This company has helped global tech firms, financial institutions and retailers adapt their IT infrastructure to cope with the pandemic.
From ensuring systems did not fall over in the first, rapid move to remote working, to supporting staff and helping improve productivity, its 700-plus engineers have been busy across its operations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Reflecting on the work it did during 2020, it believes remote working is here to stay – and that one of the biggest challenges for other companies will be to avoid “internal digital divides” where some teams have the IT they need to do their jobs effectively while others do not.
“Companies will need to ensure that their employees can work without interruption wherever they may be,” says chief executive Barry Horgan, 49, who joined the business in 2008.
While the company has adapted impressively over the past year, the roots of its success date back to 1989, when Mark Smith, now 55, co-founded the business with a view to providing IT services to offices in the City. In 1994 the company began its first foray overseas, laying cables for the trading floor of a financial services facility in Moscow – its first million-dollar contract.
In 2008, Horgan, who has an MBA from Harvard Business School, led the buyout of Excel IT from its founders, and expanded by targeting multinationals in the financial services and technology sectors. To support this plan, the company opened an office in Frankfurt in 2011 to initially serve financial services clients.
The business grew five-fold between 2008 and 2018 as Horgan led a series of acquisitions, including the IT infrastructure division of AIM-listed RedstoneConnect for £21.6 million in 2018, followed by Irish IT services firm Kedington, for an undisclosed sum, later that year. Significantly increasing its reach in Ireland, as well as Europe and the Middle East, the company rebranded as ExcelRedstone. As a result, international sales rocketed 254 per cent a year to an annualised £36.3 million in 2019, up from £2.9 million in 2017. The business, which is 100 per cent owned by its management, is planning to increase its sales from an annualised £113.5 milion in 2019 to £500 million within 10 years.
International expansion will continue to be key to meeting these growth aspirations, and today the company’s footprint includes offices in Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Singapore and America. In January, it hired its first US general manager, based in Virginia, who is now hiring local delivery and support teams.
It would seem that ExcelRedstone’s blend of services, from data centre IT to cloud computing infrastructure, smart building and remote working tech, has left it well placed to thrive, whatever challenges are thrown at it.
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