Daniel Sim, Senior Director, Channel Business, Asia at Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions. Sim talks about his current job role and how Vertiv is working with distributors and partners across the IT and mechanical and electrical (M&E) verticals in Southeast Asia through to Australia and New Zealand.
Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?
As senior director of channel business for Asia, I work closely with distributors and partners across the IT and mechanical and electrical (M&E) verticals, supporting them to improve the buyer experience and ensure ease of doing business with us. Asia is a vast region and the markets throughout – from Southeast Asia through to Australia and New Zealand – have differing needs, expectations, and growth rates. Partner enablement is a huge part of my role, ensuring the local channel can meet today’s and – more importantly – tomorrow’s challenges.
Can you explain how your company works with channel partners?
We work to ensure our partners have the tools, resources and expertise on-hand to serve their customers better and increase profitability. The recent relaunch of the Vertiv Partner Programme (VPP), for example, builds on our channel-first strategy to ensure ease of doing business with us.
Following last year’s launch via a gamified Vertiv Partner Portal, the latest update to the VPP includes enhanced incentives programmes, enablement activities, social media community management and equips distributors and resellers with B2C and B2B e-commerce programmes.
Ultimately, we want to give our partners a fuller experience, and that means enablement throughout the entire sales cycle. Our next step is to deliver a single interface portal where partners can access standard resources – training, registrations, rebates – as well as a platform to load purchase orders (POs), track product deliveries and more.
How do you ensure channel partners flourish in a highly competitive market?
Public sector and private businesses alike are looking to overcome barriers – old and new – quickly and easily, and that means they need locally reliable, on-the-ground support. With a Swiss Army Knife of infrastructure solutions, we help our partners react fast and create value propositions for robust, next-generation deployments that recognise sustainable design, development and use.
What are the latest trends you see emerging across the channel?
The channel has been a force for industry consolidation in the last 18 months, and vendors play a significant role in the art of integration post-transaction. Organisations need a strong knife to cut through, so arming IT and M&E partners with a full line of data centre solutions will be critical to keeping pace with the market.
Plus, with COVID-19 continuing to impact the region, the ability to transact and install from anywhere, at any time is ever present. Without events and roadshows, partners need to find other methods for continuous reach and that’s where e-commerce will extend beyond B2C and become a driving force in B2B. Tapping into the pandemic accelerated shift towards a more digital economy, triggering changes in online shopping behaviours, e-commerce will equip partners with the tools they need to succeed.
But shifting to a more digital economy also means we’re creating and leveraging more data than ever before and this has created an upswing in the importance of sustainability. Partners are looking for solutions to help end-users deliver impactful environmental improvements and we’re helping them to spearhead these goals with solutions designed to reduce the use of energy, water and space.
What is your management philosophy?
As a leader my goal is to always teach my team how to fish, not fish for them. Growth is a team experience, and management is a two-way relationship. This philosophy extends to the vendor-partner relationship – we cannot expect partners to be an advocate for Vertiv if we aren’t an advocate for them. It’s important to build a partnership based on trust and that means being forthcoming and collaborative.
When you look back at your career, what has been the most memorable achievement?
I started out at Vertiv as a strategy alliance manager and 13 years later, I am now handling the full breadth of the Asia channel business. I’m an IT professional at heart and it isn’t easy doing sales as someone who is technical. Looking back at my career, I’ve been able to grow through these challenges with leadership that has backed my technical ability and ultimately, I believe this has been hand in glove to my success in sales. It’s important that I give my team the same opportunity.
What made you think of a career in technology?
I wanted to be part of something that drove change and advancement, and technology hit that tone with its ability to continuously offer businesses and people something different, creating solutions in the face of disruption and promoting efficiency. Vertiv is the heartbeat and our leadership in power, cooling and IT infrastructure has excited me throughout my career.
What do you think will be the hot technology talking point of 2021?
While remote work was initially mandated due to the pandemic, it has now become a permanent fixture in workplaces across the region. The need for low-latency connectivity is no longer exclusive to large cities. We need to bring computing closer to the end-user – the Edge – for on-the-spot processing, no matter the location.
While enabling businesses to be fully operational from anywhere has been significant, there has also been a sustainability story on the agenda. Our thirst for more data is causing power consumption and costs to increase, and this means energy efficiency across the data centre ecosystem is a huge agenda item for companies. With thermal management solutions running 24 by 7 for data centre temperature control, efficiency and conservation in this space are critical.
What are your personal interests and where do you like to spend most of your time after work?
Before COVID-19 limited our travel habits, my role in Vertiv would see me fly across the region for up to three weeks of the month. Since being grounded in Singapore, I’ve learnt to appreciate a healthier lifestyle – from regular cycling to completing my first half-marathon, I’ve seen myself transform. Though, family is the most important part of my life outside of work – we often enjoy a staycation where we go out for lunch, watch movies and take long walks.Click below to share this article