Acquisitive VAR Chess has set its sights on a second acquisition in the cybersecurity space after acquiring Foursys in April.
The deal for Foursys - which will be known as Chess Cybersecurity from November - moved Chess in the cybersecurity arena and was the latest in a string of deals that also saw it snap up the likes of Lanway, Parachute IT and Compwise Systems.
Speaking to CRN, Chess director Richard Btesh said that the VAR is already moving in on a second acquisition in the security space, after seeing early success with Foursys as part of the group.
"It was a successful business when we bought it and it's a more successful business now," he said.
"It's growing, and I can tell you that I have another acquisition that I'm looking at in a similar space; in the broader cybersecurity arena, rather than a competitor.
"Cybersecurity is an area where we're going to grow in but it has to fit with existing skill sets and everything else."
Btesh could not put a timeframe on the next deal, but said that it will broaden Chess' offering in the cybersecurity space.
He said that Chess assesses multiple companies with acquisition potential every month, but that the firm is selective when choosing which to pursue.
"If you go back to the Chess acquisition strategy, I would say 10 to 20 companies a month come through my door one way or another," he said. "90 per cent of them are rejected.
"About one third to one half are rejected immediately, a third are rejected one way or another when you look at them in a bit more detail, and that leaves very few.
"There are enough companies for sale and because of the elevated interest in cybersecurity there have been a number coming to the market, but you have to buy something that you are able to grow within your existing infrastructure. We're not buying a business to get rid of people and keep the customers."
Btesh added that the journey into IT and cloud is one that telecoms specialists need to be taking seriously, and said that he views carefully-considered acquisitions to be the best way to make this transition.
"The journey from telecoms into ICT, cybersecurity and cloud is a challenge," he said. "We're not the only ones doing it - you need only look at what Daisy has done.
"It's a journey you have to go on, you have to get it right, and I think the best way is to acquire the right businesses. You look at their existing culture, how they're growing, what they're opportunity is for growth, which suppliers they're using and if that fits what you're doing. That's why you reject most businesses that come through the door, but you get the odd good one."
Crossing the pond
In other news at Chess, COO Steve Cox has confirmed that he will be leaving the VAR to take on the role of VP of customer success at insurance software firm Vertafore, a switch which will see him move to Denver.
Cox joined Chess last year and was instrumental in setting up the firms ICT division. On Cox's departure, Btesh said: "We genuinely wish him well because he's a good guy and he's done a lot for us."
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