The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) is ramping up its professional services organisation in a bid to move into the enterprise.
The supplier has suffered from flat revenues over the past few years, but hopes that repositioning itself as an enterprise player will boost growth. However, it recognises that the demands of the market are different from the core small and medium business sector it currently operates in and that large corporates demand more proactive direct support when buying software.
Doug Michels, SCO?s president and chief executive, said at the SCO Forum developers' conference in Santa Cruz last week: ?We have a handful of staff in professional services and it?s currently a very small piece of our business. If we had to deliver the services to win a large deal, we would do it out of necessity, but we have to be a lot more willing and able to jump proactively into projects because the enterprise expects you to be there.?
He continued: ?Revenues from the business are negligible now, but it already has a separate profit and loss account, and the sales force will now have a quota to sell services, whereas before it was told not to sell them. The enterprise requires you to have account handlers and it needs you to be there.?
David McCrabb, vice president of international sales, added that SCO was now in the process of setting up a worldwide organisation dedicated to helping users build IT infrastructure and implement systems.
The unit will focus on five main areas - making Unix communicate with Unix, and making Unix talk to NT, an area where SCO already has skills because of the work it does with Microsoft around its Tarantella middleware and client integration.
The business will also concentrate on clustering - an area in which SCO?s channel currently has little experience - plus integration skills for Tarantella, and Year 2000 audits on a fixed price work schedule. The audit work will be based around an internally developed system and is being viewed as a significant revenue opportunity.
?We?re going to set up four practices in all major countries starting with the US and Europe, and we expect professional services to grow by two or three times over the next year. Support currently generates about 10 per cent of our revenues and professional services is a significant proportion of that,? McCrabb said.
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