As RDS Global celebrates its 20th anniversary, we sit down with MD Phil Harvey and take a closer look at how a small IT department, based in Derby, went on to become an industry leader supporting hundreds of businesses across the UK.
Earlier this year, Phil Harvey was listed as one of Derby’s Inspirational 250 — a pantheon of handpicked individuals from the local business community, recognised for their inspiring contributions. But that’s not the only cause for RDS Global’s Managing Director to celebrate, as 2017 also marks a tremendous milestone for the company.
For two decades now, RDS Global has delivered technical services and support solutions to businesses all over the UK, and is widely recognised as Derby’s leading IT support provider.
“RDS Global is proud to have earned a reputation for delivering very high standards of service, expertise and professionalism,” says Phil. “Our commitment for ensuring complete customer satisfaction is never compromised – which is why we’re still here, twenty years later.”
Established in 1997, RDS Global originated from the IT department of an automotive dealer group based in Derby. To give you a quick overview of just how much has changed since: super-fast internet connection was the stuff of science-fiction; IBM and Dell were still leading the computer hardware market; and it would be a whole year until we’d first hear the name ‘Google’.
It was during these early years that RDS Global focussed on providing tailored network services.“It almost seems unworkable looking back,” says Phil, “yet somehow businesses embraced technology as it was then. Things have moved on, thankfully, and we are proud to say that we’ve always been on the forefront of those changes.”
Technology continued to advance, and it didn’t take RDS Global long to expand its services.
By 2013, the company had evolved alongside customer requirements, adding IT support, cloud, hardware, and consultancy to its comprehensive solutions portfolio. And in November of that same year, a management buy-out provided RDS with the opportunity and investment to extend its thriving customer base — supporting single and multi-site SME customers both locally and nationally.
Things only continued to grow from there, and in 2015, the company merged with telecom and security product specialists Future Technologies.
“It was a strategic move for both companies, “says Phil about the merger, “and it enabled us to extend our range of services even further, whilst at the same time strengthening our industry-leading expertise.”
Today, precisely two decades on from those very humble beginnings, RDS Global is easily considered to be the ‘go-to’ company for a wide range of customer requirements — supporting more than 4,000 users in 200 locations across the UK.
And to what, exactly, does Phil attribute the company’s longevity and success?
“It’s quite simple,” he says, “throughout the past twenty years our mission has always remained clear and consistent: to support business growth and address the changing needs of our valued customers as they arise.
“In order to meet those changing needs, we’ve continued to change. We strive for continuous improvement in everything we do, and we invest a great deal developing not just our resources and our capabilities, but our team also.
“Our team of technical advisors and IT developers are amongst the very best in the industry. They constantly test new technologies, creating commercial advantage for our customers wherever they see it. That, right there, is how RDS Global has continued to be an industry leader.”
Speaking about his mention in this year’s Inspirational 250, Phil says he’s honoured and privileged to be recognised alongside so many esteemed business personalities that make Derby such an innovative and inspirational city. “I can’t imagine a better way to commemorate our twenty-year anniversary. It really is the icing on the cake — which, funnily enough, is probably how we’ll be celebrating the event. And a few glasses of bubbly, no doubt.”