Bhavesh Adhia, Head of Alliance & Channel Partnership, Yotta Infrastructure says that his company wants to drive over 75 per cent of its enterprise business through the ‘partner-first’ approach
What have been the key highlights of 2019 and how will 2020 be an important year for the IT channel industry?
The channel partner strategy moves in sync with the trends in the IT industry. As enterprises today focus increasingly on digitisation, channel partners are required to adopt a business model that offers a complete range of solutions to customers.
Cybersecurity took the spotlight in 2019 and keeping the systems secure was in the agenda of enterprises. Service providers started providing integrated solutions and held training programs to familiarise their channel partners to their service portfolio. SMEs were increasingly moving to the cloud in 2019 and this will increase in 2020 to keep up with the pace with digitisation. Customers are converting into a hybrid environment and require channel partners to provide them with an ecosystem that will take care of all their IT needs – from software to hardware requirements.
Partners normally engage with multiple OEMs and provide solutions/service offerings across different areas. Data centre service providers as well as hardware/software OEMs, all will have to devise partner strategies focused on open communication and transparency to lead to a partner-first approach. At Yotta, we follow the 3Ts – Trust, Transparency and Teamwork to execute a seamless partner ecosystem. Besides, we believe that our partners should be enabled and have first-hand information from us. We support them through our enablement program via product training, best practices and more.
With uncertainty prevailing with the current Covid-19 crisis, it’s crucial that we set long term goals and should look beyond a quarter. Hence today, our priority should be staying engaged with the partner eco-system, instil confidence and help them upskill. We should utilise this time in a fruitful manner.
Top three technology trends that the channel community should be focusing on, and why?
Partners understand that the increasing complexity of enterprise IT operations results in more opportunities for them. This year and beyond, we will see spurt in terms of adoption of digitisation. In these challenging times, we have seen that companies who were early adopters of technology have been able to manage their respective businesses much smoother than the ones who were less ready. Thanks to the adoption of cloud by enterprises, channel partners have evolved themselves from a single product provider and are now offering a plethora of services.
We will also now see a surge in businesses having a cloud-first or mobile-first approach, which earlier was mostly part of the strategy but as a phased execution plan. Thus, partners will now act as consultants for businesses to provide cloud integration and increase their investments in managed service providers (MSPs). At the same time, technology solutions are going beyond high-quality efficiency and lower prices, to stay ahead in the competition, channel partners must leverage and highlight these factors to generate business leads. Customer will also explore innovative cost effective BCP solutions and hence would like to shift to ‘Anything as a Service’ (XaaS) to harness new technologies. This would entail providing a strong suite of services from service providers and support from channel partners to drive their business growth.
What are the top channel directions your company has set for your partners and where should partners invest to be aligned with these directions?
Yotta has been working on a simple yet effective framework built for our partners around 3Ts – Trust, Transparency and Teamwork. We want to drive over 75 per cent of our enterprise business through our ‘partner-first’ approach. We have broken down our partner ecosystem into four categories; Alliance Partner Framework for large system integrators, Technology Partner Framework for technology partners such as OEMs/ISVs/SaaS partners, Consulting Partner Framework, and Reseller Partner Framework. Our framework is designed based on the feedback we received from our channel partner community. It includes benefits for our partners such as standard recurring commission pay-outs, commission on Actual Billed Value (ABV), additional percentage to the sales representatives, and so on. Moreover, our cost saving proposition is extended to their customers as well.
We also believe in an inclusive growth strategy and via our enablement program for partners we provide an equal opportunity for them to grow with Yotta. While onboarding, they get access to our partner portal for registration of new leads, updating opportunities, online training, commission pay-out statements, etc. To recognise the contribution made by sales representatives of the partner organisations, we extend an additional pay-out percentage directly to the concerned representative for every deal they make for us. We would urge partners to focus on training their sales teams and ensuring that they are abreast with the latest changes in the ecosystem to identify the right partners to work with and grow their business.