Networks First R&D Tax Credit Claim
Business Solutions (Mildands) made a successful R&D Tax Credit claim for one of the UK’s leading suppliers of network services - Networks First Ltd
With over 20 years of experience, Networks First is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of network services for converged IT infrastructures. Networks First has established relationships and achieved accreditations with the key network manufacturers. This, along with highly qualified engineer and IT consultant teams ensures the highest levels of service which includes lifetime support, from strategic advice, through implementation, service management and provision for future requirements.
From new cloud- based technologies to cutting edge mobility services, Networks First offer a unique and tailored offering which has enabled the company to keep ahead of the competition and build their client base to include corporates such as Cap Gemini and IBM.
How Business Solutions (Midlands) Ltd Helped
It is fair to say that the senior management team were sceptical at first about whether they would qualify for a claim given the nature of their business. After all, how could the implementation and integration of existing networking technologies been seen as research and development?
However, following a series of scoping meetings with the company, the team from business solutions began to focus on the internal software development which was taking place. It was very evident from speaking to the senior management team that that the company have had to introduce new and innovative product and service offerings to meet the needs of their technology savvy, multi-national client base. This required the development of a range of bespoke internal systems and processes to meet the needs of their clients going forward.
As a result, Business Solutions were able to highlight a number of eligible projects, resulting in a successful six figure claim for the company.
Company Research and Development Activity
For many years, Network First used a mix of stand-alone software systems written by numerous third party vendors, and Excel spreadsheets to control their internal business processes. However this type of silo based system began to cause the company significant problems in terms of maintenance costs, and general inflexibility.
As the business developed and a number of high profile multi-national companies were taken on, the senior management team realised that their internal business systems needed to be upgraded to meet the demand for growth. As a result, they began to research the market for possible ‘off the shelf’ solutions. However, after a period of 12 months market research, it became evident that only piecemeal solutions were available; no one which would have given the company what they needed. The company’s internal software developers came to the conclusion that, regardless of cost, existing packages did not meet the specific needs of the business moving forward. In short, a fully integrated solution for the IT Networks maintenance industry had not been developed.
The aim and objective of this project was to build a bespoke inventory management system with a flexible quoting tool, which would proactively assist the company’s channel partners and in house team to:
- Quote for maintenance business, where speed of response is essential and then once the business is won, to
- Convert the quote to an order
- Manage the IT ‘estate’ to be maintained
- Provide a service/ help desk for call and fault logging
The key business benefits to the business are as follows:
- Achieving significant cash benefits from 3 successful claims in excess of £120,000.
- Understanding that it’s not just about the development of innovative products for their clients. Any internal business innovations can also be eligible.
- Appreciating that in some circumstances, the creation of bespoke IT based solutions may be classed as eligible research and development projects.
- Realising that there is an ongoing tax benefit by undertaking new and innovative projects, which they may have otherwise avoided due to perceived time and cost implications.
- As a result of the cash benefit, being able to invest in new equipment and technologies to further enhance their in-house capabilities in order to continually grow the business.
One of the company’s directors commented:
“Business Solutions took their time to understand our business and its requirements and what we were trying to do to gain competitive advantage. Many of our processes are interlinked, which ruled out many off the shelf products. We needed a system that could go from initial contact and quote to financial results.”
“This development resulted in quite a considerable investment, which we thought we would have to absorb in full, however, with the expertise of BSM we were able to analyse the work being done and allocate relevant elements as R&D. Their knowledge of the criteria for a successful submission and the work they did understanding our company resulted in successful claims and enabled us to invest further.”
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