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Each time an acquisition is made, representatives from both sides talk of it creating opportunities, both for staff and customers, as two forces come together to create a multiplier that will drive growth.
What is less common is to hear back from both sides a year after the deal was sealed. Often, the person who was happily quoted about the positives of the tie-up back in the original press release has quietly exited the picture, or by then the parent has swallowed the child so totally it’s difficult to highlight the true impact of the integration.
One year after Logicalis acquired Q Associates, talking at the time of the benefits of adding data management capabilities alongside connectivity and security, and the two executives who spoke then are back in a room discussing the progress made.
On the Logicalis side, Alex Louth, CEO for UK and Ireland, has seen a lot of the ambitions outlined in pre-acquisition presentations come to fruition in the past year.
“We said a year ago that there was a nice fit, and I think most of our business case from a year ago has stood up: the technology coming together, and the customer base coming together,” he said. “We’ve had some wins.
“Over the last year, we pretty much had two different strategies. Our first strategy was ‘break nothing’, so for the first six months, we ran Q nearly separately and started to bring the front end and sales end together, but from a back end, professional services and managed services point of view, we left it alone, and then from March onwards onto our systems.”
The fundamental motivation for adding Q Associates was to add the layer of data management to connectivity and security and that has also proved to be sound and resonated with customers.
Sitting next to Louth and providing the other perspective is Andy Griffiths, business unit director at Logicalis, who a year ago held the role of business development director at Q Associates. He has also seen the wider product offering chiming in with customers.
“When you’ve got this really clear vision that’s now come out of the acquisition, I think around data, connectivity and security, and you layer those three specifics on top of the datacentre and hybrid cloud conversation as well, you have got an extremely inclusive proposition,” he said.
The comments made a year ago about the move being a benefit for staff have also started to play out, with the vast majority sticking with the business in the past 12 months. Members of Q Associates have also started to take senior leadership and team roles across the Logicalis business.
However, for many, the best metric to gauge the success of an acquisition is the impact on the numbers, and on that front, Louth has also seen results.
“I like that we could see in the forecast and closed business transactions what we did not see a year ago,” he said.
HPC and AI depth
The addition of Q Associates has strengthened not just the data management story, but also the HPC and AI depth at Logicalis, and there is also a sustainability angle that the business can no squarely address.
Louth pointed out that it was no longer a wise idea for customers to just keep storing everything, and tools were needed to analyse what was necessary and had to be kept.
“We are looking at storage using around 3% of the world’s electricity,” said Louth. “That’s a crazy amount if we don’t know what we’re storing and storing it in the right way”
“Storage is going to grow and thrive,” he added. “But I do think there’s a responsibility in the market for companies like us to be able to go, ‘What are you storing? How can we make it valuable?’”
Given the market dynamics that put data management on a must-spend list and the growing opportunities to use AI to further analytics, the stage is set for further momentum post the acquisition.
“It will 100% get better as we work with more of the customers, working with our biggest low-hanging fruit,” he said.