August 14, 2020
The India-based company won the award last year after pivoting its business from hosting and domain services to cloud services. Starting in 2017, the company successfully productized and marketed its in-house cloud platform to customers. The product, RackNap, has helped grow the company’s business by automating cloud delivery for users.
That dramatic change in direction for ZNet is now paying dividends, senior VP and CEO Sabarinathan Sampath told Channel Partners. With COVID-19 affecting the world, business is even more hectic for the company due to its well-timed cloud platform.
The MSP 501 Newcomer Award goes to a first-time MSP 501 nominee that is shaking things up. Channel Futures chose ZNet Technologies for the 2019 award because of the dynamic path it took in its own digital transformation. Needing a better cloud services platform for its own use, the company developed one in 2014. When it worked well, the ZNet wisely decided to offer it to customers — and the strategy took off. With only a hunch, the company used its own digital transformation journey as a blueprint for the customers it serves.
ZNet’s Sabarinathan Sampath
In a Q&A with Channel Futures, Sampath talks about how ZNet Technologies is doing today in the aftermath of COVID-19.
Channel Futures: It has been a busy few years for the company. What are your thoughts about the progression?
Sabarinathan Sampath: Looking back, I feel proud of what we have accomplished to date. Since we started in 2009, we had this goal of making ZNet a leader in the hosting and domain industry. But there were also challenges in this line of business that needed to be addressed to achieve the goal. So we wanted to expand our offerings. Around 2015, the cloud market was booming, and we thought to explore the opportunities in this market. Then, Microsoft gave us an opportunity to work as a cloud service provider partner. This was a completely new offering and really helped in building our reputation in the market. We then signed up with other cloud providers as well.
CF: That’s what led to your RackNap cloud services platform?
SS: Soon, the cloud demand started to rise, and we started facing challenges in selling cloud services and managing the operations. We knew we needed to reorganize the process. This is when we decided to productize our in-house software that we had built and commercialize this as RackNap. This cloud services delivery platform really helped us to streamline our business processes. We launched RackNap commercially in 2017.
CF: And after all these changes, value-added distributor RP Tech India acquired ZNet in February 2019?
SS: That acquisition paved new ways for our organization. We saw more growth by strengthening our partner network, and thus, we became a distributor of cloud services. We had the means and the know-how to empower our partner network to grow with us. Also, we signed up with Acronis, Alibaba Cloud and GlobalSign to sell their services as a distributor.
CF: Does your progress in such a short time surprise you?
SS: I am pleased to see the fruits of our hard work showing now. Even during COVID-19, we have not stopped. We are working hard to continue to service our clients. I am so impressed by how we …
… have managed to make good progress on our company’s strategic objectives. Our product, RackNap, has delivered solid results and remains our greatest strength. We are proud of it and remain focused on keeping our disciplined approach to making a profitable business.
CF: At the end of 2019, things certainly looked different before COVID-19. How is the pandemic affecting your company?
SS: The outbreak of coronavirus was challenging for us. Keeping our operations going while also prioritizing the well-being of employees was difficult. But, despite the global pandemic, we continued to work and quickly adjusted to the new working conditions. We had a robust business model and processes that really helped us to adapt to the crisis. We saw strong increases in our business growth, and our customer relationships became stronger. And we recently launched a new beta version of RackNap, called Altair, which is already getting good customer feedback. The way we dealt with the pandemic strongly demonstrated that we are not dependent on one line of product. Our strategy to work on different lines of business provides balance during periods of disruption like today.
CF: How is your company handling the ongoing after-effects of the pandemic on your employees, your business and your customers?
SS: Our main priority was business continuity to keep supporting our employees and customers, so they should not suffer disruptions. We ensured best practices so that our operations are not impacted, whether we work from home or from offices. We are transparent with our customers and are making every effort to keep them engaged. And we continue to provide them discounts and special offers to help them incentivize. We have no idea how long this pandemic will last, so we are prepared for all scenarios. We are not relying on one line of business. Also, we have identified other market segments and opportunities for continuous growth.
CF: Since winning the 2019 Newcomer Award, what have you done to build on that accomplishment?
SS: First, it was an honor to win the 2019 MSP 501 Newcomer Award. Our commitment to providing consistently differentiated offerings to our partners to help them grow and thrive has given us the recognition and capabilities to win this award. The honor has encouraged us and increased our company’s credibility. This has placed us as the leader in the market and greatly motivated us internally. We have been more motivated and are working harder to execute new strategies and deliver positive results.
CF: What have you been doing as a company and for your cloud services platform since the award was presented?
SS: We know that there’s no one path to success. So, we don’t want to stop where we are. We want to explore, expand our offerings to continue to deliver solid results and bring new innovations in the market. Our company continues to enhance its solutions, tools and support to help our partners provide better services to their customers. We will continue to look for the opportunities to further build capabilities needed for continued growth.
CF: Where do you and the company go from here?
SS: The only way for ZNet to go is up. Our agenda for the future is to steer innovative ideas and ensure they are implemented in a timely manner. We want to continue to deliver products that bring value to the market. With our broad managed services like Acronis and Alibaba Cloud, we give our partners and customers significant opportunities to grow. Our mission is all about authenticity and making the digitization part for businesses easy.
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