17 August 2011 Source: www.channelworld.in
Changing with times is what Chetan Goyani, Founder and Director of Micropoint Computers, believes in. While this definitely is an inevitable ingredient for success, this approach also helped the company in catching the technology wave in the market. Today, Micropoint is one of the leading managed services providers in the country, with competencies in business continuity and availability - factors that every enterprise focuses on, in the current scenario.
The transformation from a computer peripheral vendor to a managed service provider has been quite phenomenal for Goyani and his team. "We are one of the early players in the industry. Micropoint started its operations in 1989 by offering computer peripherals to different customers. The scenario was completely different then. Though our earnings were not very significant, job satisfaction was really high," says Goyani.
Like any other startup organization, they had faced initial hurdles. It was very difficult to find new customers at that point of time. However, the company also had a separate division for CAD, which made good profits and ensured a decent growth.
Goyani, however, understands the needs of today's competitive market and has an unaltered focus on building the right capabilities and in-depth expertise.This strong focus on knowledge helps the company in being solution-centric rather than merely offering products to its customers. "In the last three years, we have diversified our business from products to solution front. This has helped us in retaining most of our old customers," Goyani adds.
Buying is no longer driven by mere technology. The market has now become extremely price conscious and everything is driven by business. Micropoint has analyzed this change to come up with a unique winning formula. The SI's partnerships, for example, are very strategic in nature and help the company in addressing a set of very specific opportunities in managed services, cloud and high-performance computing.
Micropoint has done comprehensive focused work in the field of cloud computing and it has strategically tied up with all the major principals. The focus is on all the three flavors of cloud - public, private and hybrid. It targets the private cloud market in partnership with HP and builds the infrastructure for its enterprise-class customers. The SI also has a strategic tie up with Netmagic and Aircel to offer public cloud offerings to different customers.
High performance computing is a strong focus area for Micropoint. While HP is one of the key partnerships for this as well, the SI has initiated an association with Boston, one of the largest distributors of Super Micro Range servers. Micropoint does a certain amount of strategic business with Boston to provide the hardware required for high Performance computing to various institutes in India.
"The scientific community in India is one of the largest cosumers of high-performance computing solutions. However, we are not allowed to sell HP products to a large number of these research institutions as they fall under 'denied party list' according to US regulations. This is where we place Boston products and ensure that we don't miss out on these opportunities," explains Pranav Vyas, Director-Technical, Micropoint.
At the same time, Micropoint very carefully places HP high-performance solutions for customers that do not fall under the 'denied party list'. VECC (Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre) is just one among many such companies. Micropoint delivers storage and HPC solutions of HP for VECC.
High performance with HPC
High-performance computing is not everybody's forte. Micropoint definitely is one of the few SIs that has a strong expertise around this area.
Institutes like the IITs, Mumbai University are using high performance computing for various research purposes. Micropoint has done a lot of projects in the education and research sector wherein it provides the hardware components and the cooling solutions required in the high performance computing. Most of these high performance computing clusters are used for various scientific purposes.
The company has even done projects in the government sector. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is one of the oldest customers of Micropoint and the SI has been working with BARC for over 18 years now. Recently, it provided storage solutions for BARC with a capacity of 510 terabytes.
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation limited (ONGC) is another such customer for whom Micropoint has provided high-end storage solutions. It has also done a project for Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), which included blade servers and storage.
A different approach
A gold partner of HP, Micropoint carries the entire HP portfolio, starting from its desktops to high-end servers to networking products.However, the SI's strategy is slightly off the beaten track. The company does not do business based on different industry verticals. It, instead, has built its strategy based on HP's market strategy for India, which is largely around three segments - the Global 1000 accounts, the commercial space, and the SMB space.
This was a very conscious decision as the SI did not believe in adding a lot of customers by expanding vertical-wise. As Vyas explains, "We don't believe in a 'wide' clientele. We focus more on deep-selling and up-selling within our existing accounts."
However, the company believes that it is important to widen its customer base and is now focusing on new markets. Its strong focus on 'commercial segment' has resulted in improved business. The SI in fact managed to acquire 24 new accounts in just one year's time. The company is now targeting the mid-market opportunities as well. Besides, the company has now realized the need to be 'proactive' to customer requirements. "Earlier we were reactive to the requirements of our customers and used to promptly deliver what they ask for. Now our approach is very proactive. We try and understand the business requirements of our customers well in advance and propose solutions to them," adds Vyas.
The company also has partnerships with APC. "Our partnership with APC is for their power and cooling solutions. We are also targeting the datacenter opportunity with this partnership," says Vyas.
Micropoint believes that its differentiator is its unchanged focus on building expertise around its focused areas. "Though it's extremely difficult to find skilled people in the industry, our continuous effort has helped us form a very strong team of people," adds Goyani. The team at Micropoint work closely with the senior solution architects (Tech Hubs, as the SI calls it) of every principal company. "We have a tie up with HP Tech Hub, Cisco Tech Hub and Oracle tech hub," says Vyas.
Micropoint Computers believes that it's important to stay focused and hence has no plans of product expansion in the coming few quarters. Although a HP -focused partner, Micropoint is looking at multi-vendor alignments in the future and has plans to work with companies like Dell to start with. With a different strategy and a firm focus, Micropoint is all set to be a Rs 100 Crore company in a year's time.
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