Director - Channels & Alliances,
WW Sales and Field Operations
Adobe Systems India (P) Ltd.
Please tell us how do you plan to position Adobe in India in the days to come?
What solutions does Adobe offer considering the wide range of devices available?
Please throw some light on the customer segmentation for Adobe in India?
We have a wide range of customers starting from Prosumers (Professional consumers) who are the most avid users of our technology for not only print but also web designing. Next, we have the mid-market (SMB also has a whole lot of Adobe fans). Now in India, we are adding a new dimension which is looking at the enterprises too.
How would you be increasing your reach in the Enterprise segment?
We have always served the entire market considering the wide usage of our products across the media and devices. However, we have increased our focus in enterprises now considering the opportunities in the IT, ITeS, BFSI, Hospitality and the large government initiatives.
How do you propose to curb the still prevalent piracy issue?
India does witness rampant use of software which is not legally procured. We have certainly taken some measures to combat the evil of piracy. One is to increase the awareness about the proper use of the Adobe software and the second is to make our software available widely and we are also trying to talk to people who are not using the proper copy and make them aware of all kinds of advantages of using the proper copy and we are also taking one-to-one interaction with our end-customers.
What role do you see of the channel community towards addressing the sale of genuine software?
The channel partners are the community which extends our reach. We, as an organization, are not enough to serve every nook and corner of the country so our channel acts as an extended arm for us. The larger the community, the closer are we to the end-customer and that is why we say channel plays a significant role for us. It is important that they become the part of evangelizing the Adobe software and taking it to the end-users.
We enjoy a healthy share in the market, but our APC would be the game changer for our partners.
Throw light on the kind of benefits Adobe offers to its associates?
There has been a set of partners who have been associated with us for over a long time and they have enjoyed margins which come with the product. There are backends also which are available. At this point of time as we are looking at going further deep in the country, we are announcing a new partner program called Adobe Partner Connection (APC), which would help us achieving it. This program is going to be announced in Q2 2012 (where Q2 means Mar-May). This program is designed to redefine the way our partners would make money. The entire program focuses on profitable growth of partners. If the partner is spending some resources on Adobe then we want him to earn more and if that happens then its obvious that the partner would focus more on Adobe and what all this means is a win-win situation for both.
What and where the opportunity lies for the channel partner?
We are relevant across the user segment and we have a large partner ecosystem with 24000 partner spread across the country. Out of these some partners are seen more focused owards tier 2 and tier 3 cities and we have some partners who are only focused in the mid market. We also have relationship with the system integrators who will help us selling through the enterprises and build value for the adobe solutions in that environment across all segments and across all verticals.
How would APC program redefine the hierarchy of your channel community?
We have two national distributors and under them we have the value added resellers. It all starts from simple online registration. Depending upon the kind of business and their expertise and training on our products they graduate to Certified, Gold and at the top of the pyramid have been the Platinum. But from Q2 onward we would be moving from our Old Channel 2.0 to new APC. As a result of this we would see two new classifications branching out from certified level of partners, and run parallel to the Gold and Platinum. These would be partners with special focus on Education segment targeting schools and higher educational institutes and Pro Video i.e. professional video segment that targets news channels, broadcasters and post production houses of the country.
Adobe is relevant to a wide range of users. Mid-market is also full of wide customer base of Adobe solutions.
Are you looking at LFRs also for sales?
Though globally, we are nicely positioned through LFRs but in India it has not still taken off. Though LFRs deal in lot of softwares but, the per unit cost of our software is higher than any other software. LFRs is a medium for us and very soon Adobe would be available through these shelves too. But all this does not mean that our old associates or the traditional partner community is going to loose importance in any way. Our APC is a proof to our commitments towards them, which means profitable growth and also roping in of new partners on board.
Product Manager - Adobe
Softcell Technologies Limited
Headquartered in Mumbai, Softcell Technologies Limited is a 22-years-old business-to-business IT Infrastructure Services company with sales offices in six major cities in India. Softcell Technologies Limited is a partner to Adobe in India for the past 15 years. With a unique accreditation of being the only Platinum level partner for Adobe in India, Softcell serves its customers across the country on all the major Adobe product lines, mainly Acrobat Family of Products, LiveCycle Products and Creative Suite Family of products.
Pravin Mandlik, who manages Softcell’s alliance with Adobe, says, “Our focus on the Adobe business has earned us felicitation as the Best Partner in India, for Acrobat family of products across India and for our overall revenue contribution, for the last 5 years in a row.” Pravin is responsible for planning and execution of Softcell’s sales strategy.
Softcell specializes on the Acrobat Family of products in the AEC market segment, which contributes more than 40% to their total business – the highest by any partner in the country. The Creative Suite product family contributes 55% of the total business.
Their long association with Adobe and continued focus on skills enhancement on Adobe solutions has its benefits – in addition to the Transaction Margin, they make extra percentage points from deal registration, for opportunities identified by them, and also back-end rebates for consistently achieving quarterly revenue targets.
They consider their relationship with Adobe as a win-win association. “We have grown our revenues multiple fold with Adobe and will continue to invest in strengthening our Adobe portfolio,” adds Pravin. Going forward, Softcell plans to build expertise on Adobe LiveCycle Products and Connect Platform. Their expertise on Adobe DRM and Adobe Connect Solution have won them services opportunities in the past.
Absolut Info Systems Pvt. Ltd.
The company, which started some four years back, has been a partner to Adobe since its inception. They deal in the entire range of Adobe products, from desktop-based to enterprise level/ server-based products. To name a few, Acrobat, Indesign, Photoshop, Creative Suite range of products, etc. are the products that are dealt on a daily basis (as they are extremely fast-moving products). “We have gone from strength to strength, and actually feel pride in the fact that we have managed to become one of the most important partners in the Adobe partner ecosystem across India,” adds Ashish Sharma.
They specialize in the media and publishing vertical, and expect a robust demand in the same. They are experiencing demand surges in the BFSI and ITeS verticals too. Considering the fact that the customer has become smarter, they have adopted a consultative approach to sales. They engage with customers at the requirement drafting stage, walk them through different product alternatives and handhold them very tightly through the licensing knowledge, prices, delivery and implementation process. “We have expanded our capabilities in services business to match up with a wide range of Adobe products. Our aim is to continuously enhance our delivery capabilities and open up the market for several Adobe products that are LiveCycle, Connect and Omniture,” informed Sharma.
They have invested in engineering resources across our office in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. We have three development centres that house engineering resources that have the wherewithal to execute large, medium and small projects. Also, we have invested a huge amount of time and resources in getting our people trained on Adobe products and get certified.
It is, in fact, very early to state where exactly money is made, but I really hope that there is something at every level. Adobe gives rebate to all their partners on achieving the sales set between a partner and Adobe. The journey has been great with a fantastic relationship.
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