SysGroup CTO James Penny explains the importance of giving customers access to next-generation technologies
With over 30 years working in IT, I’ve worked both as an IT director, where I specified and purchased solutions from managed service providers, and as a CTO, where I have worked with customers to provide those same services to others.
My passion is creating high quality solutions that are focused around supporting organisations to provide the very best service to their people and customers.
Six months ago, I joined SysGroup as CTO where I lead our Technical Operations (TechOps) team. The team is split between a Service Delivery team and a group of high quality Professional Services colleagues. Our Service Delivery Team work to ‘keep the lights on’ – they work 24/7 to makes sure that everything functions as needed by our customers. The Professional Services Team are our solutions architects who will consult with our prospects and customers to enable their digital transformation journey. They support organisations to bring their vision for IT to life.
At SysGroup we don’t see ‘digital transformation’ as just a phrase: for us it represents a set of activities. People often talk about digital transformation in the abstract, as a description of something that magically happens. For us it is about the ‘here and now’ – a set of activities that get you from A to B – and improves your business outcomes.
Moving forwards we have focused a subset of our TechOps team whose job is to have ‘feet on the ground, but eyes on the horizon’. Our aim is to look with our customers at what we’re delivering now and ask the question: how can we do it better, more efficiently and more effectively for our customers and for our business.
Led and challenged by our CEO, we encourage our people to look to the horizon: We see technologies arriving that can offer efficiencies and cost savings as well as making sure that we deliver secure and robust solutions. The rise of automation that’s driving in cloud environments allow us to ask how can we take the services that we already offer and present new versions of those or completely new services? Our SysCloud platform allows us to deliver innovative and leading edge services in a way that provides Enterprise grade services for a broad range of customers.
To get a baseline of where our customers are we look at what they are currently consuming and talk to them about their vision for the future, cross reference that back into what we’re seeing in the rest of the market and start to define their transformation journey.
We are very keen on having consultative conversations with customers and prospects who perhaps have legacy systems but want to take the next step into the cloud world but don’t quite know where to go. That’s our sweet spot and that’s our expertise.
We can take them on a journey where they begin to stitch together in their mind the services they need to move their business forward. You can speak to a chief financial officer about the need to increase efficiency and go digital-first, which is ‘here and now’; but you can also start a hardcore machine learning and artificial intelligence conversation with a technical team about ways to significantly transform operations in the future.
You could spin up AI to convert speech into data, which would allow you to auto-transcribe a sales call. This is one example of a simple improvement you can make, but there are also some very complex opportunities which require deep consultation with a customer.
Automation is essential and every business needs to embrace it. Time and money can be saved by mapping repeated processes and turning them into automated and easily repeatable processes. Without embracing these approaches organisations simply won’t be able to move quickly enough to provide the services that their employees and customers need.
At SysGroup we recognise that transformation and providing additional value is not a 10-minute job – it could be a two three, four or even five-year journey and SysGroup is here to take businesses on that very journey.
SysGroup is a multi-award winning managed IT services & cloud hosting provider listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE:SYS).
SysGroup delivers solutions using best of breed, industry leading technologies all of which are architected, supported and maintained by our highly skilled in-house teams. SysGroup focuses on the UK mid-market and works with its customers to drive strategic and operational IT change, providing secure, cost effective services from a range of platforms.
SysGroup maintains a number of strategic partnerships and accreditations with leading technology vendors including, Dell (Gold), WatchGuard (Platinum), Veeam (Gold), Microsoft (Gold Datacentre), VMWare, Mimecast and Zerto. Accreditations include ISO 27001:2013 and ISO 9001:2015 for quality management and Visa Level 1 Merchant Service Provider status to underpin our PCI:DSS hosting capabilities.
SysGroup has offices in Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newport and Telford.
For more information, visit www.sysgroup.com
0758 125 7839