TWO tech businesses in Bournemouth have been merged in a move which bosses say spells further expansion.

IT support firm ITSB has joined with business telephony company Crystal Clear Telecom.

Both are based in Richmond Hill and owned by TECHNEDS Investment, a Poole-based firm which specialises in fast-tracking tech businesses into growth.

ITSB chief executive Lee Dredge said: “Our message today is very much one of growth and we look forward to a mutually beneficial business relationship with the best possible combination of communications and technology solutions.

“Our two businesses understand each other’s markets very well and because our fields of expertise are so complementary, this will result in new and existing clients being attracted by the convenience of our multiple services offering.

“We are also keen to inspire the new generation of experts and will seek to attract the right talent, particularly university graduates and apprentices.

“As part of our planned growth we will undoubtedly boost the local economy, which is one of the drivers behind partnering with Dorset Chamber, and our sponsorship of the Connect With Care Internet Safety campaign with AFC Bournemouth.”

The businesses will keep their own brand names.

Scott Gower-Smith, managing director of Crystal Clear Telecom, said: “The world of telecommunications is evolving rapidly, especially cloud working, and this merger ensures we continue to stay ahead of technology trends.

“Our partnership with ITSB allows us to provide a comprehensive customer support service – it makes perfect sense that we should be working together for the good of all of our clients. We see ourselves very much as market challengers to the industry. Our honest and knowledgeable approach will enable us to provide voice, connectivity and communication solutions to our rapidly increasing client base.”

TECHNEDs managing partner, Simon Mewett, a non-executive director of both firms, said: “Our ethos is very much about investing in technology entrepreneurs and accelerating business growth, combining like-minded businesses to the benefit of their customers.“ITSB and Crystal Clear Telecom aligned perfectly, and with our investment in both businesses we look forward to continued involvement through offering strategic guidance and support.

“These are exciting times with the first official merger between two TECHNEDs’ private equity-backed businesses and our challenge is to deliver the strong and stable foundations to enable further success.”

ITSB was founded by Mr Dredge in 2010 and operates on the south coast, the M3 corridor and into London.

Crystal Clear Telecom was established by Mr Gower-Smith in 2013.