John Burbedge talks to Tim Walker, MD of a new managed services provider that is aiming to redefine the relationship between business and IT ...
To survive, humans need water, food, good health, a safe environment and risk awareness.
To survive in today’s business world, companies need a strategically designed IT infrastructure – effective and efficient, robust and adaptable, compliant and secure – to sustain the lifeblood of services being offered to customers while enabling their own key business objectives, says Tim Walker.
“I honestly believe that after great people, a company’s IT infrastructure – and importantly its proper usage – is nowadays the most vital resource within any business,” adds Walker, who with technical director Pete Hughes co-founded Aura Technology the independent managed services provider (MSP) for the mid-market.
Walker and Hughes met while working together previously. Both felt there was a gap in the market and that there is a missing link in the relationship between IT services provision and the strategic requirements of customers.
Extensive market research throughout 2017 proved their point. “While a lot of MSPs deliver a good IT support experience for customers, this tends to be of a ‘maintenance and repair’ nature. For many MSPs ‘proactive service’ means little in reality.
“They don’t provide a full IT solutions service that aligns the company’s IT to its business needs, company performance and future management objectives – a gap in the market which we are now covering through our focused strategic and proactive services.”
Aura Technology is led by Walker and Hughes, both with 20 years-plus experience with leading IT services and sector specialists – Walker having been the MD of several MSPs in the past 10 years. Completing the management team are Richard Flanders as head of customer strategy, and Steve Stokes as head of business development – both with over a decade of IT sector experience.
“We are the ‘safe pair of hands’ that customers are looking for to manage their IT, but importantly we also engage with our customers at a strategic level – a vital relationship component we believe in, utilising IT to its full business potential.”
Too many mid-market businesses see using their IT infrastructure as little more than turning on the water-tap, the air-conditioning, or an electricity light-switch. It is a daily fundamental but greatly undervalued, often poorly understood business resource, says Walker.
“Too many try to wring the life out of the IT they have, believing that it will benefit their P&L figures, while not realising that a greater long-term gain can be achieved by optimising their IT infrastructure.”
Aura Technology’s proactive service, for example, helps minimise disruption and downtime to help maximise ROI. Again, unlike the rest of the market, Aura puts its money where its mouth is, by investing in proactive IT engineering resource, so that each mid-market customer has a proactive engineer assigned to their environment.
As a growing business itself, Aura Technology’s experienced management team knows the day-to-day business distractions that can prevent companies from stepping back and reviewing, then implementing their IT solutions for the coming years – vital now with GDPR compliance and the increasing threat of cyber attacks.
That’s why one of Aura technology’s first actions for a new customer is invariably to undertake a comprehensive strategic overview of their IT infrastructure – the basis for a redefined relationship between business and IT – and ensuring that the strategic direction of the customer is clearly understood and in alignment with the strategic review recommendations.
In addition, by removing the complexity and jargon associated with IT, Aura enables mutual understanding and the creation of transparent trusted working relationships.
Along with a wealth of IT knowledge and experience, Walker says customers can expect from Aura Technology a passion about finding the right business and strategic solutions through innovation, teamwork and synergy. “We recognise that the quality of our work is building a valued legacy for our customers, plus the future reputation of our own company.”
As this already fast-growing MSP begins its life in the highly competitive IT sector, one can’t help feeling that it may well create an Aura of its own success.