Computex Strengthens Cisco Sales Charge With Synetra Acquisition


Computex Technology Solutions, No. 116 on the CRN SP500, has expanded its Cisco technology and managed services practice with the acquisition of Synetra, Inc. a Dallas based MSP.

The deal brings the $170 million Houston headquartered Computex- one of Cisco's top enterprise partners- additional Cisco technology talent, MSP muscle and expanded geographic reach in Texas particularly for its mainstay oil and gas customers.

Synetra, a $30 million Dallas headquartered MSP with 50 employees including 25 top techno

logists, has offices in Dallas, Odessa, Lubbock, Amarillo and El Paso.

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"This is a nice boost to our Cisco practice," said Computex CEO John Schilsky in an interview with CRN. "It gives us further concentration on the Cisco business – our largest OEM partner. The hardest thing for us right now is finding hot talent especially Cisco talent. This is going to be super important for us to expand our Cisco capabilities and reach going forward."

Schilsky said Cisco remains a "go to" partner that is becoming even more critical to Computex with the Cisco shift to software. "As the Cisco business model shifts to a more software centric model, we are keeping up with that and making sure we adjust our business to compensate for those changes," he said. "It's good for the customer and the business. We are making sure we are staying in front of that change."

Synetra – which has about 150 customers – also brings Computex additional recurring revenue muscle and new reach into the SLED (state, local and education) market, said Schilsky.

Computex intends to continue to look at additional acquisitions as it moves to aggressively scale the business with an eye toward reaching $400 million in annual sales, said Schilsky. "It's a a fragmented market right now and customers are demanding a broad bench of technologists to help them going forward," he said. "There are a lot of $30 to $50 million businesses that will be interesting for us to take a look at and get to know."

The acquisition comes with the Computex in midst of a massive managed services push.

In fact, the company recently hired Rich Montefusco, former vice president of managed services at managed services powerhouse Carousel Industries, No. 52 on the CRN SP500, to lead its managed services charge. "Having Rich on board is going to be critical to growing that side of the business," said Schilsky, who helped move fleet management software provider Teletrac to a recurring revenue SaaS model.

Montefusco, a 27 year IT sales veteran, is a former vice president of managed services for Siemens Enterprise Communications and former vice president of professional services for telecom provider Ameritech which merged with SBC Communications in 1999.

Computex is also in the midst of building out a Securities Operations Center (SOC) that is being added on to its Network Operations Center (NOC) in Houston, said Schilsky. The SOC is expected to be opened by the end of the year, he said.

"We are putting a dedicated SOC connected to our NOC so the teams can work together," said Schilsky. "We are scaling up our security offerings leveraging Cisco and our other partners with our SOC."

Synetra CEO Paul Sorensen and his brother John – who is a vice president at the company - will continue to act as senior advisors to Computex, said Schilsky."They have 25 plus years of industry experience," he said. "It's very important to maintain that. They are very sharp business people and we want to leverage that knowledge."

Synetra is a 35 year old family business founded by the late David Sorensen that prospered under Paul and John's leadership, said Schilsky.

"You couldn't find a better fit for us when you look at the team they have," he said. "We have been working for a couple of months on the acquisition and the integration.It's just a great fit culturally, geographically as well as from a skill set and customer base standpoint. It is a really big win for us to find a company like this and bring the businesses together."