Wavex: Peter Sweetbaum and Gavin Russell
The IT business set to reach its own crest
Wavex, an IT support company, has achieved much in a short time. Current revenues stand at £1.5m, a huge leap from the £150,000 of two years previously.
The 2004 EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) is £198,000, staff numbers now stand at 21, branches two, acquisitions one and customers 150.
Wavex was founded in two parts. Peter Sweetbaum, a corporate finance lawyer and investment banker, founded a company called PC Division that provided outsourced IT support in February 2002 and Gavin Russell, ex-AT&T network administrator for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, founded Wavex, a company that provided applications to manage and monitor a large number of networks remotely, in August 1998.
Wavex aquired PC Division in October 2002 and since then they’ve never looked back – current customers include Memorex, Equitable Life, Heron International and Charcol.
The company covers two main sweetspots: The 10 to 150-user company with no IT management and the 150-plususer company, where Wavex utilises NETi, its remote network and desktop administration application.
The Wavex outsourced IT service is also more than just IT outsourcing. Aside from the normal advantages and 24/7/365 cover, more experienced skillset employees, wider range of skills and reduced costs – Wavex also offers management- level help to mould the company through better use of IT, policy management and budgeting. “Good outsourcing involves highly-skilled IT planning and implementation in business critical services such as antivirus and spam strategies, disaster recovery, network security and improving your bottom line with new technologies supporting remote workforce management and VoIP (Voice over IP),” says Sweetbaum.
The company is aiming to build itself through a combination of acquistion and organic growth. The company has already opened an additional support centre in the South West, where Sweetbaum and Russell identified a key market sector. Other regional offices are planned for 2005 as the pair set about identifying the areas of the country with advanced IT requirements.
Initially they had looked at growth through funding instead of organic growth but had been disappointed by the level of flexibility offered. “We were offered funding from a VC, but due to serious reservations about some of the investment terms of the deal, the structure of the deal and not needing it urgently, we rejected it,” confirms Sweetbaum. Acquistions are a possibility, though: “We looked at potential acquisitions and we’re 20% more efficient. We can deploy our technology to improve customer service, speeding up responses and also making savings on headcount.”
The short-term future sees Wavex moving into VoIP. For many of its current customers it’s a natural extension of their existing IP network. But for others it’s a valuable addition. “Together with IT support and IP telephony we are providing a converged solution and that reflects the ethos for the business to bring in the new technology that our client base needs,” says Sweetbaum.
In addition, because of the extensive monitoring of company sites through its NETi software, Wavex is in a unique position to see trends in an organisation’s use of applications such as the web and email and then optimise its own products and services to produce best-fit products.