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Hampshire firms unveil ambitious plans following partnership

By Jo Whittle
13 November 2018

Two of the South Coast’s biggest names in IT and telecoms joined forces in August, creating one of the largest independently owned IT and Telecoms managed service providers in the UK.

Peach Technologies acquired Taylor Made, creating a new super-power in the region for IT and communications. Here, Peach’s CEO Darren Scott-Healey and Taylor Made’s former FD and now Group chief financial officer Joe Jeffers, talk about their plans for the future.

Peach Technologies and Taylor Made were very much market leaders in their own rights before the partnership, why was the decision made to join forces?

Scott-Healey: We’ve made huge waves in communications since our inception 12 years ago but we recognised that we could go even further to enhance our IT offering, hence the acquisition route.

We started our hunt for a thriving IT business that we could bring into our own and we didn’t need to look far. Taylor Made’s services perfectly complemented ours and it made absolute sense to expand our offering by joining the two.

Jeffers: We have always had big ambitions for Taylor Made and for us, the timing was right to set the company off on its next growth trajectory. We wanted to take the company to the next level not just for the next five years, but for the long term. Having seen the success story that Scott-Healey and the team has made with Peach Technologies, we knew that joining forces was the best decision for Taylor Made.

Just how big does this make you as a single entity?

Scott-Healey: To give you an idea of scale, the enhanced group will have sales of around £20 million, circa 200 employees and a customer base of more than 1,000 organisations.

That makes us one of the biggest independent IT managed service providers in the country. It’s an exciting prospect. That said, we don’t want to act like a ‘big company’ when it comes to our clients. We want to retain the kind of customer service that they’re used to – fast, responsive and personal.

What does this mean for your competitors?

Scott-Healey: Undoubtedly, it makes us a bigger fish in the pond. Taylor Made has always had a reputation for being a friendly and approachable company, combined with its excellent customer service. I think perhaps in the past that’s given Taylor Made’s competitors a false sense of just how strong its ambitions are. We want to be the number one IT and communications providers for small and medium-size enterprises in the UK.

And what about your clients?

Jeffers: For now it’s very much business as usual. Taylor Made remains a separate entity under the wider Peach group so our customers have the same service and engineering teams they’ve always known. However, it does bring some exciting benefits for the future. With the two companies coming together we’ll be able to offer an even wider range of services.

Scott-Healey: It means we’ll be able to deliver unprecedented innovation and extra resources going forward. That can only be a good thing. We’re holding a launch event at our office in Whiteley on Thursday, December 6 and we’ll be inviting all of our customers along. It’ll be a chance to meet the wider team and raise a toast to the new union between Peach and Taylor Made.

Will the names change?

Jeffers: We’re currently operating under Taylor Made Computer Solutions, a Peach Technologies Company, however we are still deciding the best approach long-term.

Scott-Healey: We expect there may well be a name change on the horizon. Whatever we decide Taylor Made will remain the face for IT at Peach Technologies – we’ve both built too good a reputation to completely step away from the identities we’re known by.

Taylor Made’s team has moved from its base at Cams Hall in Fareham to Peach’s headquarters in Whiteley. How is everyone settling in?

Scott-Healey: They love the pool tables. We have a brilliant working environment with some fun extra touches like free breakfast and fruit for all staff, a spacious American diner style canteen with said pool tables, a gaming area and outdoor picnic area. 

You spend around eight hours a day at work so it’s important for it to be somewhere you want to go when you wake up. Little touches make a big difference. We care about our staff and want to create a company that our staff can be proud to be a part of.

Jeffers: We’re actually going to be opening up the office to our clients and the wider business community for some regular networking events during 2019. While our businesses are centered around IT and telephony solutions, we’re big advocates of face-to-face communication and these networking events will be a great chance for clients to see behind the scenes.

Cyber security is a hot topic at the moment, particularly with the new GDPR rules in force. How are you planning to help steer clients through that now you’re working together?

Scott-Healey: Education really is key, particularly with cyber security so we’ll be hitting the road and speaking to clients about how they can keep their data safe. We have always admired Taylor Made’s educational seminars so we’ll be continuing those going forward.

Jeffers: I know there are plans afoot to host additional GDPR seminars, looking at how companies are settling in with the new legislation. We’ve seen a few high-profile cyber attacks since the laws came into force – perhaps most notably the British Airways hack – so it’ll be interesting to discuss the GDPR implications of that.

What are your ambitions for the next 12 months?

Scott-Healey: Our key focus for the next 12 months is ensuring the two businesses bed together seamlessly. With 200 employees and more than 1,000 clients, there’s a lot of work to do.

Jeffers: It’s an exciting opportunity for me to take on the role as Group CFO. I am particularly looking forward to working with the Peach staff and customers and ensuring that the merging of both companies is a smooth transition.

And further into the future?

Scott-Healey: We want to fulfil our aspiration of becoming one of the leading IT and communications providers for small and medium-size enterprises throughout the UK. We’ll do that by continuing to deliver a first-class service to our clients and helping them to grow, while also winning new customers. Alongside this strong organic growth we fully expect to be making further complementary strategic acquisitions in the future.

What do you think you have to learn from one another as business leaders?

Scott-Healey: We’ve always admired Taylor Made’s reputation – both for its customer service and the way it looks after its staff. We’re already incorporating some of Taylor Made’s ideas and processes in our business and, even though it’s early days, our clients are noticing.

Jeffers: Darren has built a hugely successful business and very quickly. We are looking forward to working with him to grow Taylor Made even further and take it to that next level.

About Peach

Formed in 2006, Peach is a leading provider of IT and telecoms services to SME organisations throughout the UK. The company provides an extensive range of cloud, IT, connectivity, telephony and data services for business organisations in multiple industry sectors with the aim of “making technology simpler”. With an established reputation for nimble, flexible service and a passion for customer service, Peach is based out of a state of the art facility at Whiteley near Southampton. The success of Peach has been recognised through the company featuring multiple times in the Sunday Times Tech Track and the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 league tables.

About TMCS

Formed in 1994, TMCS is a leading MSP and provider of IT services to SME organisations throughout the Solent region and southern England. With a hugely experienced, and talented team, TMCS provides a wide-range of IT helpdesk, professional, consultancy and managed services for clients. These include cloud, security, connectivity, backup and disaster recovery services. Hugely passionate about customer service TMCS focuses on helping customers achieve their business objectives through the use of IT.

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