Star nite Awards 2020- Digital Transformation brings opportunity for the Partners
The VARINDIA Star Nite Awards turned 19th edition this year.The event recognizes the CMO ( Chief Marketing Officers) the performance of various IT Vendors (Hardware and Software, Networking, Peripherals, etc).The awards function is held every year. This annual felicitation happens on the basis of a stringent selection procedure. VARINDIA considers different parameters including Price Performance, Product availability, Pre- and Post-service support, Training and Certification, Marketing Communication, Brand Building and Vendor Partner relationship for deciding the winners. This event acts as a benchmark for product positioning in the Indian market.
TOPIC: Digital Transformation brings opportunity for the Partners.
Panel Discussion - 1
With this the event moved on to the most interesting panel discussion session -I. Eminent panellists from the Industry and corporate worlds in the country discussrd on Digital Transformation brings opportunity for the Partners.
The session was moderated by Dr. Deepak Kumar Sahu, Editor-in-chief- VARINDIA and the panelists are Vijay Sethi, CIO, CHRO and Head of CSR- Hero MotoCorp Ltd., Jai Daga, VP-Technology- Sony Pictures Networks Ltd., Lata Singh, Executive Director (IBM Partner Eco-system)- IBM India, Puneet Kaur Kohli, CTO- Universal Sompo General Insurance and Rishi Mehta, Advisor-Digital Transformation, Welspun USA.
Discussing about the digital transformation, Vijay Sethi, CIO, CHRO and Head of CSR- Hero MotoCorp Ltd., said, “In today’s time Digital Transformation has become mandatory for all the organizations for not just the growth of the business but for the survival also. Everybody’s expectations from the organizations, products, services have changed so much that if organizations do not use digital technologies to transform them digitally then organizations will not exist. So that is where companies have to work.
The second part is cloud planning. When I talk about digital transformation, cloud, mobile these are some of the basic fundamental foundations of any digital transformation. So, you can't really be doing a huge sort of analytics, AI or IoT solutions without having clouds. So companies today as part of the first step of digital transformation are working on cloud first strategy, a mobile first strategy. Digital transformation is something which each organization needs to do and cloud planning has to be a mandatory part of entire digital transformation.”
Puneet Kaur Kohli, CTO- Universal Sompo General Insurance, commented, “Cloud first and mobile first will be the first prerogative for an organization, especially to lead the digital organization specially to lead the digital transformation, because if one has to be competitive in the market, the go to market strategy has to be good and also the product lines that business wants today, so it is a co-creation model, where it is not only about the technology which plays a big role, it is like vice versa. It is a combination of business and IT collaboratively delivering a product and it has to be within 72 hours or three to four working days a product has to be live, then cloud is becoming a technology where you can on your basis can scale up scale or down campaigns, any type of workloads, whatever be the size in and times out in and scale out it is all because of cloud technologies. So adaptation to cloud is something which is the need of the hour. Apart from that digital transformation especially with regard to financial services I can see that the myth that people had like digital transformation that cloud is somewhere not secured.”
Further discussing about the same, Lata Singh, Executive Director - Partner Ecosystem & CSI - India/South Asia region, IBM India, added, “Digital transformation is obviously fuelled by the adoption of cloud and therefore cloud planning has to be a key to it, not just the cloud part of it but the entire technology areas of IoT, AI and the others that the organizations are adopting, a critical piece of that entire digital journey that organizations are doing is the architecture and that is where the cloud planning falls into the architecture side. What are you deploying now, what are you building now, will it last for future, will you be able to keep that architecture from where you are building it to can you deploy it as you move forward, can you keep your own key, do you want to have control over the critical data? So, I would say digital transformation is fuelled by cloud adoption and therefore cloud becomes an integral part of how you plan your cloud - is it private, hybrid or public cloud and that has to be the architecture that defines your strategy for moving forward.”
Jai Daga, VP-Technology- Sony Pictures Networks Ltd. depicted,” Digital Transformation is here and now. Especially in the entertainment industry, earlier it has been like a traditional way, weather it is infra, real estate, technology. So, it was more confined to it. But now things have changed. Digital transformation has taken a lot of pace. Cloud adoption has also increased. Obviously, there are apprehensions still. One of the areas where cloud may be lacking is to cater to this kind of industry where it is not only storage but bandwidth hungry also. The time to market is very fast. So that is one of the reasons which needs to be fastracked on the cloud side. The mindset of this industry has changed a lot in this pandemic wherein you can remotely work from anywhere. You can have your infrastructure and applications anywhere, but you have to make sure that the delivery happens on a very fast pace.”
Rishi Mehta, Advisor-Digital Transformation, Welspun USA, pointed out, “Digital transformation was always there even if it was at a basic level 10 years ago, people had to grapple with the tools, and now it is going through a very sophisticated journey. I think it is coming because of our customers. I will say, look at what is happening even in the pandemic and COVID around the world. Our customers have not stopped from asking us the services whether they are shopping online, subscribe to the movies or other services rather I would say some services have even gone up more than the previous times. The best way to deliver is our service, product, technology companies have to become very agile in how they deliver the services. Digital transformation is still the mantra to adopt and the pace has become even more rapid.”
The AFTERNOON Session was NAMED VAR Symposium. There are hundreds of technology experts and leaders HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THE 19th Annual VAR Symposium. It is the place to share great ideas with industry leaders and among the peers. During this session we hAD Six corporates who have shared their experience and best practices on how they are addressing the partner eco-system as well as the industry.
Presenting further, Pradeep K Nair, Country Channel Head, Aruba India, pointed out, “We are a three-billion-dollar company, with a motto of “Customer first, customer last.” Currently in 2020, we have enhanced the portfolio with a new acquisition of Silver Peak and built our SD van capabilities and enhanced it on to the premise as well. This is the 18 years of journey as Aruba. As HPE networking, we are very proud to say that we are the only OEM that could sustain our existence in the Gartner Magic Quadrant continuously without a breakage for almost 15 years.
As HPE in the networking domain we are there from 2000 onwards, however from 2015 we moved into the leadership quadrant and could hold on to that position, we do our capability as well as the vision. So, both on the execution capability as well as the vision on the networking front was present all the time, enhanced and ultimately, we could always be the leader in the Magic Quadrant.”
The first speaker of this session, Krunal Patel, Director, TeamViewer, commented, “Digital Workplaces is just not giving computer and laptop to employees. It is much beyond that, it has a lot of other co-relations in the way how we work, how employees remain productive, even if they are working from anywhere. The new realities of the business have actually changed the way we work, and also how workplaces are organized. The modern workplace has to be connected. There has to be sufficient connectivity between employees, customers, suppliers in any device, in any format howsoever remote, he or she is. Connectivity becomes the primary requirement; collaboration is not only giving the video conferencing software but also setting a very conducive environment ecosystem for employees to collaborate. Manage employees, manage infrastructure, manage hardware and maintain around the productivity, maintenance of security maintenance of infrastructure are to be done. Modern workplaces are going to be a little more complex while it will not be compounded into the four walls. It will require a much wider application of technology to achieve the modern workplaces which is employee friendly and boost the employee productivity.”
Rajeev Abichandani, Channels Business Lead - India & SAARC, Fortinet
2020 has been a milestone year for Fortinet technologies. We are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year & it is just getting started . With a lot of pride, I can say that Fortinet is the # 1 cybersecurity company in the world.
The year 2020 also brought in unprecedented challenges in each of our lives. We were hit by the pandemic in first quarter of this year. The situation can best be described as an inversion of the status quo. Until march 2020, the majority of employees did their jobs within the confines of an corporate offices in a controlled network environment. But today most of us are Working from home with no idea when we can return to pre-pandemic normal. In the immediate onset of the pandemic, CISOs and IT teams rushed to support home systems, stand up new VPN servers (on premises or in the cloud) and dramatically expanding MFA.
During this time an unprecedented number of unprotected users and devices were online, giving a perfect storm of opportunity for the cybercriminals. And these devices don’t even need to be attacked directly, since they are all connected to the single home network and have multiple avenues of attack that can be exploited with the ultimate goal of finding a way back into a corporate network and its valuable resources.
With Fortinet Security Fabric – Which is the most advanced framework provides full protection across the entire digital infrastructure & under this umbrella we have more than 30 products seamlessly connecting to each other simplifying operations & driving automation.
Nishant Sharma, National Manager, Channels (India & SAARC), Sophos India, added, “We are going through our designated time and similarly the cybersecurity landscape is changing quite fast, every day. From a perspective of customer, we have commissioned an independent survey with IT managers across 26 countries across six continents. Almost 51% of the customers agreed that they were coming by ransomware last year and it is definitely expected this numbers to grow in the coming years. This pandemic has been an average cause for a ransomware attack where the customer data is getting compromised. Data is getting increased; they are paying ransom to the cyber criminals to get their data back. Cloud adoption is increasing significantly so as the attacks, almost 71% of customers agree that they suffered an incident on their cloud instances, so that is also alarming. We have launched a new partner program for the partners, which we call it as a so forth MSP program, the Managed Service Partner program.”
Sanjay Zadoo, Country Manager, Channel Business- Vertiv Energy India
When it comes to any decision about critical IT infrastructure Vertiv is the most interesting solution. Not only that, we also promised partners a good ROI, support in terms of deploying solutions and really good service capabilities to make it very easy and profitable. Vertiv as a global organization caters to more than 70% of Fortune 500 companies, in the sales term as $4.3 B with 20,000 employees and 28 manufacturing sites, a lot of emphasis and investments into R&D. So, we are operational in 51 countries. We also have various offerings in the Department of thermal power management or anything which is related to IT and infrastructure.
Pankaj Dessai , Country Manager – Channel & SMB, Commercial BU , AMD India
Like many others, AMD has adopted working and learning from home and finding ways of balance between our personal and professional lives. 2020 is a significant year for AMD’s commercial business in India. Partners have a key role in bringing our technologies in the market. We saw growing demand for our latest generation products, both in commercial PC and Data Centre business. AMD is building the best quality high performance computer and graphic product to help accelerate the next generation companies. There has never been a better time to be in the semiconductor industry, and we are ready for the next 15 years with high performance computing and graphic products that will transform our lives. From technology standpoint, AMD is the only technology company designing and manufacturing both high performance computing and graphics products.
In the next Session we have seen how the partner eco-system is working hard to bring all the technology eco-system works and understand from the VAR community, on their vision on Digital Transformation.
Dr. Deepak Kumar Sahu, Editor-in-chief- VARINDIA moderated the Panel discussion session-2 on Key Challenges and Opportunities in Digital Transformation.
Global business environment has witnessed massive changes, scale and speed to match technologies. In the past few months, we have witnessed a rapid acceleration of three major forces, that is, globalization digitalization and corporate consolidation, with consumer habits shifting to online consumption.”
Ashis Guha, CEO, RAH Infotech, said,” The transformation is object oriented. Technology will be a very important player in any transformation that you are really looking at. The transformative strategy should play a very important role, ensuring that customer experience is enhanced, optimize resources, overall business processes are streamlined and revenue should increase at bottom line.
We are the ones who are sitting between the OEMs and partners or customers. It makes our job even more difficult because you are just not catering to one person but to multiple people in the market. Our focus and value is all around data management and security.”
Discussing further, Atul Gaur, Director- Savex Technologies Pvt. Ltd, said, “Digital Transformation essentially should make life simpler, faster, efficient, and should give delight to customers, even employees. One should look at what is good to have, and what is essential because you have limited amounts of funds and want to make the most of it, so you have to decide which are the areas you really want to invest.
With COVID coming in things are becoming faster, people are wanting to invest more to reach out to their customers as they are now using video tools for the same. Analytics is becoming very important not only at CEO level but also at the bottom level or operational level. Live statistics being available to the same size as well, to see how they are performing. All these things are very critical and important for businesses to transform.”
Delving deep into the topic, Vishal Bindra, CEO, ACPL Systems Pvt. Ltd., said, “Nowadays we want to work from everywhere, we want to ensure that all our branches are connected as we will be at home and be able to work. Now, everybody is supposed to sit at home and we are pretty ready. Over the period of time, we learned that we could actually bring a lot of second tier, third tier city employees to really come on board and be able to deliver everything for them on demand was very necessary for us. We are not a digital transformation company, we actually are a layer which is looking forward at what people are going to do as transformation, and then sit over it to ensure that we can look at secured experience. Recently a very interesting thing that I came up with is that, a lot of our customers are talking about being able to work from home with a look at zero trust. We were ready to showcase all of that zero trust security issues and this is how we have integrated different technologies and this is what we are able to achieve.”
Ranjan Chopra, CEO & MD, Team Computers, added, “I will say digital transformation is a mindset. Four years before we created a mobile app for attendance, books, work from anywhere, anytime especially for our female employees. My team was not ready at that time but I insisted them to take necessary steps. Then we build centres for operational analytics. App modernization is another key point in this digitalization. We have to keep the apps updated every time. We have updated our all apps and done the same for our customers. Lastly, automation will keep people motivated as they gain their free times from daily chores by using automation.”
According to Tarun Seth, Managing Director, Hitachi Systems Micro Clinic, “As our Prime Minister comes in saying ‘Sab ka saath, sab ka bhikash’, I think it is the digital transformation. It is that you can help people from anywhere and everywhere, and people can get what they want.
People are scared today that the jobs will go by automation which is not okay, if not they are doing a redundant job. System needs people who can think differently, who can act differently and who can do multiple things. Digital transformation was always there and we thought it would take three to four years to mature, but COVID is elevated, and what we thought will happen in 2024 happened in 2020.”
Discussing on the topic, Prarthana Gupta, CEO, Cache Technologies, said,” My definition of digital transformation is how fast information can be used, how fast delivery can happen or how fast you can use the service. I might have been busy for more than one year on a project on safe city where the entire project is using digital transformation. We are doing a great job there and we are actually designing the entire thing: how fast the information can be used to the police officer and how quickly they can take the action and how we can reduce the crime of Delhi. Digital transformation has increased the use of analytics on how we can use facial recognition systems to catch the criminals. I have learned a lot about transformation during this lock down period.”
Digital Transformation finds its course during pandemic
Celebrating the 21st year of existence in the IT industry, VARINDIA successfully concluded its 19th edition of Star Nite Awards. For the last 21 years VARINDIA has been dedicatedly serving the VAR fraternity in India. The importance of the ICT industry has been best understood by us during the pandemic times. With the theme, "Post Pandemic to bring Fast Track Digital Transformation”, the Star Nite Awards brings forth the importance of digital transformation and how this pandemic has accelerated the pace of transformation which would have taken place a few years later. The pandemic has also exposed the readiness of the organizations in terms of their IT infrastructure. Along with this, cyber security has become a major cause of concern as many people are working remotely from their homes which is not a protected environment which enterprises have, keeping the data at stake.
We thank all the partners for their strong and continuous support. We have sponsors in the categories of Gold, Networking, Cyber Security, Innovation Partner and Supporting partners from various IT associations in the Country, and they are FAIITA, PCAIT, ISODA, ASIRT and TAIT.
The 19th VARINDIA Star Nite Awards started with the welcome note of S. Mohini Ratna, Editor, VARINDIA. According to her, “Technology landscape continues to rapidly shift, disruption continues, but new opportunities continue to emerge. Digital twins represent the culmination of modernized cores, advanced cognitive models, embedded sensors, and more a recipe that is in itself a trend, even as it builds on evolving individual technologies.
This is the 19th edition of the Star Nite Awards and with every passing year the status and grandeur of the event keeps getting more and more popular. The theme of this year’s event is “Post pandemic brings Fast Track Digital Transformation”. This event is dedicated to the VARS of the Indian ICT Industry.
New social and mobile technologies have dramatically changed the way we interact and engage with the world, bringing new and unforeseen security challenges. With the growing power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is going to change the world of perception, as many are trying to reinvent the power of Super AI. Technologies are destined to grow obsolete ever more quickly increasing pressure on organizations to balance both the need to maintain a competitive edge and manage budgets.
Digital transformation is a priority for businesses. Customers and employees are more demanding, ecosystems are evolving, and the established rules of business economics and decision making are shifting. These changes are opening up new opportunities through transforming costs, improving customer experiences, making operational efficiencies and creating whole new business models.”
VarIndia has felicitated 5 Channel Chiefs Of India and all the Channel Chiefs have been recognized under five different categories. The categories are:
• Best Channel Chief for overall IT Channel - Anil Sethi, VP & General Manager (Channels), Dell Technologies
• Best Channel Chief for Technology Platform - Lata Singh, Executive Director (IBM Partner Eco-system), IBM India
• Best Channel Chief for Power Solution - Sanjay Zadoo, Country Manager, Channel Business, Vertiv Energy India
• Best Channel Chief for Consumer Segment - Sanjeev Mehtani, Country Manager Sales, Acer India
• Best Channel Chief for Technology Distribution - Ramesh Natarajan, CEO, Redington India
"2020 has been a year of great accelerations”
VP & General Manager (Channels)
The IT industry in India has been over 35-40 years old as the industry found the footing in the country, a good customer base and even better than IT experts, the growth has been phenomenal. That led to the birth of many of the organizations, first generation entrepreneurs who spotted the phenomenal opportunity and established their organizations. My dear partners should be proud that what you have achieved till now you have played the pivotal role in making IT industry what it is today. It has given many of the large OEMs in the industry and has created a talent pool for the customers and OEMs, and most of us rely upon you for that. Partners infuse capital into different ticket sizes, ensuring IT reaches the far and wide corners of the country. This has been truly phenomenal.
As we move on, and we see that we are all currently going through the pandemic which hit us into this year but 2020 has been a year of great accelerations. We have seen a massive acceleration in the digital transformation and digitally enabled businesses continue to rock it forward. Organizations continue to adopt more remote workspace solutions at a feverish pace and leverage hybrid and cloud IT services. We are seeing advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning - which is picking up pace, online education and telemedicines already received a tremendous boost.
30 years of experience of Anil in the industry by working with the partners, Dell is bringing the solutions that enable customer’s skills that simplify the complexities and capabilities that encourage innovation.
Dell Technologies continues to raise the bar on its promise of offering a simple, predictable, profitable partner program.
“The greatest learning that I have had in last two decades is effective interacting with the channel ecosystem”
Executive Director (IBM Partner Eco-system), IBM India
What really has driven me is in the last 25 years has been the ecosystem (channel partner). The greatest learning that I have had in last two decades plus has been by interacting with each one of you weather it was in my early days in my career when I sat across and understood the business to the middle of my career roughly around 15 years when we were looking at cloud service providers, managed service providers and how each one of you taught me what is really important for the business, the key metrics that drive your business and that has been a very important learning.
A two-way learning is very critical and you gave time for me to sit across and bounce ideas on what is happening in the market, what are the technology drivers and therefore learning in the process is how to really engage in meaningful conversations with each other. So, thank you so much to the ecosystem for being there for me and also being an enabler for my learning and about the ecosystem which is really growing at a fast pace. It is a place where it needs to be relevant so thank you for keeping me relevant to the industry.
Lata brings 25 years of experience to make the channel effective with the dynamic market landscape ever changing from a technology and ecosystem stand point, IBM is being able to provide partners with innovative partner programs is critical to the success of the partners to create value for their customers.
"Acer provide tools to partners to lead IT industry"
Country Manager Sales
2020 has taught us why the PC is important, learn from home, work from home, gaming anywhere actually the PC is required. Today if you look at the world which is working is because PCs exist. So that is the importance which we have today.
At Acer, partners are the foundation of our success today and tomorrow. I am proud to say that the Acer channel team is best in class and we bring in some of the transformational solutions through which we actually lead the industry. Acer has actually provided technology which is best in class and infact the early bird in launching 11 generation. We actually provide tools to our partners to lead the IT industry.
Sanjev brings 34 years of strong experience for maintaining a conducive environment to keep the channel engaged and at Acer, its programs have evolved much ahead of the market where it helps partners to give better experience and competitiveness especially in the face of intense e-commerce sales. It’s important to constantly innovate and expand your reach and we continue to grow.
“As the technology evolved, our engagement and relationship also evolved”
In my last three decades of experience that has been my most highly experienced engagements with the channel partners on their evolution over the times and the IT ecosystem. Coming to think of it, how we have evolved long with channel partners over the last 23 years of Redington being in India, being a home grown organization, it has been really exhilarating.
Starting from the days where we were working with printing as our first product category, I think we have come a long way in building up the commercial PCs, consumer PCs moving on to the enterprise products, components. As the technology evolved, our engagement and relationship also evolved in terms of changing business models and emerging business models.
With a strong 28 years of experience, Ramesh ensures the best practices adopted by him to keep the whole partner community engaged and his vision is to bring the corner stone of Redington’s business has been our strong relationship with the partner community. The imperative is to build on the strong foundation that as an established partner community provides, in terms of skills, customer engagement and execution ability among others.
“We believe we can support you in growing your customer relationship”
Country Manager, Channel Business, Vertiv Energy India
Anyone who is successful in business knows that all good relationships are based on trust. No doubt you will learn this because your customers, not only trust you, but have come to rely on you.
Here at Vertiv, we believe we can support you in growing your customer relationship. You will be wondering how? Well, our partner program is based on making it easy to do business with us. Our channel portfolio covers the four spectrum of IT infrastructure. Understanding how to sell is taken care of by trained and enabled resources because you not only want to work with a vendor who is commercially attractive but also gives a technology end support. We engage with our partners end to end supporting them with the right solutions, enhance their commercial equation, through rebates and incentives programs. We also give integrated solutions and a variety of product offerings to partners in the IT infrastructure space, giving you an edge over others by consolidating all your efforts into working with one vendor. Partners who have taken a step to work with Vertiv India and we believe we can benefit too. Take the first step, joining the community and apply now.
With 26 years of experience Sanjay engages with the channel partners in the country with the vision to constantly innovate the partner programs to engage effectively with partners and reach out to customers. We keep analyzing the white space and emerging technology needs of the market, to evolve partner programs enabling partners to focus on these opportunities and unleash business potential.