Comms-care wants to begin getting involved at the forefront of its partners' deals as it diversifies further from its roots in break-fix.
Comms-care managing director Ben Davies revealed the channel services firm is launching a new resource desk designed to act as an extension of the pre-sales functions of its 800 reseller and SI partners.
Talking to CRN, Davies (pictured) also claimed the union of two of Comms-care's rivals, Daisy and Phoenix IT Group, would play into his firm's hands.
The new team, which will employ 14 technical, commercial and administrative staff, comes a year after support services specialist Comms-care bolstered its Microsoft, VMware and Citrix professional services skills by acquiring Platform.
"We are trying to go from being a break-fix provider to getting involved at the forefront of the deal so that partners working on a new Microsoft or Cisco opportunity will see us as a professional services partner where they can get the skills in for advisory services and design services," Davies said.
"At that point, the partner typically supplies the kit and licensing around that but we provide the ongoing service, whether that's a manage service or onsite – we can now do the full shooting match."
According to Comms-care's unaudited results for the year to 31 March 2015, revenues hit about £27m. About £15.5m of that came from return-to-service-type support, roughly £9m from professional services and about £2.5m from proactive managed services.
Slated for launch on 1 September, the new resource desk will ensure requests from resellers for help on product or project pitches will be dealt with instantly rather than sitting in the inbox of a sales rep who may be out on the road for the day, Davies said.
Comms-care's professional services director, Simon Day – who was managing director of Platform – said Platform had exceeded budget in its first year and had lost only one employee in the integration process.
"We had hit a glass ceiling. Comms-care had already made the investment in infrastructure we needed to make," he said. "They have allowed our business to grow and develop, while Comms-care recognised they needed more professional services capability, so it was a very good fit."
Davies said Daisy's recent acquisition of Phoenix IT Group – both of which have direct and indirect arms – would be a worry for some resellers.
"We are the obvious choice if you want to work with a purely channel, non-compete partner," he said. "The deal puts us in a stronger position."
Day agreed: "If you look at history where large organisations have acquired other large organisations, typically the flexibility tends to wane. We have seen signs already where some clients that were traditionally Daisy or Phoenix clients are now more open to having conversations with Comms-care because of the mixed messages they are getting."
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