CLS 2021: India’s top IT distributor leaders deliberate on partner role played during pandemic in driving digital transformation


In this panel India’s top IT distributors Ingram Micro India, Redington India, Tech Data India, Inflow Technologies and Savex leaders along with Fortinet and Western Digital shared their experiences and describe where they are in their journey towards continuous innovation and digital transformation and enterprise mobility. They touch base on, not only, technology enablers but organizational and process capabilities.

Anirudh Shrotriya, Managing Director, Shro Systems moderated the power-packed panel discussion titled ‘Riding the Wave of Transformation – Thriving in an Era of Constant Change’. The panel touched on priorities during the pandemic, ways of working, skill sets, opportunities for partners. Panelists included Navneet Singh Bindra, VP & Chief Country Executive, Ingram Micro, Byju Pillai, Group Managing Director, Inflow Technologies, Ramesh Natarajan, CEO, Redington India, Sundaresan K, VP – Next Generation Technologies, Tech Data India, Atul Gaur, Director, Savex Technologies, Rajesh Maurya, Regional VP, India & SAARC, Fortinet and Naresh Rana, Senior Sales Manager, Western Digital. Here are the key takeaways from their conversation.

Speed and flexibility are key to unlocking value faster

Speaking at the panel discussion Navneet Singh Bindra, VP & Chief Country Executive, Ingram Micro shared the importance of business resilience to partners, he said, “As distribution industry, we are all moving towards more solutions aggregators than product distributors. The online movement and cloud adoption helped to accelerate the business of our partners so that they can serve the customers in a much more timely manner. Lastly, he highlights the digital journey when customers get onto the journey, a lot of them are looking at how to create an op ex-model out of it, how to drive a consumption model and that’s when.”

Rethink operating model and skill sets for the new reality

Taking the cue from Bindra, Byju Pillai, Group Managing Director, Inflow Technologies narrated how Inflow embraced digital transformation and enabled its partners on digital platforms. In the last 18 months Inflow delivered more than 1200 digital activities and 200 remote activities like partners and customers training.  It had done about 9,000 bills of material all online. He also pointed out that partners should engage with customers on business outcomes and help them in their digital transformation.

Ramesh Natarajan, CEO, Redington India shared a detailed backdrop of various digital transformations at multiple stages. He was of the view that the cloud maturity of the last eight years have moved companies towards a multi-cloud environment that has given a great experience and moving forward, it is just not about the non-critical applications, even moving the critical applications to the cloud.

“The moving of workloads across the multi-cloud hybrid and public cloud has become a great opportunity for all of us, including the partners,” Natrajan touched upon.

New technologies, new opportunities for partners

Sundaresan K, VP – Next Generation Technologies, Tech Data India said, “Adoption of emerging technologies by customers and the transformation that the partner and the entire ecosystem is going through. The next-generation technologies are proliferating. Varieties of transformation that’s happening in the market, one is the customer adoption, which is driving the change. The hybrid cloud and data analytics have been in place for quite some years now. But security adoption, both on regulatory terms and on protective measures by customer is adding to the pace of the growth that is happening in the security market.”

Another area for partners to look at is the AR and VR technologies as they are getting more and more automated but it’s only going to be a matter of time before it gets into every household and everybody’s lives, he opined.

Driving channel towards Everything as- a- Service model

Atul Gaur, Director, Savex Technologies highlighted that Savex is making big in digital. For partners, the Mumbai based distributor is enabling and helping partners in strengthening the Everything as- a- service model.

“Channel has seen the benefits of cloud as a recurring business, whether it has to do with any of the cloud businesses. Distributors, like us, are developing a skill set not only to train the partner ecosystem very strongly, but also complementing their efforts at the end customer. This was not heard earlier; you would see a lot of stuff happening primarily by the partner alone,” Gaur explained.

Furthermore, Savex is acquiring niche new age technology companies which will further provide a new set of opportunities to its partners.

From digital transformation to digital innovations

Another speaker Rajesh Maurya, Regional VP, India & SAARC, Fortinet talked about the changing threat landscape and how partners should transform from digital transformation to digital innovations.

“We as a technology innovator now need to talk about digital innovation, I think the transformation piece has already been happening for a long period of time. In a connected world, there’s a big responsibility on companies, like us, who are developing cybersecurity solutions. Our mission is to secure people’s devices and data everywhere by building customer-centric solutions and keeping the latest threat landscape in mind,” he added.

Chip crisis to end by 2022

Sharing light on the semiconductor crisis and its reasons, Naresh Rana, Senior Sales Manager, Western Digital informed the panel that with various countries coming together and the slowing down of demand crisis is likely to ease the chip crisis by mid of 2022 which the electronic industry is facing in current times.

He ended his session by sharing the storage trends which will be very important for partners in times to come.


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