Avaya Channel M&A Watch: SPS Buys Jones Communications

Financial terms of the deal, which was confirmed Monday, were not provided. Jones, which was founded in 1985 and is based in Schertz, Texas, brings to SPS a depth of Nortel-specific expertise and longstanding relationships, particularly in the health care and government markets, according to SPS.

[Related: VAR500 M&A: 20 Networking Channel Acquisitions Worth Watching ]

Parsippany, N.J.-based SPS, one of Avaya's top 10 national partners and No. 131 on CRN's 2011 VAR500 list, will retain Jones' team. Stacy Herrera, former Jones Communications president, will lead an SPS practice covering customer strategies for high-end system design, upgrade and migration and investment protection, and Jeffrey Jones, Jones' founder, will be an SPS director and technical thought leader for SPS' Nortel practice, SPS confirmed to CRN.

Jim Felicetti, SPS' COO, said Jones has a long-established reputation for technical excellence and customer service and is a key addition to SPS' Nortel practice, which focuses on supporting and migrating legacy Nortel customers to Avaya's platforms.

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"SPS has partnered with the Jones team on several strategic accounts requiring highly specialized Nortel skills and competencies," Felicetti said in a statement. "Our new relationship enables SPS to position Jones' engineering capabilities and technical skill sets throughout our dedicated Nortel practice and serve clients nationally."

Avaya's 2009 acquisition of Nortel's former enterprise unit is driving substantial consolidation in the channel, particularly among large Avaya partners seeking to expand their Nortel-specific sales and engineering bases.

SPS has been among the most active of those acquirers, having already bought three well-known Avaya shops in the past two years: Consultedge in August 2010, Spenser Communications in February 2011, and Imagine Technologies in December 2011.

Other recent moves have included several acquisitions by Avaya powerhouse Carousel Industries, and the recent buyout of Relational Technology Solutions' Avaya and networking-related assets by Transcend United.