The Second Coming

DQC Bureau
New Update

face="Times New Roman, serif">Today,

as the IT industry is going through a transformation, one can

definitely see a kind of evolution amongst the solution providers.

From being mere channel partners, they have moved on to become system

integrators or rather 'new age solution providers.' But what

differentiates new age SPs from their earlier 'avatar'-let's

try to find out the criterion that defines new age solution

providers. If taken a look at their different operational matrices

and the sort of changes these have brought in their businesses, it

will be found that their whole business model has undergone a sea

change in the manner in which they handle operations-be it their

marketing activities, finance management, or even managing their

manpower resources. One could really see some kind of operational

transformation taking place at one level or the other. In fact, the

whole business outlook of these SPs has changed. Rather than just

building up their business and making profits, they are now much more

keen on making their internal operational processes like finance, HR,

logistics, and marketing amongst others strong.


face="Times New Roman, serif">All

these new age SPs have realized the fact that if they have to run

their businesses successfully, then they have to make all these

internal operational modules extremely strong. Nitin Shah, CEO,

Allied Digital and also an industry veteran who has moved on from

being just a solution provider to a system integrator said, “Since,

we operate in a highly competitive marketplace, we must ensure that

each of the internal operational processes is kept abreast with the

ongoing changes as per today's industry standard. We should not

leave any single module weak otherwise it might prove disastrous for

the company in long run. Business is all about making profits and if

you fail to align yourself with ongoing changes in the market

dynamics, your profitability will certainly go down in long run.

“Furthermore, in order to be termed as a new age SP, one has to

first look at his own organization and the products that he offers to

the marketplace. Then he should analyze the market dynamics in terms

of how it is changing. And as the industry is moving towards more and

more consolidation, he has to be also prepared to re-invent and

re-focus himself so that he does not lag behind in this competitive


face="Times New Roman, serif">Rajeev

Mehta, CEO, Zest Systems, is of the opinion that as a new age SP, he

believes in keeping long-term relationships with customers and

adopting a proactive approach in providing services to the customers.

Besides, the manpower is any company's biggest asset and one has to

put in best of the efforts to retain them. One shouldn't blindly

follow the transformational changes; instead he should first analyze

whether his DNA supports that change or not and how best he can

prepare himself for that change. Unlike their earlier avatar, these

new age SPs have also realized that the middle management is

reluctant to any kind of change as compared to the top management.

And that's why they ensure that any message should percolate

through a proper channel to the middle management so that they start

accepting any change more proactively, and thus, embrace it whole

heartedly. Sharing his experience, Benly Noronha, CEO, Nortech

Infonet, highlighted, “This was a personal challenge for me wherein

I convinced my partners about the transformational changes, carry the

same message down the line, and get best of the results out of them.

However, it was a very slow process, as it took us almost two years

to bring changes at all the levels of our management. Nonetheless,

today we are reaping the benefits of bringing in transformational

changes in our business operations.” Emphasizing on the importance

of operational skill sets and excellence which is very much necessary

for dealing with any transformational change, RS Shanbhag, CEO, Value

Point Systems said, “For me, accepting any change does not mean

transforming only the business processes or organization at large. It

means bringing transformation within me as well. Today, I can proudly

say that ours is the most transformed organization because each and

every employee understands his role and responsibilities, know what

his/her KRAs are and that has brought a full discipline and a

thorough professionalism within the whole organization.”

face="Times New Roman, serif">Moreover,

these new age SPs have also learnt the art to deal with any kind of

challenges that they encounter in their day-to-day operations. For

example, post the economic turmoil, they began identifying whether

they were ready to adapt to the new challenges and then come out with

solutions to tackle them. Besides, they have also realized that they

need to use and bank upon your expertise and experience in order to

understand not only their clients but their businesses as well. The

areas where we are seeing maximum changes happening are automation of

service delivery mechanism in terms of changes in SLAs and changes in

service delivery mode, geographical expansion in terms of looking at

global opportunities and dealing with challenges at global

marketplace, and looking at newer opportunities in the domestic

market like government sector, education segment and others. Pawan

Khurana, CEO, Quantm Net Technologies, highlighted,” If you have to

remain one step ahead of competition then you have to envisage those

changes and be totally geared for it. Like for example, we envisaged

the impact of cloud computing long way back and today, we can proudly

say that we are first ones to have our own cloud computing offering

and a datacenter. Here, we can say that with its own datacenter, a SI

leverages the liberty of designing the offerings, create various

flavors in collaboration with different applications and software,

build the cloud in offering mode, deploy the applications, build the

fulfillment models, prepare the menu card, and nurture the

infrastructure. Besides, the SI can package the offering, build the

reseller, and target the industry vertical rather than depending on

any other partner's competency. So, change is imperative and if you

deny it, the result can be disastrous. These SPs are following both

reactive and proactive approach to enter into new geographies. They

are continuously exploring various opportunities in different parts

of the globe and would enter into a particular geography if they see

justified business sense. However, establishing a brand and building

referenceability in a new market poses a big challenge for these new

age SPs. Anil Kumar TV, CEO, Dhanush Infosol, further reiterated that

today, as solution providers we all are going to the overseas market

and doing great business with global companies but we should not

forget that there is a plethora of opportunities in the domestic

market as well. We need to exploit all these opportunities at the

earliest. So, dealing with transformational changes also requires

dealing with newer opportunities. Meanwhile, in his advice to the new

age SPs, Girish Krishnamurthy, CEO, Kaseya, said, “You need to have

net cash flow in your hand in order to make those changes really

happen at your organization level. And most of the cash flow comes

from the operational activity. So, the operational cash flow will

directly lead to your profitability. This is the biggest problem area

that each of the individual companies need to identify before they

embark on any opportunity coming their way.”