Julian Bannister | Procurri Europe | IP Expo

Avatar Ben Fower | 08/11/2018

Julian Bannister from Procurri joined us at IP Expo to talk about migration into a cloud environment and how this is helping their customers

Matt: So how are you finding IP Expo?

Julian: Good, Good, I’ve just got down here had a quick look around and it’s very interesting.

Matt: Okay, you are a business development speaker.

Julian: I look after business development within the business end and also sales within our SIN.

Matt: Absolute fantastic help us understand I guess that role and what it entails then.

Julian: Well in reality it entails looking at what we’re doing as a business looking at our go-to-market and how we’re approaching things looking at what our customers are expecting from us and then trying to find solutions which fill those gaps a lot of our partners have gaps in their portfolio and we’re there to provide the kind of plug in those gaps so that they can offer additional services into their customers base.

Matt: Quite rapidly changing. I would think is technology really having a serious impact on the way in which business development engages with customers or thinks about the customer experience.

Julian: I think the reason that has been a big shift obviously into a cloud environment with customers and some of our, because we are a channel only business some of our resellers don’t have a cloud environment. What we are looking at doing is seeing market trends seeing how we fit the business. How do we how do we develop customer environments and again kind of looking at changing technology and how they press and how they move along and what does that mean for us. Predominantly we have been very heavily involved in a hardware Centric business. We have a number of services now that we provide to the channel which kind of helps grow those offerings out and moving with the times as they’re moving.

Jillian: It think it’s telling, this word of mouth and just being able to kind of sell within everyone’s role like the business, the company retention of talents, like it has so many positive effects to the business the book that you wrote was this related to your role here.

Julian: Well, in reality, my role is quite varied. It is understanding and managing a team specializing in system integrators and VARs because we are a channel only business and looking at what the trends are happening in those now a number of SIs go are going into different marketplaces. Again, changing their skill sets to react to what’s happening in the market traditionally where we’ve seen people maybe only get involved very much an application level are now looking to provide the full suite of services in order to keep the competition out of their account. So, enabling additional services via partners such as ourselves, we come in and help fill that gap. What they can do is they can they can now offer got a full life cycle piece. So again, the continued support of legacy assets via break-fix maintenance. Traditionally they may have stayed away from that very application base, but now bringing that all under one umbrella. It helped keep the competition out. It helps to make a little bit different and again adding what it shows to the existing customer base that they have.

Matt: It’s taking the pain away isn’t it from a customer?

Julian: Certainly, it’s taking the pain away. I mean again when we look at the back end and the lifecycle piece and the redundant assets that are no longer required again, most partners don’t really want to get involved in that solution. However, if they don’t get involved in the compliancy piece and again the GDPR regulations around data compliance then in reality what they’re doing is the leaving their end user with this with a nightmare, with a headache. That needs to be solved and then they have to go to somebody else to work to fulfil that need in which case they’re introducing competition and accounts. So again, increasing the wallet sharing keeping the competition out of the account is what we’re providing to our partner base.

Jillian: Will you be speaking at the event?

Julian: I’m not I’ve just come down to having to look around and seeing everything here it’s pretty busy people tell me it was a bit busier yesterday but again, there’s some good innovation going on some of the stands that I’ve seen.

Jillian: What are some of the innovations that you are interested in? There’s a lot of Buzzwords as we kind of have been speaking about. Are there any particular and or companies that you’re looking to?

Julian: I mean, well, we’re looking to grow and progresses is certainly around the break-fix maintenance business it’s been a very reactive marketplace over the years. We’re looking to be certainly more proactive an accusation we made in the U.S about a year and a half ago now provides proactive support for tier 1 storage solutions. So, what that means is again, we can monitor the system we can see what’s happening within a customer’s environment. We can provide a fix that before the end user is aware there’s a problem and I think that’s becoming more and more imperative in this 24 by 7 world that we need to provide solutions and not react once something’s gone wrong but let’s look at it in advance try to find solutions for that, before problems arise.

Matt: And how do you see I guess that that Marketplace changing because you’ve got quite a mixture of communication, connectivity, providers, unified connectivity now, you’ve got security, you’ve got core infrastructure, you’ve got application. How does that sort of combined from your approach to looking at how you solve quite a collection of customer problems there?

Julian: Yes, certainly. I mean there is any issues will have a core different OEM and different infrastructure, technology is within that infrastructure. And again, they need to maintain they need to keep that running as long as they need to know. Now, they will, and we encourage people to work with the OEM but there’s new solutions available. We kind of fill in the gaps when customers want to sweat the assets a little bit longer keep them running and maybe I know we are, is driving a change in that environment. Which customer may not have budget for budgets are squeezed and then tighten this day in age. So again, if we can keep the lights on keep everything running provide cost savings that can then be reinvested in new technology. Then our partners can provide that new technology to their end users a lot quicker with and within budget constraints.

Matt: And you finding that customers are sweating assets still that there’s more of a compelling reason for them not to, to transition to say cloud services.

Julian: I mean, I think there’s a combination. I mean most organizations that we’re seeing, bar our partners, they have a mixture. They have a certain application in the cloud certain applications local then maybe Legacy applications where skill set is decreasing internally in the organization. However, they don’t want to migrate those Legacy applications of the system, it’s still stable it’s running it doing the function. So, they want to just keep the lights on that system. So, we’re seeing a combination of mixed both it depends what applications are looking to do and what the, how they’re looking to progress those moving forward with the business.

Jillian: Is it easier in some ways to start off with a newer business maybe a few years in, starting with kind of more of the technologies that you probably have access to or is there something integrating within more Legacy models?

Julian: I think a lot of business; a lot of businesses want to invest in new technology and again grow it and move it forward. They do have a legacy environment and historically that can be problematic because if a company could just start with the new technology right from the word go then again they kind of feel that’s the place to be however, in three or four years’ time that technology has become Legacy and it’s a case of now if we can provide the ease of our partners so that they can find the solutions to the customer to keep it running and reduce cost allowing them to reinvest that cost saving in the new technology then again end users can get some new technology quicker by the partners that we provide the services for.

Matt: Are there any particular technologies that are proving really difficult for customers to replace or transition from?

Julian: At times customers will have problematic migration projects where they are migrating from one platform to another maybe block to file or vice versa in the storage arena again, we can provide some of the services to help users migrate to that again, there can be problems where people are looking to migrate from one platform to another. Maybe even relocation to the migration project and they can’t have downtime again that could create a problem. However, we can provide rental solutions to our partners to help them have continuous uptime of their critical applications to this migration phase.

Matt: Are there any particular technologies you see, you know still being unreplaceable if I can call them that?

Julian: Well, what people keep saying that there’s that there will be the death of tape. But again, it still has its place in markets again people have very old legacy data, which they need to back up it very rarely changes and even though the price of disc is coming down and people use more and more disc. There is still a market for tape backup in environments. So, we always see market changes and we see trends come and go however historically the technology is still there, even though it’s advancing and it’s not it’s kind of coming up with new ways to do projects fulfil them. There is still historically the kind of legacy environment that still needs supporting.

Matt: Pretty challenging isn’t it, for a lot of organizations that have done mergers and acquisitions as well that inherit a lot of technology to real challenge isn’t it?

Julian: It is, and again companies at times through acquisition could have been acquired companies’ businesses all over the world and then it’s a case of how they face challenges of other understanding businesses in different countries. Different regions, different languages again that’s where we’re working with a partner such as Procurri we can help other companies, we can provide the source in all those different countries with our Global presence

Jillian: How have you found the change you mentioned kind of acquisitions, assuming you have quite a portfolio of different diverse companies in there. What type of you know, you can branch in the technologies, but have you seen any kind of operational challenges and going through those processes that you know, you provide all the services but then it’s just not working from the inside.

Julian: I guess I guess they can always be operational challenges when businesses are required and it’s understanding what resource do they have in which location what applications what infrastructure they have and trying to manage that where we help really from a and infrastructure side it is understanding what equipment is on which side. Again, kind of from a from an audit base offering, through to then looking at how do we keep the lights on until we go through to an upgrade? And then how do we help the back end of the disposal of the assets? Again, we can help in multiple countries where maybe throw in accusation that we know eyes and ears because the technology is hosting the colocation data centre. So again, we could go in and be the eyes and ears and do that reporting back to our partner who can then provide that and tailor it a bit more back to the end user.

Matt: Are there any particular countries that are problematic and more difficult than others?

Julian: There is always some problematic countries. I mean as a business, we have a presence in Latin America in Mexico all over the US in Europe and again in a specific level, of course in Singapore and again in China and Malaysia, we have a presence. Again, there was always regulations around certain countries the typical kind of Iran, Russia, Ukraine could be problematic at the moment and again that varies depending on the political situations. However, we do have a good presence that we can provide in most countries.

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