KCom signs multi-million pound contact centre deal

KCom executive chairman Bill Halbert
KCom executive chairman Bill Halbert
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TELECOMS firm KCom has signed a “substantial”, multi-million pound Government contract to provide hosted contact centres.

The Hull-based firm said the contract will be supported by IT and telephone services through its cloud-based ‘workplaces’ portfolio.

It said the project is now in the detailed planning phase and it will be able to give more details at its final results on June 6.

The contract is thought to be with HM Revenue & Customs, which works to reduce tax evasion and avoidance.

Analyst Andrew Darley, at FinnCap, said: “The large ‘Workplaces’ contact centre managed services contract with an unnamed central Government department, disclosed at interims in ‘preferred supplier’ status, has now been signed and is potentially material to forecasts – however, details remain outstanding subject to the final planning phase.

“We look forward to further details, with the contract win providing both a significant credibility boost and market visibility for KCom.”

In an update yesterday, KCom said trading is in line with expectations for the rest of the current financial year.

In other parts of the business, KCom is exploring new uses for its high-speed broadband service such as diagnosing medical problems over the internet.

The firm hopes to use its new high-definition Smart CCTV service to provide medical professionals with very sharp images rather than the usual blurry pictures associated with CCTV.

KCom’s chairman Bill Halbert said: “CCTV is usually blurry and grainy, but we offer HD CCTV in the cloud. It’s very sharp. Because it’s in the cloud you can pull images straight away. You don’t have to look at a tape.”

Cloud computing uses multiple server computers via a digital network. KCom originally launched Smart CCTV to appeal to small businesses, retailers, business parks and university campuses who wanted better security, but it is now looking at other areas to expand into. Another use could be meter reading to measure the consumption of electricity, water and gas.

KCom provides telecoms services to businesses and households in Hull and East Yorkshire as well as communication services to UK private and public sector organisations. The group reported a five per cent drop in pre-tax profit to £24.7m for the six months to September 30 as a result of investment in infrastructure and broadband services in Hull and East Yorkshire.

Mr Halbert, currently executive chairman, will assume the role of group chief executive in April, while board member Graham Holden, the widely respected former Marshalls boss, will take over as non-executive chairman.

“Graham and I work together well. He’s a really good choice of non-executive chairman,” said Mr Halbert.