CW: Emkor is still a small brand. How do you plan to increase your brand awareness among customers in tier-2 and 3 cities?
Dham: We are doing cluster events in cities such as Ludhiana and Chandigarh, and plan to conduct more such events in other cities. In these events, we ideally invite customers from various verticals and showcase our solutions to them.
CW: Do you have any customer wins so far?
Dham: We already have 12 customers using our cloud-based services in India, and we have a customer in Dubai as well. Apart from that, we are running six POCs at the same time. In the last couple of months, we have got certain customer leads through the channel route. We are sure there will be more wins coming through the channel very soon.
CW: So, what does Emkor's channel landscape look like?
Dham: We have eight partners in India so far and plan to add more. Team Computers and CtrlS are our partners. We have categorized our partners into two categories. We have sales and marketing partners, who just take our services portfolio to the customer and mediate the process, and we take it forward from there. These partners get a commission out of the sale. Then we have the white label partners. They take our service offerings as their own to the market, but with a notification that says the services are powered by Emkor. We manage the backend--like the SLAs, and the white label partners take care of the consulting part.
CW: By taking such an approach, are you empowering partners to become managed service providers?
Dham: Yes, SIs, who has been typically involved in on-premise integrations, will now be empowered to provide new solutions on the cloud. We are a cloud company and we have to scale. If we do not scale, we will not be doing justice to our business model. SIs have a constraint on scaling. Therefore, the onus is on us to see to that our partners do not have a conflict of interest while dealing with us. Partners have many customers on the ground. So, why not take their route? We need many such SMB customers in India and the only way of achieving this is through an aggressive channel strategy.
CW: But don't you think cloud computing is a direct threat to SIs?
Dham: We don't see why SIs should consider cloud computing a threat. They should in fact see it as an opportunity, and try to earn the same revenues through cloud solutions which they used to make by selling on-premise solutions. Moreover, cloud-based solutions have shorter sales cycles. And there are so many entry barriers with on-premise solutions, such as upfront capital investment. Seventy percent of such on-premise deployments fail. Our services portfolio has no such constraints and barriers whatsoever, and subscribes to the pay-as-you-go model.
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