red stripeThe market space between technology vendors and their enterprise customers is occupied an entire ecosystem of intermediaries, from product distributors and resellers to systems integrators and managed services providers. Collectively referred to as the technology channel community, these companies are arguably changing faster than the customers they serve or the vendors they represent. Logicalis is one such example of a rapidly evolving company. This subsidiary of Datatec started life as a network integrator and has since grown into a global services company with bold ambition.

Logicalis earned just over $1 billion of revenue in 2011, representing a 25% growth from its 2010 performance. Of this revenue, $142 million was attributable to annuity services that enjoy a 26% operating profit margin profile. These numbers include results from Touchbase (Singapore), Network Infrastructure Corporation (US) and Direct Visual (UK) representing acquisitions completed during 2011.

Today, the company goes to market with three core solutions capabilities:

  • Communications and Collaboration Solutions that include design, implementation and support. Specific solutions include voice and IP telephony, network infrastructure, contact centre, messaging, presence, rich media conferencing, collaborative content/Web 2.0, video and security
  • Data Centre and Cloud Solutions that include expertise to help customers operate their data centres at peak efficiency, minimal cost, maximum effectiveness, and optimised energy management. Specific solutions include virtualisation and consolidation, enterprise computing, cloud services, storage, hosting, switching and security
  • Professional and Managed Services encompassing voice and data infrastructure (fixed and mobile), data centre, hybrid public and private Cloud, and applications. Specific engagement bundles include consulting, application development and/or integration, managed services, remote monitoring and management, hosting, co-location, managed infrastructure services, business analytics and security

Logicalis takes this portfolio to market through four geographically oriented marketing and sales teams: Europe representing 30% of revenue, Asia/Pacific representing 8% of revenue, North America representing 28% of revenue and South America representing 28% of revenue. Its parent Datatec and fellow subsidiaries Westcon Group are present in Africa. This global stance backed by its rounded portfolio positions the company for solid future growth.

The challenge for Logicalis lies in the gap between the speed of capability change and it’s customer engagement response. This is a well trodden path for services companies. Delivery professionals work with customers on a day to day basis and develop solutions to meet business needs. Marketing and sales on the other hand rely on predictable portfolio and market segment definition to allocate resources accordingly. In Logicalis’ case there is the added dimension of technology vendor influence. For too long, vendor product cycles have led sales enablement and training investments. Services companies that perform better than the market average are those that have mastered the art of taking their investment cues directly from customers, and not their technology vendor partners.

Image credit: Red Stripe Rice Field by Mr Mark

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