Chief Revenue Officer at Agilitas, John Hayes-Warren, reveals how the company is responding to today’s market challenges.

Tell me about Agilitas and the company’s ambitious plans for the next three years.

Agilitas is a leading global innovator of customer-driven IT Channel services. Our growing team is passionate about delivering first-class IT services on behalf of vendors, IT resellers and managed service providers to extend their service capability and improve customer satisfaction. We deliver solutions across workspaces, servers, storage and networking technologies to Channel partners in over 60 countries. Our services include maintenance services, technical support, professional services and specialist engineering resources.

We recently announced our new leadership and direction for the next three years – placing customer experience at the centre of our transformation. These ambitious plans are part of our progressive growth strategy, and we are working with our people and partners to continue to define a strong purpose, vision, and service portfolio. We are well-positioned to serve the industry and respond to today’s market challenges, making FY24 a defining year in our company history.

You mentioned that these plans will make FY24 a defining year in Agilitas’ history, how will you and your team accomplish this?

Our mission has always been to enable our customers to scale and innovate with confidence, delivering global sustainable, innovative technology services that provide the foundations for customer success and efficiency. With this in mind, we will continue to invest in the UK and international Technology Channel, focusing on partnerships to digitise their operating models. With digital transformation breaking down international barriers, we also plan to help the Channel address opportunities that allow partners to expand without geographical limitations.

Additionally, we are ramping up our investment in skills to retain and attract talent to help spearhead our organisational change. Our team is continuously working to enhance our system integration to automate workflows and evolve our proposition to enhance digital access to all services, reinforcing Agilitas’ ethos of putting customer experience at the core of everything we do.

Company progress
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What were the reasons behind Agilitas’ decision to put customer experience at the heart of its transformation and growth strategy?

It’s no secret that the Technology Channel faces challenges related to changing customer demands. With the democratisation of technology, we recognised that more power is moving to the consumer, and their focus is on rapid digitalisation and achieving outcomes. Whether that is based on improving customer experience or boosting operational efficiency, we need to address this and re-evaluate how we do business going forward to find the right balance between profit and purpose.

In addition to enhancing our offerings, we are continually looking for ways to improve the experience we provide throughout the onboarding process, ongoing support and at the time of contract renewal. With end customer demands changing at an exponential rate, we are set to leverage the growing portfolio of tools, integrated touch points and customer service processes to improve our customer’s experiences in the longer term.

Agilitas is known as a leading provider of global technology solutions, what are your plans to enhance the company’s offering and core competencies?

We plan to focus on three core areas, Inventory Assurance, Professional Services and Smart Logistics, which are all underpinned by our sustainability initiatives. Inventory Assure is based on our ability to maintain end-customer environments globally, with Professional Services acting as an extension of our customer’s engineering capabilities. This accelerates time to revenue with skills and resources to ultimately streamline deployment.

Smart Logistics is then centred around how we optimise warehouse, logistics and circular economy services. This enables our clients to scale with confidence knowing they have the right OPEX business model that scales in line with their business growth and allows them to invest in new capabilities to stay ahead of the curve.

Tell me more about how Agilitas’ growth strategy is already taking shape.

Despite this period of change for Agilitas and the wider Technology Channel, I’m pleased to see that our growth strategy is already taking shape with our customer base growing at speed. Agilitas brings an in-depth understanding of supply chain and skills to the market, ensuring our customer platforms remain resilient. We package these solutions ‘as a service’ to ensure clients understand their exact cost base to maintain and deliver resilient IT systems key to their operation to a high quality.

Our biggest opportunity is to work with partners and help them pivot their investments to stay ahead and develop their offerings – scaling with confidence knowing we have the right model to service and maintain their client’s hardware estates without compromise, to high service levels and with predictable cost.

Our strategy is directed at three key areas:

  • Developing access to our services digitally to ensure we are easy to do business with and can provide rich insights on the performance of our services.
  • Continual improvement of our core services and delivery, such as remote monitoring of estates to proactively ensure maximum uptime of hardware estates.
  • Continual investment of our people to ensure we harness the experience and ideas that will make a difference to our customers
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To what extent do you expect Agilitas’ channel to grow this year/next and where will that growth come from?

Most of our channel partners are focussing their investments to increase the resilience of their business and customers alike. We are witnessing rapid progression in managed services and consumption-based service models to drive annuity to underpin longer-term confidence for investment and liquidity. This will provide a significant opportunity for a pure service business like Agilitas to underpin these efforts and maintain high levels of customer experience.

There are three trends that I’m tracking with our clients where we can specifically assist in driving growth:

  • Whilst there are significant headwinds of global macro and economic challenges, digitisation is removing the boundaries of the global reach of both service and logistics. We have witnessed some of our largest growth clients seeking to outsource these services to partners who can deploy services globally with ease. They in turn are becoming hugely successful as they have designed their business to meet the needs of their clients, not having internal competing organisational design structures that limit the ease and scope of business.
  • There is no doubt that the workplace has changed which in effect has exploded the proliferation of assets contained within an organisation to remain productive and secure. Many technology organisations benefitted from this change through COVID. It will be interesting to see how the strains on organisations to invest and advance their offerings, how they balance their costs to sustain and protect a remote workforce and what help they may need. I see an increase in workforce asset outsourcing becoming more common.
  • The need for end customers to outsource certain operations via Managed Services is creating an interesting dynamic. The focus on customer experience rather than the flavour of OEM will become more apparent. From our perspective, we are already seeing some winners and losers in the OEM hardware supply chain due to availability and we will need to navigate a path that enables us to support our partners accordingly.
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Would you say that 2023 is a pivotal year for businesses across the Technology Channel? And what challenges do businesses in the industry face?

It’s not an overstatement to say that 2023 is a pivot point for many Channel organisations. One of the biggest influences has been the continued supply chain disruption that has massively impacted product availability, and this is set to continue into the second half of this year. This issue has led to some disintermediation of the conventional Channel value chain, meaning many businesses have been streamlining or choosing a different route to market in order to reconfigure logistics networks and delivery partners.

Additionally, we have also seen an increasing expectation around Channel businesses enhancing their sustainability initiatives and focusing their efforts on the circular economy. There is now a need for dedicated resources to back these initiatives and enable decision-makers to take the lead in terms of tracking their upstream and downstream supply chains which are associated with scope 3 carbon emissions.

To competitively position themselves for the future of the Channel, organisations need to define a strong purpose, communicate this clearly with all relevant stakeholders and demonstrate how employees and partners will contribute to the overall vision. Those who can weather the short-term pain during this moment of inflexion will reap the rewards as we move through 2023 and beyond.