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As a leading ICT products and services provider, VSTECS has transformed itself — from a singlecountry distributor for Huawei to a global service partner, improving its service capabilities, building service product competitiveness, and aligning service sales resources.

James Lee Vice President, Enterprise Solutions Group, VSTECS (Singapore) Pte., Ltd

VSTECS is a leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) products and services provider in the Asia Pacific region. Established in 1985, the company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of VSTECS Holdings, a company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (0856.HK). Its network includes more than 40,000 active channel partners in the Asia Pacific region, making it the preferred partner for global ICT vendors looking to achieve business growth in the Asia Pacific market.

VSTECS operates in three main businesses: Enterprise Systems, IT Services, and Distribution. Enterprise Systems provide Multinational Corporations (MNCs), local governments, and domestic companies with IT infrastructure design, installation, and implementation services. Its IT services cover a comprehensive range of technical support and training services to meet the technical requirements of global customers, including 24/7 technical support for mission-critical operations and businesses. VSTECS uses a well-established and highly efficient logistics and IT infrastructure to deliver products quickly and efficiently for its Distribution business.

VSTECS’s Challenges and Cooperation Strategies

VSTECS and Huawei first began to collaborate in the Chinese market in 2013. Today, VSTECS is one of Huawei’s leading distributors and core service partners in the country. This partnership wasn’t without difficulties in the initial stages.

• VSTECS’s regional teams weren’t familiar with Huawei’s business platform and had to consult with Huawei’s service managers on their roles and responsibilities, impacting service quotation efficiency. Teething problems like a lack of technical knowledge and rationalization of service processes also meant that business opportunities were lost to competing distributors.

• The collaborative efforts and commitment by VSTECS and Huawei in knowledge transfer and adjustment of service processes overcame these initial issues. In due course, both parties have raised the service delivery standards beyond those expected by customers.

VSTECS and Huawei managed to sustain their success in China through service cooperation. This has helped VSTECS’s regional teams realize the importance of technical capabilities; only with strong technical capabilities can they win the mindshare and commitment of distributors and their second-tier resellers, enhancing customer perception of products and the value of solutions at the same time. They also realized that by using localized, value-added technical services they can help resellers increase competitiveness and effectively identify customer Operation and Maintenance (O&M) pain points, to solve O&M challenges and increase O&M value for customers during technical support.

With these developments in mind, VSTECS finalized its regional service development strategy in 2015. It aims to establish itself as the leading ICT product and technology service provider in the Asia Pacific region by improving services sales and delivery capabilities, and providing value-added services for resellers. This strategy paves the way for the future development of the service business.

Furthermore, VSTECS accelerated the implementation of its regional strategy by determining specific cooperation content and scheduling regular meetings with Huawei’s regional teams. At these meetings, VSTECS discusses service organization interaction, delivery process adaptation, skill improvement targets and plans, and joint service sales targets.

Improving Service Capabilities

In 2015, VSTECS, supported by Huawei’s policies, also invested heavily in its service business, achieving remarkable results in terms of technical capabilities, service platforms, project delivery, and maintenance services.

Technical capabilities: VSTECS became a Huawei Certified Service Partner (CSP) in 2015, and it has since built technical capabilities in various aspects, such as sales and technology. By 2017, VSTECS had obtained 21 certificates and become a Huawei five-star CSP in the data communication and enterprise IT fields.

Service platform and lab environment: VSTECS established service sales teams after learning about Huawei’s service quotation platform, and began independently completing service configuration and quotation. VSTECS also set up labs to provide resellers with sales and technical support. In these labs, as well as product and technical training, they worked with resellers to offer proof-of-concept services and integrated third-party applications and solutions to enhance resellers’ competitiveness in their go-to-market efforts.

Project delivery: Through collaboration with Huawei in delivering joint projects, VSTECS increased their best practices and the competitiveness of their professional services. For example, in an Asia Pacific regional project for one of China’s leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs), VSTECS and Huawei’s technical support team overcame challenges and implemented standardized installation as well as alarm platform interconnection. The project’s success reinforced the foundation for VSTECS’s future projects. Similarly, in a data center project for a regional leading Internet enterprise, VSTECS’s technical experts worked with Huawei’s data center experts to resolve problems related to integrating Disaster Recovery (DR) architecture within the customer’s devices and applications. Upon completion, the project was lauded by the customer’s infrastructure operation director.

Maintenance and management services: VSTECS released a multi-vendor technical service for resellers and customers that helped meet VSTECS’s requirements for local provider services. The service was based on the features and delivery interface of Huawei’s Co-Care service product. To ensure customer satisfaction, VSTECS also obtained the necessary spare parts and remote technical services by signing back-to-back service contracts (Co-Care, for example) with multiple vendors, including Huawei.

The development of the sales and delivery capability for VSTECS technical service products has helped achieve profit growth by addressing key business challenges through digitalization, expert advice, and ongoing capability development.

Facilitating MNC Project Delivery

VSTECS has multiple sales and service organizations in the Asia Pacific region. With increasing demand from Multinational Customers (MNCs), service cooperation between VSTECS and Huawei expanded to MNC projects in 2017. Indeed, VSTECS was Huawei’s first global CSP that could meet the quick project delivery expectations of MNC customers.

In a storage system project for a well-known European enterprise, VSTECS collaborated with the customer’s domestic reseller team to successfully deliver a storage solution for its subsidiary in Singapore. Within four days, VSTECS had aligned the delivery content and completed delivery design review and countersigning, storage system implementation and application integration, as well as project acceptance and archiving. The project met the customer’s requirements for quick project delivery.

Through the expansion and delivery of MNC projects, VSTECS gradually established a business network that involved distributors in China as well as in European countries, helping them successfully deliver multiple MNC projects in the Asia Pacific region. MNC customers included multiple well-known ISPs and Over-the-Top (OTT) enterprises in China.

By the end of 2019, VSTECS had obtained more than 250 certificates in six countries within the Asia Pacific region. These certificates recognize the company’s product and solution delivery capabilities in multiple technical fields, including cloud computing, datacom, storage, unified communications, and video surveillance.

Developing Installed Base Opportunities

VSTECS actively participates in Huawei’s service incentive programs. In fact, its service sales teams recently adopted Huawei’s installed base development business strategy and aligned with Huawei’s service team to determine its installed base renewal operation mode.

To achieve this, VSTECS manages reseller installed bases using Huawei’s installed base management system. It has also increased its number of outbound calls to resellers, to promote its willingness and efficiency regarding service contract renewal. Another strategy has been to establish framework and development processes, to develop cooperation with Huawei’s service contract renewal team.

Finally, VSTECS has collaborated with internal technical teams to analyze equipment capacity, performance, and use rate, and recommend technology updates to optimize products and solution value for customers.

Six months after adopting the installed base strategy, VSTECS was able to independently develop distributor installed bases. As a result, the company’s service contract renewal performance increased from 12 percent to 71 percent, becoming a benchmark among regional service partners in the service contract renewal business.

Business Prospects

In 2020, VSTECS will continue to provide technical support for distributors, renew installed base contracts, deliver MNC projects, fulfill contracts, and increase its cooperation with Huawei.

To do so, it will help Huawei’s CSP resellers and customers develop proactive and preventative technical skills as well as self-service capabilities using Huawei’s eService platform.

This increased cooperation will also entail promoting Huawei’s Powered Service, a collaborative service product, by identifying the service requirements of products and solutions and the service capabilities of resellers. VSTECS will also help resellers deliver excellent services with Huawei’s remote and onsite technical support, and enhance customer perception of products and solution value.

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