Recently created VAR Proximity Communications is aiming to be the UK’s top Nortel reseller and hopes to ruffle the feathers of the vendor’s larger partners.
Created by the merger of VARs Applinet and Unified Group, Proximity will have upwards of 80 staff and more than £10m annual turnover. Applinet’s Darren Boyce will be chief executive, while Unified’s Michael Lloyd assumes the managing director role. All seven board members from the two companies will sit on Proximity’s board.
“Applinet was our biggest competitor and this is not the first time we have spoken about a merger,” said Lloyd. “The time was right.”
Boyce stressed the deal was a true merger, rather than an acquisition, and added:
“On our own, we possibly would have struggled.”
Both claimed the deal would give Proximity unrivalled Nortel technical expertise. Lloyd said it would give the firm the muscle to compete with Nortel’s bigger VARs.
“In the past, we have been seen as someone in the background, but we are going to be a £10m business and that argument has gone away,” he said. “We are going to be in the face of all the larger players, including BT and Affiniti.”
Boyce claimed bolstering managed services revenue would be a key focus for Proximity. He said he and Lloyd would complement each other.
“My strength is in strategy and the chief executive role is about development of the business,” he said. “Michael is quite hands on and his role will be around the day-to-day running of Proximity.”
Mario DiMascio, Nortel’s leader for Northern Europe, claimed the deal would place Proximity firmly in the vendor’s top three UK VARs.
“It is a really good match,” he said. “As the market consolidates, organisations will buy from companies with more scale. This will give Proximity more opportunity.”
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