Channel services outfit Empowered SMS has acquired rival Convergis to help it cater for the boom in demand it is seeing for wireless skills among its reseller partners.
Founded by former management of Phoenix IT Group and Networks First in 2006, Empowered provides a range of professional services to a base of about 100 partners in need of extra skills to fulfil end-user projects.
Starting life as a unified communications specialist, Empowered has moved to bolster its wireless skills through acquisition after encountering a 400 per cent boom in quotations for wireless work over the past 12 months.
The acquisition of Convergis increases its headcount to between 50 and 55, adding skills around a range of wireless vendors including Meraki, Aruba, Meru, Xirrus, Aerohive, Airtight, Motorola and Ruckus. This adds to Empowered's core skills around vendors including Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and VMware.
Talking to CRN, Empowered managing director James Anderton claimed the enlarged organisation will have the widest wireless capability of any channel services organisation in the UK.
Sales and operations director Darren Liles (pictured with Anderton) added: "We identified that Convergis was a specialist in advanced wireless business and like us, it provides those services through a channel-only model. By bringing Empowered and Convergis together, we are able to support the growing drive for mobile internet and BYOD."
The acquisition, Empowered's first, will increase its partner database from 100 to 150 but Liles said the enlarged outfit is addressing an overall market of about 500 VAR, VAD, SI, telco, service provider, MSP and Wi-Fi providers.
"A lot of the outsourcers will be tendering for public, City-based wireless projects and will have very limited capabilities to execute these projects," he said.
While Empowered is looking to retain almost all of Convergis' staff, Lis Boyde – who founded Convergys in 2003 – is set to retire following a six-month transition period, Liles confirmed.
Richard Eglon, marketing director of rival channel services outfit Comms-care, agreed that demand for wireless skills is on the up, particularly in projects with a security bent.
"We are seeing an increase, but we have seen more of an increase in secure wireless solutions, rather than just the wireless deployments that were around three or four years ago," Eglon said.
"Staff are increasingly bringing in the personal devices as well as their business devices and in many cases the same device does both things. You have to implement very secure settings based on access rights to a network and that is quite a complex solution to provide and ensure it is secure."
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