What is unique about the standard of quality offered by GITA?
GITA is all about service. It’s based on the quality standard of speed: fast quote turnaround, fast responses to queries and fast delivery. Sometimes there are cultural differences or diverging commercial circumstances, which means that lead times may vary. Our strength as GITA members, however, is that we understand those nuances and communicate them to our customers, thereby setting the right expectation. This is a real GITA advantage and customers appreciate it.
What have been the deciding criteria in choosing new members?
New members are typically sourced via our trusted executive network within key vendors such as HP. They have to exhibit the right size, scale, portfolio, ranking in territory but most importantly a culture and way of working that aligns with the other GITA partners. There has to be a commitment to the network from top management and a willingness to collaborate in a non-competitive manner for the mutual benefit of our customers. We then run several pilot leads and, if all goes well, we get the agreement of the core GITA members. After that we admit the partner and sign contracts.
In a nutshell, what does a typical pilot project involve?
Projects range from three laptops to a full-scale infrastructure solution complete with services rollout. Typically we see initial demands for a specific requirement or project, such as the opening of a new office. Thereafter the relationship builds with the local partner and can grow into daily business and further projects. As we progress, we expect to service larger requirements, including competing in more multi-territory RFPs collaboratively.
What do GITA members expect from each other?
The GITA partners and prospective partners have embraced GITA and what it represents in terms of being able to supply outside of their home territories and service their customers at a new level. We determine service and customer care levels as a group and expect each partner to live up to those SLA agreements.
Are there any similar alliances in the IT industry? If so, how is GITA different?
There are other alliances and other “black box” software solutions but GITA offers a trusted network of hand-picked partners. This means that, should something go wrong, it can be and is fixed quickly. Customers want a solution they can rely on and GITA has an excellent record of high service levels and a personalised approach. On top of that, local delivery and invoicing and local knowledge make GITA a unique proposition in the market.
Has customer demand changed in any way since you first launched GITA?
As customers become more confident in our ability to deliver through GITA, they expect more. One of the areas they are very keen on is management reporting of the goods and services ordered via GITA. This is something we are working on as a priority to solve.
Has GITA’s development over the past few years reflected your own expectations?
The development of GITA has been organic and step-by-step, based on opportunities and customer-led expectations. I am very pleased that today we can offer our customers a breadth and reach of supply which simply wasn’t possible two years ago. With virtually no investment and just the efforts of a group of passionate individuals, backed by executive-level support, we have created something substantial from nothing. It is win-win for all partners; there is no downside. All business is incremental and the advantages go beyond the additional revenue, customer stickiness and margin-share fees. The opportunity to share IP, ideas, experiences and thoughts on IT developments, trends and market movements with other trusted, premium resellers around the globe is unparalleled and unique in our industry today.
What markets or regions would you like to tap into? Are there any other plans for expansion?
With 80%-90% of the key territories covered with the partners we have within GITA, new partners will mostly be fill-in additions in niche areas. These are likely to be in territories where demand is growing, such as the Middle East, or in areas where specialist technology is growing, such as audio-visual. We currently have several new partners in pilot.
What will GITA look like in 3, 5 or 10 years?
GITA will evolve and grow progressively with customer demand, whilst never losing sight of the reason for its creation. We may see more systems, reporting added capabilities and the ability to view customer orders end-to-end no matter where the order was placed. The airline industry’s STAR Alliance offers a great blueprint for what GITA could become in the future. These developments will come only with time and only at the point that they make commercial sense.