The burgeoning outsourcing market, which analysts have cited as the one bright spot in a depleted UK technology sector, has helped Computacenter increase its outsourcing business by 40 per cent.
Announcing Scottish commercial law firm Dundas & Wilson as its latest customer, Computacenter said its outsourcing business is now worth about £145m in the UK.
Starting this month, the £1.5m infrastructure and outsourcing deal will see the law firm's 500-strong workforce supported with IT services on-site and remotely by the corporate reseller.
Dundas & Wilson wanted a complete rebuild of its IT infrastructure as well as ongoing support.
It joins Computacenter's outsourcing customer list that already includes BT and British Airport Authorities, where it supports 100,000 and 10,000 staff respectively.
"Not taking anything away from product sales, but we are seeing customers coming to us now to take costs out of the businesses as well as improve service levels," said Tony Cooper, head of services marketing at Computacenter.
"Companies are outsourcing IT today the same way they outsourced maintenance in the past."
Robert Morgan, chief executive of outsourcing consultant Morgan Chambers, agreed, saying that he expected outsourcing revenues to grow about 20 per cent in the UK this year.
He said there is more in it for the channel as the market changes to meet customer demands and deal sizes increase.
There are fewer deals being won but those that are tend to be bigger, with smaller suppliers benefiting from a subcontractor role, Morgan added.
"Many smaller channel players are supporting the big outsourcers, which are parcelling out parts of a deal to them," he said.
"The market is differentiating between high-risk, high-performance services and generic day-to-day services such as desktops and security."
The channel makes money by working on parts of a deal with the major outsourcer, in the same way as providing a managed service, Morgan said.
"But to be the head supplier in an outsourcing deal you must take the financial risks for the customer, and only the big players can do this."
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