Symantec's former consultancy arm has snapped up another channel services firm in the shape of DVS Channel Services, which it says will plug a gap in its network security capabilities.
DVS went out to market six months ago to find an investor but, having spoken to four other potential suitors, concluded a complete sale to fellow channel services outfit Company85 represented the best option for staff and partners.
Company85 came to life in 2010 when Symantec span out its UK and EMEA consultancy division in a management buyout.
After its 2013 acquisition of XOR bolstered its Microsoft and workspace skills, DVS will add to its prowess in the network security market, co-founder and director Bill Trim told CRN.
"It will allow us to bridge the gap between our governance, risk and compliance consultancy and advisory on the security side with some deeper technical skills in the network security space," he explained.
The acquisition will also mean Company85 can deliver an end-to-end service in the networking space, rather than relying on its "Affinity" network of outside contractors, which it traditionally relies on to deliver 30 per cent of services.
With 15 staff, DVS offers professional and support services to about 80 resellers, SIs and distributors and counts Cisco, Check Point, Blue Coat, Websense and RSA Security among its core vendors.
In contrast to XOR, which was integrated immediately because it was a distressed sale, Company85 will begin integrating DVS only after six months, said Trim, adding that DVS owner Rob Robinson (pictured on the left, with Trim) and all staff will stay with the firm.
"They've taken their time to come to the decision to be acquired and we intend to take ours when it comes to integration," Trim said. "We don't want to unravel the good stuff Rob has been doing and just want to give him support and some assistance in investment."
Robinson said DVS had spoken to four potential investors after concluding his firm needed financial support to maintain its annual growth rate of 50 per cent.
"But upon meeting Company85, it seemed a better fit to look at the acquisition based on the shared culture of the two organisations," he said. "We share a very similar consultative approach in terms of how we engage with the customers. We both like to understand the requirements more deeply before moving into delivering on behalf of the partner."
Company85 is not the only firm playing consolidator in the channel services market, with Comms-care last year snapping up Platform, Empowered SMS gobbling up three firms in 2014 and Daisy buying a string of third-party services firms in recent years, most notably Phoenix IT.
Company85 now has revenues of more than £10m and about 100 staff, although its Affinity network gives it access to two or three times that workforce, Trim said.
"Having been through the Symantec part of the journey, [the security aspect] is dialled into our thinking, so whenever we're helping people transform and change, we're also keeping an eye on securing that environment and their data. Acquiring DVS is only going to reinforce that differentiator," he said.
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