2e2 employees saved by O2, as managed services business is acquired

By Sooraj Shah
07 Feb 2013 View Comments
Life preserver floating on binary data

The administrators of reseller and integrator 2e2, which looks sure to enter liquidation, have sold off its managed services business to O2 in a move that will see 107 employees move over to the mobile operator.

O2, which worked with 2e2 to create a joint venture partnership dubbed O2 Unify, will now run its own customer services division, which was previously looked after by 2e2.

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"We now have a truly unified approach to enterprise ICT, from IT security to fixed data networks. We see mobility at the core of our customers' ICT strategies, which makes us well placed to lead their transformation. During this transitional period we will be focused on ensuring there is no interruption to the service our customers receive," said O2's business director, Ben Dowd.

O2 has been concentrating on its attempts to expand its enterprise business and Dowd added that the acquisition fits in with this strategy.

"We have seen exceptional demand from customers choosing our enterprise ICT services in recent years and this continues to grow. Mobiles are now computing assets at the heart of any IT strategy. This acquisition strengthens our offering and cements our position as the leading provider of ICT services for enterprise customers," he explained.

The announcement comes just a day after the collapsed systems integrator's administrators, FTI Consulting, admitted that it had given up trying to sell the whole company as a going concern, resulting in the loss of 627 jobs in the UK.

This means that the total job cuts were about 972 - and could have been more, before O2 stepped in to take over the managed service side of the business.

Many of the ex-employees - around 345 - have received no pay for January, and no redundancy pay.

One the employees to be made redundant, industry architect for the telco media and business unit at 2e2, Trevor Hackett, told Computing that some employees on the first conference call by administrators last week were hit particularly hard by the redundancies.

"There were people on the call who were seriously asking what they were supposed to eat this month," he said.

Meanwhile, Arnold Foster, a contractor who worked with 2e2 but wasn't paid for his work,  slammed the company for the way it has treated him.

"No notice, no pay for the month...I think they've broken every law going now," he said.

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