Jaguar Communications and Voyager Networks, two of the UK's largest networking systems integrators, have been bought by telecoms companies.
Cable & Wireless (C&W) has bought Jaguar and US company RSL Communications acquired Voyager, in deals for undisclosed sums which are the latest examples in a trend. Telecoms company NTL purchased integrator Workplace Technologies in September, and Energis bought Datarange in November.
Martin Hewitt, managing director of Jaguar, said C&W gives the company the backing to bid for the largest customers and an opportunity to expand into fully managed services. There should be no redundancies, and "the initial reaction from both Jaguar employees and C&W has been very enthusiastic", he said. He claimed that customer reaction was good, and does not expect to lose any accounts.
Nigel Williams, marketing director of Voyager, said networking integrators want a big organisation behind them. "There aren't many significant independents left. Those left of their own are going after niche markets," he said. RSL also bought business ISP RedNet last month.
Williams said Voyager had sales of £12m in its latest financial year. Hewitt said Jaguar had sales of just over £10m. Jaguar will be merged with the existing integration arm of C&W, which it acquired from Anite Systems in 1998.
Keith Humphries, an analyst at EuroLan research, said the City wants telecoms companies to demonstrate end-to-end networking capabilities, but customer premises network design and installation is unlikely to become a core business for them. "There are still 20 UK networking integrators with over £10m in sales who remain independent. Many of these will have an exit strategy which includes selling to the right bidder whether this is a carrier, a services specialist or another integrator," he said.
Peter Sadler, product marketing manager at NTL, said if C&W successfully merges its resources with Jaguar's integration skills, it can win customers and offer voice and data skills. "This is about confidence in the marketplace, about how people are going to be deploying networks - voice and data on IP," he said.
After overseeing the integration of Jaguar into C&W, Hewitt will leave the IT industry to become the captain of a chartered yacht around the Caribbean and the UK.
This story has been republished from the 19 April issue of Computer Reseller News
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