Midland Phone Services Ltd (MPS) was incorporated in 1991, as a subsidiary of a mobile telephone retail and distribution business called Midland Phones, to sell, install and maintain Panasonic Business Telephone Systems. The Company obtained BS5750 Part 2 accreditation (now ISO9001 certification) and secured the licenses required under the Telecommunications Act (1984) to provide commissioning and maintenance services.
The current management team acquired the Company from the Group by way of an MBI during January 1996. Share capital was increased and the Company became Midland Phone Services plc. Activities remained focused on the sale, installation and support of Panasonic telephone systems as well as some ancillary products and services.
The Company was appointed as a BT Indirect Channel Partner and commenced the promotion of the BT Retail Calls and Lines Portfolio in conjunction with Panasonic telephone system sales and also into its established customer base.
Leveraging its relationship with BT the Company entered into a dealership agreement with BT Cellnet (now O2) and introduced “mobile” into its portfolio promoting the BT Cellnet service by preference, complimented by the Orange and Vodafone offerings via those providers respective distribution channels.
The Company was now well established as Panasonic’s leading UK telephone system dealer and strengthened this position by acquiring the business of Belworth Telecom Ltd, a Panasonic telephone system dealer based in Bristol.
Following a review of the business and its strategy in response to perceived market demands, a decision was taken to differentiate the Company from its traditional competition by broadening its portfolio of products, skills and services. New relationships were created with suppliers of data and IP networking infrastructure including Cisco and various wholesale internet service providers. Technical staff with data networking expertise, experience and qualifications were recruited. The plan was to transform the business into a converged voice and data networks systems integrator where solutions would be designed, delivered and supported exclusively by the Company’s own in-house resource. Data networking expertise would be required to proficiently integrate IP telephony and VoIP into the LAN and WAN environment and, in turn, capitalise on the opportunity afforded by the introduction of these technologies to the UK market.
The Company terminated the referral agreement it entered into with BT Retail in 1998 in favour of wholesale agreements with BT Openreach and Kingston Communications for the resale of telephone lines, outbound telephone calls and inbound telephony services. The Company could now contract directly with its customers for the provision of a comprehensive portfolio of PSTN, ISDN and IP Network Services (telephone lines, telephone calls, internet access circuits, wide area networks and inbound telephony).
In addition, during 2006, the Company acquired the business of ADV Maincom Ltd, another Bristol-based Panasonic telephone system dealer.
By 2008 the Company had become clearly differentiated in its market. Capabilities around delivering and supporting end-to-end, fixed and mobile voice and data networked solutions including the integration of IP Telephony and VoIP into IP/data networks had been recognized by customers and also prospective customers, many of which were of significant scale. It was clear that a more scalable telephony product providing more seamless IP networking capabilities and enhanced applications was required to compliment the Panasonic product. Following a comprehensive review of the market, training and accreditation process the Mitel product was introduced.
Also during 2008, the “MPS Intelligent Communication Solutions” brand was introduced in recognition of the Company’s ethos of delivering a broad portfolio of products, skills and services throughout the UK and Eire.