Interview

PIONEERING CLOUD ENABLED OFFERINGS

Yvette McEnearney, Director - Channel, APAC at GoTo.

GoTo aims to be at the forefront of business innovation with our channel and Global System Integrator (GSI) partners, preparing digitally enabled businesses for the future.

The Pandemic has forced businesses to shift to online operations and there has been a massive migration to the cloud. This has thrown open the wider gates of opportunities for Cloud Vendors as well as Distributors. As we usher into 2023, it’s time to look back and take stock of the channel performance of leading cloud vendors and distributors, and their key channel achievements. More than this, it’s pivotal to get a hang of the key cloud predictions for the Channel Market for the year 2023.

While the industry is agog over to know what all technologies would majorly impact the cloud market, we would take you through the cloudscape to listen directly from the horse’s mouth as to what the top vendors and distributors are thinking and reflecting, what are their premonitions about the shape of things to come in 2023 and their plans to turbocharge the Partner ecosystem.

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“The recent budgetary measures to encourage adoption of cloud solutions and supporting the growth of the domestic technology sector are commendable and will help drive the country’s overall development.”

Yvette McEnearney,
Director – Channel, APAC
GoTo

[/quote]

In a series of interactions with the poster-boys of the cloud industry, SME Channels embarks upon understanding the cloud dynamics; what drives the cloud growth engine; the key milestones for 2023 set from the channel perspective; key mega trends in the cloud market in 2023, predictions for the New Year; direction for channel partners and the growth roadmap of the cloud players for 2023.

We spoke to leading cloud player GoTo to get a sneak peek into its performance in the cloud Industry. Here, Yvette McEnearney, Director – Channel, APAC at GoTo, reveals her company’s key Cloud Predictions for 2023, major achievements and the unique matrixes that design her seminal vision for the Partner Ecosystem. Edited Excerpts:

With the announcement of a slew of measures that call for massive and rapid application of cloud solutions in the country on a digital-friendly budget, how do you plan to leverage the immense market opportunity created in the country?

The recently announced Digital-friendly Union Budget 2023-24 earmarked a major milestone in India’s journey towards a tech-driven economy. With a focus on accelerating the country’s digital transformation and promoting the use of technology, this budget will help in empowering the digital infrastructure of the country. Initiatives such as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0, Make AI in India, and the increased focus on 5G will help catalyse economic growth. These initiatives will also bridge the talent gap and prepare India’s youth for Industry 4.0 by equipping them with cutting-edge technology skills. Additionally, the measures to encourage adoption of cloud solutions and supporting the growth of the domestic technology sector are commendable and will help drive the country’s overall development.

With 633.9 lakh MSMEs in India, the sector greatly contributes to India’s GDP by adding nearly one-third to the country’s GVA. The initiatives will level the playing field, making it possible for MSMEs as well as their larger counterparts to invest in and enhance their digital talent, amplify employee value proposition, and achieve improved business outcomes.

India is a particularly important market for GoTo. Our streamlined and unified portfolio is perfect to fuel this burgeoning growth. We aim to enable and support SMEs to leverage this opportunity. With an increased momentum in new talent, growth expansion, and enhanced scalability, these businesses will require innovative and flexible technology as well as the right technology partner over time. GoTo fits right into this picture. We will be able to achieve the right blend of vendor-partner expertise along with partner-customer interactions in order to increase market share, sales, customer retention, and customer satisfaction. At GoTo, we aim to be at the forefront of business innovation with our channel and Global System Integrator (GSI) partners, preparing digitally enabled businesses for the future.

What are the market trends for 2023 from a cloud enabler perspective?

With the economy moving towards self-service, there will be significant changes in the way technology is developed and supplied. There is a need for more collaboration and thus a constant need for cloud-based connectivity. Software as a Service (SaaS) will become critical to most organisations as it eliminates the problem of high expenses and gives them more assurance and predictability. The IT ecosystem will also experience more cross-collaboration between technology providers, service vendors, channel partners, and system integrators in the future.

Some key markets trends that will continue to grow and evolve are as follows:

  • Cloudification: The use of the cloud as a technology and a strategy for business transformation is referred to as cloudification. With a significant shift toward digitalisation occurring across all layers of the technological stack – software, applications, platforms, infrastructure, and services – this trend is anticipated to continue in the year going forward. Organisations will increasingly adopt multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategies as well consolidate their IT tech stack to drive simplification, lower cost, and achieve greater flexibility.
  • Increased focus on security and compliance: As the volume of data stored in the cloud continues to grow, organisations will place a greater emphasis on ensuring the security and privacy of their data, leading to increased demand for cloud security and compliance solutions.
  • AI and ML adoption to further rise: The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning will continue to grow, both in the cloud and at the edge, driving demand for specialised cloud services and infrastructure.

How are your Cloud offerings enhanced to cater to changing business requirements?

GoTo was one of the pioneers of providing cloud enabled offerings that were geared towards remote and hybrid working, well before this became the norm. Aligned with the new market conditions, we ensure businesses stay resilient for the future by paving the way with our technological advancements.

We work with channel partners, who are highly aware of the situations and challenges other industry businesses are facing. They help us keep our service customer centric. The cloud offerings from GoTo are designed to be flexible and scalable to meet these changing business requirements. To uplift  the overall user experience, GoTo is equipped with the right solutions such as GoTo Resolve and Rescue that are simple yet secure enabling IT teams to keep their workforce remotely supported.

We focus on IT management and communications that includes video meetings, virtual events, remote support/access, and visual engagement, among others.

GoTo makes IT easier by consolidating the tools that technology teams rely on, providing dedicated support for troubleshooting round-the-clock and taking a zero-trust approach to security. With an industry-leading 99.999% uptime, there is absolute and assured dependability and stability, as well as a 24/7 ongoing and dedicated support system. Enterprises can utilise the cloud’s mobility and scalability while reducing costs and increasing productivity by using our combined remote IT management, and cloud communication and collaboration solutions.

Furthermore, GoTo regularly invests in updates and enhancements to existing solutions to ensure our offerings meet the new and changing demands of our partners in the remote and hybrid workplace.

What all does a channel partner need to have in order to adopt Cloud business and what are the steps to start a Cloud practice?

According to a report by NASSCOM and McKinsey, India’s technological services can achieve $300-350 billion in annual revenue by 2025 if it can exploit the fast-emerging business potential in the cloud.

With cloud adoption and advancements in technologies, the ones who were late to adopt a remote IT and cloud management strategy have struggled. For channel partners, the trend represents an opportunity to build a holistic cloud journey at speed and scale for innovation-focused clients. However, the decision to automate business with cloud technology has been extremely challenging for the channel networks as it pulls them out of their comfort zone. However, the advanced cloud technology and tools cannot be deployed on their own and require specific IT resources to support the cloud functions efficiently.

  • Provide adequate resources with flexibility and agility: Moving to the cloud requires significant investments in infrastructure, staff training, and marketing. Channel partners need to have the resources and financial backing to make these investments and sustain their business during the transition period. The cloud landscape is constantly changing, and channel partners must be able to adapt quickly to new technologies, services, and market conditions. This requires a flexible and agile business model that can respond to changing customer demands and market trends.
  • Lateral integration is necessary for channel partners: Long-term rewards have given way to shorter demand-based consumption and outcome-based returns in the language of business services. As a result, channel partner products and services must interface laterally with other enterprise application solutions. Cloud-based application interoperability, operational technology, IT gateways, digital twins, manufacturing execution systems, and cyber security policies are now just as vital, if not more so, than traditional IT infrastructure.

Steps to start a Cloud practice for Channel partners:

  1. Create cloud strategies for speed and business value – Cloud services can help businesses become more agile and, more likely to succeed. Channel networks should begin by allocating three essential priorities to cloud strategies:
    • Strategy and innovation: Channel networks need to consider how the cloud might help businesses solve challenges and allow new developments.
    • Governance and security: Emphasising adaptive governance systems that can accommodate varying implementation demands and risk profiles will benefit Cloud adoption.
    • Mobilisation and migration: Planning for cloud success and assisting the organisation’s transformation will aid the practice of operating on the Cloud.
  2. Prioritise a primary provider in multi-cloud architectures – multi-cloud methods boost flexibility while increasing complexity and cost. It is critical to control multi-cloud expenses and complexity by developing a cloud workload allocation plan. Channel partners must select a primary, preferred provider, and then, when the company has business requirements that the provider cannot meet, add additional providers in an orderly method driven by specific business needs.
    • Build resilience into application architecture – Gartner predicts that by the end of 2025, 30% of enterprises will establish new roles focused on IT resilience and boost end-to-end reliability, tolerability, and recoverability by at least 45%. Channel partners must embrace modern IT resilience by redirecting their focus from individual service continuity to resilient application architectures.

Please brief us on the kind of service support you extend to your channel partners.

Our solutions are designed with SMEs and the partners who service them in mind, assisting them in meeting their needs for IT management and support, as well as business communications and collaboration. Our technologies enable partners to rapidly and easily implement customised solutions; in fact, we recently launched a new version of our GoTo Resolve solution intended exclusively for Managed Service Providers (MSPs). We are levelling the playing field for SMEs to compete with larger competitors by offering them simple, accessible, and adaptable enterprise-grade solutions that allow them to run their businesses from anywhere.

Owing to our partner-first philosophy, customers benefit from the product expertise and local help provided by our trained partners. We have specialist partner managers, pre-sales, and operations teams that work directly with our partner companies to address their most pressing challenges, allowing them to grow their businesses by leveraging our solution offerings. We’re leveraging partners such as Technobind and Ingram Micro and their network and customer base to complement our direct sales effort to better reach and serve SMEs.

What kind of Partner training programs are run by your company to upskill your partners?

Emerging technological solutions are altering the way the channel works, engages, and transacts. Channel partner training is an essential process of providing partners with the knowledge that will stand them in good stead when selling products and ensure a high level of customer satisfaction.

Partners must be equipped to accommodate increasing demand while also staying current on cutting-edge technology and solutions. With the right information and tools, partners may engage in lifecycle activities that provide real, incremental growth and enhance client lifetime value. Specifically in APAC, we have:

  • Restructured partner sales and support teams for better alignment by partner types, geographies, and performance.
  • Streamlined contracts and company levels to align the full global partner ecosystem starting with traditional agency partners.
  • Formalised tier levels with associated benefits relative to performance.
  • Dedicated in-region marketing, solutions consulting and operations resources for increased in-region partner marketing planning/execution.
  • Dedicated prioritised funds related to partner segmentation.
  • Sales and marketing support being aligned with multiple partner types (Managed Service Providers and Distributors, Resellers etc.)
  • Increased executive leadership dedicated to channel partners.

Our GoTo Partner Network program encompasses a formalised tiering system with performance-based bonuses. This opens new revenue opportunities for GoTo collaboration tools like remote assistance and endpoint management. We provide on-demand sales, enablement, marketing, training, and support solutions to our partners, as well as everything they need to position, recommend, and sell GoTo products. Furthermore, our product specialists provide enablement training to help our partners select the best solutions for their customers. To properly setup and quote solutions, partners have access to specialised pre-sales tools as well as coaching throughout the client lifecycle.

Navigating global data privacy and sovereignty laws have become a big issue for global companies. How do you look at the issue?

Data privacy standards are now more than just necessary, and the most crucial thing to remember as they develop is that we must give people control over how companies handle their information.

Consumer control of data ultimately creates a healthier ecosystem overall and opens new ways for companies to build trust and transparency. It will also prevent companies from perpetually scrambling to develop and manage a slew of different mandates.

Undoubtedly, the development of data privacy has reached a crucial point. The direction we choose may possibly have an impact on billions of customers globally as well as the growth of businesses ranging from the smallest start-ups to the largest multinational corporations. This moment demands careful consideration. As an attempt to break down the present data privacy conundrum, we should examine how data privacy legislation is evolving in the country with respect to Global laws and what this means on a broader scale.

After weighing these integral pieces of the data privacy puzzle, we at GoTo feel that there is a need for global data privacy standards that place people firmly in control of their data. GoTo, since its inception, has stood for privacy first. We firmly believe in company-consumer transparency and actively strive to eliminate potential breaches of data. In fact, GoTo recently launched a new Individual Rights Management (IRM) portal that empowers our customers by providing them the ability to quickly submit common privacy and security related questions and receive instant answers, and to exercise more control over their data privacy rights.

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