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State of the Mart 2012 Survey - Part 2 (Technology Outlook, Switching Strategy)

Added on Jan 31, 2012 by Shantheri Mallaya, Yogesh Gupta

ChannelWorld’s The State of the Market 2012 Survey brings to light the market realities being faced by enterprise partners in India. The overall sentiment shows that a tough year is imminent. Will domain expertise help partners to stay above water this year? Read on Part-2 of our special report.

Technology Outlook : Cloud to Rain Business

It’s quite an uphill task for solution providers to grasp rapid technology changes across the IT world. ‘Stay ahead of technology curve’ is the name of the game for a successful enterprise solution provider. It is undoubtedly a huge asset for an enterprise partner in today’s tough market conditions and competitive ‘partner’ landscape.

While partners constantly strive to offer the relevant and latest business model (On Premise/Virtual Hosted/Cloud), enterprises have become more prudent in terms of TCO and ROI for every dollar spent on IT solution. Enterprises today want fast, flexible and cost effective IT solution.

Also Read : State of the Mart 2012 Survey - Part 1 (Market Reality, Partner Issues)

Testing the Cloud

Cloud hype across the technology landscape worldwide and in India. It is therefore no surprise that more than half of respondents (60 percent) in the survey wanted to explore cloud solutions at their customer sites in 2012.

Bangalore based Webcom Information Technology has formed a development team for developing business applications. “The two key areas would be RFID solutions and cloud solutions. The cloud will be hosted kind of applications mainly targeted at SMBs as the model would be high volume and monthly billing based,” informs Anantharam Varayur, MD, Webcom Information Technology. We are developing solutions which will enable enterprises to put critical applications on the cloud. Being a niche segment that we are targeting, we cannot reveal much at this point,” he says.

Mikroz Infosecurity at Delhi operates mainly in hardware, security and cloud. The hardware we work on refers to the part/s of the solution assisting the overall information security, etc., that we need to build, clarifies Ashok B. Shiroor, MD, Mikroz Infosecurity. We are evaluating solutions to be able to offer cloud based storage, specifically for desktops and mobile devices, something we have been getting a lot of queries for, he adds.

“The best part of cloud is that it can be offered worldwide across the globe. The shortest route is conduct a POC for cloud at existing and loyal clients as they trust you and it is easier to explains them benefits of Cloud model,” says Varayur.

SM Networks & Solutions is keen to promote “cloud solution” this year. “Our team is constantly undergoing training with major vendors who offer cloud solutions. We will soon start marketing the same to enterprise customers,” says Manmohan Sharma, Director, SM Networks & Solutions.

Survey Methodology

ChannelWorld administered the third edition of the ‘State of the Market Study’ online in November and December 2011. The 107 respondents include Systems Integrators, VARs and ISVs. About 63% of organizations have individual annual revenues of below Rs 50 crore. all responses were gathered using a secure server with all individual data kept confidential. The degree of error is +/- 4.6 percent at a 90 percent confidence level.

Hardware versus Software

The emergence of cloud and virtualization in 2012 translates into lesser hardware spends by enterprises. More than 90 percent of polled partners felt cloud-based solutions will see added dollar spend by Indian enterprises.

According to Sujeet Narula, Director, Associated Business Computers, “The market for commercial product sales is getting squeezed due to cloud solution entering in the country. Smart phones and tablets are eating away the space of PCs & notebooks (which is definitely a loss to commercial Channel Partner).”

More than 31 percent of the respondents are eager to test the waters with Business Application Software. Developing Business Applications and virtualization are main focus technologies for Webcom Information Technology. “We are also developing small apps that will work across Android platform. Mobility and Cloud all tie back to the future IT strategy of an enterprise, and we are making sure we are present in that segment,” says Varayur. “With thousands of tabs, handheld phones sold in the market, we are keen to explore new opportunities,” says Varayur.

While networking and security show continued demand, 26 percent of respondents plan to focus on virtualization this year. “On the virtualization front, though we are already providing solutions to facilitate it, we are not into (or plan to be in) the space, as we believe this is a space for large SIs or SPs,” feels Shiroor at Mikroz Infosecurity.

For 23 years, Webcom is into IT infrastructure, which ensures top line revenues through repetitive cabling, servers, etc. They have reduced their hardware sales forecast from 60 percent last year to 40 percent in 2012. “We would not reduce this business as it is our bread and butter. But we want to make use of new trend of cloud and mobility,” clarifies Varayur.

“We expect significant addition of revenue from storage and virtualization as these would be annuity based services compared to our present, at a standard 100 percent first year growth to 10–30 percent subsequent year model,” he says.

Always in Demand

Security and storage ranked three and four in terms of dollars spent on IT budget as per partner community. Since these technologies form the backbone of IT infrastructure amidst environment of ‘data explosion’ and ‘data breaches’, partners expect good number of deployments across these two spaces.

Mumbai based SM Networks & Solutions which works with Cisco, Cyberoam, McAfee, Motorola and Ruckus, is betting big on security. Manmohan Sharma, its director says, “Our major focus would be on security and wireless contributing more than 60 percent of company revenues in 2012. The strategy is to reach maximum upper mid market and enterprise customer with our core security solutions this year.” An IT infrastructure services provider

Sigma e Solution based out of Ranchi is emphasizing on storage, security and network products. Rishi Pandey, Director, Sigma e Solution reasons, “Because of huge increase in digital data, the need for its storage and security is big opportunity for us.” We are also focusing on mail/messaging /active Directory with Microsoft Technologies & Open Source too, he says.

Cloud and Virtualization are clearly the two technologies about which the partner community is highly optimistic this year. Virtualization is picking up at a steady pace in India. But the big question remains.

Are Indian enterprises mature enough to ride the cloud wave in 2012?


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