Despite a skittish market that is playing havoc with IT stock values, business solutions group UXC has opened a new office in Canberra and more than doubled its headcount in the nation’s capital. UXC’s yet-to-be-launched Fyshwick office joins UXC’s Getronics Australia business near Canberra’s airport, and boosts UXC’s Canberra staff numbers from 70 to 180.
UXC purchased Getronics earlier this year, and plans to use its newly broadened capacities to bid for more complex managed services contracts in Federal Government, focusing on mid-sized agencies. UXC’s Business Solutions Group CEO Cris Nicolli says Getronics has plugged gaps in UXC’s capacities that will give significantly improve its bidding power. “It gives us a much stronger ability to look at smaller agency outsourcing,” says Nicolli, and represents a “big step- up in the Cisco world.”
Nicolli adds that he wants to be clear that UXC has a target market that will not cut across the 20,000-40,000-seat market typically pursued by companies like EDS, CSC and IBM. “We’re probably happy to do the next tier down and do that very, very well,” he explains. Apart from its Getronics purchase, UXC has, in recent weeks, bought infrastructure library (ITIL) consultancy Lucid IT. The company employs some 40 people across Australia, and has a strong presence in Canberra. Lucid also has a small branch in Singapore. According to Nicolli, the Lucid team is very experienced in key agencies like DFAT.
For the moment, though, it seems UXC’s acquisition strategy may be on temporary hold. “The current market’s very challenging, the valuations for IT companies are bouncing all over the place,” agrees Nicolli, “We’ve got a clear responsibility to shareholders not to over-pay for businesses.” Nevertheless, strategic acquisitions are unlikely to vanish from UXC’s agenda. “There’s always more to come,” says Nicolli.
UXC has around 3,000 staff and forecast revenue of $500m this financial year. It is ranked 25th in Intermedium’s most recent top 100 IT suppliers to Federal Government, with $18.9m in contracts. Getronics came in at 89th, with $6.69m.