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Trustmarque ready to rock n roll in tech channel again

Costs cut, exec team lined up, problems confined to history, says CEO

Interview With the branding issue out of the way, an enlarged Trustmarque has cut costs, embedded the exec team and is hiring - a far cry from the less than certain outlook for the business last summer.

The York-based organisation this week merged with sister company Trinity, forming a £170m turnover technology wing of business process outsourcing parent Liberata.

The management team includes senior heads from both sides of the house, with former Trustmarque CEO Scott Haddow and sales and marketing director Angelo di Ventura keeping those roles. Trinity vets Allan Jackson and Chris Chilvers are the new COO and chief beanie respectively.

“The management team flowing down from that is a good mix of Trinity and Trustmarque people,” Haddow told us.

“We have a business plan that we are working to but it is more important we get the integration of the organisation spot on, make sure customer services levels are right and we have an engaged workforce”.

Liberata rescued Trinity from administration in 2013, and acquired Trustmarque last September after a change in revenue recognition left the reseller with a funding gap that VC backer Dundedin refused to fill.

The combined business has 600 staff - 400 hailed from managed and professionals services biz Trinity and the remainder from software licensing specialist Trustmarque.

Haddow said it had taken out costs in “sensible places” including consolidation of “mobile phone operators, some back office, insurances policies for example”. He said there were vacancies at both firms before they collided that the organisation could now cover.

“That is a cost saving in recruitment fees, training and induction programmes.”

He added there was some “natural attrition” in staff numbers but there will be no major redundancy programme. “Will be chop heads? No, there is enough of a complimentary base… we are in hiring mode”.

The merger means Trustmarque, the brand that was retained, has access to a £50m services organisation (£40m from Trinity), this includes cloud as well as managed and consultancy services.

Back in 2010, the original Trustmarque started to put more priority on building a services business, it acquired a small firm to provide the backbone for this. The move was a nod to lower future profits expected from software licensing - the firm’s particular expertise.

Di Ventura told us prior to the acquisition by Liberata, Trusmtarque partnered with services organisations to cover its gaps, but this was no longer required.

“Trinity has a mature managed services business. Previously we were simply handing over profits [when we outsourced]”.

Cross-selling activities in the circa 2,000 strong customer base - the sweet spot is those with up to 7k seats - are beginning in earnest, and Haddow said clients were positive about the move, with no hangover from the turn of events that saw both firms taken over.

Trustmarque said it was very open with customers about the “bump in the road” last summer, “we had a significant number of face to face meetings and customer confidence is very high”.

The next potential upheaval Trustmarque may face is when Liberata backer Endless LLP look to the exit - they invested in the BPO public sector player five years ago.

Haddow told us that was a possibility “at some point” but insisted no conversations along those lines are currently taking place. ®


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