Vodafone hits back at Outsourcery as cloud firm is bought by GCI


Mobile network says it is not responsible for cloud expert’s plight

Vodafone has hit back at claims from Outsourcery that it was responsible for putting the future of its business in serious jeopardy.

According to a report in The Times on June 7, Outsourcery CEO and co-founder Piers Linney sent a “sharply worded” letter to Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao, accusing the mobile operator of being accountable for the plight of the Manchester-based cloud services provider company.

Earlier this month, questions were raised over Outsourcery’s future after its shares were suspended on the AIM and it then informed shareholders they were at risk of getting “no, or limited value” from their investment.

Consultant EY was appointed to find a buyer, with an agreement to pay Vodafone back the money it has loaned it over the past year to help keep it trading, believed to be around £8 million.

On June 16,  managed IT services provider GCI announced it had acquired Outsourcery’s asset base for an undisclosed sum, saving around 100 jobs at the company.
Not responsible

However, responding to Linney’s letter to Colao, a Vodafone spokesman strongly denied any wrongdoing.

“Any assertion that Vodafone has mistreated Outsourcery is just simply untrue. We have gone substantially beyond any normal customer-supplier relationship in our efforts to help Outsourcery and give them time to adjust their business model to the realities of the marketplace, including extending financing arrangements – on extremely beneficial commercial terms for Outsourcery – which go well beyond our usual practices.

“We cannot, however, be held responsible for how Outsourcery have chosen to run their company.”

GCI chief strategy officer Scott Riley now assumes the day-to-day management of the Outsourcery operation and its full integration within GCI.

It has offices in Derby, Glasgow, Lincoln, London, Manchester, Shrewsbury, Southend and Wakefield, as well as partnerships with the likes of Cisco, HP, Microsoft, TalkTalk Business and Virgin Media Business.

GCI CEO Adrian Thirkill said: “Outsourcery has some great underlying characteristics: it has some very talented people, a strong Skype for Business capability, an impressive customer base, some well-engineered platforms and lots of potential. We see this as a really nice fit for GCI and are pleased that we managed to secure the deal.

“This acquisition is not a capability purchase: we already have considerable expertise in the Cloud and UC space including tens of thousands of Skype for Business seats deployed across the UK and Europe via our direct and indirect sales channels.

“It builds upon an already strong foundation and raise our profile in the market – one reported to be growing at five times the rate of traditional voice services. Most importantly, it also provides assured continuity of service for all of Outsourcery’s customers, resellers and partners.”