After restructuring the business and doing away with its end user-focused brand names, Phoenix claims it is primed for "aggressive growth".
As revealed by ChannelWeb in November, Phoenix has retired its ICM brand and, as of this week, will operate both its end-user and white-label services business under the Phoenix name. The company is now divided in five business units focusing on hosting, business continuity, managed services, telecoms and systems integrators (SI).
A variety of operations, including vendor management and logistics, have been centralised, as have functions including HR and finance. Phoenix sales and marketing director John Hall claimed the new organisational structure would benefit both Phoenix and its customer base.
"The significant advantage [for us] is the cross-sell opportunity. The benefit we see in pretty much everything we are doing is that it enables us to grow more aggressively," he said.
"The customer-facing business units are built around the areas of expertise we have. [Previously], it wasn't always entirely easy to make all those capabilities available to all our customers in one service delivery function."
When the rejig was first announced, Hall was filling in as head of the SI unit, and this role has now been filled by former HCL and Fujitsu exec Bill Simpson. Hall claimed that the way in which the business units have been set up excludes the possibility of overlapping client bases.
"There is no overlap. A customer sits in a specific business unit and is supported by that unit for all the capabilities they [buy]. Each business unit has access to all the capabilities," he explained.
Hall also stressed that uniting the end user and channel business under one banner would not cause any conflict. He added that Phoenix works with VARs of all shapes and size and wants to increase the number of reseller partners engaging with its telecoms and SI divisions.
"One of the things we have been keen to ensure is that we reduce any potential conflict that might exist in the channel," he said. "One of the reasons we have set things up the way that we have is that we can view things [more effectively]. The senior management team has visibility across all five business units.
"We have always had a broad spectrum [of partners] – from very small organisations that are just setting up and do not have any capability of their own, to people such as Kelway and Azzurri, and organisations such as HP and Dell."
The scale and breadth of Phoenix could make it a more attractive proposition as a partner than some of its smaller rivals, claimed Hall.
"I think there are fewer competitors now in the marketplace than there were. There has been a huge number of organisations that have been purchased or that are merging. I think the competitive landscape has become simpler," he added.
"We see our key differentiator as being the depth of service that we have. We have more than 1,200 engineers and a breadth of services – from basic, right through to complex [ones] – in our new datacentres. What is attractive for partners is our scale."
The break-fix club
A number of rivals have begun to distance themselves from the traditional break-fix services space in recent years, but Hall claimed he was still committed to a market which is, as far as Phoenix is concerned, "buoyant". In September 2010 the services firm made a number of engineering redundancies and a leaked memo revealed it would increase its use of technical couriers.
Hall (pictured) explained that his firm "used technical couriers where appropriate, and has done for some years", but that this was not the chief service delivery model. He asserted that the firm maintained significant parts stockholding.
"Some organisations are finding it tough because it is a scale business, but what we have seen this year is a fairly buoyant business for break-fix. We see it being core to our business going forward, alongside the new services we are launching to marketplace – we are about to launch a hosted telephony service next month," said Hall.
"We are restructuring the business to give a clear message to the marketplace in terms of what we do, in terms of growing the company and growing it aggressively. We are very keen to create a stronger brand and stronger identity in the marketplace. We are bullish."
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