MindShift CEO: Business Hasn't Changed Under Best Buy

Mindshift Technologies hasn't changed its business plan since the $100 million MSP was purchased by Best Buy last fall, according to CEO Paul Chisholm.

A year ago, the Waltham, Mass.-based company was bent on becoming the nation's largest MSP through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth, and that's still the case, Chisholm said.

"The goal when [Best Buy] bought it was to set it up as a separate subsidiary. We run the company like we did a year ago. From a day-to-day point of view, mindShift controls its own destiny," Chisholm said of mindShift, which Wednesday agreed to purchase Austin, Texas-based MSP White Glove Technologies to expand into the Lone Star State.

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Best Buy has trained its Best Buy For Business teams in local markets, especially the six cities in which mindShift has offices, to tout managed services and then turn leads over to mindShift, Chisholm said.

"They wanted to continue to develop a services strategy around SMB and use us as the foundation to develop it. We've been active with the Best Buy executive team doing that," he said.

It took several months but the last couple months have seen strong leads come from Best Buy, Chisholm said.

"The [leads] are predominantly in cities we operate but not always. We only have [offices] in six cities but we service customers all over the country," Chisholm said.

The White Glove acquisition is mindShift's furthest push West so far and adds a couple of cities that the MSP didn't have before. The two companies began talking about a deal last summer and talks heated up around three months ago, said Chisholm and White Glove president and co-founder Carey Balzer.

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"We had a three-year plan, and we were very comfortable executing on that plan and growing [organically]. But at the end of this we felt it was a very fair offer and allowed us to take some risk out of the business model and accelerate that growth," Balzer said.

White Glove expects to generate about $15 million in sales this year, which added to mindShift puts the combined company "well over $100 million," Chisholm said.

Going forward, mindShift will continue a "selective acquisition strategy" but will also look to foster organic growth, including adding resources in new cities, Chisholm said.

"White Glove is not atypical of the acquisitions we've done. We talk with people a couple of years ahead, keep the dialogue going when someone isn't ready yet. That's what happened with White Glove," he said.

White Glove CEO Tommy Wald, who came to the company when his old company Riata Technologies was purchased by White Glove in 2010, is leaving the company but all other White Glove staff are expected to be retained, Balzer and Chisholm said.