08
January
2020
|
09:04
Europe/Amsterdam

Managed Services: light as cloud, secure as fortress – Combining security and flexibility with SolarWinds and Konica Minolta

Summary

More and more companies are moving their IT processes into the cloud and are therefore trusting their cloud service partners with valuable, in part highly business-critical information. For many organisations, however, one field of controversy still remains the level of data and software security surrounding managed IT services: are we sure the installed tools and processes do not create potential vulnerabilities? Clearly, this needs to be a top priority of service providers. They need to have the right tools and systems in place to be able to provide top-of-the-line services tailored to their customers’ needs, while at the same time assuring the simplest and most secure user experience. Both first-hand experiences and overall industry development have helped reduce such concerns and shown how secure those solutions are today, when implemented with the right partners. As a managed IT services provider, Konica Minolta ensures the highest level of security in all its solutions. A key enabling factor here is its long-term collaboration with strong IT-specialist partners like SolarWinds, a leader in the field of scalable IT service and network management solutions, that has been working with Konica Minolta for more than half a decade.

Digital security as a prerequisite for successful business today

An increasing number of processes are digital and connected – accessed from different sources and external parties. This increases the possibilities for information and data theft from companies, as more entry points might be found for illegal access to company IT environments. Cloud solutions thus need to be installed and guarded properly.

While most experts agree that enterprises actually benefit from the protections built into the cloud, security remains a worrying issue for CIOs. 66% of IT professionals say security is their most significant concern when adopting an enterprise cloud-computing strategy[1]. Hence the willingness to dedicate resources to IT system security is steadily increasing. Global annual cyber security spending reached $96 billion at the end of 2018[2], underscoring the status of digital security and the importance of the topic.

With cybercrime threat levels continuously rising, this change in mindset and the corresponding investments are imperative for the industry. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be a ransomware attack on businesses every 14 seconds by the end of 2019[3], significantly altering costs for companies. Yearly cybercrime damages will reach $6 trillion by 2021[4].

A high level of data and software security is thus necessary, but companies and especially SMBs often struggle to establish this or keep up by themselves. As an example, only 12% of global IT organisations understand how GDPR affects their IT services[5].

 

Konica Minolta’s approach to providing the best-fitting IT solutions

As an MSP, Konica Minolta provides solutions to prepare its customers for the digital future. The IT specialist is committed to delivering tailored managed IT services which meet the highest security standards and all other needs of customers in terms of process efficiency, functionalities and ownership models. The goal is to provide transparency for customers in all processes relating to managed service solutions. To enable this and ensure the necessary flexibility, Konica Minolta works with a network of renowned partners who are well-established, key players within their fields of business – just like SolarWinds.

Since IT services and MSPs have the capabilities and superior resources to address these issues including new and changing laws and regulations, building strong relationships with established service providers is highly beneficial for companies.

SolarWinds, a leader in the field of software solutions for scalable IT service and network management solutions, is a prime example of one of these successful long-term collaborations, especially in the European market. Konica Minolta is thus able to offer its customers the best-available service packages tailored to their company circumstances, IT environments and business needs. Kieron McDonald, ITS Business Development Manager, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe, explains: “Our goal is to deliver our services and solutions at the highest possible level for our customers. To this end we want to be a long-term service partner that provides tailored systems for our customers. This requires a network of strong partners like SolarWinds who share our mindset of a customer-centric business approach and who can support us accordingly.”

 

A partnership to pave the way for business success

The partnership between Konica Minolta and SolarWinds is mutually beneficial for both companies. On the one hand, SolarWinds’ software solutions support Konica Minolta with its managed IT service delivery. On the other hand, Konica Minolta delivers valuable information on usability of the various tools and software platforms. In Europe in particular, success in a variety of projects testifies to the partnership between SolarWinds and Konica Minolta.

In Spring 2019, SolarWinds MSP has named Konica Minolta the winner of its award “2018 Top Growth Year over Year – MSP” for the Nordics region. David Weeks, Director Sales MSP at SolarWinds, elaborates: “Through this well-earned award, we are very excited to acknowledge Konica Minolta’s continued growth and the support it is providing for its customers across Europe. Together with partners like Konica Minolta we are able to help drive scalable, efficient and secure IT management to the market and improve the level of our solutions still further through the continuous feedback we receive. And as we have been working together for quite some time now, we know that we can only expect bigger and better solutions from Konica Minolta as it continues to push forward to meet its customers’ needs, ensuring advanced IT management along with robust data security.”

“We are honoured to have received this award from SolarWinds MSP in recognition of our successful growth as a managed IT service provider especially in the Nordics,” says Kieron McDonald: “It reflects our already strong position as a supplier and shows that we are further able to expand across the region in this highly dynamic and important business field. It also proves that we are on the right track with our very customer-centric approach.”

Managed IT services are a key business field for Konica Minolta as it significantly expands its IT services operations. Konica Minolta succeeded in growing its European IT business by 14 per cent in the past financial year to 257 million Euros. This is reflected in Konica Minolta being named one of the global top 100 IT vendors according to Gartner’s recently published “Market Insight: Gartner Global Top 100 IT Vendors in 2018.”[6]

 

Partner case: “The biggest advantage for our customers is that they can pick and choose from services they need without having to pay for something they don’t want”

As one of Konica Minolta’s partners for the distribution of its software and IT service solutions in Sweden, OAS has broad experience in implementing SolarWinds in tailored IT solutions. “After we first heard about SolarWinds from Konica Minolta, it did not take very long before we were convinced that we should integrate it into our portfolio of offerings. It is a perfect fit for our customer base of mainly SMBs and gives both them and also us as service provider many advantages,” explains Thomas Cole, VD Tech at OAS. “The solution is so woven into our offering that customers don’t have to think about what exactly SolarWinds is or does for them. Instead, we deliver the value to the customer that the solution provides. The biggest advantage for our customers is that they can pick and choose from services they need without having to pay for something they don’t want. This makes the services and propositions very precise and gives us the perfect birds-eye-view of our offerings and the associated service needs.”

 

The customer at the heart of Konica Minolta’s IT solutions

“For Konica Minolta, working together with strong partners like SolarWinds is natural and emphasises the strengths of its customer-centric business approach,” concludes Kieron McDonald. Managed IT services is such a broad field that it is essential for service providers like Konica Minolta to form strong relationships.

Relationships with established software vendors like SolarWinds who are experienced in this field ensure that Konica Minolta is able to provide its customers with the best-possible solutions. Placing customer needs at the heart of Konica Minolta’s IT services ensures they can be specifically tailored to the company environment and integrated into existing IT environments, while at the same time future-proofing organisations’ operations.

[1] Cloud Security Statistics Every CIO Should Know; DSM; 2019; https://www.dsm.net/it-solutions-blog/cloud-security-statistics-every-cio-should-know

[2] Cybersecurity Trends Report; Crowd Research Partners; 2017; https://crowdresearchpartners.com/portfolio/cybersecurity-trends-report/

[3] Global Ransomware Damage costs predicted to hit $11.5 Billion by 2019; Cybercrime Magazine; 2017; https://cybersecurityventures.com/ransomware-damage-report-2017-part-2/

[4] The 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report; Cybersecurity ventures, Herjavec group; 2019; https://www.herjavecgroup.com/the-2019-official-annual-cybercrime-report/

[5] Cloud Security Statistics Every CIO Should Know; DSM; 2019; https://www.dsm.net/it-solutions-blog/cloud-security-statistics-every-cio-should-know

[6] Market Insight: Gartner Global Top 100 IT Vendors in 2018; Gartner, John-David Lovelock; 2019; https://www.gartner.com/document/3913712