOPS

DELL HAS LAUNCHED its new range of XPS laptops, with HD video streaming webcams. These are Skype certified. The new range, in 14 and 15-inch screen sizes, are 3D Video ready and include N NVIDIA’s 3DTV Play software. This feature enables the user to connect Dell XPS notebooks to new 3D HDTVs and play PC games in 3D, watch Blu-ray 3D movies, and browse 3D photos and videos.

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These laptops come standard with a silver anodized aluminum display with back and palm rest. “We differentiate ourselves from others with the new line of XPS laptops, which offer pulsing audio from JBL and Waves, new high-definition screens driven by NVIDIA technology and the industry’s first Skype-certified laptops with the first webcam allowing HD video streaming,” said Mahesh Bhalla, General Manager, Consumer, Small and Medium Business, Dell India. “These laptops are great if you are a technology, media or graphics enthusiast and is an ideal companion for mobile professionals,” he added. The 15-inch XPS notebook is priced at Rs 45,900, while the 14 inch version of the new product is available at a price of Rs 44,900.

Epson launches new photo printer EPSON HAS LAUNCHED an all-in-one photo printer – the Epson Stylus Photo TX720WD, which succeeds its predecessor, the Epson Stylus Photo TX700W. As per the company, the new printer retains the key strengths of the previous model by being capable of producing up to 40 Pages Per Minute (PPM) for both black and colour text and a 4 x 6 inch photo in 10 seconds. However, it improves on its predecessor with a new integrated duplex printing module that helps users conveniently save paper, and a new flat touch pad. The new Epson printer has a glossy black exterior and a 2.5 inch LCD screen, which enables users to preview their photographs before printing, without connecting to a PC. The Epson Stylus Photo TX720WD achieves high print resolution of 5760 x 1440 Dots Per Inch (DPI) with Epson’s proprietary Micro Piezo print head technology, enabling the printer to produce photos with high clarity and smooth colour gradation. According to Samba Moorthy, Sr General Manager, Sales & Marketing, “The Epson Stylus Photo TX720WD also features wireless connectivity, which allows it to be conveniently stored in cupboards or book shelves, saving desktop space.”


UPtoDATE

QUICK LINE: SOPHOS HAS WARNED Facebook users about the reappearance of survey scams.

BenQ eyes IBM to build unified 3D market network solution for DIAL’s passenger terminal IBM HAS PARTNERED with Delhi International Airport (DIAL) to automate the operations of New Delhi’s passenger terminal building 3. IBM will set up a common-use infrastructure to expedite the operations. It will build a single, scalable unified network solution to integrate all communications across the passenger terminal and its associated service buildings and facilities, airlines, ground handlers, airport operations, retailers and other concessionaires. This will enable the officials to share exchange, manage information across their related operations more efficiently, and deploy their resources at a quicker pace. According to I Prabhakara Rao, CEO, Airport Project Development, DIAL, IBM’s solution will help DIAL manage its internal systems efficiently, deliver greater service to the users of the airport and resolve interoperable issues. DIAL chose IBM’s Managed Network Infrastructure solution (MNI) solution as the backbone for all the IT and non-IT systems in T3 .The network design combines video, voice and data over a single network platform using Intelligent Cable Management System with high levels of redundancy and scalability.

Dell India reshuffles key executives DELL INDIA HAS announced key executive changes to its leadership team, prominent among which is Ganesh Lakshminarayanan, Vice President & Managing Director, Dell International Services, being elevated to the role of President & Managing Director, Dell India. Sameer Garde takes on the role of Vice President and General Manager of Dell’s Global OEM Solutions segment. While Vikas Bhonsle will be the new GM for India Large Enterprise (LE) operations, Mahesh Bhalla, General

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Manager & Executive Director, Consumer Business, Dell, G LAKSHMINARAYANAN, has now been PRESIDENT & MD, entrusted with DELL INDIA an expanded role as Country General Manager, India CSMB. P Krishnakumar will be leading marketing strategy for the combined CSMB India organisation. Ravi Bharadwaj will now be Director APJ S&P, APOS and EPP.

RAJEEV SINGH, COUNTRY HEAD AND GENERAL MANGER, BENQ

AS 3D GAINS momentum, BenQ intends to encash on this demand with the launch of its 3D range. After projectors, BenQ has launched 23.6-inch 3D Led gaming monitors at the price point of Rs 28,000. Besides this, the company will be diversifying into a new product line next year. According to Rajeev Singh, Country Head and General Manger, BenQ India, the company wanted to take the first mover advantage of the growing demand with the launch of the 3D gaming monitors. The vendor will soon introduce digital cameras, tablets and 3D Led TV. Singh maintained, “As a strategy, we will partner with online gaming forums and gaming professionals to evangelize the technology.” BenQ will begin a sixcity FM campaign to target the youth and gaming segment. According to Manish Sood, National Sales Manager-LCD Monitors, BenQ India, Neoteric will distribute the 3D monitor range, while Redington will push the other monitor categories. “We are looking at adding two more national distributors this year to drive the new range,” he added. BenQ enjoys a 7.5% market share in monitors and 8.5% in projectors. – Sandhya Malhotra


PARTNERCONNECT GRID POWER

DOSSIER

Name: Jaya Shetty Designation: Director Company: Grid Power Conversion Profile: Grid Power Conversion’s target verticals are IT, banking & industry. It is now all set to offer power backups, networking on LAN/WAN/CAN, storage, facility management & installation and support on telecom and network products. Its annual turnover is Rs. 10 crores.

Q How is your firm Grid Power Conversion positioned? A We have been selling power solutions ranging from UPS to DC power supply units from over a decade now. Starting as a small distributor for power products, we graduated to become an end-to-end solutions provider. During the initial phase, we signed up with a global vendor Eaton as their distributor. Since this was a flourishing industry, I tried to bring in several value additions to increase customer confidence. The effort paved way to set up a manufacturing unit, to cater to customer and market requirements. Q From selling power products to being a power solutions provider, how was the transition? Did you make any big bets? A The first support came in from Eaton, which gave us an opportunity to sell

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INTERVIEW WITH JAYA SHETTY, DIRECTOR, GRID POWER CONVERSION

“Invest in building the right processes and systems; a deeper alignment with the principals is an added bonus” multinational products. The market was still nascent with no major global brand in the UPS. It was a learning phase for us, as we understood the nuances of the power technology. The focus was on power protection and power management. We worked closely with large customers to win their confidence in our company and the brand that we represented. The revenues made through distribution were reinvested into the company.

Q Can you share certain customer cases which have been the stepping-stone to your success? A Our first customer was Zeta Infotech (now a part of Manipal Press) who deployed Eaton’s solutions. It was a tough proposition to sell a premium priced product and a global brand, amidst stiff competition from a whole lot of brands. Looking back, we created a strong base at this largest press group, who still buys our products. Q What are the new trends emerging in the power space? Have you evolved a new approach to address the same? A The trend is towards rolling out energy

efficient products. Renewable energy solutions will play a vital role in complementing conventional energy sources. Adopting energy efficient tools and techniques can increase the demand for power solutions. This will enable us to drive bottom line growth. Catering to such a demand will call for major investments. It is critical to tap potential investors who could take a stake and provide technical excellence. It will enable us to bag huge projects in partnership with global players.

Q What tips would you give to solution providers not only on how to survive but also thrive? A Tapping the right opportunity and nurturing it will drive customer confidence. Q What are your future plans? The focus for 2011 will be to tap large customers in terms of volume and value. We are addressing IT and banking segments and will target other verticals too. We will open up branches in Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai and Hyderabad. payal.pruthi@9dot9.in

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COVERSTORY

T lead he top I wha ers wri T t t is th they t e on h outl e busin ink o e curr ok for t ss h e Alig nt yea e stra n yo r. u t the egies w r f mad orecas ith ts e lead by the ers. ILLU STRA BY PAYA T L ION

BY B PRUTH I I N ES H SR EED

HAR

AN


2011

OUTLOOK COVERSTORY

s the global economy heads out of recession and shows much visible signs of recovery, the ensuing year promises to kick off on an optimistic note for the IT industry. While the return to the freewheel IT spend is something that tops the wish list of most, a feedback from leading IT vendors in the country safely points towards a much prosperous 2011. In hindsight, year 2010 saw the IT industry battle the odds out with new initiatives and greater innovation as most vendors continued to push the next big service or solution. However, almost all IT players are betting on the coming 12 months. The vendors and distributors are taking a 360-degree approach to drive greater profitability and growth. While working on the new product developments, the vendors are aligning their internal teams to support the partners in the growth journey.

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COVER STORY OUTLOOK Growth Drivers: Technology trends such as server virtualisation, storage virtualisation, feature rich processors, de-duplication, desktop virtualisation and above all the cloud-based service delivery model is going to capture customer attention. IDC pointed that 2011 will be about the coalescence of disruptive technologies and customer segments into the “new mainstream” platform for growth, for the IT industry itself, and for the industries it serves. The analysts believe that the “mainstreaming” of these formerly emerging phenomena means that they can no longer be invested in, or managed as sandbox efforts around the edges of the market but they will increasingly be the market itself. As a result, one will see the IT industry revolving more and more around the build-out and adoption of this next dominant platform, characterized by mobility, cloud-based application and service delivery, and value-generating overlays of social business and pervasive analytics. Intel will launch its feature rich second generation core processor family, code-named ‘Sandy Bridge’ in early 2011. The vendor intends to invade the market with the product for the enterprises and home segment. Cisco seems to have identified nearly 30 niche sectors to drive its technological innovations. It will build partner skills to enable them to develop architectural frameworks in the networking space and to identify opportunities in these key sectors. Obviously, Cisco is looking at expanding its partner ecosystem beyond the traditional networking domain. IBM’s 2015 roadmap revolves around four growth initiatives, such as smarter planet, next generation datacenter, cloud model and business analytics. Mukul Mathur, Director, Business Partners & CSI, IBM India & South Asia believes that these initiatives will throw up immense opportunity for IBM’s Business Partners, and the channel will be at the forefront of every one of these initiatives.

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Betting Big on SMB

T

SATYEN VYAS, DIRECTOR, MEDIUM BUSINESS, CSMB, DELL INDIA

here is a fundamental change in the way the technology is used in the IT industry, with the trends like virtualisation, mobility, cloud computing, heightened storage requirements, the digital home personalization, ubiquitous data access etc., taking a plunge. At Dell, it is an opportunity to differentiate ourselves from the competition. We will continue to offer Intelligent Data Management solutions as customer’s storage needs

With its solutions offerings around mobility, virtualisation and cloud, Dell is also poised to bring unique and differentiated solutions in segments such as education as well as e-governance and healthcare. Dell intends to strengthen its partner net-

2011 will be about the coalescence of disruptive technologies and customer segments into the “new mainstream” platform for growth.

continue to expand. We laid thrust on the fast-growing iSCSI storage technology that offered great cost benefits in terms of RoI, especially in the mid-range segment. The rise in 10GB Ethernet is changing the dynamics of storage, making iSCSI a viable option for the customers. We have witnessed our customers taking advantage of the EqualLogic storage solutions for aligning themselves better in a virtualised environment. We plan to bring the benefits of cloud to a broader audience, while betting big on the SMB market, which is critical to our growth. Dell would like to be the IT partner of choice for these small and medium businesses. We will continue to expand our consumer channel in the country and roll out innovative initiatives and incentive programs for partners in 2011. Our sales affiliate programme is popular amongst the partner community and we would bring in several enhancements in this. Indian IT market has huge untapped potential. We think that there is a great opportunity for partners to address the potential with our solutions.

work to become a strong player in the PC domain. Meanwhile, Acer expects to clock a turnover of around Rs 2,400 crore this year. A whole lot of smart handheld devices will roll out in 2011 to drive partner interest. To this end, the vendor is banking heavily on its set of partners. “We expect the channel partners who are our last mile to understand our product offering and appropriately connect with the customers,” points S Rajendran, Chief Marketing Officer, Acer India. In an industry as volatile as IT, it is just a matter of time before one phenomenon undergoes invention and reinvention and makes way for the newer ones. payal.pruthi@9dot9.in

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OUTLOOK COVER STORY

ALIGNED TO DRIVE PARTNER GROWTH

B RAGHAVENDRAN, VICE PRESIDENT AND HEAD –PARTNER ORGANISATION, CISCO INDIA & SAARC

T

he year 2011 is the year of growth in demand. Cisco has identified key growth areas, which will open up opportunities for partners. Some of them include smart connected communities, physical safety and security areas and smart grid or power sector, which calls for greater innovations and new architectural framework. Cisco will focus on these adjacencies and tie-up with partners to offer architectures for these market demands. It will enable partners to meet these demands with various certification and training programs. We also focus on transformation partners such as Accenture, Mindtree and L&T. We will concentrate on creating new business models and go to market strategy in 2011. To this end, we will sign up telecom service providers and MSPs who target set industries. Cisco has created a partner organisation by combining channel and strategic alliance team into a single unit.

2011: A Year of Continued Positive Transition

I

BM has clearly defined its 2015 roadmap and the 4 growth initiatives, which will contribute to the company’s future success. The initiatives around smarter planet, next generation datacenter and cloud, business analytics, and geo-expansion will deliver $20 billion in revenue growth for us in the next 5 years. We have built a portfolio of services around the new cloud computing model, which clients can access securely from IBM or offer internally on their own premises. IBM Business Analytics and Optimization Services have helped enterprises draw on the company’s deep expertise in vertical industries, research, and mathematics and information management. Our key focus has been on the geo-expansion initiative to drive partner growth and help them identify opportunities. From a partner standpoint, IBM has 3 key pillars simplicity, growth and profitability. We did well in bringing the totality

Intel Atom More Pervasive

B. SURYANARAYANAN, DIRECTORSALES & MARKETING GROUP, INTEL SOUTH ASIA

2

011 will see the implementation of more connected devices and embedded technologies across all industries. Intel will focus on its Atom Processor which will continue to enable intelligent devices every-

MUKUL MATHUR, DIRECTOR, BUSINESS PARTNERS & CSI, IBM INDIA / SOUTH ASIA

of IBM to its Business Partners this year, in line with these priorities. The biggest challenge for partners is to move beyond their comfort zones. They need to look at new opportunities beyond their areas of expertise, focus on a solution led approach, & constantly enhance their domain knowledge and skills.

where, empowering people with new connected experiences in their homes, cars, entertainment devices and a host of new devices. Intel will push its Core vPro processors and leverage McAfee’s security solutions to meet the security demands of the customer during the year. Besides, our 2nd generation Intel Core processor family, codenamed ‘Sandy Bridge’ will power the latest desktop computers, laptops and servers. ‘Sandy Bridge’ will be launched in early 2011 and will deliver enhanced visual features including HD video, stereoscopic 3-D2, mainstream gaming, multi-tasking, online socializing and multimedia. From a partner perspective, there are three areas where partners can see a growth opportunity - new core transition, emergence of newer upcountry markets & growth in the SMB and home segment. Penetration of broadband will accelerate PC growth in the country.

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COVER STORY OUTLOOK

Increase Partner Capability

K

MANOJ CHUGH , PRESIDENT, EMC INDIA & SAARC

ey customer investments in 2011 will be around creating private cloud, de-duplication technologies, fully automated storage tiering (FAST) and unified storage. GRC too forms the priority focus area for customers in future with respect to security. CIOs are working on constrained budgets and are in need of solutions, which could provide savings around cost, infrastructure, reduce management overheads and risk, and meet compliance needs. Partners form a critical component of our business and it is imperative to have focused programs for them. Partners can expect continued focus on program enhancements, and training and enablement, from EMC. With security solutions being the key to cloud computing uptake, partners will leverage RSA’s tools to address enterprise customers. We will train and enable partners to enhance their offerings around information infrastructure, which holds great potential. EMC Velocity Partner Programme designed to make the channels profitable, helps them differentiate themselves in the marketplace. I see an increase in IT spending in 2011 by BFSI, government, IT\ITES and telecom sectors, addressed by the partners.

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WATCH OUT FOR SMART PRODUCTS

A

cer’s agenda for 2011 is to enhance investments in delivering high-end technology products, with new form factor aiding digital content consumption. The company will foray into new line of products and launch a range of smart handheld devices including tablets in the coming year. We will target enterprises with specific focus on BFSI, telecom, SME, SMB and education. We increased footprints in the SMB market, which drew greater revenue share. Owing to the increased competition and growth in market potential, Acer plans to invest around three per cent of the revenue turnover on marketing and promotional campaigns. Acer expects to clock a revenue turnover of Rs 2,400 crore this fiscal. Acer has presence across 140 cities through the 3000 channel and 275 retail partners. Acer will expand its partner base to tap the larger potential.

S RAJENDRAN, CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, ACER INDIA

It is vital for partners to enhance their skills, widen their product portfolio and address customer life cycle infrastructure management. It is essential to tap new markets, and evolve best business practices and ensure repeat business to driver greater profitability. The challenge for the partners is to meet customer requirement on a timely basis. It’s important to adapt to the changing technology products and customer buying patterns.

Gear up for the next product evolution

T

he year 2010 was a record for Tally from a business standpoint. We saw 1-lakh subscriptions on our Tally.Net, our cloud based ERP offering that fuelled our growth. We attribute our success to the extensive use of Tally remote capability by the customers. Year 2011 will be a growth year for Tally given the value added service that we plan to roll out. Tally Extender, a market place for customers to buy add-on modules for our solutions. Our development part-

SHOAIB AHMED, PRESIDENT, TALLY SOLUTIONS

ners drive major innovations in coming out with enhanced versions. Our thrust will be to bring in innovations into the product line and Tally Diamond is in pipeline. We expect about 25,000 customers to buy Tally Diamond, which targets 100 plus users in the midenterprise segment.


OUTLOOK COVER STORY

RIDING THE VIRTUALISATION WAVE

C

itrix expects the growth in desktop virtualisation to contribute significantly to its revenues in 2011. Adoption of cloud computing amongst the customers has fuelled the demand for desktop virtualisation. The key industry verticals, which will be part of this growth, will be IT\ITES, BPO, BFSI and telecom. Retail and government sectors too look very promising in driving the demand for VDI solutions. An interesting observation is that in 2011, I see more partners providing desktop as a service solution. A number of companies are creating their offerings in this new category and want to establish an alliance with Citrix. Citrix will continue to invest in their partners and work on strengthening the relationship with the existing partners. We have

SANJAY DESHMUKH, AREA VICE PRESIDENT, INDIA SUBCONTINENT, CITRIX SYSTEMS INDIA

partners who help us extend our reach beyond cities and industry segments, besides the global alliance partners like HP, Dell, Cisco, IBM, who are offering our products along with their solution.

Partners should equip themselves to do the solution sale and gain domain expertise. Channels are closest to customers and help us get a better appreciation of customer challenges and their requirements. We are committed to helping our partner ecosystem with intensive training and certifications owing to the changing technology trends. We will add new partners in the coming year, who would be storage-focused integrators, network integrators and application selling partners. We will also increase our presence in tier II cities in 2011, expanding our partner base to 80. From a distribution standpoint, we collaborated with Avnet recently to expand our reach and launched products around storage platform. Citrix’s agenda is to work closely with partners to ensure full-fledged adoption of the desktop virtualisation tools.

Retail is The Game

C

anon India closed H1 2010 revenues with 56% growth and is set to touch Rs 1260 Crores during calendar year 2010, which will be a 50% growth over 2009. The company has increased its focus on tier II and III cities to drive growth. About 50% of our business comes from the upcountry markets. With printer business driving greater revenues, Canon rolled out over 100 products, with new ones coming up in the near future. I observe the product development to be the key trend in the industry in the coming year as the customers aspire for trendy products. The cherished moment for Canon is its foray into retail with the launch of its exclusive brand retail store, ‘Canon Image Square’. We will evolve a franchisee model to expand our retail presence. With 5 such stores in 2010, Canon plans to have 95 retail outlets in 2011

VP SAJEEVAN, DIRECTOR, CONSUMER SYSTEM PRODUCTS DIVISION, CANON INDIA

and in all about 300 stores by 2013. Our challenge in 2011 is to keep track of our increased consumer base and tap them with consumable products. We will leverage the partners increasingly to drive our consumable business and expand the base if necessary. Canon strongly advocates BIBLE (Before I Buy, Live Experience) concept amongst customers and helps its partners drive the same. We will support the partners with good merchandising and other support, to create this experience. Canon will continue its focus on engaging with its partners through the Channel Dialogue and Gyan Yatra platforms.

In 2011, I see more partners providing desktop as a service solution. A number of companies are creating their offerings in this new category and want to establish an alliance with Citrix.”

—— SANJAY DESHMUKH, AREA VP, INDIA SUBCONTINENT, CITRIX SYSTEMS INDIA

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COVER STORY OUTLOOK

Service Led Approach Will Pay Off

SRIRAM S, CEO, IVALUE INFOSOLUTIONS

T

here is an assured growth in the industry even as the competition is getting stronger. As a result, there are little differentiators amongst the players. Going forward, I see services to be the growth driver for distributors and partners. Partners ought to look at security and storage as a service, which will drive the demand. Platform as a service is helping many start-ups churn innovations at a lower cost.

Some of the areas that channel can focus upon will be around consulting, auditing, compliance, remote infrastructure management, security and storage as a service and so on. Another emerging area is to drive business applications as a service, which is opening up growth opportunities. The new trend amongst the value added distributors is the emergence of new services arm to provide greater value to the customers. iValue has started a separate company - iManage Technology Services - to focus on driving services as a business model. Partners need to leverage such initiatives and have appropriate partnerships in place. Partners need to depend less on product and software revenues, and create a new business model around cloud-based offerings. The future investment will be around cloud model. There should be a mix of on-premise and cloud based offerings, which will add value to the customers. Many of our niche offerings around storage and security services have evolved into a run rate business for most partners. We will continue to add relevant solutions and services offerings to our portfolio in 2011, so that partners can garner a larger pie of the customer spend.

I see services to be the growth driver for distributors and partners. Partners ought to look at security and storage as a service.”

We will support partners through a systematic partner programme across all tiers, which will ensure their profitability. ”

INFOSOLUTIONS

CONSUMER PRODUCTS, EPSON INDIA

—— SRIRAM S, CEO, IVALUE

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—— RAM PRASAD, MANAGER -

ADAPT TO TECHNOLOGY ADVANCEMENTS

RAM PRASAD, MANAGER - CONSUMER PRODUCTS, EPSON INDIA

E

pson foresees huge growth coming from the home segment across both metros and upcountry market in 2011. To this end, I see an increase in IT spend by the customers who aspire to own latest products in printer, scanner and projector categories. Epson will give impetus to these product lines by investing on bringing innovations. The key technology trend is inclined towards wireless and network printing. From a product perspective, I see a greater uptake on multifunctional printers and projectors. The major growth driver for demand is heavy investment by the government in the infrastructure. Digitization of all government records across government and banking sectors has fueled the demand. Retail looks promising for Epson in 2011, as we plan to create more experience zones. Partners can expect breakthrough technology products from Epson going forward, which will have a competitive advantage. We will support partners through a systematic partner programme across all tiers, which will ensure their profitability. Partners should make sustained investments, track opportunities and align their businesses accordingly.


OUTLOOK COVER STORY

Look beyond reselling The year 2011 will see more value addition from partners, marketing initiatives, selling services, along with solution selling. Partners taking solutions approach will be the key beneficiary.”

RAJESH GOENKA, VP (SALES & MARKETING), RASHI PERIPHERALS

T

he year 2011 will see more value addition from partners, marketing initiatives, selling services, along with solution selling. Partners who take solutions approach in being the one stop shop across the entire PC range will be the key beneficiary.

From Rashi’s standpoint, in 2011, the company will focus on memory modules, storage related products including USB drives, DDR3 memory, range of HDDs, Micro SD etc. Our growth will come from the existing brands, new brands, and emerging industry verticals that the customers would focus upon. Rashi’s clear agenda is to drive profitability, come out with relevant programs, and support initiatives. We expect the market to grow further as we expand into 52 cities with our billing locations. The key aspect to the whole profit game is that partners should not restrict themselves to reselling or trading, but graduate to retailing the solutions. This will ensure a top-line growth as it would drive volumes. Retailing will also ensure greater profitability as it is always cash back sale.

—— RAJESH GOENKA, VP (SALES & MARKETING), RASHI PERIPHERALS

BEING FUTURE READY

M Our focus in 2011 will be to empower our partners to deliver efficient and flexible IT solutions to customers, driving bottom-line growth.” —— SURAJIT SEN, DIRECTOR –

CHANNELS, MARKETING & ALLIANCES, NETAPP INDIA

ore customers are rethinking about their IT infrastructures and evaluating alternatives to cope with the new realities of today’s business growth and pace. To help customers respond to these demands, NetApp has launched new platform features, products, and technologies in India that will help customers make the transition to a flexible and efficient shared IT infrastructure. It is critical to make the foundation for cloud computing and enable IT to be an accelerator to the business. We are influencing our customers and partners to adapt to this transition towards shared storage infrastructure, as it provides greater value to the customers in terms of increasing Return On Investments (RoI), reducing their overheads or capex largely. As part of our shared storage infrastructure initiative, we bring in scalable, unified architecture, storage efficiency, integrated data protection,

SURAJIT SEN, DIRECTOR – CHANNELS, MARKETING & ALLIANCES, NETAPP INDIA

data motion, secured multi-tenancy, service management offerings along with automation, solutions. Our focus in 2011 will be to empower our partners to deliver efficient and flexible IT solutions to customers, which will drive bottom-line growth.

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Channel onnect C

The right leadership skills for

channel partners

PAGE 36

Leadership training enthusiasts 56% Please rate 1 to 5, (1= Very Interested, 5= Not interested).

How often do you face DOA (Dead On Arrival )issues in the products you deal in?

7 42 %

29%

Vendors face DOA issues everytime in the products that they deal with

5

4

3

PAGE 38

26%

eek One w

9%

One we ek

r

%

Vendors feel that there should be at least one service centre in each zone or city

imum n i m e e th What do you think should b Time)? acceptable TAT (Turn Around

At Your

14%

3 to 5 Years

What should be the typical warranty period for an IT product that will make 41% customers 3 Years happy?

6%

More than 5 years

29% 1 Years

10% 2 Years

4% 13%

G RAVI KUMAR on what channel partners are ignoring

48 h ours

8Ot% he

11%

PAGE 38

57%

40%

16%

2

MANOJ P JOSEPH comments on the qualities a channel leader should have

KNOWLEDGE EDITION 7% 10% 19%

1

SERVICE Exclusive survey on how partners react to the services element in the IT business: Large service threats, customer demands. Read to find more....


SERVICESURVEY

At Your Service

Which of these product categories do you think tops the list for frequent service issues?

28% Motherboards

22% 12% 9% Hard Disks

Inkjet Printers

Processors

9% 7% USB/Pen drives

FALSE COVER: ANOOP VERMA

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Laser Printers

5% Monitors

INFOGRAPHICS: PRASANTH TR

D

CC embarked upon an exclusive services focused survey in the second issue of its Knowledge Edition. The objective was to provide insights into the key services area that concerned partners. About 97% of the respondents opined that it is imperative for vendors to have a uniform service and warranty policy throughout. Majority of them found certain discrepancies in the vendor warranty criteria, which resulted in incurring additional expenses which cut into services revenue. The edition also laid thrust on understanding the leadership qualities of partners which could help them address greater challenges and help them in the growth. An effort has also been made to see the lighter side of the partners, throwing light on the personal ambitions, passions, likes, dislikes etc. The analysis is a derivative of the detailed survey DCC conducted across 3000 partner organisations. A detailed questionnaire was sent for the partner feedback, which was followed by the direct one-on-one interviews and telecon. Our sample included 1000 partners who responded to the questions. However, there were 60 valid entries who met all the criteria with relevant feedback.

4%

Personal storage devices

4% Other

Do you feel all companies should conform to a basic service and warranty policy throughout the country?

97% 3% Yes

No

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SERVICE

How often do you face DOA (Dead On Arrival ) issues in the products you deal in?

What do you think should be the minimum acceptable TAT (Turn Around Time)? 48 hours

57%

Three days

26%

One week

Two week

9%

0%

SURVEY

Other

40%

8%

Sometimes

29% Rarely

INFOGRAPHICS: PRASANTH TR

VENDOR

CUSTOMER

19% Very often

10% Never GIVEN TO VENDOR FOR SERVICE

2% Every time

“The services provided, especially for products like processors and hard disks, which are very mission critical, should be fast and there should be replacements in 2 or 3 days.” Rajesh Puri, Director, Fore Solutions, Chandigarh

25% vendors feel that good communication with dealers/ customers is vital for a service centre

What should be the typical warranty period for an IT product that will make customers happy? More than 5 years 3 to 5 years

14%

6%

29%

3 years

1 year

41% 10%

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2 years

33


SERVICE

Do you think most vendors have well-defined procedures and processes for dealing with DOA issues?

“A transparent warranty policy from vendors will re-establish trust with end customers & the channel.”

54%

Kailas Shinde, Director; Hi-tech Computers Services (N) Pvt. Ltd.-Nashik

Yes

33%

Which of these vendors would you rate at the top in terms of providing speedy service?

33% HP

No

8% IBM

6% Canon

2% Asus

13%

14% Intel

0% AMD

Difficult to say

Do you have to bear service expenses on behalf of customers because of any flaw in service or warranty policy on vendor’s part? 42% Sometimes

17% Dell

20%

3% 3% 3% Acer LG Samsung

4%

42%

Other

13%

One in each zone or city

2%

Cannot say

13%

service centre

19%

Every time

Should be based on number of dealers in a region

12% Rarely

34

3% Lenovo

How many service centres should a vendor have?

Very often

Never

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8% Other

3%

One in each state

30% Should be

based on volume sales

INFOGRAPHICS: PRASANTH TR

SURVEY


SERVICE Do vendors provide resellers with enough spares?

“It is high time that the vendors start looking at not only the A and B class cities but also come out with service centers at the C class cities.�

12% 8%

SURVEY

31%

B V S Phani, Hi-Tech Marketing, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh

Sometimes

30% 23% 18%

Sometimes

Rarely

14%

Very Often

Do you feel that parallel imports should also be covered under the service and warranty of every MNC present in India?

67% 33%

ses ces pro

Every Time

g kin ac tr

15%

Wel l-d efi n

ed

Never

9%

cation chable lo Approa

Does the vendor provide you with an escalation matrix?

R

What would you prefer in terms of delivering post-sales service to the customer?

17%

A third-party service provider is fine

Yes

No

INFOGRAPHICS: PRASANTH TR

TEvery Time

20%

Rarely

25%

Very Often

24%

Never

What is the most important parameter for a service centre?

22%

18%

Good comm unication with dea lers/cus tomers el iab Tech ilit nica y in l ca prom pab iliti ise es dt ur na ro un d

31%

48% The vendor should provide service directly

35% The dealer should provide the service D E C E M B E R , 2 010

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LEADERSHIPSURVEY

Leading the Channel

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How would you divide your time between driving topline revenue growth versus driving only bottomline profit growth? 0%

25%

50%

75%

100%

3% 22% 44% 25% 4% Topline

36

institute. Also, 59% say that they want their vendors to enable a leadership training programme. More such insights have been shared by the channel partners. To learn more, read the survey...

Bottomline

Options reflect the percentage time spent between the two priorities.

0 % Driving topline revenue – 100% Driving bottomline profit

100 % Driving topline revenue – 0% Driving bottomline profit

25 % Driving topline revenue – 75% Driving bottomline profit

75 % Driving topline revenue – 25% Driving bottomline profit 50 % Driving topline revenue – 50% Driving bottomline profit

INFOGRAPHICS: ANOOP VERMA

I

n business, leadership is welded to performance. Effective leaders are those who increase their companies’ bottom lines. A simple definition of leadership is that it is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. In the Indian IT channel community, there are have been few first-generation entrepreneurs who had progressed because of their hard work and showed their peers what made them successful. Unfortunately, a large number of small & midsized channel partners are lacking in leadership quality. At any time, there will be one major bottleneck that prevents a business from growing. There might be other bottlenecks; but these are unlikely to have the growth-critical significance of the major bottleneck. So, it is important to learn what are the challenges limiting channel partners in achieving their goals, how do they introspect their missing leadership skills and what do they require to empower themselves with the right leadership skills. Digit Channel Connect conducted the Channel Leadership Survey to ascertain what are the challenges limiting channel partners’ business growth. Broadly, the channel partners feel that the bottlenecks to their growth are -- high attrition rate, lack of talent in the oragnisation, limited fund to invest, lack of analytical skills, inadequate skills to manage middle management, how to plan cash flow, etc and many more. Interestingly, channel partners accepted that they do not have adequate leadership quality skills and 56% of the respondents wanted to attend a certified leadership training programme from a top MBA

For more UPDATES, Log on to http://digitchannelconnect.com/resources/product_update


LEADERSHIP

SURVEY

What steps are you taking to deliver on your goals stated below? 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Adding new customers in existing verticals and/or geographies

40.20%

10.30%

13.40%

11.30%

8.20%

6.10%

7.20%

0%

2.00%

1.00%

Adding new customers in new verticals and/or geographies

16.80%

23.10%

12.60%

4.20%

16.80%

5.20%

7.30%

8.40%

2.10%

3.10%

Capturing a higher share of the IT investments being made by your existing customers

29.10%

16.60%

15.60%

8.30%

11.40%

5.20%

6.20%

1%

1%

5.20%

Sourcing additional revenue from your existing customers by upgrading their IT infrastructure or providing additional services

24.20%

23.10%

20%

9.40%

4.20%

5.20%

3.10%

4.20%

5.20%

1.00%

Providing a wider range of portfoilo of IT products and services to capture a larger share of IT investments being made by your customers

24.20%

15.70%

9.40%

10.50%

12.60%

9.40%

7.30%

6.30%

2.10%

2.10%

Adding new principals to your organization to expand portfolio of products being marketed

18.90%

12.60%

13.60%

8.40%

14.70%

11.50%

7.30%

7.30%

4.20%

1.00%

Changing the revenue mix of products and services to improve your profitability

24.20%

20.00%

13.60%

11.50%

10.50%

3.10%

8.40%

4.20%

2.10%

2.10%

Reducing costs to increase profitability

35.40%

9.30%

13.50%

8.30%

7.20%

4.10%

3.10%

9.30%

3.10%

6.20%

Increasing net realizzation ( increasing price,reducing discounting) to improve profitability

26.50%

15.90%

12.70%

3.10%

5.30%

7.40%

3.10%

9.50%

10.60%

5.30%

others

6.50%

4.30%

6.50%

2.10%

5.40%

1%

8.60%

13.00%

26.00%

26.00%

9

10

Priorities ranked in terms of importance (1 to 10, 1=most important, 10=least important)

What challenges, if any, are you facing in achieving the below? 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

The talent in the organization falls short and needs to be upgraded

31.90%

15.90%

17.00%

5.30%

13.80%

7.40%

0%

4.20%

2.10%

2.10%

Limited access to funds to invest

17.00%

13.80%

13.80%

9.50%

12.70%

5.30%

5.30%

9.50%

8.50%

4.20%

Limited customer base

9.50%

14.80%

8.50%

9.50%

20.20%

10.60%

7.40%

8.50%

7.40%

3.10%

Limited portfolio of products and services

10.60%

10.60%

11.70%

13.80%

22.30%

11.70%

5.30%

6.30%

4.20%

3.10%

The business plan of my principals is not aligned with my growth ambition

8.50%

8.50%

15.90%

15.90%

20.20%

9.50%

6.30%

6.30%

5.30%

3.10%

I need to upgrade my own leadership and management skills to push my organization to the next level

26.50%

23.40%

7.40%

9.50%

15.90%

3.10%

2.10%

5.30%

3.10%

3.10%

Limited / reduced budgets of customers

13.80%

18.00%

13.80%

10.60%

13.80%

10.60%

8.50%

5.30%

2.10%

3.10%

Heavy competition from other channel partners / principals

27.60%

15.90%

9.50%

6.30%

12.70%

3.10%

10.60%

7.40%

5.30%

1.00%

Too many product launches which lead to inventory management and training issues

11.70%

13.80%

15.90%

4.20%

17.00%

6.30%

10.60%

5.30%

7.40%

7.40%

Others

6.40%

4.30%

2.10%

3.20%

5.30%

6.40%

3.20%

17.20%

29.00%

22.50%

Ranked in terms of importance (1 to 10, 1=most important, 10=least important) D E C E M B E R , 2 010

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LEADERSHIP

SURVEY

Would you like to attend a certified leadership training programme from a top MBA institute? 4%

4

11%

13%

5

3

56%

“We’re ignoring marketing, promotion, image building, & management funding.”

1

2 16%

Ranked 1 to 5, (1= Very Interested, 5= Not interested).

G Ravi Kumar, MD, Aeon Systems Pvt Ltd, IBM business partner, Coimbatore

How would you rate a principal that enabled a certified leadership training programme for you?

“Understanding of senior management and middle management is important for managing the business needs. Manoj P Joseph, Director, Neural Networks P Ltd, Cochin

Have you attended any leadership training programme in the past one year?

47% 53% Yes

2 17%

1 59% 5 7%

No

3 12%

4 5%

Ranked 1 to 5, (1 = Highly favorable, 5 = Highly Unfavorable)

What would you like your principal to do to help you achieve your long term growth ambition? 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Quick or frequent product launches

14.80%

13.80%

13.80%

4.20%

13.80%

7.40%

11.70%

10.60%

2.10%

7.40%

Wider product availability

26.30%

14.70%

17.80%

6.30%

16.80%

8.40%

3.10%

5.20%

0%

1%

Trips to exotic locations

5.30%

4.20%

10.60%

10.60%

8.50%

5.30%

6.30%

20.20%

18.00%

10.60%

Certified Leadership training for you from one of India’s top MBA institute

24.40%

19.10%

14.80%

10.60%

11.70%

3.10%

2.10%

4.20%

0%

9.50%

Quick resolution of customer service requests

62.30%

15.00%

3.20%

5.30%

5.30%

0.00%

3.20%

1.00%

2.10%

2.10%

Technical certification & training programmes for your staff

39.30%

31.90%

5.30%

5.30%

6.30%

5.30%

1.00%

3.10%

0%

2.10%

Just-in-time inventory

29.40%

21.00%

16.80%

6.30%

7.30%

3.10%

5.20%

8.40%

1.00%

1.00%

Developing new customers

55.30%

19.10%

4.20%

6.30%

1.00%

1%

1%

4.20%

5.30%

2.10%

Others

9.70%

5.40%

4.30%

2.10%

6.50%

3.20%

7.60%

10.80%

26%

23.90%

Ranked in terms of value (1 to 10, 1=most want, 10=least want)

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LEADERSHIP

SURVEY When was the last time you played an outdoor sport? A few months back Not for years A few days back Yesterday Today

36% 22% 18% 15% 9%

Who would you certainly not invite for dinner? Osama Bin Laden Other Dracula Saddam Hussein

Which of the following activities would you hate doing the most (if forced to)? Swallow a scorpion

26%

Take the stairs to the top of a 20-storey building

26%

Beat the guy or girl sitting next to you

22%

Walk barefoot on burning coals Kiss a bumblebee Kiss your own wife

Hitler Col Gaddafi

44% 19% 12% 12% 8% 5%

19% 4% 3%

Who is your favourite actor? Aamir Khan

Who is your favourite actress? Aishwarya Rai

32%

Katrina Kaif

27%

Deepika Padukone

16%

Kareena Kapoor

10%

Kajol

10%

Rani Mukherjee

5%

48%

Shah Rukh Khan

20%

Akshay Kumar

10%

Amitabh Bachchan

10%

Salman Khan

9%

Sanjay Dutt

3%

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STORY ROI Get to know what India’s oldest, and most influential technology community has to say on the brands that you should trust.

SPECIALREPORT OVERVIEW

WHO DO YOU TRUST Which brands does India’s most influential community trust the most? Find out...

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For more UPDATES, Log on http://digitchannelconnect.com/ resources/category/30/readmore/news


OVERVIEW SPECIAL REPORT

eorge Macdonald once said - “To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved”. At Digit, every year, we’ve been reaching out to our readers all over India. Our mission is to gauge their T-factor on the players in the personal technology space. We’ve heard our readers out, and have collated and tabulated the results. Here’s what India’s oldest, and most influential technology community has to say.

Icons Of Trust? Ideally, a good product would sell more than a bad one. In reality, this is not always the case. There are always variables – marketing and aggressive advertising for instance, can often cover up for a weak product, especially, in a country like India, where perceptions play an important role in purchase decisions. And perceptions can be swayed in a number of ways. For you, this survey is a collation of experiences, and will ensure that you, your friends and your family will buy smarter. For brands, this is a reality check, allowing them to gauge if they’re really listening to their customers (existing or potential).

CELL PHONES The word ‘cell phones’ might be a little outdated itself for these converged tiny multimedia computers of today. Distinct categories have emerged, such as smart-phones, PDA phones, touchphones, camera phones, music phones, etc. The number of models collectively churned out every year is mind-boggling, and no product enjoys so stable

a sales curve as cell phones. Neither has any product penetrated the masses so thoroughly.

Market watch This year has seen an interesting emergence of domestic brands, and in a big way. We saw the launch of no less than five new brands, and the year isn’t even over yet. Most of these brands are cautious, initially launching entry-level phones. This is obviously the way to go in a market that is dominated by big names. And most people like to play the volumes game, for that is what builds revenue. Building and (successfully) marketing a handset worth Rs. 30,000 is not an easy task, and requires lots of initial investments and expertise. Over the year, we’ve seen some of these minnows gradually move up the price ladder, obviously buoyed by their success in the lower rungs. This is heartening from our perspective, as more competition can only be good for us consumers. In fact, breaking into a market already replete with brands is no easy task, and kudos to minnows such as Spice, Intex, Micromax, Lava, Karbonn, Maxx, Rage, Lemon, Videocon and others who we haven’t mentioned here. They have forced some bigger brands to drop prices of mid-range products and introduce entry-level phones! Android has emerged as a platform to be reckoned with. We’ve seen a number of vendors jump on to the Android platform, and we’ve seen a number of flagship devices on this platform this year, from the likes of Motorola, HTC and Samsung. We’ve also seen a few cheaper Android phones, close to the Rs.10,000 mark. This is also welcome,

since initially, we perceived this to be an expensive platform. Windows Phone 7 (WP7) has just launched, and as expected, there have been a slew of new releases from LG, HTC, Samsung and even Dell. WP 7 challenges Android, for it is a complete redesign, and nothing like its predecessor – it’s modern, highly usable and customisable and the lack of native capacitive touch support, which was a serious chink in Microsoft’s armour, has been overcome. This year also sees the welcome return of the teetering giant Motorola. Once perceived to be on the brink of extinction, they’re back, and quite miraculously, on account of a single phone – the Motorola Droid (or Motorola Milestone), whose sales, singlehandedly restored their treasury reserves. As a salute to Android that powered the Droid, they now have an entire range of phones on the platform.

Important results from our survey 1 The biggest shift in Nokia’s dominance of power came in the awareness index, where Motorola and Samsung caught up to Nokia, with identical scores and other brands like LG, Apple, Blackberry and Sony Ericsson trailing slightly. 2 Last year, Nokia had a 2.5x lead over its nearest competitor in the awareness arena. This dominion is history. People are more aware of the other options available. The awareness level for Motorola climbed 8 times, and HTC 6 times. So more of our readers are aware that there are other viable brands. 3 Lots of people trust Apple, just a fraction less than those who trust


SPECIAL REPORT OVERVIEW

Nokia. People also trust Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Blackberry, but less than the first two. A lot of people trust Samsung over LG, although both are Korean brands. 4 Blackberry was the major climber in terms of satisfaction from last year. It climbed six points, meaning fewer BlackBerry owners have anything to complain about. 5 People felt Nokia make the sturdiest devices – lasting longer than others. 6 Apple was voted as the most innovative brand. Nokia scored a close second, while Samsung and Blackberry tie for a distant third. Apple was also voted as the most technologically advanced brand. Interestingly, Blackberry came in second here. 7 People don’t find the smaller brands to be as innovative. Micromax led the minnows, but still only got onefourth of the votes that Apple did. 8 Nokias were undisputedly voted as the easiest phones to use. Interestingly, Samsung and Apple score second and third, respectively. Perhaps, the touch

Trust index - Cell phones

interface hasn’t caught on as much as we thought. 9 Most Nokia users said they’d happily buy another Nokia when upgrading. Apple came second here. 10 Generally, more people were happy with their Nokia phones, and they felt their devices were well priced, and offered a comparatively better feature set. They also said that they found buying a Nokia phone relatively hasslefree, due to an abundance of supply.

Additionally, servicing of Nokia phones was cheaper, and dealing with their customer support was also a better experience. Sony Ericsson and Samsung were the next most preferred brands on these counts. 11 From the minnows’ point of view, one thing is quite heartening. When looking at the perceived value of owning a cell phone belonging to a particular brand, there’s not much separating the bigger brands from the small ones.

HOW WE TRUSTED How is trust calculated?

ALL RESPONDENTS ARE asked to complete a rather long and comprehensive questionnaire, which aims at arriving at scores for five parameters: awareness, satisfaction, cost of ownership, credibility and loyalty. These five factors are what determine how much the respondents “trust” a brand. Awareness: buying decisions depend a lot on your awareness and the market’s awareness of a brand. You’re not likely to buy or recommend something you’ve never heard of before, are you? To get figures for awareness, we asked the respondents some questions to see how many knew of the brands in this segment. Credibility: Under this heading, we questioned respondents about how much they trusted a brand. Questions were asked to gauge what respondents felt about the quality, durability, technological advancement, design, innovativeness, etc., of each brand. This is by far the biggest contributor to the overall trust index, weighing in at 40%. Satisfaction: As owners of a brand’s products, how satisfied you are with their products is one of the key factors that influence how much you trust the brand. In this regard, we questioned the respondents as to how satisfied they were after purchasing a product, how

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easily available was it, how hard was it to find information about it, how well-informed were the sales people about the product, how easy was it to get after-sales support. As expected, this was the second biggest factor in determining the overall trust index. Loyalty: A lot goes into making people stay loyal to a brand. Although our interactions with fan-boys online is not always a good experience, you have to give credit to brands for being able to incite passion in their buyers. To ascertain the loyalty that respondents held for brands, we asked them a series of questions such as “Would you buy another cell phone of the same brand again”, and whether, based on their experiences, they would buy a product in a different category from the same brand. We also gauged how eager the respondents were to recommend products from this brand to friends and relatives, and whether the respondent generally spoke positively or negatively about the brand. Cost of ownership: Not all products can be bought once, used forever. There’s expenditure even after the purchase for servicing and repair, which may or may not fall under the warranty period, thus affecting your total cost of ownership. To ascertain this, we asked the respondents a series of questions to determine how much they had spent on a brand after purchase.


OVERVIEW SPECIAL REPORT

This means quite a few people are satisfied with their Micromax’s, Intex’s and the like.

The most trusted Nokia wins again. But then, the momentum they’ve gained over the past five years will take even longer to whittle down, if at all, so this comes as no surprise. However, globally, other brands have taken a larger chunk out of their sales pie, and our survey seems to indicate this too. Apple is gaining ground, and gradually improving on their iPhone design. Sony Ericsson is also an omnipresent threat, with a multitude of handsets catering to a wide audience. Riding the Android wave, we have Motorola, HTC and Samsung closing in, but still a bit behind. Windows Phone 7 could be another catalyst for these brands to further close the gap. Let’s see how the next year pans out.

HDTVS LCDs and plasma TVs have taken over the market. Just visit any of the electronics chains in the country, and you’ll see flat panels dominate the show. However, there’s a lot of jargon flying around, and often, one doesn’t know which brand to trust.

Market watch This year has not been the year of the HDTV. That was last year. However, this year has been the year of market penetration, as we see more and more people opting for a flat-screen and chucking out their older TVs. Most importantly, this year has been a year of falling prices, especially of the larger sets. We’ve seen 32-inch TVs from brands like Samsung, LG, Sony and Philips fall from their lofty Rs. 40,000

prices, to Rs. 30,000. An even larger drop is in the 42-inch segment that has fallen to below Rs. 55,000, making it even more affordable. 3D televisions have appeared this year, and most of the big vendors are offering them. While market adoption is yet to pick up, the pricing of such displays has become more competitive. There’s a dearth of 3D content, but on account of future proofing, if the premium’s not too great, it’s a nice feature to have. We’ve also seen brands like Videocon and Moserbaer become more competitive by offering better models that are slowly reaching the level of the big players like Samsung, LG and Sony. LED TVs have become cheaper, and there are more options available. Full LED displays are slowly entering our market, as options to the inferior Edge LED models.

Important results 1 Sony has gained a slightly better footing in the market, while LG and Samsung seem to remain right where

they were last year in terms of overall trust. This is probably because Sony cut prices this year. This gives them a competitive edge, as traditionally, Sony has always been perceived as a costlier brand. 2 Sony takes a very strong lead in credibility. They had a 25% higher level of trust in their brand, followed by Samsung. Sony’s HDTVs were also rated as being at least 30% more durable than those of other brands. This we feel, has less to do with the actual quality of build, and more a brand perception. 3 Sony also emerged a clear winner in the loyalty stake; 30% more people who buy a Sony TV, tend to stick with Sony, and recommend it to others. Samsung follows in second spot, while LG trails to take third. 4 Panasonic has gained three points in terms of overall trust, whereas VU, Sharp and Hitachi have maintained last year’s level of trust with almost no growth in our survey. 5 Results for innovation: Sony and Samsung were the first and second

Trust index - HDTVs


SPECIAL REPORT OVERVIEW

choice, respectively, with around 8 points separating them. LG is a distant third. Samsung was the first to introduce LED TVs and 3D TVs to India. We feel these two elements might have played an important part in the perception. 6 Sony enjoys a 195% lead over LG from the responses we got about display quality – rather shocking. Even Samsung enjoys a massive 145% lead over LG. This might have something to do with the fact that Samsung uses PVA panels that are known to produce deeper blacks and generally enjoy a better contrast ratio. And, we should add that our tests have shown that such a big difference is not warranted. Looks like LG needs to improve their customer perception, more than their displays.

The most trusted Sony has done it again, holding on to their top spot by a small margin. Samsung is the next most popular brand among our readers, garnering the second highest number of votes for reliability, trust, performance, innovation, after sales, longevity, features and quality. LG is a close number three.

DIGITAL CAMERAS Now considered a necessity, digital cameras are a product category that really heats up in the festive season.

30%

more people who BUY A SONY TV, TEND TO STICK WITH SONY, AND RECOMMEND IT TO OTHERS. There are a number of smaller brands that have emerged as players, offering competitive prices. A digital camera is also one of the few devices that one can actually grow out of.

Market watch We’re slowly seeing a second wave of penetration for cameras happening in India, as first timers continue to purchase them. Meanwhile, megapixels continue to grow, with no seeming heed paid to noise ratios of sensors. The feature sets also continue to expand, and we’re seeing models with optical zooms of up to 35x emerge. Ultra compacts are getting smaller, and more powerful, even as video is emerging as a competitive feature. dSLR cameras also continue to get cheaper, and today, a dSLR with lens can be had for the same price as some higher end ultra zooms. New models have been launched by most big players, and the others have followed suit,

Trust index - Digital Cameras

evidently anticipating a good boost in sales this holiday season.

Important results 1 23% of our respondents have purchased a digital camera in the past year; 53% of them in the last two years. This tells us that barring cell phones, digital cameras are the hottest consumer electronics equipment around amongst our readers. 2 Most people know about Sony or Canon cameras without being aided. 3 Canon is perceived to be the most rugged brand, trailed closely by Sony, and then comes Nikon. 4 It’s almost a tie between Canon and Sony when it comes to who has the technological edge. 5 When it comes to style, it’s Sony all the way. Nearly 40% more people feel Sony makes stylish cameras. Kudos to Sony’s marketing team for their success in maintaining this image. Fujifilm and Kodak got the lowest votes here. 6 One important victory for Canon is their after sales service. People felt Canon is more responsive, and their repair facilities took less time to fix problems. Canon edges out Sony by 2.3%, and Nikon trails by almost 50% of the votes. 7 On an average, Canon users are the most loyal, and tend to recommend the brand to others. 8 People also feel that Canon cameras are cheaper to maintain. 9 Sony sneaks ahead in terms of overall credibility and satisfaction. We feel Sony’s wider portfolio of products might have something to do with this, although we can’t be 100% sure. 10 The biggest jumper this year is Samsung. We feel its newfound popularity is in part due to a slew of new models launched in 2010.

The most trusted Finally, we have a change at the top. Sony topples Canon’s lead, and surpasses it as the most trusted brand. Although the difference is minimal

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OVERVIEW SPECIAL REPORT

and involves a change of only three points from last year, this is a big plus for Sony. While Canon jumped up two points from last year, Sony jumped five points. Nikon also rose, but by a single point and remains at number three.

Trust index – Flash storage

FLASH STORAGE If we could think of one aspect of computing technology that has grown by leaps and bounds, it has to be flash storage. Sure, today you can buy a 2 terabyte hard drive, but hard drive technology has hardly evolved in the last three years. Its younger sibling flash - however, is evolving by leaps and bounds. Needless to say, flash will probably be the future of storage – it’s compact, dissipates less heat, has no moving parts and is thus rugged. There are caveats too, but these seem to be on the mend. Whether it be inside your digital camera, or as an SSD inside your notebook, or even a USB drive, chances are that flash has already touched your life. We expect to see a lot more of it in the future. Last year, our survey was for external devices. This year, we’ve featured dedicated sections to flash and hard drive, as both technologies differ sufficiently in technology, price and usage scenarios to warrant this distinction.

Market watch SSDs have emerged in the Indian market, available for the taking. Granted, the pricing is atrocious, and often inordinately higher than US prices, but this is the premium one pays for being an early adopter. However, on the whole, flash is cheaper than it used to be, and with a 32 GB pen drive costing merely Rs. 4,000, pocket storage is getting better. Currently, 64 and

128 GB USB drives are very costly, but we hope to see prices slowly drop as people slowly start purchasing 32 GB drives. Flash is also used in cameras, and with HD video recording coming in, we’ve seen an increase in the density of flash modules used. 8 GB is pretty much the norm these days, while 16 GB and 32 GB cards have also become cheaper.

Important results 1 Kingston takes the lead when it comes to quality, with Transcend and SanDisk trailing close behind. Surprisingly, Corsair lost out big time. In fact, even HP, who is not a big player in the flash market took the lead over Corsair. Evidently, people associate Western Digital with “storage”, whether Flash or hard drive, and a lot of people mentioned it. 2 A-Data is one of the larger players in the flash arena globally. However, they garner a very low trust level in India. They’ve only just entered the

Indian market this year, so perhaps this will change next year. 3 When it comes to innovation, the scales tip in Transcend’s favour. Kingston loses out even to SanDisk, and is at third spot here. Interestingly, HP occupies the fourth spot, while Corsair languishes some 30% behind. 4 Most people feel Kingston flash products are technologically advanced, and also stylish. This could be on account of the compact drives and the larger metal-body AES drives that Kingston produces. Transcend and SanDisk occupy the second and third spot, while HP is a close fourth. 5 Consumer satisfaction is an allimportant element. How satisfied are you with your flash-based product? Transcend owners love the quality of theirs, but they feel that Kingston drives are slightly more plentiful in the market. Their thoughts mirror ours. 6 Kingston offers the best after sales support, according to our readers. They also resolve queries quicker, apprently. 7 56% of people who’ve bought


OVERVIEW SPECIAL REPORT

Kingston say that they’d surely buy another product (other than flash) from the same brand – a winning score. 69.8% of them say they’d buy another flash drive from Kingston, but 71% of Transcend users remain loyal to their chosen brand – a mixed bag. 8 Market awareness for Transcend is higher. Interestingly, SanDisk also enjoys a good reputation – probably because of their good reputation in the photography circles.

Wi-Fi routers have become more commonplace these days. They are gaining popularity mainly because they’re the easiest way to share a net connection.

The most trusted

Wireless networking

Our first tie! Kingston and Transcend cannot outdo the other, and SanDisk follows closely. HP occupies the third/ fourth place depending on whether you count our winners collectively or not. This is surprising, for we haven’t seen much flash products from them, but a strong brand name can overcome the worst of situations and this is a pristine example of this adage at work.

Thanks to the Internet revolution, Wi-Fi routers have become more commonplace these days. Wi-Fi routers are gaining popularity mainly because they’re the easiest way to share an Internet connection. With the way broadband has penetrated the bigger cities, the inevitable push for a convenient, wirefree means to share a high bandwidth line, surely couldn’t be far behind.

Market Watch 802.11n is the latest specification, and routers based on this standard have become affordable enough for you to consider them. Some brands are trying to break away from the boredom of wireless specifications and standards and simply segregate products on the basis of usage patterns, using related terms like “value”, “performance”, “home”, “enthusiast” and so on. We applaud this move, but at times, it’s better to know a bit about the specifications than relative terms. Wireless networking is also getting a shot in the arm, courtesy of an unexpected quarter – HDTVs. Many such displays come advertising features like wireless browsing, and such, and while they require a PC to work with, you can essentially browse using your wireless connection. Such TVs are wireless ready, and require a small dongle to work with. Courtesy: Team Digit


FOCUS E-READERS

58%

The compound annual rate at which e-book sales grew between 2002 and 2008.

14 Million units of ebook reader sales expected to peak in 2013.

Quick Take

Evolution of e-readers

An early e-book implementation were the desktop prototypes for a proposed notebook computer, the Dynabook, in the 1970s, which would be a general-purpose portable personal computer, including reading books. In the 1990s, the general availability of the Internet made transferring electronic files much easier, including e-books. Numerous e-book formats emerged and proliferated, some supported by major software companies such as Adobe with its PDF format, and others supported by independent and opensource programmers. Multiple readers followed multiple formats, most of them specializing in only one format, and thereby fragmenting the e-book market even more.

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READING REDEFINED

The love of reading while tanning has sustained a thriving industry in the form of e-books, which is gaining in popularity BY NASH DAVID WE ALL KNOW what happened to the paging industry not too long ago. A text-only means of communication could never sustain itself with a much better conglomerate of voice, data, text and video at lower costs. With books, we’re witnessing a similar scenario. To satiate your thirst for knowledge, and especially reading, the latest offering is that of eBook readers. The idea is to be able to read a digital copy (PDF, TXT or the rather secure ePub) of your favourite novel or book using dedicated hardware. This concept was popularised by Amazon with its classic Kindle Reader in 2007. In the three years of its business in this prod-

uct category, Amazon has revamped the Kindle through 3 generations. The current one being Kindle 3 announced in July this year. It’s slimmer, faster and cheaper than the earlier models.

Consumer leanings E-ink is indeed pleasant to read. Digit community member Sanket Naik believes that in urban India, space and storage of a book collection is a major concern. Due to space constraints, he prefers eBook readers to print. Also, he finds it uncomfortable to read more than 20 pages at one stretch on a laptop or LCD display. That’s one of the highlights and advantage of e-ink.

For more UPDATES, Log on http://digitchannelconnect.com/resources/opinions


E-READERS FOCUS

Market research findings Echoing the growing concern to the print and publishing industry is Forrester Research with its report that recommends “strategists planning the next wave of ebook readers diversify the portfolio of eReading devices to secure their ownership of the reading experience, offering devices that range from stripped-down $49 pocket readers to full-color touch readers that erase the gap between today’s ebook readers and tablet PCs.” Clearly, the single largest threat to eBook Readers appears to be in the form of tablet PCs, at least for now. But, a Rs. 1,500 ebook reader – really? Eventually, there’s one question that still dodges us. Why use eBook readers – for convenience, cost or charm? In the present market scenario, eBooks come at a price. In emerging economies such as India, even Rs. 6,000 for an ebook reader is still on the high, considering the fact that technological penetration and consumption is limited to the lofty. The USP of most ebook readers is either its display, or the number of formats it supports. In stark contrast, according to figures gathered by an authoritative body on the print and publishing industry PIRA, “Amazon has been growing its digital book range since the launch of the Kindle in 2007 and in August 2009 added 13,713 titles. In July 2009, Barnes and Noble in the US was offering 7,00,000 titles. Putting this growth in perspective, according to the Association of American Publishers, between 2002 and 2008, e-book sales grew at a compound annual rate of 58%, compared to 1.6% for the overall book industry. Definitely, eBook readers do pose a threat to the paper and print industry. However, more of this seems to affect the saturated and sapped American market. All the eBook reader activity seems to be happening in the world’s largest market. The Asian print and publishing industry seems to be growing. A trend seconded in a report on the Media and Entertainment industry

“THE MAN WHO DOES NOT READ GOOD BOOKS HAS NO ADVANTAGE OVER THE MAN WHO CAN’T READ THEM.” MARK TWAIN

by global auditing firm Ernst & Young forecasting the industry trend till 2014. According to the media and entertainment industry assessment by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the global consumer magazine market is worth $80 billion, compared to $71 billion five years ago. However, a closer look shows that while advertising rose by a Compound Annual Growth

Rate (CAGR) of 4%, circulation went up by just 1.9% between 2003 and 2007. This does speak of alternative sources for content for the consumer. Does it mean online content, piracy, or ebook readers? We know for sure ebook readers are not responsible for the slow growth in these figures. The industry picked up only post 2007 with the launch of the Amazon Kindle. What is universally agreed by all analysts globally is that advertising will increase significantly in the online and digital space in BRIC countries such as Brazil, China & India. From a more practical standpoint, PlasticLogic’s ProReader (announced at CES 2010, but later scrapped) held great potential. It’s no coincidence these kneejerk moves are a result of 3 million iPads selling in just 3 months of its launch. If you’re still wondering what the future could be, the October 2008 issue of Esquire, a men’s magazine could hold the key. This issue has the world’s first e-ink cover. With the iPad changing the market scenario, several eBook readers are looking at a reduced demand for reader-only devices. For the ultimate experience, companies would have to offer the feel of “touch” to their ebook readers. Flexible displays as promoted by PlasticLogic did promise this. Nevertheless, pricing is another critical factor. What would hold true till the end is substance. As billionaire investor Warren Buffet puts it, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” As far as the future of eBook readers is concerned, there is growing opinion among a vast section of analysts and market researchers that the growth for eBook readers can only be sustained till 2015. According to Informa Telecoms & Media, ebook reader sales are expected to peak at 14 million units in 2013, before falling by 7% in 2014. Perhaps the smell of paper would be the deciding factor, or a perfect synergy between paper and print like the Esquire cover! Courtesy: Digit

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EVENT CMDA PUNE

A Greener Tomorrow

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE EXPO CIO conference: On the inaugural day of the expo, a CIO conference was conducted, in which the leading CIOs of corporate companies were invited. The conference witnessed the influx of corporate crowd and included technology presentations and panel discussions by leading CIOs about initiatives by companies in environment protection and use of IT. CIO club (Pune Chapter) was associated with CMDA for first time as knowledge partner for this specific event. Technical seminars: Special technical seminars for college students were organised during the four – day long expo. A total of 12 seminars were conducted on topics like cyber crime, Security in Linux, Social networking with phone and Imagining Future, etc. Award night: The award night was held on 12th December. Awards were given for different categories such as best stall designs, best innovative product, best marketing executive and visitors choice awards.

CMDA Pune recently held its IT Expo that focused on the importance of e-waste management BY SANDHYA MALHOTRA

AWARD NIGHT FUNCTION

COMPUTER & MEDIA Dealers Association, Pune, popularly known as CMDA-- successfully concluded its IT Expo on 13th December 2010, with the message of e-waste management. This was the consecutive 13th year of this IT Expo. The 4 day event, which was held from 10th to 13th December, 2010, has set new landmarks in many contexts. It has moved from an open ground to the newly built international convention center. This was the first big exhibition at this new venue. According to Satbhai SD, President, CMDA, “This year, the IT expo was based on the theme of ‘Better technology for greener tomorrow’. We had run a special awareness programme for visitors to promote use of IT for a

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greener tomorrow. Moreover, a special e-waste collection van was the highlight of the event and was placed at the venue for 4 days. We appealed to all the visitors to bring their e-waste at

This year, the CMDA Pune IT expo ran a special awareness programme for visitors to promote use of IT for a greener tomorrow.

the exhibition to dispose off scientifically. We had received a good response on e-waste management.” The expo was inaugurated by Dr Anand Deshpande, MD & Founder of Persistent Systems. The 4-day expo saw an active representation from the IT enterprise and the channel fraternity. There was a keynote address from Dr. Deshpande, who elaborated the future of the hardware industry and services based on cloud computing. Nazim of Intex Technologies was the guest of honor. The expo, which also featured many conferences, saw Intex Technologies as the key partner; HP was partner for the CIO conference and Toshiba was

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SPECIAL REPORT CMDA PUNE

(TOP) STALLS AT THE EVENT, WHICH SAW BRANDS LIKE HP, TOSHIBA, ACER, INTEX, AMD, XEROX, E-SCAN, LOGITECH, MICROSOFT, SONY, DELL, MATRIX TELECOM, ATEN, KOMPKIN, KUNHAR PERIPHERALS, ASUS, TVSE, DIGILINK AND MANY OTHERS. (ABOVE) LEFT - CIO CONFERENCE PANEL DISCUSSIONS, AND RIGHT - A TECHNICAL SEMINAR

the award night partner. Digit Channel Connect was the IT media partner for the event. A total of 104 stalls were at display at the event. All the leading brands participated in the expo such as HP, Toshiba, Acer, Intex, AMD, Xerox, E-scan, Logitech, Microsoft, Sony, Dell, Matrix telecom, ATEN, Kompkin, Kunhar Peripherals, ASUS, TVSE,

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Digilink and many others. Though there was less footfalls as compared to last year, the event attracted more corporate visitors. This helped many participants to generate valuable enquiries. “We have received positive feedback of the presentation of products and the information about upcoming technology. Next year, we are aiming

to change the outlook of the IT Expo from product display to technology. CMDA has taken the first step towards this change.” “Based on this year’s experience, we expect that more and more vendors will participate in Pune’s exclusive IT show,” concluded Satbhai. sandhya.malhotra@9dot9.in

DCC December issue  

DCC December issue

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