Revenue: £118.7m (+4%)
Ultima now generates half of its top line from recurring revenues, CEO Scott Dodds told IT Channel Oxygen in November as he opened up on its transformation from “old-school reseller” to MSP. That revamp has not come at the expense of its overall revenues, which hiked 4% to £118.7m in calendar 2022. The Apse Capital-backed Microsoft and AWS partner acquired The AntiSocial Engineer halfway through the period.
Oxygen ice-breaker: Ultima recently launched a nearshore base in Cape Town that is set to employ 50-60 staff by April 2024.
Q&A with Ultima CEO Scott Dodds
How has Ultima changed since you joined in 2015 and Apse Capital invested in 2019?
You and I talked a long time ago about the transformation the business was on – ie moving towards more of a managed services, recurring revenue business. And the way we position ourselves now is we talk about being part of a new generation of AI-powered tech services providers.
We will be upwards of 50% recurring by the end of 2023, which is so far away from being an old-school reseller with a bit of services. And meanwhile our revenues are holding up at £130m mark, and growing. Going back four years we would have been 10-15% from recurring managed services.
You recently announced you would be opening a nearshore centre in Cape Town. What’s the rationale?
You know what the skill shortage is like in the UK and around the world. As we win more and more services for our customers, this gives us that safety net to make sure we can deliver those services.
These are all service-related investments. We are not selling products in these places, so that’s a big shift for us. We will be 550 people plus by the end of 2023 in multiple locations around the world, but still centred on the UK.
How significant is Ultima’s clean sweep of the recent £12bn TePAS 2 framework?
You don’t get on these frameworks in five minutes – it took 18 months-plus to get everything in place.
We’ve had a very long relationship with a bunch of different healthcare and local government departments for many years, so it’s just using that now to drive a wider capability into that public sector space.
Which peer do you respect the most?
Kocho have got some exciting things going on. We don’t really see them as a competitor as they’re in a different lane to us. But we’re all going down the same route with software automation, AI and data.