Playing a vital role in the ultimate success of the channel, Emerson Network Power’s strategy is centered on specific solutions. Focusing on customer centeric solutions rather than single product offering, Ankesh Kumar, Director, Channels Products and Marketing, Emerson Network Power India informs Bhawna Satsangi about how the company empowers the channel partners and creates value for them.
What is the present focus for Emerson now?
The Indian growth story can be linked back to the growth of manufacturing and infrastructure sectors. Also, the booming telecommunications, IT/ITeS sectors, healthcare and retail sectors have provided opportunities to Emerson Network Power to develop solutions catering to their needs. Historically, Emerson Network Power has been known globally for its chip-to-grid power solutions, and now we have expanded our leadership to data center infrastructure management (DCIM).
Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) is probably the most critical element of the strategy to cope with due to the change and complexities that come with it, as well as to minimize PUE and reduce operational spend. DCIM tools provide managers real time insights into their IT and facility infrastructure, as well as monitor and control every piece of critical infrastructure in the data center with respect to critical resources.
Businesses are always on the lookout for data centers to justify their objectives including space, cost, availability, efficiency etc. To address these demands, we have introduced Smart Solutions for SMBs as well as enterprise companies. These solutions combine the finest power, precision cooling and infrastructure management in an environment which can be placed at any conditioned space.
In the AC Power segment we offer the highly energy efficient LiebertNXr and Liebert 80-Net UPS systems. The UPS systems with high efficiency IGBT and Smarter Controls give maximum throughput for the customer.
What is your go to market strategy to sell your products?
Emerson Network Power’s products and solutions are developed considering business criticality, low TCO, reliability and flexibility of adoption. Our strategy is centered on specific solutions. We help our customers with business solutions rather than single product offering. We extend our technical support to channel partners throughout the product cycle and strive to drive them away from being box-pushers and adopt a solutions approach.
In a difficult scenario where the industry is going down, how do you maintain your profits and what strategy do you develop to add value to the business?
Recently, Gartner halved its Worldwide IT Spending Forecast, cutting worldwide IT growth forecast to 2.0% at a total of $3.7 trillion in 2013 from 4.1% earlier. The economy is witnessing a slowdown and the entire fraternity is facing a tough time. There are limited new project opportunities and the deal sizes are shrinking in terms of frequency and amount.
To cope up with the struggling economy, we are identifying and serving the segments of the industry which are showing no signs of slowing down. Ours is a growing economy and there are many industries racking up positive growth figures. The government sector is creating opportunities through e-projects such as Aadhar, JNNURM, other e-governance services and state datacenters. These projects are also creating datacenter requirements in small cities. The telecom sector too is creating opportunities owing to the speed of mobile revolution, which has necessitated advanced telecom equipments requiring remote management of these sites.
Our Smart Solutions offering helps businesses set up a cost effective and energy efficient datacenter. Moreover, businesses look beyond products these days and expect customization of solutions which fit their needs and quick support when required. Emerson Network Power empowers these businesses and provides solutions suitable for them.
What is your channel strategy?
Our channel plays an important role in the ultimate success of the brand while dealing with end-customers. Hence, we make sure that empowering our channel partners and creating value for them is vital. We invest a significant amount of resources in engaging with our partners, and also make sure that they are utmost ease while doing business with Emerson Network Power. Over the past couple of years, we have indulged in a single interface and single distribution model which has helped us a lot. This model instils a lot more confidence among the channel community when compared to multi-layer distribution.
We make sure that we communicate our policies and practices to our channel partners and maintain transparency and uniform pricing strategy across partner categories. We ensure the channel has a direct interface with the right people in the organizational hierarchy to help them with their queries which is very important because turnaround time is critical to the sales and service function.
How will your channel partners be benefited from your strategies?
Our channel efforts have brought a lot of confidence and trust among our partners. Also, the introduction of various rewards and recognitions make sure that we are creating value for them as well. As the company and its products are evolving, we have ensured that our channel partners too are evolving in terms of know-how as well as monetary gains. Our training and development programs are focussed on these sales representatives and we directly recognize them for their achievements and reward them accordingly.
From which cities the business is likely to come more? Are you focusing more on the tier 2 and 3 cities for the business?
According to a recent IDC study, emerging markets (tier-2, tier-3 and rural markets) are doing better than the developed markets in the metros and areas surrounding them. Various government projects, education initiatives, SMBs as well as entry of enterprise companies in tier-2 and tier-3 cities are driving huge demands from these areas.
You recently came up with podcast series of short interviews to help CIOs and IT leaders. Tell us more about it?
Our CIO Topics podcast series are short interviews with Emerson Network Power experts focusing on IT-related business issues. The series discusses various issues and dilemmas that CIOs face while planning IT infrastructure and in turn provides strategies and tactics for building a stronger IT infrastructure. Our first podcast, Creating a Data Center Crystal Ball, by Blake Carlson, Vice President of global strategy and business development for Emerson Network Power’s Avocent business discusses gaining visibility in the data center and make real-time decisions.
We have released a number of podcasts to help CIOs plan for their IT infrastructure and stay ahead of business needs. Some of the podcasts address evaluationof growth options for IT infrastructure, creative strategies to grow your IT infrastructure, and discussions on a survey pointing out the frequency and causes of data center downtime. The CIO topics podcasts are designed to help CIOs and IT leaders better understand the evolving industry and IT’s role as a business asset.
You were known as a UPS company but of late you have diversified in varied portfolios. How has this helped Emerson in creating a whole new identity for itself?
We were known as a UPS company but over time we have expanded our leadership to other solutions. Emerson Network Power is now perceived as a one-stop solution and service provider in maximizing availability, capacity and efficiency of businesses.In terms of technology offering, Emerson Network Power is ahead of its counterparts providing solutions that enable Indian enterprises of all sizes and applications to cost-effectively sustain critical business operations that simply can’t go down, like in the telecommunications and healthcare.Also, businesses look at factors beyond pricing. They approach us with concerns over multi-location installation and support with a best response time. With sustainability concerns, they are looking at new power-efficient technologies and renewable energy power backups. Our customers come to us for help in aligning our solutions with their business objectives.
Your recently launched study CIO playbook for IT executives was in news. Can you brief us more about it?
The CIO playbook for IT executives is a study done by Emerson Network Power designed to help IT decision-makers learn to create an IT infrastructure in a cost-effective way that can adapt to meet business needs. The Playbook explains that a deep understanding of the IT load, its criticality and available capacity can help businesses create a more scalable, adaptable infrastructure.
Where is the growth likely to come from?
The biggest growth drivers are e-governance projects providing a key area of specialization for our UPS business as well as data center space. The datacenter market in India is projected to touch $4bn by 2014, covering over a 5.7 mnsq.m. Our offerings address 3/4th of the overall DC market, which is primarily in Captive DC space. The key segments where growth is likely to come from are BFSI, Manufacturing, Telecom and healthcare. Infrastructure and education sectors are attractive sectors for our UPS products the latter being responsible for exceptional demand.
What are the strategies you have developed for the SMBs?
Most SMBs today are well aware of the challenges they are posed with regarding power management. With increased demand and ever rising costs of power, they have realized that they have to take right steps to be prepared for future expansions and as well as current challenges.
Emerson Network Power offers a wide array of products which are custom-made for Indian SMEs. We have a portfolio which boasts of products suited for Indian power environment in terms of reliability, higher efficiency & lower foot print considering the high costs of real estate in India. Our smart solutions offer data center management needs with ready to deploy cost effective data center solutions which optimize data center efficiency in IT environments of all sizes.