"Part­ners will gain tremen­dously out of the DELL-EMC deal"

In a can­did in­ter­ac­tion with the DQ Chan­nels, Praveen Sa­hai, VP, Chan­nels, EMC In­dia and SAARC said that the much talked about DELL-EMC deal would pos­i­tively im­pact the chan­nel and part­ners would get tremen­dous ben­e­fits out of the deal

DQ Channels - - Front page - PRIYANKA PUGAOKAR (priyankapu@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in)

Tagged as the first stor­age com­pany in the world, to­day EMC has di­ver­si­fied into dif­fer­ent tech­nol­ogy do­main. How is the growth of EMC in In­dia in terms of reach and chan­nel spread in 2015?

Praveen Sa­hai: We had a very pos­i­tive run in the In­dian mar­ket and we have a very strong growth in terms of chan­nel. Our CAGR growth is in the range of about 12 to 15 per­cent. As per the IDC data for Q2, 2015, EMC had around 33 per­cent mar­ket share on the ex­ter­nal stor­age side of busi­ness. The chan­nel busi­ness has been very pos­i­tive in the last three to four years. For specif­i­cally this year, our chan­nel rev­enue growth is an ex­cess of about 35 per­cent.

From ex­ter­nal stor­age to cloud, EMC have a com­plete port­fo­lio of En­ter­prise so­lu­tions? What are the key fac­tors that dif­fer­en­ti­ate EMC from the com­peti­tors?

Praveen Sa­hai: Five years back we were known as the stor­age com­pany. We mi­grated our­selves to big data, se­cu­rity, vir­tu­al­iza­tion, soft­ware de­fined and now in the cloud space. The jour­ney has been very pos­i­tive. We have been a very strong R & D and ac­qui­si­tion based com­pany. Al­most 20 per­cent of EMC rev­enue is in­vested back into the R & D and ac­qui­si­tions. Our or­ganic and in­or­ganic growth in tech­nol­ogy has been through th­ese two ar­eas. So in­ter­est­ingly part­ners find us very tech­nol­ogy savvy and ahead of time. We not only pro­vide our stan­dard stor­age so­lu­tion, but also of­fer our big data so­lu­tion, an­a­lyt­ics based so­lu­tions, se­cu­rity based so­lu­tions and we are lev­er­ag­ing on our en­ter­prise cloud so­lu­tions. So if any SI wants to dif­fer­en­ti­ate him­self in so­lu­tion of­fer­ings, he be­comes a part of EMC’s chan­nel ecosys­tem. We have a plethora of of­fer­ings which are third plat­form ready and fu­ture ready. We are ser­vic­ing a prod­uct need and build­ing the ar­chi­tec­ture for fu­ture prod­ucts and that is where our align­ment with the en­ter­prise SIs space be­comes very strong.

What kind of trans­for­ma­tions you have brought in EMC’s chan­nel strate­gies? How th­ese changes have im­pacted EMC’s chan­nel busi­ness in In­dia?

Praveen Sa­hai: When I took over the role as a chan­nel head in July 2012, I wanted to consolidate the chan­nel part­ners to en­sure that there are cat­e­gories of part­ner re­la­tion­ships and peo­ple who align with us are prof­itable. So we went through that jour­ney and from five dis­trib­u­tors, we con­sol­i­dated into two. Sim­i­larly, from 65 fo­cused part­ners, we have con­sol­i­dated into 22.

Three years back we also ini­ti­ated jour­ney around three Ps and they are prof­itabil­ity, pipe­line and per­for­mance. Prof­itabil­ity is very crit­i­cal and we wanted to be the most prof­itable ven­dor for all our SIs and dis­trib­u­tors and we have reached at a com­mend­able stage in terms of prof­itabil­ity.

Sec­ond is the pipe­line. I re­al­ized that part­ners were not hav­ing enough pipe­lines for a pos­i­tive vis­i­bil­ity on the next quar­ter and the quar­ter af­ter that. They were leav­ing for the day. So we started work­ing very closely with the part­ners and cre­ated an ecosys­tem of build­ing pipe­lines for 6 months in ad­vance and that worked very pos­i­tively. So all our fo­cused part­ners see a very pos­i­tive pipe­line de­vel­op­ment ex­er­cise and there are pipe­lines for ev­ery part­ner which they fore­see 6 months in ad­vance.

On the per­for­mance side, we started giv­ing spe­cific tar­gets to part­ners and we started build­ing per­for­mance based ob­jec­tives with each of th­ese part­ners. So th­ese three things worked pretty well. We have a set of 22 en­ter­prise SI part­ners who are called as fo­cused part­ners. Then we have a set of tier one part­ners, which are five in num­ber which are TCS, Tech Mahin­dra, HCL Tech­nolo­gies, HCL In­fos­ys­tems and Wipro. And at last we have a set of growth part­ners in 100-110 in num­ber. That is the base we are work­ing on and we are build­ing our ecosys­tem around it.

There are mul­ti­ple part­ners who buy from us from an op­por­tu­nity size as well. That was the land­scape over the last two to three years on a tech­nol­ogy front on our chan­nel ecosys­tem. We have also cre­ated a very strong and high per­form­ing team, which has a sales mind­set and which is able to work with the ecosys­tem of part­ners to cre­ate a right en­able­ment of pro­ce­dures. When we talk about giv­ing the right hy­per con­verged in­fra­struc­ture, our team is able to cre­ate an en­able­ment pro­gram for both plat­form 2 and plat­form 3. While ex­pand­ing the prod­uct port­fo­lio, what kind of ex­per­tise you have brought in your chan­nel ecosys­tem to en­able part­ners to de­liver right tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions to the end users?

Praveen Sa­hai: We have launched a new pro­gram called Busi­ness Part­ner Pro­gram in Jan­uary 2015. Our global team cap­tured the plat­form 3 needs which are the next gen­er­a­tion tech­nol­ogy needs and­built it along the fed­er­a­tion re­quire­ment of the com­pany. EMC fed­er­a­tion com­prises of EMC, RSA, VMware, Piv­otal and VCE. We have kind of struc­tured a pro­gram where our part­ners will get not only the im­mense value from the whole fed­er­a­tion play, but also the en­able­ment in tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise around the key ver­ti­cals.

The data explosion has also let us into a con­cep­tual frame­work change from sell­ing VNX or VMax hard­ware only so­lu­tions and we have mi­grated to tech­nolo­gies like vVNX which is a soft­ware de­fined so­lu­tion around the stor­age in­fra­struc­ture. There are so­lu­tions like ViPR in our ecosys­tem where part­ner can lever­age from do­ing a soft­ware de­fined stor­age so­lu­tion but by uti­liz­ing com­mod­ity hard­ware.

What would be the im­pact of the much talked about DELL-EMC ac­qui­si­tion on EMC’s chan­nel strat­egy in In­dia?

Praveen Sa­hai: The ar­eas Dell works are very dif­fer­ent from the area we work. There­fore, the over­lap is min­i­mal. Dell has been very strong in the SME and con­sumer space. We have a lead­ing po­si­tion in the area of the top end of the mid mar­ket and the en­ter­prise. We talk to CXO and CIO and they talk to IT man­agers and con­sumers. So when you look at the ecosys­tem play, I think we have huge ben­e­fits specif­i­cally for the part­ner ecosys­tem. My per­sonal be­lieve is that this ac­qui­si­tion will have a lot of pos­i­tive im­pact on the over­all sys­tem in­te­gra­tion and part­ners will get tremen­dous out of the deal. They will get a com­plete ecosys­tem of the server and client tech­nol­ogy and the best of the world of en­ter­prise tech­nol­ogy. EMC is known for its en­ter­prise so­lu­tions across the world. We lead in terms of mar­ket share in most of the coun­tries, in­clud­ing In­dia for most of our tech­nolo­gies. Dell leads in the most of the space they have and if you com­bine its to­gether part­ners are go­ing to gain.

What will be the im­pact of DELL-EMC ac­qui­si­tion deal on EMC’s over­all busi­ness? Will EMC re­tain its name and main­tain the dis­tinct iden­tity of its fed­er­a­tion com­pa­nies?

Praveen Sa­hai: At the mo­ment, I am not in a po­si­tion to an­swer whether the brand will stay or it will re­voke. It will be de­cided in dis­cus­sion at a board level. There will be an im­pact on the busi­ness, but it is too early to com­ment on it. Let the ac­qui­si­tion process get com­plete and pro­cesses will be cleared af­ter that only. EMC has a phi­los­o­phy of keep­ing the brands sep­a­rate and cre­at­ing a fed­er­a­tion of com­pa­nies and there is al­ways free­dom of busi­ness. I be­lieve that there will be some­thing very sen­si­ble com­ing out for the part­ners. I see mas­sive syn­er­gies for the part­ner ecosys­tem at large. It is a mas­sive gain for the en­tire ecosys­tem. Share­hold­ers to get 37 per­cent re­turns, part­ners to get to play in an area where they never been and the employees go­ing to ben­e­fit due to a com­plete port­fo­lio.

What are the growth ar­eas you would be fo­cus­ing on in fu­ture?

Praveen Sa­hai: We will keep on fo­cus­ing on the tech­nol­ogy roadmap. We will keep on in­vest­ing in our R& D for cre­at­ing the next gen­er­a­tion plat­forms for our fu­ture prod­ucts. Gov­ern­ment and PSU has been a very strong ver­ti­cal for EMC and we are gain­ing more and more rel­e­vance on most of the gov­ern­ment projects. Apart from that BFSI and Tele­com are the other ma­jor fo­cused ar­eas. We have en­tered into the new area of Cloud Ser­vice provider busi­ness and work­ing very closely with so­lu­tion providers like Tata Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Net­Magic, CtrlS.

Gov­ern­ment and PSU has been a very strong ver­ti­cal for EMC and we are gain­ing more and more rel­e­vance on most of the gov­ern­ment projects. Apart from that BFSI and Tele­com are the other ma­jor fo­cused ar­eas

Praveen Sa­hai, VP, Chan­nels, EMC In­dia and SAARC

Praveen Sa­hai, VP, Chan­nels, EMC In­dia and SAARC

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