IT firm Onyx mulls third data centre in Scotland as competition intensifies

COMPETITION in Scotland’s IT sector is hotting up as Teesside-based Onyx Group unveils a £500,000 investment to expand its data centre in Edinburgh and mulls the opening of a third site north of the Border.

Onyx, which is backed by private equity firm Isis, won a £3 million contract from Edinburgh airport last year, triggering the launch of a round-the-clock support service that is now being offered to other clients.

Hugh Gillen, the company’s Scotland-based managing director of infrastructure, said the firm’s base in Glasgow is also nearing capacity and so he is considering opening a third data centre in Scotland.

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Onyx entered the Scottish market in 2008 by taking over Edinburgh-based Dundas IT and Campbell Lee in Glasgow. The firm mulled further acquisitions last year but instead focused on organic growth, with about 45 per cent of the group’s £19m turnover coming from Scotland.
Gillen told The Scotsman: “2013 will all be about organic growth too. We’ve invested a lot of money in our infrastructure and staff and so we want to win more big corporate clients to pay for that investment.”

Onyx renewed a contract with construction firm Balfour Beatty last year and also counts sausage skin-maker Devro, Robert Wiseman Dairies and haulier Eddie Stobbart as clients.

Gillen’s expansion plans will take the fight to indigenous Scottish IT firms like Glasgow-based Iomart, the Aim-quoted firm founded by technology entrepreneur Angus MacSween, and Edinburgh-based Scolocate, which Royal Bank of Scotland sold last month to Pulsant.