Liam Ryan, Vice President – Channels and Alliances, Infor Asia Pacific and Middle East Africa, 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 2019, we witnessed a strong recognition for the value of SaaS in the Indian market. A recent report by Nasscom reported that the Indian SaaS market was growing at 36 per cent every year. The concept of running a cloud solution is fast becoming the norm, and our focus was to develop and take to market mechanisms to speed the process of adopting a SaaS solution. It was very important to see customers recognise value in their investment, and measured improvement. Infor saw this recognition with customers looking at multiple offerings once they began their implementations.
The year 2020 will be about rebuilding, given the impact of COVID-19. IT channel partners need to ensure that they are well connected with their territory – both current customers and their white space. Their focus should be on working with customers to support their future growth, and utilise their assets as efficiently as possible. Supporting customers through this period will build long-term support for channel partners who will continue to grow and invest for years to come. Partners will need to ensure that they are offering every piece of value that they can. Technology is our key enabler through this and the channel industry should help customers improve RoI by moving investment from hardware to process refinement and additional functionality.
What are the top three technology trends that Indian channel community should be focusing on, and why?
- Increased emphasis on SaaS and the future of work: Organisations in India are looking for the ability for employees to work anywhere, anytime. This stands true now more than ever with the current lockdown in India due to the pandemic. Employees need to be able to access information and do their jobs efficiently from home. SaaS technology and the cloud provides this ability.
- Deliver results quickly, even if only in small increments: An agile delivery methodology gives your customers a return on investment quickly, showing that they are choosing wisely, and justifying further spend.
- Focus your resources on business consulting: Value is a huge driver when customers look to make investment decisions. Your team needs to be able to take a business issue, articulate the problem and cost to the customer, and then present the value in your solution.
What are the top channel directions your company has set for partners, and where should partners invest to be aligned with these directions?
Infor strongly believes in the power of partnerships and is committed to enabling and collaborating with a skilled team of partners. This helps them expand their business and stay ahead of the market, while providing customers with innovative technology suites that are beautiful, functional, and easy to use. To ride on the path of growth, partners must focus on the below for FY20 and beyond:
- Specialisation: Infor has invested significantly in developing last mile functionality within our CloudSuite solutions. We will work to match this with industry-aligned partners and leverage the combined knowledge to become the first choice for customers in India.
- Map your path to the cloud: Infor will continue to work with all our partners to understand how life looks as a SaaS reseller. We will work towards realising the potential of SaaS to our partners and how it can change their organisational and go-to-market models. They need to redeploy resources into different areas.
- Be agile: Infor has developed a number of resources to assist partners in improving their agile delivery model. Implementation accelerators, and shorter delivery cycles improve the customer outcome and see additional investment for their projects.
- Invest in enablement: The world is changing rapidly and partners need to ensure that their people are developing accordingly. Infor will continue to dedicate its resources to develop its ecosystem and partners must work towards reskilling their teams to meet the current business requirements.
- Connect with your customers: Partners must ensure that their teams are supporting customers in these unprecedented times. There is an opportunity to offer thought leadership to customers as to how they can stabilise and improve their business, and partners must be agile to step in during this period so that their customers can make a strong and quick recovery when the pandemic blows over.