Automation is not something that users should be scared of and is a way for the channel to add more value to customer relationships, according to the CEO of Ultima Business Solutions.Content Continues Below
Scott Dodds has been at the helm of the channel player for the past three years and has been navigating the firm to a position where it can expand on its heritage as a infrastructure player.
The key to its approach is to lean on its investment in consulting skills, with 300 plus of its 420 staff operating in those sorts of roles, and to develop automated services that can help mid-market customers free up internal resources, become more insightful and increase their competitiveness.
"The world is changing and you better work out what your plan is but the speed is changing and what happened in the last five or ten years will happen in the next three or four," he said.
He said that Ultima had been facing the same questions its customers were grappling with and had been modernising its platforms and business processes and had introduced more automation.
"Automation and innovation are now board level discussions not IT discussions and automation is one of those things that is being brought to the table that is opening their eyes to high levels of productivity and how efficent you can get the business and that is getting more attention now than ever," he added.
Dodds said that business decision makers had to be engaged in the process because without them there was a risk that projects would not happen.
He added that as it stands the adoption of fully fledged automation was quite low, despite vendors making the technology available, but it was gaining numerous customer references and evidence of where it could make a real difference.
"The key is that we are enabling very significant ROIs to be gained in a very short space of time and it is important for boards to understand that the investment will come back in six to twelve months if they get it right," he said.
Dodds added that there were not too many channel players offering its sort of pitch into the mid market and it had made investments in it own organisation to make sure it was in a strong position for the future.