This year marks 25 years of ITS; a quarter century of providing communication and IT solutions across the south east.
So it seems a good time to take a look back at our history …
The end of the last millennium
ITS Limited was founded in October 1998 by Simon Beaumont.
The company was named “Invicta Telephone Sales” – “Invicta” being chosen because it’s the motto of Kent, where we are based. It literally means “invincible” and we like to think that this is reflected in the work we do for our clients!
At this time, telephony was still focused on traditional PSTN services, such as Analogue and ISDN, and your dial-up internet connection would only give you a tiny 56Kbps connection speed. Invicta Telephone Sales’ business excelled in the supply, installation, and maintenance of telephone systems, otherwise known as a PBX.
But all this was about to change …
As the new millennium arrived, ITS Limited was growing in strength. Much of this was driven by the business development work of Simon Beaumont and Nigel Poore. Nigel was promoted to Sales Director in 2001.
Later in 2001 the company again expanded its board with the appointment of David Beal as Technical Director.
The 2000s brought a period of rapid change in the communications industry. This was a boom time for the internet, when suddenly every business (and home) wanted to get online.
Fibre optic cabling started to replace copper wires, providing far greater speed and capacity. And the introduction of fibre driven broadband meant that connection speeds were rapidly improving, facilitating the availability of internet-based technologies to a wider audience.
One of those technologies was Voice over Internet Protocol, (VoIP), which began to emerge in the mid 1990s as various developers investigated how digital messaging applications could communicate with each other. Different methods were considered, with the reliability of TCP/IP helping it gain traction in the market. This lead to voice over IP becoming an industry standard.
An early and well-known provider of VoIP was Skype, which was launched in 2003. By 2004 there were a proliferation of commercial VoIP service providers.
Simon, Nigel, and David quickly identified that VoIP was the future of telecommunications and would render traditional hardware, and therefore their core business, obsolete. They began to investigate the requirements for a reliable deployment of VoIP and how it could be made commercially viable, and in 2006 we provided our first solely VoIP-based solution to a client. That client is still utilising our services today.
This decade also saw unified communications starting to flourish. With a mix of desk phones, email, voicemail and mobile phones becoming commonplace in offices, unified communications gave organisations the perfect way to integrate these services.
Moving into the next decade, we expanded our offering to include IT services. This was driven by customer demand and a growing technical skillset within our business.
In February 2014 we formed ITS Active IT Limited as a sister company, to manage our IT services as demand grew.
2014 also saw a change of name and branding as we became “ITS Limited”. Our new branding has a more contemporary feel, plus it better reflects the range of services we now provide.
Another big change came in October 2014, when we moved offices to our current address in Tunbridge Wells.
In 2016 BT announced that they will shut down the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), which includes ISDN and PSTN services, at the end of 2025, solidifying the position of VoIP technologies as the future of telephony.
By this time, we had a well-established VoIP offering, providing both hosted and on-premises solutions. And, through our partnership with Cisco Webex, Broadsoft and Wildix, we can offer a solution that meets the requirement of any sized organisation.
Our latest big development came in September 2021 when we were purchased by AVC One. This British unified communications company wanted to expand their market presence and benefit from the decades of telephony experience which we brought to the table.
The partnership with AVC One has helped us to introduce new ideas and technologies to our existing clients, expanding the range of solutions available to them.
As we look forward to the next 25 years, the first major change will be the cessation of PSTN and ISDN phone lines in 2025. We expect that unified communications will become increasingly popular, providing a highly efficient and effective way to manage customer and company contacts.
Like many industries, we are also seeing the rise of Artificial Intelligence. AI is already being used to optimise communications, minimise downtime, increase security and improve the user experience.
It has huge potential to automate services such as online chat, or provide a more personalised call centre experience.
We’re excited to see what comes next!