Brainstorming in Andamans

CIOL Bureau
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PORT BLAIR, INDIA: The third edition of the DQ Channels SP Summit held at Port Blair in Andamans from January 18 to 20 saw the participation of nearly 100 channel partners from across the country.


Organised in association with Sun Microsystems, AMD, Linksys, Siemens PLM Software, Airtel Broadband Solutions, Emerson Network Power, Lifesize Communications, Realtime Systems and AOC, the summit served as a platform for discussions on business, market and industry trends.

The event began with an inaugural address by Ibrahim Ahmad, group editor, DQ Channels, who said that the year 2008 and beyond will be a big challenge for solution providers especially those focused on the SMB space.

“The focus of most IT companies will be the domestic market and solution providers will have to see how they can better their services and maximize on the growth opportunities thereof,” he noted.


Green is in

The first session of the summit was a panel discussion on ‘Green IT’. The panel was chaired by Prashanto Kumar Roy, chief editor, DQ Channels, who said that the driver for Green IT in countries like India is the huge shortage of power, which leads enterprises to invest in IT Infrastructure that can accommodate power back up.

“This in turn means greater cost,” he said.

Agreeing with him was Sandeep Nair, MD of Emerson Network Power, who said that CIOs globally must think of deploying the right kind of equipment that can help save power.


Sudhir Nayar, director - Partner Sales, Sun Microsystems said: “As a first step towards ‘Green IT’, Sun has gone in for consolidation of its own servers. By doing that, we managed to increase performance and reduce power consumption considerably.”

According to Saurin Shah of Ashtech Infotech, the concept of green IT is still nascent in India and it is the CEO who takes a call on the adoption of ‘green’ technologies and equipment in most organizations.

Ranjan Chopra of Team Computers felt there was a need to become a little more conscious about what one does and what we he or she will leave behind for the next generation. The concept of going green, Chopra opined, was more personal.


Sivashankar K, country manager of Lifesize Communications India, felt, “It is time to make available better systems and processes that can save power.”

Mergers, acquisitions - What they hold

R K Malhotra of Velcosis Systems, who made a presentation on ‘Handling Mergers’ said: “Retention of people is a key challenge during a merger because their expectations post merger will increase. The level of commitment and involvement of employees tend to decrease. So it is important that a HR process be put in place to meet the changing needs.”


He added that the biggest challenge of a merger was establishing a common culture that would bind the various entities together. Communicating to the people, stakeholders and customers about the merger is also crucial because conflicts at various levels tend to arise.

Reflecting on his personal experience, K Jagannath of Choice Solutions said that although his company’s proposed merger with Locuz was called off, the experience taught the company the need to employ a professional consultant and consider the merger option after due consultation.

The third session on ‘Acquisitions’ included a presentation by Sanjeev Bhavnani of Visesh Infotechnics, who said that acquisitions needed a lot of thought.


“While contemplating such an exercise, one must carefully consider bottomlines, market opportunities, IPOs and people because all of that matter to the success of the acquisition,” he said.

On Visesh’s various acquisitions, Bhavnani said that if one is clear about how he wants to grow, then inorganic ways of expansion, be it merger or acquisition, is a good option.

Manpower retention: Key challenges


Addressing a session on ‘Manpower Retention’ Shyam Malhotra, editor-in-chief, CyberMedia, said that manpower retention is foremost in the minds of most CEOs. “The need of the hour is more time and budget to address the issue proactively.”

Malhotra said that some of the tools that organizations can adopt to ensure people retention include showing a clear growth path for the employees, delegating various responsibilities and giving power for decision-making so that a sense of ownership prevails in their minds.

“It’s also important to check if the employees have a job of their desire, provide them with a good work environment and train managers on various aspects of relationship building with their team,” he added.

Manpower retention is not a one-time exercise but something that needs dedicated time, said Malhotra. An HR consultant could be outsourced in order to ensure people retention.

IPO, Fund management: How and why

Addressing a session on IPOs, Bimal Raj, CEO Of Allied Digital Services, said: “System integrators (SIs) must chose to go along with a category-one investment banker because they can give the right advice for the IPO process.”

He added that most SIs have a revenue generation methodology that is not in sync with the rest of the world. “So we need to do a bit of restructuring and establish a different revenue generation methodology.”

In a related discussion on ‘Fund Management’, Pradeep Gupta, CMD of CyberMedia India, said: “For most businesses the concern is not just about taking funds but where to take it from. Whether venture capital (VC) is a better option or IPOs are a way out, seems to be the concern.”

Gupta suggested that companies must have mentors from whose experience they can learn and decide whether to opt for VC funding or IPO. He stressed that one must be very clear of the exit path.

Panelists also felt that debt could be a good option to consider because VCs would be convinced of the company’s credibility before investing.

Devendra Taneja of PC Solutions said that his company had grown through internal approvals and did not opt for either VC funding or private equity.

“We kept our focus on bottomline and have met all our fund requirements through internal approvals. We are a zero- credit company today,” Taneja said.

According to Sanjay Modi, chairman and JD, Realtime Systems, VCs look at a company’s growth plan and scalability before funding.

“VCs invest in companies which have a clearly defined growth path and show consistency in their profitability,” he said.

IDC: Growth phase 2.0

Partners assembled at the SP summit also learnt about “Domestic IT Market: Beginning of Phase 2.0” from Kapil Dev Singh, country manger, IDC India.

Singh noted that the years 2007 and beyond will see a new phase of growth that would revolve around the domestic market. Mobility and convergence will be the key trends while infrastructure management will be a challenge.

He said, “Making IT responsive to the growing demands of reducing costs will be a huge challenge and vendors will increase their focus to B and C-class cities.”

Panel discussions apart, the event saw presentations by various sponsor vendors who spoke about their organizations, products and solutions and dealt with their partner engagements as well as various partner initiatives.

© CyberMedia News