Annodata intensifies drive into mobile market

Annodata intensifies drive into mobile market

Annodata is accelerating its advance into the mobile market as part of plans to become a £100m business by 2016.

The company, which is headquartered in Kings Langley, Herts, provides unified comms, ICT and print solutions to more than 7,000 SME and corporate clients, including Johnson & Johnson, New York Stock Exchange, Mitsubishi, Burberry and the IHG Group. Annodata’s current annual turnover is around £80m, boosted by its recent acquisition of cloud services company Keltec.

Speaking to Mobile, Stuart McAlpine, head of Annodata’s communications division, said Annodata sees mobile as a key pillar in its growth strategy, and is planning to grow its unified comms, ICT and mobile revenues from around £10m to £25m by 2016.

McAlpine led Annodata’s drive into mobile after joining the company in 2010 from Azzurri, where he was divisional director. Since his arrival, Annodata has built up a base of more than 10,000 mobile connections as an O2 Centre of Excellence partner, with clients taking between 20 and 500 connections.

The company plans to almost double that base over the next two years, largely by cross selling mobile into its existing 7,000-strong client base. It aims to grow its mobile and unified comms revenues from 15% to more than 25% of the company’s total annual revenue.

McAlpine said: ‘Mobile and unified comms is a key growth area for Annodata and has been since 2010. Our target is to become a £100m business within two years through organic and acquisitive growth. The unified comms, ICT and mobile side of the business needs to represent at least a quarter of that by 2016 so growth in business communication solutions is absolutely essential to our core business.’

McAlpine said Annodata’s base of more than 7,000 customers represented a significant cross selling opportunity, with no more than 15% of its customers taking mobile from Annodata.

He added: ‘We have already built up a base of 10,000 mobile business connections from a standing start in 2010. Ultimately our strategy is to make sure our large customer base benefits from going to just one supplier for all their business communications needs, and we are confident of winning that business because of the loyalty of our customer base and clients increasingly wanting to reduce the numbers of suppliers they have as a way of delivering economies.’

McAlpine also pointed to recent surveys that show Annodata’s churn levels running at 4% year on year, compared with an industry average of 12%, and customer satisfaction levels in the high-80s, compared with an industry average in the mid-60s.

McAlpine said these results would help to drive up sales to existing clients currently tied into mobile contracts with other providers. ‘What we are doing is building our credibility and capability with our target audience,’ he added.

Annodata sells its services directly, with no plans to create a reseller programme. The company has a 50-strong sales team, which includes six mobile specialists backed up by a team of 10 account managers. Staff work across five regional offices located in Kings Langley, London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.

The company has made no secret of its plans to drive growth through acquisition, but McAlpine said the company has no plans to grow its mobile base through acquiring mobile dealerships.

‘We feel we can create a strong mobile division organically through the cross-fertilisation of our existing base of customers. We are expecting a strong uplift in the next one year to 18 months as our customers become more aware of our wider capabilities,’ McAlpine said.

Annodata and O2

Changes to O2’s partner programme will benefit Annodata’s drive into mobile and unified comms services, Annodata communications chief Stuart McAlpine said.

‘The O2 Partner Programme needed to be refreshed and we are very much in favour of the changes. Ultimately it makes things simpler and more transparent. It is designed to keep more clients on the network and for longer, offering more products, which makes clients less likely to leave, so we see it as a good thing.’

Annodata also welcomes Hutchison’s plans to buy O2. McAlpine said: ‘It’s a really positive move. Three is an established network in the consumer channel while O2 is much more established in the b2bb channel, so if it goes ahead, it will be a really good fit.’

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