Stop selling products, focus on solutions: Sivarama Krishnan, PwC India

Channels will now have to sell solutions and help customers operate their businesses, says Sivarama Krishnan, senior partner in the advisory line of business and cyber leader at PwC India.

As technologies and businesses change in the blink of an eye, the customer is the only constant and a source of revenue. Sivarama Krishnan of PwC says though the company has been selling consultation, the next 25 years will be different with customers demanding solutions.


Watch the extended version: Instead of buying advice, customers demand solutions: Sivarama Krishnan, PwC

Speaking at 2018 Premier100 Awards and Symposium held at Vivanta by Taj, Faridabad, Krishnan said, “Everyone wants a solution. Customers want you to resolve their problem, to let them run businesses effectively. Keeping that in mind, we are moving into solution business, packaging knowledge into existing products and take it to client as a solution.”

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Krishnan negates the view that technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, advanced computing will create job challenges. “Historically, every time a new technology or disruption is introduced, it generates more jobs. It cannibalizes one form into another,” he said. It could have potential impact on the way you run business, operate and sell it to clients you’ve done business with. It is supported by the data growth projected.

Key Takeaways

  • The customer is the only constant.
  • Solutions will be the new products.
  • SaaS and infrastructure business will grow.

“All the big four projections state at least 25 percent Y-o-Y growth on enterprise solution software sales in the next three years, and not less than 10 percent average after that for 5 years,” he said. And after that, he believes some portion of it will move into a self-service mode. Customers may not buy solutions from partners but from direct sales.

Krishnan bets big on SaaS and infrastructure service business saying that both of them might see about 65 percent of the spend. Additionally, the services revenue growth will see a 27 percent Y-o-Y growth.

Krishnan believes that sales and margins may reduce for services offered through channel partners, but services that go on top of it is going to be the new source of revenue. “As an industry trend, procurement type may change, but services business on top of existing newer technologies will come back to the partners,” he said.

Krishnan concluded saying that the silver lining is the channel partners' proximity to the customers, compared to the bigger OEMs. From a customer standpoint, there is a new value-add opportunity from selling simple cloud-based services, to what can be added as a solution to the client. “The differential advantage for channels is that you are close to your customers and know their requirements. You are the only one who can potentially customize and solve a business problem of your customer, which no other provider can offer from a remote location,” he concluded.