Forsythe Expands Footrpint With IST Deal

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Solution provider Forsythe Solutions Group earlier this month expanded its security business and took its first international step with the acquisition of Information Security Technology (IST), a St. Paul, Minn.-based solution provider.

IST gives Forsythe an expanded presence in the security markets of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and in Ohio, said Richard Zimmermann, vice president of network and security solutions for Forsythe, Skokie, Ill.

IST also brings Forsythe its first international presence via offices in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Calgary, Alberta; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

"We've been contemplating an international expansion," Zimmermann said. "And we are considering expanding to other countries. It's certainly a part of our growth plan. We're looking to expand in the U.S. and internationally, both organically and through acquisitions."

IST is Forsythe's third acquisition of a security-focused solution provider.

The company acquired National Business Group, an Atlanta-based provider of Citrix Systems, Nokia, Check Point Software Technologies and RSA Security solutions, in February of 2004.

That acquisition followed the February, 2002 purchase of the security and consulting services assets and contracts of Telenisus, a Chicago-based solution provider of solutions to conduct secure business over the Internet.

A CRN report late last year found an acceleration of solution provider acquisitions this year as vendors, service providers, and other VARs look to beef up their channel expertise.

Forsythe has four main technology focuses, including storage, servers, networking, and security, Zimmermann said. "However, we are finding more and more that security is cutting across all our business," he said.

IST will be known as IST, a Forsythe company, for the near-term, Zimmermann said. However, as was the case with NBG and Telenisus, IST will eventually be absorbed into Forsythe over the next couple of months. Dave Gustafson, president and CEO of IST, is now Forsythe's vice president of security solutions.

IST was a profitable company, Zimmermann said. He would not disclose either the price paid for IST or how the acquisition was funded.

Forsythe is continuing to evaluate other possible acquisitions, either to expand its expertise or to expand its geographic reach, Zimmermann said. "We look for companies which are dealing with a lot of the same manufacturers we deal with, and which offer many of the same services we do," he said.

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