An important roll out from AMD this year is the launch of its new partner-employee training program called AMD Arena.
Vinay Sinha, MD, Sales, AMD India Private Limited shares the company’s channel strategies for 2020
What have been the key highlights of 2019 for the IT channel industry?
2019 was a growth year for the IT channel industry. The Government’s Digital India initiative led to improved and affordable broadband connectivity and deeper penetration of PCs across the country. The SMB sector in Tier II and III cities were a big consumer of computing systems. We also witnessed a growing demand for high performance servers as enterprises moved workloads to cloud. At AMD, we worked very closely with our channel and OEM partners to tap these opportunities. With their support and partnership, we exited the year on a high note.
As per IDC, we exited 2019 with 38 per cent market share in the component business: a 24 per cent YoY market share gain. This was driven by the outstanding performance of our Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs in the channel as well as online. In fact, the Ryzen CPUs were among the top selling processors on e-tail sites like Amazon and Flipkart.
In the MNC space, we had 29 per cent market share in 2019, as per IDC: a 14 per cent YoY market growth. We have over 120 Ryzen powered SKUs available in India across consumer, commercial, gaming, modern and ultrathin categories. And these laptops are in high demand especially among the discerning millennial consumer who wants better performance in thin and light category.
How do you see 2020 shaping up for the IT channel industry, especially in the light of Covid-19?
AMD possesses a world-class global supply chain. Over the last five years we have established a track record of excellence in execution and we are well positioned today to continue to execute well through these unprecedented times. We are virtually meeting and staying in a high communication mode with our partners, to make sure we are doing everything we can to help them meet the customer demand in this fluid situation. We are providing all support to help our partners adjust to this transition. We remain committed to be a strong and dependable partner to our channel partners as this dynamic situation unfolds. We take great pride in the fact that, together with our partners, we provide technology and products that are needed now more than ever. People are working safely and productively at home on AMD-powered laptops, using services running on AMD-powered servers, and searching for medical breakthroughs on AMD-powered supercomputers.
Can you point out the top three technology trends which the channel community should be betting on and why?
Digital transformation has changed the dynamics of the way businesses function. Modern workloads are led by innovations through adoption of data, cloud, AI and machine learning, among others. Organisations are investing in these modern technologies to better cater to the demands of end customers. Channel partners will have to play the role of strategic IT consultants and enablers to help enterprises with this transition. They will have to build these specialisations to add value to their customers. We have a robust outreach and education program for our partners to enable them to work with large enterprises, SMBs, government, and the public at large, implement high performance computing to achieve their goals.
Please list out the top channel directions which your company has set for its partners and where should partners invest to be aligned with these directions?
In 2020, we will continue enabling our channel partners to play the role of strategic digital consultants and help them add value to customers who demand stronger and more secure IT infrastructures. We will expand our SMB channel footprint across Tier I and II segments by adding more experienced and effective channel partners to our network. Server is a big focus area for AMD in India. We will invest in strengthening our channel outreach in the space.
An important roll out from AMD this year is the launch of our new partner-employee training program called AMD Arena. It is an incentivised training program available at our new Partner Portal. The program uses gamification strategy to motivate consistent participation and long-term engagement. It allows employees of partners to become AMD experts across virtually all products and technologies as they complete missions, unlock levels, earn badges and get rewards. AMD partner-employees can:
- Gain AMD product knowledge as they complete missions comprised of training courses, sales tools, webinars and more
- Earn points, badges or move up on the leaderboard as they complete missions
- Redeem those points for merchandise, experiences and even events (where qualified)
The training focuses on our processors, graphics and technologies that enable key differentiating features in our product portfolio. There is also a category on our latest products, helping ensure that our partners are quickly up to speed while the consumer interest is high.