Synology, a global leading mid-range network attached storage vendor, transforms the way users manage data, conduct surveillance and manage networks in the cloud era. ITC spoke to Nick Jheng, Regional Manager – Middle East at Synology, about the company’s channel operations.
What does your position entail?
As a NAS vendor, Synology has been providing secure and reliable on-premise NAS solutions to clients for almost 20 years, and as the Middle East regional manager for Synology, my duties are but not limited to identify and consolidate regional economic overview, market trends and customer feedback.
It is my sole obligation to deliver the right message and relevant information that entails our belief, our solutions and our understanding of the Middle East region to both channel partners and end-users.
If you trust Synology and are willing to spend time and effort to learn about solutions, and most importantly, to put your personal or company’s digital asset into Synology NAS, it not only is a great honour, but also a great responsibility to us. As a result, our obligation to our customers is to continuously evolve and innovate in order to exceed customer anticipation.
Can you explain how your company works with channel partners?
Although we make Synology NAS very easy to understand and straightforward to use, there are still many users needing help with installation and configuration. This is the reason why among all the things other vendors will do, we care most about product training, not only is there much ready-made information (for example: Synology YouTube, Knowledge Base, Help Article, FAQ, etc) we also hold Synology Solution events to fit in with the market status and demand to help channel partners get to know more about the Synology product and business model.
What is your management philosophy?
I’m always looking for a long-term partnership instead of one-time business and do whatever we can to drive demand for my partners to fulfil this with a healthy/consistent margin. In simple terms, to create a healthy business cycle between the partnerships.
Do you work differently with channel partners in the Middle East compared to Africa?
I used to focus on the Middle East region only and I just took over South Africa this year, and it’s only one country in Africa, so I’m afraid that it will be too soon for me to conclude.
How do your partners deliver Synology solutions to end-users?
As the majority of our customers are consisting of SMBs and enterprises, we expect our partners to be good listeners, to recognise what solutions the customers are looking for, to thoroughly understand customers’ current IT infrastructure and to provide deployment suggestions.
Very often our partners would encounter customers seeking solutions that may be implemented to their current deployment. As a result, it is crucial to conduct compatibility assessments to make sure our solution may be introduced smoothly, as well as aligning customers’ expectations with our suggestions. If absolutely necessary, after careful consideration, we allow our partners to provide proof of concept (PoC) support to potential clients for a trial run to ensure the solutions are safe and sound with their current deployment.
How do you ensure channel partners flourish in a highly competitive market?
Synology has a very complete product line to fulfil customers from consumer, SOHO, SMB, and all the way to enterprise. Most importantly, the features are ready. Synology NAS is not just ordinary storage, you can have so many applications with it, for example, file serving, data protection, collaboration and even surveillance.
On top of that, the price is more than affordable, even for rackmount models. The more our partners know about Synology NAS, the easier it is for them to convince the customer that it’s for file serving, data protection or even surveillance usage.
What are the latest trends you see emerging across the channel?
In terms of trends across channels, it really depends on the type of businesses and channels that you are referring to. As a storage solution provider, we see data storage needs growing across all channels and verticals. As businesses of all sizes go through Digital Transformation, more data has been and will be growing at an exponential pace. So when we look at trends in storage space as a whole, we’ve noticed more vendors providing solutions implementing Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, hybrid cloud integration and other data protection solutions.
Which regions do you see offering the most opportunities for your company?
The GCC area still plays a very important role in the Middle East region, especially the UAE, but we also see many opportunities in other countries like Iraq and even the Levant area.