FAST growing Cobalt Telephone Technologies has moved into new offices in Basingstoke – more than doubling its size at Intec Business Park.
The company behind RingGo – the UK’s leading phone parking service provider – is certainly going places and staff were very upbeat, having just won a deal with the City of Westminster.
Basingstoke and Deane Mayor Councillor Dan Putty officially opened the company’s new offices at Intec 2.
During a tour of the offices, refurbished by Basingstoke commercial building specialists, Skilz, Cllr Putty learned that Cobalt started from very modest beginnings, in Esher, back in 1997, on the basis that a portable site hut was cheaper than a lock-up.
Two years later, the company took its first lease on 300 sq feet of accommodation at the Intec Business Park, where it has remained ever since.
Commercial director Harry Clarke said good fortune and the flexible design of the building have allowed all subsequent expansion to take place organically by knocking through walls into vacant units.
He noted the new office expansion to 10,000 sq feet is 30 times the area of the original unit.
The new offices will support a larger in-house customer care team and accommodate the future growth of Cobalt’s expanding IT development and support teams.
Cllr Putty also learned that the overall expansion of the business is driven by the huge growth in the market for mobile payments.
An example of this growth is Cobalt’s contract win with Westminster City Council, which will result in virtually all parking payments being undertaken by the company from the summer. This contract alone will provide the company with a further eight million parking transactions annually.
Mr Clarke, who was one of Cobalt’s original founders, said: “As with most other companies that specialise in facilitating internet and smartphone transactions, an increasing volume simply requires more computing power and servers.
“However there are two other factors at play. Firstly, the RingGo product is evolving and deepening with many local authorities taking advantage of our virtual permit capability, which requires us to hire more IT developers. Secondly, increased volume inevitably causes knock-on increases in the manpower we dedicate to support our customer and clients.
“The new offices house our IT development and support teams, with customer care also moving into a new extended area. This will mean we can see our way to further growth offering new and existing customers the very best in service and further technology development.”