An interview with Suryanarayanan B- Director- Sales & Marketing (west), Intel
By Snigdha Karjatkar
(Q) Today everyone wants to grab the SME pie; According to you, how exactly are opportunities shaping up in the SME sector?
(A) From a market point of view, there is plenty of scope as internet penetration is only increasing every day. With infrastructure like the 3G broadband being laid we are expecting a substantial rise in the SME market segment. For an SME player, he has obviously surpassed the stage of computerization as using computers for Tally is trivial. Today, customers are pushing SMEs towards more technology-enabled transactions. For instance, an auto manufacturer expects an ancillary provider, to deliver a pre-tested product to him. We all know testing is substantially technology enabled. With such circumstances and demands, SME players are pushed to adopt more technology. As I said, they have already embarked on the journey. Their next level of requirement is networking and applications. Definitely, all this has created a market for all the players. Channel partners should seriously gear up to encash this opportunity.
(Q) All these opportunities created in the market; how you are enabling your channel partners to grab them?
(A) We have to make sure that our channel partner delivers the right kind of solution. Not just boxes as customers are demanding more. For an SME, he is an entrepreneur, whose focus is his business and he does not want the hassle of managing IT. We are training the channel partner to deliver complete solutions, which is the actual need of the SME.
For larger enterprises, they have CIOs who lead IT, but SMEs need complete solutions as the entrepreneur cannot do the running around. That is why currently in the market there are more certified solutions with minimal customization available. The channel partners have to upgrade their knowledge. Over a period, we have understood that there is need for soft skill training on how exactly partners should approach and communicate with customers. More importantly, understand and gauge his exact needs.
Consequently we have designed a company training with a third party vendor where we completely train how to handle customers, how to handle objections; right from assisting him in selecting the component to helping with the screen size.
In the next five years, we expect 40 percent of business from smaller towns.
(Q) Apart from market trends, what are the technology trends that you foresee in the near future?
(A) As far as form factors are concerned, we are seeing a shift to All-in-One from desktops. We are more focused on it. We are adding more and more computing devices. With our second generation core processors, we are able to bring in more sleek form factors and also enable laptops with different screen sizes.
Next year, we plan to announce a category called ultra books, which is much suited for a sleeker form factor. For instance, in MacBook Pro, one needs a very high battery life and has to cater to the demand of staying connected always. By next year, we would also have launched 22 nm chips, which would enhance performance capabilities with efficient power consumption.