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GCI beefs up Microsoft skills with Modality buy

The firm has made its first acquisition since it gained access to a sizable M&A war chest last May

GCI has made the first acquisition since it gained a war chest to fun expansion choosing to spend on a target that provides additional Microsoft skills, more managed service expertise and an international presence.

A year ago Mayfair backed GCI and set up a strategic fund worth £60m, which could be spent on future acquisitions, adding to the five made in the last three years:  Packet Media, Fusion Media Networks, OutsourceryFreedom Communications and Blue Chip Data Systems

The first is Modality Systems, which gives GCI the chance to expand outside of the UK for the first time with operations in the US, USA, Asia and Australia.

Modality also has very strong links to Microsoft, which will add to the long relationships GCI has with the vendor, and has developed its own software to help users, particularly around comms and collaboration.

Mike Constantine, GCI CTO, said that it had been aware of Modality and had even competed against the firm in the past so knew its strengths.

"This is the first time we will have employees outside the UK and it gives us access to a market that Modality does well in and we can target a customers looking for a greater geographic scope," he said.

"Modality has developed a number of in-house software packages with monitoring and management of Microsoft unified comms technology that we can push out to our existing customer base," he added.

He said that the aim of any acquisition was always to support the strategy and add more depth but Modality came with the international footprint and the software development that made it an even more attractive purchase. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

GCI will let Modality run within the group and the firm's CEO James Rudd said that the tie-up between the two businesses helped create a Microsoft powerhouse.

“Both GCI and Modality have invested heavily in innovating around Microsoft’s collaboration suite and our combined global customers will benefit from a leading managed service company which is at the forefront of digital transformation," he said.

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