MSPs and resellers are “crying out” for a sustainability-led channel services firm, Richard Eglon claimed as he talked through his rationale for joining ambitious start-up Nebula Global Services.
Having exited inventory-as-a-service outfit Agilitas in April, Eglon officially makes his industry return today as Nebula’s CMO.
By focusing on using local in-country resource, channel-focused professional services outfit Nebula has put sustainability at the heart of its business, Eglon said.
“There’s a big gap in the market when I’m speaking to the owners of the resellers and MSPs: they are crying out for a change in that channel services market,” he told IT Channel Oxygen.
“A lot of progress has happened around the hardware, with people pushing [the lifecycle] from three to five to seven years. But as far as I’m aware nobody out there has started doing that from a people perspective, especially in the UK.
“It’s all fine getting someone with the right skills, but if they’re not close to the site and are having to travel on a plane or long car ride, all that adds to that carbon impact. The whole channel is now asking more about this, just like they did with extending the lifespan of hardware.”
Large, publicly listed IT solutions providers such as Softcat and Computacenter have had their net zero targets approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), with Logicalis among those heading along that path. Partners of all sizes are facing increased scrutiny around sustainability, meanwhile.
Channel services newcomer
Founded in 2020 by former ITEC CEO Ross Teague, the privately held firm has 25-30 full time staff but claims to draw on a global ecosystem of 7,400 technical and service delivery specialists to deliver its professional services.
Using the Cisco world as an example (Nebula is vendor agnostic), Nebula’s typical projects could range from a router swap out with a CCNA engineer to a complex, high-security Meraki firewall deployment, Eglon said.
It was recently involved in a project to kit out an eco-friendly tall office building in London on the strength of its ability to source local resource.
“It was very important to them to choose a partner who could source in-city, in-region technical resource, so the carbon footprint was minimal. Nebula kitted out all the wireless access points, switching and cabling with local people,” Eglon said.
“They’re trying to create their own space in the services market with a real strong sustainability angle, and they’re investing in some really good people, especially on the services side,” he added.
“The next thing [they are working on] is tracking that project piece from a sustainability angle. They are looking to put mechanisms and portals in place to help partners track that right down the supply chain.”
On a personal level, Eglon said he felt “reenergised” after taking a break from the industry to spend more time with his family.
“The bit that gets me going is being part of something at an early stage like Agilitas and Commscare before that were – where you’re taking it from a smaller, underdog trying to disrupt the market in a positive way,” he said.
“I think that channel services part of the market has just been quite static in many ways and I think we’ll now find a number of businesses like Nebula who really start finding their place and their position in the market with some really interesting propositions and value adds they can bring to that channel community.”
Eglon joins former Commscare stablemate Pete Murphy in Nebula’s top team alongside Teague, who sold ITEC to Exclusive Networks in 2014.
“Knowing Ross and Pete quite well was a big incentive for me,” Eglon said.
“The focus for Ross was not to do another ITEC: he wanted to drive the sustainability element of that professional services world.”