SCC's new public cloud-focused arm Oworx has the feel of a start-up now it's up and running, according to boss Debbie Johnson.
Johnson joined SCC last year with a remit to build its public cloud division.
Speaking to CRN she said that the services giant had previously struggled to build a scalable public cloud practice, due to the sheer complexity of the task, so they made the bold decision to hire in the public cloud experienced required to launch.
"It's very hard to launch a technology or service that doesn't exist in your business today, and it's the same challenge that our customers see," she said. "I looked at the skills we had internally and there just wasn't the demand in our existing customer base to develop experts within the company quickly."
"Public cloud is very different. Where the existing teams were trying to fit public cloud into their standard operating models, it just didn't work."
" I came in to talk to Mike Swain and Paula Jordan to chat about what I would do to launch the operational side of the practice. The next day they asked me to join the team and help launch it for them. I was super excited about the opportunity and potential of the new cloud service."
Johnson joined SCC from Rackspace, where she had been leading public cloud technical delivery teams across AWS, GCP, and Azure for the EMEA branch of the organisation. Prior to that she spent 12 years as an IT leader at Aviva.
She said that the initial plan had been to launch a division within the SCC brand, but the team quickly realised that the project was becoming something larger.
"We hadn't really considered launching our own brand, but it grew into something that was just so big and so unique that our now CEO Mike Swain said we should rebrand it and launch something that is boutique-like and only focused on public cloud."
Oworx is focused solely on public cloud giants Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
It has 14 employees dedicated employees from cloud backgrounds, although can lean on the wider SCC team when required.
There are plans to build out the team, particularly in SCC's Vietnam and Romania bases.
The priority so far has been on winning business from existing SCC customers which are on the start of their cloud journey, but Johnson said the plan is to go out and win new business as Oworx.
"I'm really excited to get some new logos," she said. "With existing logos it can take longer because we are encouraging them to make the move to public cloud, whereas a focus on new logos mean we can target customers who are already on their cloud journey or eager to start".
"If we can go and get some new logos that are 100 per cent laser focused on moving to public cloud we can give them such an amazing and agile service, from initial discovery right through to ongoing management and optimisation."
Since launching in June Oworx has seen good traction with public sector organisations, Johnson said, particularly the NHS.
Another prominent early client has been a core UK Government Investments customer, which has typically worked with SCC in a reseller capacity but not been a services customer.
"We started off with a billing conversation which has grown and now they're considering moving to our full managed service."
"After a couple of calls with them they said they'd never considered SCC as a company that could offer a service beyond traditional reselling for public cloud, but now they've really seen the experience we have and the services we can offer."
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