Top 10 Channel Acquisitions of 2011
Filed under: News and Trends
For VARs, distributors and MSPs with a little money to spend, 2011 was a big year as companies across the channel consolidated and integrated. From big-box retailers like Best Buy looking to expand in the SMB market to distributors shedding "non-core assets" to companies on MSP-buying-binges, the channel was a hotbed of M&A activity. Why the moves to consolidate so quickly? Many companies were looking to build a greater presence in the cloud as the market begins to boom.
PC Connection Buys ValComNew
Hampshire-based PC Connection picked up ValCom and got its cloud-based IT service management software, WebSPOC as part of the deal. ValCom will still operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary under the same name.
CSI Picks Up HEIT
Computer Services Inc. (CSI) acquired HEIT in late summer, hoping to get its head further in the cloud. The long-term supplier of data solutions for the financial and banking space beefed up its relevance with the addition of HEIT, maker of cloud-delivered IT compliance and managed service solutions.
Technology Capital Investors Buys Bravura Networks
Technology Capital Investors has been on a tear, most recently acquiring Bravura Networks, the ninth MSP it has picked up so far. TCI's strategy is to get as big as possible as quickly as possible and become more competitive in the cloud market.
Softchoice Snatches Up Unis Lumin
Canada's largest tech reseller, Softchoice, made a move late in the year, buying fellow Canuck firm Unis Lumin. The $17 million MSP purchase will help Softchoice move into the services and cloud markets.
Best Buy Purchases mindSHIFT Technologies
Big-box retailer Best Buy tries harder to be a credible SMB solution provider with its purchase of mindSHIFT Technologies. The move adds greater cloud and data center presence for the global electronics chain.
Applied Computer Services Buys Avnets New ProSys Corp.
Applied Computer Services, Inc. picked through Avnet's discard pile and purchased New ProSys Corp. The major VAR was part of Bell Microproducts, bought by Avnet last year. Avnet was eager to dump what president and CEO Rick Hamada called a "non-core asset."
ePlus Acquires NCC Networks
ePlus, on a buying binge of its own, purchased VAR NCC Networks midyear. Architects of the purchase hope to combine the information security assets of both companies and blend a managed services dimension in with NCCs existing strengths. Interestingly, buyer ePlus plans to move its regional headquarters to the existing NCCs Chicago location and a handful of NCC execs will take over key ePlus positions.
Konica Minolta Buys All Covered
In a deal announced until just after the New Year, Konica Minolta snapped up All Covered. All Covered had previously been on an acquisitions bender itself, a trend it was encouraged to continue under new management.
All Covered Keeps Up Acquisition Streak
Over the last year, All Covered has picked up at least five MSPs, four over a single eight-week period. It also acquired ColdCypress, an IT consulting and outsourcing firm, gaining a greater footprint in the Northeast and adding support to its SharePoint implementation efforts.
Windstream Communications Buys PAETEC (Just After PAETEC Buys XETA)
Windstream Communications, a telecom provider and ISP, picked up PAETEC, a communications and collocation firm for $863 million. That came on the heels of PAETECs acquisition of XETA for $61 million. PAETEC got access to XETA's Allworx system. Windstream added to its enterprise portfolio, and gained in vertical markets like hospitality, healthcare and government.