Pasporte is offering a partial outsourcing service where it will take over medium-sized businesses' applications, hosting them and managing them off-site.

The Orchestra service would see customers buy their own software but pay Pasporte to host and manage it remotely. Pasporte MD Gary Woodward said that unlike large enterprise outsourcers who aim to take over the entire IT function, his scheme can provide access to individual applications - and unlike doing the job yourself, it guarantees a fixed cost for the service.

The service is aimed at those companies that have between 250 and 1,000 staff. Woodward said they would also need the financial resources to spend at least £250,000 a year on their business applications. "At the end of the day, £250,000 doesn't go very far, even when you look at salaries alone," he added. "Outsourcing is as much about cost control as it is cost savings."

He went on: "The part of the IT stack that touches the business is where IT directors need to spend their time - everything under that is utility. The highly respected IT directors are the ones who work with the business, not the ones who act as glorified techies." Woodward said that Pasporte has been running applications for other companies for several years, including some sub-contracted to it by IBM and Orange Business Services.

He said the company has now combined applications, consultancy and other managed services as Orchestra, in response to strong mid-market growth - Ovum predicts the mid-market managed services industry will grow to £4.3 billion by 2010. "We think the market is really buoyant - our business has grown 100 percent in the last two years. Actually we want to see more people doing what we do because it's good publicity, also we'd like to see a community evolve.

"IBM has developed competencies over the years, for example in systems management for larger clients, but it doesn't have the systems and processes to go to smaller organisations - it can't fit their price-point," he continued.

"Each solution we deliver is bespoke, it's their copy of Word or the CRM package, and by and large its their dedicated servers. Our core competence is service management. It's a spectrum of outsourcing - some outsource the lot, including the network infrastructure, others give us part of the problem."