Network integrator Omnetica has launched an alliance of companies to provide global services, mainly for Cisco products.
Called the ServiceOne Alliance, the group of services companies will provide a single service-level agreement (SLA) and 1,300 engineers in 75 offices across 30 countries.
Peter Halls, chief executive of Omnetica, said: "We started partnering with companies four or five years ago because we used to lose some deals and business after some of our competitors put a very good global story together.
"We had a loose collective of partners, and the amount of services business reached a critical mass where we needed to put standards in place."
Halls added that alliances are becoming as common in the IT industry as they are among airlines, with customers signing a single contract and a single SLA. Any glitches have mostly been on the sales side rather than on delivery, said Hall.
Clive Longbottom, services director at analyst Quocirca, said Omnetica has been making a lot of changes recently. This latest move may be linked to Cisco's introduction of Shared Support, its first new support model in six years, he said.
"In any arrangement like this the issue has to be quality. Customers want one throat to choke. If it's well managed, if the quality is there, fine. But it very much depends on how much effort all the companies put in. If it goes wrong, the consequences could be sticky," he said.
Paul Ranucci, managing director of Damovo, said Omnetica was responding to the needs of its customers, many of which are multinationals.
"It is pulling together a patchwork of companies to offer global services for their customers," said Ranucci. "The problem with arrangements like this is that they are only as strong as their weakest link. There's also a big overhead associated with auditing, SLAs, handling, follow-ups and support escalation."
Infrastructure provider says international sales now make up 51 per cent of its revenue
Suzanne Chappell of TMS plans sailing venture after selling Oxfordshire-based TMS to acquisitive Chess
Withdrawal of credit insurance by some providers a 'reflection' of current challenge facing IT sector, according to MD Steve Soper
SMART's UK managing director joins Lenovo to boost SMB business