ProVision Communications Reboots Business Model With 360 Networx Acquisition

Provision Networks President Clayton Straub said the company's acquisition of longtime collaborator 360 Networx is probably just the first of many it'll do in the coming years.

Formerly called ProVision Communications, the technology services company closed the 360 Networx deal Aug. 1 for an undisclosed sum, changing its name to Provision Networks, and transforming its business model in the process.

"ProVision was a carrier services model," with a staff dedicated to project management and operations, Straub explained. The acquisition allows the company to operate as a VAR using 360 Networx's partners, wireless engineering expertise and large customer base in the mining, and oil and gas industries.

All but one of Provision's nearly 40 partner relationships, including deals with Cisco, Motorola and Sprint, came from 360, Straub said.

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"This was a vehicle for us to scale up," Straub said. "Carrier services is still hard to make look like a VAR model, and it's hard to be in control of your own destiny there."

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company now has 18 employees, about half of whom came from 360 Networx, which is based in Phoenix.

Jon Shank, a manager at F5 Software, which partnered with Provision earlier this year, said he hasn't heard much M&A talk among VARs, but the Provision/360 Networx deal makes sense.

"This is a real strategic move for Provision," Shank said. "It gives them a deep bench and the capability to deliver solutions around security and authentication for their clients. They're not trying to be everything to everyone, but they're ramping up quickly."

The acquisition is Provision's first, but it's not Straub's first foray into M&A. He founded TeleSys Communications, which was acquired by private equity firm Gemma Capital in 2001.

He said the company is likely to make more acquisitions once it lets the dust settle on the 360 Networx deal and decides on a roster of suitable targets.

"This is a first step for us," he said. "We need to be strategic, but we expect this not to be the last."