Cinnte acquisition shows Calligo looking beyond Brexit

Julian Box, Calligo
Julian Box, Calligo

CEO Box belives data, not technology, is the future of managed services, says Billy MacInnes

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5 November 2020 | 0

When Calligo made its third acquisition in Ireland this year, the company claimed that the purchase of Cinnte Technologies reinforced its position “as one of Ireland’s largest IT managed services providers in terms of resources, market share and breadth of service and capability”.

But what has driven the company, which has locations in the Channel Islands, the UK, the US, Canada and Luxembourg, to make such a strong investment in Ireland, particularly amid the turmoil of the present year? Calligo CEO Julian Box says there are a number of reasons, including the aggressive acquisition strategy – eight businesses in three years – it has pursued as a means “to create a base and focus heavily on organic growth from that onwards.”

He also describes Ireland as a market which has a very strong and agile business scene. “It’s also very technology-oriented,” Box adds. “It has a lot of flexibility, it’s fast growing and has a good talent pool.”

 

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Then there’s the Brexit factor. Calligo has an office in Luxembourg but building a presence in Ireland helps to strengthen the company’s post-Brexit platform. The main focus of the Irish business will be Ireland “but the bigger opportunity beyond the Irish border does exist,” Box acknowledges.

The company will use the skills sets from its Irish operation in other territories and vice versa but the Calligo presence for customers onsite will always be local. “We have a big focus on being a global business but delivering local,” he states.

“The opportunities into other countries in Europe are there,” he notes, revealing the company is looking at the Benelux market.

Asked if there will be more acquisitions, Box replies in the affirmative. There may well even be more this year. While he is unable to reveal exactly where they will take place, he adds that “Europe and North America will continue to be our focus going forward”.

Calligo touts itself as “the world’s first end-to-end managed data services provider” with three legs to the business: data privacy services, outsourced IT services and data insight services. Box says the company’s role is to help customers capture data, to host and manage it and optimise and monetise it.

“We’re trying to change the focus of what a managed service provider is,” he comments. Businesses are rapidly moving to a data approach and MSPs need to do that as well because if they don’t, they’re going to lose out. MSPs need to move from focusing on technology to a data-led approach.

The three businesses acquired in Ireland – Cinnte Technologies, DC Networks and Itomic Voice & Data – are all being brought under the Calligo banner. Box says the Irish part of the business has strong coverage in outsourced managed services and the data privacy and data insight services are being built up. He adds that the Irish business is “pretty much where we want to be with headcount” but expects organic growth over time.

Box says that Calligo is not the largest IT managed services provider in Ireland but claims it is not “trying to be the biggest, we just want to be the best. We’ve got capabilities that no other MSP in Ireland has”.

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