IT infrastructure solutions provider, CAE Technology Services, has enjoyed an impressive year so far as it taps into Scotland’s burgeoning digital technology sector.
Traditionally, the Watford-headquartered firm has operated throughout the south of England, with offices in London, Brighton and Oxford.
Recently, however, the company has gradually moved northward, opening its first northern office in Manchester in 2017. This summer saw CAE open its first Scotland office, a move which is the culmination of a concerted effort to improve outreach and engagement in the north of Britain.
Based in Hamilton, the new office space will act as a springboard for the company in Scotland, says Tony McInally, regional director for Scotland at CAE. The Hamilton space will enable the firm to engage with more companies and solidify its relationship with current partners and clients.
“We already had a few Scottish customers who were trading with CAE, so having that local presence was crucial for us and since opening the new office it’s helped us enormously,” he says.
“Up until two years ago, CAE was very much a southern-centric business and focused a lot on the south of England. We opened our office just outside of Manchester which gave us a presence there but the natural choice thereafter was to move further north.”
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McInally says that the “highly competitive environment” in Scotland is a challenge both he and the wider company relishes. The Cisco Gold Partner has a number of competitors within close proximity and the location itself has proven to be ideal for the company – offering quick access to clients in Glasgow, Edinburgh and beyond.
“We are at the Boswell side of Hamilton and the location offers us great flexibility in terms of getting out there and engaging with clients,” he says. “We chose this location because it seemed a natural choice. It may seem out of the way but, with the motorway links and the close proximity of everything within the central belt, it’s fantastic.”
The Scotland move follows a successful period at CAE, with the company enjoying strong double-digit growth so far this year. Earlier this summer, the company was also shortlisted on the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘100 companies to inspire Britain’ report and the UK team continues to expand.
Although things have been going well, McInally admits that the initial foundation work in Scotland was challenging; the new kids on the block often have to work harder.
“We’ve picked up some really great, solid customers recently – blue-chip customers across all the vertical markets and we’re delighted with the team as well, which has grown substantially,” he explains.
“This time last year we were pretty new to the scene and we had to work very hard to get the foundation work sorted and to launch the brand and name. We’re the new boys in town and it was a case of the brand not being known. It was difficult at first going out and people not really knowing you.”
Looking ahead, McInally believes the future is bright for CAE in Scotland as it continues to pursue new opportunities and clients.