NADIA CAMERON, ARN (NC): What constitutes a managed service?
SCOTT ATKINSON, NETFORCE (SA): For us, it’s where we can provide a value service to customers, and get a monthly recurring revenue from that. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that, and it doesn’t have to be tied to a specific device type or service. Anything that can generate monthly recurring revenue, and provides a solution and service that’s useful in a customers’ business, fi ts the bill.
RYAN SPILLANE, CORRECT SOLUTIONS (RS): I’d agree. A managed service, ultimately, is a fi xed fee for a fi xed set of services, or products every month.
CRAIG BARNETT, CETECH (CB): The definition of managed services has not only evolved over the last 15 years, it’s also evolved depending on who is having the conversation. From a channel perspective, it’s this, but from a customer’s perspective, it can be something completely ifferent. Some might have a router onsite they’re paying a monthly fee for, therefore they’re purchasing a managed service. Or you might have an organisation that has outsourced their entire IT infrastructure and responsibility of it to a business, so that’s their managed service.
NC: Why is managed services today different to traditional outsourcing?
CONRAD HILDER, PK BUSINESS ADVANTAGE (CH): In my mind, traditional outsourcing is replacing what would be an internal IT department with an external department supplied by another organisation. To me, managed services is where you look at what an organisation needs, and then provide it as a service. Whether it’s as simple as a managed router, or providing a complete system or product the business can use with service levels, and it’s your problem to figure out. And that’s part of the risk you take on. When it comes to managed services, there is more judgement of risk, which also means you get closer to an organisation. In traditional outsourcing, you’re swapping like for like.
MICHAEL VAN ZOGGEL, COMPUTERCORP (MVZ): Outsourcing in the past is about buying people “well” to drive savings. What makes managed services tangible to our sales people is to say anything with an SLA and term against it.