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From telecom to full IT service provider


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“A huge gap is opening up for providers who can make cloud computing and mobile platforms available for small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” begins Mr. Kemp. “The benefits for SMEs are huge. Once everything is cloud-based, everything is flexible; think of the money and time that can be saved on commuting, and the boost in productivity to smaller enterprises throughout the Netherlands. It really is a race to be the first one to offer such a service.”

Mr. Kemp has been at the company since January 2019, so he has had plenty of time to establish a strong working plan for the firm’s aim of reaching small and medium-sized Dutch businesses. “Our vision for this expansion is similar to the Greek myth of Prometheus. Just like the Greek hero, BTC has several assets that make it well placed to complete this task,” the CEO explains. “Even before I took on the role, it was easy to see that BTC was a well-established name, and had a unique opportunity to be the first to provide the IT services of tomorrow, due to its 2,500-strong client base of Dutch SMEs already using its telecom services.”

The firm has historically been a provider of telecom services, so moving towards an IT managed service provider (MSP) has needed a strict timeline.

“Since my January start, I have taken one month to thoroughly analyze the firm, and now we know where we are heading. We really want to be there in 18 to 24 months. This is combined with a buy-and-build strategy.” The company is a fairly long-term player on the market, at least for telecom, having been around since the year 2000.

“Throughout that time, the business model has been rather static,” notes Mr. Kemp, “With such a long legacy, we understand that a lot has to be uprooted, and it’s important to timetable this. On 30th August, I headed a Management Buy Out (MBO). This means that the founders are now only shareholders and will also be part of the advisory board as of next year. I was brought in to bring the company up to date, which sometimes requires big changes in direction. It is really a major motivation for me to shape companies. My personal creed is: Keep IT simple’.”

Ray Kemp, CEO at BTC BV
Once everything is cloud-based, everything is flexible; think of the money and time that can be saved on commuting, and the boost in productivity to smaller enterprises throughout the Netherlands. Ray KempCEO

What will it look like on the other side? This was one of the first questions that Mr. Kemp looked to answer. “The real growth area is in full-service provision, so connectivity will remain part of it, but no longer as the focus. We will reach the point of integrating connectivity with software using APIs, and offer offices the opportunity to be fully cloud based. You could say that currently we are offering the ABC of connectivity with our telecom services. We hope by the end of our expansion to be able to offer A-Z like an MSP,” he explains. For the CEO, at the end of this expansion the firm needs to be able to offer SMEs on the Dutch market connectivity, cloud-computing, and software development.

“It sounds easy enough, why hasn’t this been done already?” Mr. Kemp ponders. “We have come to realise that education is a really important part of our future direction as an outreaching company. Many businesses don’t have the expertise to understand what this technology could do for them. It’s something currently only large corporations, which have the time to invest in training their staff, can do. That’s why our philosophy has to be not just about giving the customer a new product, but also offering our expertise. This is what will help us succeed in previously untapped markets.”

As well as being proactive in outreach, there is an extent to which BTC is also setting itself up for the inevitable. “From talking to our clients, we have pinpointed that the future of their connectivity and IT systems is a huge issue and one they are already thinking about, because soon telecom operators will be discontinuing the servicing of legacy systems, and computer service providers are doing the same,” notes Mr. Kemp. As a company, BTC sees a huge potential market among these SMEs. “It’s going to become more necessary as time goes on, so it’s a win-win for us all,” the CEO adds.

Introducing a top-level technology to smaller companies can win their loyalty and empower them to achieve more. This is something BTC understands as it looks to evolve from a company in the telecom industry, where margins are slimming year on year, into an exciting new frontier with many applications. Under Mr. Kemp’s thoughtful leadership, this expansion will not only revolutionize small businesses in the Netherlands, but put BTC in a dominant position and enable it to gain a greater market share.