Sundar N. Balasubramanian, Country Manager--STG Channels, IBM India South Asia, speaks about how the Armonk-based IT giant is better-equipped than its competitors in fulfilling the needs of today's customers.
CW: How is IBM's Power System different from competition?
Balasubramanian: IBM's Power platform is one of the most profound systems available in the market. We have a clear roadmap unlike HP, who had a UNIX strategy and then jumped to UNIX on Itanium, and totally confused themselves. Then again, there was Solaris which was an extremely good platform, but they had many operational hiccups.
Compared to all of this, our Power platform is consistent. We have just launched Power 7 Plus, and have spent billions of dollars on R&D. Our market shares are gaining in huge numbers worldwide because we meet our customers' expectations well.
All of these cannot be claimed by our competition. No one other than us can give a product roadmap of what we will do after three years.
CW: The mainframe business has been doing very well for IBM over the years? What are the business prospects in the future?
Balasubramanian: Mainframe is a $3.5 billion business and consistently growing. Contrary to the popular belief of its being a dying business, it's actually doing well. The business has grown to historic heights.
CW: What is the roadmap for IBM's newer products and how do they deliver value to your customers?
Balasubramanian: The Pure and Power 7 have been our newer flagship announcements. Some of our product roadmaps may not be glamorous, but they are very clear and sustained as we deliver on time. We configure everything at our side before delivering the product. All these offerings are optimized at the factory and then shipped to the customer. This way, the customer enjoys great benefits as he need not work on configuring the platforms, but can rather start looking at business. Therefore, we take that load away from the customer.
CW: How has IBM revamped their channel strategy over the years?
Balasubramanian: We saw renewed investments in channels from the middle of last year in India, and showed renewed focus on the Systems and Technology Group (STG) channel organization. We are responsible for our partners' profitability and that's why embarked on an event called "Channel Yatra". This event has been going on for the last two quarters. As part of it, our leadership team engages with the partner CEOs, spread across different cities, personally. We enquire them about the roadblocks they face, and also educate them about our offerings so that they can understand the efficacy of our solutions and sell them better to end-customers
CW: Has Channel Yatra been a success or just a regular event that you pulled off?
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