“We value our association with Microsoft Hardware”
VARIndia interacted with Jacques Roux, Director, SES Technologies, to know how Microsoft Hardware has made a difference to their business. Some excerpts:
What is the kind of growth you have been able to achieve through Microsoft Hardware?
Microsoft Hardware and SES have been in partnership for the last five years, and it has been a great journey to be associated with products which are best known for their quality, value and endurance, and this has proved highly beneficial for us. It has not only helped us grow our overall business, but has also value added to our overall basket of products.
How do you think Microsoft Hardware is doing in India?
We have been selling the entire range of Microsoft Hardware products. The Microsoft Hardware products are designed in such a way that they meet the requirements of the consumers and all the products are doing very well in terms of their demand in the market.
What kind of sale support you get from Microsoft?
Microsoft Hardware has strong foothold in the market across the region and their support is indeed fundamental to the success we have enjoyed together! They have a very proactive approach towards the business and therefore ensure that we stay ahead of the curve.
How is the reputation of Microsoft’s products in the market and in the consumer’s mind?
Microsoft Hardware has always stayed ahead of the curve and in tune with the changing needs of the Indian consumer. Microsoft Hardware has tried to innovate and bring the latest technology to Indian customers. For instance, the increased focus on style along with great technology led to the launch of nine revolutionary products that are on their way to be trendsetters. The consumers have shown a very positive response, who firmly believe that Microsoft Hardware has now become a synonym for the best and most advanced products.
Microsoft Hardware has established its own identity and its products are better known for their quality, value and endurance in the market. In the consumer’s mind, these are considered premium products, with a certain very attractive niche SKU, that are well supported by its strong service network across the country.
How is the service support policy? Any service related issues or replacement complaints?
The Microsoft Hardware’s service support policy is very user-friendly and flexible. Any customer can walk into the nearest service station and get the faulty product replaced by a new one, if the same is within warranty and if it is found faulty on inspection by the respective service centre.
As such, there are no service issues; even if it does arise the same is generally addressed at the earliest by keeping in mind the customer’s expectations and satisfaction.
Which vertical is consuming most of the Microsoft’s products?
The largest portion of the stock is consumed by the System Integrator community by selling the Microsoft Hardware’s keyboard / mouse / combo along with the desktop PCs that they assemble. There is a very healthy uptake of products into the corporate sector also, with network administrators and IT managers alike, increasingly becoming aware of the fact that this is a quality product with excellent warranty that enables lower TCO for them.
Any new initiatives you are planning with Microsoft to increase product sale?
We are planning to focus more on C&D regions this year; there is already a plan in place to have road shows in these regions. Apart from the above, there are continuous schemes being run month over month to boost and scale up the sales. In addition, Microsoft Hardware continues its various initiatives to inform educate and empower its dealers across the country. One such initiative is the recently concluded 25-city dealers’ meets to reach out to the channel partners across India.
Through these meets, Microsoft Hardware showcased newly-launched products and offers. The event served as a platform to share the exciting plans for 2009 in addition to imparting training to channel partners about the new Microsoft technologies. Those attending were also able to avail exciting range of on the spot offers.
What about the margins? What is the company’s policy for incentives?
Microsoft has its standard policy on margins, which paves the way for more transparent and healthy business among the dealers community. All incentives are quarterly based vis-à-vis the targets and are directly worked out by Microsoft Hardware, which is then paid to the dealers community but it is assured that the partners are benefited.
What percentage growth Microsoft contributes to your revenue?
We value our association with Microsoft Hardware and our relationship with the brand has been one of the key ingredients to our overall revenue and growth.