**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q4 2013.**
Integra is buying business phone systems provider ProTel NetWorks, one of the largest Mitel dealers in the United States.
The deal bulks up Integra's managed services portfolio, which includes voice, data and Internet. Now, with ProTel, the service provider is adding UC to that list.
Both companies are privately held, so financial details were not disclosed.
"Our customers face the very real challenge of keeping pace with rapidly changing technology and we're seeing that translate into an increased demand for fully managed and hosted communications services," said Joseph Harding, CMO of Integra, in a press release. "Acquiring ProTel NetWorks is consistent with our continued strengthening and expansion of our portfolio in this area."
Thirty-year-old ProTel NetWorks uses its own software engineers to customize Mitel and Inter-Tel systems. The company employs more than 20 people, led by David Glissmeyer, CEO and founder. Integra has offered jobs to all of those workers, and Glissmeyer will take on a sales leadership role. Integra will use the ProTel brand during the integration process.
At first glance, the Integra-ProTel union looks positive for Integra channel partners. That's because agents and VARs can offer yet another facet of managed services to their business customers, as well as phone systems. This expands revenue potential and increases client stickiness.
Tom Gorey, channel chief at Integra, agreed.
"Many of our partners do not have a great option to deploy services in the manner that ProTel has historically provided, so this will provide them access to deploy additional high-quality services," he told Channel Partners in an email. He added that the ProTel buy "may represent additional capacity to support clients in larger opportunities, and those across larger geographies" for Mitel partners who have been working with Integra.
The ProTel deal does not change how Integra engages with its partners who sell systems that compete with Mitel, Gorey said.