It’s support Jim, but not as we know itBy Chris O’Brien, Practice Manager – Managed Solutions - ANZ on
“Providing a holistic business approach” is a phrase IT services companies are fond of using when wooing customers, but what does it really mean? Managing the ‘full stack’ has, to date, not been an easy promise for system integrators to live up to. Complex customer IT environments, competing departmental business objectives, and the challenges associated with delivering innovation – capital expenditure costs, ongoing resourcing issues and the risk of obsolescence – have traditionally undermined efforts to provide an elastic, all-inclusive managed IT service.
However, the rise of cloud computing in its many shapes and sizes is revolutionising the way organisations conduct their IT and business activities. And, it has set up an expectation in the market that IT delivery – from end-user mobile apps right back up the chain to database power and platform delivery – is now an asset that can be consumed on a subscription basis. It is a new paradigm that is breaking down the traditional boundaries between implementations, support and infrastructure delivery. In the new world integrators must be flexible enough to offer a less siloed approach – one that involves managing a changing combination of software, maintenance, and infrastructure – all wrapped up in an easy to consume licencing model.
Oxygen, a DXC Technologies Company was at the forefront of the changes brought about by the rise of cloud technology, using it in-house, as well as deploying it for our customers. Along the way we have gained some very valuable experience which has informed the relaunch of what was previously known as our Application Managed Services offering – now called simply, Managed Solutions.
The new name makes it clear we are no longer drawing distinctions between software support, infrastructure provision, licencing, or any other essential IT services. We are offering a ‘managed solution’ that combines all these elements and providing it to customers in a way that fits with their state of readiness for moving from an on-premise landscape towards an ‘IT-as-a-service’ model. Oxygen, a DXC Technologies Company has brought together the capabilities to do that and is serving it up to customers in a way that focuses on reducing the total cost of ownership.
Of course, every customer is different, has diverse priorities and is at varying points along the IT maturity path – but their overriding drive is to manage their computer resources in a way that allows them to focus purely on their core business. Delivering IT-as-a-service supports that business focus and our new Managed Solutions model is flexible enough to service the piece of the puzzle that is most important to the customer. For example, if a customer has permanent licenses and is happy with on-premise software, but requires new infrastructure, we can pick that part of their IT landscape up and move it to the cloud. The customer continues holding its existing licences, but consumes its SAP solution in a model that still feels like software-as-a-service.
The idea is to build better long-term value for the customer by moving capital expenditure items into the operational expenditure bucket. Using this model we can, for example, offer an application support customer a package of upgrades, re-implementations and other core services and deliver them incrementally over the length of the contract. We maintain and develop these services over time and the customer pays for them on a subscription basis, which minimises the major cost impacts of executing these as separate capital expenditure projects.
To deliver this effectively we have developed two customer programmes – Operate and Innovate. At pre-defined and agreed intervals during the year we run particular activities that focus on improving the operations of an existing implementation and/or we look at introducing innovations that are available and suitable to the business. These are done in a programmatic way by analysing the functionality specifically related to each customer using the SAP maintenance and enterprise support toolkits, enhanced by Oxygen, a DXC Technologies Company add-ons.
The goal is to drive real value to the customer in a proactive fashion. Traditionally, service organisations are reactive – responding to tickets. These programmes are built-in to our service delivery and meet the expectations that customers now have for subscription-based, IT-as-a-service models. The goal is to increase operational efficiency and innovation allowing customers to do business with minimal roadblocks and without burdening them with the planning and resourcing challenges inherent in executing big IT projects.
No matter where a customer is on their SAP application journey we will be aiming to provide a software-as-a-service look and feel. Customers using a variety of SAP versions will be able to consume them in a service model, and included in the costs will be innovation and operational efficiency initiatives. The customer can upgrade at their own pace, but we can lay the foundations to enable that upgrade – when it takes place – to happen smoothly and efficiently.
For customers, being able to deal with their ERP vendor using the same software-as-a-service model they operate for other providers will further help remove business barriers and bring ERP service into the ‘business as usual’ basket.
Oxygen, a DXC Technologies Company’s new Managed Solutions practice will provide a full suite of services including, database management, licencing, software maintenance and optimisation, infrastructure, as well as application and cloud management. For more information about how we are reconfiguring our Managed Solutions practice and the opportunities and benefits it will provide, please contact Chris.OBrien@uxcoxygen.com