Accops Systems

Exclusive Interview: Mohan Bhat, MD, Accops Systems

Accops Systems is a developer and provider of Secure Workspace Virtualization solutions involving Application and Desktop Virtualization, Secure Remote Access and Multi-factor authentication solutions. Accops’ software and hardware products enable businesses to consolidate, secure and speed up access to their IT infrastructure using its proprietary workspace virtualization and secure remote access technologies.

In an exclusive interview with DQ Channels, Mohan Bhat, Managing Director & Co-Founder, Accops Systems Pvt. Ltd shared deep insights on their different virtualization solutions and how their channel partners are taking their journey ahead for the Indian market through channel strategies, Partner/ training programs and Future roadmap for 2019.

 Could you please brief us about Accops and its channel strategy? What are the recent developments done in the organization?

Accops Systems provides an integrated, all-in-one secure end-user computing solution that enables organizations to run their business applications with high security and based on zero trust model.

A secure digital workspace is a core part of the digital transformation journey for every enterprise. An enterprise cannot transform itself with legacy desktop computing-based end-user computing where it takes days and weeks to provision a new PC or an application. Along with workspace virtualization, we provide seamless access from anywhere, secure authentication solution and thin client hardware solution.

We believe that for any enterprise company to succeed, it needs the right channel sales strategy. As a startup, we initially focused on direct sales, feeding direct sales success to channel sales. In the last 3 years, our channel sales comprised of 90% of our revenues. We work with distributors in countries we operate in and then work with system integrators and resellers through them. Even in India where we are headquartered, we have BrightStar (a SoftBank company) as our distributor. Our strategy is to help channel network improvise their bottom line through our Software product sales. To make our channel sales successful, we provide sales as well as technical training. POC support is available to all partners with a focus to empower the reseller sales and pre-sales teams. Accops Systems takes the responsibility of Deployment and post-deployment support unless a partner wants to take it up.

We have good reseller network in Japan with around 30 resellers and SIs including Fujitsu, Hitachi, and NEC. Our Japanese company Accops & Zevoke Technologies looks after our Japanese operations.

Accops Systems has been recognized in the top 15 application virtualization & remote access providers in 2019 globally and among the top 3 providers in India and Japan. Our comprehensive solution suite allows us and our partners to have a play in each transformation project.

We have also launched a new product ‘Accops HyLabs’ which is virtual lab orchestration and access solution for premier education institutes and universities. We’ve got very good traction in a short span in the education domain.

How is the industry adopting virtualization solutions?

In recent years, awareness of better cybersecurity implementation has grown significantly. Organizations are giving due importance to have a detailed strategy of protecting business assets, data, and identities against cyber attacks by implementing various solutions.

Workspace virtualization is a key component of the digital transformation process of any organization. It helps to break the barriers of business growth by making business applications available to stakeholders anywhere, anytime, resulting in increased productivity while reducing the cost to boost the bottom line.

Workspace virtualizing increases security by isolating the apps and endpoints and helps to save the cost of IT operations by reducing the need for endpoint management.

A company with work from home and BYOD policy, facilitated by workspace virtualization are bound to attract and retain better talent.

We see increased adoption of workspace virtualization for improving security in BFSI, Pharmaceutical, and Healthcare industry. We also see increased adoption for virtualization in education vertical & manufacturing for cost optimizations.

What are the focus verticals for Accops? Where do you feel the maximum traction coming up for Accops products and solutions?

We are focusing on providing a zero-trust based access model that provides a flexible security framework to deliver a business application to an authorized user on an authorized and compliant device and working from an authorized location. Our solution suite includes Secure Access Gateway, Identity management, and multi-factor authentication solution and includes application and desktop virtualization capability, Our comprehensive suites enables large organizations to replace multiple point products to simplify their application delivery stack. We offer a unique consulting approach to integrating multiple use cases as a solution to meet all business requirement while reducing the TCO.

Accops currently caters to over 500+ enterprise customers across different verticals like BFSI, Education, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Public Sector, and Manufacturing. Enterprises are looking for solutions that can secure not just the extranet users but internal users also.

The BFSI vertical is very focused on addressing the application security, critical application isolation and secure access by vendors & IT teams using our solutions. The BFSI customers are the biggest consumers and they use almost all our solutions.

Other regulated industries like pharmaceutical and healthcare are focused on in-campus mobility, data security & cost reduction by virtue of complete thin client-based computing. It simplifies the compliances significantly and enables easy mobility within a large campus when the users are giving access via virtual desktops and virtual applications rather than a full PC.

Education is now coming up as a very interesting vertical after we launched the new product Accops HyLabs which addresses the specific needs of universities. This is the sector that we had not touched earlier but we are seeing very good reception from the education sector now.

Are you doing any projects with the Indian government? How the government is adapting the virtualization technology for its processes?

Accops Systems is proud of ‘Make in India’ allegiance and we are excited about getting accredited with The Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order 2018 for Cyber Security Products.

Accops is also the first & only startup registered under ‘Cyber Security’ category on Government e-Marketplace (GeM) procurement portal.

We have worked with several government departments, defense, and public sector organizations. Primarily the objectives are to provide a secure work environment by isolating digital threat vectors and simplifying the IT infrastructure to ease of operations and reduce TCO.

Some of our marquee customers in the Government domain are National Informatics Center, HPCL, Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited, AirIndia, and several critical organizations.

Shed some light on the channel environment in Accops Systems? How many channel partners do you work with currently in PAN India?

We are totally a channel-driven business and it is important for us to keep improving and simplifying the channel enablement to ensure channel growth. In enterprise IT and security space, we see that customers are looking up to partners to have the strong product knowledge and service capabilities in both on-premise and cloud-based solutions. Hence partners who can service the customers are more preferred Instead of just being transactional. It requires continuous engagement, empowerment, education & support to serve the end-customer more effectively.

Accops Systems, during its expansion phase, was able to discover many opportunities and out of the box avenues of growth just by having an effective partner program which not only gave us a competitive edge against other vendors but also resulted in business growth for our partners. Accops Partner Program (APP) enabled us to remain competitive as it reduced our customer acquisition costs, expanded our reach and enabled us to provide better customer service with the help of our partners.

To build a strong service-oriented partner network, we are investing in our partners to build a service team.

We categorize our nearly 100 partners under three categories: Authorized partners, Silver partner, and Gold partner. At each level, partners get different benefits in terms of margins, pre-sales support, revenue from software maintenance, free training, etc.

What are the different training programs you provide for your channel partners?

Channel Partners are a critical component of our GTM strategy. Accops Partner Program is a comprehensive program that includes partner engagement, education, and incentivization. We expect all our partner representatives to go through sales and technical training programs. Our distributor BrightStar conducts monthly training programs in all major cities from their office. We organize dedicated training programs and kick off sessions with large system integrators and multi-city resellers. We are conducting a half-yearly certification program for both sales and pre-sales team. Based on the partner level, partners are required to revisit the certifications of the allocated resources for Accops solutions.

Accops Partner Program enables the partner to better identify prospects, provides effective content to be used during the sales process such as case studies, white papers, product comparisons, data sheets, empowers their solutions teams with technical documentation and live demonstrations during the sales cycle. The partner engaging with the customer in the entire process of prospecting, negotiating, sales closure, after-sales support, and account renewal leads to a healthy recurring relationship between both, ultimately resulting in the long-term growth for the business, which opens up new opportunities of cross-selling & upselling for the partner.

Does Accops provide any specific schemes for their channel partners?

At Accops, we are working with partners to create a channel strategy and a program that incentivizes the partner on regular basis as well as help the partner to build a strong service arm which will help them to grow. We are offering special target-based incentives to the sales and pre-sales team of the channel partner, along with regular margins.

Can you explain to us your recent strategic tie-ups both in a channel as well as in vendor side? Are there any plans in expanding your channel partner ecosystem and Accops Systems presence in various geographies?

We are already having distributor and partner network in Japan, Germany, the Middle East, North and East Africa, and South America. We have recently hired a distributor in the US and Mexico.

Japan is our second largest market and we plan to invest more this year in the Japanese channel network. We are also investing in sales and pre-sales support for other regions.

We are now a member of TSANet, a global multi-vendor technical support community to be able to serve a global customer base.

In Q1 this year we got our products certified with Nutanix and got a Nutanix AHV Ready certification.

We are now registered on GeM and all our products are available over GeM for purchase by government organizations.

Accops has entered into a strategic partnership with Pi Datacenter to offer an integrated virtualization & secure access solution to their customer. There are more partnerships with datacenters in the pipeline.

What is the Future roadmap of Accops Systems (both as an organization and channel initiatives) for current and coming FY?

The secure digital workspace market opportunity is a forecasted to be around $37 Billion opportunities growing at CAGR of 28.57% (2017-2021) which includes virtualization, secure mobility, two-factor, and thin client technologies.

In India, we are invited for every proof of concept when it comes to workspace virtualization, a target that we had set 2 years back. We have built new unique products around identity management and multi-factor authentication and ICT lab automation.

We are working on a cloud strategy that will enable us to expand further by offering our solutions in SaaS model, serviced through our channel partner network in India and aboard. That will also enable us to reach a much larger customer base outside India. We have already started sales in USA and customer base in Europe is increasing.

We are working with Microsoft closely to bring our solutions to Azure. We are working on some new cool solutions which will be announced shortly which will create new business models for our partners.

By year 2020, we want to be the top-most enterprise Product Company from India and 3rd most preferred workspace virtualization Solution Company in the world.

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