In smaller, upcoming markets like Vizag, there are players like CA&S Solutions that have already gone ahead and boldly explored an opex model through the cloud. "We are trying to leverage the cloud boom in this market. We will make a big move this year," says Surendra Chikkala, MD of CA&S.
The company is one of the cloud's early movers, selling ION solutions to Vizag's educational institutions. What Chikkala hopes to achieve is a very realistic target of tapping as many schools and colleges as his bandwidth permits.
For now, both Dynacons and CA&S hope to see growth in the range of 10 and 20 percent in toplines from cloud offerings in the coming year.
OEMs and vendors have also expressed that they would be more than happy to work with partners who have got their funds in place and have figured out how to offer opex models. A vendor spokesperson admitted that pushing capex models is the challenge; it is too huge a burden for customers. This virtualization vendor shortlisted three partners who are taking its initiatives through the opex model successfully to the market.
While large, tier-1 partners and the upper crust of the second tier have moved to the next level in setting up cloud business practices, smaller partners, are still dealing with the hype-cycle and their relative ignorance around the cloud.
"Indian partners sense the opportunity, but the word is still shrouded in mystery," says Sen,
However, the coming year is likely to see more and more players trying to get their cloud act right.
Explore New Geographies
The Opportunities: With active support from vendors and state governments, channel partners can ingress into industrial belts and upcoming SIRs and SEZs to improve business opportunities, increase revenue, and get a foothold in small, unexplored markets.
Catering to new geographies to gain a first-mover advantage has been a priority for most solution providers. While IT demand continues to grow in metros, partners are exploring opportunities with enterprise customers and SMBs in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Some of these cities house a number of special investment regions (SIRs) and special economic zones (SEZs) which are big business avenues for solutions providers.
These zones provide opportunities for channel partners. "It is a good 'foot in the door' opportunity for partners," says Sanchit Gogia, principal analyst, IDC India. SEZs in tier-2 and tier-3 cities are a large focus area for New Delhi-based CCS Computers. "Infrastructure limitations and a scarcity of land in metros have led to an expansion to new locations," says Pradeep Johri, vice president, CCS Computers.
Presently, CCS Computers is focusing on SEZs in and around New Delhi. The company plans to open branches in Dehradun, Chandigarh, and Jaipur by the end of April. "Apart from creating a presence in new areas, this expansion provides a point of contact to enterprises across other verticals in that region," says Rajesh Bhatia, MD, CCS Computers.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.