This is the second installment of a three part blog series. John Appleby sits down with Nick Miletich, CTO at Managecore, to discuss how building a next generation managed service firm had to include automation at the helm.
About Nick Miletich, Chief Technical Officer at ManageCore:
I’ve been in the SAP tech industry going on 19 years. I focus mostly on the technology stack in hosting SAP and managing SAP. This is what we call the Basis platform. In addition to that, the hosting platforms and evolving into the cloud stack. So the public clouds the hyperscalers such as Google Cloud, Azure, AWS.
A bit about Managecore:
It is a managed services firm that handles the project work to migrate clients into public clouds in addition to supporting them ongoing from both an SAP Basis standpoint and a public cloud standpoint. So really an all encompassing solution for our clients
John: Getting back to our conversation... Nick, do you see hyperautomation as the key thing for Managecore going forward?
Nick: So, there are also other things going on. I fully believe that this is our track going forward and we're just getting started with it. I really feel like the context of what SAP is, the context of what Basis is, it’s really integration into the cloud.
I think that's really our next big phase with the platform but hyperautomation is first and foremost, you know? Number one on our roadmap when it comes to our technology roadmap.
The reason being is I think there's going to be a lot of newer technologies continually coming out and how we can make that more efficient for our clients is to give them visibility into what's happening. But also then providing, as you were mentioning, data refreshes. How can we turn that from days to hours? And we're always looking for what we would consider our top offenders of time and trying to minimize that with automation.
I think a lot of people at Managecore want newer technology and want the ability to expand their knowledge and Avantra allows that too. So not only is it great for client retention and experience but it's great for employee retention experience.
That could be, as I mentioned earlier, SAP security notes. I mean it is mildly painful to go through those, especially with clients that have not done it before. There's a lot of notes to go through and we can automate that with Avantra. We can automate simple things like kernel patches. Those types of things have been items that have come to light more so in the last five years, as compliance is first and foremost in a lot of people's minds.
You get a lot of mergers and acquisitions and all those types of companies require some level of keeping up to date. Then we have all the standard cyber security. It just becomes more and more prevalent so there's been more focus on things like that.
Well I guarantee you, because we've seen it in the industry, a lot of people haven't been keeping up with that. With Managecore we've been able to do that with the product. With avantra I can keep up to speed. I can keep up to date.
John: What's Managecore's next 12 months look like when it comes to hyperautomation?
Nick: It would be really focusing on the clouds now. We've done some great things with Avantra as it relates to integration into these public clouds so now we can shift the hyperautomation to kind of meld together with SAP and the cloud. So what I mean by that is we have to automate the spin up of servers because there are a lot of work processes that are occurring in CPUs 90% and it's affecting and impacting the ability for clients to be able to log into their SAP system.
I can run cloud commands now to be able to spin up additional servers to mitigate that so that we don't have outages - we have blips but those are easily remedied by hyperautomation and that connectivity back and forth. So that's our next phase at Managecore but it will always be first and foremost. I think a lot of people at Managecore want newer technology and want the ability to expand their knowledge and Avantra allows that too. So not only is it great for client retention and experience but it's great for employee retention experience.
John: So tell me if this isn’t correct, but probably the other big change that's going on at Managecore right now is you now have the size and scale, the maturity of a hyperautomation platform and all of that stuff, to onboard much bigger customers? At the beginning, you guys were very much focused on the mid market segment but that's changing, right?
Nick: Yes absolutely, you know, we all have to start somewhere and we did that at our ground floor when we first started. But hyperautomation allows Managecore to take on clients that would be out of reach if you will, for certain organizations, and we've moved rapidly up the stream. Our growth over the last three years has been over 1,200% so we've been growing very very fast and that growth is definitely attributed to the capabilities that we can do with hyperautomation and it allows us to rapidly deploy and onboard clients that would have taken months otherwise without automation. So we are definitely moving upstream and have a lot more clients now than six years ago would have been out of reach and automation has helped with that.
John: You can't grow 1,200% without growing the size of the customer. I mean just the volume of onboarding would kill you alone!
Nick: Correct, correct.
John: And by the way, you know that's one of the things that we look at, because we think a lot about customer maturity so we can help customers become more mature. One of the things we look at is the ratio of systems under management or service under management to operators within the Avantra system and you would not believe it! I'm not going to disclose all the details but you will not believe the variance in that - even amongst our customer base let alone against the benchmarks of those that are not using our software. But you guys rank right up there near the top in terms of just the fewest number of people, given the number of systems you have. It's quite impressive.
Nick: Yeah, thank you. I mean it was our goal as we started Managecore and I attribute that to the abilities to automate and the skill set of the consultants we hire. I think if you hire the right people and you automate and put a focus on it. It's very easy to buy a product to deploy a product and to let it sort itself out. And if you go in with that method you will never be able to gain the full capabilities of that product and we have just stuck with it and really grown the product while scaling minimally from an employee standpoint.
Read Managecore's case study to learn more on how it is able to have full visibility and transparency within their SAP operations with Avantra.
Part III coming soon...
Read part I
Building a NextGen managed service business with automation - part 3
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