Services-based

Services-based

Bob Dalton, Managing Director Intact IS

Intact IS (Integrated Services) is an unusual organisation in that while it is a UK Cisco Service Extension Partner (SEP), it has achieved this position primarily through the provision of lifecycle service offerings to the UK channel community. Intact never deals directly with end-user clients and doesn’t supply either hardware or software products. Instead, it concentrates on supporting channel partners in developing and supporting the propositions that can help them secure and deliver higher value business opportunities.

The company is headed by Managing Director Bob Dalton who sees Intact as having two distinct roles: the first offering a way for smaller integrators and distribution partners to expand their service portfolios, while also acting as a

way for larger SIs and Vendors to ensure swift solution delivery.

To support this, Intact has concentrated on the proactive development of a range of ‘white label’ service offerings that its partners can call on to broaden their service offerings. One particular area where Intact has been able to add significant value is with Cisco Advanced Technologies, where for resellers the decision to add these complex solutions to the portfolio can have significant bottom line implications with regard to capital investments, specialist recruitment needs as well as additional training, process management and sales support needs.

According to Bob Dalton: “It’s entirely right that partners should look to differentiate their offerings by offering added-value solutions based on Advanced Technologies, but it’s important that they consider the implications for their business. That’s where we can help by putting in place the deep technology skills, support and processes that provide partners with a fast-track approach to the delivery of Advanced Technologies such as Unified Communications, Security, Network and Application Performance Management, Contact Centre Express and Datacentre Services.”

 

Practice-based Approach

Dalton explains: “Advanced Technologies offer a particularly attractive sales proposition to partners given that they are faced with increasing margin pressure on their more standard product and solution offerings. In a constantly changing market, our model offers partners an opportunity to expand their own portfolios and to boost their sales potential.

“While vendor certifications reflect important accreditations, there’s often a significant gulf between basic technical skills and the real world ability to design, test, implement and operate solutions based on complex offering such as Cisco’s Advanced Technologies.

“That’s why during the last year we’ve introduced a number of new channel propositions aimed at de-risking the delivery of Cisco Advanced Technology solutions for partners. For some this can involve the simple provision of services to support specific sales programmes, while for others a more comprehensive Managed Service approach has proved more appropriate,” continued Dalton.

Examples of Intact’s Channel offerings include a new IPCC practice that helps to ease the challenge of major UCCE implementations. Here Intact backs its UCCE services with an ITIL-based project and services delivery model as well as the UK’s most comprehensive UCCE test lab facilities.

According to Bob Dalton, one area that partners often overlook is the need to have effective processes in place to support these more complex service offerings. “It’s this combination of technology, process and solutions capability that we believe provides channel partners with the mix of services they need to succeed in today’s more complex marketplace,” he added. “We believe we’ve built a distinctive niche in supporting this important area of channel development, and will keep on refining our service offering to support evolving channel requirements.”

 

Ed Says

A key area where Intact has added value for channel partners is security and the provision of support for Cisco’s Network Admission Control (NAC) technology. Here Intact has been selected by Cisco as its sole Advanced Services partner for Europe. Another major initiative is its new Instant MSP programme that provides Cisco integrators and partners with a fast-track route to Managed Service provision – without the typical cost and risk associated with major infrastructure investment in resources such as network operating centres.