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CHANNEL MARKET BOUND TO GROW POST COVID

Probably the worst of the decade is over and ‘ache din’ is coming for every one including the channel partners. The sluggish market situation during the last 10 months is going to be heavily investment-let market. In this situation, channel partners have to change their strategy and proactive.

Covid-19 had crippled the market for last 10 months. This taught a lot of things to us. Organizations learnt the relevance of the digital strategy. A year ago, a few enterprises around the world would have anticipated the changes in store for them in 2020. The onset of COVID-19 propelled the organizations around the world to re-evaluate and accelerate their digital transfor-mation agenda using hybrid cloud & AI solutions with enterprise-grade security which allows data and insights to be delivered anywhere.As Cloud and AI adoption became more preva-lent, tech companies required their robust eco-system of partners to accelerate the development and delivery of solutions for their clients. The channel ecosystem is expected to help businesses embrace newer technologies by offering consult-ing services and handholding them through their transformation journey.

“THIS YEAR WE WILL ACCELERATE OUR ECOSYSTEM TRANSFORMATION WITH A SHARPENED FOCUS AND DEEP INVESTMENTS TO SUPPORT OUR PARTNER ECOSYSTEM ON A PATH TO EVEN GREATER VALUE.” LATA SINGH,DIRECTOR – PARTNER ECOSYSTEM, IBM INDIA

The initial challenges for channel partners during COVID were to ensure business continuity, main-tain financial stability, manage remote resource allocation and most importantly improvise their skills and knowledge to better serve their custom-ers through their rapid transformation journey. In this edition we have taken into account three major players who have got major stake in the channel market. These OEMs include IBM, Dell Technologies and HPE.

IBM believes in empowering its partners to build unmatched expertise in their field and differenti-ate themselves in a competitive market. In 2020 IBM announced new global initiatives focusing on providing its partners with the skills, resources and capabilities :

  1. $1 billion investment to help partners provide their clients with a seamless and secure journey to the cloud
  2. Partner World 2.0 (IBM Partner Program) was revamped to include more partners into our ecosystem
  3. Hybrid Cloud Ecosystem to enable partners to build and deliver solutions using industry-leading hybrid cloud capabilities with Red Hat OpenShift at the core, unmatched open and secure public cloud technology and IBM Cloud Pak solutions
  4. Red Hat Marketplace which provides our part-ners with a one-stop-shop to sell their OpenShift-certified software
  5. Industry Cloud Ecosystems programs have been designed to help partners grow their busi-ness with the IBM Cloud for Financial Services and IBM Cloud for Telecommunications.

Lata Singh, Director – Partner Ecosystem, IBM India, says, “At IBM we believe Hybrid Cloud and AI are fundamental to drive enterprise digital transformation and our ecosystem is criti-cal to delivering the value of IBM’s open hybrid cloud and AI strategy.”

Last year, IBM not only made financial invest-ments but also introduced program enhance-ments and simplification, to drive growth, enable innovation and provide value for our partners globally including the launch of Hybrid Cloud Ecosystem, Partner World 2.0, Red Hat Market-place and Industry Cloud Ecosystem.”In India, as businesses moved to a virtual working model, IBM quickly responded to meet the gap by providing digital resources, skills enablement pro-grams and engagement solutions. The company launched a special set of offerings to cater to the increased demand for Cloud solutions, Cyberse-curity, Remote Workforce and Business Continu-ity Planning and some specifically to assist them. Some of these initiatives include:

  1. My Digital Marketing , a no-cost digital col-laboration platform with ‘ready-to-execute’ digital campaigns with personalization and measure-ment mechanisms to better respond to new ways of communicating.
  2. Digital workshop to provide access to key vir-tual selling, training & learning tools
  3. IBM Virtual Client Center for 24/7 access to solutions, demos, webinars and more
  4. IBM Skills Gateway for access to digital badges and professional certifications and Seismic a central repository to provide enablement mate-rials on demand
  5. Business Partner Connect offered both IBM and Red Hat partners the ability to discover new collaboration opportunities, by leveraging Wat-son’s matching technology to help find the right tools for shifting business needs.

“ORGANIZATIONS AND PARTNERS SHOULD FOCUS ON RE-SKILLING AND UPSKILLING OF THEIR WORKFORCE TO STAY RELEVANT IN THE MARKET AND NAVIGATING THROUGH THESE TOUGH TIMES.” ANIL SETHI,VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER, CHANNELS – INDIA, DELL TECHNOLOGIES.

On the other hand, Dell Technologies is com-mitted to strengthen its partners’ ecosystem, with renewed focus and ample growth opportunities. Anil Sethi, Vice President & General Manager, Channels – India, Dell Technologies, says, “While the world is going through changes in terms of uncertainty, we are witnessing a change in customer behaviour as well, leading to companies updating their go-to-market strategy to meet cus-tomer expectations with utmost safety.”

He added, “Our partners place their trust with the customers, as and they continue to support their large system integration and infrastructure requirements seamlessly. I must say that the year 2020 brought out the best from all of us – as we went that extra mile to demonstrate the commit-ment of our team (and our partners) in the success of our customers.”

“It is important that customers trust our part-ners as Dell’s extended arm who can help them build the right foundation to accelerate their digital transformation. They need partners who are technically proficient, partners who under-stand their businesses and what they are trying to accomplish. With ever evolving needs, customers seek partners who have their back and can offer world’s best solutions to deliver the results they are looking for,” he added.

Understanding the importance of financing and cash flow liquidity, Dell Technologies rolled out Partner Relief Package in early 2020, with an intent to provide immediate financial relief to its metal partners, while helping them build capa-bilities and pipeline for the future. In addition to this, Dell also introduced new team-based pricing options for solutions providers, to make all train-ings affordable for our partners.

  1. MDF (Marketing Development Funds) validity extended – thus giving partners more time to plan and execute (up to 3 months more than the previous 6 months window)
  2. Option of advance withdrawal – up to 50% of their earned MDF – to ease cash flow
  3. Free training and certifications – for solution deployment capabilities
  4. Digital Marketing Tool – enabling partners to execute Digital Marketing – the best tool in current contact-less economy to run customer outreach marketing activities
  5. Attractive Working Capital Solutions – mini-mizing the financial burden and working capital pressure for partners – when they transact with Dell
  6. In a recent global announcement we also talked about how our services are helping our cus-tomers and partners to drive business continuity in this new normal and how we are offering $9B in financing this year for critical technology
  7. Dell has globally launched the new Payment Flexibility Program (PFP). One of the best in the industry, the program offers more choice and predictability for our customers. The program is built on the strong foundation of Dell Financial Services and our end-to-end portfolio.
  8. Dell has also introduced Dell Technologies On Demand (DTOD), comprising of full range of solutions for partners to resell products, solutions and services. DTOD enables partners to offer services and solutions that match the ebb and flow of a customer’s business, achieving cloud economics in the on-demand economy
  9. Our lead flexible consumption offering – Flex On Demand, is available across our end-to-end infrastructure solutions portfolio and offers two sales motions for the partners. First is the refer-ral fee option, which allows partners to receive payment equal to 10% of the committed contract value. The second option allows Dell Technolo-gies to invoice the partners monthly, at a base usage charge and the partner can invoice their customer at their uplifted service charge
  10. As part of this new offering, the company is expanding its extensive flexible consumption portfolio to support Dell EMC PowerEdge servers and the new Dell EMC PowerOne autonomous infrastructure system
  11. Dell Technologies also launched its new Proj-ect APEX, as-a-Service capability that will help customers and partners consume solutions as per their needs.

Dell continues to listen to thousands of its cus-tomers globally, and these initiatives are conceived based on those inputs – to meet their expectations and to help solve their challenges.

“WE ARE MAKING AVAILABLE TO OUR PARTNERS THE SERVICES AND OFFERINGS, WHICH WILL BRING THEM MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO SELL, HELP THEM BETTER SERVE OUR JOINT CUSTOMERS, AND EXPAND THE SCALE AND REACH OF HPE GREENLAKE RAPIDLY.” AMER WARSI,CHANNELS, SMB AND ECOSYSTEM LEADER, HPE INDIA.

Similarly, HPE had robust business continu-ity plans in place to mitigate disruptions, meet partner and customer demands, and protect HPE team members. Last year, at a worldwide level, HPE Financial Services (HPEFS) offered $2 bil-lion in financing and new programs to help cus-tomers and partners weather COVID-19. These initiatives helped businesses reduce cash outlays, generate cash from assets, and align payments to deployment schedule.

Amer Warsi, Channels, SMB and Ecosys-tem Leader, HPE India, added: “Last year, we witnessed acceleration of digital transformation journeys, which put many companies far ahead of schedule. This has instilled resiliency in our channel partners and we have seen many of them quickly expand their expertise, double-down on focus areas and redefine the meaning of partnership with their customers.

 

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