Abingdon-based IT specialists Planet IT has celebrated its 20th anniversary with a glittering party at Oxford Town Hall.
Based at Milton Park in Abingdon, Planet IT is provides outsourced IT support and supplies to organisations locally, nationally and globally.
Planet IT employs almost 100 people, and many have been with the company for over a decade. It has staff based in Ireland, Germany, France and plans to open a third UK base in London next year.
Childhood friends Sean Smith and Gavin Jones grew up in Blackbird Leys and formed their first business washing cars when they were 12 years old.
In November 2003, the two friends joined forces to offer first-class customer service in the IT industry, and raised much-need start-up capital by borrowing a cousin’s credit card.
Around 300 people celebrated the 20th-year milestone at a glittering party organised by staff as a surprise for Sean and Gavin.
Sean said: “The 20 years have been wonderful. We’ve worked with so many brilliant people and feel very grateful.
“Our team, past and present, are the key to our success, and we place a big emphasis on training and culture. We can’t wait to see what the next decade brings.”
Planet IT specialises in managed IT solutions, IT Strategy, cyber security, cloud solutions, and hardware and software procurement.
Its clients include the BBC, The Premier League, Vogue, National Portrait Gallery, Royal College of Music, Oxford Pharmagenesis and ResMed.
Planet IT has over 50 highly skilled IT engineers in-house in its Managed Services & Technical department.
Sean added: “Organisations value having one go-to IT provider to cover all their needs, rather than having to liaise with lots of different people. By combining the right mix of IT professionals and specialist technicians and having excellent relationships with software and hardware vendors, we have been able to fulfil that demand.”
Planet IT has seen numerous industry changes since launching.
“We have always stayed on top of trends and adapted to provide the ultimate service to our clients,” said Gavin. “Cybersecurity is the obvious ever-changing element and remains one of the largest threats to all businesses.
“Cloud computing has revolutionised how forward-facing businesses operate and as a Microsoft Gold Partner, we are at the front line of cloud modernisation.”
Sean added: “New products and better solutions are continually being produced to keep up with market changes.
“We invest in training and our platinum and gold relationships with vendors ensure our clients always receive the best advice and solutions for their businesses.”
Planet IT has won awards consistently over the years. Recently, it was crowned MDR Security Partner of the Year for all of Europe, the Middle East & Africa by Sophos.
It has supported many charities, including donating 200 laptops to The Academy School’s most underprivileged kids through their Educate 200 initiative. Planet IT is a principal partner of Oxford United and sponsors grassroots clubs and Blackbird Leys Boxing Club.
“Planet IT has always been about our community, culture and people,” said Gavin.
“Our team and our customers are always at the heart of what we do. Developing our team is central to our growth and watching people flourish is incredibly rewarding. We’ve seen apprentices become directors and our staff retention rate is very high.”