Advania acquires Servium as part of IT services outfit expansion plans

CEO tells The Reg about plumping the portfolio and AI

Exclusive IT services biz Advania is buying UK IT solutions provider reseller Servium as it continues to bulk out ops.

The value of the deal was not revealed. However, in its last set of filed accounts at the UK's Companies House, Servium posted a turnover of just over £30 million for the year ended December 31, 2022, up from £25.4 million in the previous year.

Geoff Kneen, CEO of Advania UK, said: "The combination of Advania and Servium will allow us both to deliver greater breadth of service and increased value to our clients. Servium's CEO, Paul Barlow, added: "Together, we are now able to offer an enhanced range of solutions that touch every part of the modern IT landscape."

Advania UK CEO, Geoff Kneen, and Servium CEO, Paul Barlow, shaking hanks in front of London buildings

Geoff Kneen, Advania, and Paul Barlow, Servium - Credit: Advania UK

Kneen had been the Group Managing Director of Content+Cloud, a UK Microsoft services provider, which the Advania Group bought at the end of 2021. He became CEO of Advania UK in October 2022.

In an interview with The Register, Kneen says the intent is to go broader in the technology reselling market, and the Servium buy is part of a five-year plan to grow the business.

As it stands, the business is weighted towards the private sector, with the public sector accounting for somewhere between a 15 and 18 percent share. That said, Kneen acknowledges the public sector's importance to the company and notes the fact that Content+Cloud had been named Microsoft's Partner of the Year for Education in 2023 prior to finally adopting Advania's name at the end of 2023.

Advania UK largely provides cloud services and digital transformation around the Microsoft estate, so it is unsurprising that AI features prominently in Kneen's thinking.

"We're still in early adopter mode," he told us. "I think people are still working out just how much value and where the value is in their organization."

"What we're finding, and I suspect a good part of the market is finding as well, is that actually it's significant across all businesses. So what we're starting to see now is people prioritizing those investments, and look to quantify those investments, and then prioritize."

Kneen forecasts that anyone who uses a PC "can significantly change the way they work ... we are all going to become more productive, we are all going to become more accurate when searching for data, and we're all going to spend less time reading things and doing things that aren't necessarily adding value to the work that we do."

Microsoft is still running proof of concept programs to convince customers that paying for a Copilot license is beneficial to productivity.

Kneen reckons growth for Copilot is on the horizon. As well as ongoing pilots, he said: "We should start to see more and more people adopt Copilot, and I think we will significantly over the next six months."

"I think businesses are seeing return and benefit from it ... I still think we're in the early phases of the market." ®

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