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Fri 1 Jun 2007 12:00 AM

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Riding the service wave

Global vendor BT is growing steadily in the region as interest in managed services increases and more international firms set up local offices.

Managed IT services are on the rise in the region and this movement can only continue its way up as more large enterprises adopt it and pass on the subsequent learning and knowledge down to smaller organisations.

"BT Global Services has been steadily growing in the region. The last few years we grew by around 34%. The year before alone our revenues grew by 49% and this year I believe we might cross 49%. The attitude towards managed services is changing in the region and there are more companies taking it up as option," says Ray Stanton, global head of the security, business continuity and government practice for BT.

BT's growth in the region has been fuelled by two key factors - the setting up of regional offices by international firms that are already familiar with BT and the signing up of more local companies from the region.

"BT has been here for over 30 years. We are 60 strong now and we will be doubling our strength to 120 by the end of the year. That is a testament to the growth we are seeing from the region," continues Stanton.

He adds that large organisations in the region have to strive to work along with vendors to educate smaller partners and customers on security best practices and international standards in order to ensure that a disaster affecting any of these extended elements does not in turn, bring down the large organisation's business activities.

"IT has to be considered as a part of the business objective and process. You have to work out IT as a diagrammatic representation and figure out where it fits in the business and how it can benefit the organisation," says Stanton.

"Sometimes organisations might find that managed services is not the right choice for their strategy. That is fine because it all depends on what you want to achieve at the end of the day. However an organisation has to take that decision after having understood everything that is on offer in the market, especially with managed services," says Stanton.

Global managed service providers bring international best practices to the running of IT systems, according to Stanton.

Awareness of just such advantages is helping increase interest from enterprises in the region. This is fuelled on by BT's own work to develop knowledge on the advantages of outsourcing information technology.

The efforts seem to be paying off. New wave revenue streams - which include convergence, security and mobility services - have been steadily increasing as a contributing factor to overall revenues over the last few years. And BT is not stopping in its tracks.

Asked about possible acquisitions in the region, Stanton says, "It's not a definitive yes and it's not a definitive no. The truth is we are always on the look out for companies that fit our service portfolio and policies. If we come across a good organisational match, in terms of services and policies, we would certainly consider it." he adds.

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