Convergence courts SMBs with cloud play

Convergence courts SMBs with cloud play

Software and services integrator Convergence says it has been overwhelmed by the response to packaged cloud services the company has been developing since the start of the year. As such, it is hoping these services could grow to comprise more than half of the company’s business.

In January the company told Reseller News it aimed to diversify services and focus on the cloud to capture a bigger slice of the SMB market, which Convergence has not traditionally been well known for supporting.

Recently-recruited sales and marketing director Ken Fairgray says the only way it could provide credible cloud consultancy was to migrate the company’s own technology, and this process began with a transition to hosted CRM in January.

In the months since, the company has migrated its personal information management systems, time recording and billing, and desktop applications to the cloud, shifted its accounting systems to Xero and is now moving its telephony to SIP-based VoIP. Last year it migrated some other firms’ technology to the cloud, which allowed a trial of its services for a wider audience, he says.

The company now offers SMEs bundled implementation, system rental and support with monthly costs. The costs for implementing cloud technology can be spread over 12 or 24 months and there is a Convergence Peace of Mind support contract, also charged monthly.

“We have been running a campaign with small and mid-size organisations and discovered there are hundreds who have become aware of the cloud and the benefits, but they don’t know how to execute their strategy or they don’t have the time to,” says Fairgray.

“We have put together some offerings where we do the planning and understand what the finished result will look like. We have got the tools for the data integration and we are involved in helping companies with the best mix of solutions.”

CEO Mark Presnell says it has taken a “best of breed” approach selecting cloud suppliers, which include IBM for Lotus Live, Google for Apps and Docs and Salesforce for CRM. He says it has a “handful” of suppliers in each area of the cloud technology it is bundling.

Fairgray adds Convergence will continue to package cloud offerings in response to customer demand, and can phase in a company’s introduction of cloud technologies depending on their priorities.

“It could be a one-month extreme makeover or longer if they need more transition time,” he says.

Presnell emphasises the company is still committed to its more traditional business; supporting IBM software deployments including Websphere, DB2 and Cognos among larger corporate and government clients.

It has implemented a new logo and website, and at the time Reseller News goes to press, it expects to go live with its online shop for IT equipment and consumables. This is currently restricted to account holders, but will be extended to non-account holders who can pay by credit card.

In addition, it has recruited a consultant to audit companies’ telecommunication systems and investigate where savings can be made.This service covers landlines, 0800 numbers, mobile services and VoIP, and a couple of customers have signed up.

The company is also now supporting Apple hardware including Macs and iPhones and undertaking software development for iPhones.

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