ISSQUARED Acquires Fellow MSP CCT, Gains Microsoft Azure Talent

‘We were a little weak, if I may, on the Azure side. CCT has a lot of customers and a lot of know-how on Azure implementation and expansion of services around IaaS. That's something we are looking into expanding with CCT,’ says ISSQUARED CEO and Founder Bala Ramaiah.

IT and cybersecurity MSP ISSQUARED Monday said it has acquired CCT Technologies, a Northern California-based MSP, as a way to expand its geographic presence and gain experienced Microsoft Azure talent.

No dollar value was given for the acquisition.

ISSQUARED, listed on CRN’s 2024 Managed Service Provider 500, is both an MSP and managed security services provider, as well as a developer of its own hardware and software for building edge clouds, said Bala Ramaiah, CEO and founder of the Los Angeles-based company (pictured).

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“We do a lot of managed services and managed security services, and we have different arms that basically handle engineering, products, and back-office operations,” Ramaiah told CRN. “We also have a carrier division that takes care of customers requesting last-mile-access bandwidth. We are also actually building our own backbone network right now.”

ISSQUARED’s own product line includes its FABULIX edge products, which can serve as an edge cloud for customers to host their non-Amazon, non-GCP, or non-Azure workloads, as well as its ORSUS software platforms focused on identity and access, governance, and risk management, Ramaiah said.

“The premise of the company was that we wanted to build products,” he said. “But we basically did not want to go to venture capitalists or investment firms. We want to self-fund the company. So we started with consulting and managed services, and the profits that were coming from that we reinvested in product. We have been successful for 14 years.”

The company’s hardware and software products are in use by its midmarket and enterprise managed services clients, he said.

As a result, ISSQUARED is a completely bootstrapped company, Ramaiah said.

“I started the company in our garage in Simi Valley literally with one person in 2010,” he said. “And we are now 325-plus people in California, Washington, Oregon, Ohio, Texas, and a few other states. We do a lot of development in India and some engineering in the U.S. We also just opened an office in Singapore.

ISSQUARED’s acquisition of CCT, a San Francisco Bay-area services provider that has been in business for over 30 years, is part of a plan to extend the company’s reach, Ramaiah said.

“We actually didn't have presence in the Bay Area, even though we are a tech company,” he said. “So this basically gives us an arm to grow in Silicon Valley, which is critical for us as we transform ourselves into a product-based company. And we get both sales and technology talent. CCT will let us expand into their customers with the new products that we are bringing to market, whether it is FABULIX or ORSUS. We will be able to upsell the current customer base. It’s a good hand-and-glove fit.”

In addition to an expanded geographical presence, CCT also brings ISSQUARED increased Microsoft Azure expertise, Ramaiah said.

“We were a little weak, if I may, on the Azure side,” he said. “CCT has a lot of customers and a lot of know-how on Azure implementation and expansion of services around IaaS. That's something we are looking into expanding with CCT.”

ISSQUARED plans to hire all of CCT’s employees, Ramaiah said.

“This is not a ‘synergistic’ acquisition,” he said. “We are expanding. And hopefully things go well because we have two more acquisitions in the pipeline for August.”

Prior to CCT, ISSQUARED previously made two other acquisitions, one in 2018 and the other in 2019, he said.

CCT CEO Connie Tang plans to remain with ISSQUARED during the transition period while the companies come together and then retire, Ramaiah said.

Looking ahead, Ramaiah said that ISSQUARED will continue to become more of a product company and has a goal of becoming a public company in the next three-and-a-half years.

To prepare for the future, ISSQUARED has in the last year expanded its senior leadership team with people from such companies as Intel and Google, Ramaiah said.

“We’re trying to basically align ourselves to be more ready for the bigger enterprises,” he said. “We know how to run a larger organization. If we are able to acquire the other two companies, we would cross the 600-person or 700-person mark by the end of the year. So we are literally going to double the size of the company, both organically and inorganically, in the next eight months. So there's a lot of change and energy within the organization.”