Bick Buys Blue Mountain, Bolsters Cloud Computing Coverage

The move gives Bick Group, a St. Louis-based data center and cloud computing solution provider, a stronger foothold in the cloud computing space as its customers investigate the future of the cloud and how it will affect their data centers. Bick Group will add Blue Mountain into its IT Services Practice.

Bick Group CEO Andrew Parham said the acquisition, which also involves Blue Mountain Labs founder David Linthicum joining Bick as CTO, comes as clients eye the transition from the constraints of physical data center infrastructure to a cloud-based environment. Parham -- who calls cloud computing a "rogue wave hitting the data center" -- said more than 80 percent of Bick clients currently have some physical capacity issue in their data center, whether its space, power or cooling.

"As a starting point, we want to better help our clients make that transition [to the cloud]," he said. "We're talking to them about new models and have gotten into dialogue around the cloud."

Adding Blue Mountain Labs' cloud expertise will help Bick continue to guide customers as to which applications make sense in the cloud.

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"We'll help them on-ramp to the cloud while making the most of the infrastructure they have in place," Parham said.

Parham said the acquisition of Reston, Va.-based Blue Mountain Labs will help Bick tie cloud computing into all of its disciplines, from data center to virtualization to disaster recovery.

"We believe that the cloud is the future of the data center," he said. "When we're designing and building data centers, the cloud will play a strong role."

Linthicum said the acquisition is a perfect fit: Bick has the ability to build the infrastructure while Blue Mountain Labs has the thought leadership and strategic guidance chops.

"These guys have the ability to do what I really couldn't," Linthicum said, adding that Bick plus Blue Mountain is a "one plus one equals three" scenario. "It's a soup to nuts complete offering."

The goal, Linthicum said, is to make use of cloud computing to make data centers "smarter not harder." The merging of Bick Group and Blue Mountain Labs does that and can now offer not only the path and the vision of a cloud strategy, but the ability to execute.

"Cloud computing is going to play a role in any data modernization exercise," Linthicum said. "Everything will have a cloud computing component."