The ICC Group History Timeline Video
ICC (International Computer Connections) is formed by Leon Wheeler in the garage of a mid-terrace property in Wetherby, West Yorkshire.
DEC, a major American company in the computer industry from the 1950s through to the 1990s is the world’s number 2 vendor behind IBM. The technology DEC designed was ground-breaking and therefore lead to a huge number of users around the globe and the technologies they created were heavily invested in by various verticals.
Being a niche provider of DEC technologies enabled us to obtain customers; when DEC was sold to Compaq in 1998, there were a lot of disgruntled customers as Compaq was always seen as a PC company; something that DEC certainly wasn’t. Fortunately, our global reach enabled us to procure globally with the heritage of being a global broker.
3 years on from when ICC first formed, the workforce increased by another 4 members; taking on roles such as finance and warehousing. A larger premise was required and so we moved into Thorpe Arch trading estate, a 4,500 square foot industrial warehouse, offices and even a kitchen were included!
In 2002, we achieved ISO 9001 accreditation which is the international standard for a quality management system. It took around 6 months but fortunately, due to how structured our processes were, it wasn’t too difficult to achieve.
We offered our first support contract on system to one of the UK’s largest kitchen manufacturers Hygena, supporting their VAX environment. This contract was a complete gamechanger as it allowed us to employ our first full time engineer!
First year to break £1,000,000 in sales! ICC, originally started with the intention of being a lifestyle business, was growing into something far greater!
Our workforce had now increased to 6 people, this included 2 salespeople, 2 warehouse staff and 1 in marketing and finance. The profitability of the company was healthy but not greedy and we reinvested most profits back into the business by way of inventory.
We won a contract for Bedfordshire County Police on a new Unix estate. This opportunity was found by selling the constabulary a new AlphaServer at 50% lower than HP could.
Purchased a new 10,000 square foot facility. The new premise had full workshop facilities, more defined areas, a larger footprint open plan office and a huge 7,000 square foot warehouse. This enabled us to employ more staff and enhance our portfolio to reflect other vendors; single vendor datacentres were becoming a thing of the past.
We also extended our capacity stock holding, sales of AlphaServers reached 1,000 units leading to a massive £2,000,000 reached in sales. Leon was a keen advocate for reinvesting most profits back into the business, an ethos he still sticks to today.
We were approached by NASA with an opportunity of purchasing 8 servers, which we went ahead with. After many days of negotiation and post NDA we were informed of the actual size of the deal! At this stage, other resellers walked away due to the scale and the threat that market pricing would drop due to the influx onto the market. We were confident we could commit, procure and resell within a time scale that would not upset the market. We achieved our goal. We brokered over 80% to piece part level, shipped from Houston to the UK and achieved a return of 10 times our initial cost!
We also became Cisco registered this year which helped us to meet the network requirements of our customers.
Awarded HP tier one supplier status for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to this we had not done much business in the Middle East and Africa due to logistical restraints and the limited logistics resource we had. It was always part of Leon’s plan to expand the company globally, due to the influence of the internet, the world was becoming a far smaller place.
ICC managed services is incorporated as a restructure to define the business as pure services provider. Initially the split was to define the demand from our customers for either service or product-based demands. It also enabled us to achieve a more granular review of the sales team’s performance as the annuity service revenue somewhat blurred the hardware sales side.
We were the main sponsor for Thales golf tournament.
We had approximately 12 staff and we could see a skills shortage in multi vendor technologies. We also had a desire to learn legacy tech and so we introduced a government backed apprentice scheme. The scheme meant we would be able to mould our engineering capacity to our requirements and not necessarily one trick vendor ponies. Being multivendor specialists across many years of technologies, recruiting the skills required is not a simple case of recruitment.
We broke 100 managed services agreements.
Awarded ISO 20000, a global standard that describes the requirements for an information technology service management system. We have always adhered to and delivered leading edge services and processes. We invested in the ISO commitments to deliver a message to our customers that we firmly believe in reinvesting and showcasing our commitments to service and quality excellence.
Relocated and purchased a new 18,000 square foot facility to scale the business to the next level. We reinvested over £1,500,000 in infrastructure and resource to continue to meet our expectation of growth and customer demand.
Gained ISO 27001 accreditation which is a specification for an information security management system (ISMS).
Acquired a competitor from administration and opened in the East Midlands. We had been competitors for several years and always felt they would be a natural fit to join the ICC Group. This was not an easy task in hindsight, however 4 years on they are firmly a part of the ICC family.
We became HPE and HP Inc. tier one supplier for all of Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Supplying the worlds number 1 IT manufacturer is a great achievement.
Expanded our East Midlands office to cope with increase in HP Inc. business due to the acquisition of a competitor from liquidation. Our new branch meant we could meet the demands of our HPE contract expansion whilst also enabling us to have a footprint in the Midlands to deliver service.
Total number of systems supported exceeds 4,000.
Awarded a 5-year support contract at one of the UK’s largest nuclear plants. This contract was significant in the fact that it was won for one of the worlds largest utility companies. We were also competing again the worlds largest IT vendor for the contract; this confirmed our ability to meet and beat the industries giants!
Security threats and a seemingly growing demand for data destruction meant it made sense to invest in an onsite mobile shredding division. This would be yet another tick in our ever-growing service offering for our customers.
We were awarded outsourced support contract for one of the UK’s largest steel manufacturers.
The total number of servers supported exceeds 21,000 globally, spread over 1,100 support agreements. We deliver support in approximately 70 of the worlds 195 countries. Not bad for a company that started in the garage of a mid-terrace property!
We celebrated 21 years in business in style at the Coniston Hall Hotel in the Yorkshire Dales. This spectacular event included team based activities such as archery, quad biking and rage buggy racing, followed by a champagne reception with magician and a fantastic dinner, casino and band which kept the dance floor moving all night long!
With our new corporate brand identity and company website we look forward to 2020 and moving into a bright future for The ICC Group.