The channel will be at the centre of growth plans for Nutanix in Malaysia, according to new country manager Avinash Gowda.
Speaking exclusively to Channel Asia, Gowda - appointed to the role in June - said the vendor is actively building out recruitment and enablement strategies in a bid to “reinvigorate” the ecosystem.
“We have a great base of partners but some need to be reactivated and re-energised making enablement and recruitment a top priority,” Gowda said. “There’s potential to do a lot more with our channel and that’s the feedback we have received from our partners.
“We currently have partners carrying out a certain number of transactions but they can do so much more in terms of acquiring skill-sets and certifications.”
According to Gowda, plans are in place to go deeper with partners across the country, moving beyond just registration status to a more strategic in-market approach.
“We have a program but registration is just the starting point,” he added. “We want partners to become vertical certified and my challenge to our distributors is how do you help us recruit more partners. I’m looking to more than double our partner base.”
Following channel-centric roles at Microsoft, Cisco and Sun Microsystems, Gowda speaks with authority on partner priorities in Malaysia, drawing on more than 20 years of supply chain experience.
Most recently, the industry veteran was responsible for executive engagement with enterprise customers at Amazon Web Services, driving business transformation through cloud adoption.
“This role puts me back in touch with the channel ecosystem in Malaysia, an ecosystem I have worked in for many years,” Gowda said. “While the Nutanix business is new, I’m returning to my channel roots and the partner community.”
In assessing the changing dynamics of the market, Gowda said alliance vendors such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) will be central to driving channel engagement at a national level.
Case in point is the recent coming together of both vendors to take on Dell EMC and VMware in the highly competitive hybrid cloud market.
As reported by Channel Asia, the global alliance is centred around the delivery of an integrated hybrid cloud as-a-service solution, with the channel expected to play a central role.
Set to launch in the third quarter of 2019, the offering will leverage Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud OS software including its built-in, free AHV hypervisor, delivered through HPE GreenLake to provide customers with a fully HPE-managed hybrid cloud.
“We’re focused on working with alliance vendors such as HPE because this partnership is reinvigorating our ecosystem,” Gowda explained. “We’re seeing public and private cloud spending increase on both sides of the market which places Nutanix in a sweet spot. We allow customers to run any application on any cloud which means working with partners in the cloud is a priority.”
According to IDC, over 21 per cent of Malaysia’s GDP will be digitalised by 2022, with the digital economy central to its journey towards becoming a high-income nation.
For Gowda, such growth represents an opportunity for partners to help Nutanix capitalise on increased appetite for transformational technologies.
“Malaysian customers are experiencing a huge amount of paradigm shifts in terms of digital transformation,” he observed. “Businesses must become more adaptive to their customers and adopt digital technologies but the question centres on the how, which places Nutanix in a very strong position.
“We have so many customers in Malaysia but we are challenged around how we effectively engage with them and connect, which is another priority going forward.”
Backed by government mandates - specific to capitalising on Industry 4.0 - Gowda said the country is well-positioned to take advantage of emerging technologies to drive innovation at an enterprise-level.
“I don’t think Malaysia is too different to any other country because we have some companies that are at the forefront of digital innovation and embracing technology in a big way,” he said. “But then at the same time, we have a large number of enterprise customers trying to grapple with an area of the market that is not familiar to them.
“I believe everything is coming together and this requires top-level backing to get the market moving. The fact that the government wants to save money and become more efficient plays in our favour and we’re increasing our headcount to talk to these business decision-makers.”