Vox pop: Is your strategy to diversify or specialise?

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This article appeared in the November 2014 issue of CRN magazine.

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Vox pop: Is your strategy to diversify or specialise?

Graeme Strange, managing director, Readify

Our focus and specialisation helps us win bigger concessions from suppliers. I believe this is critical for a start-up and, in the early years, it may be the only way to differentiate yourself. Trying to be all things to all people will generally garner disbelief and erode credibility. Even as you grow, it is important not to diversify too far from your DNA too quickly. Winning work that you aren’t ready to deliver is seldom profitable; collaborating with trusted like-minded partners is more beneficial. To counter a vendor moving into my specialty, I would focus on getting better at what I do and ensuring my customers are happy.  Our strategy next year is steady diversification; rounding out offerings under software services is key to our growth.


 

Brenton Harris, managing director, Bremmar Consulting

Our two core areas of business are managed services and hosting, so our aim is to attract customers who are looking to partner with us on an ongoing, contract basis. Having more services definitely increases the number of entry points we have to attract new customers. By specialising, a provider hopes to become an authority and the go-to provider for that service. However, as we are primarily a managed services provider for SMBs, we are the single point of contact for our clients. We need to have all the answers and know when to seek help. We aim to have a qualified, in-house resource for every service we provide. Our strategy over the next 12 months is to refine our service offering to better support the needs within our client base. 
 


 

Ronnie Altit managing director, Insentra 

Purely having expertise will not give you much more from a supplier, other than their attention. If you specialise in a particular vendor’s technology, then absolutely you receive concessions in return for your investment. It is at this point that the vendor-partner relationship truly becomes “partner” status – all parties are invested in the success and various partner programs incentivise partners to do more. If I am indeed a specialist vendor and another moved into my space, I would take a long hard look to understand what gap I had left exposed that creates an opportunity for another vendor. Insentra will continue our strategy of being deep specialists and we will diversify more – the two are not mutually exclusive. 

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