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Sooraj Shah

Contributing Editor

Sooraj Shah is Contributing Editor of New Statesman Tech with a focus on C-level IT leader interviews. He is also a freelance technology journalist.

The future for Logicalis is managed services, says CEO Bob Bailkoski 

Bob Bailkoski joined Logicalis five years ago as chief financial officer, before being promoted to chief operating officer, and then at perhaps the most unforgiving time, he was made CEO of the company in March this year, as lockdowns became part of the new normal that he would have to help Logicalis navigate through. 

When Bailkoski joined the organisation, Logicalis was still in the early stages of its transformation from being a value added reseller (VAR) to becoming a VAR with more long-term managed service offerings in place. Now, the company brings in $1.7bn of revenue globally, of which $415m is associated with the longer-term recurring revenue sources including managed services.  

“My job as CEO has been to really accelerate that drive towards a lifecycle solution partner for our customers, helping them with their product selection whether it’s on-premise or cloud, helping them with implementation and configuration, all of which are traditional services we’ve always done, but then wrapping a managed service around that to make sure that that the newest data they’ve purchased or the transformation they’ve gone through operates in line with their original expectations,” he says.  

Within a few weeks of Bailkoski joining the company, it had to shut down many of its offices which are spread across 26 countries. 

“In the space of a month and a half, we got into remote working environments pretty much everywhere – 98 per cent of our people were working remotely within a few weeks,” he says. 

Like many other resellers and MSPs, Logicalis saw sales of its collaboration tools and secure connectivity technologies grow at the expense of more traditional product lines during the peak of the pandemic. This included a halt from Logicalis’ customers on multi-million dollar transformation projects. 

Now, Logicalis is seeing a shift back to expenditure on core technologies. However, the conversations with customers are now about how they can gear themselves up with the agility, resiliency and scalability required in case there are further lockdowns or other catastrophic events. 

“Inevitably when you’re talking to them about all of these things, the conversation turns towards a combination of public cloud and private cloud infrastructure,” Bailkoski says. 

As a result, managed services is the natural conversation that comes next because of the difficulties in running and managing those environments. 

Meanwhile, the big projects that were put on hold have now started to be reignited. Bailkoski believes that future lockdowns or disruptions now won’t stop these projects from going ahead because enterprises have already established their remote working requirements and are not panicking about that transition.   

Strategic work with Microsoft and Cisco

The company is building on its global relationships with two strategic vendors – Microsoft and Cisco.  

“We’re seeing real traction for some of our cloud solutions which push workloads onto Microsoft’s public cloud and we’ve seen a lot of traction in engaging with Cisco’s network programmability capability called DevNet – these are two modern, innovative partner activities that resonate really well with our customers,” says Bailkoski.  

“I think those types of solutions and approaches, as we also wrap managed services around them, will make sure that Logicalis’ future will be sustainable, profitable and have a growing future,” he adds.