IT-Telecom Convergence: 'All-Inclusive' Offering Changes The Game


ServIT Inc., a $27 million Kennesaw, Ga.-based solution provider, is a classic example of how IT-telecom convergence is recasting the traditional solution provider business model. ServIT has been experiencing 400 percent services sales growth in the past several years with its "all-inclusive" technology services offering.

ServIT's "CIO in a box" technology offering includes everything from co-location to managed cloud to managed backup to telecom services, and it's resonating with customers who are demanding a single throat to choke as they navigate the blinding pace of change that has come with the convergence of IT and telecom in the cloud era. "It is just on fire," said Allen Brooks, executive vice president at ServIT, of the technology services offering. "Our customers are asking us to either help them expand their workforce [with solutions driving sales growth] or replace their workforce."

ServIT's success is just one of many examples of customers moving aggressively to invest more in line-of-business, customer-facing offerings and less in IT-telecom administrative overhead. It's that trend that is driving more customers to outsource IT-telecom overhead to solution providers such as ServIT.

 

[Related: CRN's 2013 Network Connectivity Services Partner Program Guide]

"We take it all, we do everything," said Brooks. "It is all-inclusive. You pay us one fee for all your IT services, and the headaches go away." ServIT, which operates in 16 states, is one of the solution providers taking advantage of distributor Synnex's game-changing partnership with Comcast Business Solutions.

In a deal unveiled at last month's XChange conference, Synnex became the first IT distributor to serve as a master agent under Comcast's Business Solutions Provider Program.

The Synnex-Comcast deal is only one small part of the story. Our XChange conference was abuzz with solution providers moving aggressively to ramp up their telecom service offerings. The paradigm shift has solution providers teaming with master agents such as Intelisys and WTG, telecom providers such as AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter Business, Comcast, EarthLink Business, Time Warner Cable Business Class and Verizon, and cloud service providers such as Datto, Dropbox, Exablox, NaviSite, SaaS Markets, Sonian and Soonr. Brooks said his company's new relationship with Comcast via the Synnex deal is critical.

"No fewer than 50 times have we used a backup Comcast circuit and called 1-800-Comcast on behalf of our customers," he said. "For us, it's exciting, not just from a revenue perspective, but to have actually formed through Synnex a relationship with Comcast."

Brooks is planning to up the ante with a complete menu of telecom services based on broadband consumption, offering a number of options for customers including an all-you-can-consume service with help desk and business continuity services. "Every building, every business needs this [telecom service]," he said. "From a VAR perspective, this really opens up a lot of creative ideas."