Cloud specialist Vapour has joined forces with global IT solutions provider The ICC Group (ICC), to deliver a next-generation managed service proposition for customers.

The collaboration follows ICC’s appointment of well-known industry name Gary Saunders, who will be responsible for growing the managed service division to a multi-million-pound revenue business, in only two years.

With a 60-strong nationwide team and an extensive customer base within the SME, enterprise and public sector markets, ICC’s market success to date has primarily been a result of its hardware product and maintenance offering. But recognising the ever-evolving needs of customers, and rising demand for proactively managed services, the organisation sought the skill-set of an experienced Microsoft CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) to bolster its already successful partner portfolio.

The collaboration means that when ICC customers want to embark on a digital transformation journey, or a cloud-first overhaul of their communications infrastructure, the two firms will join forces to deliver something that truly satisfies the requirements of the brief, and best leverages the expertise of both teams.

“As is the case with any partner we choose to collaborate with, critical to ICC is an unswerving commitment to putting the customer first,” explained The ICC Group’s CEO, Leon Wheeler. “So, whether we’re devising a business continuity solution rich with disaster recovery functionality, a savvy comms platform to facilitate productive remote working, or an analytics layer to unlock business intelligence, it has to centre on what the customer needs, not what we’d like to sell.

“This sounds like such an obvious statement to make, but you’d be surprised how much of this still goes on – and it just doesn’t cut it, especially in the current landscape.”

Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer added: “Like Vapour, ICC is a technology-agnostic business that doesn’t push its own product agenda. These guys don’t try and sell something from their kitbag, just because it makes life easy. They really get to the heart of the customer’s requirements and develop the right-fit solution from there. I’m excited to see where we can go, together.”

Vapour has already taken The ICC Group itself from a legacy on-premise voice system to a licence-based softphone environment designed to support the increased productivity, flexibility and connectedness of colleagues, whether they’re based in one of the company’s four offices or working remotely.

“Even this simple transition for our own business, will bolster our grip on what’s going on – particularly for customers interacting with our service desk,” said Gary. “Armed with more intel, we can fine-tune the level of service we provide. We can analyse email and instant message dialogue too, which would traditionally have only been possible with a very expensive omnichannel platform. This is exactly the type of functionality we can open up to our customers, with ease. There are even Technology as a Service options in the pipeline.

“It all comes down to adding value, and the perception of value has changed significantly in the last 12 months. Customers need agility from their supplier – that’s what leads to long-term relationships – and that’s exactly what we seek in our suppliers too.”