Top VARs 2017 Q&A: Logicalis' Bob Swallow

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Logicalis' Bob Swallow
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Logicalis' Bob Swallow

UK managing director of Logicalis reflects on its 2017 and key trends in the market

The UK managing director of Logicalis, #21 in Top VARs 2017, talks us through the firm's nearshoring move
You announced in June that you are shifting 65 UK first- and second-line support jobs to South Africa, with the first 40 roles moving in September. Has that affected service levels for your UK customers?
We have had no negative comments from any customers, and in fact we've had at least half a dozen quite positive written thanks for the service they are getting. We got to reinvest the significant
savings this has made in growing our managed services in the UK, so we have created a new service practice and brought in Dean Mitchell from Gartner to head that up. We think we are the right shape now, and clearly we want to get into growth. We will be going aggressively after growth in the areas we've mapped out.
Why did you choose South Africa over more obvious nearshore locations such as Poland or Romania?
It's a market our shareholders know well. Secondly, we managed to secure a team that had been doing these services for the UK market for Computacenter. The time zone and language are also clearly in alignment with the UK, and it has affordable labour costs.
How important is managed services as a revenue stream for Logicalis?
We are probably doing around £70m in services, and I would think around £30m of that is recurring services, and we are looking to get that to £60m very quickly. We realise that customers have an
increasing challenge with the speed that technology is moving in areas such as IoT [Internet of Things] and security. They need more help, not less, and more managed services.
Who do you regard as your top five competitors?
CDW and Softcat are still strong competition for us in the traditional [reseller] space, where we are seeing far less of Computacenter and SCC. BT is still very strong in public sector. And then you've got a new landscape, particularly in managed services, where we come up against Accenture and TCS.

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