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Nutanix enterprise cloud platform lends a big opportunity for channel

By NUTANIX May 8th 2017
Nutanix enterprise cloud platform lends a big opportunity for channel

We will work closely with our existing channel ecosystem to pitch our hyper-converged engineering and web-scale technology to their end customers, says Amarish Karnik of Nutanix.

The DNA of enterprise architecture is changing from the inside out as businesses are looking at cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure tools. It’s not just enterprise IT, but government schemes like Digital India too have been hit by the cloud bug. Amarish Karnik, Director, General Business and Partners, Nutanix India discusses how the company is geared up to leverage the need for efficient cloud platforms in India. 
What are the big opportunities in India market for Nutanix in 2017 and beyond? 
India market is fast changing. We have seen more and more enterprises and government departments (central and state) looking at adapting enterprise cloud technologies; to improve efficiency as well as to reduce costs. With important government initiatives like Digital India, technology and innovation is here to grow.  For Nutanix, India is an important part of its growth strategy and we will continue to focus on key sectors including both central and local governments, banking and finance sectors as well as service providers, to offer high-performance and cost effective enterprise cloud solutions. We are also targeting the commercial mid-market sector, which will give us the run rate business, going forward. 
What will be Nutanix’s channel strategy for 2017 in terms of developing its distributor and partner ecosystem?  
Nutanix is focusing on increasing its reach and presence across tier 1 (Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai) and tier 2 cities (Pune, Ahmedabad, Indore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Hyderabad and Cochin), for which a robust channel strategy needs to be in place. We have an ambitious plan to work closely with our existing system integrators, distributors and channel partners to introduce our Enterprise Cloud Platform to local businesses, who can benefit from our leading hyper-converged engineering and web-scale technology.  
A Nutanix partner is ensured of benefits, incentives and sales resources that are designed to help drive new opportunities and increase their profitability when selling our enterprise cloud solutions.

Which type of channel partners are a perfect fit for Nutanix’s vision and why? 
We would continue to look at a combination of the mentioned alliances. We believe in complimenting each other. Each relationship brings in its own value, and we would focus on leveraging our core strengths, coupled with what each partner brings to the table. 
What are the technology trends and business climate for Indian enterprises to adopt hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI)? 
In the past 12 months, we have seen many businesses in India which started looking at HCI to replace the legacy three-tiered architecture. The reason behind this is to improve efficiency through productivity, energy consumption, and at the same time to reduce operational and maintenance costs. However, the latest trend for the pioneers in India is to take the advantages of cloud technologies. Every business wants to have the flexibility, scalability and convenience that the public cloud can offer. However, it makes more business sense for them to maintain control over their own datacenter, whilst keeping the costs down. This is the gap in the market that we can fill with the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform.  
How is Nutanix helping channel partners to move from traditional hardware-centric model to software defined infra, cloud and towards new trends? Do you see any roadblocks? 
The Indian market is fast changing and companies are gearing up for this change, moving from traditional hardware-centric model to software defined infrastructure. With emerging technologies such as cloud, data analytics and IoT, the IT infrastructure market is growing at a significant pace. Yes, it would take time for this transition, but Nutanix’ solutions are convenient and can be added to an existing infrastructure. This means that an organization can migrate to cloud-based storage gradually and not in one go, making it financially more viable.
A Gartner report suggests that by 2020, the country’s IT infrastructure is likely to grow to USD 2.13 billion, as against USD 1.9 billion in 2015, as Indian enterprises will continue to focus on optimizing their infrastructure and operations budget. More and more businesses, both in private and public sectors are looking towards IT for growth and are interested in adopting mobile-driven, cloud-based solutions. 
What are the enablement activities around terms and conditions, certifications and joint GTM with your channels?  
Nutanix started the unique program for channel partners and SI by giving them access to a web-based learning module. Every channel partner is getting skilled with these trainings, which are followed by certifications. For partner sales and pre-sales people, these modules are free. We also created virtual labs and extended the access to them for creating specific scenarios before an engineer actually goes to customer location and performs the task. 
For some of our internal tools like Slack and Yammer, we have extended for constant interaction between partners, sales and product management. This constant feedback keep us honest and helps us improve continuously.    
What are the key benefits for channel partners to work with Nutanix versus your competition?  
The shift in datacenter requirements has created an incredible opportunity for channel partners.  
A Nutanix partner is ensured of benefits, incentives and sales resources that are designed to help drive new opportunities and increase their profitability when selling our enterprise cloud solutions. As a Nutanix partner, they get the advantages of exceptional sales and technical support and training, marketing and sales tools, to enable partners to offer incremental value to end-customers. 
For large projects, we help partners in building skills in migration services as well. These services skills help partners in their growth and hence the bottom line.   

The key channel mantra of Nutanix to encompass a loyal set of channel partners in India would be engage, improve and collaborate.

Is the plan to appoint more partners or deepen the engagement with existing partners or both? Why? 
We think both are important. We believe in continuous improvement so that we keep delivering the best. While we strengthen our existing relationships, we will also look at appointing new partners, which will help Nutanix grow in tier-1 regions whilst expanding into tier-2 and tier-3 locations. 
Which verticals are early adopters of Nutanix in India? Are you appointing channels based on their vertical strength or geographical presence? 
Every industry vertical is adapting to new technologies. While our first breakthrough was with a large private sector bank and an ITeS company, today we have been roped in by some of the biggest players in every industry segment from airlines to BPO, ITeS, privatized banks, pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors, to list a few.  
What are the three credentials you look for in a channel partner organization to align with Nutanix? 
At Nutanix, our company value lies with three Hs: Hungry, honest and humble. We are keen to work with partners who have similar beliefs: being hungry and ambitious to build a successful business, being honest with the products, and being humble when listening to customer feedback for ongoing improvement. 
The key channel mantra of Nutanix to encompass a loyal set of channel partners in India would be engage, improve and collaborate. We want our channel to move on the scale from transaction to interaction.

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