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Giacom: Easing the journey to the cloud…

Technology Reseller finds out about developments at Giacom from CMO Jacey Moore.

It has been a busy six months since Jacey Moore joined Giacom as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). With a background in B2B and B2C marketing in industries as diverse as electronic components distribution and dry cleaning, she now has the potentially tricky balancing act of driving further growth at the UK’s leading reseller-only cloud services provider without losing the personal touch that has served the company so well.

“The growth and success of Giacom has been exponential and it’s now about how we take that to the next level of maturity,” she told Technology Reseller.

“In doing this, one of the key challenges will be to maintain the personal relationships we have always had with Information Technology Consultants (ITCs). One of the things customers really value about Giacom is the fact that we care immensely about their business and their business growth. As we recruit more customers and scale up, we will have to find ways to keep that personal connection with customers when the CEO is no longer able to call all of them personally,” she said.

This will be achieved in part by fostering a corporate culture in which everyone throughout the company understands Giacom’s core values and the importance of that personal relationship with customers and in part by using technology to connect with customers and give them the support they need to grow and continue their cloud journey.

Much of Moore’s first six months in her new role has been spent on the latter. If 2018, for Giacom, was all about adding more products and vendors to the company’s cloud portal, she says that 2019 has been much more about enhancing the customer experience.

“A lot of what we have been working on has been to support our ambition to make the Giacom Cloud Market the number one marketplace for ITCs. We gather a lot of feedback from our customers and when they ask us to improve something, we work hard to deliver it,” explained Moore.

A recent example is the availability in the cloud.market of PSA integration tools that make it easier for service providers to keep track of their customers with ConnectWise and Autotask.

Video content
Another area in which Giacom has been investing this year is the provision of on-demand resources, with enhancements both to its Knowlegebase, relaunched in September, and Academy.

“A lot of our customers like to find answers to questions themselves, so we have done a great deal of work on the Knowledgebase where they can find out about technical matters. It’s now much more intuitive; you can search all the content and we’ve added a lot of video tutorials. Feedback from customers shows that people like to consume things differently now. Whereas in the past they wanted Word documents and detailed specs, they now prefer 3-minute How To videos on YouTube,” explained Moore.

“Alongside that we are doing a lot of work on our Academy, where our customers can access learning resources, including sales and marketing and training material for new products and services they might want to add to their offering.”

New products
In addition to its focus on the customer experience, Giacom has continued to expand its product offering, as it targets annual revenue of £35 million. This includes new product bundles to meet growing demand for complete solutions, such as Office 365 with email security and back-up; special promotions linked to Giacom’s 20th anniversary; and, above all, the productisation of Azure solutions.

“A lot of this year has been about Azure,” explained Moore. “The one thing that all customers have told us it is that they get Azure, but also that it’s big and complex; there are 100,000 choices and they are scared about pricing – how much am I actually going to get billed for this? We have tripled our Azure revenue in the last year and will be focusing strongly on it next year, when one of our strategies will be Azure productisation – fixed price, easy to provision solutions that overcome concerns about complexity and price,” she said.

Giacom has already introduced a Cloud Network Drive and this autumn will be launching a Cloud Server and after that an SQL Server for more demanding applications.

“We have just completed our final market research on the proposition and are putting the different pre-identified Azure configuration options in front of customers to see if they are interested in offering them. This research suggests there is very, very strong demand out there for a productised cloud-based server, with a fixed monthly fee and simple provisioning journey,” said Moore.

“We have customers who would happily visit our portal and configure that type of thing themselves, but we also have customers who don’t have that level of technical knowledge who will now have all the benefits of an Azure-based Microsoft cloud solution, without having to go through the purchasing and decision making process themselves.”

She added: “We are keen to get this out before end-of-life for Windows server. We want to present people with a viable, easy-to-use option for a cloud replacement rather than an on-prem replacement on another 3-5 year payback.”

In summary, Moore said:
“Fundamentally, we try to make things simple for customers and that includes making the platform easier to use, simplifying the provision journey and trying to make sure our customers have access to everything they need, when they need it to help them on their journey to the cloud.”

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2020