Sage co-founder Graham Wylie has made his much-anticipated entry into the channel by acquiring Gateshead-based accounting and software VAR Joynson for an undisclosed sum.
After leaving Sage, Wylie set up IT supplier Technology Services Group in July this year. More recently he sold some of his Sage shares - five per cent - which netted the entrepreneur £116m. Joynson will become part of Wylie's Technology Services Group.
"My aim is to make Technology Services Group the IT supplier of choice in the North East. The Joynson acquisition is the cornerstone of this strategy and we will be expanding the business," Wylie said.
Joynson has 800 customers and sells products from Pegasus, Citrix, Microsoft, Novell, 3Com and Sage. The company, which grew through acquisition, took over Millhouse Computers in February 2002.
David Parsonage, director at Sage VAR Apex Business Systems, said the channel sees Wylie's move as an attempt to create "a super reseller".
He said: "This is good news for us because we want to see more consolidation in the Sage channel. The Sage reseller base is too big and made up of too many small players."
Parsonage was untroubled by the competition from Wylie. "Customers will not be influenced by his name. He has credibility only with people close to Sage," Parsonage said.
A Sage spokeswoman said: "We know that Graham [Wylie] has plans to promote the Sage brand as part of his new venture and we look forward to working with him."
Gary Turner, managing director of Sage rival Pegasus, said: "Joynson is a very successful Pegasus reseller and we are confident that our software will fit into Wylie's new business," he said.
Separately, Nigel Hudson, Sage's business development director UK is leaving. Rumours are rife that Hudson will join Wylie in his new venture.
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