Plan for the unexpected stands tall as the biggest learning for the channel in recent times across India, and Umbrella Infocare is no exception.
Founded in 2013 by entrepreneurs Gurprit Singh and Sanjay Agarwal, the business has embarked on a journey centred around mobility and cloud computing technologies.
“Adaptability must be seeped into the DNA of organisations to be prepared for uncertainty and risks,” said Agarwal, speaking as co-founder and director at Umbrella Infocare. “And we realised the absolute importance of crisis communications team with regular drills.”
The Delhi-based provider appears ahead of the technology curve with regards to helping enterprise customers achieve digital transformation, reaping the benefits of its early foray into cloud and mobility eight years ago.
“Right from inception, we have been focusing on cloud, virtual desktop infrastructure [VDI], DevOps, big data analytics and application modernisation,” added Singh, also speaking as co-founder and director of Umbrella Infocare.
The company has also continued to increase head count as planned from the beginning of the financial year in March 2020, kick-starting plans before the lockdown was announced in India.
“We were and remain very confident of growth in cloud, security and collaboration in the medium to long-term as we to invest in people and technologies to help customers in their digital transformation journey,” Singh said.
The shift to an emerging remote working model wasn’t easy for the business however.
“Initially we were sceptical on how our teams would manage and the impact on productivity and customer satisfaction but our employees geared up well and we were able to service customers satisfactorily and complete projects and task well within time,” Agarwal recalled.
Remote working is good in many ways but on the flip side can be challenging with regards to collaborative working, learning together and organisational agility, he acknowledged.
With increased demand from customers seeking to "do more with less", digital transformation initiatives are becoming critical. Businesses are relying on analytics to better understand end-user needs, enhance customer experience and deliver services in a seamless and secure manner.
In response, Umbrella Infocare’s services are based on key pillars of cloud native applications, cloud migration, big data analytics, DevOps and intelligent workspace solution practices, which deliver a technology approach powered by digital transformation for a wide base of clients across multiple industries.
The provider excels predominantly as an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Premier Consulting Partner for Cloud Services and through Citrix as a Platinum Solution Advisor for Workspace solutions, among other vendor alliances.
Big tech bets
Technologies in demand post-Covid-19 for customers centre around cloud adoption, remote working solutions and big data analytics, as outlined by Agarwal and Singh. Delving deeper, the pandemic is expected to have a lasting impact in the way business is conducted, changing the way organisations service customers and workforce deployments.
"Remote working will likely become a preferred reality and organisations will invest in technologies and processes to facilitate this to make the workforce productive and build customer confidence in the new normal," Singh added.
Customers who adopted cloud are better equipped with business continuity and the ability to serve customers during such uncertain times. As a result, more businesses will invest heavily in cloud and scale up digital transformation initiatives, Agarwal outlined.
Given the prevailing uncertainty and tough economic conditions, organisations also have an increasing dependence on analytics to overcome challenges which include demand forecasting, accurate customer segmentation and pinpointing bottlenecks and disruptions in the supply chain.
”We are seeing that decisions regarding big data initiatives are moving faster and crystalising within two to three months which used to take between six to twelve months," Agarwal added.
Undoubtedly, 2020 has been a challenging year with partners are finding it even more difficult as overall market investments shrink, triggered by existing customers re-negotiating contracts and new business initiatives being put on hold.
Consequently, market opportunities have significantly reduced and partner profitability has taken a hit.
"To help channel partners stay in the business, vendors should provide flexible credit terms to meet the cash flow challenges," Agarwal suggested "Also, they should provide better margins and back-end rebates to meet business expenses."
Another critical aspect is enhancing partner capabilities through enablement, highlighting through helping with trainings and certifications to build deeper skills and help partners engage more strategically with customers.
According to Agarwal, the channel should venture deep into emerging technologies through becoming an advisor and solution partner of the customer. Furthermore, partners should always be on the look-out for new technology partners to effectively address the changing needs of businesses and to remain relevant as a trust advisor to customers.
"Be open to taking calculated business risks when venturing into new technology business solutions," Singh advised. "Although we have been helping customers digitally transform business, we have not invested sufficiently to digitally transform our business and this is one area where all businesses must invest going forward."
Channel Asia Advance is a centralised editorial resource designed to help partners access forward-looking content as the ASEAN and Indian markets attempt to reposition for growth.