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ACP CreativIT Is Set To Ramp Up Managed Services Offerings Under New Services Chief Mike Martin

‘We are looking at our current investments and how we can drive services alignment from go to market messaging to sales compensation to service delivery to customer quality and outcomes,’ says IT services superstar Mike Martin. ‘I am sure there will be gaps that we will have to shore up “with investments and through acquisitions.’

ACP CreativIT is preparing to roll out a managed services market blitz following the hiring of Mike Martin, who built out one of the industry’s leading services organizations at $2.2 billion SP500 powerhouse Logicalis.

As ACP CreativIT’s new executive vice president of services, Martin (pictured above) is putting in place a complete set of new services offerings at the Buffalo Grove, Ill. Headquartered national solution provider with additional sales and services delivery talent.

ACP CreativIT CEO Scott Dunsire said the national solution provider has brought Martin – a 14-year Logicalis veteran - on board to build out and scale the managed services business.

“Bringing Mike in is going to allow us to really ramp up the services business,” said Dunsire. “This sets the stage for services growth at ACP CreativIT, No. 117 on the CRN SP500. Mike has done this before leading a national services organization. Bringing managed services to our core cloud, security, and networking businesses is going to expand our relationships with our customers and our vendors. At the end of the day this is all about allowing us to take better care of our customers.”

Martin, who grew the service team from 150 employees to 600 employees at Logicalis, No. 53 on the CRN SP500, said he is excited about the big investment that ACP CreativIT is making to drive better business outcomes for customers.

As part of his 100-day plan, Martin is in the process of assessing the company’s services offerings and building out a business plan that includes organic investments and services acquisitions to fill out the ACP CreativIT sales and services delivery team.

“I’m driving a new organizational structure for services sales and delivery, bringing more accountability to who owns delivery and who own sales,” he said. “If you are going to get into the services business someone has to be accountable to sell it every single day. We are looking at our current investments and how we can drive services alignment from go to market messaging to sales compensation to service delivery to customer quality and outcomes. I am sure there will be gaps that we will have to shore up with investments and through acquisitions.”

One of the keys to managed services success, Martin said, is a services delivery model that embraces both on premise and cloud. “Every client is going to be at a different place in their cloud adoption journey and you need to be able to serve that framework in a way that allows them to mature with you with the contract structure,” he said.

As part of the services offensive, ACP CreativIT is planning internal sales compensation changes aimed at driving deeper services engagements around its three strategic pillars: cloud, security and networking.

Services sales focus is key to success, said Martin. He said dedicated services sales reps are a must as the company moves to grab a bigger piece of the managed services market. “Sometimes the legacy sales force does not have the skills to go represent complex services and outcomes,” he said. “You have got to supplement your organization with the right investments.”

The new managed services imperative means driving innovative business outcomes for customers with technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, said Martin. “Customers aren’t looking to move to the cloud because they think it is less expensive,” he said. “They are looking to go to the cloud because they want to be more agile. They want to move faster and be more secure, and they need a service provider like ACP CreativIT to get them there.”

Managed services have become even more critical for customers grappling with remote work cloud, security and networking issues in the wake of the pandemic. “Today’s IT organizations do not have the skills or capabilities to do this themselves,” he said. “It is too complicated. With the pressures customers are facing and the speed at which the market is moving clients have to partner with service providers to get this done.”

The business benefits of the managed services model for ACP CreativIT are substantial given that for every $1 of cloud services consumed by a customer there are $5 in services related to that, said Martin. At Logicalis, for example, Martin quadrupled services gross profit from 10 percent to 40 percent. “The money you make in public cloud transactions is minimal,” he said. “This is all about our ability to service the client across the cloud journey.”

ACP CreativeIT COO Matt Zafirovski said the company’s aim is to provide the flat-out best managed services experience for customers.

“We’re not aspiring to be the biggest, but we are aspiring to be the best,” he said. “We are taking a long term orientation as we continue to invest and evolve the business model. Bringing someone like Mike in to champion the managed services business for us is a huge coup. With his experience and vision, he is going to drive a whole new managed services mindset for ACP CreativIT!”

The managed services transformation comes with ACP CreativIT doubling the business over the last several years even in the face of the challenges from the pandemic, said Zafirovski. “Even during a time of uncertainty we have strengthened our core business,” he said. “I am extremely bullish about our future. What we are doing now is strengthening our platform to achieve our next level of growth. You can feel the excitement, activity and momentum.”

Dunsire credited the company’s top strategic vendor partners – Cisco, Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Microsoft – for helping to drive a managed services renaissance at ACP CreativIT.

“All of those vendors are stepping up with consumption based, as a service offerings that are helping us expand our knowledge and ability to execute in the managed services market,” said Dunsire. “HPE GreenLake, Dell Technologies Cloud, Cisco networking as a service and all of the Microsoft Azure cloud services are driving new SMB and enterprise opportunities for us. Those OEM services are fueling our managed services transformation. The OEM services have changed the game for us and our customers.”

Dunsire, who joined ACPCreativIT three years ago, said the addition of Martin is aimed at doubling sales once again over the next several years. “The only way to achieve our aggressive growth plans is to add great talent like Mike and add great new offerings for our customers,” he said. “We saw significant growth in 2020 and we are continuing to see that growth in 2021. We like to say never let a crises go to waste. We have taken the COVID 19 pandemic as an opportunity to retool our business and focus in on our customer needs”

Martin, for his part, said he was inspired to join ACP CreativIT because of the company’s passion for high-quality services success for customers. “I learned a lot of the things we need to do while I was at Logicalis,” he said. “We are going to empower our employees to meet the services needs of our customers. What makes services business is good people. Recruiting and retaining talent are going to be a top priority.”

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