How NOT to start a new website – 365 ITMS Limited shows how!

Posted by Chris on October 13th, 2011

The recent launch of 365 ITMS’s website ( and limited company ) takes me back to the blogs that I did a while ago on the Boiler room scammers. ( I will try and remember to put some links to these articles about share fraud and boiler rooms at the bottom of this article.)

The old company, 365iT plc, never had much idea about Internet marketing ( which always made me wonder how much the company really understood about what was going on in the modern world of high technology ). I think it was a case of the old boys network that had really got – well – one foot in the grave ??

What’s the best we can say about this launch of a new company and website/Internet presence ??

Well – they have a website and they did some press releases. This is actually about the sum total of the Internet repetoire of 365iT’s and 365 ITMS’s Internet marketing team.

Oh – and if you “view source” there’s a few ( hopefully ) relevant keywords in the tags and titles.

If you remember the share fraud scammers blogs then this is about what they did – create a relevant website, makes sure that it’s got the right content and relevant titles and tags and then stick a press release out to ( mostly ) free press release sites that syndicate to others.

If you are a bit of a blagger then you can say to your client – there you go – a fully SEO’d website with full traditional ( if you send it to the
” traditional ” media ) and internet media PR.

What’s the fundamental problem here ??

Well a new website has no ” authority “. It is new to Google ( if it has been submitted that is ) and has relatively low amounts of relevant content. It will not have backlinks. Getting it to attain ” authority ” is going to take time and effort.

The Internet Press Release sites are typically SEO friendly and since PR sites are always getting new content they will probably get Google’s attention. Of course they are filled up with content that is not necessarily relevant to you and over time most of these Press Releases will fade in their authority.

If we  Google ” Web Design Basingstoke ” then we begin to see the problem.

Actually the real problem is this:

Marketing has moved on light years from the old traditional ways and Internet Marketing has really got a bit beyond ” brochure websites ” ! If the only social media site that you understand is Linkedin then ( much though I love Linkedin ) you are really in trouble.

Arguably the failure of 365iT plc has a lot to do with the failure to understand the shift in buyer mentality and the way that customers find you ( particularly using the Internet ).

One of the great lessons to understand is the use of what I call ” Internet platforms ” – more on this in a later article – but WordPress is one of them.

365 IT Services Limited to be ” Trusted IT Services Supplier to Corporates ” ??

Posted by Chris on October 11th, 2011

According to Peter Howells of 365 IT Services Limited it plans to be the ” Trusted IT Services Supplier to Corporates ” ( see more details at the end of this post – About Us ).

If you are going to trust your IT Services to a partner then you want to know that that partner has the experience and knowledge to provide that service and also you would like to think that they are going to be around for a while.

Lets take the last point first shall we ??

LMS Capital plc, the company that funded the management buyout from 365iT, supported by Peter MacLean, the Chief Executive  of 365iT plc and now the Chairman of 365 IT Services Limited aswell ( complicated eh ?? ) is actually on a break up strategy !!

Yes, that’s correct, the company that wants to be corporates ” Trusted IT Services Supplier ” will soon be broken up !

The story here is quite complicated but if you look at the LMS Capital website ( Our News section )

http://www.lmscapital.com/Ournews/tabid/64/Default.aspx

there are two relevant Press Releases:

1. The ” Concert Party Request “.

2. Proposed change of Investment Strategy and Convening of General Meeting.

The gist of these is that shareholders representing around 37% of the shares of LMS Capital don’t believe in LMS Capital’s strategy of buy and build. They want to see the company broken up and sold. These ” rebel ” shareholders are led by the ( until recently ) Chairman of LMS Capital plc, Robert Rayne.

Whilst Peter Howells is an experienced Managing Director, Peter MacLean has been a miserable failure at trying to build up first of all Impera plc and then 365iT plc. The companies in 365 IT Services were, until very recently, in 365iT, missing is Fox I.T. which still remains in 365iT but has the Sword of Damacles hovering over it’s head while Peter MacLean decides how he is going ” wind down ” 365iT.

Strangely then the ” Services and Consultancy ” business is left in 365iT whilst MacLeans, clearly lacking, hands are in both pots.

http://www.365itservices.co.uk/

How long is it going to take for a company, thinking about partnering with 365 IT Services, to due proper due diligence only to find that 365 IT Services is to be broken up ” as soon as possible ” ??

It is a ludicrously badly thought out strategy that is doomed to failure. Competitors to 365 IT Services are going to have a field day. Their salespeople will cast F.U.D. ( Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt ) all over the deal and in many cases 365 IT Services Limited will fail to win business.

This does not even take into account the competitiveness of the market at the moment and the lack of investment by corporates in this type of service offering.

The world is moving towards managed services and cloud computing but 365iT shut down it’s ” managed networking ” arm and also closed it’s ” Cloud Computing ” business ( selling off the remains to someone with more vision and competence ).

About Us

365 IT Services Limited is a new company formed by a management buyout, backed by LMS Capital plc, of a number of business divisions from 365 iT plc.

These business divisions deliver a range of technology solutions extending from unified communications to network and system infrastructure, security, business continuity and managed services.

http://www.365itservices.co.uk/

The new company, 365 IT Services Limited is managed by Peter Howells who was the Managing Director and co-founder of 5i Limited, the unified communications specialist. Peter MacLean, Chairman and Chief Executive of 365 iT plc who also joins the board as Non-Executive Chairman will focus on corporate strategy and acquisitions.

Peter Howells, Managing Director of 365 IT Services said “Our aim is to become the trusted IT services supplier of choice for corporate businesses in the UK. Bringing together the separate divisions under one banner will provide us with one of the strongest portfolio of technologies and services possible and allow us to work closer with existing and new customers and business partners to achieve this goal.”

Howells added “Working with LMS Capital will not only ensure that we have the capital to fund organic growth but also provide access to a greater source of investment capital to acquire other businesses that will further strengthen our overall proposition in key areas of technology and services delivery.”

Commenting on the investment, Pieter Hooft, Managing Director UK Investments at LMS Capital, said “We are delighted to have the opportunity to be part of 365 IT Services Limited. Our due diligence has confirmed that the individual businesses are held in high regard by customers and key suppliers and we are confident that their integration into a single new company, under a management team that has a proven track record of profitable growth, will create an outstanding company that will take advantage of the rapidly changing IT landscape.”

http://www.365itservices.co.uk/

365 In The Main Stream ( ITMS ) – Managed Services Updates and Information

Posted by Chris on October 11th, 2011

365 In The Main Steam ( ITMS ) is a global awareness service for I.T. Managed Services Updates and Information.

Having established the Managed Network Services Division of Voyager Internet and Networks in the mid to late nineties I will be posting a series here about the very latest news and information on what is happening in the Managed Services industry.

Managed Services is a 365 days a year 24 hours a day business that has evolved from the provision and management of IP Networks to the cloud based services of today.

365 In the Main Stream ( ITMS ) is about products and services that are in the main stream of the IT Managed Services business.

Managed services is the practice of transferring day-to-day related management responsibility as a strategic method for improved effective and efficient operations inclusive of Production Support and lifecycle build/maintenance activities. The person or organization who owns or has direct oversight of the organization or system being managed is referred to as the offer-er, client, or customer. The person or organization that accepts and provides the managed service is regarded as the service provider.

Typically, the offer-er remains accountable for the functionality and performance of managed service and does not relinquish the overall management responsibility of the organization or system.

Common managed services

Common managed services include but are not limited to:

Managed services provider

A managed services provider (MSP), is typically an information technology (IT) services provider, who manages and assumes responsibility for providing a defined set of services to their clients either proactively or as they (not the client) determine that the services are needed. Most MSPs bill an upfront setup or Transition and an ongoing flat or near-fixed monthly fee, which benefits their clients by providing them with predictable IT support costs.

In general

The business model behind managed services has been commonplace among enterprise level companies. The model has also been adapted to fit small to medium sized companies by the value-added reseller(VAR) community as they evolved to provide more consistent budgeting and higher levels of service to small businesses and mid-size enterprises.

See also

see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Managed_services

for more information and links.

365 ITMS Limited

Posted by Chris on October 11th, 2011

Here the “About Me ” page from the new 365 ITMS Limited website:

About Us

365 ITMS Limited is a new company formed by a management buyout, backed by LMS Capital plc, of a number of business divisions from 365 iT plc.

These business divisions deliver a range of technology solutions extending from unified communications to network and system infrastructure, security, business continuity and managed services.

The new company, 365 ITMS Limited is managed by Peter Howells who was the Managing Director and co-founder of 5i Limited, the unified communications specialist. Peter MacLean, Chairman and Chief Executive of 365 iT plc who also joins the board as Non-Executive Chairman will focus on corporate strategy and acquisitions.

Peter Howells, Managing Director of 365 ITMS said “Our aim is to become the trusted IT services supplier of choice for corporate businesses in the UK. Bringing together the separate divisions under one banner will provide us with one of the strongest portfolio of technologies and services possible and allow us to work closer with existing and new customers and business partners to achieve this goal.”

Howells added “Working with LMS Capital will not only ensure that we have the capital to fund organic growth but also provide access to a greater source of investment capital to acquire other businesses that will further strengthen our overall proposition in key areas of technology and services delivery.”

Commenting on the investment, Pieter Hooft, Managing Director UK Investments at LMS Capital, said “We are delighted to have the opportunity to be part of 365 ITMS Limited. Our due diligence has confirmed that the individual businesses are held in high regard by customers and key suppliers and we are confident that their integration into a single new company, under a management team that has a proven track record of profitable growth, will create an outstanding company that will take advantage of the rapidly changing IT landscape.”

For more information and background:

http://mandarainmaker.co.uk/wordpress/2011/10/11/365it-365-itms-lms-capital-peter-maclean-robert-rayne-5i-and-shareholders-chat/

http://www.lmscapital.com/Ournews/tabid/64/Default.aspx

365iTservices, 365 ITMS, LMS Capital, Peter MacLean, Robert Rayne, 5i and shareholders chat

Posted by Chris on October 11th, 2011

If you are a shareholder in 365iT plc ( 365it services.co.uk )  , LMS Capital, South East Growth Fund or Sussex Place Ventures then it’s been an interesting few weeks for you. As you may or may not know LMS Capital just acquired 365iT companies 5i Limited, ImperaData, Dynax and Secure Networks at a time when The Honourable Robert Rayne ( until recently Chairman of LMS Capital )  has led the ” Rayne Concert Party ” ( who own around 35% of LMS Capital ) in a bid to break up LMS Capital.

Following an earlier blog of mine shareholders in 365iT ( 365it services.co.uk ) have been contacting me to try to find out what exactly is going on at 365iT plc. All that shareholders have received is a letter from Peter MacLean that raises more questions than it answers. ( Particularly in the light of what is going on at LMS Capital ! ) Interestingly long standing ( long suffering ?? ) 365iT shareholders have said to me that the letter sent out late last month is typical of the sort of ” say quite a bit  but say nothing ” communications that they are used to.

We are all waiting with bated breath to see what the new company that comprises 5i Limited, ImperaData, Dynax and Secure Networks is oing to be called. Maybe it will just be ” part of LMS Capital ” until , if the ” Raynes Concert Party ” have their way, the LMS Capital companies are sold off again. ( I know – you are having trouble keeping up with this already !! ).

Don’t worry ! – this blog will help keep you informed on events at 365iT plc ( 365it services.co.uk ) and LMS Capital as and when they happen. I will also report on the upcoming meeting of 365iT shareholders – it will be very interesting to hear more about the history of Impera plc. Some of the shareholders have known Peter MacLean since he was at Guardian iT.

From what we can tell 365iT is now a debt free company which owns Fox I.T.

http://www.foxit.net/pages/about/investors.shtml

Here’s the blurb for investors from the ( new ) 365iT website:

Investors

365iT website

365 iT plc

“365 iT plc was founded in 2005 and now employs over 120 people. Through its wholly owned subsidiaries (365 iTechnology Ltd, 5i Ltd, 7 Global Group Ltd and Fox IT Ltd), the group provides an extensive range of IT services and solutions that address ten strategic areas of IT operations and management: IT Managed Services, Unified Communications, Business Continuity, Data Backup, IT Security, Virtualisation, Networks, Storage Solutions, Infrastructure Solutions and IT Service Management.

365 iT plc designs and delivers information and communications technology (ICT) services that help organisations enhance their IT effectiveness and ROI, enabling them to better meet their business objectives. Headquartered in Basingstoke, the company works closely with its clients from SME businesses through to corporate and public sector organisations.

Peter MacLean photo

Commenting on the acquisition of Fox IT, Peter MacLean, 365 iT plc’s chairman and chief executive, said: “This is a very positive development for the 365 iT group and I welcome Paul Speers and his team. I look forward to working closely with them in and in particular to helping them grow their business model substantially in the coming years.

MacLean continued: “This latest acquisition represents yet another significant step forward consolidating the group’s position in the very competitive and rapidly developing IT services market.”

Paul Speers, Fox IT’s managing director, said: “The future is undoubtedly very exciting and I believe that Fox IT’s capabilities in ITSM and ITIL strongly complement those of 365 iT plc. The combined forces of both companies will establish a new benchmark in the IT Services Sector.”

This 5th acquisition in just 4 years demonstrates the strength of 365 iT and the group’s ability to exhibit continued substantial growth at a time when many businesses are doing quite the opposite. In September, 365 iT plc was ranked the 15th fastest growing technology company in the UK, according to the prestigious Tech Track league table.”

As you can see until very recently everything was Go, Go, Go at 365iT plc !!

Meanwhile whilst there is a lot about the ” Rayne Concert Party ” on the LMS Capital website

http://www.lmscapital.com/Ournews/tabid/64/Default.aspx

there is nothing about the acquisition of 5i Limited, ImperaData, Dynax and Secure Networks which is a bit odd when you consider that at the time the ” Rayne Concert Party ” were shouting for a break up LMS Capital were just spending a load of money acquiring new companies !!

At least all the creditors and Loan Note Holders of 365iT plc got paid out by the money from LMS Capital. Who were the Loan Note Holders – well you can probably guess ( !! ) but more on after the shareholders meeting ;-)

Please bookmark and share this blog because THIS is going to be an interesting story!

P.S. More on the New Company that LMS Capital just funded here:

http://www.365itservices.co.uk/about-us.php

About Us

365 ITMS Limited is a new company formed by a management buyout, backed by LMS Capital plc, of a number of business divisions from 365 iT plc.

These business divisions deliver a range of technology solutions extending from unified communications to network and system infrastructure, security, business continuity and managed services.

The new company, 365 ITMS Limited is managed by Peter Howells who was the Managing Director and co-founder of 5i Limited, the unified communications specialist. Peter MacLean, Chairman and Chief Executive of 365 iT plc who also joins the board as Non-Executive Chairman will focus on corporate strategy and acquisitions.

Peter Howells, Managing Director of 365 ITMS said “Our aim is to become the trusted IT services supplier of choice for corporate businesses in the UK. Bringing together the separate divisions under one banner will provide us with one of the strongest portfolio of technologies and services possible and allow us to work closer with existing and new customers and business partners to achieve this goal.”

Howells added “Working with LMS Capital will not only ensure that we have the capital to fund organic growth but also provide access to a greater source of investment capital to acquire other businesses that will further strengthen our overall proposition in key areas of technology and services delivery.”

Commenting on the investment, Pieter Hooft, Managing Director UK Investments at LMS Capital, said “We are delighted to have the opportunity to be part of 365 ITMS Limited. Our due diligence has confirmed that the individual businesses are held in high regard by customers and key suppliers and we are confident that their integration into a single new company, under a management team that has a proven track record of profitable growth, will create an outstanding company that will take advantage of the rapidly changing IT landscape.”


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