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IT market consolidation continues

with no end in sight!

A major Czech company, Infinity, has been gradually strengthening its position on the Czech IT market. The firm continues its acquisition spree, trusting in the importance of IT technology for all companies across the economy and the necessity of consolidating the Czech IT market that has become inevitable considering the changing circumstances.

At the end of May, Infinity, a leading Czech company implementing Microsoft products and selling comprehensive HP IT infrastructure, completed the acquisition of 3NET. Preparations for the transaction took several months, and Infinity acquired a 100% shareholding in 3NET from its current owners who will continue to hold top positions in 3NET, or Infinity, to be more precise.

3NET

Established in 1991 and based in Teplice, 3NET has focused on system integration and the supply and installation of computer systems and network from the beginning. Over the years, 3NET has become the key supplier of IT infrastructure in Northern Bohemia. Its customers include top companies in the region, such as Severočeské doly (North Bohemian Mines), Severočeské vodovody a kanalizace (North Bohemian Water Management Company), and the Municipality of Teplice, to name a few.

Josef Vlasák, the majority owner of 3NET until now and the general manager, comments on the transaction: “We are pleased that we have succeeded in implementing a strategically important merger of our long-established regional company and such an important player as Infinity. There were several reasons for it, the most important being, however, changes in the IT market that have resulted in a significant consolidation in this field in recent years. In the long-term, it will be more and more difficult for companies of our size to acquire an independent and leading position in the relevant market. “

Infinity

Infinity continues to pursue its long-term goal of playing a key role in the consolidation of the local IT market in respect of implementing Microsoft products and the supply of complete HP IT infrastructure. Having acquired IT SYSTEMS based in České Budějovice in 2011 (the acquisition of IT SYSTEMS generated synergies particularly in the area of Microsoft product implementation), this time, the company focused on IT infrastructure. What Infinity expects from the acquisition is mainly regional expansion into a so far ‘vacant’ region and strengthening its position as a key supplier of comprehensive IT infrastructure. Infinity’s efforts are viewed positively also by the key supplier in this field, Hewlett-Packard. Vít Slunečko, Enterprise Group Indirect Sales Manager, Hewlett-Packard, points out: “Hewlett-Packard sees the merger of Infinity and 3NET as the creation of a strong infrastructure and service partner that will be able to supply a wide portfolio of our products and services to our customers throughout the Czech Republic. The networking division is the fastest growing unit at HP.”

We have briefly discussed the current position and further plans of Infinity with its general manager, Jaroslav Procházka:

Could you introduce Infinity?

Today, the company has 170 employees, is based in Pardubice, and has offices in Prague, Brno, České Budějovice, and a new office in Teplice. We are present in Slovakia via our 100% subsidiary, Infinity Slovakia.

In the field of ICT, Infinity focuses on five main segments: ICT infrastructure, Business Applications and Services, Outsourcing and Cloud, Software Development, and Systems Integration. Infinity is a leading business partner for major worldwide product manufacturers and technology providers (such as Microsoft, HP, Cisco and VMware). The high professional qualifications and extensive experience of our staff have earned Infinity a number of prestigious certifications.

I would like to emphasise our very close collaboration with Microsoft. This allows Infinity to integrate Microsoft products and to supply customers with flexible and innovative solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Hyper-V Server.

Our major customers include OHL ŽS, Noark Electric Europe, Telefónica Czech Republic, Fischer International, KYB Manufacturing Czech, Nowaco, Accace, BOSCH DIESEL, GEMO Olomouc, IDS – Inžernýrské a dopravní stavby Olomouc, 2N TELEKOMUNIKACE, EGIS Praha, Saar Gummi Czech, Scania, MOTOR JIKOV Group, Sberbank CZ, and many others.

What does the acquisition of 3NET means to you?

It is primarily an expansion of the HP Networking portfolio, which to us means an increased competitive advantage in the corporate area and the energy sector. By means of this acquisition, Infinity wants to show the market and its customers that it follows modern trends and makes investments in the growing area of IT business. What is of importance to us is that 3NET is a key partner of HP for the sale of servers and backup systems.

What are the driving forces behind investments in ICT and why Infinity?

The business environment is undergoing turbulent changes – all firms are under intense pressure to cut costs, transform their business processes, safeguard their key competitive advantages, and generally have the ability to change. This is what our customers know very well. I wish to assure them that Infinity understands these needs and is ready to rise to these challenges by means of innovative solutions.

From a technological perspective, we are convinced that Cloud Computing and the SaaS concept (Software as a Service) in particular is the future of ICT. SaaS is a service with high added value, where the user pays to use the needed software or service. With the SaaS concept, Infinity is able to allow its customers access to applications of practically any type, from a text editor and e-mail client to ERP systems, Business Intelligence or CRM solutions. The advantage is that customers need not purchase hardware and software or create their own IT department. They have monthly costs for IT use that can be predicted and are provided with 24/7 care for their technology and regular updates. The SaaS model is, of course, cheaper due to economies of scale. Another advantage is also the possibility of making a dynamic change in the number of users and software used.

I believe that the next, say, two years will bring a change in the understanding of cloud. This concept has not yet been widely adopted due to the mentality of IT departments rather than the lack of trust in the technology.

What do you see in the future for Infinity?

We have a clear vision for the next three years. Infinity will continue with development, innovations and growth. We are definitely planning further acquisitions both in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. We want to become one of the principal providers of ICT services on the Czech market.

The adviser to Infinity on the transaction was RSM TACOMA.

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