COVID-19 has been a wake-up call for businesses and industries around the world. Companies found themselves having to make fast decisions on how to best run their businesses and service their customers in a climate that was changing every day. All while maintaining focus on growth and profit. The last 18 months have been about reevaluating your current business model, streamlining operations, employee retention and accelerating your digital transformation (DX) strategy.
The pandemic forced a shift in IT priorities to be more focused on supporting remote workers, DX and business applications, all of which require more technical resources than many companies likely had pre-pandemic. Things like increased security, hosted private cloud, video collaboration and mobile worker support – including remote access – have become vital to facilitate the new ways of working and ensure ongoing success.
For All Covered, our managed IT (MIT) services business, all of this meant a dramatic shift in our Global Client Solutions center activity. Normally, 80% of incoming calls are break/fix related to multi-function hardware devices. During the second quarter of last year, the number flipped to 70/30 — 70% of calls were IT related, 30% were hardware break/fix. The pandemic had changed the way people work – almost instantly – and the impact of technology on the workplace suddenly became clear, and was made a priority.
As a result, we became hyper focused on helping customers solve problems in the work environment by leveraging our technical resources, technology enablers and our services portfolio. As the pandemic forced businesses to move their workforces to remote work, we continued to support our customers in their DX journey, specifically through managed voice – which has been on fire since the start of the pandemic – improving their security infrastructure and helping them make the shift from on premise to cloud with hosted services.
COVID-19 also changed the way customers buy and how we market to virtual customers. The trends that emerged during the pandemic will continue to shape how we connect, foster meaningful relationships and create long-term customer value in the future. Requirements from customers are changing; they expect service providers to evaluate and recommend integrated workflow solutions, deliver consulting services and ongoing support in a framework that generates a well-documented ROI. Core to this strategy is our ongoing investment in our Business Innovation Center (BIC), created to evaluate emerging business trends and seek new technologies, partnerships and acquisition opportunities to assist customers with innovative methods to solve operational challenges they face.
Our All Covered and Intelligent Information Management business (IIM) both grew last year at a significant rate, and FY 21 is showing continued growth as more customers adopt a cloud-first strategy and look to automate business processes with robotic process automation (RPA). We now have 1,200 employees dedicated to MIT, and another 250 focused on IIM, helping customers aggregate and store data, improve workflows and automate processes.
As we continue to invest in and explore MIT to bring to market tools that enable businesses to better manage their DX, the one thing we’ve done systematically is add capabilities. Our portfolio gives us the depth and breadth of services to handle a variety of customers, from SMB to mid-market to enterprise. Our MIT infrastructure was built to support enterprise customers while being affordable for smaller companies that want enterprise-level security, support and management. Our SMB and mid-market customers can leverage our investment and utilize our services to support a variety of scalable offerings.
Developing expertise in vertical markets
Another key strategy we’ve implemented is to verticalize our offerings and go-to-market sales approach. In order to do this, you have to be extremely close to the customer and have great customer insight. You can’t be everything to everyone, and we have invested in the following key verticals in which we have great domain experience: education, government, healthcare legal and production print.
IT administration and management can be complex, costly and time consuming for businesses in any industry, but vertical markets require an even deeper layer of expertise. Each market segment has its own nuances and regulations that call for a more specialized approach to IT services and create even more intricacy. Organizations in these areas need to be particularly fastidious to overcome the challenges. Healthcare for example, is regulated by HIPAA and significantly at risk for cyber threats and data breaches. The HIPAA Security Rule requires a risk assessment on a regular basis, annually is preferred.
All Covered’s IT engineers are well versed in the specific IT needs of each market segment, and the company has received many accolades for its expertise and best practices. We have ranked among the top ten vertical market MSPs for six consecutive years on ChannelE2E’s Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs list. Keypoint Intelligence continually recognizes Konica Minolta as a leader within vertical market segments. Most recently, we received Buyers Lab (BLI) 2021-2022 Pacesetter Awards for education and financial services. And earlier this year, we were awarded BLI 2021-2022 Pacesetter awards for our legal and healthcare services, representing the first time the company has been recognized for all four verticals within the same time period.
The importance of strategic partnerships
It’s critically important to select partners wisely, ones that strengthen your business to take market share. Recently, Konica Minolta also became a Microsoft Global Managed Partner. While our worldwide divisions have been working with Microsoft for years, with the ability to unite all our brands, we can leverage the local knowledge and expertise of each and share this throughout the whole organization and in various industries and localities around the globe. By streamlining connections and collaboration, customers in every area of the world can benefit from our broad expertise. We see this as a huge advantage in vertical markets in particular, which require such specialized knowledge. One exciting example of collaboration with Microsoft was how Konica Minolta leveraged Microsoft’s technology to help car dealerships better meet the needs of their customers with Automotive CRM. The customer relationship management solution (CRM) – which is built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 – can be connected to an enterprise resource planning tool or dealership management system to provide a full view of the customer to better address their needs and ultimately close deals.
As we continue on this path with heightened focus, you have to be smart about investments you are making. Be extremely disciplined about how you vet new offerings, and whether you can execute them throughout your organization. Control your destiny, what markets you go after, and how you bundle your services to create value for customers.
The “workplace of the future” is here now. Konica Minolta saw the digital revolution coming before any of our competitors, and that’s why we’re in the best position to help organizations take advantage of it. For more insight, visit us online.