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Channel needs to keep pace with technology

Channel needs to keep pace with technology

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Channel Post speaks with K.S. Parag, Managing Director at FVC about the evolution of channel to keep up pace with rapidly changing face of technology and also shares his views for developing ways of doing business that not only improve margins and profitability for partners.

K.S. Parag, Managing Director at FVC

What is your career history to date and key career achievements?
I am currently the managing director of FVC, and have held several senior positions in the past with local Integrators Agrinde Trading and Zahra Technologies. I’ve also worked with major clients including Etisalat, ADNOC, ARAMCO, HCT, Zayed University, Ajman University and other large customers in the region.

What are your roles and responsibilities in the company as a channel influencer?
Having spent more than 3 decades within the IT industry, I believe that diligent and smart leadership tactics have led to enormous success and growth in the organizations I have worked with. I firmly believe and i am committed to increasing clients’ productivity and commercial profitability by bringing innovative enterprise technology solutions. This is delivered via best of breed products and services licensed through the world’s leading suppliers in different fields.

My role is to not only grow the company, but also to encourage and motivate our internal employees as well as our partner community. I emphasize building strong relationships with vendors and partners and create a synergy where everyone is a winner. Winning major coveted projects, restructuring the company to deal with growth, encouraging and inspiring employees to perform beyond their capabilities, and inculcating an entrepreneurial culture among each member of my team are a few of my biggest achievements.

What qualities should a channel influencer possess to lead the channel?
To be a channel influencer, one has to set high performance standards within the organization as well as the community. Being an influencer is to be able to lead from the front to set an example for employees and the channel. Channel influencers must possess the ability to thoroughly understand the IT and business environment, technology trends, and market pulse. Influencers are trend setters, and the quality to bring new thinking that will help with profitability and the smooth functioning of businesses is critical.

What is your advice on finding success in the channel?
Like the IT environment, the channel is also rapidly changing to keep pace with technology trends. The channel business has become very competitive over the year, and one way to find success is to identify the right technologies and partnerships to invest in. This capability comes by spending time in the market, studying trends and corresponding market demand. A successful channel business is built on strong relationships and the ability to identify the technologies in which to invest.

How would you assess the current state of channel?
The channel is evolving and as I said, it’s quite a competitive environment. However, partners are realizing that specialization is the next step to profitability and differentiation. We are seeing more specialization especially in security.

What is the biggest challenge facing the IT channel in the region?
I believe that while cash flow and credit continues to be a challenge, it has improved over the past year. Another big challenge would be partner’s limited capability of providing professional services across all vendor technologies. This is largely due to a scarcity of highly skilled resources. FVC is working on ensuring that the services which partners offer customers are of excellence or above excellence with FVC’s support.

If you could improve one thing about the channel business what would it be?
We’d encourage partners to invest more in trainings and certifications – be it time, resources, or costs. This ensures their long term commitment to growing their own business as well as the vendors.

How can partners work effectively to generate growth in the channel?
Effective growth generation is largely based on identifying new opportunities – by all stakeholders. Developing ways of doing business that not only improve margins and profitability for partners, but also ensure market expansion for vendors and distributors is also important. Vendor on their part need to ensure that the channel is well aligned with their strategy to help grow their business, and provide support where needed.

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