Gen-I aims managed services at the mid-market

Gen-I aims managed services at the mid-market

Aggressive campaign to leverage its telco and systems integration capabilities

Gen-I is launching an aggressive campaign to tackle Australia's mid-market by leveraging its telco and systems integration capabilities in a managed services offering.

Head of solutions group, Mark Bennett, said Gen-I had recently refined its services around three key areas: unified communications, applications delivery and virtualisation, and information management. The integrator is a fully owned subsidiary of Telecom New Zealand/AAPT. Its vendor partners include Microsoft, Nortel, Cisco and Citrix.

"We have had a trans-Tasman base we have built off which is still key to our business strategy," Bennett said. "We don't see a lot of opportunity in the enterprise space against the likes of EDS or CSC. But the 200-2000 seats market is a real opportunity for us because those organisations don't necessarily get a lot of attention. It also suits our single source model."

Commander's troubles have opened the door to potential new customers for many tier-two integrators - an opportunity Bennett also recognised. He identified key customer pain points around increasing productivity, compliance, attracting talent, winning customer mindshare, sustainability and reducing TCO.

"All roads lead to managed services - this offers the most value to organisations. Our goal is to take a partnership approach with every customer," he said. "We're not talking about technology or engineers, but trying to differentiate by starting with what customers need to achieve in their business."

One of Gen-I's biggest challenges is to build up local brand awareness. While the integrator accounts for about 15 per cent of the New Zealand market, it has less than 2 per cent in Australia.

In January, Gen-I announced it had secured $100 million worth of ICT contracts in the Australian market over a six-month period. Of this, it reported 10 new wins including deals with the Australian Stock Exchange, The Heart Foundation and NSW Police. Bennett said more customers would be announced shortly but admitted questions around whether a telco can successfully offer IT integration services would be another obstacle to market acceptance.

"There's still cynicism in the market that a telco can't get IT services right - you only have to look at the debate around Telstra and Kaz," he said. "But I believe the managed services model leveraging both [IT and telco] can work - it just hasn't been executed well enough."

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