There has been an increase in the number of takers for the cloud telephony and there are enough opportunities as the companies are looking cut down the costs in this department. VMC Technologies, one of the fastest growing players in this vertical is aggressively looking for partners in that space. Dayanand Muthurkishan , CEO of the company, in an interview with Channel Times shares his companies plans.
CT: Overall, how was the FY13-14 for you with respect to channel business. What are the lessons learnt?
Dayanand: In the last fiscal, most of our revenues came from direct sales. Partner engagements and resultant sales were limited. Not only did we more than double our customer base, we also continued to receive excellent feedback from both reseller partners and customers on our product and service quality.
In addition, we are finding equally good traction for our newer offerings, including lead management and support management solutions that are available to customers as business productivity modules running on top of our cloud telephony offerings.
CT: What are the plans for channels in the new fiscal?
Daya: The opportunity is huge and we need a strong partner base to help us reach out to customers across the country. However, we are in the early stages of partnership engagement program. Apart from identifying and signing the most suitable partners, our efforts are focused on training our new partner teams to position and sell MCube solutions efficiently in their markets.
CT: What are your expectations from the new fiscal after elections?
Daya: We certainly hope to see an improved business environment and look forward to engaging, business friendly policies from the new government.
CT: What are the openings in the Indian market and how do you foresee the business through channels?
Daya: MCube solutions are designed to help our customers, especially MSMEs and SMEs, get a firm grip on their voice based business engagements.
Last I checked, there are more than 6.5 million SMEs in India. Many of them are run by a new generation of entrepreneurs, who understand the benefits of automating key business processes like incoming call management, lead management and customer support management for improved business control and ROI.
MCube solutions not only help our partners to extract more revenue from their existing base of customers, but also enter into hitherto unexplored markets/customer segments.
CT: Will you be increasing your human resource that works closely with the channel?
Daya: We have multi-level channel management and support structure in place already. We will add more headcount to this team as the partner base expands. Our partners will have all the support and training they need to convert opportunity into business.
CT: What are the marketing/join-marketing activities on the cards for the partners?
Daya: At this moment we are empowering our partners with information and skill sets necessary to sell our offerings to their active base of customers. We will roll out all other initiatives after this phase is completed.
CT: What are the cities you will be adding more partners?
Daya: Currently we are engaging partners across tier 2, tier 3 locations in India.
CT: Will there be any change in the distribution model?
Daya: The current system is that all customer orders are placed on VMC Technologies, the legal entity and owner of MCube brand. Partners enable the entire sale process to achieve an attractive margin on not only the initial sale but also on recurring billings from the same customer.
Partner signup and margins are based on MCube licenses they commit to sell every month.
CT: What are the industry verticals you are focusing on?
Daya: We are really strong in the Real Estate market. Going forward, we would like to also engage healthcare, auto, retail, education, entertainment and other such verticals.
CT: Explain the analytics that an enterprise can make use of…
Daya: MCube solution analytics provide control to business owner/managers and help improve productivity significantly. Completely automated, MCube Business Helpline Solution, for instance, provides real-time information to business owners/managers on who called, when and who handled the call. In addition, call recordings can be enabled for select calls, for training or business management purposes.
Similarly MCube Lead Management Solution for instance allows our clients to automatically track incoming online and telephonic sales inquiries as well as measure sales conversion on offline prospect databases procured by the company, within one single computer screen.