Servcorp mulls hosted productivity software

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Servcorp mulls hosted productivity software

For staff and virtual office customers.

Servcorp has flagged the potential to offer hosted productivity software to its 35,000 virtual office customers.

Chief operating officer Marcus Moufarrige told iTnews that the growing maturity of productivity suites - such as Google Apps and Office365 - made them a potentially attractive value proposition for customers.

"Now that those products are actually working and becoming reasonably mature, I think there's a good opportunity for us ... to distribute those services to our [virtual office] clients," Moufarrige said.

Moufarrige said that if Servcorp went down the hosted productivity path for customers, it would "probably deploy [the suites] internally across our organisation as well", leading to further scale-out and cost benefits.

In addition to access to office space and addresses in 120 countries, current virtual office clients receive a local phone number and access to telecommunications services, fax-to-mail and videoconferencing.

Moufarrige said that the firm is at least a year away from adding third-party hosted software services to the products it can provide its virtual office clients.

Cloud adoption

In the more immediate future, Servcorp is accelerating its own adoption of cloud services internally.

The firm has shifted to a Zendesk hosted platform for helpdesk support for its virtual office clients. Clients receive a certain amount of IT support bundled into their virtual office packages.

Moufarrige said a hosted helpdesk system made sense because it cut latency for international users accessing support services, and reduced Servcorp's costs.

"We were previously running a centralised solution housed in Australia so latency and performance of the system to places like Saudi Arabia and even into China was pretty slack," he said.

Servcorp's Zendesk instance currently stands alone, although there are plans to integrate it with enterprise systems.

"I believe we will work on API stuff with them [Zendesk] but haven't at this point," Moufarrige said.

Servcorp has also migrated off an internally built customer relationship management system onto a hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform.

And there are plans to migrate more enterprise systems off premise and into the cloud.

"The next step would be to move all of our billing systems into the cloud," Moufarrige said.

The company is also eyeing a hosted enterprise resource planning system but did not go into details.

Moufarrige said that the migration to hosted service wasn't a "fashion ... or spur of the moment decision" for Servcorp, but rather one that plugged into the company's culture.

"We're pretty early at jumping on things when we think there's going to be a fundamental change of technology," he said.

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