Scale is the key

John C. Tanner
Telecom Asia

Best Managed Services Provider

BT Global Services

Last year's winner:BT Global Services
Business segments:Network services, unified communications, CRM, managed security & professional services
CEO:Jeff Kelly
Key stats (Q3 ending 12/31/10):Revenue fell 7% to 1.9b pounds ($3.1b); EBITDA increased 15% to 141m pounds ($234m); 3,000 PoPs in more than 170 countries

Kevin Taylor, President of BT Global Services Asia-PacificThis time last year, when BT Global Services took the Telecom Asia award for Best Managed Services Provider, Kevin Taylor - then MD of BT Asia-Pacific - said the managed services game was changing to one where the key differentiator was hiding complexity from enterprise customers by offering comprehensive value-added solutions.

One year later, that's still true, but the goalposts are still moving, according to Taylor (now president of BT Asia-Pacific), who says that BT Global's vision in the MSP space is to serve as the "glue" of vertical industries.

"For me the changes happening now are all about two things," Taylor explains. "One is communications becoming really the hub and the glue in the business sector. The other is the ascent of verticals, such as financial, consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, government. That complete understanding of business outcomes, linking to communications and all the value-added services around it in terms of making your life operationally easier, making the customer experience better, making the time to market faster and making the service more resilient, is really key."

The other big change, he says, is "the link between IT services and network services. Systems integration and professional services is combining very nicely with the solutions our customers need."

Consequently, says Taylor, "Scale is a real differentiator for us. If you look at our competitors, which I have great respect for, AT&T, Orange and Verizon don't have an IT services arm. Frontline gave us an IT services solution at a huge scale, and that's a massive differentiator. I have an IT services company in India, China, Singapore, Indonesia and so on. I don't want to be inventing the cloud - I'll leave that to the HPs and IBMs of the world - but I do want to be able to offer integrated services that are connected into a network, and I think we do that better than anyone in Asia Pacific."

As for where all this is going in the next year or two, Taylor says that the MSP space will see more demand as more businesses come to depend on service providers managing networks and associated value-added solutions within a company.

"The airline industry has a company called SITA that's made up of a number of member companies and it's the glue for that industry," Taylor says. "What BT wants to do is become the glue in the financial services space, the consumer packaged goods space, the glue that links pharmaceuticals together, and so on."



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