Credit: This article was originally published on CRN Channel Web on October 6, 2023. Please click here to read.
Jeremy Nash tells CRN that Centerprise is investing in its cloud platform and driving data insights to deliver better public sector services.
Basingstoke – Centerprise International is riding high after a stellar year of business highlights.
The reseller recently opened the doors to its second CiCloud location in Newport as part of its strategic expansion and ongoing commitment to Wales, following the opening of a new £6m IT operations centre last year.
Following the growth of its footprint, Jeremy Nash, CEO of the 225 headcount group, opens up to CRN about how Centerprise is evolving.
Nash says that despite the downturn in the PC market, Centerprise has continued to turn a profit.
“A high percentage of our turnover still comes from PC sales. It’s been widely reported the market is 25 per cent down in terms of PC sales. So when I look at our financial performance we’ve actually outperformed the market. Year-on-year, we achieved slightly more revenue than we did last year, so £122m vs £121m,” he says.
“That suggests to me we’ve got some much needed diversification in our business. All the investment we’ve been putting in the last few years is now starting to demonstrate itself in financial results.”
Nash adds the group has made significant investments around building capability, particularly in services, through recruitment.
“A large percentage of our effort has gone into building out that services business. And as a result of it, our engagement in the marketplace is different,” he explains.
“We’re very much a value-added reseller because we’ve always had services capability to some extent within the business because our heritage is engineering. We started off as a PC manufacturer, many many years ago.
“But the ability now for us to be far more technically aware of what’s going on in the market to be able to sit with customers and understand their challenges and then offer potential solutions to overcome those challenges. We just broaden our reach and our depth into the marketplace.”
Centerprise’s recent completion of its budget planning has put Nash in high spirits for the next financial year, expecting to outperform the market once again with more sales and turnover growth.
Increased managed services
CRN has heard from a number of vendors who are actively encouraging their traditional resellers to start looking at becoming a fully-fledged MSP.
Nash explains how Centerprise has been on the managed services journey for several years, driven by the state of the UK public sector.
“Becoming a managed service provider is part of our strategy for the company. By offering the full range of services, from professional services, consultancy all the way through to get to the point of being a managed service provider means that we can be more solutions, outcome driven,” he says.
“We started that journey seven years ago. The main driver for it was, being a reseller within the UK, particularly if you’re working within UK public sector, it’s become quite a transactional, highly commoditized marketplace.
“Vendors are very keen for their reseller partners to be able to offer more value to the customers and to the partners by having a richer set of services.
“So it’s trying to get out of that commoditised approach to procurement and start to truly deliver outcomes on behalf of customers.
“There’s an element that the market is moving that way and I’m seeing more resellers consider their position and look to diversify and bring in more services capability within their portfolio.”
Turning to the current MSPs, Nash predicts how their own business models will evolve in a complex market.
“When I look at traditional managed service providers, I see them looking at what’s happening in the UK market, particularly within the cloud computing market, and being very discerning over where they put their investment to evolve their services as a managed service provider.
“Do they gravitate towards the large hyperscalers and form practices around them?”, he asks, “or they do they do something which is not necessarily in direct competition, maybe complementary, but at least allows them to retain more differentiation than if moved to what will become a highly commoditised cloud market.”
Where is Centerprise investing?
Nash outlines his investment priorities for the next 12 months, starting with the Centerprise cloud platform.
“The vision of the company is for us to work ethically and use innovation to affect the issues that are affecting society,” he reveals.
“When we invested in creating the cloud platform, it was the thought of making this a platform of innovation, that we could start making a difference in how we help deliver public services.
“It’s very important for me that we fulfil and execute our vision because we’re living in an ageing population. And if the industry doesn’t play a role in helping to modernise the way that we’re delivering public services I think the legacy that we leave behind is going to be fairly challenging.
“So what drives our thinking is how can we use our investment and innovation to deliver better outcomes for the UK.”
The Centerprise CEO also has data high on his priority list, again reiterating his passion for supporting the UK public sector.
“I’m a big believer and supporter that we need to help our customers get the most out of their data,” he states.
“Deriving insights from data is key for most organisations now and those that master it will be the ones that succeed far quicker than those that don’t, and they will pay in the future direction for those that follow.
“It’s important that we allow our customers to be able to know that the data is remaining within the UK. It’s regulated by UK regulations, but more importantly, it’s accessible and affordable to access.
“That’s our cloud position, to drive innovation through our cloud platform, and we want to make sure that we’re protecting the data economy for the UK.”
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