iCorps Debuts Cloud-based IT Support Program - Encompass Edge
iCorps has officially launched an innovative new program, Encompass Edge, to meet a growing demand for business IT support programs that leverage cloud services. Edge was designed with a focus on helping businesses optimize their cloud spend, enable end-user productivity, inform key business decisions through insightful metrics, manage data protection and compliance, and get the most out of their IT spend. Like its predecessors, Encompass and Encompass + IT Leadership on Demand, Edge will feature 24 x 7 remote monitoring, help desk support, maintenance, and high-level strategic consulting and planning.
We had a Q & A session with Chandler Stevens, iCorps' Vice President of Cloud Services, to discuss which types of businesses will benefit most from Edge, how the program best supports the modern workforce and how it will help companies — from startups to established businesses — align cloud solutions with unique business objectives.
Here's How the Q & A Session Went
Question 1: Could You Tell Us About the Origin and Timeliness of Encompass Edge?
Stevens: Encompass Edge was created because we saw a need, and an opportunity, to support businesses that aren't traditionally brick and mortar. These include start-ups, companies born in the cloud, or those looking to enable business transformation with cloud services central to their strategy.
In Edge, we are including on-demand virtual readiness and tech support, limiting reliance on legacy technology, and catering to a mostly software-defined infrastructure. We are not working with brittle or outmoded processes - we are designing our support through a modern lens. There is no migration or integration. We wanted to develop an offering that would address the specific needs of that particular working environment.
Question 2: What are Some of the Unique Challenges for Businesses Born in the Cloud?
Stevens: Typically, we see companies without a lot of process. They were created in the cloud with consumer-, rather than enterprise-, grade technologies, which can really inhibit growth and scalability. Things are much more ad hoc, there is a lot of bootstrapping. At a certain point, many want to scale up and incorporate a more predictable and managed infrastructure, but do not have the resources or expertise for that level of organization.
These companies want to focus on growing their business, but don't have the in-house support to fully cover day-to-day IT management. Through Encompass Edge, they would receive enterprise-level expertise on running IT systems, securing data, deploying software, and leveraging additional services. Their digital assets would be secured and managed, freeing up the time and effort necessary to focus on their business' core competencies. The intention, of course, is to better support these companies as they continue to grow.
Question 3: Would Edge Only Benefit Businesses That Were Born in the Cloud?
Stevens: Certainly not. There are two main business demographics that would leverage our new program: companies born in the cloud, and those companies looking to kickstart business transformation with cloud services at the front and center of their strategy.
Businesses that are born in the cloud usually start out leveraging consumer-based cloud services and platforms. They will typically focus on a limited number of core IT competencies and seek providers to outsource everything else. We characterize these companies as being more open to adopt feature-add services and have a better ability to adapt to changes that can provide continuous innovation. This combination is a perfect fit for Encompass Edge and the services we offer.
Companies looking to kickstart the transformation of their business with cloud services have unique needs in our view. Generally, these are established organizations with a traditional brick and mortar foundation, looking to rework their infrastructure to better keep pace with 21st-century trends. This can be spurred by any number of change agents, including more digitally-driven c-level perspectives (VP, CTO, or CIO), increased market competition, and the proliferation of cost-effective cloud-based resources. These companies don't want to regress, they want to use modern capabilities to remain competitive.
Question 4: Looking More so at Program Specifics, Which Types of Business Scenarios Will Encompass Edge Enable?
Stevens: Our program leverages a completely virtualized support, which allows us to assist smaller and growing companies that may not be operating in a traditional office setting. We can support remote or mobile employees, and that sort of immediate client service is really catering to this new breed of customer.
By using secure cloud-based resources, our Edge clients:
- Take advantage of business-class email and online meetings to connect with customers and partners
- Share and manage content, knowledge, and applications to empower teamwork, information search-ability, and organization-wide collaboration
- Are enabled to automate complex and/or time-consuming business tasks and processes across applications and services
- Make actionable business decisions based on telemetry and applied analytics
Question 5: How Would You Describe Edge's Macroscopic Approach to Client Support?
Stevens: We have something of a four-part approach, focusing on different areas of support.
First, we look to provide clients a continuous cloud adoption and integration experience, through careful planning and management. Our advisory services focus on strategy and innovation, covering everything from legacy application retirement to optimized cloud spend. Through the latest technology, and advanced consultative support, we aim to create the smoothest transition possible.
Once a foundation has been set, our consultants turn to service and protection management. Our team is assigned to address routine and out-of-band IT maintenance needs and implement secure and intelligent solutions across devices and our customer's managed cloud infrastructure.
From there, it is really about monitoring the consumption, health, and access of our customer's digital assets. Our specialists review the current state of applications and business processes to make recommendations accordingly for optimal application and platform performance. This is part of our on-going commitment to providing clients a fully realized ROI.
The final piece of this centers around the end-user experience. We want to help ensure that our customer's personnel are benefiting from the cloud services they have invested in by providing on-demand expertise and tailored readiness.
Wrapping these services are our client account managers, who are responsible for overseeing client satisfaction, help drive IT strategies, and assist with IT planning, coordination, budgeting, and prioritization.
Question 6: So Edge is Creating a Space for Digital Transformation?
Stevens: Exactly. Encompass Edge was designed to support and accelerate change, through the adoption of modern technology and processes. These planned and predictable services not only translate to cross-company gains, they set the trajectory for future success.