It is no longer business as usual, according to Roger Siow, the CEO of Singapore-based managed service provider (MSP) Syner-G Technologies.
A provocative statement perhaps, but in addressing the local channel, Siow outlined the need for partners to not just innovate but also collaborate in an increasingly competitive environment.
Adopting such an approach will be key to their success in 2019 and beyond.
"Partners are too fixated on fixing and servicing their existing products and services that many providers do not look up and ask their customers what feature they really want,” said Siow. “This gives access to new and young technology guys to come in and eat into our space because they start from another angle.”
Speaking exclusively to Channel Asia, Siow emphasised that it was crucial for partners to focus more on research and development and market research, while also streamlining their company’s direction with the needs of the market.
“I always believe in collaboration,” said Siow. “Technology partners, in particular, need to go on the ground with their own resellers to understand the customers.
“It is no longer pushing a product or service, but how to streamline your products and solutions into the end-user workflow."
For Siow, and his organisation, the priority in 2019 is to transition his “break-fix” clients towards the provider’s managed services plan.
In Asia, where over 90 per cent of businesses are classed as small medium enterprises (SMEs), the role of the MSP holds particular importance in facilitating regional growth, meeting compliance standards, and addressing a rapidly changing threat landscape.
“The small medium business market is our forte,” said Siow. “We will continue to work on value creation for this segment. As more enterprise products and vendors jump ship into this space, we need to work more collaboratively with them to create a solution for this area."
This is both a challenge and an opportunity for the provider, requiring the innovation Siow alluded to for success.
"We cannot just be a box pusher,” said Siow. “We also cannot sell products because it gives us the most margins.
"As a technology provider we cannot see ourselves as vendors. We need to become business partners with our clients and provide solutions that value add and grow the business."
In 2019, what value does Syner-G Technologies bring to the market? For Siow, he believes their value propositions is helping SMEs become “future-ready".
“Many SMEs buy IT based on just in time basis,” said Siow. “Also a lot of SMEs buy almost end-of-line technology just to save cost but later find out that the technology they purchased are not able to support future projects.
“Our value is to help SMEs invest in the right equipments and software that can easily scale up and down, empowering businesses into future ready technologies, enabling them to be ready for anything coming their way."
Furthermore, as new technologies enter the market, the provider has seen an increase in their collaboration efforts, according to Siow. “We welcome new partners that can help our customers scale their business," he added.
If the provider was the enter the market with a very competitive attitude, according to Siow, no partners would want to offer support.
“We love new technology, especially those who are genuinely out to disrupt workflow and make business great again,” Siow added.
From a spending perspective, Siow sees continued investment in the provider's internal structure as a key priority, “to align ourselves as the managed service provider of choice for our customers".
“We are investing in our remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools as well as our back-end support to create a seamless experience for our customers when we are onsite," he explained.
Through investments in RMMs tools, for instance, the provider sees opportunities to bring their services into areas virtually impossible a decade ago.
This is important as more organisations transition through ongoing digital transformation efforts, and cloud investments rise. These are two areas where the provider sees their customers investment priorities lie.
However, as Siow pointed out, a key challenge for them in 2019 is to educate customers about managed services.
“How do we convince them to pay for a service as a subscription model versus the more acceptable pay-when-you-use model,” said Siow.
For Siow, collaboration is not just a smart business move, but through using more collaborative tools, such as those provided through such cloud providers as Google and Dropbox, for instance, it becomes a more enjoyable process and streamlines the workflow.
“We have a lot of customers who enjoy the process of working because of these collaborative features,” said Siow.
“With the improvements seen in cloud and offline storage space, backup and storing information on the cloud is becoming very popular and game changing.”
The provider is an authorised reseller for some of the world's largest companies, including Apple, HP, Lenovo, Dell, Google, and Wacom.