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EarthLink Buy Bolsters Managed Services Strategy
By Khali Henderson
October 27, 2011 - News

As part of its managed services strategy, EarthLink Inc. announced Thursday an agreement to purchase the IT Solution Center and hosted application business from Synergy Global Solutions, which operates in Western New York. The acquisitions will become part of the EarthLink Business division and will be available for sale through its direct and indirect sales channels.

The transaction, which is expected to close by year’s end, is the latest in a string of purchases designed to shore up the IP service provider’s managed services strategy. In September, the company completed the acquisition of xDefenders, a managed IT security company based in Rochester, N.Y. In August, it completed its acquisition of Business Vitals, a national provider of managed IT, security and professional services based in Columbia, S.C. In May, it acquired, an enterprise data-center solutions provider, specializing in custom server virtualization solutions, self-service cloud solutions, enterprise Web and application hosting, and disaster recovery/data backup services.

Cardi Prinzi, executive vice president of marketing for EarthLink Business, said the company is bringing all the solutions together and plans to roll out a branded managed services offer. The Synergy purchase, he added, brings production-level support for customers of these managed services.

Synergy’s IT Solution Center includes a help desk, network operations center and remote-care platform offering SAS-70 certified services, tiered network support and monitoring, remote technical management and support across a range of networking and operating system platforms. EarthLink also plans to buy Synergy's cloud-based application service, which offers hosted IT capabilities for the environmental services (HVAC, electrical, plumbing) vertical market and already is hosted by EarthLink Cloud.

The IT Solution Center, located in Buffalo, N.Y., is staffed by more than 80 support specialists and engineers who will join the EarthLink team when the transaction closes. Synergy President Clark Crook also will join EarthLink Business as vice president of solution center services, and will report to Brian Fink, EarthLink Business’ executive vice president of managed services.

EarthLink also will assume relationships with approximately 120 VARs that currently sell the IT Solution Center and hosted application services. Prinzi said many of Synergy’s VARs sell the IT Solution Center under white label as well as directly. EarthLink does not plan to change the relationships with these VARs, but to expand on them by having them sell other EarthLink Business products, including cloud services, data vaulting, secure email, managed firewall as well as the communications and network services.

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