Salesforce Partner NexGen Consultants Acquired By Chicago Firm

The professional services firm, which fields an IT division focused on emerging technologies and industry expertise, looks to stand out in the CRM leader's ecosystem by delivering artificial intelligence and multivendor integration.


Sikich, a large professional services firm, Tuesday completed its purchase of Salesforce partner NexGen Consultants as it looks to boost a CRM practice powered by advanced analytics and artificial intelligence.

The Chicago-based company's tech practice (it also has a large accounting division) focuses on bringing to the upper midmarket a diverse array of digital transformation technologies, including Oracle NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics, Jim Drumm, leader of the Sikich technology team, told CRN.

"We use a lot of the extended solutions out there, so that's why we wanted to get in the lanes with Salesforce," Drumm said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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NexGen was a great fit, he told CRN.

The Salesforce Gold partner, based in Cincinnati, has only remote workers who serve about a thousand customers across the U.S. NexGen's roughly $6 million annual Salesforce practice is focused on financial services, manufacturing and supply chain.

Sikich only had a nominal Salesforce practice before the acquisition and saw benefit in moving fast to become a player in that ecosystem.

"Within the next couple years, Salesforce will probably become one of our largest practice areas," Drumm said.

The CRM leader is an increasingly attractive partner because of its ambitious strategy and integration capabilities, he said.

"I think with [Salesforce CEO Marc] Benioff's aggressive acquisition mentality and where he's looking to go, you can't help but be excited about Salesforce," Drumm said. "We see them in our existing client base all the time, so the synergies we will pick up there will be incredible."

While negotiations with NexGen began before Salesforce revealed plans to acquire Tableau, that nearly $16 billion mega-deal sweetened the pot, as Sikich was already a Tableau partner.

The data visualization giant, coupled with Salesforce's emerging AI and integration capabilities, create new opportunities in the market, he said.

"You lay Tableau on top of [Salesforce] Einstein and you've got this very innovative way to extend the enterprise solution to any back office," Drumm said, including environments powered by SAP, Microsoft Dynamics and Oracle NetSuite.

Sikich's technology division remains focused on subject-matter and industry expertise, not specific vendors or solutions. That approach has led the company to embrace and bring to market emerging technologies, from artificial intelligence to blockchain to robotic process automation.

The industry is veering back toward best-of-breed solutions, Drumm said, after an era where heterogenous environments dominated due to the lack of good integration tools.