Customers' expectations for IT sevices demand that organisations collaborate, says IT chief

By Sooraj Shah
14 Jun 2012 View Comments
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Customers' increasing expectations of IT services has meant that London-based IT services company ClearPeople has had to reach out to other organisations to fulfil their customers' needs, according to its director and founder, Gabriel Karawani.

Speaking at the IBM managed services provider (MSP) forum this week, Karwani highlighted how ClearPeople concentrates on providing business solutions on SharePoint and the Sitecore CMS for its customers.

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However, he added that his company now needs to involve other organisations in order to meet increased customers' needs.

"Customers expect more than business solutions and digital marketing; they expect things like disaster recovery, a live production environment and back-up services," he said.

"However, we are highly specialised, so there is a gap – we have no interest in hardware or networks, for example."

Kawani said it works with its partners such as Microsoft and managed IT services provider Navisite to provide a managed service for its customers.

He said that when selecting partners, ClearPeople expects certain criteria from MSPs.

"We expect fair fees; it does not have to be cheap but it has to be fair," he said. "We want the MSP to help us with controlling costs, and in turn we will be loyal.

"We want proactive services so we expect them to tell us if we should be replacing any of our kit in addition to providing us with patch management and back-up validation.

"Finally, we need access to an account manager and a technical expert who know us, as they may be needed to enable a sale," he said.

The ClearPeople founder then mentioned how the company has worked with Navisite to provide all of the services that have been demanded by some of its customers, such as law firm Travers Smith and the charity National Autistic Society (NAS).

He said that Travers Smith had an urgent requirement for an extranet. The law firm had an option of a "proven non-SharePoint" solution, but preferred to use SharePoint. Kawani said ClearPeople made this possible by working with Navisite.

Navisite controlled the requirements from an infrastructure standpoint and ClearPeople could focus on implementing SharePoint.

He said similarly, the NAS had a demand for a flexible and scalable hosted infrastructure, and that ClearPeople would transform the NAS away from its fully dedicated server infrastructure.

"ClearPeople focuses on Sharepoint and Navisite will do the rest," he said. "The theme here is that there is zero infrastructure skill needed from ClearPeople in both case studies."

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