Cloud is no longer an option for most organizations globally and in India. The business benefits of the Opex and agile model cloud are fast becoming important arsenal for IT channel partners and their end-customers. Seema Ambastha, Senior VP - India and Global Business at Netmagic (an NTT Communications Company), talks on the various aspects of cloud computing in India and the road ahead for Netmagic and its channel ecosystem.
What are the definite opportunities in India for Netmagic over the next couple of years? What are the big tech trends in the enterprises?
The digital India initiative by Indian government is providing impetus to IoT infra overhaul in the country. IoT is the next big wave - with connected cars and ‘everything’ connected becoming a reality across enterprises. And enterprises and manufacturing are picking up steam to put their infra in new business models.
There is no fixed number of channels we want to appoint but the main objective is to rightly seed, ably educate and effectively evangelize the ecosystem to extensively cover India market.
Seema Ambastha, SVP, India & Global Business, Netmagic
Companies in India are using colocation services, consumer IT as a service, as they are now outsourcing their IT to cloud providers and datacenter players. CIOs and CTOs want to remain light on their Capex budgets. SAP HANA (on Cloud) is a big game changer and Hadoop is widely accepted in the new schema of IT infra buying decision. And Netmagic has great expertise around both these platforms.
Which platform - IaaS, PaaS or SaaS will drive more business for Netmagic in 2017? Why?
IaaS is the most matured amongst the three flavors of cloud computing with email, DR as a service, archival, back up as a service being the popular offerings used by enterprises. Infrastructure as a service from Netmagic Solutions helps companies take the first step towards aligning IT with business goals and achieving much more than a simple reduction of costs. With Netmagic infrastructure as a service, India based enterprises can have the financial benefits such as cost reduction between 20 to 30 percent of IT operations, decoupling of IT costs from people and direct link to infrastructure, which will bring predictability to IT costs.
Platform as a Service is also gaining momentum in India. SaaS requires a lot more play and customization from tech OEMs to appeal to end user organizations.
What is your overall channel strategy in India? Which type of partners (infra partners, system integrators, MSPs, service providers etc.) are a perfect fit for Netmagic?
Top 6 verticals for Netmagic India
Channel partners are an integral part of our success story in India. They have been driving a large part of our business effectively since past six years, as we evolve the channel ecosystem in the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) space. There is great emphasis to evangelize channel partners and their end customers towards cloud – private and public. We have a dedicated channel team under Shantaram Shinde at Netmagic to develop the channel partner business. There are teams across north, west and south regions of India to ensure country-wide coverage and detailed hand holding of partners.
Major technology OEMs are our premier partners. And we have special services partners and small ISVs under our fold. Netmagic has a holistic channel strategy which encompasses various channel partners including systems integrators and VARs. The partners are broadly categorized as Premier, Elite and Registered, and further as Priority One and Priority Two as per their cloud roadmap and infra business in line with Netmagic.
Do you have different strategies for both sets of channel partners – ‘born in the cloud’ partners and traditional hardware-centric partners?
‘Born in the Cloud’ companies undoubtedly form an important constituent of our channel ecosystem. These partners have a single focused product strategy, which is cloud with a dedicated technical and sales team that has cloud expertise.
The traditional hardware-centric channel partners work with us to offer co-location services to their customers and also bundled offerings from Netmagic. Since these partners work with OEMs over the years across an established customer base, the opex-based offerings become the natural option for them to offer to their customers.
On a broader level, the channel strategy remains same, which is to offer business predictability, effective handholding and good margins. Whereas the GTM is tweaked according to partner strength and their future outlook.
How will Netmagic enable traditional SI partners towards the cloud? Do you see any roadblocks?
Netmagic’s SimpliVPC is an extremely channel friendly product offering.
Some hardware-centric channel partners will move faster than others to the new mode of IT infra. It’s more of a culture shift for most of them as it’s a new way of doing business. SimpliMigrate is a multiplatform migration service to help enterprises that are considering migrating their myriad workloads across different infrastructure deployments, for reasons like datacenter transformation or technology refresh, server and datacenter consolidation, SLA, licenses and compliance mandate. Channels can provide this Migration as a Service by Netmagic to its legacy customers.
Netmagic’s SimpliVPC is now an extremely channel friendly product offering which has been a huge success in India. The next-generation cloud service that lets you provision virtual resources on a dedicated basis within a virtual network, with the additional option of performance storage. There is an easy-to-use self-service portal with SimpliVPC to seamlessly configure and manage your cloud environment.
How many channel partners do you want to appoint by the end of this fiscal?
There is no fixed number of channel partners we want to appoint but the main objective remains to rightly seed, ably educate and effectively evangelize the ecosystem to cover India market. We are selecting partners by cautiously depending on their technical strengths, company profile, customer base, vertical interest and long-term cloud focus. We are keen to work with traditional hardware-centric channels also as they are well versed with the IT infra domain at their customer end.
Besides the metro cities, we see channel partners in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities warming to Netmagic offerings as the large part of SMBs in those regions want to explore faster GTM through cloud and other new business models.
Seema’s Channel Mantras for 2017
‘Cloud first’ is fast becoming the policy for most enterprises – big and small.
Acknowledge the traditional ‘IT buying’ pattern being disrupted now and fast.
Outreach to the new customer set mushrooming in class B and class C Indian cities.
Elevate into a full-fledged Cloud Service Provider to stay relevant to customers.
Upskill your team (technical and sales) for the cloud era and new technologies.
What are the key benefits for partner companies to work with Netmagic?
Netmagic has the most extensive portfolio in the industry today with a network of ‘best-in-breed’ nine datacenters across India and two more coming up soon. The width of the datacenter and cloud offerings further appeals to organizations of each size – from very large enterprises to small businesses.
Every business is digitally connected today, which means IT infra has to be available, scalable and agile. Netmagic solutions further enables channels to sell varied IaaS solutions for their customers to traverse the cloud path.
More than thirty percent of Netmagic business in India comes from the enterprise and large enterprise segment. About sixty to seventy percent of our business comes from commercial and small businesses, which is driven by channel partners. This segment is fast adopting cloud, and hence it becomes a great business potential for channels.
Cloud is now a common denominator across verticals. But BFSI, e-comm, telecom, government, media and manufacturing are the top verticals for us at present.
What are your channel mantras to encompass a loyal set of Netmagic partners in India?
‘Cloud first’ will be the policy for most enterprises and hence the traditional ‘IT buy’ pattern will need to be changed by partners too. Outreach to new set of customers is important as companies – big and small, in class B and class C cities, now have better and wider access to cloud. Partners should elevate their traditional role into a cloud service provider and offer different datacenter services to their customers.
Channel partners need to upskill their team (technical and sales) for the cloud era as there are not too many readily available skillsets for cloud and new technologies in the market. This is, however, a good opportunity to keep their employees motivated and skilled according to the new wave in the technology space.
Complementing various OEM offerings for the customer as a CSP will become more important in the future. SAP HANA on Cloud is another big game changer, and we along with SAP are seeing great acceptance by enterprises on this platform.