As the VP and National Head for Channel Business at NTT Com-Netmagic, Shantaram Shinde is responsible to deepen the engagement with existing partner ecosystem and on-board new age ‘born in the cloud’ partners.
Shinde has over 23 years of experience in sales and business development across India market and selling into the international market.
In an exclusive interaction with ChannelWorld, Shinde throws light on NTT Com-Netmagic's channel growth agenda for 2019.
What trends do you foresee as growth drivers for 2019?
In 2018, few big co-location and datacenters were brought in by our traditional SI partners. We estimate this to grow by about 30 percent to 35 percent in 2019 as well. This growth will be largely driven by multi cloud, private cloud, SD-WAN, and security services.
Again, two of the main contributors will be ‘born in the cloud’ and application integration partners. We see changing partner profiles as a positive outlook for 2019.
What are the challenges being faced by traditional partners?
The traditional partner ecosystem gearing up for change is going slow. They themselves are going through the transition to retain the existing SI business and catching up with new technology solutions offerings demanded by its install base customers.
“Traditional partners are not ready to collaborate with application integration partners, independent software vendors (ISVs) or born in cloud managed services partners.”
Retaining good resources will be the challenge for partners and hence the transition process will slow down further. Traditional partners are not ready to collaborate with application integration partners, independent software vendors (ISVs) or born in cloud managed services partners.
How are you helping partners become problem solvers or consulting partners to their customers?
We have a whole lot of services, which are more horizontal in nature: from IaaS and network to connectivity, managed services, or managed security. Our idea is therefore to suggest partners to become more solution centric and problem solvers rather than resell the available set of services. This will ensure that customer engagement reaches a new level altogether and becomes more in depth. With such an approach, customers are more likely to look at them as a solution or consulting partner and not a re-seller for a particular OEM.
For instance, at NTT Netmagic, the programs are tailored in a way that we offer complete marketing engagement for partners and customers. This helps retain the partner revenue and diversify the same for new set of services. As on date, we have one of the best compensation policies. Not just this, we even incentivize and reward partner sales and presales teams.
How will evolution in cloud computing impact channel partners as it relates to your specific business?
“At NTT Netmagic, the programs are tailored in a way that we offer complete marketing engagement for partners and customers. This helps retain the partner revenue and diversify the same for new set of services.”
Adapting to a multi-cloud strategy is what will work going forward – due to digital trending. We predict that customers will migrate to third-party datacenters or opt for private cloud as service for compliance and committed performance reasons. Some contributing factors for this technology refresh are SAP ECC to SAP HANA migrations and hardware refresh, such as 5- to 7-year-old IT Infra.
SD-WAN will gradually make a headway in the MPLS connectivity space in 2019 akin to cloud displaced traditional infra business. The technology will continue to remain the buzzword as well apart from security-as-a-service, which will also witness business growth in 2019.
If there is one key message you have for partners for 2019, what will it be?
We would like to reiterate that all our partner programs are detailed to ensure that there is no room for misunderstanding, doubts, or error. In all of them, the key is simplicity, which also ensures success in both the short and long term.
Last but not the least, as has been the practice always, going forward, we will ensure that there are constant and transparent conversations regarding our partner programs with all concerned. This is because clear and simple communication is the best route to complete goals with ease.