Today we have a quick question and answer session with Leon Wheeler, Managing Director at ICC. We ask him how he started out, what his guiding principles are and the challenges facing IT departments over the next few years.
How did ICC Managed Services get started?
It evolved naturally. We were a traditional hardware VAR, but we saw our clients needed impartial one-stop multivendor services. It was a great way for us to add value and at the same time make life easier for customers who until then had been obliged to maintain separate relationships with each supplier.
What is the guiding business principle that drives ICC Managed Services?
When our clients deal directly with Tier One companies they can sometimes be just another blip on the vendors’ radar. We don’t let that happen. We listen to their individual needs – their business requirements, their budgets – and we give them a non-vendor-specific response that’s tailored in every way to meet those criteria. It’s about great customer service, pure and simple: we aim not just to meet but to exceed their expectations by applying our knowledge and experience to their circumstances.
We’re also big believers in investing in our resources, our facilities and our training. If you’re going to maintain customer service at high levels, that kind of commitment is essential.
What do you feel is the greatest technology and software challenge facing businesses in the next two years?
Data security, and the very real threat of malware and ransomware. From servers and storage at enterprise level all the way down to consumers’ mobile phones, smart TVs and other smart devices, it’s a big, worrying and constantly evolving area.
What do you see as the greatest technology and software opportunity for businesses in the next two years?
Hyper-converged and software-defined solutions are evolving, allowing businesses to be agile and increasing their data security by addressing the threat of ransomware. This technology also improves business continuity, helping companies cope more flexibly with demand spikes. Disruption can be kept to a minimum and the resources required can be minimised, so keeping costs down. Carbon footprints can be reduced too, which is always a good thing.
In a sentence, describe your product/service/activity and what you do for your customers.
We are a global, customer-focused IT solutions company, providing a comprehensive service to the SME, enterprise and public sector markets by supplying and supporting all Tier One vendors to ensure our customers get the best possible ROI.
Without giving away any secrets, what are your plans for ICC Managed Services?
To continue to build our national presence by opening offices in key locations and organically growing our technical capacities and vendor relationships. To do this we’ll be investing in our teams and in the latest technologies, focusing on new and emerging tech, but also understanding that customers may also have legacy technologies in which they have invested huge amounts of capex.
More importantly, we aim to remain independent in an industry in which acquisitions make this rare.
What do you think will be the next ‘big thing’ in business technology & software and technology embedded services?
Personally, I think AI and VR will be the next big things in business technology. The potential for these technologies is widespread across so many industries.
What has been ICC Managed Services’ greatest business achievement to date, and why?
There have been many! One that sticks in my mind is the management of NASA’s environmental change supercomputer which was in the Guinness Book of Records, which we decommissioned in Houston Texas and resold to one of Europe’s largest telco organisations.
Another was winning the support business for one of Europe’s busiest aviation air traffic management systems, which was won from the world’s number one service and product provider. We’ve retained that customer’s business for the last seven years, and as a result we’ve also assisted some of the largest aviation authorities in the world with support and consultancy on air traffic management systems that handle over 25,000 flights per day.
What would you like your customers to say about ICC Managed Services?
That we go above and beyond traditional expectations of customer support, keeping them informed of new technologies but also ensuring that we make the most of any investment they may have made in their IT investment. I’d also like them to say we offer the best fit-for-purpose solutions, and that we’re small enough to care and big enough to cope.