MSP TODAY NEWS

Windstream: IT Ready to Embrace Managed Services & As-a-Service Models

By Paula Bernier

IT team members used to consider managed services as a threat to their jobs, but that’s not longer the case. Given that the responsibilities of IT staffs have expanded so widely in recent years due to the rise of DevOps and the call for digital transformation, these individuals now see communications solutions offered on an as-a-service basis as a boon rather than something to be avoided.

That’s the word from Marc Hurlbut, vice president of ISG sales at Windstream, who was part of the two-man team that provided ITEXPO attendees with a luncheon keynote speech today. Hurlbut was joined on stage by Kevin Kopco, Windstream’s contact center solutions practice leader, who gave the second leg of the address here in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Windstream, for those who are not familiar with the company, is a Fortune 500 company that provides a variety of communications and networking solutions including cloud services, managed services, security services, and triple play offerings.

The No. 1 concern of IT people, according to Hurlbut, is keeping their jobs. So they want to make sure things work as expected. When an IT team at a company hands over the communications capabilities to a managed services expert like Windstream, he said, it is reducing risk rather than opening itself up to risk because it can rest assured things will be done correctly. Managed services and the as-a-service model also reduces risk because its avoids upfront capital expenses and enables a company to easily and inexpensively scale over time, he added.

In K-12 schools, he noted, one of the hardest things is to get capital budgets. So subscription-based unified communications as a service can be the perfect match, he said.

“This allows companies to keep their cash in their pockets and operate on a monthly basis,” Hurlbut noted.

The UCaaS model has the added benefits of protecting data and providing companies with mobile and everywhere access to their information and services, he said.

Kopco then turned the discussion to contact center solutions. He said that in 2014, more consumers contacted businesses through social and online channels such as chat, text and Twitter than via traditional calls into the contact center.

But while there’s a lot of talk about multichannel contact centers, Kopco said that often companies are not quite ready to bring instant messaging and/or social media into the contact center. Contact center as a service, however, enables those businesses to get started with the capabilities they need today and bring in additional functionality later, when they are ready.




Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Executive Editor, TMC

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