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View from the Channel With Lucy Randall, Business Director, Jigsaw 24

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Jigsaw24 is a leading IT solutions provider and Apple specialist services provider with annual revenues of more than £155 million (up 19% in 2021) and offices in Nottingham and London.

It was founded in Nottingham in 1992, initially as an Apple hardware provider, and over the last three decades has expanded its offering and capabilities to meet changing customer needs, moving from a product focus to a services-led approach with expertise in cloud migration and cloud workflows.

Today, Jigsaw24 holds many top accreditations from leading manufacturers, and partnerships with more than 30 leading technology vendors.

jigsaw 24 Golden_Square, Soho, London

It is an Apple Authorised Enterprise Reseller, an Apple Authorised Education Specialist, an Apple Authorised Service Provider, a Microsoft Gold Cloud Productivity Competency Partner and an Avid Elite Partner for video, audio and storage. Following the establishment of in-house AWS expertise and a string
of successful cloud projects, Jigsaw24 recently qualified as an AWS Select Service Partner specialising in media workflows.

Jigsaw24 has a long-standing commitment to reduce the environmental impact of its operations in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard for greenhouse gas emissions.
It has already achieved Net Zero for Scope 1 (direct emissions) and Scope
2 (indirect emissions from purchased energy) and is now working on a plan
for Scope 3 (indirect emissions in value chain). It was recently awarded
The Digital Production Partnership’s top Committed to Sustainability mark, a ‘five leaf’ accreditation, to go with its existing silver rating from business sustainability ratings company EcoVadis. Here, Jigsaw24 Business Director Lucy Randall gives her view from the channel.

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

Lucy Randall (LR): Business is better than ever. We entered the pandemic planning for the worst yet benefitted from our strongest year to date. We have continued to work closely with our customers, partners and vendors to invest this success back into the business to support our continued growth. Over the last year, our workforce has grown more than 20%, with recruits across all areas of the business – from account management and service delivery to operations and HR. We have also just opened our new Service Centre in Nottingham. This expansion demonstrates our commitment to provide our customers with fast access to products and superior services at any scale.

TR: In what areas are you experiencing strongest demand?

LR: We are experiencing a huge uplift in demand for our support and professional services capabilities. Due to our growing market reputation as a trusted service provider, our customers are now asking us to support their devices, infrastructure and IT estates outside of our traditional Apple expertise. The M&E industry is also booming, with significant investment in studio development within the UK and an unprecedented demand for content. This increase in content creation and subsequent post-production work means Jigsaw24 is perfectly placed to provide solutions and services to support this upturn in delivery.

TR: What recent wins are you most proud of?

LR: Our recent award as the CRN Reseller of the Year is something we are really proud of. It is great external verification to demonstrate the success of the transformation journey we have been on over the last five years. Internally, we believe in what we are doing and we are passionate about the four pillars that underpin our approach, but to receive the award gives us confidence that the passion and integrity that sit behind everything we do are valued externally.

TR: Where is business proving most difficult?

LR: Alongside the well documented supply chain challenges with product availability, the biggest challenge we are encountering is the acquisition of talent needed to support our growth and success. The labour market is very competitive and short of the quality resources we need. This is driving up costs and increasing the overheads required to attract key resources, which is ultimately impacting our customers through increases in service charges and longer than usual delays in resource availability for project work.

Jigsaw24 HQ in Nottingham

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

LR: The organisation has undergone significant business change over the last three years to deliver against a five-year transformation plan to capitalise on a gap in the market and a great opportunity that we were perfectly positioned to fill. Our focus is to drive growth in our services business, leveraging the benefits of the operational activity that has already taken place. This focus coupled with our traditional product expertise and fulfilment capability puts us in great stead to create end- user focused IT solutions, which we believe will enable our customers to deliver on their business goals.

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

LR: The talent pool is short of the skills sets needed. DevOps, cloud capability, ServiceNow and Apple device management, and security skills are not readily available and are very expensive.

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

LR: Yes, through greater investment into bridging the skills gap. Cisco did this 20 years ago. Today, working with educational establishments to develop capability in the next generation would be a great long-term fix. In the short term, there are quick fixes available. However, they are expensive. I think vendors could really help this space by viewing partner training less as a revenue stream and more as a sales enabler.

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

LR: The previous restrictions caused by the pandemic changed how
we engage with our network, with many larger companies still favouring virtual meetings. While previously unavoidable, we are now very much looking forward to spending time with customers and partners in-person and attending channel events. This not only allows for further relationship expansion, but also fosters more fluid idea sharing and collaboration – something not nearly as easily achieved through a screen.

 

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TechnologyReseller: 2021