Exclusive Networks says its acquisition of channel service provider ITEC Intelligent Services demonstrates its disruptiveness not only in terms of technology but also the distribution model itself.
The acquisitive VAD announced this morning it has snapped up ITEC, a UK-based services firm with 50 staff across its locations in Wokingham, Newcastle, Florida, Singapore and Malaysia.
The move hands Exclusive a footprint in the US and Asia Pac for the first time, which it claimed will enable it to support bigger, global deals for its vendor and reseller partners.
Barrie Desmond, chief operating officer at Exclusive Networks, said the decision to acquire a services firm also underlines the private equity-backed Palo Alto and FireEye partner's credentials as a disrupter in the distribution sector.
"This gives us an opportunity to grow geographically and into those huge, global deals," he said. "But part of the [rationale] is to disrupt the go-to-market distribution model. You will see a bigger services wrap emerging from us."
Having ITEC on board, which adds to its existing professional services capabilities around its Passport brand, will enable Exclusive to deliver anything up to a four-hour response on global datacentre deals, Desmond added.
The move marks the next step in Exclusive's diversification after it branched out from its roots in security to launch an arm focused on big data technology, Big Technology, last year.
Founded in 1996, ITEC provides pre and post-sales support around a range of vendors, including Cisco, Riverbed, Juniper and Microsoft and UK interactive technology vendor Smart.
ITEC has also historically worked in partnership with distributors, including Exclusive itself, but Desmond claimed competitors would not be spooked at the prospect of working with a services firm owned by a rival, at least in the short term.
"We will continue to maintain the brand and positioning in the foreseeable future and I don't see any problem with them working with other distributors - or vendors we don't work with," said Desmond (pictured). "Collaborative working is much more acceptable than it was historically."
Rival distributor Westcon Group bought channel services firm Intact in April and the firm's executive vice president of EMEA, Jeremy Butt, said the propensity among distributors to build services capability through acquisition is becoming a trend.
"We now have 260 people in in services in EMEA alone and where we are focusing on is training and education, 24x7 helpdesk and professional services," Butt said. "It is good news that we started moving on this some time ago."
Richard Eglon, marketing director at channel service provider Comms-care, said: "We have noticed the trend of disties bringing on board more of a services proposition increase over the last couple of years in order for them to provide their reseller customer base with a broader solution sell to the legacy kit sale they were better known for.
"A high number of the acquisitions by the disties of service companies are in niche service areas so there is still a big requirement for channel services' companies such as Comms-care to plug the gaps with complimentary services."
Ross Teague, chief executive of ITEC, said in a statement: "We've worked with Exclusive Networks on many major project and support contracts, and developed a strong mutual respect for the quality and professionalism of our work. The two businesses are a good match and this is a very positive move for everyone involved with ITEC."
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