Perficient Buys $27M Consulting Firm Clarity To Boost Microsoft Practice

Perficient has purchased Clarity, a 160-person software consultancy based in Chicago, as it seeks to expand its cloud and custom app development capabilities, the company announced Friday.

Perficient, No. 57 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, said Clarity, with annual revenues of $27 million, would become part of its dedicated Microsoft business group, a move that will nearly double the unit’s current size to 330 employees.

"We’re super bullish on Microsoft. Our relationship with them has only gotten better every year," Perficient chairman and CEO Jeff Davis said. "We swept top (national solution provider) partner in all three regions and believed a lot in their direction with Azure and also what they've done with Office 365 ... We have a great amount of confidence to invest more in the Microsoft space."

[Related: Perficient Buys $9M Management Consultancy to Drive End User Technology Investments]

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The deal, structured at 30 percent stock and 70 percent cash, will include a stock component of about $9 million, Davis said, along with a one-year earnout provision for Clarity.

Company founders Jeff Smith and Jon Rauschenberger, as well as partner Jerry Brunning, will accept leadership roles with Perficient, according to a press release. Smith expressed excitement at the potential for Clarity to expand its client portfolio.

"Perficient is well known for its expertise across many technology platforms and is widely regarded as one of the largest and most capable Microsoft systems integrator partners in the country," Smith said in a statement. "Joining the Perficient team accelerates our collective opportunities for continued growth and success."

For Perficient, Clarity’s key offerings include intellectual property assets such as Clarity Connect, a communication management product that leverages Skype for Business and Office 365 to create feature-rich call center capabilities for businesses.

"(Intellectual property) is becoming a more and more important part of our business," Davis said. "It’s not so much the resale and the sale of that, but it’s the differentiation … I think the industry is trending more and more in that direction."

The consulting company also maintains a deep client list that features several key relationships with Fortune 500 companies, and its foothold in Chicago and the Great Lakes region helps Perficient further penetrate that market.

Another important component of the Clarity acquisition is its background in developing custom applications within the Microsoft platform, which Perficient felt was an area of deficiency within its portfolio. Of particular interest to Perficient given its partnership with Adobe, and the Adobe-Microsoft digital marketing partnership is Clarity’s experience with development on Dynamic CRM.

"It was frankly a gap for us. It was an area that we needed to shore up. This certainly accomplishes that," Davis said.

One other area of practice for Clarity that could be a precursor to future Perficient endeavors is IoT. Clarity touts itself as a leader in the IoT space on its website, citing solutions that range from interactive vending machines and self-service kiosks to innovation in improving point-of-sale processes and inventory management.

Davis, although measured in discussing the fast-growing space, revealed that Perficient has begun scouting potential "IoT-concentrated" targets.

"IoT starts with the design of the devices and engineering, application, deployment," Davis said. "It’s early to see exactly where the big opportunities will be in the space."