By Bhavesh Adhia
Around this time last year, when the world was gearing up to deal with the unprecedented situation and business organisations were busy devising strategies to stay afloat, it was extremely important for us as a new entrant in the India data center market to hold our ground firmly and at the same time, infuse confidence among customers as well as partners.
While uncertainty prevailed around us, we set a goal and target for our partner business for the entire 2020-21 financial year without thinking too much about how the situation will unfold in the coming months. Our priority was to stay engaged with the partner ecosystem and utilise the time in a fruitful manner.
From the beginning, we have taken a partner-first approach and created an inclusive growth strategy with a strong framework built around 3T’s – Trust, Transparency, and Teamwork. Based on these, we have also designed an enablement program for our partners to provide an equal opportunity for them to grow with Yotta.
In our endeavour to deepen the engagement with the partner ecosystem in these trying times, over the past 9-10 months, we have been focusing on skilling and enabling them to be continuously educated on Yotta’s portfolio services as and when they are launched.
For enterprise customers, saving costs were the highest priority during the lockdown. The fact that data center services came under ‘essential services’ worked in our favour. In this scenario, we not only served our customers well but also engaged deeply with the partners. We were rather able to engage with partners in a better way.
Most importantly, as the situation started getting normalised and travel restrictions were lifted, we also organised data center visits for partners and their customers. With this initiative, we were not only able to showcase our capabilities, but it also helped in customer wins.
Looking beyond ‘Horizon’
As part of the enablement activities, we focused on engaging with the partner organisations’ sales team so that they have a compelling story to share with their customers. To enable the salesforce of our partners, we launched a certification program called Yotta Horizon. The focus of this sales certification program, which covers basic to advance training on data center and cloud services, was to enable and develop a partner ecosystem as an extended Yotta team.
The program’s content has been developed to enable the sales team to engage with their customers, understand their requirements, and create opportunities for Yotta services. It is an on-going program, which is being conducted by subject matter experts who have been in the industry for more than 20 years.
Besides, it is a content-based program that will help sales managers with in-depth knowledge of cloud and other tech services. On completing the four modules of the program – Colocation Basic, Colocation Advance, Cloud Basic, and Cloud Advance – the sales representatives will have to undergo an online examination to get certified.
This is a one-of-its-kind partner sales certification program, which not only deep dives into Yotta specific services but also focuses on the overall domain of data center services. Unlike other industry certification programs where partners have to spend money to get certified, we are not charging any fee from our partners. We have engaged with professionals who help us in training and certifying the partner organisations’ salesforce. This is a long-term investment from our side and we are extending this to our partners considering them as an extended sales team.
Forging a strong partnership with Savex
While creating deeper engagement with the partners, we also focused on strengthening our channel ecosystem. During the lockdown period when there were travel restrictions, we undertook the expansion program and onboarded partners through the digital medium.
In between, we also launched our distribution program and appointed Savex Technologies as the National Distributor. As an exclusive value-added distributor, Savex is taking Yotta’s entire portfolio of data center and cloud service to pan-India.
This is one of a kind of partnership in the data center industry where Savex gets exclusive access to market Yotta’s disruptive colocation and cloud services, and in turn, we can tap Savex’s extensive network of over 10,000 resellers across 700 cities pan India to reach all segments of customers. Apparently, with the help of Savex, we have managed to onboard about 85 partners in 4-5 months. And our target is to take this tally to 125 by the end of March this year.
Our aim is to tap the opportunities lying out there in Tier II and III markets of the country with this partnership. A national distributor like Savex with a pan India presence will help us extend our reach in every nook and corner of the country.
Leveraging ISV ecosystem
Another significant move for us has been the engagement with Tech Startups / ISVs. We have designed an Tech Startup / ISV Partner program, which is specifically designed to enable software vendors to give them the necessary support and Cloud infrastructure that will help them to develop and certify their applications on Yotta Cloud technology.
By leveraging Yotta Cloud technology, Tech Startups / ISVs would be able to access the infrastructure, which will help them gain client reach across geographies and benefit from Yotta cloud technology and strategies to develop and market their applications built in India and worldwide.
Upon signing up for this program , partner will become a member of the Yotta Technology Partner Network (YTPN). As a member of YTPN, partner will get monthly cloud vouchers and access and support to Cloud Partner Portal; listing in the Yotta Technology ISV Program Page on the Yotta website; training support, online training for sales and specific programs, and sponsor and exhibitor opportunities at Yotta conferences and events.
Most importantly, strategic partners’ product offering in this category will also be available as part of Yotta Catalogue on the Yotta Cloud Marketplace. Yotta will provide complete support to package and create custom catalogue SKUs for the partner and the same will be available on Yotta Cloud Marketplace.
It’s all about partnerships
The whole idea behind establishing these partnerships is to ensure we jointly help our customers with more value leading to customer success. And to achieve this, we maintain a constant dialogue and feedback with our partners. We have tried to blend our Partner Ecosystem with a balance of conventional Channel partners along with new generation, born-in cloud partners.
As part of our Partner EcoSystem strategy, one of the key strategy is to leverage our Partners strengths and offerings. As a step towards that we have collaborated with our Partner for our niche services like Work from Anywhere, Graphics Workstation Anywhere and others. Another example is leveraging our partnership with IDBI Intech, wherein we have launched , i-Recon and i-AML, which can be available on Yotta Cloud as well as Private Hosted model.
Going forward, we will launch more such niche services leveraging our Partner Ecosystem for our customers on ‘As-a-Service’ model jointly offered by us in the domains like AI, ML, and IoT.
We will continue our journey in nurturing and providing a platform to our partner ecosystem and engage actively with them.
According to Raunak Jagasia, Director, Enterprise Business & Alliance, Savex Technologies, this partnership is allowing Savex to leverage the expertise of Yotta and offer data center solutions and cloud services to our wide partner base across the country and help enhance the customer experience.
“In order to leverage the extensive reach of Savex partner network in the Tier II and III cities, we have enabled our sales resources with Horizon Partner Sales Certification program, under which 25 Savex sales resources are being trained and by the end of the course, they would be certified to handle data center related customer queries and also size their requirements. We have identified channel partners in all these locations who have deep connects with the SME and Mid-Market customers and ran a short term program to sign them up as Yotta-Savex Partners. As we speak, we have signed up more than 100 partners in the Tier II and III cities. Going forward, this certification program will be extended to the salesforce of these channel partners as well. We will also arrange for periodic data center visits for our partners.”
Mayuresh Dalvi, Co-Founder and Director, Mobigic Technologies, commented, “As a Reseller and Alliance partner of Yotta, we have immensely benefitted from the Horizon enablement program of Yotta. As this certification program covers basic to advanced training on data center and cloud services, this will certainly broaden our expertise in both the services; at the same time, we are better equipped to understand the business challenges and requirements of the customers and offer the services accordingly. At Mobigic, we are focused on helping our customers into their digital transformation journey. Yotta’s deep knowledge and expertise around colocation and cloud services helped us achieve advanced specialisations in these domains. The kind of support we have received from Yotta team has been very encouraging and has led to some strategic wins together. Our customers as well have appreciated the quality and seamless Service migration done by Yotta team Yotta team provides the right level of support we need to create joint go-to-market plans that drive growth in the market.”
Samrat Kishor, Partner at Golden Next Ventures, highlighted, “Yotta’s Horizon Sales enablement program has been instrumental for me and my team in assessing the right product market fit and we are now able to reach out to a larger pool of customers with better solutions. This is a win-win situation for us and Yotta alike. The sales program was adequately paced, designed for all levels of learners and delivered by professionals who ensured that we understand the concepts and apply them for our customer from the next hour! Yotta’s partner support team has been supplementing the learnings in calls with customers and we are able to see concepts in action.”
“I would like to appreciate the technical and commercial skills of Yotta’s partner team who got us onboard. Yotta’s support so far in understanding the colocation and cloud services market was immensely helpful in spotting the right opportunities and designing the right solution. We have already experienced joint success for one of our client where Yotta team ensured that they took the customers customization requirements which were not readily available and developed and delivered all the functions as per our client needs.”
(The author is Head of Alliance & Channel Partnership, Yotta Infrastructure)