NIU Solutions Reinvents Itself for UK Managed Services

At first glance, NIU Solutions is a roll-up, formed through the acquisitions of  Pasporte, Ipitomi Solutions, Telinet LTD and Evolution Voice and Data LTD. The resulting company had more than 200 employees and 4,000 IT customers in the U.K. But just under a year ago NIU Solutions noticed the market was sharply shifting toward cloud computing and fully managed service solutions. So NIU made a decision to shift with the ebb and flow of the IT sector, focusing instead on 200 core customers. Here's how.

NIU Marketing and Channel Development Director Phil Clark explains:

"We sold somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500 of our clients to Daisy PLC so that we could target companies in the 100 - 5,000 employee range," said Clark. "We're pushing to become a fully managed service company or fully managed IT hosting service."
Daisy Group PLC is a U.K. supplier of unified business communications systems to mid-level market companies. Daisy purchased Telinet LTD and Ipitomi LTD in early April for a combined €15.4 million, or $21.78 million.

Targeted Focus

The sale downsized NIU Solutions to 200 customers in the U.K. in three verticals: financial services, retail clients and serviced office communities. NIU Solutions offers the following eight categories of service:
  1. Data Center Services: NIU teaches its SMB clients how to set up its data centers.
  2. Mobile Networking: It's an option to use mobile networks as an alternative to a fixed line for hosting services.
  3. Voice Networking: This is tailored to large hosted IT managers. This alone accounts for 20 percent of NIU's revenue.
  4. Data Networking: NIU has partnered with Orange Business Solutions to provide its SMB clients with data network and streamlining.
  5. Server & Storage Service: NIU has partnered with IBM to support its clients' business applications.
  6. Compliance & Security: NUI is working with Juniper Networks, Symantec and IBM to help its clients achieve security compliance standards.
  7. Desktop Services: The company is using VMWare View to offer desktop services. It's an area that Clark expects to grow in the next 6-8 months.
  8. Managed Applications: Clark maintains that NIU Solutions is not going to become a "software house," but the company will offer more managed application services in the future, probably through acquisitions in early 2012.
NIU Solutions goal is to grow three- to five-times its size in the next three years, which entails customer acquisition. To that end, NIU has an in-house sales team and relies on its technology partnerships to bring in customers. IBM and Orange Business Services in particular have driven customers to NIU Solutions. NIU is also a Cisco Managed Services Certified Partner and Microsoft Silver Certified for Hosting and Servers -- two distinctions that have brought U.K. SMBs to NIU services. NIU solutions has no immediate plans to expand internationally, but Clark didn't rule it out. "We only do business in the U.K.," said Clark. "Some of them have international offices, but that's as far as our international business goes. Maybe we'll look to international business in 5-6 years."
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