ANS isn't the first reseller to reinvent itself as a managed or cloud services provider, but it is one of the few to perform the feat almost overnight - the aftermath of which CEO Paul Shannon recently admitted had been "really, really tough".
Shannon and ANS CTO Andy Barrow will be sharing the ups and downs of their journey next month at CRN's MSP North conference in ANS' home city of Manchester.
The path from reselling technology to providing it as a managed or cloud service is well trodden.
ANS, however, broke with convention by taking the decision in 2017 to switch off its hardware business almost overnight, rather than developing a service business incrementally. At a recent CRN roundtable dinner, Barrow opened up about how ANS had "burned the boats" of its hardware business, which forms the title of his and Shannon's keynote at the event.
ANS has since trained up more than 100 of its engineers in public cloud.
"It has been really hard work," Shannon told CRN ahead of the event.
"It's really tough to see something you've been doing really well from for a long, long time and seeing the margins diminish because the markets changing. Then realising you've got to go all in on something completely new.
"Apart from people, the main challenge has been that, in the past when we sold what we've always sold, we've always been able to rely on anywhere between 60 and 70 per cent of our profitability in any particular financial year from existing customers. So existing customers doing refreshes, or new projects, or buying a WAN or LAN from us when they've already had Flexpods, so additional services. But this year and last year, a lot of that has come from new customer wins. Winning new customers is a lot harder than working with existing customers - a lot harder."
So has it been worth it?
What were the biggest challenges it faced during the transition, and what lessons did it learn along the way? What impact has the U-turn had on ANS' financial performance?
Shannon and Barrow will be opening up on ANS' journey at CRN MSP North, which takes place on 26 June.
A panel featuring four private equity bosses, who will be dispensing their killer tips on how MSPs can build value in their business, will be among the day's other highlights.
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