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5 customer trends that channel partners should watch out for

Shantheri Mallaya | July 9, 2013
If you aren't listening to your customers' needs, your competition is. Here are five trends that are changing your customers' business­--and redefining yours.

About six months ago, this solution provider worked closely with a small customer, having about 300 users to deliver a medium-sized private cloud--wherein the customer saved itself the trouble of buying multiple hardware, software was bundled into the single hardware, and the cloud solution was ready to go live. "We were Statement-of-Work (SOW) bound and delivered the project effectively on time and the client is happy realizing its objectives," says Sanjeev Patil, director, Yashasvi Information Solutions. The success of such projects has given Yashasvi the confidence to venture into slightly bigger projects in order to ride the cloud wave.

IT should always be deployed in a manner that increases the operational efficiency within an organization. More and more CIOs are of the view that IT should enable them to achieve this objective. Manoj Gupta, CEO, Grid Infocom, has seen the term coming up very often during discussions with customers. "With the sheen of labor arbitrage waning, there is also an unqualified assumption that Indian workers of global conglomerates are not as efficient as their global counterparts.

So, organizations are keen to track the component in order to meet global mandates. If we haven't factored operational efficiency as one of the net outcomes of an IT implementation, then it is high time to do so," says Gupta.

Grid has tied up with a niche US-based company called Openspan, provider of user experience software solutions, catering to customers mainly in the IT/ITES, BPO space, where back-office productivity is the core concern for managements.

Customers who have implemented this solution have been able to track problematic areas such as handling time and transaction processing time. The customers are also able to break down--component wise--as to how much time was actually productive.

A customer has been able to leverage the Openspan solution by reducing handling time by about 15 percent. Grid had also used SAP's User Based Manoj Gupta Communication Process to help a couple of customers in the utilities sector to streamline their complex tariff calculation mechanisms besides also helping effectively integrate their multiple communication channels. Grid sensed these opportunities about two to three years ago, and is an early bird in these areas, with about 50 percent of the focus centered on Business Communication Management (BCM). "We are very focused on our optimization strategy and now, we are a notch above the rest when it comes to experience in this domain," says Gupta. Grid, which experienced long, painful sales cycles earlier, now, sees its efforts paying off as customer demand trickles in, making this a certain deal-breaker. Ganjiwale of Sunfire is of a similar opinion. He believes that IT as an enabler of operational efficiency is now a strong deal clincher, with SMEs calculating the savings on overheads such as power and electricity, transaction time, and also return on the individual in a significant manner.


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