VMWare is optimistic about growing Virtualization in India
A clear indication of this is the increasing adoption of virtualization in India. VMware continues to gain momentum in the Indian market as customers increasingly opt for VMware’s industry-leading, innovative and comprehensive virtualization platform over other vendor offerings. The accelerating rate of business change, non-negotiable requirements for 24X7 business resiliency, and inexorable pressure to reduce costs is increasing the need for companies across various industries to adopt virtualization. Ganesh Mahabala, Regional Director – India & SAARC, VMWare, speaks about adoption of virtualization and customer growth in India.
Brief us about VMWare operations in India?
We started in 1998 and have just completed 10 years of operations worldwide. We have close-to 20,000 resellers worldwide and recorded $1.9 million revenue last year. We are No. 1 in virtualization worldwide.
In India, we started our operations in 2004-05 through direct existence in the country and today we have grown to about 700-plus people in the country which includes R&D and field operations. We are operating out of four sales offices in the country. We have over 550 customers today. We have over 230 partners in the country and we partner with leading server OEMs, have storage alliances with Hitachi, EMC, NetApp, partner with lots of ISVs and other vendors who provide Thin Client environment as well. Then, we have distribution and channel partners – we call them as VMWare VIP partners. Again, there are three layers of partnership – enterprise, professional and premium partners. All these partners are certified partners and they have a certified sales team as well. Professional partners handle a limited number of VSPs and VCPs providing basic virtualization, probably going up to some expansion of virtualization.
Other partners provide complete assessment, complete implementation along with VMWare virtualization solution. There are also partners who can provide end-to-end virtualization solution. Today, virtualization does not end at VMWare or just from desktop to server; there are other partners who are talking about network virtualization, storage virtualization and virtualization as a complete solution.
How the virtualization market is doing in India?
Adoption level of virtualization has taken a steep momentum over the last one year. It has almost doubled. We have around 550 customers who are paid customers and have bought licences from VMWare. We have over about 12 case studies, which are being put up on our website as well, where you will see customers from SMBs to enterprises adopting virtualization in India.
Why one should go for virtualization?
Cost saving by default is given in virtualization, and in the current economy this is the best thing a CTO can do. He can get more out of what they have or do more with less. It also gives flexibility, manageability, at a very higher level than the traditional physical servers. Also, virtualization is spreading across the data centres and to desktops. Desktops used to be a big nightmare where security and manageability was a big concern, but with the introduction of virtualization now it is no more an issue.
What is the size of this market?
Globally, it is estimated that by 2011 it is going to be a $15–20 billion market. Worldwide, we have over 70% of the market share. There is a huge market which is available for virtualization, because when you say virtualization it is not only the server desktop virtualization – Network Virtualization, Storage Virtualization and such kinds of services are available today and constitute full virtualization. So, there is a huge market which is going to open up for partners to provide services of virtualization. That is estimated to be 30–40% of the virtualization market itself.
India is not far behind – it is taking the similar pace probably. There are three stages of adoption of virtualization – Explore, Expand and Standardized. In many advanced countries, people have reached the expand and standardized phase to a greater extent, whereas in India people are there in all the three stages, and probably there is a small pie at the standardization stage right now and big pie at the explore stage.
What are the growth drivers?
One is the tough economy nowadays. The infrastructure cost, operational expenses, user flexibility and availability are driving the growth for virtualization.
If you ask me the segments – IT/ITes, BFSI, Manufacturing, Telco, Government and public sector, almost all the segments are driving growth.
VMware, a pioneer in virtualization, has been enabling companies like Mahindra & Mahindra, Chitale Dairy, Religare, i2 Technologies realize substantial benefits through virtualization.
How are you going to tap the Indian market?
India is going to be a prime focus country for us. We are a highly partner-driven model. We closely associate with the partners. So, we will be relentlessly putting our efforts in increasing our Partner strength. The best thing about partners is that they have built up a reach which we cannot do on our own. We have a separate partner enablement team and marketing team to help them understand our solutions. We are also relentlessly putting partner training in the country so that both partners and customers get trained. We are going to organize more and more customer awareness trainings, workshops and marketing activities.
How many partners are you working with?
We are working with about 230-plus partners that include OEMs and VIP partners (SIs) who are into distribution and channels.
What is your marketing strategy?
The first is VMWare-driven events that we organize. We invite all customers and do full- day technology presentation from VMWare as well as our partners. Simultaneously, we also organize partner technology days called VMWare Seminar Series to enable partners to understand the latest technology. The second is Partner Marketing. We jointly contribute with the partner and do partner solution-based marketing activities like seminars, workshops, etc.
What are the challenges before you and how do you plan to overcome them?
Everyone who has got five or more servers today is interested to talk to VMWare. So, it is the biggest advantage and the biggest challenge because being able to reach them and take them through that journey of evaluating to experimenting to the implementation is a difficult task. So, the reach – I would not say the challenge – is the need of the hour. So, our challenge is how do we enable more and more partners not only in the tier-I cities but also in tier-II or tier-III cities to reach out to customers. The second is educating the end-users on the benefits of virtualization.
What are the upcoming trends you see in this market?
The upcoming trends are Server Virtualization, Network Virtualization, Desktop Virtualization, Mobile Virtualization and Cloud Initiation.
What are your major initiatives for the year 2009?
We have three big initiatives for this year. The first is Virtual Data Center OS where there will be a universal platform, under which you have virtual commute power, virtual storage power or virtual network power. The second is vCloud Initiative. You will hear a lot about it from us. The third is vClient – the desktop client, mobile client, or any device which can talk to network by getting virtual environment. You will hear about lots of partnerships in these areas.