NCS, the information technology (IT) and communications engineering arm of Singtel, announced Monday it has acquired Australia’s largest privately-owned IT services company The Dialog Group (Dialog) for A$325 million ($241 million).

The acquisition of Dialog is geared to unlock new growth opportunities in the Australian market and accelerate NCS’ regionalization strategy, NCS said in a statement.

Reputed for its extensive services portfolio from IT consulting, application development to managed application services, Dialog has presence across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Darwin, and Adelaide.

“This acquisition is a significant step in the regionalization of NCS and leverages the combined strengths of NCS and Dialog and their established track records and reputations across both Singapore and Australia. The scale of this acquisition, our largest to date, reflects our firm commitment to growing our business beyond the shores of Singapore, particularly in Australia where we can also leverage the strategic presence of the Singtel Group,” said Ng Kuo Pin, Chief Executive Officer of NCS.

The acquisition combines Dialog’s core IT capabilities and NCS NEXT digital services to bolster its focus on innovation, cloud, artificial intelligence and data analytics. It also trebles the number of highly skilled IT specialists in its operations in Australia to 1,300 – ready to support clients from a multitude of sectors including government, healthcare, transport, communications, financial and commercial services. This combination of talent and expertise will create a stronger end-to-end suite of technology and digital services for NCS’ clients in Australia and across the region.

“At NCS, our purpose is to advance our communities by harnessing technology and bringing people together to make the extraordinary happen. Similarly, Dialog’s commitment to clients and technology has made it one of the leading tech companies in Australia, serving both government and enterprise clients. This alignment of purpose makes Dialog a perfect fit. Collectively, our capabilities, talent and reach will fortify and consolidate our position in Australia and help our clients and the industry meet the digital transformation demands of the future economy,” said Ng.

As part of its transformational growth plan, NCS has been scaling its presence in Australia since December 2020 to serve clients in Australia through NCS NEXT, its digital innovation and services arm – which supports enterprises’ growing demand for digital transformation solutions. Together, Dialog and NCS will have greater opportunities for synergistic growth between Australia and Singapore as well as expertise to better support the needs of clients across both markets.

This latest deal follows NCS NEXT’s acquisition of two fast-growing technology companies last year: Riley, a cloud consultancy with dedicated expertise in Google cloud applications and Eighty20 Solutions, a cloud transformation specialist with unique capabilities across Microsoft cloud platforms, thus offering a ‘best-of-cloud’ service portfolio to the Australian market.

“Together, we will have a strong breadth and depth of capabilities and expertise for our clients here in Australia. Both NCS and Dialog’s talent development cultures and programmes will develop the best talent pipeline and create exciting jobs and growth opportunities,” said Alan Key, Dialog’s Chief Executive Officer.

According to Gartner, IT spending in Australia is showing its strongest growth in a decade and is projected to grow 6.5 percent in 2022. The largest IT spending segment in Australia is IT services, which is expected to grow to A$39 billion ($28.87 billion) in 2022.

With one of the highest net-promoter scores (NPS) in the industry and a long-standing client base of governments and large enterprises, Dialog understands the unique needs of the market and augments NCS’ commitment to better serve a diverse range of clients in government, healthcare, transportation, financial services, industrial, commercial, communications, media, and technology sectors.

Government and enterprise clients can now access deep-tech capabilities across 55 specializations to support their transformation needs including harnessing innovative digital and cloud technologies. They will also be able to leverage synergies from NCS NEXT Innovation Centres, spanning Singapore and Melbourne, to drive innovation through cross-border collaboration and co-creation.

The newly combined NCS and Dialog will unlock synergies in talent development and build a steady pipeline of tech talent for the Australian market. With the increased market presence, NCS and Dialog employees will have more options to achieve personal growth and mastery, opportunities to move across specializations and work in various regions and industries, with different clients and partners to gain a wide range of experience. Depending on their skillsets and areas of interest, they also get to be involved in exciting and impactful projects, reflecting NCS’ commitment to building a place for talent to grow and thrive professionally.

The completion of the acquisition is subject to fulfilment of closing conditions, including relevant approvals from regulatory authorities and other third parties, and is expected to be completed within three months.

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