DERBY, England, April 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
It is hard to determine which is changing faster: technology firm Xuper or the industry it has worked in for 34 years.
The Derby company - previously East Midlands Computers - has provided IT support services since 1981. Since then, the number of PCs in the world has risen from 1.5 million to more than 1 billion and their capabilities have increased on the same scale.
Today, change is also rapid at Xuper (pronounced "Zoo-per"). Last week, it moved into new offices in Wyvern Business Park, ending a 30-year association with Downing Road; a £250,000 recruitment drive to increase its workforce by almost a third is under way; and it is implementing a plan to take the company - which mainly operates in the Midlands - on to the national stage.
Speaking at the firm's new premises Xuper House, in Stanier Way, managing director Peter Grogan explains why he took the decision to move the firm he joined three years ago.
He says: "We decided to sell the old premises as we are embarking on an exciting period of change and we could have moved anywhere.
"We chose to come here [on a five-year lease] because it reflects our ambition to grow.
"The premises you're in reflects who you are, to some degree, and we wanted to be where people could see we're a confident, successful business."
Although Xuper's new home is no bigger than its last, it does provide it with more space.
Peter says: "Downing Road was an old-fashioned building and had lots of areas that we could not use because of how it was designed.
"There was the 'goldfish bowl'. We called it that because it was surrounded by glass. It was absolutely freezing in the winter and absolutely roasting in the summer so we couldn't use it."
Peter is the company's sole shareholder, meaning change can be implemented quickly.
"That's the benefit of being the only shareholder," he says. "I am the board. There's no middle management slowing things down.
"I've come up with a new business plan which is designed to make us become a truly national business.
"We're quite a small company with 25 employees. We're now in a recruitment process that will see this increase to 32 employees.
"We have two new business development managers and in a month's time, we'll be recruiting another two.
"Along with that, we've taken on a new marketing guy and two other account managers."
IT support is a competitive industry and reputation is key, which is why Xuper spent £40,000 ensuring it retained its ISO/IEC 27001 certification - the international standard for managing confidential and sensitive information.
"It's quite unusual for a business of our size to have that," Peter says. "I think it shows our determination to be in front of the curve in terms of data security.
"It's a massive issue. Everyone has got problems with data security. To prove we have that at the forefront of our minds is very important."
Xuper supports approximately 150 businesses, including the likes of Derby County, the Co-Op, Coates and Partners and Mettler Toledo.
It provides a range of IT support services, including a "fully managed" package.
Peter says: "Our fully managed service is something unique that we provide and it's proven very popular. Basically, if a business has a couple of IT people, they become our employers but continue to look after their full IT infrastructure.
"This saves the business having to manage them. Also, if one of them is off sick or leaves, it is our responsibility to replace them.
"Those businesses who have gone down this route have typically saved 25% on their IT costs. We offer free assessments where we have a look around a business and compile a report on how they could save money."
One of the challenges for Xuper is keeping up with technology and offering the very latest products that come to market.
"The industry is accelerating," Peter said. "There's a new thing coming out called Skype For Business. It's not even out yet but on Monday we had an inquiry from a 2,000-employee organisation about it. That's how fast the technology is moving."
One of the striking aspects of the business is its low staff turnover.
Peter says: "Most people say we are a happy company. If you look in our support department, the average number of years people have worked for us is 15 years.
"Some have been with us 25 years or more. That shows we're a stable company. However, in some ways, we're starting up again from this year. We've got a new plan, new home and new investment in staff. We're really looking to push forward."