Xwave adds to fulfillment services portfolio

St. John’s, Nfld.-based IT services provider Xwave, a division of Bell Aliant, has rebranded its Fulfillment Services business in an effort to offer a more comprehensive portfolio that better defines its service offerings.

Xwave’s Fulfillment Services business is now called Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS). The rebranding effort essentially serves to illustrate that the company provides more than just fulfillment services, said the company’s solutions manager, Andrew Parlee.

“Rebranding reflects who were are and what we offer our customers as well as our partners,” said Parlee, adding that the company’s capabilities lie beyond mere hardware and software implementations, but rather the capability to bundle those services into comprehensive offerings.

Besides the newly-named ATS, Xwave also has a professional services business unit.

ATS will continue to offer what its predecessor did – services, support and sole-source procurement pertaining to infrastructure including computing hardware, network devices, software and related accessories. But ATS’ new offerings will include consolidation, virtualization and green IT services.

The business unit will also now have the added resource of a technology consulting team to assist with pre-sales support and the delivery and implementation of hardware and software services to customers.

The team will also help deliver the certifications that Xwave requires of its partnerships, such as those with IBM, Hewlett Packard and others. Parlee noted that Xwave already did provide these services “for some time.” However, the rebranding “reflects that capability and true offering we have today.”

Jason Bremner, director of infrastructure hardware with Toronto-based research firm IDC Canada, thinks the makeover is good for Xwave’s marketplace positioning and elevation above competition in this space. In particular, he added, the rebranding grants leverage above organizations consistent with the “old mentality of fulfillment services”.

Offering services around virtualization and green IT gives the company an opportunity to grow its business, given market demand for those specific skills, said Bremner.

The offerings will prove useful to the enterprise customer who may be unwilling or incapable of investing in those particular skills, he said, and “gives them an outlet to acquire those skills, if you will, through a relationship with Xwave.” Having access to that expertise, he added, is important considering the talent scarcity and the associated retention challenges that businesses currently face. Enterprise customer aside, Bremner said the new portfolio will benefit smaller organizations as well.

In 2003, Bell Alliant had said it was planning to sell off Xwave and satellite communications company, Stratos Global, because of financial losses attributed to Xwave and other subsidiaries. Parlee said that to his knowledge, Xwave’s rebranding effort had nothing to do with that announcement.

Bremner said he couldn’t speak to Xwave’s internal motivations, however did agree with Parlee that the rebranding aligns with the company’s strategy to go after certain markets.

Xwave’s rebranding coincides with the announcement of several contracts including one with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind involving a consolidation impact assessment of the company’s server infrastructure to determine the business impact of consolidation and the potential for reduced cost and energy usage.

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