Crayon Software focuses on deep-selling as its strategy for 2019

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Rajesh Thadhani, Sales Director, Crayon Software

Having captured a significant market share in a span of over four years, Crayon Software is now focusing on deep-selling, as part of its GTM strategy this year. In an exclusive interaction with CRN India, Rajesh Thadhani, Sales Director, Crayon Software, shares more details

How has been the recent years for Crayon in terms of business?
Started in 2002, Crayon is a Norwegian company. The company’s initial focus was on software asset management, which still remains a key practice for us, followed by licensing, and subscription-based licensing. In India, we are the largest partner of Microsoft; we are the only partner of Red Hat, VMware, Veeam, Citrix, etc. Nobody else does subscription-based licensing for them in India. Another pillar of our business include the consulting arm for solutions. In the Indian market, we have all the four pillar of our business running. Moreover, in India, we are also a distributor for AWS. We are both, direct and indirect sellers; we are uniquely placed in India. We are also undergoing a process for managed service providers for software asset management. We forayed into India in August 2014, and the country has been a fast growing market for us.

What have been the major growth drivers for the company in India?
When we entered the country, there was clear mandate that we won’t do deployments. We created a ‘co-sell’ model, wherein we created a dashboard of deployment partners. We introduced these partners to the customers; this became our GTM strategy. This model proved very effective for us. From overall business perspective, 70 per cent of our business comes from cloud. Our strategy include advisory, co-selling and deployments through partners. We work with about 90 solution partners, who are our ‘co-sell alliance’ partners. We have about 200 partners in the cloud space. We have a huge partner ecosystem; and we have also built a significant customer ecosystem of close to 600 customers. This year will be crucial for us to acquire more large enterprise customers.

What are your efforts to strengthen your place among enterprise customers?
In 2019, we will have a different strategy altogether. Since 2014, we have put a lot of efforts in customer acquisition; whereas this year, we will focus on deep-selling. Our teams are now aligned to this, and we have also set up value teams. Now we are strengthening our teams with pre-sales insights. As part of our efforts, we are not focusing on specific industry verticals, because cloud is today spread across verticals. Furthermore, for our entire co-sell strategy, every vertical is important for us. We have partners catering to various industry segments. Lately, we have also been getting into the education vertical.

What’s your assessment of the digital disruption happening across industries?
According to some reports, 70 per cent of companies have already their cloud journey. For instance, the PoC for voice-based assistants started between 2007 and 2008. Digital disruption has been going on for a long time now. One of the recently introduced technology, which is yet to get matured, is virtual reality. Furthermore, according to reports, organisations that have already made investments in cloud, are expected to invest more in cloud.

How is Crayon helping customers to address the complex digital challenges?
Today, the CIOs have become like partners for CEOs; CIOs are no longer confined to management of IT. The CIO is now the backbone for the business. Crayon is well positioned to support CIOs in their business, with our strength, expertise and partnerships.

What are your unique value propositions?
Software asset management is one of the major differentiators for Crayon. We can help companies build SAM practice, policy practices for software assets, and consistency in their systems. Our teams continuously work with customers to give them the right reports, guide them on how to save money in terms of consumption, etc.

Apart from cloud, how do you see the scope for emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, etc?
What’s going to dwell now is Industry Cloud. In the future, cloud will take shape of an industry. Every cloud player is trying to build services that can be used as APIs.

What’s the role of your partners in driving the company’s growth? Please elaborate on your efforts to upscale and re-skill partners
Partners have contributed in a large way in customer acquisition, with their skill sets and relationships with customers. Our partner ecosystem includes various large SIs and Tier 1 partners. We adopted two mandatory sessions internally, which will be now extended to our partners and customers as well. One of the sessions is titled Cloud Business Intelligence; we may conduct webinars on based on this session. Whereas the other session is based on use cases; this session is now being participated by ISVs as well.

What will be the company’s key thrust areas for 2019 and beyond?
We change our GTM strategy every year. This year’s strategy is focused on deep-selling. We have increased our team size and we are strengthening our approach. We are now geared up for value-selling. Alongside, new partner acquisitions will also happen. Thirty per cent of our business happens through 10 customers, and we want to build this set of customers in every line and every region of our business. We are also increasing our market reach with the inclusion of new geographies. Following a hub-and-spoke model, we cater to about 22 cities in India.