Sector: technology & managed services
Paul Hourican established PFH Technologies in 1985, originally, as a reseller of Accounting Software solutions to Small and Medium enterprises (SME) in the Munster region.
Five years later, the company acquired the IBM agency for the IBM PC, and started looking at the value in expansion beyond the SME space into the corporate market where the adaption of the PC was underway and the idea of computer networking was being examined.
At that time, PFH had a number of strong competitors, both locally and nationally, that were already well-established in the IBM PC business but Hourican wanted his approach to be different – essentially offering ‘more for less’, and he and his team set about developing an increased level of expertise in the networking space.
The approach proved successful and they began to win significant levels of business with a number of multinational corporations, particularly within the pharmaceutical sector.
By 2000, it had become increasingly apparent that a number of market-players were looking for staff to support their networks and needed help with large pc deployments.
PFH identified this as a growth area and started providing outsourcing services in its early form, providing technical expertise through the provision of skilled personnel.
As the decade progressed, Hourican undertook a strategic review of his business and the IT re-sellers landscape, identifying that the IT industry abroad had been consolidating into a few major players however this had not yet happened in Ireland.
If PFH was to replicate its regional success on a national level, it would require significant investment of time and capital, so a strategy of growth through acquisition was devised.
In 2006, the firm acquired CK Business Electronics, a company similar in size to PFH with offices in Dublin and Galway but with an entirely different customer base that encompassed Health and Financial Services, which complimented its existing base in the Pharmaceutical and Hospitality sectors.
The substantial benefits were apparent from the outset: PFH doubled its turnover, quickly integrated the two organisations and satisfactorily maintained its major customers on either side.
In order to meet the challenges this presented in its Network and Unified Communications offerings, PFH subsequently the Irish arm of Siemens Enterprise Communications in May 2010, followed by the acquisition of Redstone Technology – one of Ireland’s leading Enterprise Storage integrators - in November 2010.
Today PFH employs over 220 people with offices in Dublin, Cork, Belfast and Galway.
Products and Customers: PFH is an end-to-end ICT Solution provider of Integrated Voice and Data Solutions to over 1,400 customers across the island of Ireland and abroad.
It offers a range of managed services with the vision to provide its clients with an on-demand, ‘always on’, ICT Infrastructure that can be paid for on a usage basis.
What motivates you to succeed? Winning – I really like to create the space for our people to succeed and win by projecting a positive business image and showing how PFH can deliver a competitive advantage for our customers.
What is your biggest business achievement? Growing the business through acquisitions and portfolio expansion which shows our clear strength of understanding customers.