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Acquisition strengthens market position of Leeds-based software firm

Leeds-based Cascade HR, under the IRIS Software Group, has acquired award-winning technology firm Octopus HR for an undisclosed sum. The deal will cement Cascade as a comprehensive human capital management systems provider for the whole of the market.

Renowned for supplying high quality HR technology on a SaaS basis, Octopus has led the industry’s ‘micro to SME business’ segment for 12 years. Combining the brand with Cascade – a vendor that has long focused on larger clients with up to 10,000 employees – will now ensure IRIS has an integrated HR and payroll product for companies of all sizes.

With 350 cloud customers throughout the UK, Octopus will increase Cascade’s client base to more than 1,200 private sector and not-for-profit organisations. And because both assets now sit alongside IRIS payroll, Earnie and KashFlow, in the new ‘super division’ IRIS Human Capital Management, collective customer numbers top nearly 40,000.

Commenting on the acquisition, Cascade’s CEO Oliver Shaw said: “This extension of our portfolio cements both Cascade and IRIS as leading technology providers within the UK. Achieving this position has long been a part of our plan, but being able to serve different segments of the market, and serve them equally well, has proven crucial to this.

“Like Cascade, Octopus has experienced consistently impressive double-digit revenue growth per annum, due to the team’s commitment to outstanding technological capabilities, high levels of service and investment in the cloud. This was therefore an attractive investment for us, and one that will accelerate the growth of both solutions.”

From a client’s perspective, it’s business as usual. “Customers will experience the same technological experience and the same level of service,” he continued. “But they’ll now be supported by an organisation with an even deeper skill set and funds to fuel further product investment.

“This move has seen us create an effective, integrated cloud HR and payroll solution for both existing customers and prospects with 10-10,000 staff.”

The announcement comes less than a month after Cascade moved to its state-of-the-art new 16,000sqft premises on the fringe of Leeds city centre, in what was the largest out-of-town commercial property deal of 2015.

Oliver concluded: “This has always been a progressive business. But we’ve never had our sights set more firmly on the future.”

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