In a candid integration with DQ Channels, Ganesh Thyagarajan, VP, Partner Success Automation Anywhere shared company’s channel strategy, product roadmap and the growth opportunities for the future.
How has Automation Anywhere revamped its channel/ partner strategy in India?
In 2015/2016, Automation Anywhere began to focus on its channel business in the Indian market with Service providers and Advisories/Alliances. The company signed up with the Big 4 and all leading BPO’s/Service providers like Infosys, Genpact, HCL, Cognizant, Wipro, etc. As 2016 progressed, the channel strategy really started to kick into a higher gear and the partnerships strengthened globally with EY, KPMG, Deloitte & PwC. Towards the end of the year, Automation Anywhere had signed with 30+ partners.
In 2017-2018, the focus shifted to Volume channels and Value Added Distributors (VAD’s) as a part of the Sell thru business and tie-up’s with OEMs thus establishing a strong partner program. Automation Anywhere ended the year with 500+ partners which were a significant jump compared to 2016. Currently, Automation Anywhere has over 800 partners globally.
The partner program, also known as Automation Anywhere Advantage, has partners divided into four tiers – Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. With Automation Anywhere’s strategy of being a “Customer First and Partner Preferred company”, the success and scale of the company are clearly attributed to our partners.
How are partners in India expanding your reach?
Automation Anywhere primarily works with 6-7 large segments of partners which include volume channels and has about 800 customers and partners in India. The partners are segmented into:
- Sell to Partners: Also known as BPOs. BPO partners buy licenses from Automation Anywhere and deploy them to their customers to assist in all back-office processing.
- Alliances and Advisories: These are primarily the Big 4 with large consulting/advisory/tax practices and they not only advise their customers on Automation Anywhere but also use Automation Anywhere’s Digital workforce for their own internal practices (e.g. Tax). The Big 4 assist their customers in a successful digital transformation journey using the Digital workforce.
- Volume Channels: These are Automation Anywhere’s Sell Thru partners as a part of our channel strategy. They work with Automation Anywhere to identify opportunities in the market. A joint Go To Market strategy has started to work very well with the channel partners.
- Value Added Distributors: Distributors bring us instant scale. Distributors tag along with their own channels/affiliates and is an effective strategy as a part of our channel program.
- OEM’s: OEM’s offer some sort of a bundled solution with Automation Anywhere’s Digital workforce. The OEM relationship with IBM was signed back in 2017 as a larger part of their BPM strategy
- Technology Alliance Program: Automation Anywhere has over 50 Technology alliance partners. Some of them include cloud providers where the entire digital workforce can be accessed from various cloud platforms. The alliance with Workday and Microsoft are just the tip of the iceberg
- Training Partners: Automation Anywhere has over 20 training partners and they identify other customers and retail segments to train people on behalf of Automation Anywhere.
Since these different types of partners are segregated according to their specialized needs and areas of work, cumulatively they result in expanding Automation Anywhere’s reach in India.
Which verticals and functions are adopting RPA in India?
While the bread and butter will continue to be Banking, Financial Services, Insurance, etc Automation Anywhere’s the focus in India is towards corporates, the public sector, & the government sector, as they all remain largely untapped with immense potential. Automation Anywhere’s main aim is to aid in digital transformation in such sectors. For instance, there are many public sector banks with a variety of manual processes and Automation Anywhere is trying to bring in efficiency and speed thru the digital workforce.
What are your initiatives among partners in order to create an efficient ecosystem for RPA through collaborative technologies like AI etc.?
With our comprehensive 5 point Enablement program, Automation Anywhere trains developers, architects, business users, IT, process solution experts, etc, who implement the product. To enable this large and efficient ecosystem for RPA, Automation Anywhere has three types of training offerings:
- Self Service e-learning portal: E-Learning thru the Automation Anywhere university program, is a self-service portal available on the web and thru an app (iOS and Android), through which the user can learn on-the-go. With simple courses, this community of users trains themselves at their own pace. Most of them become rock stars within a couple of weeks.
- Instructor level training: There are three-day training programs for partners for which developers, architects, and other user groups can simply sign up. This provides for a classroom type of a setup where an instructor provides hands-on training to the group.
- Training partners: These partners identify other customers and retail segments to train users on behalf of Automation Anywhere.
Additionally, there are three types of intense certificate programs:
- Advanced certification: Advanced Certification is completely knowledge-based and it tests users on their knowledge of the digital workforce.
- Master certification: Master Certification is completely a skills-based assessment, wherein developers and architects are tested on skill sets that are required to build a bot.
- Train the trainer certification: The train the trainer program gives Automation Anywhere the scale that we need from a training perspective. Globally we have more than 200+ trainers within our partner ecosystem, through which partners can train their own workforce.
What kind of commercial models is showing traction in India market?
In terms of licensing for the volume channels etc, (Primarily the Sell Thru partners) of Automation Anywhere, there are really 3 main packs that make sense for the Indian market. These license packs are priced accordingly to the size of the desired customer. Licenses are sold as Partner Packs, Starter packs and Enterprise packs depending on the size and the nature of the customer. Apart from these packs, the community edition is also being used and promoted to many customers thru our partners. We have noticed that customers migrate to the enterprise pack very quickly after signing up for the partner pack, to bring in efficiency and scale across their enterprises.