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Tikit Continues Push into Managed Services – First Response Services

February 19, 2013

I was chatting to the IT Director at a well known UK law firm last Friday afternoon when his phone chirruped. He instinctively glanced at it and the said “that’s interesting – I’ve just received an offer of 7*24*365 Help Desk from Tikit”.  Indeed it is interesting, he is not an existing customer of Tikit and the email was clearly a mail merge to (I assume) all UK IT Directors in the legal sector.

The email was entitled Tikit Managed Services: First Response Services.

Although the email did not refer to this service as ‘new’ it certainly doesn’t show itself on the Tikit website and is not a service I’ve heard Tikit reference previously. The description of the service is fairly high level but seems to be offering a London based Help Desk 7*24*365 to provide first line support for standard MS Office tools and legal applications.

I blogged previously on Tikit’s push into managed services first when they announced new recruits and referencing the press release confirming the acquisition by BT. As I said at that time, Tikit really is well positioned to take advantage of the outsourcing and managed service opportunities in the legal sector – which, in my opinion, are likely to grow strongly in the next 18-24 months.  Their unparalleled client base, their undoubted expertise in the legal sector and now the scale of the BT organisation combine to make a pretty compelling proposition.

But.. and, in my opinion, there is a pretty big But.

It’s really not that easy to deliver top rated IT services. While Tikit offer telephone support on some in-house developed and Autonomy products it is not straightforward to suddenly offer end to end IT services – going from being a cog in the wheel to building, owning and maintaining the wheel if you like. IBM, Accenture and the like do this very well indeed, they have operating processes honed over time, these operated by folk who have run commercial support services for many years – creating this true specialism is not easy.

My view of Tikit is that they are a sales led organisation who understand the legal sector very well. My experience of their support is mixed – in summary, some good people who are stretched pretty thin and who operate only fairly basic procedures.

Generally looking at the new players in the managed services and outsourcing arena, my concern is that they are opportunistic and have moved from their core offering – which may be hardware maintenance, software reselling, technical consulting, ‘rackspace’ providers or hardware reselling. Few truly understand ‘industrial strength’ IT service and system management and most think that they can simply extend their support desks and maintenance processes into outsourcing.  My experience is that when really pushed they have only a superficial understanding and experience of the processes, tools and skills needed to offer premier league services. A trap that many fall into, which illustrates the lack of deep understanding, and which I’m afraid Tikit displayed in their First Response Services email – is to claim ITIL accreditation and then straightaway describe their services without using the correct ITIL terminology.

So in Summary

Tikit is pushing forward into managed services.  A sound strategy and given their market position one with great potential – I just hope that they really invest in this new service rather than it being “an extension of an add on”.  It will certainly be interesting to watch this story evolve.

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