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PARTNER HOTLINES

How ITPL Bagged Server Consolidation Deal in AST

By Kartik Sharma on Feb 01, 2012
Executive Summary

Vadodara-based IT solution provider Informatics Technologies (ITPL), decided to choose Dell as Dell had better offerings, which were best fit over the competitive offers in the Market. This gamble paid off rich dividends.

Case File

Key Parties:
Advanced Systek, Informatics Technologies
Location:
Vadodara (Gujarat)
Implementation Time:
6 Months
Cost of Implementation:
Rs 2.75 Cr
Key Challenges:

To convince the customer to overhaul IT infrastructure from one vendor to another

Key Benefits:

Reduction in customer sales cycle time by 50 percent, and increase in year-on-year sales.

Key Technologies:

Hardware implementation, server consolidation

Key Vendor:

Dell and HP

Key Competition:

Sun Infotech

Implementation Partner:

Informatics Technologies

 

 

 

 

Vadodara-based IT solution provider Informatics Technologies (ITPL), decided to chose Dell over its previous principal. ITPL felt it had missed some opportunities when it was partnered with that vendor. It went on to join hands with Dell for its major projects. This gamble paid off rich dividends.

Break-up, Tie-Up

When the Gujarat-based Advanced Systek (AST), a life-cycle engineering services provider to the oil and gas industry, both in India and abroad was in the need of server consolidation and standardization with huge number of servers and work stations required to be implemented, they were looking at an able partner to help them out. The company required a strong IT infrastructure to provide critical interface between automation, metering and safety components, and the software management system that automatically monitors and calibrates flow of oil and gas.

Amit Parikh, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Advanced Systek explains, “We bagged a huge turn-key project that was quite crucial for our business growth. The challenge for us was to ensure our solutions are reliable, and that these solutions can operate on systems in remote locations with harsh atmospheric conditions and potentially hazardous environments.”

Enter ITPL, AST’s partner of more than 10 years in providing HP products. But the client was facing problems with HP regarding integration, warranty, services and support. “HP’s response time was quite slow. For example, it used to take six to eight weeks for servers to arrive, which is not affordable in our business,” Parikh explains.

P. Umamahesh, Managing Director, Informatics Technologies (ITPL), believed that Dell has onsite support facilities across the globe irrespective of the location and distance. “So we knew that it was Dell who could do justice to this project. Today, we are doing many major projects with Dell.” Umamahesh adds.

Tough Nut to Crack

Having decided on Dell, it was now time to sell the idea to the customer. It was not an easy proposition for AST to visualize replacing its whole infrastructure from HP to Dell. Parikh details. “There were lots of issues in the office over this huge replacement. It was not easy to convince the whole IT team to replace the infrastructure with some other vendor.” In the end, it took almost three months for ITPL to convince AST.

ITPL worked their socks off to bag this deal. “As it was our suggestion to go with Dell, we prepared all the blueprints and a fool-proof model to move forward,” says Umamahesh.

Although server consolidation was not new for ITPL, the client was not convinced about Dell’s potential to complete the project on time and continue the service with the same momentum. ITPL also went on with couple of pilot projects with AST; the customer analyzed the performance and the project model and finally signed the deal with ITPL. Parikh explains, “ITPL suggested trying Dell this time. We requested quotes and received quite aggressive quotes from Dell, who were earlier quite reluctant to send quotes and was not much interested in doing business with us. This time around, Dell backed up with a strong support and service scheme with the help of ITPL.”

Good relations with Dell played its role here. As Umamahesh notes, “Dell came in the forefront to help us in convincing the customer and helped us in preparing the whole implementation model. We deployed our engineers with the help of Dell.”

Incessant Competition

When ITPL decided on not going with HP for the deal, HP tied up with another channel partner, Sun Infotech, and jumped into the bidding process. HP, with its new partner, tried its best to grab the deal. “We had been buying HP for more than five years before that. It was a deep association with HP with huge installations by the vendor in the past” explains Parikh.

AST invited bids from HP and other market players as well but finally joined hands with ITPL and Dell. Interestingly, HP keeps coming back to Advanced Systek for the deal over these years. “HP comes for all the bids but invariably loses the deal to us. It is always challenging for us to keep our performance level high and beat competition consistently,” says Umamahesh.

Larger presence in market also helps ITPL in grabbing the deal. Parikh talks about it, “Sun Infotech is relatively smaller channel partner. It doesn’t have equivalent customer reach of ITPL. It also lacks in support and service strength. Good service and better performance is always a plus point with ITPL in the biddings and we bag the project even when our prices are marginally higher than the competition.”

“If it is a box sale, customer may look at the lowest possible price or other parameters, but in the pure play of solutions, the customer looks only at the experienced partner technically qualified giving backup support. Only then will a customer have faith in the partner,” Umamahesh states.

All ends well

Though this deal was not a success in terms of revenue, it established ITPL as a valued player in the region.

“The initial project did not bring us any gains as the price we quoted was quite aggressive and the hugeness of project demanded huge amount of service. But then also it was not a loss even in terms of revenue, says Umamahesh by adding, “Due to this deal, AST as well as Dell agreed to give more margins according to our needs. We are still moving on successfully with AST and every year we do a business of at least Rupees 2 Crores with them.”

ITPL now refers its major clients to AST for showcasing its work and this has resulted in ITPL getting new projects. The solution provider is now a promising player in the energy sector. “Post this deal, we have made strong footprints in this industry,” says Umamahesh. ITPL has also witnessed 100 percent increase in its business with Dell every year.

As a result of the project, AST reduced its sales cycle time by 50 percent with a year-on-year increase in sales by 100 percent, with more than 20 projects running concurrently each year.

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