Dell partner Certus Technology Group has acquired one of Sage's top resellers as it chases a 2018 revenue target of £14m.
Certus specialises in infrastructure, cloud, managed services and business continuity but a move into the Sage space was always on the cards after it enlisted several former executives of FD Systems – a Sage partner that sold up to X3 in 2011 – to its management team.
Current Certus chief operating officer Nigel Griffiths, as well as its current marketing director, financial director and customer care manager, all used to work for FDS.
"We put in place an experienced management team capable of supporting growth and running a much larger business," Griffiths said.
"The team came from FDS so it made a lot of sense to talk to a Sage VAR about merging the two businesses together."
Griffiths said ERP software and the infrastructure services Certus traditionally offers are natural bedfellows.
"I used to run a Sage partner and a lot of our problems in support were because we didn't have enough of a handle on the infrastructure layer," he said.
"Sage X3 is creating a lot of momentum in the market and if we can provide our hosting, business continuity and cloud services to [Ensphere's] mid-market customer base, there's a tremendous opportunity to make them much more efficient."
Griffiths added: "The timing [for this acquisition] is also good. The economy is positive and technology changes to SQL and Windows 2003 are creating a lot of interest in upgrades."
Certus' first act as Ensphere's owner was to terminate its relationship with Sage rival Netsuite.
"We believe being sole on Sage is a clearer strategy for existing and prospective customers," Griffiths said. "Netsuite is also a cloud-delivered service and it's our strategy to deliver Sage from our own hosted infrastructure."
Ensphere, which had a turnover of £2m, is based near Warrington, meaning the acquisition – Certus' first – will expand Certus' geographical footprint from Wales and the south (it has an office in Hemel Hempstead) into the north.
"We have gone from £2m to £8m turnover in three years and want to go from £8m to £14m over the next three years," Griffiths said. "We might look at acquisitions if they come our way but we think we can deliver through the strategic plan we already have."
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