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CCS striving to stay ahead of the IT curve

Wider opportunities: Kory Logan, left, CCS Group’s sales and marketing director, and Peter Aldrich, general manager, are upbeat about the company’s expansion into Europe

Information technology is advancing at such a rate that keeping up with it is one of the biggest challenges faced by many companies and organisations.

Helping them to do so is Bermuda’s CCS Group, which provides an extensive range of IT services and support.

The Pembroke-based company has now branched out to Europe, opening an office in Portugal, and it has its eyes on markets further afield.

And only a few months after creating a physical presence in Europe it has completed its first project and is building on its growing reputation, which comes, in part, from providing service solutions that have become the norm in Bermuda, but have not been offered before in Europe.

“We are seeing a huge shift in technology. It is an exciting time to be involved in IT,” said Mr Logan, group director of sales and marketing for CCS Group.

“The challenge is to keep ahead of the curve with the speed of technology.”

CCS Group assists local and international customers to install, operate and service IT-related infrastructure, covering a wide spectrum of technologies, including application development, cabling, cloud services, enterprise networking, and service provider infrastructure.

A good example of the diverse range of services CCS can provide was the installation of Island-wide CCTV for use by the Bermuda Police Service. This was undertaken by the company and it involved camera hardware, wireless network connectivity allowing data from cameras to reach remote locations, and back end data storage.

Like other businesses, CCS felt the impact of the economic downturn of the late 2000s, where once it had a workforce of around 50, it is now a more nimble operation employing 35.

“CCS is a totally different company now. The downturn turned out to be good. The company evolved well,” said Mr Logan.

He explained that during the past decade many firms shifted their IT operations off the Island, but in some ways this has led to an uptick in business for CCS as some of those companies have come to realise the benefit of having IT expertise physically at hand rather than at the end of a phone line in a distant location.

The company maintains its ethos of having engineers and technicians able to assist clients face-to-face, rather than have customers rely on remote or off-Island connections.

“We are still 100 per cent face-to-face,” said Mr Logan.

As technology continues to evolve the company has endeavoured to be the leader of the pack. Its representatives attend industry events to ensure they are up to speed with new trends and solutions.

“We are constantly going to conferences to learn about the latest and greatest things. We have tried to be the first and with the best service.”

Mr Logan said vendors now call on CCS because of its reputation as the leading full service information technology company on the Island.

In November the company announced it had physically expanded into Europe, opening a branch office in Lisbon.

It was already servicing a number of clients on the continent. Now it aims to eventually bring the Lisbon branch up to parity with its Bermuda operations in terms of the expertise and service it offers.

“Nearly every one of our [Bermuda] clients has operations in Europe and we have been selling solutions to them, but it can be difficult because of the distance and time difference,” said Mr Logan.

“We have had some really positive feedback from clients in Europe.”

There were a number of reasons why CCS chose Portugal for its branch office.

“It made a lot of sense. It’s low-cost, it’s a place where it is easy to do business, and it has a very well-educated population,” said Mr Logan.

Another reason is Portugal’s close ties with Africa, where the company sees further business opportunities.

But perhaps the big key to the decision was having industry veteran David Franjoso involved. Since joining the company three years ago, the senior solutions analyst has proven to be a “stellar consultant”, said Mr Logan.

“He has a stellar reputation and that has attracted real credibility [for the Portugal office]. He is an exceptional guy.”

The Lisbon office is headed by Pedro Morais and also includes senior architect Paulo Almeida.

Peter Aldrich, general manager, said: “We have a lot of good talent over there, arguably some of the best engineers in the western world.”

The newly opened office in Portugal has already completed its first project and is working on others.

The company sees expansion into Europe as a positive for the company in terms of capturing more business, and also a positive for Bermuda by increasing awareness of the Island and its capabilities.