Keysource Ltd is acquired by Styles&Wood Group

Integrated property services group, Styles&Wood Group plc, has advanced its successful diversification strategy with the acquisition of Keysource Limited – a provider of specialist technical services to the data centre and critical facilities sectors.

The acquisition will enable Styles&Wood to expand into the growing data centre services market and provide new opportunities to broaden work streams with both existing and new customers.

Based in Horsham, Sussex, and incorporated in 1998, Keysource specialises in delivering engineering and technology services for business critical environments. The Keysource executive management team, which will remain with the business, has over 50 years’ experience working with some of the world’s leading organisations across a diverse range of sectors, including finance and banking, education and industrial. Keysource will continue to operate under its existing brand and the deal has been designed to provide it with a stronger operational and financial platform to support its ambitious growth plans moving forward.

The acquisition is in line with Styles&Wood’s strategy to diversify its service offering across key sectors and enhances the Group’s capabilities in technologies and critical facilities.

Styles&Wood and Keysource have an established working relationship as delivery partners on a strategic framework for one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.  The Group envisages being able to offer Keysource’s services to its other banking framework customers.

Mike West, CEO at Keysource, said:

“This is a truly exciting strategic move for Keysource. The business is in strong shape and coming under the Styles&Wood umbrella will provide the company and all of our employees with great opportunities for growth in the coming years. In the meantime, it is still very much ‘business as usual’ in terms of client servicing and continuing to build on the fantastic momentum and performance we have delivered this year.”

Tony Lenehan, Chief Executive Officer of Styles&Wood, said:

“The data centre market is a sector we have been looking to enter for some time and believe it has exciting growth prospects, driven by a combination of macro and regulatory factors. Provision of critical facilities to this market will continue to be crucial as it grows.

The acquisition follows our successful joint venture with Keysource on an ongoing major banking framework and we have been very impressed with the team’s expertise and project delivery capabilities. With the prevailing market trend for the expansion and improvement of existing facilities, we believe the combined strength of both businesses’ expertise in working in live environments will make a compelling proposition.

Styles&Wood has a proven successful diversification strategy which has been instrumental in supporting clients across a range of sectors. This acquisition further reinforces our strategic vision and will enable us to broaden our service offerings to existing and new customers and I am excited about the future opportunities for the Group as a whole.”

Headquartered in Sale, Greater Manchester, Styles&Wood provides a full range of integrated property and project delivery services to some of the UK’s premier brands and blue-chip organisations. Its integrated offer includes design, building intelligence systems, facilities solutions and fit-out and refurbishment services which provide clients with the opportunity to optimise the performance of their property assets.

According to the AMA Research Data Centre Construction Market Report published in March 2016 the market for data centres is forecast to reach over £1.1bn by the end of 2020, representing annual growth of 3 to 4%.

Keysource to provide critical facilities management support for Leeds City Council

Leeds City Council (LCC) has chosen Keysource, the critical environment specialist, to provide vital support for its data centres in and around the city centre. It follows a competitive tender and is designed to ensure that there is minimal downtime and disruption to IT services and that the data centre environment remains resilient and secure.

Under the terms of the agreement Keysource will provide a critical FM solution across a number of data centres that house the infrastructure to support all the Council’s IT systems.  This will include managing a preplanned maintenance programme for all critical equipment to manufacturers’ specifications and frequencies. A robust emergency cover will also be implemented to allow the data centres to function to a high availability.

Keysource will provide a 24/7/365 emergency repair service with a guaranteed response time onsite in under a maximum of 4 hours. Training will also be provided for LCC staff on all aspects of the data centres and equipment.

Melvin Thompson at Leeds City Council, said:

“Our data centres are vitally important with the growth of digital content and it is essential that we have the right partner in place to ensure they are well maintained and managed. Keysource have a proven track record and we look forward to working closely with them to maintain our robust data centre environments.”

Mike West, CEO at Keysource, said:

“Our Critical FM service will deliver seamless, responsive and proactive management of the maintenance services for LCC’s data centres in line with their own strategic objectives. We will focus on fundamental elements such as compliance, risk and availability utilising our unrivalled experience in the data centre environment and our invaluable understanding of Total Cost of Ownership issues.”

Safe Harbour seems more like a rough sea

The impact of last months’s unexpected referendum result is yet to be fully defined, however it is likely to affect all of us in the data centre world and possibly acerbate some of the challenges ahead. The issues around the ‘Safe Harbour’ agreement is just one example of the confusion that we are facing, and are likely to continue to face, in the coming months.

It was last October that The European Court of Justice ruled that the “Safe Harbour” agreement, which was designed to provide a “streamlined and cost-effective” way for US firms to get data from Europe without breaking EU rules, was no longer valid. The result following the ECJ decision was several months of confusion and in some cases panic before the Privacy Shield Pact was introduced instead. The main difference is that US companies can no longer rely on self-certification and must seek to strike “model contract clauses” in each case. These agreements will then authorise the transfer of data outside of Europe.

The UK’s decision to leave the EU means that we will no longer be bound by decisions of the ECJ and we are likely to have to create our own regulations. However I don’t believe we should ignore its findings or the views of European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli, who criticised the Safe Harbour’s replacement describing it as ‘not robust enough’ and needing ‘significant improvements.’ The UK will need to factor these in to ensure that its citizens’ personal information remains safe.

There is no doubt that the UK’s decision to leave the EU has added instability to an already uncertain market. Before the results of the referendum were known CBRE’s quarterly review of data centre supply and demand in Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris, reported that the amount of data centre space taken up during the first quarter of 2016 was well above average leaving spare capacity in short supply. In fact the amount of spare data centre capacity in four major European cities is at its lowest level since the end of 2013, as cloud providers respond to user demand for locally hosted services.

The report suggests that this is in part due to the uncertainty surrounding the successor to the Safe Harbour US data transfer agreement which is motivating more IT infrastructure firms to consider data centres in Europe. Whilst this is understandable it is likely to increase costs which will ultimately be passed along the supply chain.

At Keysource we are working closely with our clients who are affected by these issues and helping them to continue to operate cost effectively and remain compliant during this difficult time.

This was originally published on Data Centre Solutions blog on the 6th July 2016.

Keysource launches new consultancy business – Business Critical Solutions

The Keysource Group has today announced the launch of a new independent consultancy business to support CEO’s, CIO’s and CTO’s facing the increasing challenges within the mission critical sector. Key customer targets for the new business include colocation, wholesale, cloud, technology and education providers, as well as corporate end users across the world.

Business Critical Solutions Ltd (BCS) will deliver a range of independent consultancy services designed to provide a holistic view across all IT assets and property, aligning them with the business strategy and customer needs. It will enable companies to maximise the value from their IT, utilising their asset portfolios to gain strategic advantage and agility.

Other objectives will be to ensure that an organisation’s future growth and investment is enhanced by liberating value in existing low performing assets, and also to mitigate the risk and liability of complex delivery contracts. The business will be headed up by two recognised industry leaders, Jim Hart and Scott Shearer who will have access to the 100+ business critical specialists across The Keysource Group.

Jim has specialised in mission critical facilities such as data centres, mission critical infrastructure and secure installations for the past 15 years, specialising in global roll out strategies and programme formation with a total of 30 years in the technology and real estate industries. He has delivered projects for global technology clients including Digital Realty, Global Switch, Tesco, HSBC, NAB, JP Morgans, Serco and Barclays. He was previously a Partner at Arcadis.

Scott has specialised in M&E cost and project management for 20 years with an expertise in mission critical environments since the first dot boom. He has successfully delivered high profile data centre fit out and new build projects on time and to budget for Digital Realty, Reuters, Barclays, HSBC, Global Switch, JP Morgan and Infinity.  Scott was also previously a Partner at Arcadis.

Jim Hart, CEO at BCS, said: “

There is no doubt that significant digital disruption has already happened and having the right IT and data centre strategy is key for enabling growth in this new digital era. The impact on the mission critical sector is far reaching, creating a rate of change never previously experienced and resulting in increased demand for agility, flexibility, faster delivery and more efficient operation.”

Scott Shearer, COO at BCS said:

“In simple terms, our team of highly skilled and experienced consultants will be providing solutions to problems that are keeping CEO’s, CIO’s and CTO’s awake at night, helping them to enhance their operations through innovative tools and techniques.”

You can find out more about Business Critical Solutions on their website.

Keysource opens new London Office

Following on from the recent announcement of Keysource’s international work in China, the company is now proud to announce the opening of its new office in the heart of London!

Located at 99 Bishopsgate, just a two-minute walk from Liverpool Street Station, the new premises will supplement Keysource’s current portfolio of offices in West Sussex, Hong Kong and its highly secure 24/7 managed office in Woking.

Keysource is the leading provider of turnkey solutions for data centres and business critical environments from consultancy through to on-going operation. With over 30 years’ experience working across all sectors, its expert in-house teams continue to deliver industry-leading solutions for multiple organisations across the globe.

Stephen Whatling, Managing Director – CAPS at Keysource said:

The business has seen significant growth over the past three years and we’re confident that the new London office will provide Keysource with a hub in Central London to serve our increasing customer base.

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