Managed services player Prime Networks has snapped up fellow MSP Constant IT in a move it hopes will offer it a range of opportunities to cross-sell connectivity to its new customers.
Prime Networks is based in central London and is home to about 15 staff, turning over around £3m a year. The connectivity specialist also provides voice and data on top, and has been in business since 2009.
It began life as a traditional outsourced IT provider for small businesses, and claims it was among the first firms to introduce IT on a fixed-fee basis to customers. Customers then asked if they could provide connectivity and phones, so it began working with Modern, with which it provided those services on a white-label basis.
A part-merger with Modern then happened, with the new business called Prime and Modern - a "true managed service business". Two years later, Modern sold the rest of its business which hadn't been included in the part-merger, and Prime management completed an MBO at the same time for the Prime and Modern unit.
The business is now looking to reinvent itself again, snapping up Constant IT, a seven-man band with annual revenues of about £700m.
Mark Simons, who co-founded the firm alongside Ben Weinberg, said Constant will hopefully be the first of many companies it acquires, and added that it is looking for those with a "Prime, before Modern" profile - a firm which doesn't offer connectivity.
This, he said, will mean that once acquired, each section would have significant cross-sell opportunity. He added that continuous evolution is essential for success in the MSP space.
"We have constantly evolved, and if I look back to when we started, we did traditional IT support - selling Small Business Server, looking after hosting and on-premise servers," he said. "We saw those days were numbered. If you're not offering a suite of services, you're going to struggle to keep your customers. The primary focus in our minds is the connectivity. That's the jewel in the crown. The voice and data comes down that line and the traditional support function is less and less intensive.
"It's all in the cloud now. If we rewound eight years or back to the beginning, we would probably have needed 30 staff to support the revenue we have. But now we don't because that support element is less labour intensive. Connectivity is king, and if you can deliver that well, the voice and data that comes down that line goes hand in hand with it."
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