​EXCLUSIVE: Why Spark bought CCL…

Spark Digital CEO Tim Miles explains the $50 million acquisition.

Tim Miles - CEO, Spark Digital

Tim Miles - CEO, Spark Digital

“The CCL model is slightly different to what Revera is doing but we believe there is a place for both.”

Cloud

Miles says the acquisition is consistent with Spark’s strategy to become the no.1 provider in the fast-growing cloud market in New Zealand, a market that currently encompasses many areas and industries.

“The cloud market is very fragmented,” Miles says. “If you look at cloud in context, you’ve got the public cloud providers such as AWS, Google and Microsoft, with IBM also trying to get into that space.

“Plainly that’s the biggest part of the cloud market and we’re not going to be with them in that respect, but we are looking to scale our locally hosted capabilities.

“We believe New Zealand businesses going forward will want to mix and match some their workloads. Some are happy to have them in the public cloud, others are happy to have them onshore, with lots of determining factors such as response time, data sovereignty and local support.

“Through our family, we can cater to those needs.”

Of course, there are many cloud providers in not only New Zealand, but across the world, yet Miles believes CCL’s expertise within the hybrid cloud, service desk and project management services space will be a major boost to Spark’s digital offerings.

“If you look at the core telecommunications and IT platforms required to run a digital business, we want to be in a position to provide that,” Miles adds.

“All of the big investments Spark has made centre around this strategy of supporting those digital platforms for New Zealand businesses.”

Acquisitions

Looking ahead, Miles says Spark has no immediate plans to add to the acquisitions of Revera, Appserv and CCL, insisting the company has “nothing on the go at the moment.”

But while nothing is on the table at present, Miles admits that approach could change in the future, should the opportunity arise.

“Our track record suggests that if we see an opportunity for a step change in capability, or we require more capacity, then we obviously look favourably upon that,” he adds.

“If you look at what we’ve done over the past few years, we’ve invested heavily in being able to provide managed infrastructure.”

Terms of the acquisition - much like Revera - will see CEO Andrew Allan, alongside Managing Director Darryl Swann, continue to run CCL as a standalone business, a move Miles believes is critical to the future success of the company.

“We plan to manage CCL very much in line with how we’re running Revera,” he adds. “It’s crucial to leave them with their own brand and culture, and to stand behind them and support them going forward.

“We want to be able to provide the resources to help CCL do things more quickly and better, and we also have that model with Revera.”

For Miles, the company remains “very clear” on its strategy of maintaining the status quo following large acquisitions, and recognising the different pieces of the Spark puzzle.

“Spark is about having our core business but around that, a portfolio of brands,” he adds. “The old Telecom would have been more likely to bring those businesses in and make them all like Telecom, with varying degrees of success.

“But the way we are operating now is different. When we acquired Revera, we looked at their strong culture and didn’t want to mess with it.

“CCL is the same. Andrew, Darryl and I are very clear about wanting to preserve that culture and provide the independence to run as a standalone business.”

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