Iocom triples with MUA gulp

The aggressive plans of recently listed IT services company Iocom were advanced last week with the announcement of the acquisition of distributor MUA and its services company, MUA Services and Training.

The announcement follows a memorandum of understanding signed with Melbourne-based Beethoven Computer Services to acquire its services and systems integration business. But according to Iocom's managing director, Peter Singer, that will now go on hold while the "merger-style" acquisition of MUA takes place.

"It's a big step and more than triples the size of the business," Singer said. But he is focused on growing the services business to achieve some economies of scale, so like a seagull with a very large chip in its beak, it's going to swallow as quickly as possible. Singer said the distribution business (MUA) will continue to operate as a separate unit, but the services and training business will be merged into Iocom Services, and headed up by MUA founder Paul McQuarrie.

Iocom already has around 120 clients in what Singer calls the "SME and satellite corporate" space. MUA, which is one of only three (and the only locally owned) Microsoft Certified Support Centres for second and third level support, is reported to have 1000 customers.

As a services focused business with a "niche management model", Iocom has proven to be popular with customers and investors, with this latest acquisition being funded by a further placement of shares. "The equity market has been very supportive, and we are looking for another 10 strategic sales consultants," Singer said.

With more than a tinge of patriotism showing, Singer added that Iocom is keen to soak up Australian companies and retain the competencies that would otherwise go to foreign-owned organisations.