Incentra Solutions acquired NST, a Lombard, Ill.-based solution provider, to expand its customer base for its managed storage and professional services.
NST brings Incentra, Boulder, Colo., sales and engineering expertise in storage and higher-end networking in the Chicago area, said Thomas Sweeney, chairman and CEO of Incentra, which until 2004 was known as ManagedStorage International.
With NST, Incentra also gains an additional 300-plus customers to which it can offer its full range of professional services, remote management capabilities and financial services, Sweeney said.
Incentra acquired NST, with annual revenue of $25 million, for $5.5 million in cash, $1.5 million in unsecured debt and 1 million shares of Incentra's common stock. Near the end of the trading day Monday, Incentra shares, traded on the OTC Bussetin Board, were up 1 cent to $1.15.
Incentra, as a managed storage service vendor, competes with other solution providers that resell products and offer services, Sweeney said.
However, Sweeny described Incentra as a "complete solution provider" because it offers customers a full range of managed and first-call services. For instance, the company installs data storage infrastructures in the data centers of big service providers and telcos, which then resell services based on those infrastructures to their own clients, Sweeney said. Incentra also has its own data centers for hosting customer storage and related services, he said. "We'll take on the operation of the data center and storage," he said.
For Incentra, managed services offer both recurring revenue and higher margins than selling storage products, which means the company is always looking for ways to expand its customer reach, Sweeney said. "We want to sell to more customers to introduce our managed services," he said.
The acquisition of NST is only the latest move to expand Incentra's customer reach. In February of last year, the company acquired Star Solutions, a San Diego-based solution provider, which Incentra officials said nearly doubled Incentra's revenue. It followed that acquisition the next month by buying Kirkland, Wash.-based PWI Technologies.
With the NST acquisition, Incentra now has a presence in Seattle; Portland, Ore.; the San Francisco Bay area; San Diego; Orange County, Calif.; Denver; Dallas; Las Vegas; Boise, Idaho; and London, Sweeney said.
Incentra will continue to expand its business through acquisitions where appropriate, Sweeney said. "We will consider acquisitions if we can find the right companies at the right price," he said. "With acquisitions, we can create growth faster than if we set up in a territory on our own."
Other acquisitions have been tightening up the managed storage space. In January, for instance, AmeriVault, a provider of remote backup and archiving services, acquired Albany, N.Y.-based rival Capitalbackup in order to grow its business. Boston-based Iron Mountain in December acquired Marlborough, Mass.-based LiveVault in order to beef up its online backup business and decrease its dependence on its primary business of storing customers' backup tapes.