BT merges and rebrands Lynx, Basilica

The IT services companies will become BT Engage IT and aim to target the SME market in the areas of virtualisation, unified comms and managed services

BT is to merge two of its IT services acquisitions and rebrand the combined business as BT Engage IT, the company announced on Thursday.

The communications and IT firm bought Basilica and Lynx Technologies in late 2007, claiming that the acquisitions would help it target the SME market. According to a statement on Thursday, BT Engage IT will offer professional services and products in the areas of virtualisation, unified communications and managed services. The merging and rebranding will take place on 1 April.

BT is also rebranding the business wing of dabs.com, the online retailer it bought in 2006. Dabs4work.com will, from 1 April, become BT Business Direct, and will combine its existing hardware and software product portfolio with BT's various ICT-related services.

John Dovey, BT Business's ICT director, told ZDNet UK on Tuesday that the merging and rebranding of Basilica and Lynx marked a stage in BT's transition to being an IT services integrator.

"We are able to serve the corporate mid-market but also offer, as a package, [services and products] to a much smaller-business client base," Dovey said.

BT Business's strategy and commercial director, Mick Hegarty, said on Tuesday that BT historically had had a focus on its Global Services division and its consumer offerings, but the SME market had, until now, been "underplayed".

"In the UK SME market and mid-market there is a good opportunity, because customers are becoming more and more dependent on ICT," Hegarty told ZDNet UK. "They are not currently particularly well served by the industry, which is very fragmented."

Hegarty added that, with BT Business Direct, the company would "work much more closely with the volume channels" it already has, and intended to start bundling IT and communications services more often. He also hinted that BT was starting to look at the opportunities that could lie in cloud computing.

"What [the cloud platform] Amazon Web Services is doing is amazing, but not productised around the SME market for developers," Hegarty said.

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