What are your plans for the coming year?
As far as the business is concerned we have a sustained model of annuity services. This ranges from maintenance to a range of hosted services.
We are also looking to ensure our accreditation levels continue to grow and we achieve the right levels of accreditation.
That does not necessarily mean vendor accreditation but also on levels of data knowledge that we try to maintain. Then we can continue to drive the quality service we offer customers, for example in government and healthcare.
It is not unusual for us to secure five-to-seven-year deals, which ensures business is sustained in the longer term.
That is the object of our focus. With regards to growth, we are looking at a 22 or 23 per cent increase in annuity services on last year. We are maintaining our traditional product sales as well.
Acquisition certainly isn’t out of the question. It is something we have looked at over 12-18 months but it’s finding the right business that will complement ours. Until then it is business as usual.
We have 42 people in the company across three offices so we have good coverage across the UK. We are looking to complement those staff as we grow the business.
We are just in the middle part of our financial year and are ahead of budget, so we have enjoyed a reasonable performance. While we anticipate we will meet targets this year and we are looking at a reasonable pipeline six months into the year, we don’t ever want to be complacent.
What technology trends do you see in 2013?
It’s not so much about the technology for us. It’s more about the appetite for services. That doesn’t mean technology is not crucial in underpinning the services we provide. Our customers look to us to provide a service as opposed to buying this product or that product. We then have to maintain it. Based on a set of requirements, they want us to deliver a service they can rely on for cash. It takes away the headache of running that IT system and allows them to concentrate on their primary business requirements.
We do see IT-as-a-service as a growth area, and technology is going to underpin that. We are an IT infrastructure and security service provider, so security-as-a-service is a growth area for us in particular. Take telemedicine, in which patient care is delivered back to the customer on a quarterly annuity basis. We do have quite a broad range of customers. That doesn’t mean we don’t sell and implement corporate firewalls as well – there is still a demand for the basics.
Also, mobility is a part of any service. For example, we are providing a telemedicine service in Stoke – it provides diagnostic access to eight A&E departments. This translates to mobile devices that go direct to the clinician’s house. So that is another potential growth area for us.
How do you see the economy panning out this year?
The IT industry has not escaped the current economic climate – just look at 2e2. That cannot be ignored. But in general the IT economy is in good shape. As a business we are in for more of the same: it is going to be difficult, the [public sector] cuts are going to be very deep. We do a lot of work in the public sector so we see the effect. But we also see positive movement in IT spending.
IT-as-a-service allows customers to hold onto their cash a bit more and we are seeing the benefit of that. We are happy with the fact that some organisations want to do more with less, or improve their service with the same outlay. We can help organisations cut costs through the smart use of IT.
In today’s economic climate, IT is one of the few sectors that should still do well – so many businesses need to improve their service through improved IT. However, it will continue to be difficult for the next 12 to 18 months.
I’m not saying we should take advantage of these difficult times, but we are well placed to offer businesses an innovative cost base reduction.
Imerja was founded in 2004 and is a specialist IT service provider to a range of public and private sector organisations. The firm offers a mix of technical, engineering, professional and support services. It has offices in Bolton, Leicestershire and Hertfordshire. Vendor partners include Aruba, Check Point, Cisco, Exinda, Extreme, Good Technology, Juniper and Websense.
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