Channel provider Agilitas has signed an innovative contract with Japanese multinational imaging and electronics giant Ricoh to supply their clients communications products, applications and services. Shaun Lynn, CEO at Agilitas, explains the how and why.
Shaun Lynn, CEO of Nottingham based global channel provider Agilitas, a company already operating in 67 international markets, says his company is set to expand that footprint to 100 countries this year.
“There are three points to our operational triangle; our international reach, the unique range and depth of the technologies and product sets we support and the continuing growth of the types of services we can supply.
As end users’ appetite is growing, with increasing demand and as outcome-based solutions continue to disrupt the technology market, IT firms are looking to a more collaborative partnership model of engagement. As a result, the agreement between Agilitas and Ricoh UK delivers huge opportunities for the market and the IT channel as a whole, through the delivery of a best-of-breed, vendor agnostic, and truly global solution.
We have formed a great bond with Ricoh over the last few years and I feel we understand both goals and objectives of our businesses inside out. It is this understanding and alignment in values that has helped us to develop a unique channel services offering that will benefit both our customers and the channel, now and in the future.
Our relationship with Ricoh saw Agilitas transacting our services via a third party under a white label model when Ricoh approached us directly due to the changing needs of their business.
Put simply, Ricoh needed to continue the defence and maintenance of their base plus develop an enablement to gain new customers through a broader offering of additional technology sets.
Coinciding with a change in their business model to include IT services, Ricoh wanted to go directly to source with Agilitas on an international basis rather than through a partner, international.
Agilitas offers training and working collaboratively with the Ricoh sales front end in an implicit way with pre-sales guidance for their sales solution architects on how to build more innovative cost models.
The challenge is that Ricoh is a vendor – if the computer says do it this way they do it that way so we had to help them think differently about how to target and acquire new customers.
They are however taking a big picture view and establishing a leadership in the market by not saying they do everything themselves but instead telling users ‘We understand the outcome you want but are working with the best partners to deliver this for you.
This is very smart and it elevates them in many ways to be able to say, as they do, their multi-tech, multi-region solutions are ‘Powered by Agilitas’.”
Ricoh seems to be energised by the deal with Agilitas
“We were unable to quickly and cost-effectively develop our own IT services portfolio to align exactly with our customers’ evolving needs in the timescales required. This is the reason we went with Agilitas’ partner-first, scalable services model,” says Mark O’Keefe, ITS Sales Director, Ricoh UK. “For us, when it came to transforming our business, the collaboration with Agilitas far outweighed the financial and time constraints of implementing our own in-house competencies.”
Since the partnership, Ricoh has invested in developing its service strategy in line with customer demands, ensuring sales teams are equipped with relevant solutions. Although the two companies differ in size, both are very aligned on service and quality for their customers. The combination of Ricoh’s scale and buying power with Agilitas’ IT services expertise delivers a very relevant services proposition to the market.
Ricoh is leveraging this partnership with Agilitas for enhanced support for its customers and ultimately, the IT estate that Ricoh supplies to clients, needs to be maintained. The partnership will enable Ricoh UK to deliver specific expertise for customers, deliver on management of parts and improve on distribution back to vendors.
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