Based in Hull, cloud IT specialist Giacom started as a dial-up internet provider back in 1999 and has evolved various times – including into a dedicated hosted provider, email security vendor and now a cloud marketplace.
Giacom – which featured in the Northern Tech 100 League Table, which celebrates the fastest-growing tech companies in the north of England, in 2017 and 2018 – now focuses on helping its customers be efficient and effective as IT resellers.
It is starting to play a wider part in education through graduate and apprentice schemes, as well as being heavily involved in a Youth Enterprise programme.
We spoke to Giacom CEO Mike Wardell to find out more.
What led to Giacom becoming a cloud marketplace?
The most notable shift occurred in 2016, when the company had a large base of customers (predominantly IT resellers and Managed Service providers) with a track record of successfully distributing its software. The pace of technology change meant that the company’s existing strategy of creating its own products would not fulfil its customers’ requirements quickly enough.
Therefore we transformed our existing platform into a cloud market place working with world-class vendors to bring their products to smaller businesses. This has led to strong growth with revenues increasing from £6.7m in FY16 to a run rate of over £40m.
What’s driving the business?
We continue to drive our business forward on the base of delivering better outcomes for our customers and now serve over 60k businesses and over half a million users. A proportion of these will be in the local area.
We are striving to make Giacom the destination of choice for IT resellers and by doing this will make our customers more efficient and help them help their customers – which can only be good for the overall economy.
Giacom continues to review market expansion opportunities where our value proposition can help a wider pool of customers, but even without this, we expect a continuation of the high growth we have seen in recent years.
How are you helping your local tech ecosystem?
We are committed to helping the development of talent within the Yorkshire region and are continuing to evolve our development programmes to help train our teams. We host a regular Agile event inviting people from other businesses to our offices, to help build a wider local community where we help each other learn.
We like to support local charities in different ways every month, most recently with members of the team taking part in a charity football match. Our development is primarily focusing on saving our customers time (given this is something we all strive to have more of) through enhancing the platform to make it easier to use. We also build integration into our customers’ systems all the way through to marketing support and funding.
“Growing up locally gives me a huge sense of pride to see what impact we can have on the region and hopefully help (alongside other great businesses) put the region on the tech map.”
What excites you about your region?
Growing up locally gives me a huge sense of pride to see what impact we can have on the region and hopefully help (alongside other great businesses) put the region on the tech map.
A community is starting to build in the area with investment from both the property and IT sectors to name a few starting to bear fruit. Looking forward I can see continued growth in technology from the current technology businesses as well as from an increased number of startups.
What’s the company’s biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge to the local tech ecosystem is keeping talent in the area. Businesses are hungry for tech talent and larger national or multinational businesses can have greater visibility and awareness and therefore pull talent from the region.
Continued investment in tech hubs and incubators combined with more visibility of the great tech firms that are in the area would help reduce this impact.
We like many other businesses are under the radar due to funds, effort and focus being on building a great business for our customers and staff – rather than building awareness locally. I believe Giacom is a great place to work and although I am biased we put a lot of effort into making sure the working environment, culture and development opportunities for people are maximised.
What’s on the horizon for Giacom?
We are investing heavily in our platform, doubling resource to deliver a wider range of services and features to our customers. This is primarily focussing on saving our customers time – given this is something we all strive to have more of – including improving the UI and integration into our customers’ systems all the way through to marketing support.
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