2018 Premier100: Cloud, HCI propels channel business

ChannelWorld gives a sneak peek into some of the 2018 Premier100 winners’ GTM to drive new age IT.

India’s channel ecosystem has been the backbone of her IT success story. Recognizing the immense significance of channel partners, ChannelWorld launched the Premier100 Awards in 2009 to acknowledge and bring India’s leading enterprise IT channel partners to the spotlight. We have been at the forefront of recognizing the achievements of enterprise IT channels of India.

... “I believe that for 2018-19, most channel companies will be looking specifically at HCI and cloud; but most likely by 2020, the focus will change more towards AI and deep learning.”
Ajay Sawant
MD, Orient Technologies

Each year, the event theme reflected the business climate and technology trends impacting OEMs and their channel ecosystem. The annual program completes a decade with the 2018 edition of ChannelWorld Premier100 awards and symposium. And this year, ChannelWorld has recognized the need for partners to future-proof their clients’ business and keep pace with emerging technologies. This year Premier100 is themed around ‘Next leap for future-ready channels’.

This year’s symposium honours the ‘Imaginative 100’ – IT channel entrepreneurs who have escalated their business to the new level by handholding their end-user organizations to navigate the digital transformation with cloud, SDx, IoT, big data, next gen security, HCI, AI and other technology solutions.

What constitutes a future-ready business?

ChannelWorld spoke to few of this year’s winners to get a read on what truly defines future-ready businesses and technologies to bet on in 2018 and beyond.

Anita Jain, CEO of Trident Information Systems believes that channels ought to be aware of technology disruptions and adopt strategies which help embrace change and evolve newer revenue streams. “Digital Transformation is the key to form new business models, remove inefficiencies and improve upon customer experiences,” she adds.

... “Digital Transformation is the key to form new business models, remove inefficiencies and improve upon customer experiences.”
Anita Jain
CEO, Trident Information Systems

It’s imperative for channel companies to constantly evolve in order to stay ahead of the competition. Highlighting this point, Jayanth Gojer, COO at Vitage Systems says: “To be relevant one needs to clearly focus on building skills and expertise in the areas of network and cloud security, automation and analytics.”

Additionally, he opines that companies must focus on hiring people with the right talent and skill set. Investing on getting the organization certified with industry-level certification standards could go a long way in delivering services to clients.

Anuradha Kaur, Managing Director of One Network shares that the top responsibility of today’s technology leaders is in navigating the waters of change, separating reality from hype, and understanding not only what technologies their organizations should use, but how to implement multiple disruptive technologies holistically and get the most out of them.

... “Breaches of privacy due to the use of IoT devices that have next-to-no inbuilt security, will continue to rise in 2018.”
Anuradha Kaur
MD, One Network

The sweeping changes are not confined to the way IT is being developed. There’s a paradigm shift in the manner in which IT is being consumed as well.

Throwing light on this trend, Vishal Bindra, CEO of ACPL Systems says that if you look at the consumption of IT, you’ll see that it’s changing big time. IT is being delivered through cloud and on the devices you carry.

“Our role has to change to being a service provider. The journey began quite some time back, but the pace has accelerated now. To ensure that the consumption model goes in their favour, channel partners ought to create some sort of IP around the services they deliver,” explains Bindra.

Technologies driving the new age channel partner – HCI, Cloud at the forefront

It’s not just the business model that’s being revamped, the technologies driving businesses are also witnessing massive transformation.

Ajay Sawant, Managing Director of Orient Technologies reveals that for his company, it’s all about hyperconverged infrastructure and cloud. “I believe that for 2018-19, most channel companies will be looking specifically at HCI and cloud; but most likely by 2020, the focus will change more towards AI and deep learning,” he shares.

... “To be relevant one needs to clearly focus on building skills and expertise in the areas of network and cloud security, automation and analytics.”
Jayanth Gojer
COO, Vitage Systems

While recognizing the proliferation of hyperconverged infra, Bindra of ACPL Systems opines that the ability to provide seamless user experience is prime focus for channel companies. “For us to provide seamless user experience across all devices, we need to have a much wider skillset available to us. Additionally, we need to start operating in a 24x7 environment,” he explains.

Gojer of Vitage Systems highlights that it’s evident that the future trend lies in the areas of network and cloud security, automation and analytics. “While these are areas that are already seeing traction, the growth expected in these areas will increase exponentially in the coming years,” he adds.

... “To ensure that the consumption model goes in their favour, channel partners ought to create some sort of IP around the services they deliver.”
Vishal Bindra
CEO, ACPL Systems

It’s true the industry is lapping up emerging technologies at a frenzied pace, but in its wake, the security concerns that tag along can simply not be overlooked. Kaur, of One Network points out precisely that: “The rising phenomenon of BYOD adopted by many enterprises and devices incorporating IoT technology are not secure enough. Personal data becomes vulnerable in the process. Breaches of privacy due to the use of IoT devices that have next to no inbuilt security, will continue to rise in 2018,” she says.

Crystal ball gazing into the state of security, Kaur says that the growing adoption of technologies such as User and Entity Behaviour Analytics (UEBA) will enable organizations to establish stricter control over their IT infrastructures and better understand vulnerabilities, so security holes are fixed before data breaches occur.

Given the role channel partners play in the growth and prosperity of Indian IT, there’s a lot riding on them in 2018 and beyond. ChannelWorld prides itself in being the voice of the partner community, and celebrates their success and continued growth.