As organisations work to eke the most out of their budgets amid market disruptions, technology consolidation activities in the market are proving to be a source of decent opportunity for partners well-versed in hybrid cloud technology.
For local IT systems integrator Softsource, which has built no small amount of its offering today on hybrid cloud solutions, the consolidation trend offers a compelling area on which to focus its efforts in the coming months.
“Consolidation is...an opportunity, as many organisations are realising that they are spending money on things that are either under-utilised or simply not adding value,” Softsource general manager and director Pablo Garcia-Curtis told Reseller News. “We can help them with that.
“Hybrid technology...has a major role to play in these consolidation exercises, as it helps organisations to reduce their footprint, therefore their costs, as we optimise workloads moving common services, such as files shares and other data, to Office 365 and Microsoft Teams.
“This, in combination with the modern app model, is creating real transformation and at a pace that we have never witnessed before. The times may be tough,…but there’s a lot to look forward to ahead,” he added.
The consolidation trend should come as little surprise, with the Softsource team observing a re-focus across the industry as a whole, with many clients looking hard at their investments in terms of return on investment, and so re-prioritising what and where they spend their time and effort. But that doesn’t necessarily translate to less tech spend overall.
“In short, if it doesn’t improve the bottom line, build operational efficiency, or lower business risk in the foreseeable future, …they won’t do it,” Garcia-Curtis said. “Spend will be similar, but realigned to different portfolios. It will be more about improving efficiencies and outcomes by fine-tuning, automating and accelerating outcomes.
“There are a number of predictions that hardware sales will be impacted, as much as 7 per cent across the industry, however...I think these investments will be redirected into other areas, those that have tangible and repeatable outcomes that can be measured.
Meeting the challenges head on
Established in 2004 to address an opportunity in mid-market around automation for managed services and customer-centric technology solutions, Softsource has expanded its portfolio to include hybrid cloud solutions, virtual CIO Services, security and compliance.
In the delivery of these services, the NZ-owned and operated IT solutions provider leverages tools such as the Microsoft Power Platform and best-of-breed hardware and device technology, such as HP, to empower and transform businesses.
With a tech stack and skill-set that lends itself well to the current needs of the market, a lot of the opportunities the company sees at present have to do with the key challenges being faced by customers over the coming months and, indeed, into next year.
According to Garcia-Curtis, as the market looks toward a future beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are working in a less buoyant market within restricted budgets, governance and compliance, with some also facing staff cutbacks.
Most importantly, Garcia-Curtis claims, businesses are working to overcome caution and confidence challenges, as they still need to grow somehow while they pivot into new markets or adjust to restricted supply from overseas.
“The closure of the New Zealand borders, whilst a feat in public health terms, will progressively place the economy increasingly under strain, and this will have a broadening effect across many businesses particularly those in the hospitality sector both in terms of supply and services,” Garcia-Curtis said.
“It is of course early days, so our focus remains on listening to our customers and helping them to achieve more with less,” he said.
The market conditions and the specific needs of businesses at present and in the immediate future lend themselves quite well to Softsource’s offering, which includes specialisation in a few core areas, including hybrid cloud, managed services and as-a-service-based models of delivery.
The company has also spent a lot of time and effort specialising in Microsoft’s Power Platform and Teams, the latter of which has unsurprisingly seen a massive surge in popularity recently.
Together, all of these offerings, along with cyber security, position Softsource well to meet the market where its greatest needs reside.
“Security is king at present,” Garcia-Curtis said. “It has always been a key factor in business priorities but with legislation changes and the massive increase in cyber activity during the COVID-19 period, there has been a resurgence in action.
“AI [artificial intelligence] technologies are also now becoming mainstream, and using tools such as the Power Platform and Office 365, we are now delivering solutions to our customers that can leverage these capabilities at a price point that they can afford in surprisingly short time frames.
“Our aim here is to ‘under promise and over deliver,’ and this year more than ever, it seems to be winning hearts and minds as the pandemic continues to place many businesses under strain,” he added.
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