Five years ago, Carousel Industries was a successful telephony service provider. But now, its repositioning as a managed services provider has brought a focus on creating value and making investments into data center and voice center practices.
In February, the Exeter, R.I.-based company leveraged a managed services approach around Microsoft Lync, a unified communications platform.
"As we see the business changing, we have to move into a more managed services arena," said Daniel Edwards, vice president of marketing at Carousel Industries. "We come in, analyze the company's needs, [and] try to provide the best recommendation of the best technologies so we can help them deploy it and manage it."
The company is intently focused on creating and adding value for their customers, said Edwards. "But it's a challenge, to be honest," he said.
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Putting an emphasis on value-add "gets our customers to stop managing day to day," said Edwards.
Within the past couple of years, the convergence of IT has impacted unified communications and collaboration significantly, said Edwards.
"The whole idea of unified communication was hyped two to three years ago where it wasn’t real; it was all theoretical, but it's all real now," said Edwards. "It's impacting technology and the way people use it to collaborate. We see tangible examples of technology coming together like Polycom for video."
Voice-over-IP (VoIP) services is one area that has transformed technology and "a lot of that revenue has disappeared with the movement," said Edwards.
"It's lower than 10 to 15 years ago, and the entire cost structure for technologies has dropped considerably, forcing companies to do things differently," said Edwards. "It has led us to develop a managed services practices and evolve. If we had stayed as a telephony service provider, it would've been difficult to deal with a shrinking market."
Currently, Carousel Industries focuses on verticals such as education, finance, health care, retail, manufacturing and the public sector. Focusing on managed services around these verticals, "help[s] customers understand what the journey is so we can attack the specific areas to improve our customers' needs," said Edwards.
Because of the changing technology landscape, consulting also is becoming an increased area of business for Carousel Industries, said Edwards.
"Consulting is a growing part of our business, mainly because we are changing the dynamics of what we sell and the technology that's out there that we need to sell," said Edwards. "It also comes out of companies that want to streamline their organizations and reduce cost, and that's good for us to be able to look across the landscape and manage it."
The company also is "investing through internal build, and placing it where it makes most sense," said Edwards.
"We are bringing in people into different aspects of our company [that] are smart, and specialists to add value," said Edwards. " We are not trying to be all things to all people. We know our spaces and we know where we provide real value-add."
For the rest of 2014, Carousel Industries will continue to drive forward its managed services focus, said Edwards.
"This idea of convergence tying in with managed services is the ability to have these things integrate and work well to keep us going," said Edwards. "We will continue to focus in terms of marketing, product development and our services push."
PUBLISHED MAY 6, 2014