This year saw us make our first entry into CRN’s VAR350, an annual report which ranks and profiles the top 350 tech resellers in the UK. CRN (Computer Reseller News) is the leading source of news, analysis and opinions for the UK IT channel.
Off the back of our inaugural entry and following strong growth in 2020 we were delighted to be chosen as one of seven featured ‘Rising Stars’.
Martin Lulham, M-Tech CEO, was interviewed by Doug Woodburn, group editor of CRN, for his thoughts on the demand landscape for 2021, our core attributes, digital transformation, optimism and everything in between.
Here’s a copy of the final published article. You can download the whole CRN Rising Stars 2021 publication here.
You saw revenue leap 54 per cent in your year to 30 September 2020, and are also in an elite group of VARs and MSPs making double-digit net profit margins. What underpinned that performance?
Growth has been fuelled by major outsourcing deals across all sectors and key wins in private sector, education and ‘blue light’. Recurring revenue has also bolstered this year’s figures, with many of our clients now consuming services from our own Nutanix-powered cloud and core ISP platform.
M-Tech has focused its efforts over the last few years on evolving intellectual property with own-brand services. This was partly to ensure we delivered excellent customer service we control ourselves – removing reliance on too many third parties – and also to make us flexible to our customers’ needs. We need to be able to support bespoke designs to support complex cloud requirements which subsequently means avoiding the wholesaler bandwagon. We’ve certainly been less affected than some competitors that predominately resell vendor product.
What are your long-term ambitions for the business?
We’re almost ready to launch our acquisition strategy, having spent the last year planning and partnering with various folk from around the M&A sector. By the end of 2021 we aim to have completed at least two strategic acquisitions; I genuinely believe that we are an excellent platform to absorb companies that have similar growth ambitions.
How has the pandemic forced you to rethink your technology offering, and how you provide it?
I see a slightly different sales strategy, with customers now far more receptive to managed recurring products and services but in essence the technology portfolio remains unchanged.
What should all good resellers and MSPs be doing during this period to ensure they come out of it stronger?
It’s definitely a relevant time to look at overheads and explore whether you need that big swanky office. Product and service consolidation is worth looking at. The pandemic will have probably given you an idea of where your strengths and weaknesses lie; focus more on the things that you’re
good at to enhance those all-important recurring revenue streams – they pay the bills, everything else is a bonus.
It’s often said that Covid has accelerated digital transformation. Is this leading to new types of project that didn’t exist pre-pandemic?
Obvious standouts for us have been the uptake of SD-WAN solutions to support remote working. This has gone from a steady trickle of enquiries pre-Covid, to a core fundamental offering in our portfolio. Clients have also become ‘Teams centric’. This product alone has catalysed a number of our customers into fully migrating to Microsoft 365 – not something they would have considered pre-pandemic when they were more insistent on cuddling their Exchange Server in the broom cupboard!
How optimistic or pessimistic are you for 2021?
With respect to the business, M-Tech is going into 2021 with all guns blazing; acquisition, innovation, unity and culture our top priorities.