Hosting and cloud services provider Six Degrees Group has appointed Richard Minnis to head up its mobile division as it launches an aggressive drive to grow its mobile base.
Minnis, who was formerly senior account manager at Daisy Group, will lead Six Degrees’ mobile team in a major push to cross-sell several thousand mobile connections into the group’s 2,500-strong customer base.
Minnis’ appointment comes as the company presses ahead with its acquisition strategy. Last week it completed its eleventh acquisition since launching in June last year. The purchase of the Surrey-based firm Cloud Computing Centre (CCC) is part of the group’s stated aim to become one of the UK’s top five hosting and cloud service providers in 2012.
Six Degrees targets mid-market companies employing from 50-1,000 staff. It also has a number of large corporates on board, including City-based investment banks and corporate lawyers. Customers include ICAP, Linklaters and GAB Robins.
Speaking to Mobile, Campbell Williams (pictured), group strategy and marketing director, said growing the company’s mobile connections base was central to its core strategy. He said: ‘We see big opportunities for cross-selling mobile, particularly with the rise of the “Bring Your Own Device” trend linked to cloud services.’
He added: ‘We have 2,500 customers who spend an average of £2,000 per month on other services, so there are lots of connection opportunities. Currently we provide several hundred mobile connections but in six months’ time we fully expect to have aggressive growth in the mobile sector with connections in the low thousands.’
The group, which recently raised a further £8m of new funding from Penta Capital, has no plans to acquire a base of mobile connections. Instead it has opted for organic growth after ditching plans to acquire two mobile dealers last year. Williams said: ‘We looked at a number of mobile dealers but we couldn’t get the right fit and so we have decided to go down the organic growth route.’
Six Degrees Group currently provides mobile connections to Vodafone and O2 via distributors Daisy and Avenir Telecom but direct deals with mobile operators are on the cards, Williams said.
Six Degrees Group founder and CEO Alastair Mills has a track record in mobile having set up SpiriTel, a unified comms ‘buy and build’ venture, in 2006. Mills sold the company to rival Daisy in 2010 for £37m. Williams said: ‘We expect to deal directly with tier one operators in the future. The management team of SpiriTel was very successful in mobile and operators are keeping a watching brief.’
However, the company is also increasingly competing with network operators as a so-called ‘baby tier one’ player, Williams said. ‘We have our own network and therefore can deliver a truly converged service. We have the complete capability. We are lean and agile with only 150 staff so we can deliver a bespoke service. We are already winning the size of companies that usually go to the large networks, so layering mobiles into that mix is very important for us.’