SME-focused IT services firm P K Business Advantage (PKBA) today admitted reducing its overall headcount, but said the cuts were due to consolidation efforts stemming from acquisitions.
We did trim but we hired staff in other areas
"We did trim but we hired staff in other areas," the company's chief executive Peter Kazacos told ZDNet.com.au today.
The privately held company, headed up by the founder of Kaz, Telstra's IT services group, had reduced its overall headcount, Kazacos admitted, but that was largely due to consolidation efforts stemming from the acquisitions of Comstra, Pecol, CWS, Lane Tech and Invizage in 2007.
"Between 2007 and 2008 we spent time consolidating the parts of the business we acquired and what to go forward with. I'm confident now that we have the right core," he said.
Sources familiar with PKBA have said the company has over the past three months gradually pared back its workforce — in particular in Melbourne.
The cuts that occurred in Melbourne, according to Kazacas, were due to the integration of Invizage, which PKBA had acquired from Telstra's Sensis in 2007. The acquisition almost doubled the company's headcount from around 80 to 150.
"We don't need as much a concentration in Melbourne," Kazacos said. "We don't need as many people to run the business."
One of Kazacos' key executives, ex-Kaz staffer Conrad Hilder, said the acquisitions had resulted in some duplication across the organisation's administration functions, as well as IT support and delivery. Hilder said that PKBA had "broken the back of" consolidation efforts at PKBA.
Hilder also said the company was on the brink of a major coup within the Australian IT services market. At the outset, CEO Kazacos had revealed ambitions to become a top 10 Australian-owned managed services provider.
PKBA had just this month won its first large deal with tobacco giant Philip Morris. The value of the contract has not been disclosed, but it runs until 2011.