Computacenter is banking on cloud, virtualisation and big-ticket services deals to help it post a "strong year" in the UK in 2012.
Ahead of its publication of full results later this month, the integrator issued a trading statement in January revealing that total group revenue rose seven per cent in 2011. UK full-year sales declined 13 per cent, but the VAR pointed out that the rate of revenue decline slowed in Q4.
Paul Casey, practice leader for cloud, virtualisation and automation at Computacenter, told ChannelWeb that last year had been good overall and "not a bad" 12 months in the UK.
"We had a really strong year in Germany," he said. "Contrast that with the UK, where a big part of our business is aligned to the financial sector, and things are struggling a bit in that market. But results are in line with expectations; we are riding the storm a bit."
Casey claimed he expects a stronger performance in 2012, after Computacenter won seven of the eight "massive" services contracts it singled out as "must-win" last year.
"We have a lot of big business, which brings challenges in terms of how to fit it all in. But it is a nice challenge to have," added Casey. "We are picking up awards around emerging and converged technologies. It is important to be recognised from a technical perspective.
"We definitely want to up our services, there is no doubt about that. Eighteen months ago we moved to having more profit coming from services than product. That will very much continue."
Casey explained that the technology and service practices under his watch would be a big focus for the reseller this year. The firm's sales kick-off meeting a few weeks ago focused on bringing staff up to speed on various areas of as-a-service provision.
"Virtualisation is a big focus for us this year," he added. "We have offerings that help us play a number of roles: cloud builder, provider and aggregator. We can help customers build cloud with technology and point services.
"Business demands continue to go up, pressures on IT spend continue to [increase]. We are able to help customers bridge the gap. There are still pressures on spend in the financial sector; we can help them put in technology that still keeps up service levels."
Casey claimed his firm's cloud offering stacks up "very strongly" against those of the UK's other leading integrators. Computacenter's scale and operational clout will allow it to industrialise its services and compete aggressively, he asserted.
"We are not an organisation that is going to build it and hope they will come," added Casey. "We have more certainty that they will sell than just standing them up and saying ‘we hope they will sell'. When we build solutions and propositions for the cloud, they are going to evolve. We are not relying, as our competitors are, on one technology."
"We have built the expertise and cost models so we can price quickly and effectively, and be consistent about the pricing and [service levels]. It is about trying to help customers at a really independent level, such that they can make informed decisions. I think we will be lower cost [than competitors] and we will have a stronger roadmap."
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