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Sooraj Shah

Contributing Editor

Sooraj Shah is Contributing Editor of New Statesman Tech with a focus on C-level IT leader interviews. He is also a freelance technology journalist.

“Our revenues have grown significantly in recent years – this year will be tougher,” says Epoq IT MD

Epoq IT was founded from a bedroom back in 2002, but it was an effectively an umbrella company until the last few years. Gary Swanwick, MD and co-founder explains that the company had been focusing on project management clients initially, with IT support less of a focus.

However, in the last few years, business has picked up, with managed services gaining traction across a number of industries, and Epoq IT has seen a number of new clients from the pharmaceutical space in particular.

The company, which is based in High Wycombe, has a turnover of £1.5m, with 17 staff.

Swanwick believes that even in Epoq IT’s early days, the company provided an element of managed services, even though these were just known as ‘IT support’. However, as the years have gone on, the company has built up its portfolio of managed services.

“We’re a traditional managed services provider, but we tend to specialise in regulated sectors. So what we do is help regulated businesses to stay compliant, and we do that through a mixture of strategic services and managed services in business continuity, IT security and the traditional service desk,” he says.

As the focus is on regulated sectors, Swanwick suggests that there is a lot of emphasis on disaster recovery or business continuity, meaning that a lot of its customers had already been set for remote working before the pandemic.

“Remote working seems to be the buzz term in 2020 because of what we’re going through but it was very similar years ago, without the forced impact of the pandemic,” he says.

Swanwick believes that companies aren’t just focused on remote working, and communication and collaboration tools, but also on trying to capitalise on a shift to a more digital environment in order to stay competitive. He believes this is where Epoq is particularly well placed to support them.

Epoq IT’s customers include Cimbali, Pharmalex, Kempton Carr Croft and Global Infusion Group. Worldwise Foods, which imports tuna and salmon to the UK, is another customer.

“They had about £5m pounds worth of orders pre-COVID, which has probably gone up. When we first started working with them they didn’t have a business continuity plan, we introduced them to a managed business continuity solution, which meant their systems were always up and supported,” he says.

MSP market consolidating and growing

Swanwick believes that there has been a lot of consolidation in the market over the last few years and this is set to continue. Epoq IT’s future plans include acquisitions because he says that organic growth in the managed services space is tough.

“We’ve grown revenues by 50 per cent in the each of the last two years, and while this year is going to be slightly tougher in terms of growth. The vision is to continue growing through a mix of organic and acquisitions. This year we’ve boosted our sales and marketing team and invested heavily across the business in people to get us to where we want to go,” he says.

“Competition is quite tough but what the managed services industry allows is some differentiation around who you’re dealing with or what services you provide or how you provide them, so I think there is space [for a lot of MSPs],” he adds.