The words “managed services” might as well be “here be dragons” for those resellers yet to make the move into delivering customer support in a different way, but the experience of those selling managed services is one that should inspire greater adoption.
For the past five years Matt Tomon, chief executive and founder of Green Fields Technology, has been running a managed services business that not only delivers what customers want, but provides a recurring revenue stream that makes running the business much easier for him.
“We have been doing managed services from day one,” he says. “We tried to make it a recurring revenue model and to bring it into line with the connected aspect of business.
“Customers were frustrated with hidden business costs and wanted something aligned to the business with a fixed monthly fee, so the customer could understand the charges.”
The model has worked. Even with no outside investment, Tomon has managed to transform his business into a £4m-turnover operation, supporting 200-plus customers across 25 cities in the UK and Ireland, with just 35 staff across a couple of offices.
The level of awareness of managed services in the customer base has also changed in the past three years or so, with greater levels of understanding about what the technology is and how the business model works.
As a result, Green Fields Technology is now able to go after clients proactively, with the aim of expanding the business fairly quickly.
The other factor spurring growth, apart from improved knowledge of the benefits of managed services, is the timing in the economic cycle, with customers coming out of recession.
“People have been open to new ideas and new technologies and saw it as a utility. But people have been in a holding pattern and they have been taking that attitude for nearly two years, but now it is right so there will be growth,” says Tomon.
Tomon will be Guest Speaker at the this months Revolution Sessions in associated with Microsope in London and Birmingham and although he expects some of the audience will potentially be cynical about the technology, his message will be that they don’t really have any choice but to get involved.
“I don’t really understand what the alternative is,” says Tomon.
CV: Matt Tomon
Matt Tomon is familiar with the US, South Africa and the UK, and before his current role as chief executive and founder of Green Fields Technology was an IT director at a professional services company for five years. Prior to that he worked in the US on the web marketing side of things, landing that job after finishing his education in the US.