Azzurri to slash ranks in cost-cutting drive

Azzurri to slash ranks in cost-cutting drive

After acquiring 16 firms in the past seven years, vendor plans to streamline processes

Azzurri could axe more than 100 staff as it gets ready to slash its cost base by 10 to 15 per cent. The voice and data integrator has entered a consultation period with employees as it prepares to streamline its business and create a more unified national structure.

Martin St Quinton, who founded Azzurri but recently stepped down as chief executive to focus on M&A and key customers, said: “We have acquired 16 companies in the past seven years and it is time to bring them all together. “There are a number of functions we are doing three or four times over that only need to be done once. We need to reduce our costs across the board by 10 to 15 per cent and we have 850 staff.”

St Quinton said that Azzurri’s backer PPM had been very supportive throughout the process, but admitted the private equity firm was hopeful of an upturn in business levels. He added that the strategy was also a response to the current business climate. “We were planning to make more acquisitions last year, but it did not happen because of the economic and banking climate. We are now gearing up for organic growth so it is time to consolidate,” he explained.

The cost-cutting drive comes hot on the heels of the arrival of new chief executive Gordon Matthew and new chairman Jim McKenna.

Jason Standerwick, sales and marketing director at Azzurri, said: “Gordon is incredibly good at executing this type of plan. This leaves me and Martin to focus on organic growth and look after top customers.” Tom Kelly, UK managing director of rival Logicalis, said: “I believe Azzurri has been tardy in exploiting the synergies around the acquisitions it has made. Once you start using the ‘r’ word, you run the risk of staff losing faith in the business.”

Nick Grossman, corporate business development director at rival integrator 2e2, said: “This is the tale of anyone you talk to in the IT industry right now. You have to fight hard for business and run an optimal cost model. We are all faced with similar challenges.”