Managed services have hit paydirt in the mobile sector, according to industry pundits. The growth in mobile comes as the combined factors of increased use of technology in smaller business, plus the recession, create the optimum environment for pay as you go services.
A managed, hosted service gives SMEs access to these products for a much lower cost, on a pay as you go price plan, said Mark Seemann, product, strategy and development director at Outsourcery. There are no major investments upfront and it is very easy to up or downscale as required by the customer, Seemann explained: “It’s perfect for a growing business or one that’s been forced to play it safe because of the recession, but is hoping for future growth.”
Mark Salvin, COO, Fused Group, commented: “There are a lot of very business-friendly applications out there, and the margins are very good if you offer the right ones to the right people. It is this management which lowers churn, improves margin and when done right, significantly increases the size of deals.”
Managed services also have a role to play for operators and networks, said Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO of mobile email and synchronisation vendor, Synchronica. “In the past, operators invested heavily in non-core infrastructure, and the human resources required to maintain that infrastructure. Over recent years however, operators have been able to radically slash OPEX and non-network CAPEX costs by outsourcing their customer support lines and IT systems.
“There’s no doubt that the outsourcing trend is set to continue; more and more operators will opt for managed services from solution vendors that enable them to deploy value added services quickly and effectively, without having to invest in additional IT infrastructure and staff,” added Brinkschulte.
However, dealers must educate the end user to take full advantage of the current situation, Seeman concluded: “The key to achieving mainstream adoption of hosted services is effective communication of the business benefits. These need to be explained to SMEs in a straightforward fashion.”