Calyx is ready to battle public sector incumbents to grab new business in the space as it prepares to release a more stable balance sheet.
The firm, which went into administration back in 2010 after failing to pay a secured creditor, has since fought back with support from private equity firm Better Capital.
It has undergone a number of management shakeups over the past year, and seen three sales directors come and go in that time, the most recent one being Terry Williamson who left this month after just three months in the role.
But Steve Clark (pictured), chief executive of Calyx, who himself joined the firm in July 2012 said that most of the ‘heavy lifting’ in terms of management changes had now been done.
“We brought Terry on board and he has made two senior appointments and overseen the next evolution of the sales team. That is what he came to do. We have increased the sales team by 30 per cent and also set up an SI team because we are seeing increased business from that area as well.”
He added: “At the end of the day, the business that I came into a year ago was in need of a lot of change. I don’t think you could have made all the changes at once. It is a process of evolution and it falls into a natural order. We have changed the management team, some of that worked and some of that didn’t. We have brought in a new CTO as part of our strategy to sell more solution-based products and professional services.”
But he warned change was always likely to happen.
“Inevitably there will be more change as the business grows, but we have done all the heavy lifting,” he said.
Last year the firm outlined its plans to re-ignite hardware sales as a means to growing the firm’s annuity-based business, and Clark said that was still its strategy for 2014.
“Customers still want to buy hardware,” he said. “Very few new customers want pure services, usually it evolves as part of a journey. Managed services is an overused word and captures too many evils. Our definition of managed services is when customers start to take on more product lines when we are providing annuity based contracts.”
Looking ahead, Clark said the firm had been through a challenging time, but was ready to fight for more public sector business now.
“We have stability in terms of our balance sheet and it is clearer than it has been before. It has been three years since we were in administration and we have come a long way. We are now in a better position to attack markets that we couldn’t before, including the public sector. This is because barriers have been removed - until finances stack up you are excluded from frameworks. We already have some loyal customers in that space from our SI side, and we want to expand on that,” he said.
Clark said the firm currently sees 65 per cent of business generated through recurring revenues, but is keen to get that up to 75 per cent in the near future.
The blurring of lines between IT and telephony is also an area of opportunity, he said, particularly with firms from a traditional IT background.
“Telephony is now just an application that sits on IT across sites. We have partnered with Gamma and ShoreTel and we have seen success with Microsoft Lync bringing revenue into the business that we have not seen before. We are in a strong position, particularly as in the medium to high SMB space they are looking for one single provider – they want desktop, WAN and mobility from the same supplier.”
And although organic growth was high on his agenda he said he would 'not rule out' acquisition if the opportunity arose.
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