Ritesh Syal, Head & Director, Channels & Alliances, India, Nutanix, 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?
In the past year, India’s enterprises found traditional, hardware-based infrastructure inflexible, time consuming, and costly – in cash, space and staff resources. To survive they sought to integrate and utilise the latest technologies and innovation across the entire enterprise in real time. Customers now understand that HCI is not just a niche technology, and are beginning to see the true value in enterprise OS and hybrid IT.
COVID-19 has accelerated the shift to a multi-cloud India, so we should all start preparing for it. The harsh reality is the pandemic will bring about a new business reality. Those businesses that survive, will emerge from this turmoil leaner, more productive, more efficient, and much, much more adaptable. And they will demand the cloud and software defined infrastructure to help keep them that way. Technology has always been a great enabler in times of crisis. 2020 will prove no different.
Remote and flexible working has overnight become an acceptable new norm and enterprises are now being forced to fast-track their digital transformation efforts, so employees can continue working without compromising on security, safety and connectivity. Those businesses which had the right tools and infrastructure for remote working, will look to scale up their practices so the entire enterprise can function remotely, while those seeking the capabilities afresh are now rapidly ramping the adoption of software and services like VDI and Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS). For the IT channel, this will be a crucial time to support India’s businesses with access to the right technology and capabilities. Longer term, even the channel will have to adapt to the new business reality.
What are the top three technology trends that channel community should be focusing on, and why?
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for businesses to be flexible and adaptable to survive during periods of increasing, and more frequent, disruption. Last year we identified the rise of the more flexible digital enterprise – capable of acting, reacting and anticipating any operating conditions or market condition. This year, the trend will continue with the rise of the intelligent enterprise and nation, as more businesses are now seeing the importance of employing the latest technologies not just on a project basis, but enterprise-wide.
This will be characterised by three trends:
- A race to the Edge: Computing at the edge will reduce cost, physical footprint and power consumption centrally – and response time, or latency, at the device. This surge in edge computing will coincide with the dramatic rise in quantity of data and Internet of Things (IoT) – much of it as a result of the increased speed and bandwidth of 5G. Covid-19 has also accelerated this as WFH is the new edge.
- The increase in Edge computing will fuel AI : The quantity of data, generated at the network edge, puts great demands on data processing and structural optimization. Therefore, there is a strong requirement to integrate Edge Computing and AI.
- All of this will further influence a hybrid world: While the cloud has provided AI with the platform it needed to grow to the level of being available on nearly every technological device, the combination of HCI and edge computing will give AI the tools to truly evolve.
Our latest Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) found that India is leading the world in moving workloads back on-prem from public cloud – enterprises are no more seeing public cloud as a one stop solution for their businesses. COVID-19 has accelerated that mindset and set the country on a multi-cloud path.
What are the top channel directions your company has set for partners, and where should partners invest to be aligned with these directions?
The Nutanix Channel Charter strengthens our relationship with our partners because success lies in the strength of the relationship, by focusing on deals and engagement instead of ‘transactional” revenue targets. This establishes joint success, and rejects a zero sum game. As the Charter focuses on engagement instead of revenue targets, it gives partners a greater incentive to focus on building market knowledge and skills and look for ways to deliver maximum value to customers. This puts the customer first, and helps Nutanix and the partner succeed together
Nutanix has also enhanced the partner portfolio and opportunities. Combined these help transform our partners from implementers to strategic counsel and trusted advisors – which increases their value and profitability. These initiatives include: service related opportunities around implementation and maintenance; a cloud estimate service offering via Nutanix Beam. Profitability is heightened as a result of the Nutanix individual and focus partner approach.
Ultimately we assist our partners in their own evolution and transformation journey to the cloud and multi cloud by empowering them to effectively compete, transform and succeed in the modern, multi-cloud era.