Page 2 of 2
"The biggest change we've made is simplifying the portfolio," says Beth Feeney, vice president of integrated technology services sales for IGS' Global Technology Services unit. "We're trying to provide clarity and the ability to deliver more reusable assets."
Asset-based services is a notion being pushed hard by IGS. The best example can be found in IBM's purchase of Internet Security Services (ISS) for $1.3 billion last August. IBM's intention is to give a product dimension--ISS' software--to its own security services offerings.
"This is an important trend for us--to keep growing our services business--and it gives our partners something easier to sell," Feeney says. More asset-based services will be coming down the pike, she adds, mentioning a forthcoming suite around digital video surveillance.
Mark Wyllie, senior director at Mainline Information Systems, says IGS' asset-based services make sense.
"A productized service with a fixed fee and standardized deliverable makes services much more tangible," says Wyllie, who's been working with IGS for several years.
A Question of Conflict
The big question that arises is this: Do vendors with flourishing services arms take business away from their partners? That depends, although many of the vendors on our list say that they engage with partners on a number of levels--either having them resell services, work collaboratively on a project or sub it out.
Most vendors' services arms are dedicated to their own product lines, although some, like IGS, incorporate third-party products into the mix when devising a complex solution for customers. Additionally, vendors often must provide the services for their largest enterprises customers--the Boeings or Exxons of the world--because more often than not, those corporations demand that the vendor work directly with them.
That's where subcontracting comes in. Of our top 25 vendors, 90 percent say they subcontract to partners. For instance, Symantec is seeking to grow its services organization aggressively over the next three years. Typical engagements include in-depth security, risk and compliance assessments for small to enterprise customers, according to Jeff Hausman, senior director of product management for Symantec Global Services. Symantec's services business grew by 110 percent last year. At $1.4 billion, it represents just 5 percent of the company's overall revenue, though Hausman says the goal is to double that within three years. The mandate is to involve partners as much as possible, he says: "They help us with the depth and additional capabilities that take what we offer and create even better solutions for the customer."
<< Previous | 1 | 2