CompuCom, which is owned by private equity giant Thomas H. Lee Partners, is spending in the neighborhood of $10 million a year on research and development to deliver breakthrough new services for midmarket customers.
That drive to provide better IT services economics to customers is at the heart of CompuCom CEO Don Doctor's "customer first" approach to the business, said Gross. "That is the secret sauce of CompuCom," he said.
CompuCom expects see 30 percent to 40 percent growth in its midmarket data center business as a result of the new service, said Gross.
That growth target comes with the price of midmarket infrastructure services declining at the same rate, said Gross. "We have to be prepared to cannibalize our legacy contracts in favor of delivering more contemporary, cost-effective solutions to our clients," he said.
Gross sees the new CompuCom services as a watershed moment in the history of IT with artificial intelligence, machine learning and cognitive computing reshaping the IT services experience for customers.
"The advances that have been made in machine learning are as significant to our industry as the browser was. This is huge," said Gross. "We are on the forefront of a revolution that is going to change everything, and people who don't get on board or can't get on board will wither. There is no question about it."
Jimmy Sheridan contributed to this story.