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Biz rivals tussle over customers, former staffers of fallen 2e2

Headhunters pursuing us, say axed workers

Channel rivals of 2e2 are offering staff at the fallen integrator a lifeline and are tapping up customers wondering what the short-term future may hold for their current tech supplier.

Type 2e2 into Google's search engine and PSU, Codestone, Gap Consulting, Kelway, m-hance and Amicus ITS are but a few of the names to have run ads offering services to any stricken 2e2 customers.

Amicus ITS told 2e2's clients that with the firm going into administration. "It may mean that you are looking to arrange a contingency plan in case the situation deteriorates and are looking for a secure and established alternative supplier," it stated.

Using a less blunt instrument, rival integrator Logicalis is understood to be talking to Marks & Spencers about TUPEing 70 2e2 staff running IT services for the project and management office within the retailer.

Mark Starkey, incoming managing director at Logicalis, was unable to comment on any negotiations but as a more general comment said he was sad for the staff that had lost their livelihood at 2e2.

"2e2 was highly competitive against us and I feel sorry for the staff, but am sure many will get a job very quickly. Unfortunately they are the victims of the [firm's] business model - high levels of debt," he told The Channel.

A week has now passed since 2e2's 10 UK subs were put in the hands of administrator FTI Consulting. The business was unable to renegotiate a finance package, leaving it with insurmountable financial woes - including £270m worth of long-term debts.

FTI made two rounds of redundancies last week - initially 319 workers were chopped from across the business and then at the end of last week another 26 were shown the door.

Matthew Riley, CEO at telco services player Daisy Group, told us "good people" were made redundant last week and he said "we want them to come over to us".

"This is not good for our channel, not good for the individuals, we want to help," he said.

At the start of last week FTI initially told staff it was reviewing the January payroll, due on 31 of the month, but latterly confirmed employees would be paid for as long as their services are required.

Company sources also say a number of 2e2 staff are also walking before they get pushed or are transferred with the business should it be sold to a third party.

"People who weren't made redundant are walking on a daily basis," said one worker, who claimed the remaining Microsoft application support team hit heavily by redundancies "have since left anyway".

Our source claimed that others to have left included folk working on 2e2's Wisdom eDRM team - the integrator's biggest bespoke software product.

Other staffers tell us their inbox and LinkedIn profiles have filled up with offers of interest from headhunters and vendors.

FTI said last week it is closing in on a sale of the 2e2's UK subs but should it fail to finalise a deal, the number of ex-employees that recruitment agencies and rivals can target may rise even further. ®

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