Communications Feature — 14 September 2018

Technology company announces best mid-term growth after strategic transformation  

Birmingham technology services provider Probrand has recorded landmark half year growth following a widespread digital transformation programme which included the launch of the UK’s first online marketplace for IT products and services.

The move has enabled the business to access bigger opportunities and ramp up customer acquisition to deliver record year-on-year sales, up 22% for the first half of 2018, and 9% growth in profit.

This is driving recruitment across all departments, and inward investment across training and new product development.

With a move into the iconic Alpha Tower after merging its traditional IT reseller and managed services businesses in January 2017, Probrand’s new service-orientated vision has placed its enterprise marketplace platform front and centre of the business, alongside its world class Cloud and managed IT services portfolio.

And its disruptive approach is matching market demand for a new way to buy IT. Buyers connect with more than 2,500 brands from distributors and vendors in a ‘live’ and transparent marketplace environment.

The new platform saves users time and money via live price and stock updates with price comparison across suppliers, visibility of personalised and special bid discounts, plus ERP integration and customisation to make purchasing easy. Sector and technical people are also on-hand to help customers.

Marketplace user Claire Wilkinson, Head of Service Delivery at Mears Group, said: ‘‘The Probrand Marketplace is like a business version of Amazon but better, the whole admin process is a lot simpler and it enables us to get products much faster.’’

Probrand CEO, Peter Robbins, said: “Transformation is expensive, challenging and demands great people. With customers changing how they discover and buy, reflected in the rise of B2B marketplaces, we are half way through our plan to remain relevant, and early results are very positive.

“Our platform is providing a materially different digital Intellectual Property, attracting new customers we otherwise would not have engaged. We have rapidly grown our transactional base.

“Sales of cloud and our managed IT services have also grown by 25% year-on-year as have digital services, improving overall margin and profit for the period. This builds on the success of our in-house technical excellence and deployment.

‘‘We now move to drive growth through exploiting the reach of our IP, scaling customer acquisition and onboarding more sales people to our platform mentality.’’

The Probrand Marketplace offers IT products, Cloud, managed IT and digital services and was developed in response to the influence of consumer style purchasing in the business world. Research has shown that 94% of B2B purchases now begin online, and 91% of cold ‘interruptive’ calls fail to produce sales.

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