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San Antonio, Texas-based Sirius was number 87 on CRN's 2010 VAR 500 list with 2009 revenue of $693.8 million. Omaha-based MSI was ranked number 133 with 2009 sales of $350.9 million. Because both companies have been growing, Mertens said the combined companies will have pro forma revenue of more than $1.1 billion.
The merger also creates what is undoubtedly the biggest IBM solution provider, as measured by sales volume, the reseller's volume of purchases from IBM, number of customers and the number of IBM certified employees, Mertens said. Sirius was already perhaps the biggest IBM partner and MSI was in the top five, "so that certainly makes us far and away the largest player," he said.
But getting bigger in the IBM space wasn't the main motivation behind the pending acquisition. MSI "has a very strong Cisco practice in the central United States and we have been trying to beef up our strengths relative to Cisco on a national basis and this puts us a long way toward that goal," Mertens said.
Another attraction: "They have built a network operations center and built a managed service offering that is focused on the IBM mainframe and Power [server] environments," Mertens said, noting that those are technology areas Sirius also has focused on. He said Sirius should be able to scale those centers nationally "very quickly" and make the company one of the biggest managed services providers in the IBM market.
And the acquisition adds more than 300 skilled technicians and engineers to Sirius, "which certainly helps strengthen the skills that we have to provide to our clients," he said. MSI's presence is especially strong in Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas.
Next: The Role For MSI's Executives