ePlus Makes Strategic Investments, Deepens Push Into Managed Services

IT consulting firm ePlus continues to make investments in its extensive managed services practice across the country, which it says will help it stay on top of client demand and evolving technologies.

To help with the expansion, ePlus recently added a Raleigh, N.C.-based Managed Services Center to the company's growing portfolio of centers around the country. While the Raleigh Managed Services Center is the third one the company has opened, it is the largest so far by the Herndon, Va.-based solution provider.

Changing market requirements are driving demand for more services offerings, Kevin Detsch, vice president of business development at ePlus, said, including Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and making the switch to an operating expense model versus a capital expense model. While the company already had a robust managed services offering, its investments will help keep its "eyes and ears up" to changing technology and client needs, he said.

[Related: Transitioning To Managed Services? Remember, Time Is Money ]

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"For us, it's really about the evolution. We're looking at the changing dynamic of how organizations consume technology," Detsch said. "How [customer] organizations are changing, it is really driving the need for us to further develop and grow our service capability in this space. This is the reason that the demand for these services is prompting us to make investments ... It's all part of the dynamic that's happening within the marketplace as these models change."

In addition to expanding its Managed Services Center base, ePlus also this month said that it was expanding its managed services offering itself, adding Enhanced Maintenance Support (EMS) as an option for its managed services package. The package supports Cisco equipment, though ePlus said that it plans to expand it to other vendors soon.

While ePlus was supporting the OEM technologies across the board before with its other centers, Detsch said that the Raleigh center shows the company's commitment to aligning itself more closely with its OEM partners, particularly Cisco and NetApp. Being closer to those partners, as well as others such as HP, EMC and Juniper, will allow ePlus to collaborate more with its partners and better support the OEM technologies, Detsch said.

"Customers are looking to different consumption models and different ways to support the technology infrastructure that they need to run their business and it is becoming more and more evident that those companies are looking to partner with companies like ePlus that can take care [of them] day in and day out," Detsch said.

"There's a huge market demand for the services that we currently provide and we see an evolving demand ...There's certainly an evolution for us that we need to go through to evolve the capabilities of what we do and how we do it," he said. "There's a growing need and desire for our customer organizations to really become more focused on their core business, and because of the level of complexity and interoperability -- and the rapidly evolving nature of the technology to support their business -- [there's] a growing demand for organizations to align with a partner like ePlus, which historically they had done on their own internally."

Going forward, as technology continues to become more complex, Detsch said that ePlus is looking to continue to evolve its capabilities. The investments made in new managed services products and centers are part of that, Detsch said.

"For us, these are investments that we are making to build out inside of the current demand, and it's also an investment for the future for us and our customers," Detsch said. "All indications are that these evolving services are going to be in the market to come."