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17 June 2014 | 0

He stresses that managed services are not just the preserve of large enterprises, “numerous small and medium businesses see managed services as a cost-effective solution for many aspects of IT”. The “quickest and often safest way” for resellers seeking to generate opportunities in the managed services arena and enhance their capabilities “without having to invest in new skills themselves”, he suggests, “is to collaborate with a distributor that can provide an aggregated/end-to-end offering, with all the support they need wrapped around it”.

He gives the example of Arrow ECS’ ArrowSphere platform, which allows resellers to build and resell cloud solutions “very quickly and with no upfront investment or risk to their core business”.

Insight
Brian Hackett, director of partner services, Cisco EMEAR, says partners need to feel empowered to respond to and pre-empt the changing and evolving needs of their customers.

Cisco does this by providing smart capabilities and practices, software-based analytics and new franchises, enables customers to take advantage of its intellectual property “to proactively manage their customers’ networks and improve quality of service through greater actionable insight and predictability”.

Using Cisco’s core software enabled capabilities, partners can continue to build and differentiate their services offerings in the market to drive growth and profitability.

Over the last two years, Cisco has “invested time and energy transitioning our partners to enable them to capture the opportunity with Smart Services through training, workshops and regular communication which we continue to deliver”. The vendor is taking a similar approach with it software portfolio “and we encourage our partners to keep up to date with the changes we are making and the opportunities we are providing”.

“…we encourage our partners to keep up to date with the changes we are making and the opportunities we are providing” – Brian Hackett, Cisco

Last year, Jim Leyden, managing director, Bizquip, talked about the move from managed print services to managed document services. This year, the focus is on business process management (BPM) as “a definite growth area within our industry”. It’s being driven by the need for speed within organisations on the back of “rapidly evolving technologies and rocketing customer expectations. Bizquip is acutely aware that within many organisations business is now won and lost based on the speed of reaction to the customer,” he argues.

The company has invested in specialist staff and training to help customers manage change. This approach is focused on making an organisation’s workflow more effective, making it more efficient and more capable of adapting to an ever-changing environment. “Linking line of business applications and removing manual tasks within processes automatically makes an organisation more efficient and empowers them to win business,” Leyden adds.

Providing customer-facing employees with the right business processes “is critical for companies fighting to emerge from the recession,” he claims. “Unfortunately gaps in supporting document processes waste time that could be spent personalising the customer experience, a failure that imposes a significant cost in lost opportunity and business.”

Leyden believes that “many businesses are overconfident about the true speed at which their organisations are responding to this change”, accusing them of “not reacting fast enough” and warning that “few can rapidly take advantage of new opportunities unless they invest in and embrace a BPM methodology”.

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