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British MSP Calligo Buys Decisive Data To Build Data Analytics Muscle

‘Over the next five to ten years, organizations will focus on what they can and can’t do with data, and less on the underlying infrastructure. They will be looking to optimize their data. So for the last three years, we’ve focused more and more on data services including capture, hosting and managing, and optimizing the use of that data with a big privacy wrap,’ says Julian Box, Calligo’s founder and CEO.

U.K.-based Calligo this month said it acquired Decisive Data, a U.S.-based provider of services around data analytics and data science, in a move to expand both its data visualization skills and its North American market.

The acquisition is the first in the U.S. for Calligo, although the company has acquired three Canadian MSPs in the last few years, said Calligo founder and CEO Julian Box.

Calligo, which made the Elite 150 of the CRN 2021 Managed Service Provider 500, was founded about 10 years ago with a focus on helping clients control who had access to data and where that data was located, and eventually moved on to transform into a cloud solution provider and then a managed services provider as concerns about data privacy grew with the passage of Europe’s GDPR regulations, Box told CRN.

[Related: Martin Wolf Acquires Ohio Firm To Up M&A Ante For VARs]

“Over the next five to ten years, organizations will focus on what they can and can’t do with data, and less on the underlying infrastructure,” he said. “They will be looking to optimize their data. So for the last three years, we’ve focused more and more on data services including capture, hosting and managing, and optimizing the use of that data with a big privacy wrap.”

Redmond, Wash.-based Decisive Data has a strong focus in data analytics, including business intelligence, machine learning, data integration, and especially data visualization, Box said. It was that strong data visualization piece that made Decisive Data especially attractive to Calligo, he said.

“We didn’t have skills in data visualization,” he said. “But it is important for our clients. We also get a new scale of our skillsets with Decisive Data. That’s very important to our strategy. And we get experience in medical and other verticals we were not in before. This really gives us the ability to accelerate growth across all our locations.”

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the acquisition was done primarily online via DocuSign and some other digital forms, with four “wet” signatures required for documents that needed to be notarized, Box said.

Integration of the Decisive Data team into Calligo’s insight business is expected to be smooth in large part because Decisive Data was very open with its staff about the acquisition, he said.

“We got to meet the Decisive Data people very early on,” he said. “Usually in an acquisition, it’s ‘Congrats, you are now part of Calligo,’ and the employees are left staring at the oncoming headlights. When we closed the acquisition, the employees knew where they fit in. There’s a risk in doing an acquisition so openly, but for us, we are up and running on Day One.”

Calligo provides data privacy, data insights, and hosted and managed services to clients, Box said.

“We generally believe that businesses need partners who understand what they can and cannot do with data,” he said. “Whether its hosted in Microsoft Azure or in our own CloudCore public cloud, it’s irrelevant. And we have some customer with on-premises data, especially in the mid-tier.”

Box said that for Calligo, having its own CloudCore public cloud is an important part of its business.

“There are three areas where our own cloud excels,” he said. “We have quite a few clients who want local jurisdiction. We also have midterm customers who want SLAs for performance, or who need to meet specific KPIs. And for our insights business, we work heavily with Intel and Mind Foundry to tune our platform to be as effective as it can be with machine learning algorithms.”

Calligo also works with Microsoft Azure for clients requiring scale or for doing test and development or have businesses that constantly expand and contract, Box said.

“So we have a multi-cloud offering,” he said. “And we see that as the future.”

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