For Infor, channel partners are critical to the success of its vertical strategy, as they not only help deepen the reach to tier II cities, but also rapidly expand the customer base. Ashish Dass, Vice President and Managing Director, South Asian Subcontinent, Infor talks about the significant role that partners play in driving the company’s business momentum in the country
What’s the direction for Infor as an organization in 2018?
Infor aims to continue strong business momentum using our three-pronged approach. It involves new customer wins across multiple industries, a laser sharp focus on innovation to deliver purpose-built software for cloud, and a robust partner network.
On the partner front, we recruited seven new partners in FY17, and are doubling down this number in FY18. To give you a brief background on our partner strategy, we go to market with InforPartner Network (IPN).
We will embark on our 2018 journey with an enhanced focus on specific industries and verticals as we believe growth in India is coming from 49 tier II cities. Channel partners are critical to the success of this vertical strategy as they help deepen our reach to tier II cities and rapidly expand our customer base.
How significant will be their role in building the company’s growth story?
Infor’s channel partners in India are key drivers of our business momentum as they help deepen our reach and strengthen our grip in the market. Partners in India contribute around 30 per cent to the channel business and 50 per cent of services are delivered by system integrators who have specialized knowledge and skills in Infor’s solutions. The roadmap for Infor Partner Network is ambitious in India and we are witnessing almost a 50:50 mix between channel and direct business, which is considered healthy. Our channel network is a true reflection of Infor in the region. Customers are at the heart of everything we do and we consider channel partners also to be customers, in a way.
How much focus will be on building skill-set of partners? What sort of efforts being put in this endeavour?
Building the skill-sets of partners is a key focus area for us and we are streamlining efforts towards enhancement of skills for the partner community. Infor takes a collaborative approach, working with its partners and devoting time, energy and budget towards making both partners and the end consumers of the software more successful. We have our enablement arm called Infor Education, which periodically trains and educates the partners not just on the software and solutions, but also the industry, the trends and how it affects the customers.
In this digital disruption era, how do you envisage role of partners evolving with the changing market dynamics?
India is riding on a new digital wave which is disrupting business models and transforming entire industries. Digital technologies are changing at an exponential pace, and in this context, partners help give us on-ground insights on the evolving market dynamics. Our partners’ efforts in this area complement our offerings. This model helps insure success of customers which in turn insures the success of partners.