In conversation with CRN, Terence Gomes, Head – Channels & Alliances, RSA India, shares insights into the company’s channel strategies and the efforts being put towards enablement of partners.
How the integration of Dell EMC is helping RSA cementing its position in the Indian market?
The best part of the integration is that RSA continues to operate as an independent brand while the parent holding shifted from EMC to Dell. Our go to market and channel strategies continue to evolve as an organization.
Secondly, the reach of Dell in the market is further helping us increase our coverage in the country.Even the channel partners who interact with Dell are now looking at RSA as a strong security brand. In fact, this development has helped RSA a lot in many ways in terms of our regional channel reach as well as in addressing the customer market segment without actually impacting our day to day operations and go to market. We continue to work independently as a fully owned subsidiary of Dell EMC.
Was there any kind of discomfort amongst your partners with this development? Does this called for a realignment of your GTM strategy?
When there is a change people get a bit nervous and partners are more sensitive because their business depends on companies like us. However, we proactively started addressing our partners and if you look at our channel strategies over the last couple of years, we focused on doing more with less. Since we are a very enterprise driven brand and the technology that we offer is very sophisticated, we don’t really require a large number of resellers. We just require specialized and skilled partners. We have always selected partners who are committed to us. Post this development, we were quick to reach out to partners and address their queries. While we explained them that our strategy won’t undergo any change, it is great to have the Dell brand attached with RSA.
Our objective is around selecting few partners and make sure we are relevant to them and they are relevant to us and both the parties are equally serious about the partnership.
Which are the key vertical industries where you are presently focusing through these partners?
Banking and finance are the sectors where we are focusing on. Besides, the government sector followed by the IT enabled services in the service organization are the other predominant focus verticals for us in the country.
When you talk about government, what kind of opportunity you are looking at? How you are upskiling your existing partners or are you looking at next-gen partners who could address these requirements?
Given the size and scale of the government sector and the way they procure technology, we have a different set of partners. The first set of partners are the ‘advisory partners’ who actually do consult with the government. These partners may not necessarily be the resellers but act as consultants who can articulate the right security story for the government. Additionally, we have the resellers who are working with the government agencies as part of the rate contract. Apart from them, we have the ‘sustenance partners’ or ‘implementation partners’ who can not only deploy the solutions in the right way for the government but also manage what is deployed.
As the security landscape is changing every day, is it a challenging task to keep yourself updated with these changing dynamics? At the same time, how you work with partners in such situation?
As an organization, we are developing products and partners who focus on the most troublesome and the riskiest thing in the enterprise. Our entire strategy is on the ideology of faster threat detection and response. While prevention is also very important as it helps to maintain the hygiene, preventive tools are still easier to manage. Threats are constantly evolving and we can’t prevent everything. Hence, our focus is on building tools and enable our partners who can detect as well as respond to the threat faster. Whenever there is a new change or update on our products and solutions, we inform our partners either by holding a webcast or webinar or calling them to our COE’s and conducting workshops.
How well are your partners geared to address the security challenges associated with the digital transformation happening in the industry today?
I think they will constantly be required to be enabled because many a times, partners are also dependent on OEM’s for updates and guidance. While they do have their own set of learning sources, in this changing threat landscape we need to constantly update our partners on the latest offerings. Besides, we make sure that the partners are investing in skill building and also having right coverage model for their set of customers.
How are you aligning your partners with the company’s key thrust areas?
We have already informed a lot of existing partners about our three-year plan. With this, we are already set for what do we need to do for the next three years in terms of skill building. We work together in the industry to figure out the gap areas and help them address the same. We will enable them constantly to make sure they are technically ready to address the market requirements. Besides, we ensure profitability as well.
Moreover, we are also constantly taking feedback from the customers to make sure that they are getting what they have asked for. RSA, along with the partners, is always ready to deliver the product promised to the customer. It is not just up to the partners to sell and manage but we are also deeply involved to ensure that customer should get positive experience working with RSA.
Any message for your partners?
We have a lot of opportunities and RSA is always there to address it in a unique way. We are not here to do only business with but we also make sure that the business is profitable. We always try our best to be relevant to you so that our partners can be relevant to us.