Arun Kumar J, Regional Sales Director, Asia Pacific, ManageEngine, shares the company’s channel strategies for 2020
What have been the key highlights of 2019 and how 2020 will be an important year for the IT channel industry?
The year 2019 has been fantastic for ManageEngine in the India market, which saw a growth rate of 40 per cent year-on-year. From small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprise customers alike, we saw increased adoption of our IT infrastructure management software. This can be attributed to: organisations undergoing digital transformation to implement or improve online operations, and data security gaining prominence as a majority of organisations prefer a hybrid infrastructure – both on-premise and cloud.
This trend of software adoption would have continued into 2020 as well, but due to the coronavirus situation, most organisations will focus on tools and products that enable their employees to work from home, ensuring data is secured at the same time.
What are the top three technology trends that channel community should be focusing on, and why?
The main trends we have seen driving the market are artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Many enterprise customers have started focusing on improving efficiency in the way they operate, by automating repetitive tasks and optimising their IT spending with the use of AI and ML.
On the other hand, the focus for the banking and financial sector will be geared more towards auditing and proactive management of their IT infrastructure, because of the Reserve Bank of India guidelines.
Cloud adoption has been another increasingly prominent trend. Our own customer behaviour pattern shows that the majority of SMB customers are already on the cloud, and mid-market and enterprise customers are implementing a hybrid model, with some applications hosted on the cloud and mission-critical applications hosted on-premise.
What are the top channel directions your company has set for partners, and where should partners invest to be aligned with these directions?
The channel and reseller networks have always been at the forefront of our business, particularly in the India market, where more than 50 per cent of our business is driven through resellers and systems integrators. Our channel programme has been devised to cater to both value-added partners as well as system integrators.
Some of our main partners include Softcell Technologies, Sonata Software, and system integrators like Birlasoft, Zensar, TCS and Wipro. Channel partners help us both in-terms of pan-India market reach and at the same time, deliver value to our customers through implementation and consulting services.
At ManageEngine, we strive hard to keep them up-to-date with the latest technologies, market trends through continuous training and certification programmes. This ensures they have the competitive edge, besides enabling them to derive higher value for their business. Winning business through channel networking is important, so we are asking our partners to focus on areas that will reinforce the sustainability and long-term scalability of this business model. Specifically, we are encouraging them to enhance their product knowledge, domain expertise, and post-sales support and delivery skills. This way, our partners can increase the value they provide their customers, which helps retain existing customers and attract new ones.