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'Slight flicker' of North Sea recovery swells workforce at Aberdeen comms firm

An Aberdeen-based satellite communications firm claimed last night the “slight flicker” of a North Sea recovery is helping it win new business and creating a swell in its workforce.

The vice-president of sales for ITC Global, a subsidiary of tech giant Panasonic and specialist in harsh environment communications, said a new lucrative deal with a vessel firm was part of a “continued growth” for the company despite the recent difficult market conditions.

Richard Elson , ITC’s first UK employee when it moved into the North Sea market, said a new three-year deal with Rever to provide 4G LTE coverage to a handful of its North Sea support vessels would create 12 new jobs at the firm, adding to it its current roster of over 30 staff.

He also revealed that ITC had now “outgrown” its current office on Carden Place and was moving to much larger premises, adding that he “fully expects” the firm to be pushing 50 staff by the end of the year.

Mr Elson said: “In 2014 we saw the opportunity to shake up the market in our particular space and if the oil crash hadn’t happened I have no doubt that we’d have been a company of 70 or 80 people by now, such was the speed of our development.

“It’s easy for a company to grow in a rising market the challenge comes when you are trying to maintain and grow in a very steep downturn and we have been very successful at that.

“As it is, through the downturn, we are yet to lose any key customers in Aberdeen.

“Key accounts have stayed with us as we have continued to grow into double digits.”

Mr Elson claims ITC’s “global reach” has helped it to continue to lure North Sea firms during a difficult economic period.

He described the deal with Rever as “quite a coup” for ITC as the firm spirited the contract away from its incumbent communications provider.

In the last three months ITC Global has also extended a number of longstanding agreements with its biggest North Sea customers, including offshore engineering firm Subsea 7, in what Mr Elson called a “tens of millions of pounds” commitment.

He said: “We were able to do that without any of those contracts going to a public bid.

“In a market that’s become so competitive that speaks volumes about what we’re doing here.

“We’ve seen or success grow during the downturn by being a little bit creative and flexible with our customers.

“It’s about taking a step back and think a little bit differently – that has been the keystone of our success.

“The market has changed and we’ve brought something different to bear.”

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Craigmill, Pitcaple, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom, AB51 5HP
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