Amid the increasing blare of the pandemic and the spectre of omicron casting its long shadows over the tech landscape, we have ushered into 2022. Channel success which has always been the holy-grail for any business is all set to get a makeover in the new year.
As part of our effort to get the channel community better informed and get an earful of what the who’s who of Indian IT are thinking, expecting, and planning for the channel community in 2022, we have started this new section to record the channel predictions of the most prominent players of the IT industry.
Here, as part of this special series of Tech Forecasts, Pure Storage India registers its predictions for 2022.
“To increase their chances for success in this environment, channel partners will need to offer both a variety of technology solutions and a deep knowledge in the areas most valued by customers.”
Head of Channels, India,
With its expertise in digital innovation, the Mountain View-headquartered Pure Storage has been providing all-flash data storage hardware and software products. The company has been redefining the storage experience and empowering innovators by simplifying how people consume and interact with data. It has enabled customers to embrace the future of cloud and data flexibility with a as-a-service model that’s simple to manage.
Pure Storage’s Channel Head Jithesh Chembil has been instrumental in driving demand and loyalty across all channels. Under his leadership, the company has smoothly sailed through the difficult pandemic times. Jithesh has undertaken many initiatives that has transformed Pure Storage’s brand image as a new age brand.
In an exclusive interaction with SME Channels, Jithesh Chembil, Head of Channels, India, Pure Storage shares his company’s Channel Predictions for the year 2022. Edited excerpts…
As the pandemic continues and a new variant has surfaced, what are the major market trends you are forecasting for 2022?
Organizations are accelerating their digital transformation processes for long-term growth and enhancing productivity. This year, organizations will increase focus on finding competitive differentiators that will allow them to stand out from their competitors and to be able to provide customized services to their customers. We will see a greater investment in technologies such as containers and Kubernetes. This technology is helping reinvent the way we build and run applications, increase enterprise IT efficiency, and its popularity will only continue to grow in 2022.
2022 will be an exciting year for technology as the world becomes increasingly digitized. We are poised for an exciting year ahead with many new developments on the horizon.
What major trends are you forecasting in the channel market?
In 2022, services and recurring revenue streams will define the winners and losers of the IT channel. The pandemic has accelerated the move to flexible consumption models. Now more than ever, customers crave the ease and flexibility of as-a-service, subscription-based offerings – those that prioritize valuable outcomes, over standalone products. This shift in consumption preferences is driving the evolution of the IT channel.
Customers are increasingly opting out of owning and managing their own IT infrastructures, and instead looking to organizations that can provide both a solution and consistent value in the form of critical maintenance, customer support, and opportunities to scale.
In turn, services are providing a much stickier business model for the IT channel. That’s why in 2022, the product itself will be only one pillar of a meaningful IT outcome. Instead, providers will need to double down on the services they wrap around a product portfolio to achieve long-term customer loyalty.
Which areas do you want to focus on in the channel – skillsets – sales and marketing, vertical and technology practice development, service capability, etc.?
All these areas are important for our channel partners. The world is becoming increasingly complex but we try to keep things simple for our partners. First of all, we try to keep our channel ecosystem at a manageable level and work closely with the most dedicated and committed partners. This way we can help tailor their training according to their needs. We also have a comprehensive Partner Portal with the latest sales and technical resources, training, personalized marketing campaigns, a digital asset library, social selling content and more, all at the partners’ fingertips.
We also provide them with access to a wide range of tools to support their customers remotely, if necessary, such as our virtual EBCs and remote installs.
What percentage of budget growth are you expecting for channel development?
Pure Storage is 100 percent channels driven, so our channel growth is the company’s growth. We only set public growth targets at a global level which you can find in our earnings reports.
What is your expectation from the channel this year?
In 2022, we expect to see the channel ecosystem itself experiencing transformation. Channel partners will continue to grow and empower customers across their environments. This expansion will offer customers an improved experience while creating new levels of opportunity and involvement for channel partners. To increase their chances for success in this environment, channel partners will need to offer both a variety of technology solutions and deep knowledge within the areas most valued by customers.
Are you planning any new product addition for the channel market?
Pure Storage continues to push the innovation edge to help our customers and our partners navigate the challenges of managing data. We recently launched our biggest capacity all-flash storage array, the FlashArray//XL. We also announced two exciting solutions late last year which we expect to see general availability this year: Pure Fusion and Portworx Data Services. These two technologies will change the way companies manage their data on-premise and in the cloud.
Is there any channel expansion plan in terms of numbers in 2022?
Pure Storage does not break out our channel numbers at a country level but we will continue to recruit committed partners where it makes sense.