MSPs become integrators of multiple services | #eBizWires | Simon-Campbell Young



All companies wishing to remain competitive are looking for ways to provide more value to their clients. Managed service providers are no different, and we are seeing an evolution of these businesses moving from being the provider of a single IT service to being integrators of multiple services delivered for the most part via the cloud.

So says Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of Phoenix Distribution, who says this shift to full service integration is seeing today’s MSPs and other IT solution providers try to pinpoint new ways to simplify their IT operations while adding to their range of services.

“Added to this, the complexity associated with implementing cloud, together with an increased demand for a better user experience, is seeing MSPs find new ways to stay relevant, and drive business innovation,” he explains.

“One of the trickiest challenges for MSPs is measuring the pros and cons of whether to change their core business offerings in an effort to sustain, and grow, the business. However, companies wishing to thrive must adapt, and although change is uncomfortable, it needs to happen to drive the business forward.”

He says as cloud becomes more and more prevalent, companies need to adapt to it. “Traditionally legacy vendors would introduce new offerings that were in line with customer demands, but things are different now. The cloud has changed that game, and portfolios of offerings need to be redesigned bearing the cloud and associated solutions in mind.”

However, Campbell-Young says there is no need to reinvent the wheel. “Deploy new offerings in a way that suits your organisation. Thinking about cloud specifically, does it make sense for your company to buy a cloud solution, to build one from scratch, or to partner with another cloud provider? Too heavy an investment could damage your business, so perhaps even look at a combination of these. Backup for example can be built, but more costly innovations can be left to the bigger vendors who see this as their core business.”

Next he advises to stick with what you do best. “Being a generalist when it comes to cloud services is not a good way to ensure high margins. As MSPs become cloud integrators, better revenue can be gained from specialisation. Know what you’re good at, what you do better than your competitors, and charge a premium for it.”

He says it is also important to remember that it is all about the customer. “Any businesses growth or success is entirely dependent on its customers. Building a businesses that is dedicated to giving value to its clients with each and every interaction is a recipe for success.”

According to Campbell-Young, this is the way businesses remain competitive, innovative, successful and relevant. “Listen to your customers, they will tell you when you need to start offering additional services, or make a change to your existing ones. If you hear them, you will know when it’s the right time to make a move. The power of the IT services market lies with the customer nowadays, and those integrators who pay attention to their needs will thrive in today’s competitive environment.”


About Phoenix Distribution

Phoenix Distribution is currently the leading Value Added distributor of software, accessories and peripherals across the African continent, covering software publishing, localisation and product distribution across multiple territories in multiple languages.

The business is segmented into two divisions, namely corporate software licensing and retail product distribution, and Phoenix Distribution dominates the consumer and SMB security sectors through key brands which include: Norton/Symantec, AVG, Kaspersky and Bitdefender. Additional brands within the consumer-focused range include, Microsoft software and peripherals, Beats by Dr Dre, Trendnet Wireless products, Monster Cables and mobile accessories.

The corporate licensing division sells volume licensing into the enterprise and SMB reseller environments, as well as covering architecture and implementation. The ESD division delivers download content into all channels, including B2B and B2C.

The retail division delivers physical product into the retail environment, covering all mainstream ICT, CES, telco, lifestyle, fashion and sports outlets, as well as independents and online stores. This division delivers direct to outlets and or customers across sub-Saharan Africa.

Phoenix Distribution is growing at 70% per annum, with additional acceleration coming from development within the greater African marketplace, as well as the acquisition of significant high-end product lines within the enterprise arena. In addition, the company’s UK business, PX Security, is firmly entrenched within the UK retail and SMB reseller environments, shipping product through trusted distribution partners into mainstream retail outlets and direct engagement with B2B resellers. The UK operation publishes and distributes Bitdefender, Webroot and Avast.

Additional bespoke services offered to partners include Electronic Software Distribution within the B2B and B2C environments, category management, training and end-to-end merchandising.

Phoenix Distribution, including the UK subsidiary PX Security, was recently acquired by First Technology Holdings.


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