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Proximity talks expansion in virtualisation, security markets

Alex Scroxton

Bosses at unified comms and managed services provider Proximity Communications have been talking of their desire to grow the business into new areas following a successful 2013.

The Newbury-based firm has just filed its accounts for 2013, with a number of highlights including 21% growth in net profit – closing the year with £3.8m in the bank, the signing of its biggest contract since before the recession, and plaudits from vendor partner Avaya.

It also brought in a new operations director to reinvent its internal culture, and a head of channel for its reseller-facing APSL division, who has been so successful in establishing partnerships with SIs looking for comms expertise to take into customers that Proximity itself has actually been losing to APSL in some deals.

Speaking to MicroScope, CEO Darren Boyce said Proximity had been investing in building out its services business, with the net result that over 60% of its business is now coming from recurring contracts and professional services.

Keen to expand the business still further, Boyce said he was targeting headline growth of over 20% in 2014, which could come either organically or through acquisitions.

“The business is cash-generating and the market is consolidating, so the question is where do we go next?” said Boyce. “Is there, for example, a quick way to look to grow in complementary areas, such as hosted, virtualisation or security?”

“PBX vendors are still selling a bare chassis, but I am now convinced that these will become more software-based, running on, for example, VMware and gaining the benefits that resilient virtualised infrastructure offers,” he explained. “We need to be thinking about that world.”

On the security side, Boyce said he wanted to expand Proximity’s skills base to better address the many and varied elements of network security, with the intention of providing a more strategic, end-to-end offering that would make the firm more a more valuable partner to potential customers.


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