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NTT Data Services Ups Digital Services With Two Acquisitions

Joseph F. Kovar

‘We’ve acquired many companies that build software. That software needs to talk with other things. In our strategy, we see cloud, data, and SaaS tied together via APIs and integration, so all those things have to talk with each other,’ says Jack Wankowski, head of NTT Data Services’ merger and acquisition team.

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Global IT solution provider NTT Data Services has in the last two weeks unveiled two acquisitions aimed at helping it build its digital product business.

The first, Apisero, is a Chandler, Ariz.-based MuleSoft strategic partner and Salesforce Ridge partner focused on delivering mission-critical solutions to help businesses accelerate their digital transformations. “Ridge” is equivalent to the silver level of other vendors’ partner programs.

The second, Mexico City-based Umvel, offers digital business strategy, user experience and user interface design, architecture, development, and deployment capabilities to clients in Mexico and the U.S.

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The acquisitions are related to a move by NTT Data Services, ranked No. 3 on CRN’s 2022 Solution Provider 500, to become a more significant provider a complete range of digital services to clients, said Jack Wankowski, head of the merger and acquisition team at the company, which is headquartered both in Tokyo and Plano, Texas.

The acquisition of Apisero brings NTT Data Services a team that is one of the biggest channel partners of MuleSoft, Wankowski said.

MuleSoft, which was acquired in 2018 by Salesforce in a massive $6.5-billion deal, provides a leading integration platform for SOA (service-oriented architecture), SaaS, and APIs.

“We’ve acquired many companies that build software,” Wankowski told CRN. “That software needs to talk with other things. In our strategy, we see cloud, data, and SaaS tied together via APIs and integration, so all those things have to talk with each other.”

When the Apisero deal closes as expected next month, NTT Data Services also gets about 2,000 people and a growing business, Wankowski said.

“As MuleSoft grows, Apisero grows,” he said. “So we invested as a way to be part of this growing business. Before the acquisition, we worked with MuleSoft. But Apisero is certainly bigger in this space than we are. So they will take the lead for our North American MuleSoft practice. Our focus now is bringing them in and getting the acquisition closed. Our goal is to eventually take the practice global.”

Apisero also brings a strong Salesforce practice, Wankowski said. Salesforce is a growing part of NTT Data Services’ strategy and one of its global alliance partners, he said.

“We have a fairly deliberate focus on investments around cloud, data, engineering, and building a SaaS force around Salesforce,” he said.

With Umvel, NTT Data Services gets access to a huge IT talent pool in Mexico with digital engineering experience working clients in the U.S. and Mexico, Wankowski said.

“This is an opportunity to invest in this space, and to increase our near-shore development capabilities,” he said. “We now have about 2,000 people in Mexico focused on ERP and infrastructure, including about 140 engineers and designers. We see a lot of opportunities down there.”

Umvel was NTT Data Services’ first deliberate acquisition in Mexico, Wankowski said.

NTT Data Services declined to say how much the company paid for Apisero and Umvel.

The acquisitions of Apisero and Umvel bring that integration of NTT Data Services’ software and development capabilities closer to different parts of customers’ digital transformation strategies, Wankowski said.

“We continue to use M&A as a programmatic strategy,” he said. We look for investments to support digital transformation for clients.”

NTT Data Services has lately been quite acquisitive around the digital services business.

The company in June unveiled the acquisition of Postlight, which builds B2C (business-to-consumer) applications to help businesses engage more closely with their own customers.

NTT Data in June 2021 acquired Nexient, a provider of cloud-native application and development services. That was followed in March of this year with the acquisition of Vectorform, a provider of digital application development and modernization capabilities, and late last year with the acquisition of Chainalytics, a supply chain consultant.

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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