Stratos Acquires Computex, Builds $100M IT, Managed Services Solution Provider4:06 PM EST Mon. Oct. 08, 2012
Stratos Management Systems, formed earlier this year by a group of channel-focused investors looking to build an IT solutions and managed services provider, this week said it has acquired data center services provider Computex.
The acquisition of Houston-based Computex, a member of the CRN Tech Elite 250 list of solution providers, is the second acquisition for Atlanta-based Stratos, which came out of stealth mode early this year with its acquisition of Nexus Information Systems, a Minnetonka, Minn.-based storage and virtualization solution provider.
Stratos is in the process of building a large solution provider organization focused on serving the IT infrastructure and managed services requirements of business customers in the central and southeastern U.S. The company's initial strategy for building an IT services powerhouse has centered on a combination of acquiring a handful of strong regional solution providers while building new branch offices to fuel organic growth.
Atlanta-based Stratos in February acquired Nexus, which had 2011 revenue of $32 million from its storage, virtualization and cloud services practices. At the time, Stratos said it would depend on acquisitions and organic growth to build revenue to $200 million within three years.
Stratos is already halfway towards its goal, said Bret Kidd, the solution provider's president and COO.
With the acquisition of Computex, Stratos currently has a total annual run rate of $100 million and a total of 100 employees, Kidd said.
The combination of Computex's data center building and management expertise and its professional services capabilities with Nexus' IT infrastructure and cloud management expertise will bring Stratos new ways to serve clients, Kidd said.
"We've got a strategy to be a premier provider of managed IT systems," he said. "More specifically, we will have a blended environment of hardware, public cloud and private cloud expertise."
Sam Haffar, president and CEO of Computex, said his company was built around data center expertise, and when combined with Nexus, it will have a bench of over 30 experts in building data centers.
"We have a lot of energy customers in the Houston area," Haffar said. "Now we can bring in Nexus' management expertise and its NOC [network operation center] experience. And, we can expand our expertise geographically."
NEXT: Combining Data Center, Managed, And Cloud Services
Computex's Haffar said Computex will add Nexus' managed services and cloud services to his company's existing customer base.
"Someone else is now doing that," he said. "We will now be able to go to our extensive customer base and bring in the management piece. It's low-hanging fruit for us. We're adding one plus one and getting five."
On the client side, customers have been asking for compute, networking and storage expertise, and Nexus has long been known for its storage and virtualization experience, said Ken Brown, executive vice president and chief client officer for Stratos.
"Computex is very good on the compute side," Brown said. "They have many ways to optimize and to transform IT through technology. Marrying the two companies is like putting together a puzzle."
Combining Nexus and Computex under the Stratos umbrella also provides large customers the local expertise they don't get from large vendors or integrators, Haffar said.
"Large nationals who open a small local office think they now have local reach," he said. "We're different. Our offices are close to the customers and make local decisions. Many of our customers are Fortune 500 companies. We beat the large nationals with a level of service they can't provide."
One nice benefit of combining solution providers with different territory focuses is the fact that there are no overlapping customers between the two, Brown said. "This is great for cross-selling each others' services," he said.
Stratos plans to continue its growth strategy with a combination of organic and inorganic growth, Brown said. The company has, since its acquisition of Nexus, added branch offices in Michigan and Florida, and it is looking to open offices in the Ohio Valley as well as in Texas and the surrounding states, he said. It will also look for other strategic acquisition possibilities in the heartland of the U.S. between Minnesota and Texas, he said.
Stratos declined to discuss the purchase price of Computex as both companies are privately held.
PUBLISHED OCT. 8, 2012