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Curvature To Broaden Data Center Services Footprint With CSU Industries Buy

The deal, Curvature CEO Mike Sheldon said, is expected to double the company's services organization.

Curvature, a network infrastructure-focused solution and services provider, has acquired third-party maintenance specialist CSU Industries, both companies revealed Thursday.

Mike Sheldon, president and CEO of Curvature, which until July was known as Network Hardware Resale, said the CSU acquisition will allow Curvature to significantly broaden its third-party maintenance services offerings, particularly in the server market.

Curvature started reselling server hardware roughly two years ago, but, from a services perspective, has still been focused predominantly on networking. This acquisition, Sheldon said, changes that.

[Related: New Lease On Life? Curvature Pits Its NetSure Tech Support Service Against Cisco's SmartNet]

"It really meshes nicely with our move into servers a couple years ago," Sheldon told CRN. "We are doing some maintenance in servers, but the vast majority of our maintenance revenue to date is still from networking. This not quite doubles the size of our third-party maintenance division."

Inwood, N.Y.-based CSU Industries is a reseller partner of Hewlett-Packard, VMware and a few other major technology vendors, but specializes in third-party maintenance for servers and storage.

Sheldon said there is very little overlap between the legacy CSU and Curvature offerings, as Curvature has focused for years almost exclusively on the networking market.

"[CSU] does virtually no networking. It's almost 100 percent server and storage," Sheldon said. "In fact, when they did networking maintenance services, they were outsourcing to us."

Curvature bringing CSU into its fold is one of several changes the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company has recently undergone. Curvature in July shed its former name 'Network Hardware Resale,' in a move that solidified its ongoing transformation from a provider of pre-owned networking gear -- and especially Cisco's -- into an end-to-end infrastructure solutions and services provider.

In addition to diversifying its hardware portfolio, Curvature now offers a full line of servers, storage and virtualization solutions from vendors that include HP, IBM and Dell. The company has also doubled down on NetSure, its third-party maintenance alternative to Cisco's SmartNet.

According to Sheldon, there were roughly 500 Cisco customers using NetSure two years ago. Today that number has grown to more than 2,000.

Sheldon said the CSU acquisition will eventually help NetSure evolve into a more "complete data center offering."

Curvature has also opened up its NetSure service to the channel, and Sheldon said he is already "actively pursuing" several large systems integrators to bring the service to market.

"We signed with two, and are working on more," Sheldon said, declining to give specific company names.

Curvature and CSU together have over 3,000 global customers and more than 500 field locations worldwide, Sheldon said.

Curvature will absorb the vast majority of the CSU team, and leverage CSU's New York headquarters as a center of excellence for server maintenance and support. CSU CEO Avram Weissman will stay on board for the next six months to a year, but will then step down to pursue other opportunities, Sheldon said.

The CSU and Curvature teams are expected to be fully integrated by the end of the year, Sheldon said. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

PUBLISHED NOV. 6, 2014

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