ConvergeOne Fortifies Cisco, AWS Muscle With Purchase Of 155-Person Solution Provider

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Fast-growing solution provider ConvergeOne has bought a Cisco Gold Certified partner to boost its public cloud capabilities and gain a physical presence in the Northeast.

The Eagan, Minn.-based company said its acquisition Tuesday of Clifton Park, N.Y.-based Annese & Associates, No. 226 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500, is part of a long-term strategy to broaden and deepen its capabilities through inorganic growth. Annese is the 12th acquisition ConvergeOne has made since 2005, according to the companies.

"As a Cisco Gold partner, the Annese team brings additional Cisco solutions and service capabilities in enterprise networking, security, collaboration and cloud, backed by four decades of experience and expertise," John McKenna, ConvergeOne's chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "This acquisition enables us to increase our presence in the northeastern United States."  

[RELATED: Sources: ConvergeOne Acquires Sigmanet As Solution Provider Consolidation Continues]

Annese President and CEO Ray Apy will continue to lead 155-person Annese as a senior vice president in the combined company. He will report to Paul Maier, president and CEO of ConvergeOne's Solutions division.

"As part of a much larger company, this acquisition will provide our employees with unparalleled professional growth and development opportunities," Apy said. "Through ConvergeOne's broad reach and manufacturer portfolio, our customers will gain more flexibility coupled with the same great customer service approach they've come to expect from Annese."  

Annese said in a note on its website that, after 47 years, the owners felt it was the right time to transition ownership and best position customers and employees for the next wave of technology. ConvergeOne's three Network Operating Centers and more than 1,280 employees will provide Annese with more resources to execute its strategic plan, the company said in a letter to customers.  

Apy told vendors that the company will operate as a business unit within ConvergeOne's Cisco-based solutions division, with Annese's entire leadership team remaining in place. ConvergeOne also has an Enterprise division that draws its legacy and strength from the Avaya portfolio, Annese said in a blog post.   

In addition, the deal will expand ConvergeOne's cloud capabilities beyond Cisco and Avaya's private cloud to include Amazon Web Services and Office 365, according to ConvergeOne Vice President of Marketing Scott Clark. Annese is currently going to market as "Annese, a ConvergeOne Company," according to the Annese blog post, and will fully transition to the ConvergeOne brand over time.   

Converge One was founded in 1993, and enjoys tights bond with Avaya, Cisco, IBM, Interactive Intelligence and Microsoft, Apy said in the vendor letter. The company's core verticals include industrials, energy and power; technology, communications, and business services; and consumer products and services.

For ConvergeOne, the acquisition will unlock market share in the state, local and education (SLED) sector, as well as more capabilities around data center virtualization, mobility, security, cloud, managed and professional services, Annese said in the blog post.

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