Solution Provider M&A: TDS Acquires Vital Support Systems

Vital, a well-known converged infrastructure and virtualization partner based in Urbandale, Iowa, posted revenues of $76 million in 2011, and TDS expects to use Vital to strengthen its TDS Hosted and Managed Services subsidiary.

Jeff Sparling, Vital's CEO, described the acquisition as a "proud moment in our company's history."

"Now, our customers can depend on Vital to deliver an infrastructure solution whether it be installed or managed on-site, at a hosted site or from the cloud," Sparling said in a statement.

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

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Vital has about 140 employees, and its vendor certifications include Cisco Gold, HP Elite, EMC Velocity Premier, VMware Premier and Microsoft Gold. The company came up as a traditional VAR, but it also has deep expertise in hosted and managed services and has offices in Urbandale, Cedar Rapids, Omaha, Kansas City and Rockford, Ill.

It won Cisco's Central Region Commercial Partner of the Year award in 2011, and it is a member of CRN's Tech Elite 250 listing of top-ranked solution providers. Sparling and Vital's executive team, along with Vital's employees, will keep their existing roles within TDS, the company said.

TDS Telecommunications Corp., a subsidiary of 40-year-old, Chicago-headquartered TDS, is the country's seventh-largest telecom provider and claims more than 1.1 million equivalent access lines. TDS, the parent company, controls the TDS brands and U.S. Cellular, its majority-owned wireless subsidiary. It offers telecom services to more than 7 million customers in 36 states.

In recent years, TDS has made several channel acquisitions, including OneNeck IT Services in June 2011, TEAM Technologies in Dec. 2010, and VISI Inc. in March 2010.