ABC Managed Business Solutions is on a growth trajectory. Managing Director Steve Burgess, explains how the managed services provider is gaining traction with new customers by leading with security
The traditional print market is in decline, margins are tight, channel vendors are competing on price and the MPS offer has to some extent become commoditised. All of this means that forward-thinking resellers are having to look beyond print in a bid to stand out from the crowd, secure new revenue streams and realise growth.
The multi-vendor dealership’s focus is on three areas. Workflow – streamlining, improving and securing document workflows; Workplace – helping customers maximise efficiencies within the workplace and Workforce – delivering a comprehensive suite of end to end tailored IT services.
Quocirca’s Global Print 2025 report reveals that print manufacturers are set to lose their influence on customer relationships in favour of IT service providers that deliver print services as part of a broader offering. ABC has tackled that issue head on with the acquisition of point64, a Manchester-based IT company that specialises in the provision of storage, mobile, connectivity and platform hosting cloud-based solutions.
“This acquisition was tactical in that we didn’t want to enter the IT services arena until we had credibility in the field. It’s a different conversation, unlike with print solutions, IT buyers don’t tend to focus on price – it’s more about the value that the system will bring. You need to be able to talk the same language and to see the bigger picture.
“With this deal, we have boosted our capability, adding a combined 35 years’ expertise in IT services to our armoury. Founder Dan Houlker has joined us as IT Director and by merging point64’s IT service desk with our existing support desk function, we have really ramped up the levels of sophisticated IT support we can provide to clients,” Burgess explained.
The company is looking to further expand its skillset within IT and is actively engaged in discussions around making further acquisitions in this field.
Leading with security
ABC has a three year plan in place and is targeting growth to £15 million. The company has just closed Q3 in its current fiscal year close to 28 per cent over target. One area where it is enjoying significant growth is within the security arena.
“We have radically changed the way we do business. Within all engagements we’re not talking about print – we’re opening with security and IT. We are truly in the business of security – from door entry systems to visitor management, office security solutions such as CCTV, through to secure document workflows – ABC connects office technology with security,” Burgess said.
“The conversation might begin with building security and access control, then that naturally leads into the IT infrastructure, and how to secure networked printers and multifunctional devices through encryption, user authentication and secure network cards,” he added.
New HP offer
ABC has just been appointed a HP Partner First MPS Specialist and Service Specialist. “HP is a really good fit with this model. We’re not looking to swap out our existing MIF with HP, we have a loyal customer base utilising both Develop and UTAX kit, but HP’s ‘world’s most secure printers’ will enable us to go after a different market, and will resonate particularly well within IT-led engagements,” Burgess said.
To this end the sales team, operational staff and senior engineers attended a kick-off training event at HP’s London office on July 20. “The day was about ensuring the team get to know HP and the offer, they benefited from presentations on the FABs and training, particularly on the PageWide range which will be a key component of our offer,” he explained.
The company has also completed accreditation for Develop’s ineo SECURE UK security service and its engineers are currently configuring customers’ devices security features customised to their individual requirements. “We see this very much as a value-add service we can offer our customers, ensuring they are protected against possible MFP security leaks and freeing them from having to worry about printer security issues,” Burgess said.
“As a managed service provider, our role is to deliver solutions that address all of our clients’ technology needs. We’ve identified what our clients and prospects are looking for and have reshaped our offering to tick more of those boxes. With our security-first approach and comprehensive solution set, we are providing a true value-add, one-stop service – and future-proofing our business,” he said in conclusion.