The revamp of EMIT's strategic approach has delivered clarity, focus, confidence and growth, says Managing Director Eamon Moore who reveals the thinking behind his expansion plans.
In April this year Dublin-based IT services firm EMIT (Eamon Moore IT) acquired the managed services business and customer base of local rival Softech, boosting its customer base to over 3,500 end users across enterprise, SMB and public sector organisations. The deal is expected to add a further two million euros in revenue over the next three years and is the latest step forward in Moore's well planned growth strategy. "EMIT has ambitious business development goals and will drive growth, both organically and through more acquisitions," he confirmed.
Moore established EMIT in 2003 following a solid grounding in the outsourced IT space. His IT career began earlier than most. It started after an introduction to his teacher's brother who ran CSK Software, one of Dermot Desmond's companies. Moore was just 15 at the time and spent his summers and school breaks working in CSK's IT department to learn the trade. During this period he completed a degree in Computer Applications. "In 1999 I was then lucky enough to work under another of Ireland's leading entrepreneurs, Denis O'Brien," commented Moore. "The Head of IT in CSK Software was appointed to launch Esat Clear, O'Brien's first venture into the residential Internet market. I was brought in to help set up the technical support department along with my CSK colleague."
In 2002 Moore took a call from Finbarr Crowley, Managing Partner of legal firm Crowley Millar Solicitors (who now sits on the EMIT board as Non-Executive Chairman) requesting consultancy services on IT projects. "I was still working part-time in Esat but we agreed I would provide these services two days a week," recalled Moore. "The EMIT seed was sown. A few months later after receiving more interest in my outsourced IT model I resigned from Esat. My week was full and I was officially in business."
The outsourced IT model was a big draw for SMEs. And after a number of years operating this model as a sole trader Moore set up his limited company in 2008 and opened his first office in Park House on the North Circular Road in Dublin. "I hired my first employees to build up a small team and we won a number of outsourced contracts," said Moore. "Businesses also required support and advice outside of our outsourced time so we built an IT support helpdesk service that would support our clients remotely."
This period of development coincided with the market uncertainty of the economic downturn but Moore said EMIT had a ‘good recession' as its model and outsourced offering helped many businesses to benefit from a viable IT solution despite not being able to invest in internal resources. Having shown a resilient business model founded on solid experience Moore then decided to further his prospects by completing a diploma in Cloud Strategy at the Irish Management Institute in Dublin in 2012. "This transformed my thinking around business and the value of focus," he explained. "Our strategy lecturer closed the course by saying, ‘with business strategy, it is just as important to be clear about what you won't do as it is about what you will do'. That line has stayed with."
Armed with knowledge and experience and following six months of research and planning Moore revamped his strategy in 2014. "After 10 years of providing consultancy and IT outsourcing services the EMIT board made a decision to move away from this business model which had become too broad and resource intensive," he said.
"We had amassed over 20 industry partnerships which was unmanageable. We also looked at key technology solutions and realigned EMIT to deliver the four pillars of Infrastructure, Cloud, Security and Business Productivity solutions. These are supported by a number of professional services including managed services, helpdesk, support, project management, training and consultancy. We made the bold decision to significantly reduce our partnerships, with Dell and Microsoft appointed at tier one level."
Moore's business pillars showcase the core technology solutions that he now delivers. The move has resulted in EMIT's most successful period with record growth in turnover and staff headcount (currently 16) as well as a number of industry accolades, the most notable being 2016 Microsoft Global Partner of the Year for SMB Cloud Solutions. "I spend a number of weeks each year with the Microsoft senior leadership team in Redmond," said Moore. "Close relationships with vendors are as vital as having constant engagements with customers about their business and technology challenges. It isn't just about going the extra mile for a customer, it's about being alongside them on the journey.
"This has led to further investments in our Business Intelligence practice. We want to bring BI to companies of all shapes and sizes to help them understand the true value of data. We will also focus more on technology-based solutions, enhance our security range and increase our software development capabilities. We intend to become a much larger organisation supported by investment and more strategic acquisitions."