“Dell Active Infrastructure is a perfect solution for partner organizations”

Ajay Kaul
Director and General Manager, Dell India
Ajay Kaul, Director and GM, Global Commercial Channels, Dell India speaks to Sujata C about the company’s market coverage strategy and the role of channel partners in selling Dell data centers

The Indian data centre market is growing steadily and expected to do so until 2016. What is the Dell market coverage strategy to tap this opportunity?

There is a lot of demand for effective data centers in the market. According to a study done by Nasscom, India’s data centre market was at about $2.2 billion in 2012. It is estimated to grow by more than 8 per cent over the next 3-4 years.We address this demand by positioning ourselves as an end-to-end solutions provider. We provide our customers with an end-to-end range of solutions including servers, storage, networking and security. Our customers have been receptive to this approach to the datacenter and this has reflected in our business. Globally, revenue from enterprise solutions and services grew 6% in the quarter to US$5.2 billion and was US$19.4 billion, or 34% of Dell revenue for the fiscal year, a 4% gain over fiscal year 2012.

Part of our go-to-market strategy involves reaching out to Tier 1 and Tier 2 markets. Our Channel Partners have played a key role in spreading our end-to-end message and reaching out to our customers in these markets across verticals. Since its inception we have been able to build over 2000 channel relationships in the Indian market out of which close to 300 are recurring partners. The recurring partners consistently give us huge business year on year.In approaching customers who need solutions for their IT needs, we advice our channel partners to follow a four-step approach to ensure that every aspect of their enterprise solution needs is dealt with. These four steps are:

• Transform: This means increasing IT agility while lowering costs and this is effectively achieved through cloud computing.
• Connect: This point focuses on increasing productivity by enabling the next generation workforce to work securely from anywhere, anytime and on any device.
• Inform: Customers want control of their data deluge and use it to drive insights to gain a competitive advantage.
• Protect: This refers to protection from organized attacks to cyber theft. Data Protection will remain a key priority for all businesses.

How is the customer response to the transition to cloud and what are the common worries of customers with regard to this?

Cloud computing is one of the widely spoken about technologies in today’s enterprise space and has made substantial inroads in the industry. Organizations are rapidly turning to Cloud to reduce costs, provide greater flexibility and quickly ramp up support for business needs. The cloud computing concept is catching on very fast and rightly so because it improves speed, quantity and quality of resources available to the organization. It can help organizations gain competitive advantage by going beyond the limits of traditional IT infrastructure and data centers and offers more flexibility, choice and agility. As more and more data, applications and infrastructure is moved to the Cloud, security remains a top concern. This is one of the reasons for the slow adoption of this concept in India. However, security concerns can be addressed with appropriate secure solutions to ensure safe migration to the cloud.

Do Dell channel partners actively sell the benefits of colocation data centres to SMBs?

While SMBs are aware of the benefits like improved performance, reliability, security, connectivity and failover at much lower cost than building their own data centre, the adaption in India is still catching up and will take some time.

What kind of support is Dell giving its partners to sell the Active Infrastructure systems?

Dell Active Infrastructure is a perfect solution for Partner organizations. The product is both customer and user friendly. Since Active Infrastructure is easy to deploy and has less complex provisioning, it enables faster time to market for your customers. Additionally, Dell’s flexible architectures makes it available to be sold as an incremental solution that leverage your customers’ existing infrastructure, protecting them from rip and replace costs.Customers can also adapt the infrastructure based on their requirements.The solutions provided in Active Infrastructure are holistic and has a good back-end support.

Active Infrastructure, by virtue of its convenience and cost is ideal for the SMB. With the growing number of SMBs in the country, this is a good market opportunity to be tapped. The Active Infrastructure family includes our existing vStart models – vStart 100, 200 or 50 based on the company’s data center requirements, as well as the new Dell Active System.

We recognize the channel opportunity in the sales of Active Infrastructure and enable our channel partners to reap the maximum benefits from this. We provide comprehensive training and support from Dell PartnerDirect to ensure that channel partners have the right set of skills to sell and support for value add solutions. We also regularly conduct training programs for our channel partners such as the Dell Engineer’s Club and Solutions for success event.

What kind of a role do you see the partners playing in extending the brand’s presence?

Our Channel Partners play a great role in spreading not just our brand presence but our messaging across markets. With the help of our channel partners we have been able to reach out to our customers in Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets to a much greater extent. Channel Partners have also been key in spreading our end-to-end solutions message to customers in these markets. Traditionally being seen as a PC player, our channel partners have helped in informing our customers about our unmatched end-to-end IT capabilities. With our training programs such as the Dell Engineer’s Club and Solutions for Success events, we enable our channel partners to understand Dell’s end-to-end solutions capabilities and use this knowledge to adequately address the IT needs of customers.

Leave a Response