Tirunelveli: Mukesh infoserve, one of the leading system integrators in South India has recently conducted a small partner meet in Tirunelveli with some of the leading channel partners of the region participating in the event. The discussion were around the challenges in convincing and allocating budget from the business owners in the region. Representing the Tirunelveli market, Muthiah Pillai, CEO, Bits computers Tirunelveli, Venkateswaran, CEO, Nellai Systems and services, Ananthavaradarajan, CEO, BG systems and Prabhakaran Paul, CEO, Breeze system, Thoothukudi were present for the focus group discussion.
While there were three hours of discussion on various aspects, here are some of the highlights pointed out by the participants
Kick-starting the session, Pillai said the key challenge amongst the business owners is they are very particular in spending. “We have to make numerous calls, speak their language and convince them to purchase our solution. The key challenge is many partners are not able to convince the business owners.”, he said. Ananthavaradarajan echoed the same telling that most of the business owners, see every spend on IT directly as a cost.
Prabhakaran pointed out the change in leadership has many impact in the decision makers. “A client of mine had been happy listening to me and was quiet satisfied with my service. However, there was influence of his son-in-law who wanted to replace my service. The idea behind was to bring his friend into the IT picture”, he said. Further explaining, he also added that it was the trust which he had built over the years that had helped him retain it till date. Pillai agreed to that further adding it is that one point that makes a customer give us the trust. “Sometimes it goes wrong, and the customer will start seeing us as an enemy”.
Venkateswaran recalled the immediate impact of the OEMs after the GST has been launched. “All the ERP software manufacturers queued up in my office. However, everyone was behind my database which I was not happy about.” The vendors need to be ready to work hard like the partners, in fact go an extra mile to get the deals done. Ananthavaradarajan said that there are plenty of opportunities in a market like Tirunelveli but it is the attitude of both the sellers and buyers which change the entire mindset towards IT.
Shift of the employees:
Prabhakaran recalled another incident where the change in the employees, in many places have huge impact on the customers. Sometimes, an employee who looks after IT joins another company tries to bring the comfort zone enjoyed in the previous organization to the new organization too. Thus he/she tries influencing the management to procure or serve from the service provider. Pillai said that, in small and medium business it is always better to link the IT part and parcel of their IT business and make them realize it to their profit and loss.
Pillai also said that too much of cost conscious will also impact the customers. “I know an educational institution which got thrilled by the price of a surveillance provider and implemented CCTV solution throughout the campus. However, their storage and internet bandwidth were not geared up perfectly so as to do what a typical CCTV should do. They had to spend double of what they had spent earlier in bandwidth, cabling and others.” Prabhakaran, on a funnier side, said, “I give clear warning to my clients that they can expect my fullest service only if they go by my suggestions. Should they not be able to listen to that, they might have to face consequences. Thus I have control of my clients”, he said.
Expectations from any OEM :
Speaking on the same, Venkateswaran said he will expect basic training from any vendor and more importantly the training and services should be customized in order to meet the expectations of the local market. Ananthavaradarajan echoed the same telling that it would be of great help if the solution provider helps them understand the basics of the business and help the channel partner and get a win to win situation.
Support from Mukesh Infoserve:
Concluding the same, Mukund B, Director, Mukesh infoserve, said, “Organisations need to strive hard to build the latest skills which gives them the edge over the competition and also comfort to their customers that they are in safe hands. They should also look at ways to retain those skill sets on a longer run. Getting a customer is difficult and keeping him happy is more difficult. Customers’ expectations also increase do their business needs and we should be sensitive to that.“
(Cell IT was the media partner for this activity)