While 2013 was a rough year for the PC market in general, saw the duping cases hitting headlines and the major acquisitions by big brands also made the news in the IT industry. With hits and misses loomed large among channels and vendors, year 2013 also saw many voices raised against corruption within the Channel community. ITPV looks back at the major 2013 happenings.
Rise of Tablets, Fall of PC Market
The overall India PC shipments for Q3 2013 stood at 3.24 million units i.e. a year-on-year growth of 8.4% over Q3 2012 and a quarter-on-quarter slide of about -8.3% over Q2 2013. Uptake on commercial volumes owing to fulfilments around large education projects, has led to the contribution of this segment to rise to around 59% against their share of nearly 50% seen a year ago.
According to Kiran Kumar, Research Manager at IDC, “Special education projects in states like UP & Tamil Nadu and a much delayed spending in the year from the BFSI segment have largely skewed the overall growth in Q3 towards commercial segment.”
On the other hand, demand for consumer PCs remain suppressed against Forecast expectations. According to Manish Yadav, Market Analyst, IDC, “July and August was noted to be upbeat as lower tier channels stocked up owing to exchange rate pressures. However, excess stock mixed with poor end user demand weakened channel buying in September.” Despite constrained spending, back-to-school season and festive demand starting Onam did drove pockets of investment amongst consumers, particularly around Portable PCs.
In terms of vendor share, HP sustains its lead with 32.3% share, yet again accounting nearly one-third size of the India PC market in Q3 2013. “Vendor continued to receive a boost in shipments as part of a large education project in UP. Also, their ability to maintain better pricing against competition tied with aggressive marketing campaigns on both desktops and portable PCs, helped them scale up their dominance in the India PC market”, adds Kiran.
Lenovo secured second place with a share of 13.6% in Q3 2013. “Their consumer PC business grew at a striking 44.5% over Q2 2013. Focus on expanding channel reach mixed with dominance in AIOs and a growing share in modern retail helped them drive shipments in Q3”, comments Manish. Dell took third spot with market share of 11.8%. “Dell has been very successful with the integration of touch in their mix. Also they have been able to thrive in volume price bands in the recent past”, observes IDC.
Big Data’s Big Security Gap
Keeping the data secure has been a big Security issues for the businesses to run. Organizations were unable to harness its power to protect against threats and the study on Big Security Data finds that only 35% of businesses can quickly detect security breaches and 58% store Big Security Data for three months or less.
In the year 2013 Big Data garnered much interest among the large and small enterprises. The rapid expansion of data has had mass of information available online but the security of data was the major cause of concern that had impacted on the success of Big data.
As the enterprise segment continues to find ways and means to tackle security related issues and challenges, the security agencies has found huge gap in organizations around the world of not being able to harness the power of Big Data for security purposes. Businesses are vulnerable to security breaches due to their inability to properly analyse or store big data.
Indian Public Cloud Services Market grew to $434 Million In 2013
The public cloud services market in India grew 37.5 percent in 2013 to total $434 million, an increase of $119 million from the $315 million forecast for 2012, according to the outlook by Gartner, Inc. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), including cloud compute, storage and print services grown 41.8 percent in 2013 to $62.5 million.
Gartner predicted that from 2013 through 2017, $4.2 billion will be spent on cloud services in India, $1.8 billion of which will be spent on software as a service (SaaS).
The Indian market has shown particularly strong growth for the past few years and is predicted to continue to be one of the fastest growing countries in Gartner’s cloud forecast. IT spending on public cloud services in India is expected to reach $1.4 billion in 2017.
All these areas helped cloud and virtualization service providers towards maturing on to another level and create better value propositions with the help of cloud and virtualisation. And on a holistic level, cloud, virtualization and big data are three most important technologies that have contributed heavily towards growth of the industry and moving forward will have profound impact for a country like India.
Partners Default gave Set Back to Channel Business
The cases of fraud has rock the IT market in 2013 as it involved more than 100 traders who have been duped at the hands of their own community members. Read the report by Bhawna Satsangi that highlights the news doing the rounds in the IT world.
There have been defaults every year but 2013 has proven to be all time high with duping cases doing the rounds in various regions in the IT industry. The associations tightened their strings to not only punish the culprits but also get the money back of the victims. The channel community in the regions has been badly hit by the defaulters in this turbulent time.
The first case that came to light this year was of Gujarat based Sai Infosystems, Sunil Kakkad who did almost Rs.1400 crore fraud, following the suite is Delhi based Manish Chawla, Director, Sementic Infotech who had duped the Nehru Place traders and the members of Progressive Channels Association of Information Technology (PCAIT) to the tune of Rs.15 crore.
It is alleged that members of the association has agreed to the proposal and the petitioner and other co-accused were to deposit with the members the resultant sale proceeds after keeping with them their share of profit. The transaction had taken place during the period from September 2008 to January 2011. The goods sold by Manish Chawla but the sales proceeds were not deposited. Also the cheques were dishonored.
Rashi Peripherals, Zest Systems Pvt Ltd., Vidur &Co. Pvt Ltd., Microclinic India Pvt Ltd., Iris Computers, Supertron Electronics Ltd., Elcom Trading Company Ltd. are few of the companies who have been the victim of Manish Chawla case.
In another fraud case Shanti Infotech and Sagar Computers based out of Nehru Place has duped nearly 100 IT dealers to the tune of Rs. 2 crore. Officials informed that both the companies who have been operating from past 5 years from Nehru Place have gone missing from last two months.
After the case came to light All Delhi Computer Traders Association (ADCTA) based in Nehru Place submitted a written complaint to the Economic Offences Wing against the two erring companies.
Wazirpur-based IT Association also sent out a stern warning to all its members, asking them not to take up any cash or credit transaction with Empire Infotech, a company that is operating out of the IT complex, recently.
Association President Mukesh Gupta sent the note to the members stating that there was evidence from channel partners from neighboring states that suggests wrongdoing by Empire Infotech’s owner Suresh Luthra, alias Suresh Kumar. There is a hint that the named company has no intention of paying the outstanding amounts to the partners.
To curb these thefts in the market, the associations are organising monthly meetings and try to solve the problems and make everyone aware of the defaulters.
Government might think that levying LBT or Octroi might help the economy in the long run but the industry expert and associations believes that imposing such tax will going to hamper the business of the industry and with the month long agitation, the industry is losing business day by day so much so that the vendors has made zero money from the business in the last month.
To end the month long agitation between the traders and the Government over the Local Body Tax (LBT) issue, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan might have had a discussion with the Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) yet the traders described the meeting as not result oriented.
Though both the sides have decided to sit together to resolve the issue yet the traders believe that there is no solution to the problem as government will not be ready to meet the demands. Being the community partner and carrying the business from Maharashtra themselves Anuj Modi, Director, Modi Infosol Pvt Ltd. supports the agitation and believes that a concrete result should come out of this agitation. “Associations from all over the world are supporting the agitation and we are also supporting them while not purchased anything on 10th of May. If the Government wants to increase the tax they should take by VAT, they should not put LBT or Octroi. Make open direct VAT, increase it by 5-6 percent that will help them,” feels Anuj.
With the market already running through a rough patch, the LBT issue was just a nail in the coffin for the businesses to shut down not in the Maharashtra region but this has affected the branches of the companies in other parts of India as well. As Anuj shares, “This agitation has lost huge amount of business for us from the region. One of the vendors has almost had zero sales. My business has also got shut down for almost 25 days. We have also not made business since a month.”
Alok Gupta, sales, Softmart Solutions and President of Infotech Software Dealers Association (ISODA) is of the opinion, “We have decided to support the agitation and ISODA vice president Devesh Agarwal will support the agitation. It’s something which is wrong because when you are doing business there has to be conformity to a certain standard and I think Maharashtra is the only state in the world where some Octroi or LBT is charged and even in the world it is not being charged. In terms of revenue every state has its own challenges and if this is levied than in every state it will be forwarded so I think this should not happen as this will hamper the business.”
Associations react to LBT
Supporting the cause of LBT and aligning itself with the Maharashtra channel community, Infotech Software Dealers Association or (ISODA) in a statement, expressed that it welcomes removal of Octroi from Maharashtra. “All ISODA members believe in paying taxes as per law of land and would have no problem paying some additional VAT to make up to the Government the loss of revenue on account of Octroi abolition, and Government in turn can distribute such additional amounts earned to Municipal corporation of cities who incur revenue loss on account of Octroi abolition. This would be a simple process of tax collection for Government and our members will also have no additional tax related administration,” the statement read.
Bengaluru based AIT Association for Information technology has extended its complete support to the channel community of Maharashtra. “On Behalf of AIT – Bengaluru . We extend our whole hearted support for movement against ‘No Octroi and No LBT” which has started by our Maharashtra channel partner fraternity. We will also go on one day strike as a token of support,” informed, Nalin R Patel, President, AIT, Bengaluru.
HP’s Innovations in 2013
2013 was the year of innovations, growing printers business, for HP business. The company had made some major contribution to the economy by value adding its services.
To help highly mobile teams work together better and faster HP had launched HP Designjet T2500 eMultifunction Printer (eMFP), which brings new customer-driven design features to a single, compact device that scans prints and copies.
The HP Designjet T2500 eMultifunction Printer features an integrated scanner, which makes it easy to scan and send sketches to team members, as well as incorporate hand-annotated changes. The HP Designjet ePrinter portfolio features HP Designjet ePrint & Share, a free web service that makes it easy to access, view and print large-format documents using an Android or Apple tablet, a smartphone, a notebook or an ePrinter touch screen.
Going ahead further in printing technology, the company had launched affordable A3 multifunction printer (MFP) developed for Indian businesses – the HP LaserJet Pro 400 M435nw – and two new HP LaserJet Enterprise M800 series flow MFPs that come with near field communications (NFC) touch-to-print and wireless direct.
The new HP MFPs allow for simple and more secured mobile printing, while streamlining customers’ digital and paper processes and increasing business productivity. HP also launched a new Managed Print Specialist Resell program – a partner Managed Print Services (MPS) program that allows Indian SMB and Enterprise customers to access HP’s latest MFP innovations and differentiated services including multi-vendor support. The program creates a secure and centrally managed print environment that streamlines workflows, optimizes document output and related business processes.
HP Tops Number One in IDC Report
IDC had named HP India as the number 1 vendor of PC (for a third successive quarter) and for Printers yet again. According to the IDC Asia Pacific Quarterly PC Tracker, HP’s PC market share has jumped to 34.1% in Q2 2013. The IDC Quarterly HCP Tracker shows that HP has market leading 57% and 50% share in inkjet and laser printer categories respectively, while also emerging as number 1 vendor in Multi-Function Printers (MFP) with a 30% share.
HP has emerged as the number 1 vendor in all PC categories, including consumer notebooks, desktops and overall consumer clients, commercial notebooks, commercial desktops and overall commercial clients, workstations. HP India has delivered innovation s such as a hybrid Envy x2 for consumers; an enterprise class tablet –HP ElitePad900 and new form factors like the HP AiO
Microsoft’s Transformation Year
The year 2013 has brought mix of good and bad news for Microsoft. Where there were introduction of Office 365, Outlook.com and Nokia acquisition doing the round in the news world, the news of Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer quitting Microsoft hit the headlines to a great extent.
Ups in 2013
In the first month of 2013 Microsoft reinvented the company’s flagship office product line and announced the availability of Office 365 for consumers. Through this product families can subscribe to Office 365 Home Premium which includes the latest and complete set of office applications, works across five PCs/Macs plus five mobile devices and comes with extra sky drive storage.
Together with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, Office 365 gives the freedom to do things when and how you want. Microsoft also announced to deliver many new features and services to the cloud first, transforming the company’s traditional three-year release cycle. New features and services stream to subscribers as soon as they’re ready, eliminating the hassles of upgrading and keeping subscribers always up-to-date.
Simultaneously, Microsoft also announced in India the availability of the updated FPP version of its traditional Office suite for consumers – Office Home and Student 2013. In a recent global survey, nearly 60% of people said they don’t have the time to do the things they want to do, and more than 80% said they could save one or more hours a day if they were better organized. Office 365 Home Premium is designed to help people be more productive from anywhere and find the flexibility to do the things they want.
Another major announcement that Microsoft made in 2013 was the integration of its two biggest communication services Skype and Outlook. While driving more value to its end customers and delivering a mix of both the worlds in Outlook and Skype, Microsoft has announced that Skype will be available for all Outlook customers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Canada, and Brazil, enabling its users in these countries to use the video calling and messaging service directly from their e-mail.
The new e-mail service launched by Microsoft called Outlook.com will not have any distracted ads and features quick access to Twitter and Facebook where one can retweet and like things and post comments.
Microsoft acquisition of Nokia’s cellphone business for $7.2 Billion deal made the headlines in the news room the world over. Largely seen as a bold move to try to catch up in a fast growing global mobile business dominated by Samsung and Apple at the global level, the acquisition could be a good news for windows users. The move leads to greater availability of devices running on Windows phone.
Microsoft is also expected to use its stockpile of overseas cash to pay for the Nokia purchase and licensing pact. The deal is ok’d by the US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission and is seen as a step closer to reality.
Down in Microsoft
The news of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer quitting the organization was a set-back for the company. In a letter to Microsoft employees, Ballmer said, “There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.”
With this announcement, the Microsoft board of directors has also appointed a special committee to find a replacement for Ballmer, which includes chairman and company founder Bill Gates as well.
Microsoft Firm on Windows XP Closure
Government and Enterprise got a set back when Microsoft announced to discontinue its Windows XP Service & Support in April 2014
Especially the small and medium sized enterprise customers must decide on their strategy to embrace this situation.
There are many enterprises which have not yet started or even thought about the migration towards latest Windows products. However, the company is quite sure to discontinue its service and support after April 8th, 2014.
“We would be discontinuing the support for Windows XP on 8th of April. However, we will provide XP support to companies, which agree to pay us a support fee. This is a global strategy and will be applicable in India as well,” informs Amrish Goyal, General Manager, Windows Business Group, Microsoft India.
This is in line with Microsoft’s thinking to discontinue the XP operating system. However, there are many enterprise and even government customers who have not designed any specific strategy to switch over to something modern and completely next generation ready.
Terming its channel partners as a critical piece towards enhancing the company’s profitability, Microsoft has confirmed that the company has announced certain incentive based schemes in order to better entice its partner ecosystem in India.
As we come close to this announced date of April 8th 2014, there will many companies which will embrace the next generation technologies, however one thing is for sure that many organizations which will pull the plug from using Microsoft and find their own way to better utilize their IT infrastructure.
Overall 2013 was an year of disruptions brought about by digital business, the Internet of Things, smart machines and the onset of the Digital Industrial Revolution, emphasising IT Channel community to get themselves prepared for the changed dynamics and face a new set of realities in a much larger context in 2014.