Posted on Monday 20 January 2020 by Ulster Business
The year 2020 couldn’t be more apt for IT services business Outsource Solutions. The firm is marking two decades leading the way in the industry, and according to founder Terry Moore, the firm is well on its way to doubling its size and embracing the latest technology for its clients
Outsource Solutions is a firm which is ahead of the curve when it comes to emerging technologies and a company which embeds itself in a client’s business to ensure total integration – ultimately helping to boost it and help it grow.
“Our approach is to embed ourselves into the customer’s business, and take IT out of the boardroom,” Terry says. “What we do is try to get ahead of some of the problems, understand the business and recognise that the technology is there to benefit the company.
“We are there to make sure that business is possible – enriching lives, making things easier and safer. An important part of this is the relationships that we have.”
Terry formed Outsource Solutions 20 years ago, around the time of the so-called ‘millennium bug’ when he says some firms were using scare tactics to get businesses to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds, often unnecessarily.
“For me, one of the things I felt was missing was understanding a business and factoring that refresh into it over a few years – letting them get on with what they do.”
The company – which now has five locations, including Belfast – is a full service IT firm which manages every element of a business’s infrastructure, including security, enterprise wi-fi, telecoms and networking.
“We now have just over 50 staff and are we are on a five-year plan to double in size again. There has been considerable growth in areas such as enterprise wi-fi, converged networks and telecoms,” Terry says.
Client retention is also something which Terry and the business prides itself on. “Every customer that we signed up with in 2000, we still work with,” he says.
“We will give a recommendation as to how we think a network should be built. If they accept that, then we take it on as a risk.
“Technology is just a toolbox for us to allow us to deliver IT – technology to allow them to really access and control their data.”
Outsource is a business which has been at the forefront of emerging developments in technology, including cyber-security. Terry says, even just a few years ago, it wasn’t being taken seriously by many businesses. That has now changed significantly.
“In the last couple of years, cyber has completely exploded – but we were ahead of our time,” he says. “My experience of last 20 years and the last five in particular is that there has been a massive job to do in educating businesses and their users about the cyber threat.
“We have reached the tipping point and the human firewall is becoming much stronger – people and users are more sensitive to what it means, making it all a far better place. But there are still businesses which are happy to cut fast and loose, and take risks.”
While the company’s client base started off in professional services businesses – such as law and accounting – it’s grown into a host of sectors, including transport, logistics, manufacturing and engineering.
“We have carved out a niche in hospitality as well – particularly in areas such as enterprise wi-fi, converged networks and communication, generally.”
Terry says Outsource is seeing business growth among many of Northern Ireland’s medium-sized businesses, with more than 100 staff.
“Our job is to enhance, improve and optimise the performance for as many users as we can. Our aim over the next four years is to be able to deliver those services outside Northern Ireland, across the rest of the UK and into the Republic of Ireland.
“For us, the constant is that we are always there at that point of where technology is consumed. The role we play is being integrated and a trusted advisor. That’s how we will continue to be successful.”
As for the next 20 years, with a rise in automation and artificial intelligence – something Terry says has to become a little more intelligent and a little less artificial – the next major leap will be the advent of quantum computing. It’s something which remains in its infancy.
“While it’s still early, we are on the verge of the most aggressive technological change that any of us have ever seen,” he says.