Navigating the Now: Navisite Blazes an IT Services Trail Rightsized for the Mid-Market
An Interview with Navisite CEO Mark Clayman
Navisite disrupted the IT services landscape right out of the gate in 2021 with our acquisition of global managed service provider Velocity Technology Solutions, which we announced last week. In doing so, we took a monumental step forward in our evolution as a global managed service provider serving the needs of mid-market and enterprise organisations.
Navisite CEO Mark Clayman sat down for an interview regarding what drove the Velocity acquisition, how this combined entity is poised to fill a hole that’s been plaguing the IT market and customer organisations for too long, and why the Navisite mission is more relevant and important now than ever before.
Q: Mark, congratulations on the successful acquisition of Velocity! This is the latest deal in a series of recent acquisitions. Clearly, Navisite has a mission – can you talk more about that?
Certainly. Every step we’ve taken as a company, including the most recent acquisition of Velocity, has been focused on being that trusted partner for mid-market and smaller enterprise companies—with the capabilities, scale, depth of expertise, thought leadership, global reach and customer-centric portfolio of solutions to that can help support 70-80% of our customers’ IT needs.
Customers in the mid-market have large, complex workloads and are looking for guidance and support—but they’re typically faced with limited options. They could go with one of the larger system integrators, but these providers are focused primarily on large “boil the ocean” transformation projects and have a difficult time coming down market to partner with and support the more varied mix of IT needs we see amongst our customers. They could go with a large hosting provider-turned-service-provider, where the menu of services is lengthy but fixed, and their contract often drives the relationship vs. the other way around. Or they could go with a specialised boutique firm, where service is more personalised, but the range of capabilities is limited, including their ability to scale with their customers.
These options aren’t suitable for a long-term partnership, especially when you have complex and constantly changing requirements. We often see companies try to tackle their needs internally, either by stretching existing resources or trying to recruit personnel with the expertise they desperately need in the moment. But these efforts are difficult to scale and manage, especially as needs rapidly change.
These companies want a partner that can work as an extension of their organisation and, to some extent, be part of their organisation—one that has all the IT capabilities and expertise they could possibly need, but also has a highly flexible, customer-centric business model that adapts to the customer, not the other way around. That’s what we’ve built at Navisite, with each acquisition delivering on a critical component of the overall vision. For example, our acquisitions of clckwrk and Privo significantly bolstered our breadth and depth of AWS expertise and cloud services capabilities, while our recent acquisition of Dickinson + Associates, one of the larger players in the mid-market space for ERP and data management solutions, strengthened our SAP services portfolio.
Q: That brings us to the Velocity announcement. What drew you to Velocity as the next company to acquire?
Velocity is a well-established leader in the mid-market, with 15+ years in managed application and cloud services. In addition to expanding our global presence, data centre footprint and public cloud expertise, the company has built a strong business around application managed services that enhances our Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft and SAP solution portfolio, and adds support for industry-specific ERPs and applications, including JD Edwards, Hyperion, Infor and Epic. Most significantly, by combining our organisations, we become the largest provider focused on the mid-market and small enterprise, with the broadest array of solutions, services and contractual flexibilities that are specifically rightsized for their needs.
This expansion is essential as we help our customers Navigate the Now of IT change across every part of their technology stack—from cloud migration and management to infrastructure, enterprise application and data management services. It also allows us to further specialise our services at the vertical level, helping us bring more sector-specific expertise to customers in industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, life sciences, retail, financial services and others.
Q: Navisite has invested heavily in its cloud capabilities and expertise. Can you talk about Navisite’s priorities and vision for cloud services and how the Velocity acquisition plays a role?
Velocity extends Navisite’s relationship and scale with AWS and Microsoft, and adds another public cloud solution for our customer base looking to leverage Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). This is important because the customers we serve are generally not invested in just one cloud service or platform. They may have some workloads in a private cloud or on-premises, but as they move to the public cloud, they’re increasing looking for multi-cloud support and options. It’s not uncommon to have a customer with different divisions or parts of the organisation leveraging some combination of AWS, Azure, Google and/or OCI—and they need a partner who can help them effectively migrate, manage and optimise these investments.
We’ve built our business on being platform-agnostic, which means we’re going to provide the best recommendations, solutions and support based on what our customers need, not personal preferences. We’ve built the capabilities to do that across all the major applications, systems, platforms and cloud providers.
Q: The events of 2020 have led IT executives everywhere to re-evaluate their IT priorities and operations? How would you advise them to think about managed services as part of their strategy going forward?
Going into 2021 and beyond, IT organisations will be trying to strike a balance between strategic digital transformation initiatives that will drive revenue, growth and differentiation in their industries and the day-to-day tasks that keep the business running. Many of them are having to do so without the benefit of a larger budget or more resources—especially given the challenges of the past year. What can they do to cost-effectively navigate near-term priorities, but also put themselves in a position to quickly accelerate and compete as we come out of the pandemic?
This is where having the right partner who is prepared to grow with them over a number of years is crucial. They should be asking the hard questions: Does the partner truly understand the customer’s business and industry? Do they have the deep technical expertise on the backend, along with a broad set of solutions and services that can support a highly varied set of demands—whether it’s to solve an immediate IT problem, augment their internal team or design, deploy and execute a cloud migration strategy? Can the partner identify and implement ways to optimise their business, whether it’s reducing cloud costs, providing on-demand access to specialised talent or developing and managing a highly customised application? Can I trust and truly partner with them?
This is exactly why we at Navisite talk about helping our customers Navigate the Now. Our mission is to be that trusted partner they can turn to for all of their IT needs, no matter the challenge or conditions they’re facing.