GCI acquires Blue Chip to lead digital transformation

Managed technology Services Provider GCI has today announced its fifth and largest transaction within the last 18 months, with the acquisition of highly regarded managed IT services company Blue Chip.

This makes GCI one of the largest privately owned managed service providers in the UK with 500 staff, turnover approaching £100m and an impressive technical capability underpinned by multiple vendor certifications, including ten Microsoft Gold accreditations alongside others from leading vendors such as HP, Fortinet and Enghouse Interactive. 

GCI’s CEO Adrian Thirkill said: “Our latest acquisition is another great name and is right up there with earlier acquisitions including Outsourcery and Freedom which have already added immeasurably to our capability.

“It’s a really simple story. We are continuing our commitment to finesse the shape and direction of GCI and align our services and solutions with our customers’ requirements across all sectors in large SME, mid-tier enterprise, strategic partners and UK Government.

“Digital transformation is here to stay and it naturally flows through to digital ‘business as usual’. Helping our customers to shape, plan and then deliver their digital journey is what GCI is all about, and Blue Chip is another keystone within it. Digital business life is becoming all about our customers’ business outcomes and our role in supporting that.” 

GCI’s CFO Mark Allen said: “Other recent acquisitions have strengthened our platform or solutions capabilities – or have opened new markets for us – but Blue Chip gives us something more, namely a fifth service pillar – Full IT Support.

“This is tailored for our target customer base and includes a strong consultancy capability underpinned by highly skilled technical staff. The pillar is designed to support our customers as they think through the challenges ahead. These include addressing aspects such as GDPR and the accelerating pace of business – which means having to digitise the integration of customers and their supply chains.” 

Richard Cook, MD at Blue Chip, said: “It’s a reasonably rare thing for two technology organisations with around 20 years’ experience each to come together in complete aligned agreement.

“Adrian is spot on. The journey to an integrated digital business is indeed complex. The technology interdependencies are challenging and the solutions are many and varied. But the task is made easier if you have a trusted guiding hand.

“The personal touch ‘technical support pod’ concept we have finessed over 20 years and our well-invested processes and systems provides just that: an assurance to our customers that we will ‘live and breathe’ their world and always put their best interests first.

“This mindset is the bedrock that underpins our customer partnerships and is a great cultural fit too with GCI. I look forward to joining the GCI board to further accelerate this customer value.”  

Richard Cook added: “Blue Chip enables in-house IT staff to focus on front-end business improvement priorities while we monitor their digital heartbeat and take care of the routine stuff, that includes patching, backups, device management and much more. But that’s only part of it.

“The big plus point is that we are there to help with strategic shaping providing solid advice backed by the combined learning of 40,000 deployments, a huge technical resource, and skills that span virtually every leading technology vendor and all environments: on-premise, private cloud, public cloud, hybrid. That’s a great mix for our customers which include some of the most prestigious names in the UK.”   

Adrian Thirkill added: “The acquisition announced today brings together two great teams of talented staff and the value of hard earned learning to the benefit of our near combined 4,000 business customers.

“Significantly it also delivers a fifth service pillar, a consultative capability already inherent in GCI’s DNA, but now elevated to a whole new level. We’ve simply called it Full IT Support sitting alongside UCaaS, cloud, security and compliance, and network and infrastructure. Simply put, it does what it says on the tin. This is a good day for GCI and Blue Chip. More importantly it’s a great day for our staff and for our customers.” 


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