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View from the Channel: With Alex Wilkinson, Chief Operating Officer at Solutionize Global

Solutionize Global is a Wakefield-based cloud and IoT managed service provider established by CEO David Bentley in 2009. Operating as a strategic partner to customers in the technology sector, it provides tailored managed services, end-to-end solutions and digital skills to businesses ranging from blue chip enterprises to SMEs.

Technology Reseller (TR): How’s business; better or worse than 12 months ago? And how confident are you about the future?

Alex Wilkinson (AW): We’re in a strong position, following a truly solid 2019. As well as being on track to eclipse our 2018 turnover by 300%, we’ve celebrated our 10th anniversary, launched a new website, moved into bigger offices and brought in more personnel. The economic climate has been unpredictable in the last 12 months but, luckily for us, it hasn’t affected our industry too much; there is still a greater requirement for new technologies. From 2020 onwards, we want to focus on building relationships and supporting our customers through their digital transformation.

TR: In what areas are you experiencing strongest demand?

AW: There’s been a huge uplift in enterprises wanting technological solutions that provide greater efficiencies and productivity for employees. Our managed services have been in high demand, as has complete end-to-end fulfilment.

TR: Where is business proving most difficult?

AW: With digital transformation comes the challenge of updating all legacy IT functions – and having the right people in place to do it. Enterprises that lack technical skills are being weighed down by heavy, often manual, processes, and they must look to modernise these by taking advantage of expert advice from MSPs and digital desk functions.

Organisations must give serious consideration to technology like automation, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things if they are to remain relevant. There is also a real need to stay ahead of trends when it comes to the latest tech, such as implementing cloud and on-demand VAR and MSP models that can transform agile workforces and help them stay ahead of the curve.

TR: How have you changed/are you changing business operations to exploit new opportunities?

AW: We’re constantly looking at our customers’ drivers to make sure we offer what they need, as well as at our own operations to make sure we do what’s necessary to help them become more agile in their everyday processes. By pre-empting the skills that companies require, such as cloud architects and DevOps, we’re building skills pools before they even need them. In addition, we’re helping businesses create flexible, managed service models that can be adapted to deliver any managed service the client needs.

We’ve also diversified our product portfolio with the addition of three new revenue streams in the last six months. This enables us to deliver value across additional areas of our clients’ business, which, in turn, frees up their teams to be more productive.

TR: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing channel businesses today?

AW: Constant technological advancements, which organisations will need to navigate if they are to remain relevant in a saturated marketplace; access to specialist skills; and being agile enough to remain competitive. Scaling is extremely difficult when there’s a constant need to find highly skilled people. We’re fortunately in a strong position because addressing this requirement is embedded within our company.

TR: Could vendors and distributors do more to help you overcome them? And, if so, what?

AW: Everyone operating within the tech sector is having to manage change and transformation, both internally and externally, so there’s an overarching responsibility for us all to communicate and collaborate.

Partnerships are something we believe in very strongly. Sharing knowledge amongst peers has been instrumental in our growth, and firms should be willing and able to impart their expertise so that they can push themselves towards greater success.

TR: Are customers becoming more demanding, and, if so, in what ways?

AW: Users are savvy and have high expectations, with a need for real-time results. That’s also what we believe they should be demanding! Companies that keep their end users at the forefront of their minds will strive to deliver better results, because they know their customers are the most important part of their entire product or service offering.

TR: If you could change one aspect of your job, what would it be and why?

AW: I love what I do and thrive on the challenges it brings, its ever changing landscape and the need for continuous learning. But if I could change one thing, it would be to have extra hours in the day to achieve even more.

About Solutionize Global

SG’s Services include IT managed services to maximise efficiency, productivity and value for money; a ‘virtual bench’ of skilled professionals that consultants, MSPs, system integrators, IT resellers and technology vendors can make use of when they need to boost their capabilities/capacity; manpower services, with ondemand access to pre-vetted experts in cloud computing (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud), IoT, DevOps, software and IT service management; and a broad range of consultancy, services and end-to-end solutions to help organisations meet their digital transformation goals.

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