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Big M&A Update: Fusion-MegaPath-Birch, Mitel, Sprint-T-Mobile

Mergers and Acquisitions

Quality over quantity.

The past two months weren’t quite as active on the M&A front as pertaining to the channel, but our roundup of newly announced purchases and updates features some big names.

Mitel surprised the channel with the announcement it’s going private. The news came just a few months after closing its purchase of rival ShoreTel.

Fusion made a big statement with the acquisition of MegaPath just days after closing its purchase of Birch Communications. Keep an eye on these guys.

Sungard Availability Services sold off a key business unit. And a potential merger between Sprint and T-Mobile could soon have a major impact on the former’s burgeoning channel program.

Those are just a handful of the noteworthy mergers and acquisitions from April and May that are highlighted in our roundup below. Scroll through to catch up on who’s buying whom — and why. All have channel implications.

Looking for more M&A? Click here to see the biggest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions from March. And you never have to wait for one of our roundups. We have a page dedicated to all of the moving and shaking impacting partners.

Follow executive editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

Buffy Naylor
Fusion-MegaPath-Birch

It's been quite the year for Fusion, with May being a month for the ages.

The company announced the acquisition of MegaPath, the business communications provider — a $71.5 million deal. It gives Fusion SD-WAN, unified communications and security services, adding an estimated $70 million of annual revenue to its balance sheet. Fusion also gets 8,000 business customers and nearly four-dozen direct and indirect sales reps from MegaPath.

That news broke just three days after closing its acquisition of Birch Communications, which extends Fusion's reach in North America, broadens its cloud portfolio and gives it increased back-office support. Fusion told us on May 11 that it was almost ready to retire the Birch brand.
Hitachi Vantara's Paula Phipps
SearchLight Capital-Mitel

Just months after acquiring rival ShoreTel, Mitel decided to go private in a sale to SearchLight Capital Partners for $2 billion. Mitel expects the move to give it additional flexibility to accelerate its move to the cloud

“We are a legacy, on-site PBX business, and that market is declining as more customers move to cloud, UCaaS," said Todd Abbott, Mitel’s executive vice president of global sales and service, in an interview with Channel Partners. "This is a disruptive transition, so to be able to manage that disruption of solutions and business models, as a private company it’s much easier. We can be freed of quarter-to-quarter performances the public requires and more strategic in leading that part of the business.”
Hitachi Vantara's Chris Gugger
Sprint-T-Mobile

Rumored for months – even years – the country's No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers, Sprint and T-Mobile, said they would try to merge in a $26 billion deal that would create a third mobility giant to challenge AT&T and Verizon. No doubt it will face tough regulatory scrutiny.

The immediate impact on the channel wasn't clear. Sprint had its biggest presence in years at the 2018 Channel Partners Conference & Expo, introducing Smart UC, its as-a-service voice and UC productivity suite powered by BroadSoft. T-Mobile launched a channel program at our show in 2014, but has been largely quiet since. We expect to hear from Sprint channel leaders before the summer is out.
Pegasystems' Rupen Shah
Resurgens Technology Partners-Sungard AS

Sungard Availability Services decided to offload its Assurance Business Continuity Management Planning (BCMP) software business to Resurgens Technology Partners, a private-equity investor. Assurance helps businesses develop an end-to-end business continuity program. It will now be a standalone entity.

“Our partner team will be expanding relationships in the areas of business-continuity consulting, security technology and disaster-recovery technology," said Assurance VP Gary Cohen. "There is a reseller agreement with Sungard AS, and we will continue to work with them on opportunities.”
Buffy Naylor
MicroCorp-Open Spectrum

Master agent MicroCorp said it would start a new cloud-services division after acquiring assets of Open Spectrum, a North Carolina-based data-center marketplace provider. It will be a "robust consultancy resource for SMB and enterprise opportunities," the company said.

The two companies were already partnering to give MicroCorp partners access to cloud consulting services.
Buffy Naylor
HPE-Plexxi

HPE says its acquisition of Plexxi will allow it to extend its software-defined compute and storage capabilities into the software-defined networking (SDN) market. Plexxi is a provider of software-defined data fabric networking technology.

HPE says the purchase gives its partners “an unparalleled set of capabilities in the hyperconverged segment, where HPE will be the only vendor that can provide a truly integrated, turnkey, fully automated hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution that solves the network complexity problem.”
Hitachi Vantara's Paula Phipps
Kaseya-Unitrends

Kaseya, the IT management and monitoring provider, announced a merger with Unitrends, a deal designed to give partners a one-stop shop for critical IT solutions that include remote monitoring and management (RMM), endpoint management, professional services automation (PSA) and more.

It sets up a showdown with Datto-Autotask, which merged last year. 

Kaseya gets to capitalize on Unitrends’ expansive midmarket reach, and bringing a BDR solution into its portfolio takes it one step closer to its goal of offering a comprehensive suite of IT products.
LogMeIn CP Expo 2018
Evolve IP-thevoicefactory

Cloud provider Evolve IP said its acquisition of the U.K.'s thevoicefactory, also a cloud provider, is part of its ongoing market development strategy.

The buy gives the company additional distribution channels in the U.K. and throughout Europe, a "significant" client base and greater penetration into numerous verticals, Evolve IP said. The company will add offices in the U.K. and Orlando, Florida, and gain new data centers in both the U.K. and the U.S.
Pegasystems' Rupen Shah
NexusTek-BTG

Investment firm Abry Partners merged NexusTek, and IT services and consulting firm, with Breakthrough Technology Group (BTG), the managed private cloud service provider. The combined entity will be marketed under the NexusTek brand.

NexusTek CEO Mike Jenner told Channel Partners that his company will benefit greatly from BTG's experience in the partner community.

“BTG also brings strong cloud experience and capabilities to the table, which will provide our channel partners with significant new opportunities to drive revenue,” he said.
Airtel Business CP Expo 2018
FireMon-Lumeta

FireMon is expanding its firewall management platform capabilities with the acquisition of Lumeta.

FireMon said Lumeta's technology will allow its customers to extend intent-based security to on-premises and cloud assets that were previously unknown, and “ensure the right security measures are in place in an automated way utilizing an organization’s existing security infrastructure.”

“We are finding that we have many of the same channel-partner relationships, and we will work with those partners to drive the forward-looking go-to-market strategy with the FireMon and Lumeta solutions,” said Kurt Mills, FireMon's VP of worldwide channel sales and operations.
Datapipe's Robb Allen
Green House Data-Infront

Green House Data continued its string of recent acquisitions with the purchase of Infront Consulting Group, its fifth in four years.

Toronto-based Infront specializes in Microsoft Azure migrations, mobility, data-center and managed services. Green House, which is helped by roughly two-dozen MSP partners, is focused on SMBs and midsize companies, while Infront typically works with billion-dollar companies that have complex IT environments.

The two companies will continue to operate under their own brands for now.
Pegasystems' Rupen Shah
TransUnion-Iovation

Credit reporting agency TransUnion is making a security play with the acquisition of Iovation, the provider of authentication and fraud prevention services.

TransUnion expects the purchase to strengthen its position in fraud and identity management, helping its customers stay ahead of new and evolving fraud threats. The company already provides fraud and ID solutions globally across a variety of verticals that include financial services, health care, insurance and government.

“Iovation has had a strong commitment to channel partners and their partner program was the next evolution of this strategy," TransUnion senior VP Geoff Miller told us. "We support Iovation’s channel strategy, and think the combination of TransUnion and Iovation will only strengthen the offering to their current and future partner network.”
Wildix CP Expo 2018
Conga-Counselytics

Conga, the intelligent document automation provider, announced its third acquisition in just a month.

Buying Counselytics, a provider of contract discovery and analytics artificial intelligence (AI) services will enhance its product suite. It also will broaden Conga's portfolio by allowing customers to convert unstructured data into intelligence, the company said.
Wildix CP Expo 2018
Critical Start-ATA

Cybersecurity integrator Critical Start completed its purchase of Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA), a next-gen security analytics platform. The move will allow Critical Start the ability to offer customers a "differentiated approach to managed security services."

Benefits of the ATA platform include 100-percent transparency, the industry's first "mobile security operations center" and rapid containment of threats due to the combination of 24x7 detection and response.

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