Insight ups the professional services ante

Insight ups the professional services ante

Software reseller looks to expand services relationships with vendor base

Software asset provider, Insight, is kicking off the second stage of its strategy to gain a significant foothold in the Australian professional services business.

Asia-Pacific services director, Luke McLean, was brought on-board 18 months ago to develop Insight’s professional services unit after stints with Dimension Data and Data#3. The first stage of his strategy was to cement relationships with its top three vendor partners – Microsoft, Citrix and VMware – and build out complementary skills to its software licensing and asset management business.

In Europe and the US, Insight has software, hardware and services lines of business and competes with systems and service integrators like Dimension Data. However, in Asia-Pacific, its focus has traditionally been limited to software asset management. US-based Insight acquired Software Spectrum in 2006, gaining a presence in the Australian market.

“We have to take this to the next level – our strategy is to step outside software management,” McLean said. “My objective was to build a strategy for Asia-Pacific, then execute on that. There was no specifications on what technologies we wanted to go forward with.

“Overseas, we’re more hardware led, then bring in services. But here, hardware is not part of the immediate strategy.”

Instead, the company has upped the ante around its Citrix and VMware relationships and identified virtualisation, Microsoft unified communications, SharePoint, Exchange, configuration manager, Active Directory and Software Asset Management (SAM) services, and desktop deployment, as key technology areas.

“Citrix, for example, is a technology that complements Microsoft, and while VMware is somewhat competitive, virtualisation is a hot area. Having these three vendors means we can go down the virtualisation path,” McLean said.

The second part of its strategy is to broaden relationships with its tier-two vendors including Symantec, Quest and other security vendors.

McLean claimed Insight had relationships with 600 players globally.

“These vendors offer technologies that are complementary to desktop management, Exchange and so on,” he said. “For example, we’ll be able to provide services around backup, availability and antivirus. Quest provides monitoring and migration tools, and upgrading is a big part of the Microsoft tool set.

“We’re not trying to boil the ocean – we’re being very targeted and building a profitable business using our partner ecosystem as well as our resources.”

Insight is concentrating on its existing client base for incremental business. This ranges from mid-market customers with 200 or more seats through to large enterprises.

“We have a strong client base – we’re not cold calling, but instead looking at where they are spending and focusing on those opportunities,” McLean said.

As well as expanding internal resources, he said Insight was partnering with niche integrators and services providers in the Australian market to access specialist skills.

While unable to disclose specific figures, McLean claimed Insight’s professional services business already experienced triple-digit growth year-on-year.

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Tags MicrosoftVMwareCitrixData#3dimension dataInsight


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