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The focus on cost savings is increasingly coming to the fore at a global systems integrator (GSI) level in the channel, with customers making it clear that they want to see returns on their technology decisions.
The coronavirus pandemic has added to the pressure to help customers control costs but even before it hit, some GSIs were prepared to share savings up front because of the faith they had in the technology delivering a payback.
Adam Tarbox, EMEA director, GSI at Nutanix, said his company had seen changes in the market in the way GSIs operated with some customers.
“I’ve seen contract changes with some of the global systems integrators where beforehand they would have gone in and contracted for ‘we will deliver X savings over a period of time’ and the customer would sign that contract and they would have undergone that journey,” he said. “Now we’re beginning to see some of the providers actually writing cheques for some of those savings up front, as opposed to being ‘we are going to deliver these savings over time’.
“Now we are seeing them saying that they will deliver the savings over time, but by the way, here is a cheque up front for some of those savings that we say we can deliver, and then the contract begins. There is a shift in the way GSIs contract their customers and it is very focused on outcomes and value versus time.”
Tarbox said the shift to focusing on an outcome perspective suited Nutanix because of its core focus on taking costs out for customers, with its channel typically being able to offer a proposition that comes in with a 60% lower total cost of ownership.
“It comes down to your portfolio and then aligning that to the challenges they would face in the market,” he said. “If you look at the trends in the market, then I think the Nutanix portfolio is perfectly positioned to address those.”
Tarbox added that along with decent technology, GSIs were also looking for consistency from a vendor and a relationship with a team that understands the different attributes that those types of global channel players bring to the market.
“You want consistency and the go-to-market is not the same as the go-to-market with a channel partner – the business models are very different,” he said. “A typical GSI wants to own an asset and provide a service, whereas a channel partner is more inclined to resell an asset to the customer.”
Tarbox has been with Nutanix since May and has a brief to grow the GSI business. Despite that market being a selective one, he feels there are opportunities to expand Nutanix’s footprint in that community.
“There are significant opportunities to grow the GSI business,” he said. “I think over the last eight months there has been a huge market disruption, in terms of what customers want and the pressure that they face, and clearly if you’re facing pressure within the market and you need to think and operate differently, a route to solving some of that could be to work with a GSI, where you take part of your business and get what you need to transform it quickly.”
Tarbox pointed to the efforts made in just the last four months – a partnership with Wipro to support database-as-a-service and remote working, and one with Capgemini to focus on testing as a service – as evidence that Nutanix is pushing forward in the market.
“That’s just the last four months and clearly there will be stuff coming down the roadmap which will be released into the market between now and Christmas,” he said.