Channel Directions 2018: An opportunity for vendors, partners and entrepreneurs

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The iconic event of CRN in India, CRN Channel Directions served as a platform for the channel ecosystem for diverse opportunities and networking, strengthening their efforts and the roadmap for the future

The invigorating two-day event, CRN Channel Directions, an annual conference organized by CRN, was held on March 16 and 17, 2018 at Novotel Hyderabad Airport Hotel. The event emerged as a worthy platform for vendors who announced their channel plans and strategies that would, in turn, set directions for the channel community. Partners and vendors from across the country attended the event and networked with fellow entrepreneurs. The event witnessed participation from some of the most influential people from the ecosystem including Devendra Taneja, Director, PC Solutions; Shalin Patel, Partner Sales Head, VMware India; Ranjan Chopra, Managing Director, Team Computers; Alok Gupta, Founder & CEO, Pyramid Cyber Security & Forensic; Shrenik Bhayani, General Manager, Kaspersky Lab (South Asia); KV Jagannath, MD, Choice Solutions.

The first print edition of CRN, a monthly magazine, was also unveiled on the occasion.

The event commenced with the lamp lighting ceremony wherein Shalin Patel from VMware India spoke about ‘Accelerating digital business transformation’. In his session, Patel talked about how digital transformation is all about creating new possibilities for business. He said, “Public clouds are a key enabler of digital transformation.  Sixty-seven percent of VMware’s enterprise customers say that they foresee an ideal end state where they rely on multiple clouds.”

The session was followed by Srikanth RP, Group Editor, Express Computer and CRN, who gave an overview of the Indian IT industry. Devendra Taneja of PC Solutions explained the need behind why the channel industry has to re-invent itself in the digital age. Taneja said, “Business today demands a better outcome. The business is changing very rapidly and getting a digital makeover. Channel industries are left with no choice and had to re-invent. The channel industry is evolving and it is changing rapidly today. Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain have been part of the business today. If you want to do well in terms of customers, you need to digital and reinvent yourself.”

Ranjan Chopra of Team Computers talked about building business models around next-gen technologies. Chopra elaborated about his obsession with creating a great customer experience. He said, “Providing a great customer experience is our top priority. We build and maintain IT infrastructure, applications, and analytics. We understand your needs – identify, integrate and support high quality and cost optimized IT Solutions. Make your business intelligent and future-proof.”

An insightful panel discussion features participants Jayantha Prabhu, Group CIO, Essar Group & Business Head – India, AGC Networks; Hiren Shah, Head – Technology, Reliance General Insurance; Ishaq Quadri, Consultant Hospital CIO & Secretary, Himss India; R S Shanbhag, CMD, Valuepoint Group; Nitin Shah, CMD, Allied Digital; Nityanand Shetty, MD, Essen Vision, and Shrenik Bhayani, GM, Kaspersky Lab (South Asia). The panel discussed about ‘Accelerating innovation in an age of Digital disruption – how can partners capitalize on digital technologies’. The panelists shared their views on important aspects of digital technologies. Jayantha Prabhu talked about CIOs measures on four KPIs: Revenue, Process, Risk, and Customer Experience. R S Shanbhag highlighted CIOs look on L1 and L2 support for AI and automation. According to Nitin Shah, internal information is important before you start with your customer. Whereas, Nityanand Shetty said, “Security partner has to be as tough as marine commander. Today partners do not get involved while companies are formulation their IT roadmap.”

On the occasion, CRN also introduced a platform called ‘LaunchPad’, where vendors as well as partners – both established as well as new/emerging ones – get an opportunity to showcase their new offerings such as products and solutions to the market. At the conference, Kaspersky Lab chose to leverage this platform and unveiled its new offering ‘KTMD’ (Kaspersky Threat Management and Defense Solution). Shrenik Bhayani took the opportunity and explained how this new product can be beneficial to the enterprises.

Alok Gupta showcased ‘Forensic-a new tech opportunity for solution providers’. In his session, Gupta mentioned the need of forensic in the business world today. He said, “Forensic services are increasingly sought by companies. Today business demand innovative approaches to digital forensic solutions. Our team can provide you with an efficient and effective solution. We strive to unveil the truth in data. We take a different approach, with a full forensic analysis division. We use advanced forensic analysis techniques to answer our client’s question.”

In the last session of Day 1, K V Jagannath explained ‘Negotiating to success-the right way!’, wherein he said, “Negotiation power comes from alternatives. Most of the people come to the negotiation table without alternatives. Confidence comes from planning for negotiation. Spend 80 percent time of the time planning and the balance 20 percent time for smooth execution. Remember without preparation you will fail in any negotiation. Planning and preparation are the crucial step to success. Identify your key goals, brainstorm your options and plan your open move.”