In an exclusive interview with CRN India, Jeff McCullough, Global Vice President of Channel Sales, Park Place Technologies discusses the company’s growth in India. With the opening of new office in Hyderabad coming soon, the company has set a strong vision and roadmap for its channel business
CRN India: Park Place Technologies is a third party, post-warranty data centre maintenance and IT infrastructure management provider. How are you supporting your customers in India and other markets?
McCullough: The role we play is helping customers, make the most out of their IT infrastructure investments. We help customers do IT better. We offload work from them so they can reprioritize their people and dollars to do more important critical things, like digital transformation. And all these things are good for our partners because our partners can represent a differentiated and robust portfolio that solves tough problems. Customers may be spending too much money maintaining their data centre infrastructure. So, we unlock dollars that customers had captive in their support environments. Or we help them better utilize their staff where they were having 10 people managing the data centres looking for problem lights on their servers, reacting to issues, we could come in, and through our monitoring services we could cut that number and a half or could cut it by 75%. Or we could take over 100% of it across the board and allow those people to be put on new projects that are going to accelerate the business. And frankly, at a period where it’s needed more than ever, we see a great opportunity in the market to continue to accelerate our portfolio beyond our core business of maintaining infrastructure and into our software set of products like DMSO, where we’re helping customers discover their infrastructure, manage their physical networks, optimize that network infrastructure, and manage their server operating systems.
We are a global company with customers in over 154 different countries where we have operations and people to deliver services, and so partners in India can engage and work with Park Place and sell a single support contract for customers in India. All these services simplify the business of managing and maintaining data centres for their customers, which we think is a significant value, andhelps customers do more with their dollars and get more out of their IT investment. Today, we support over a million assets, almost 1.1 million assets and over 21,000 customers are supported by us. It’s a sizable business, we are the largest third-party maintenance company in the world and some of that is through the recent acquisition of Curvature. This is a company we acquired just last November, so we’re still going through the process of integration of the Curvature business. Curvature doubled the size of our business significantly and brought some really interesting products to our business especially in this consulting services area where we have a portfolio of consulting services now that can be used to augment what our partners are delivering.
CRN India: Since the time you have taken over charge of channel business. How are you engaging with partners community in India?
McCullough: In India, we’re opening a new office in Hyderabad this year, where we’re going to add our first set of business development associates, and a dozen salespeople in that office. Their job is to start growing that business dynamically. Since we’ve entered the Indian market in 2018, we have tripled the business. We have been able to successfully grow the business every year. We see a great growth opportunity in India and through our partners. A majority of our business goes through partners today and we see that continuing to accelerate in growing the market. For example, for partners who don’t have a storage assessment service, we can deliver that service. They can sell our service and fill in their portfolio if they don’t have a cloud assessment service, well, they could sell ours. So our job with consulting is not to compete with our partners but to find the complementary opportunities where we can offer consulting services that help fill out their portfolio, and so it’s a big opportunity for us. As much as partners are investing in services as more and more of the core of what they’re doing, everybody has gaps and places where they need augmentation and help, and we want to be that additional services hands to help them deliver a complete set of consulting service offerings.
CRN India: Can you share roadmap of your new channel program. How partners can start enrolling for this program.
McCullough: When I joined, Park Place already had a channel business. February will be my first-year anniversary. My goals were pretty simple. It was to mature our program for the channel. Doing things like creating rules of engagement in how we are going to operate. Building out the program framework where we want ourselves to go from a program standpoint. I believe strongly in the role that partners play in expanding and growing our reach in the market and especially countries like India. In all regards, we are still a small company, and even with all our investments, we’re never going to be able to reach the market without the help and engagement of channel partners. Our partner program will formally launch in the market at the beginning of the second quarter of this calendar year. We put things a little bit on pause as we were going through the Curvature acquisition in planning, and now that we’re through that, we plan to launch a unified partner program for Park Place Technologies where we will bring our partner ecosystems together under one unified partner program.
They will take advantage of our program benefits from simple things like access to our co-branded assets, access to our channel team, our people in the field, people in our inside organization. We provide all our support and benefits to our partners as well as the fiscal benefits. So, all our partners will get the same benefits regardless of where they sit around the world. They will have a place to come to start an opportunity, get the opportunity registered which gets it into a pipeline that gets some resources potentially to help them move that opportunity forward. So, as we move through the year, once we go through our portal launch in April, our partners will see a steady increase in resources and capability surrounding them and helping them do more with Park Place to bring our portfolio of services to their customers.
CRN India: With various and large sets of partners available in the market, can you tell us what sort of partners you are planning to induct for your business?
McCullough: We have about 160 partners that have transacted with Park Place since 2018 in India. If you look at who are our top partners, it has been mostly system integrators. That is where we’ve seen our greatest traction in the India market. Companies like HCL, Wipro, NTT, and DXC are where we’ve seen a lot of engagement with customers. As we go forward, we intend to engage with more traditional VARs like Ingram Micro, Savex, Redington and Compuage Infocom. These are VARs that we’re also looking to spend more time with and there are many others. I think the fact that we can work with any of these partners on a global support contract for their customers differentiates them because they can bring a set of solutions to their customers. Our business is an annuity business and, in many regards, when customers sign up every year, they renew. We pay our partners for that renewal business. So, they participate in the renewal of those contracts whether it’s a support contract, maintenance contract, or SaaS contract, our partners participate in the recurring revenue which is important for everybody nowadays.