In Quest of Indian Market Pulse

Quest Software is a global software company offering a broad and deep selection of products that target common IT challenges. The company creates softwares and solutions focused on helping organizations simplify and reduce the cost of managing IT. At a global level, the company spends more than 18% of its revenue in R&D.
India operations of Quest Software started in 2007 and is now being headed by Shailender Kumar who is the MD. The company’s India operations are entirely channel driven and all the deals in the country are signed through partners. Anand Natarajan, national channel manager, Quest Software said, “This makes the channel partners extremely significant to our business as 100% of our business happens via channel partners either in the form of perpetual licenses to be sold to the potential customers or through service providers.”

There are 3 specific areas about which Quest Software is betting big in the Indian market.
l Development and optimization solutions: TOAD, which is a popular tool to ensure database quality and performance, is driving good business growth in India as well for the company.
l Windows management: Migration and consolidation and adherence to compliance guidelines are driving growth in this segment. The company’s solutions help to efficiently move and restructure user accounts, data and systems without impacting users or business productivity. The company’s offerings span migrations across platforms such as MS Exchange, IBM Lotus Notes and office 365.
l Application performance management: The company is seeing an increase in the demand of the tools that can continuously monitor the IT infrastructure and optimize performance. As per the spokesperson, its clients are looking for tools that can identify performance bottlenecks and resolve issues before it can impact users. Foglight suite of solutions caters to this demand arising from the market.
In addition to these three big growth areas, the company is also optimistic on identity and access management (IAM) space. Natarajan said, “It could be the next big impetus in the Indian market.”

Quest Software has categorized its target market into three segments-enterprise, mid-market and SMB. While the enterprise market sales are led by Ravi Datanwala, the mid-market sales are led by Anil Bhat and the SMB segment by Anand Natarajan.
Elaborating on this business model, Natarajan said, “Enterprise and mid-market segments are approached with direct sales; we have an inside sales team. The VAR managers in every region act as the face of the organization in coordinating with prospective clients in the SMB market.”
Quest Software’s channel structure is divided into distribution-led and SI business. The VAR partners are spread across the country. Adding to this, Natarajan said, “To support the partners, we have 3 VAR managers; one each supporting the south, west, north and east. The southern region includes Sri Lanka and the north & the east region covers Nepal, Bangladesh etc.”

The company considers itself to be channel friendly and currently operates through three unique models of channel partnerships. Following are the three channel engagement programs conducted by the company.
Value channel: A channel consisting system integrators who implement Quest’s solutions for a client.
Volume Channel: Quest has teamed up with multiple channel partners to offer their solutions.
Alliance Partners: Consists of companies whose products are complemented by Quest’s products.
In addition, Quest Software launched the Quest Partner Circle (QPC) in July 2011. The QPC standardizes best partner practices across the globe and is intended to drive profitability for the partners. The new framework is a major step towards empowering partners to be more successful while growing their businesses with Quest products and solutions.

More about QPC
l Quest partner circle is a unified, global partner program that offers its reseller, referral and distribution partners a fully integrated and transparent engagement model across the company’s offerings.
l The new program creates a single global framework, bringing together more than 4,500 partners from various programs that have grown organically and through acquisition over time.
l Over the past several years, Quest has increased its focus on indirect sales, which formed approximately 40% of the company’s worldwide revenue in 2010.

Benefit to the partners
l The program will ensure closer collaboration and increased opportunities for partners to deliver greater value to customers
l A globally standardized framework will help partners to operate in multiple geographies with ease

A new tiering structure
l The three partnership tiers – Elite, premier and registered
l The tiers are fortified by clear rules of engagement and a predictable investment model for pricing, discounts, services and opportunity management
l Robust sales and technical training
l Powerful enablement model that includes tools and resources aligned with role-based curriculum featuring seven solution specializations and more than 100 classes to help partners meet customer requirements
l Worldwide deal registration; the process of deal registration will be automated and can be done from any location
l Rewards based on revenue and specialization
l Certified partners will have the opportunity to increase their own profitability and deliver a unique competitive advantage
l The partners earn discount percentages based on deal registrations and specialization

Quest Software has only sales and marketing offices with no R&D centers in India. “We have 3 offices in India including Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi while Bangalore functions as its headquarters.” said Natarajan. Talking about the channel expansion, he said, “We already have around 64 partners; and plan to increase the number to about 100 by the end of 2012 that is about 35% increase in the count. We are looking out for partners who come with a specialization at least in one of our solution areas.” He further added that currently, we are largely operating in metropolitan cities and we intend to tap the business in tier 2 cities like Pune, Ahmedabad, by the end of this year.

The company has expansion plans on cards. Elaborating upon this, Natarajan states, “IT and ITeS have been the biggest contributors to its business; we are expecting significant increase in business from the BFSI and manufacturing sector in the next 12-18 months. We are also investing in the government sector which we hopefully grows in the next 18 months.”
The company is keen on investing in India in the business marketing and technical front. Natarajan added, “From a business point of view, we have doubled our business last year in India and confident of repeating the feat this year as well.”
Quest Software, headquartered in California was founded in 1987. Quest’s customer base includes more than 100,000 companies from banking, manufacturing, aerospace, healthcare, and telecommunications, among many other sectors.

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