Cisco Gold partner Block has acquired healthcare reseller Innov8, a week after CEO Jon Pickering ended his association with the firm he co-founded in 2006.
Block announced Pickering's departure last week with fellow co-founder Marc Chang stepping into the vacant chief executive role. Pickering also sold his stake of the business.
Speaking to CRN, Chang explained that the decision for Pickering to depart was made around a year ago.
"We co-founded Block 11 years ago and about a year or so ago we came to an amicable agreement; I wanted to take the company in a slightly different direction," Chang said. "We've been working together since then and formed a strategy collectively with his exit in mind - these things just take a while.
"He left and it was all done about a week or so ago, so moving forward a good example of the things we're looking to do is remain vertically focused. We want to build a strong bit of growth but it's got to be the right growth. We're very focused on providing cloud services, managed services and overall annuity into our customer base.
"The focus is on the value creation. It's not that we want to expand; we want to become more and more relevant and this latest news [of the Innovat8 acquisition] underlines our focus in verticals such as healthcare. We're really driving forward a similar approach into retail and education as well."
The new leadership team at Block will consist of Chang, COO Mark Walton and CFO Gordon Hennessy, along with Innov8 co-founders Ian Smith and Tracy Doucèt.
Innov8's Nottingham office will remain open - adding to Block's Crewe and London bases - giving the newly combined company a headcount of over 120.
Chang said that once the integration of Innov8 is completed, Block should see its revenue lifted above £30m. In its last financial report on Companies House, Block recorded a revenue of £22.7m for the 12 months ending 30 June 2016.
"[In the current] year to date we're predicted to grow a good 20 or 30 per cent and with the acquisition there are some joint customer sets," Chang said.
"Our financial year ends in around nine weeks' time but we look forward to next year where we almost certainly will be looking to exceed £30m in total revenue, so there's an expected dramatic uplift almost immediately.
"The potential of what we're going to be able to do is huge, particularly as the regionalisation of healthcare continues to happen apace."
Innov8 co-founder Doucèt said the newly combined company is better placed to offer a complete range of services across areas including end-user computing, datacentre, cloud and infrastructure.
"Ian and I are co-founders of Innov8 and we've had huge admiration for the business that Marc and Jon built together," she said. "We share lots of the same customers, with different specialities [sold into them], and I think Marc's personal vision has been to build a business on value added and on driving impactful change and true transformation.
"We've stood from afar and admired the business they've built together. We've had our own success in the same healthcare vertical and so the coming together of the three of us - albeit with Jon's exit - enables us to build a really credible executive board."
Block has traditionally worked with the likes of Cisco, VMware and Citrix - with Innov8 having a similar vendor line-up.
"We share a common set of vendors and they remain as important as ever," Doucèt added. "For those vendors this news has been really warmly received and makes the new Block Group, with the Innov8 acquisition, one of the largest healthcare partners for all of them."
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