Kaushal Veluri, Director – Channels & Alliances, NetApp India & SAARC, shares the company’s channel strategies for 2019
Key highlights 2018 and opportunities for 2019
India is certainly the fastest-growing market and very important for us in Asia-Pacific. Throughout 2018, we grew faster than the market with the help of our partners and channel programs by ensuring that we regularly address the profitability of our partners and enable them to grow.
2019 will be an important year for the IT channel industry as customers become more data-driven and look for products and strategies that help them in their digital transformation. It is all about making sure that the customers understand where their data is, how to manage and analyse, and get insights from it. Our aim is to continue encouraging our partners to empower their customers with cloud, flash and hyper-converged infrastructure.
Top tech trends for channel community
In 2019, the top three technology trends that the channel community in India should look out for are:
- Cloud will bolster AI development: AI is still at an early stage of development which will see an explosion in 2019, the majority of which will be in the public cloud. Organisations will increasingly deploy cloud-based AI software and service tools in 2019, to ensure that AI applications deliver high performance and scalability, both on and off premises, and support multiple data access protocols and varied new data formats.
- Edge devices will get smarter: Internet of Things market in India is expected to reach 2 billion connections and unlock US$ 11.1 billion of revenue by 2022, according to an Assocham-EY Report. To take advantage of the resulting data deluge, IoT devices and applications will therefore increasingly come with built-in services such as data analysis and data reduction and this will enable the organisations to make better, faster and smarter decisions. The manufacturing sector will benefit the most from smarter edge devices as manufacturers can detect equipment failure much earlier than before.
- Building hybrid and multi-cloud will be a choice: Larger organisations will be able to flexibly and easily move workloads across environments while having full control over them, by using technologies like containers and data fabric. On the other hand, hybrid and multi-cloud will not be the default IT architecture for some smaller organisations. They will instead choose the simplicity and consistency of a single cloud provider.
Channel directions for partners
As a go-to-market strategy, our focus will be on flash storage, HCI and cloud data services. Channel partners are critical here. We will continue to enable their growth so that they can ally with our strategies and product lines. With the help of our partners, we plan to grow in the commercial segment; acquire new customers and expand growth in cities or markets where we are currently not present. In terms of new avenues, 2019 will be all about AI. Investing in AI would be a good bet for our partners. Consequently, fast resilient and automated infrastructures can only be delivered by using hybrid flash solutions, due to the need for high performance and scalability across environments. Therefore, we predict increased investments in AI, flash, cloud and HCI this year.