Since last June, Europe has a new data protection giant: the BBES group, an alliance between ESBD (France), Blackbridge (Italy), BlueFinch (Netherlands) and Systematik (Germany). With greater capabilities, it will enable the four companies to offer a better service to their customers at a more competitive price.
When you’re doing the same job and already know each other well, why not join forces? This is what the heads of ESBD (France), Blackbridge (Italy), BlueFinch (Netherlands) and Systematik (Germany) said to each other at the end of 2019. “We have been in regular contact for some time now, and the idea of creating a new structure together became clear in December,” explains Richard Verkaik, CEO of BlueFinch and BBES Group. “The aim is to create a major player in Europe with currently over 500 clients in 16 countries. Thanks to our new synergies, we will be able to improve our purchasing, sales, marketing and technical support.”
Headquarters at Schiphol
BBES Group is headquartered at Schiphol, Amsterdam International Airport, while the various founding entities of the group will initially retain their offices and customer base. “However, in our dealings with some international companies, it may be worthwhile to let BBES deal with the customer centrally, to have more leverage,” says Bernhard Battran, CEO of Systematik and BBES Group. “Our business – data protection – is becoming increasingly international. Some projects involve working with several countries and, in this case, having a larger number of multilingual employees can be valuable.”
Still considering itself as an investment in a niche sector, BBES Group is today one of the most important European players in the sector. “This should enable us to increase our customer base, firstly in Europe and, why not in a second phase, outside Europe,” says Richard Verkaik. “Having said that, we will first need to structure this new collaboration, particularly in terms of technical support, sales organisation, etc.”
Numerous benefits for the customer
If the interest of this alliance for the different companies is clear, what about the customers? “The customers will benefit from our expanded scope because, as integrators, we will have more clout than solution vendors”, says Jacques Besnard, CEO of ESBD. “Given the number of customers we serve, vendors will have a vested interest in being more attentive to our requests. In addition, in terms of price, we will also be able, for the same reason, to obtain prices that are more competitive for our customers than if they had to request their product directly from the vendor.”
Each of the four companies forming BBES has its own expertise in very different industries. This common know-how will enable us to advise many different industries on the best solutions to secure their data.
It is quite remarkable to note that Covid has not dampened the motivation of these four companies to work together. Planned for December, the project well and truly materialized in the first months of the year 2020. “Obviously, we had to review the way we had planned to meet, admits Marco Volpe, CEO of Blackbridge. Our recent meetings that were planned in Milan were organised online. But that didn’t stop the project from succeeding.”
Jacques Besnard even sees an opportunity in this delicate period. “While we have always thought that remote working was an obstacle, it is now clear that it is possible to collaborate in this way. But it is more crucial than ever to enable people in all sectors to both work remotely and share data securely. So our role has also become more important. “That’s the key to BBES Group’s success!”