With the office automation, software, PBX and telecommunications industry rapidly evolving, companies in this market must continuously innovate and change with shifting client requirements to stay competitive. In light of this, Itec has launched Itec Shared Services – an amalgamation of key service delivery divisions of Itec Holdings and Itec Connect.

“In the past Itec Holdings was responsible for providing certain shared services to our channel partners while Itec Connect fulfilled this role for customers,” says Ryan Miles, executive director of Itec Shared Services.

“Our industry is no longer just about the hardware, but rather the services wrapped around it and by creating Itec Shared Services we can ensure that we provide our channel partners and clients the level of service that they expect with world-class solutions.”

With the extent of Itec’s geographic coverage having independent service centres creates challenges of its own. “Previously, with hardware based service, one could succeed by having a number of independent service centres,” says Miles.

“What we find, however, is that while each one can deliver the service required, the cost of delivering this service effectively, the investment required to service multiple solutions and products, and the management skills required to maintain this has become prohibitive and therefore there is a need to control and manage it centrally.”

Miles adds that they cannot expect independent dealers to invest in the type of infrastructure required to deliver the required level of service.

“We have invested a substantial amount of money in the systems and technologies required, including a national resolution centre and remote engineers to ensure that the centralised platform is ready,” he says. “Service can be provided from a remote location through our virtual agents, but will still be funnelled through the centralised system to ensure that it is delivered in a unified and professional manner.”

There are a number of benefits to customers. “We have an exceptionally diverse range of products and solutions within the group, which means in the past clients would have to contact separate call centres for service or support. Through Itec Shared Services, this is a thing of the past,” says Miles.

“The centralised approach also allows us to further enhance our reporting to clients, giving them regular updates on performance against SLAs, completely changing the dynamic of the typical old service levels in our industry.”

This is also a very attractive model for independent dealers looking to grow their business.

“Through Itec Shared Services we take a lot of the operational issues away from them, allowing them to focus on developing and growing their business while staying ahead of industry trends,” he says.

This is a very unique model in South Africa as the independent dealer retains the ownership and high touch relationship with their clients, but now adds the additional value of centrally driven world-class service delivery.

“I think the biggest advantage for our independent dealers and clients will be the value Itec brings in providing a world-class service, coupled with the expertise to manage this, regardless of where the dealer or client is based,” says Miles. “Through Itec Shared Services we are again driving innovation, staying ahead of the curve in bringing this to market,” he concludes.