Connection Buys GlobalServe to Better Support Multinational Clients

Connection has purchased GlobalServe, a global IT service management company, to make it easier for U.S.-based multinational firms to support the technology needs of their offshore divisions. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Merrimack, New Hampshire-based Connection, formerly known as PC Connection, said its acquisition of 30-person GlobalServe would make it possible for global conglomerates to quickly and easily fulfill their IT needs by using GlobalServe's procurement system to work with a roster of 500 solution providers with a combined 25,000 employees across 174 countries.

Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey-based GlobalServe is most valuable for multinational firms, thanks to its procurement engine, said Tim McGrath, president and CEO of Connection, No. 21 on the CRN Solution Provider 500. He estimates that GlobalServe could be a good fit for roughly 40 percent of Connection's customers.

McGrath cited automobile and media as two sectors of Connection's customer base that will particularly benefit from GlobalServe's capabilities, which include centralized purchasing, real-time reporting, automated billing and visibility into IT assets worldwide.

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"By buying GlobalServe, we are ready to go day one," McGrath told CRN. "I think this is unsurpassed in the industry."

Leveraging in-country IT service providers will help ensure multinational customers receive appropriate hardware, are served in the local language and currency, and are given a warranty that's in accordance with local regulations, McGrath said.

The local solution provider receives the revenue associated with carrying out the service, McGrath said, while Connection receives a small fee for every transaction that goes through the portal. GlobalServe has less than 20 employees based in the United States, McGrath said, with 10 others providing around-the-clock help desk and support from an offshore location.

GlobalServe will operate as a standalone division within Connection, and McGrath said GlobalServe's existing customers can continue to with the company even if they're not a Connection customer. Connection has been a GlobalServe customer, and when the financial backers behind GlobalServe indicated this summer that they wanted to make an exit, McGrath said he decided to seize the opportunity.

Without GlobalServe, McGrath said multinational firms would have to cobble together relationships with local IT suppliers one at a time, initiating contact, negotiating pricing, recording asset numbers and ensuring the transaction is fulfilled. McGrath said Connection's customers have for years been asking for help with supporting employees around the globe.

Connection's competitors have addressed the increased demand for overseas support by opening up offices in Europe, Canada and occasionally Asia, McGrath said. But he thinks GlobalServe will be faster and cheaper way to reach more countries than brick-and-mortar offices. GlobalServe is Connection's second acquisition of the year, following its purchase of Softmart in May.