TWO IT firms have announced they are to merge and move operations to Croydon with the aim of becoming UK market leaders in their field.
Caterham-based WorkPlaceLive and Cirrus Stratus, from Wimbledon, currently employ 18 people but plan to recruit 15 more by 2015.
The company, which will operate under the WorkPlaceLive name, hopes to double its business each year over the next few years and ultimately host up to 100,000 desktops, which will make it one of the UK's biggest enablers of remote working.
WorkPlaceLive was started in 2006 by brothers David and Paul Sturges. It was one of the first companies to market hosted desktops and has built a solid client base of charities, not-for-profits, and SMEs. Merging with Cirrus Stratus will strengthen its business and customer base, enabling it to expand further into the professional services market including law, accountancy and recruitment.
The company is supported by two investors, Joseph Blass and Asher Gratt, with a track record of success in the telecoms industry.
They see a huge opportunity in the hosted desktop market, described by Gartner, the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, as a "high-growth sector in the IT market place", predicted to grow globally at a compound rate of 17.7 per cent through to 2016.
The UK market is predicted to grow at a compound rate of 10.1 per cent by 2016.
Mr Blass said: "We are delighted to have brought together these two dynamic companies.
"We aim to turn IT from a problem into a solution. Today businesses need to be flexible and able to respond to clients quickly. Our hosted desktops are proven to help clients reduce their costs and improve their performance, and enable them to offer a more flexible work environment that many employees want."
The new management team consists of chief commercial operator David Sturges, ICT strategy director Paul Sturges ,and chief technology officer Constantine Galonis.
WorkPlaceLive will be working to provide clients with a range of highly secure, robust and cost effective hosted desktop services that will enable employees to access their desktops from any location and work as though they were in the office, wherever they are located.
The company will also be expanding its range of services, offering a unified communications service which is integrated into the desktop service – making it ideal for remote workers. It aims to use cutting-edge cloud technology to allow clients from start-ups and SMEs to large corporates to enjoy enterprise-level IT performance, reliability and security.