It’s a little known fact that consultants are known to have a direct impact on the purchase of some £2.5 billion worth of communications products each year in Europe. Sometimes consultants can be judge, jury and executioner when it comes to the choice of which vendor’s equipment will be purchased from which source. Often they will advise their clients on how to design, purchase and implement new communications networks. These people are important to our industry.
So, when two of the top ICT consultants in the land come together, we reckon it is worthy of attention. It was announced earlier this month that the well-respected City of London based PTS Consulting Group is to acquire Improcom, an equally well respected Lutterworth based ICT consultancy.
To the cognoscenti, this acquisition is a marriage made in heaven. PTS is a 300 strong, multinational operation which in the UK has always been strong in the professional services sector within the M.25. Improcom, with some 30 consultants, has made its name by serving the public sector outside of London. There is almost no client overlap and each company brings strengths to the party that the other would have difficulty acquiring without spending a lot of time and effort to do so.
Comms Business caught up with Roger Hutchinson, a senior director of Improcom at a recent CMA event in London and asked him about the acquisition. “We at Improcom are delighted”, he said. “We have always had the greatest respect for PTS and are happy that our clients will continue to receive the best support going forward”. He went on to add that for the time being the Improcom brand name would continue to be used and that all Improcom consultants, including the directors, would stay with the company.
Kevin Perrett, founder and CEO of PTS, was reported as saying “I am delighted to have Dave and his team join us at PTS. I have for many years felt that our two organisations would be a perfect match for each other, as we share core values, culture and a long trading history, but are active in very different market sectors.”
Other ICT consultancies view the acquisition with interest. Andy Panteli, Technical Director at Coleman Bennett International, a successful City based company with some 40 employees, said “it made sense for them to come together. We already serve a multi-sector client base and have established our track record over the 18 years we have been in business. With the advent of new solutions such as Unified Communications and services such as Next Generation Networks, there will plenty of demand for expert consultancy services, so there is plenty of business for all.”
The word on the street is that there may be more consultancy convergence on the cards. Given the important role that these professional services companies play in the ICT industry in general and the communications business in particular, we would recommend that vendors and channel players stay close to the consultant community.