BT Group Plc has made clear its intention to become a major IT services supplier with a 17m pound ($30.1m) acquisition of the main UK operations of NSB Retail Systems Plc, which supplies software and services to many of the country’s main retail chains.
The deal leaves NSB free to concentrate on developing its software, and pursuing its ambitions to expand in the North American market, while BT is able to grow in an expanding vertical market, offering networking, hosting and systems integration services.
After spinning out its mobile operation as mmO2 Plc, and faced with declining wire line revenue, BT is anxious to penetrate new markets, and IT services offers an obvious route, particularly since the UK incumbent is well placed to offer software on an ASP basis.
Strangely, the acquired assets of NSB will come under the BT Retail arm, rather than its Synegra systems integration division. It will however come under a new business unit called BT Expedite. A BT official would not say whether Expedite is designed to cover a range of vertical market services.
BT boasted that it already includes the vast majority of UK retail businesses among its customers and now it could offer a full range of their information and communications technology needs.
The business it is taking over generated revenue of 11m pounds ($19.5m) and pre-tax profit of 3.3m pounds ($5.8m) in the six months to June 30.
This article is based on material originally produced by ComputerWire.