Ahead Buys MBX To Boost Edge, Supply Chain, ‘Hyperscale Solutions:’ Channel M&A

MSP powerhouse Ahead has purchased MBX Systems, owner of the proprietary software platform Hatch. Here are Ahead’s bullish integration ideas for MBX.


Enterprise cloud MSP superstar Ahead has acquired MBX Systems with the goal of creating new “advanced” custom solutions that infuse MBX’s top-notch engineering capabilities into Ahead’s broad portfolio and customer base.

The roughly $2.5 billion Ahead is a top national channel partner of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Dell Technologies, Cisco Systems, Microsoft and VMware.

MBX marks Ahead’s fifth channel acquisition since 2020 following its backing from private equity firm Berkshire Partners. MBX’s top vendor partners includes Dell, Nvidia, Intel, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Supermicro.

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Eric Kaplan, CTO of Chicago-based Ahead, said the two companies can build custom solutions for customers to “fulfill their expanding needs for edge and hyperscale solutions” thanks to MBX’s engineering capabilities and proprietary software platform Hatch.

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“Not only will we engineer and build these systems for our clients, but with the addition of Hatch offer them the ability to optimize the product life cycle along with full support for global logistics and asset management,” said Kaplan in a statement.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

‘Reshaping Customer Experience’ With Hatch

Libertyville, Ill.-based MBX is a systems integrator of hardware systems, supplier of global logistics and supply chain orchestration, and the owner of Hatch, which enables customers and OEM partners to manage the full life cycle of their IT assets.

MBX’s Hatch software platform was tailor-made for product life cycle and asset management, as well as supply chain orchestration. Through a single pane of glass, Hatch enables customers to manage orders, monitor inventory levels and shipping status, and remediate supply chain distribution. In addition, the companies said this process will help their joint customers transform how their hardware teams work.

“We are reshaping the customer experience, utilizing Hatch’s innovative capabilities to provide customers an unmatched level of operational transparency and direct access to real-time information,” said MBX CEO Chris Tucker in a statement. “Our objective is to weave this transparency into a flawless customer journey, commencing from the design of new products through to the final stage of delivery.”

Overall, the acquisition bolsters the business impact that Ahead brings to its enterprise customers by adding custom-engineered platforms, deeper capabilities in edge infrastructure solutions and Hatch. The merger will also help customers streamline global distribution of those products.

It is also key to note that MBX operates a 120,000-square-foot integration and logistics center outside Chicago where Ahead is based.

Ahead Acquisitions

Ahead is a provider of infrastructure, automation, data analytics, software development, security and managed services. The company has been acquiring one to two companies each year thanks to its backing from Berkshire Partners, which began in 2020.

In 2022, Ahead acquired Scottsdale, Ariz.-based vCore Technology Partners. vCore enhanced Ahead’s networking, cloud computing and data protection offerings,.

In 2021, Ahead purchased data analytics consulting firm Vertical Trail, which specialized in helping enterprises discover high-value insight through cloud-based data engineering and data science solutions.

In 2020, Ahead made two major acquisitions that would elevate the company to a new level by buying RoundTower Technologies and Kovarus, which both had common large practices with Dell, VMware and Cisco. These two acquisitions vastly expanded Ahead’s reach across America.