Giacom Rebranding Paves the Way for Digital MSPs on New Cloud Platform

Discover Giacom's rebranding and Cloud Market platform, empowering digital MSPs with a unified experience. Join the rise of cloud-first managed service providers.
Discover Giacom's rebranding and Cloud Market platform, empowering digital MSPs with a unified experience. Join the rise of cloud-first managed service providers.

Giacom has recently rebranded as the company seeks to drive its new cloud platform strategy to enable the rise of digital managed service providers.

July 4 was a momentous day for DWS. Not only did the company launch its Cloud Market, a partner portal that aims to deliver a unified platform experience across its entire product portfolio, it also saw the companies within the DWS group – including Giacom and Union Street – uniting as one under the Giacom brand.

Cloud Market brings together the power of the company’s four existing platforms into one place. With improvements including intuitive navigation, performance enhancements and the ability to explore all the company’s offers in one place, Giacom is making it increasingly easy for partners to deliver a broad range of products and services to customers.

It also marks the end of several years of strategic planning. This includes DWS’ de-merger from Daisy Group four years ago and the acquisitions of Giacom and Union Street in 2020. “The Giacom acquisition was about creating breadth,” says CEO Terry O’Brien. “Channel partners are so much more than resellers. They are evolving into digital MSPs and trusted technology experts for UK small businesses. Partners were increasingly wanting a one-stop-shop with cloud services alongside telecoms.

“Meanwhile, Union Street delivered a great piece of billing software, but more critically it started the journey towards developing a toolset that helps partners to become digital MSPs in a more automated world. The time to rebrand is now.”

Respected names

Giacom is an established and respected name in the IT MSP, Microsoft and SaaS communities, and is increasingly a brand telecoms partners recognise. “DWS evolved as a wholesale telecoms brand,” explains Nathan Marke, COO. “Telecoms is a critical enabler for UK business and remains a core focus for us, however today our business is so much more than that. End user decision making is increasingly focused on cloud-enabled software applications to solve challenges such as remote working, customer service improvement, automation, extracting value from data, security etc.

“It’s primarily a cloud-software decision set and telecoms, while still critical, is increasingly a utility decision to enable access to software applications. In a couple of years more than half our business will be cloud software sales. In Giacom we have a known and trusted 100% channel cloud brand that will help position us as a high growth cloud-first platform company. It’s a journey the channel needs to go on.”

Channel pedigree

The Giacom Group works with about one third of the estimated 15,000 technology resellers and MSPs across the UK. “Channel resellers typically have a heritage in either telecoms, networking or IT service desk, and the vast majority are broadening their portfolio and moving into the digital MSP space,” says Terry. “Our fastest growing partners are driving the outsource model with monthly recurring revenues. The anchor products tend to be Microsoft, then IT services, security, backup and recovery, wraparound telecoms services plus value added services. They are increasingly becoming a one-stop-shop for small business’ technology needs.”

Terry sees potential to transform the small business market dynamic following the launch of Giacom’s single cloud-first platform experience for partners. “The channel is growing, but can grow much faster,” he says. “Industry experts tell us that our addressable channel market is at least £10 billion, growing at 4% per annum. We know that at least £5 billion of this is not spent with the channel today. If we can advocate for the channel, get the channel noticed, get the channel brilliant at this, it opens a £5 billion growth opportunity. We want every small business in the UK to buy their technology from the channel.”

The rise of digital MSPs holds the potential not only to improve the value of the channel and accelerate the digital transformation of small businesses, but also close the productivity gap. “These are serious issues for our economy, particularly post-Brexit,” Terry adds. “Small businesses face big challenges with productivity, and we believe fundamentally that a good channel partner will help fix those problems.”

But there are significant challenges associated with realising this opportunity, not least of which is that most small businesses do not know of a local MSP that can help. “Nobody is advocating for the channel,” Terry says. “Our role is to help MSPs support small businesses with technology. We are really focusing on using our scale to make the UK business community and Government aware of the channel as a powerful force to drive UK productivity.”

Strategic pillars

Four pillars underpin Giacom’s strategy to enable digital MSPs and make the channel more visible to small businesses: choice, scale, enablement and opportunity. Choice is delivered via the One Platform Cloud Market experience, with Giacom seeking to become ‘the Amazon of the channel’. In terms of scale, the combined spend of Giacom’s 5,000 partners through its platform has enabled it to spend more than £250 million with suppliers in the last year alone, enabling the company to deliver tremendous value to partners as well as provide access to ‘channelised’ collateral and content coming out of large vendors. Giacom’s strong, consistent compound organic revenue growth of 13% over the past five years is testament to the growth delivered by the channel, which is winning market share from carrier and vendor direct models.

Enablement helps partners to diversify and take on new capabilities and certifications. Giacom partners benefit from a complete range of services such as training, specialist support, white label collateral and networking events to help them grow. And to realise opportunities, Giacom is leveraging its scale, influence and market position to be an advocate for the channel, driving home the message that local MSPs are a powerful force to drive productivity in the UK.

Terry emphasises another factor that enables digital MSPs to thrive. “To grow a business that serves SMBs to a meaningful scale, MSPs need to deliver lots of products to lots of customers,” he adds. “This means that they need to take advantage of the innovation available in OSS and BSS systems that underpin the delivery of their offerings to their customers. Our portal and billing software are key components of that stack, as are integrations into PSA, RMM and other systems. Building a toolkit and a set of automations on top of the billing capability helps partners to deliver subscription-based managed services that can scale to hundreds or thousands of end customers.

“Our fastest growing partners are getting their heads around these automations, the modern suite of products, the services that add value and the toolkits to automate and deliver time and again to small businesses. We are developing our Cloud Market platform with a focus on enabling digital MSPs to grow by delivering consistently effective managed services.”

Underpinning everything is Giacom’s unified Cloud Market platform which incorporates all the functionality of four existing portals – DWP (wholesale telecoms), DPP (the portal for mobile distribution partners), Cloud Market (the SaaS cloud marketplace for IT partners) and Techstore (hardware as a service). Until now, they looked and operated differently. “Prior to launching our new One Platform experience we redesigned the four underlying portals to make them look and feel identical with a single user experience for the partner, modern, improved navigation and better performance,” explains Nathan. “We have built a single knowledge base for all products, with the menu tailored for partner type along with discovery of adjacent products to aid cross sell opportunities.”

But this is just the beginning as a significant capital investment will be made into the platform over the next three years. “The launch of Cloud Market represents the first wave of investment,” adds Terry. “We have a clear vision and investment plan for supporting the channel in this converging technology world, to make it increasingly simple for partners to access everything they need to create brilliant technology solutions for their customers – and to help partners grow by supporting their evolution to digital MSPs.”