Two West Midlands companies have merged to create a new alliance in IT - and landed a major deal to boot.
Coventry-based Purple Mouse and Warwickshire firm Alliance Technical Support Services have joined together and are now based in the city centre.
The companies will keep their individual names to begin with, but will eventually come under a single title.
The match came about when representatives from the two firms met as founder members of RITA - the organisation that has since become the West Midlands IT Association (WMita).
The firms realised their individual expertise could be linked to create a company that could take clients right from the planning stages of IT through to the design and implementation.
They worked together informally for four years but merged in November and have since landed a major contract with a multi- national oil company.
Mandy Sutton, Business IT adviser at the newly merged company, said: "The merger makes great sense as the two companies complement each other perfectly.
"Purple Mouse is a market leader in producing IT strategies and plans, while Alliance is held in highesteem for its ability in design and implementation.
"It means we can now offer a complete service and makes life very easy for the client. That was a major reason for the company winning the contract with a major oil firm."
She added: "It all came about when I met with Ian Jackson at a forerunner of WMita event a few years ago.
"We got chatting and realised that both of our companies were of a similar size and age. We started to work together and put business one another's way.
"It soon became apparent that a merger would be a positive step forward for both firms."
Flick Wheeler, the chair of the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire branch of WMita, said it highlighted the benefits of networking.
She added: "The purpose of WMita is to provide training and business opportunities to ICT companies and also to act as a voice for the sector.
"We have also tried to improve networking within the industry because that is one area that IT firms do not always exploit.
"This merger between Purple Mouse and Alliance is a great example of how companies can reap the benefits of simply getting together and talking."