Managed services News
Corsica Launches 'All Star' MSP Acquisition Blitz By Buying EDTS, EDTS Cyber
"This is a merger of two 'A' game players with two legacy operations we are bringing together to build a better platform,” says Corsica Technologies CEO Dale Walls. “This allows us to take our combined mutually respective 20 years of doing this and bring it together into a business that surpasses what has been defined as an MSP. We are an IT service provider."
Corsica Technologies has fired the first shot in its bid to build out a next generation IT service provider that dominates secondary markets with a deal to acquire EDTS and EDTS Cyber – widely recognized as one of the top MSPs and MSSPs (managed security service provider) in the country.
The deal brings together two of the giants in the MSP business: Corsica Technologies founder and CEO Dale Walls and EDTS and EDTS Cyber founder Charles Johnson. The two MSP pioneers have both built nationally recognized MSPs, which dominate their respective markets.
The "merger" of the two businesses gives the next gen IT service provider – which is backed by private investment powerhouse Inverness Graham - a presence up and down the East Coast from New York City to Savannah, Ga.
Combined, the two companies have 20,000 systems under contract with 130 employees, two state-of-the-art network operations centers and a midmarket security services business in the form of EDTS Cyber with its own 7x24x365 manned security operations center (SOC) and incident response team.
"The message to customers is we're better together," said Walls, speaking about the buildout of what he calls an "all star" team of IT services technical and management talent. "This is a merger of two 'A' game players with two legacy operations we are bringing together to build a better platform. This allows us to take our combined mutually respective 20 years of doing this and bring it together into a business that surpasses what has been defined as an MSP. We are an IT service provider."
Walls said what unites him and Johnson is their passion for breaking new ground in the IT services marketplace with second to none technology services. "Our stories are synonymous," he said. "We are both company founders with highly technical backgrounds with a large company IT management perspective. We both brought that perspective to the managed services market. I joke that the vision we both had was what managed services came to be before there actually was a managed services industry."
Corsica and EDTS have always provided network security and foundational security as part of their managed services offerings. But the addition of EDTS Cyber- which has won high profile cybersecurity deals with a highly regarded incident response team, is a game changer for customers battling an endless barrage of cyber threats, said Walls, who will become CEO of the combined companies.
Under the new Corsica umbrella, Johnson will now focus full time on the fast growing EDTS Cyber business as senior vice president of security.
"Bringing Charles and his team on board to round out the platform from a security perspective allows us to provide an advanced level of security and compliance to customers," said Walls. "Charles has been passionate about the security market. This allows him to get laser focused on that knowing the managed IT side of EDTS is in good hands with an industry leader. We can now count on Charles for the security business instead of having to invent, build, hire and engineer it. He has already done that."
Johnson, who got his Certified Information Systems Security (CISSP) professional accreditation 20 years ago, said he is excited about spending full time on the security business. "This is my passion," he said. "It's liberating to be able to focus on something I love."
The increased focus on security comes with EDTS Cyber- which has won big midmarket deals including providing cybersecurity services for tax preparation software provider TaxSlayer – growing at a rapid clip well beyond his expectations, said Johnson.
The key to EDTS Cyber's success was breaking it out as a separate business focused squarely on providing best in class security with its own top security talent and SOC, said Johnson.
"We felt it was important to be a totally separate entity- a full lifecycle security provider with our own security auditors, incident response team and our own SOC in Augusta, Ga," he said. "That has given us a big competitive advantage and it has moved us up the food chain in terms of client size with midmarket businesses and country governments."
Johnson said customers are anxious to partner with a full lifecycle security provider that can provide higher level cyber protection and incident response – backed up by foundational secure managed services platform. One recent big deal: a $280 million manufacturing company with more than 1,000 seats that is using EDTS Cyber as its primary cyber protection provider and incident response team. "Customers want the full lifecycle security services," he said. "This is what we do for a living."
The beauty of the merger with Corsica is an expansion of the security business to provide an SMB focused cyber protection stack along with a continued focus on midmarket deals, said Johnson. "It's a changing landscape and it's getting scarier everyday," he said."Some clients think they are too small to be attacked. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those customers are usually the easiest targets."
Johnson said foundational security is no longer good enough for customers. "Just having a firewall and antivirus is not enough," he said. "You have to have advanced security with a dedicated, trained professional team that have an 'always on' cadence using the best tools. There is no silver bullet out there. So we are constantly looking for a better mousetrap."
Johnson said he sees Corsica, EDTS, and EDTS Cyber– backed by Inverness Graham and new management talent - as a services game changer. "As an entrepreneur, we all hit glass ceilings at a certain point," he said. "That's when you look for outside investment and input from smart folks. With the cyber business, Corsica and further acquisitions across the country this thing is going to skyrocket."
The addition of Johnson adds to an "all star" management team that includes managed services guru David Powell, a 21 year IT services superstar who joined the company as chief revenue officer in January and Matthew Bagley, an enterprise IT operations veteran who joined Corsica as president last December.
Walls says the combined company is moving fast to scale out the business into secondary markets across the country. The focus, he said, is on building an unmatched complete IT services stack that includes security, compliance, cloud integration and IT automation. "Our aim is to make make sure we are delivering on all points of that stack so SMB customers can truly leverage technology to build a better business," he said.
Corsica expects to make another major acquisition later this year with more to follow. "The intent when we started down this path with Inverness was to build an all star team and not to be afraid to build an evolved platform," said Walls. "We are ready to do things in a way that customers need them done - not the same old MSP way. We are truly looking at how we evolve to be the standard by which other platforms are judged in the IT services industry."
As for the message to "all star" MSPs in secondary markets, Walls said: "We are bringing all stars together. If you think you are an all star give us a call. If you want to be part of something great come join us!"