Q&A: Insight CEO On Making The Switch To The Services Model And The Cloud


As IT continues to evolve to a more services-oriented model, the market is bigger than ever, which means there is a big opportunity for companies able to capitalize on a changing market, Insight CEO Ken Lamneck said. In an interview with CRN reporters Sarah Kuranda and Rob Wright, Lamneck broke down how Insight is making the switch to a services model, adopting the cloud, and advancing its technology capabilities to stay ahead of the market and grab hold of the growth.

How is Insight making the shift to the services model and where is it positioned along in the transition?

Ken Lamneck: "We've been on that journey for a long time, on the services side. We've got a very strong complement of services delivered to people in the U.S. business. We're over 1,100 people just doing service deliveries in the U.S. business. That's outside of the sales organization. We've been building on that transformation for quite a few years, so we've certainly got a good amount of maturity because, in our minds, it's been about solutions for a long time. It's really difficult to deliver solutions and still have a service delivery model in today's world. We're continuing to build that out, and it continues to become a stronger part of our business because, again, we don’t see it as any other way to deliver solutions effectively without it."

[Related: Q&A: Informatica CEO Abbasi Sees Big Opportunities In Big Data]

What is going to be the key competitivewise as more companies trend toward the services model?

Lamneck: "The thing to keep in mind is that it's a very big market. There [are] lots of opportunities for a lot of people to play and to figure out where [their] area of expertise is. When you're talking about solutions and services, you've got to make sure that you've got all the right capabilities because it's pretty critical to a client's environment. You've got to make sure you can deliver 100 percent on those solutions that you're signed up for. I think picking out those areas where you've got the capabilities, putting together a go-to-market strategy around that and executing on it is a huge opportunity out there, especially when you look at cloud services and what those might bring into the marketplace. It creates more opportunity."

What sort of trends can we expect from Insight in 2014?

Lamneck: "[Analysts have predicted] low single-digit growth for the IT industry overall. You're looking at lower numbers in the hardware segment, stronger numbers in software and services. [It's] overall a positive environment that we're in, which is good news. I think there's still a hardware business that has a lot of opportunity for the channel, so we're very focused on making sure that we capture our fair share of the hardware business and then continuing to grow out our software capabilities. And then continue to focus on how you bring those together, and, of course, bringing services and solutions that require all of those.

The areas that I think everyone is excited about are the cloud side of the business and how you really bring that to fruition, because it's still early days."

NEXT: Insight's Strategy For Getting Into The Cloud