Telecoms and IT services provider Active Business Communications is ramping up its expansion plans amid the boom in homeworking triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Active, which has its headquarters in Stockport and its technical operations in Bromborough on the Wirral, has seen demand soar as more and more companies enable their staff to work remotely as a result of the pandemic.
The business, founded in 1997, is on track to achieve record turnover of £5m this financial year. It has grown revenues by 25 per cent over the past three years.
Managing director Mark Boyle, who led a buyout of Active in 2011, is aiming to double the size of the business over the next three years through organic growth and acquisitions.
Active, which has 36 staff, has appointed accountancy firm HURST to advise on its expansion strategy.
HURST partner Mike Jackson, who heads the firm’s business services team, said: “Our passion is working with businesses which are on a journey and want a partner alongside them on the way.
“Mark and his team have really impressed us with their vision for the future of Active and its service-led culture.
“The company’s impressive response to the pandemic reflects its approach of putting the customer at the centre of everything.”
Active works with a number of partners, including Microsoft, Openreach, O2, Gamma and NEC, to provide IT, telecoms and mobile services to companies in sectors ranging from financial services, manufacturing and construction to haulage, retail and leisure.
Its clients include AJ Bell, Center Parcs, Virgin Wines and Funding Circle.
Active specialises in helping businesses to enable and manage flexible working, for example by centralising data in the cloud, providing unified communications solutions and improving internet and data connectivity.
The company provides a full range of business technology services, covering mobile, telecoms and IT.
Mark said: “The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has changed the whole business communications environment. Clients have had to adjust, and even the most traditional of businesses are now embracing the homeworking model for their staff.
“We have supported many of our clients as they have adapted their systems and technology to enable employees to work from home and maintain a business-as-usual service.
“Companies realised that their teams lacked the correct equipment to work remotely, or that their office telecoms systems were unable to divert calls from customers to employees working from home.
“They had to put in place quick-fix measures to maintain operations during lockdown, for example by replicating their office phone systems on employees’ work mobiles, and by installing softphones on to individual desktops to ensure all incoming and outgoing calls were correctly routed.
“Companies have been surprised to see real productivity gains by having staff working from home, and are now investing in technology to make it a more permanent aspect of business life. They want their people to be able to switch between home and office more smoothly.
“To achieve this, they are investing in laptops, better broadband connections, video conferencing and instant messaging for their staff, as well as security and mobile device management software, as they seek to create a unified communications strategy and ensure data can be shared securely.
“They are also keen to ensure that their business connectivity and communications are sufficiently robust and flexible to withstand a possible second wave or the next unforeseen disruption.”
Mark said Active is seeking to acquire customer bases of companies that look after small and medium-sized firms in the north west.
“Our last acquisition was in 2014 and we have a renewed appetite for this type of growth, alongside continued organic expansion by accelerating opportunities with existing customers and rolling out new technology with a focus on helping businesses to operate flexibly.
“At our present run rate, we can double in size over the next three years.”