Former CIO of Ford Motor Company Kevin Timms is now firmly in the driving seat as CEO of MSP EACS, a fast rising £20 million business with corporate sized growth ambitions.
No business leader who has wandered the nether corridors of a large corporation can escape their duty to think big. It's a mindset Timms carried over from the corporate world when he connected with the IT sector and co-founded MSP Streamwire with Anne Stokes. "Leaving Ford after 29 years was like stepping off a cliff," he stated. "I knew exactly what I was doing there but decided to do something completely different. The transition from working in a corporate to being a supplier and business owner in the tech industry was a challenge, but I felt the new generation of engineering was in IT."
Timms joined Ford Motor Company in 1986 and rose to become IT Director. For five of those years he also held the role of IT Director at Jaguar Land Rover. His corporate background gave him an understanding of the systems and processes that need to be in place to motivate a bigger team capable of realising his vision for EACS to become as £50 million business. "I've brought my enterprise understanding and ability to bear in a smaller organisation that has an opportunity to become one of these larger businesses," he added.
Acquisitions are also core to Timms's growth strategy. Streamwire followed up its 2015 acquisition of Event Computer Services with the purchase of EACS in May, boosting revenues to almost £20 million. Timms became CEO of the combined company which now trades as EACS. "This acquisition provides the platform to take our business to the next level, expand into the cloud and cyber security spaces and take on established IT suppliers," he said.
"We have a management team rich with industry knowledge in service providers, corporates and start-ups. With that experience and a focus on the customer we are already seeing growth in the combined business. EACS's reputation for building on-premise solutions is working nicely with Streamwire's cloud offering so we can provide a more integrated approach."
In making some structural changes to deliver rapid growth, rather than slower organic growth, Timms is building the capability to access new clients. "But as with many businesses dealing with technology, a key challenge for us will be getting access to the right skill sets at the right time," added Timms.
His engineering background can be traced back to the mid-1980s when computers were being deployed across office desks, rather than a complex box stored in a data centre that was only accessible for accounting. "Overnight these were being used for email, drawing pictures and diagrams and developing business plans," he recalled.
"IT suddenly became interesting as a business tool above its traditional accounting and payroll functions. It's an exciting time to be in the IT space as the industry goes through such a big change. The use of technology is becoming a driving force in nearly every sector. This change provides virtually all companies with big competitive opportunities, but also as we have seen recently, significant threats. Our acquisition means we have a stronger capability to help our clients and companies achieve their goals and keep their data secure.
"Another part of our role is to isolate customers from the chop and change that characterises the channel. We want to bring a set of capabilities that small and medium sized businesses can use effectively. Larger enterprises tend to do things differently from SMEs and we've got a capability that suits the small and medium sized businesses out there. We stay close to what we are renowned for - implementing and project managing software, hardware and managed services."
The loyal customer bases shared by Streamwire and EACS along with rapid growth in the adoption of cloud technology gives the enlarged company a strong foundation for expansion, supported by accreditations such as Citrix Gold Solution Advisor, Microsoft Gold Partner, NetApp Gold Partner, VMware Enterprise Solutions Provider, HPE Silver Partner and Dell EMC Authorised Partner.
"Our latest acquisition shows the underlying strength of the UK tech scene," stated Timms. "While the political changes happening in the UK have been concerning on some levels, investment in tech continues to increase and we can look forward to a strong future."n