BCM One To Acquire CloudStrategies, Strengthening Its Microsoft Cloud Expertise

BCM One Wednesday said it has agreed to acquire Microsoft Gold partner CloudStrategies Group to bolster its Microsoft cloud expertise.

New York-based BCM One has been partnering with Cedar Knolls, N.J.-based CloudStrategies, one of the first Microsoft cloud resellers and a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider, for about two years. BCM One has been a Microsoft Silver partner for more than a year and became a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider just two weeks ago, but it doesn't have the expertise nor the certifications CloudStrategies does, Frank Ahearn, founder and co-CEO of BCM One, told CRN in an interview.

The two companies did not disclose the terms of the deal.

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The acquisition will give BCM One access to CloudStrategies' team of Microsoft support personnel who are well versed in deploying and managing Microsoft's suite of cloud services, including Office 365, Skype for Business and Azure, Ahearn said.

’What really enticed us about CloudStrategies was the number of Microsoft certifications they had," he said. ’[The partnership] opens up our full suite of products to their existing clients, and our clients can now have their Microsoft cloud expertise.’

Today, CloudStrategies has Microsoft’s coveted Gold partner status in cloud productivity, as well as Silver status in its messaging, midmarket solution provider and small and midmarket cloud solutions categories. BCM One wants to go for the Gold in ’every category that Microsoft will allow,’ Ahearn said.

Under the agreement, the CloudStrategies team will become BCM One employees. Existing CloudStrategies clients will have access to the same team and the same level of technical depth, but will now be surrounded with additional resources, including a fully-staffed, 24/7 network operations center and support desk, said Pete Zarras, president and CEO of CloudStrategies, who will now be heading up BCM One's Microsoft practice.

While CloudStrategies was one of the first Microsoft cloud partners, the company has been operating on a "boutique" scale.

"The opportunity to fold our organization into BCM One gives us the size and scale we lacked on our own, a much larger client base, and even a nationwide channel to sell and deliver Microsoft cloud services with," Zarras said.

"We can help accelerate BCM One's journey into the Microsoft space," he added.

CloudStrategies' clients will also have access to BCM One's legacy telecom and networking services, an area that CloudStrategies was lacking prior to the acquisition, Zarras said.

"We'll be able to walk in with a much broader set of services that clients have a genuine need for,' he said.

Fellow solution providers and end customers have looked at BCM One as a competitive local exchange carrier, but the acquisition will change the industry’s perception, BCM One’s Ahearn said.

’It took us a while to have the channel look at us as a true managed services provider, but now … the channel is taking warmly to us being a Microsoft [Cloud Solution Provider] and having that expertise,’ he said. ’We are really investing in Microsoft’s cloud solutions.’

BCM One plans to grow its team geographically, as well as its client base. The provider also plans on doubling down on Skype voice services and prioritizing Azure services, Zarras said.

Down the road, Zarras sees opportunities for growth leveraging Microsoft’s Dynamic CRM solution and Microsoft's enterprise mobility platform.

At the same time, BCM One is still hot on the acquisition trail, Ahearn said.

’We are looking for any [provider] that can bring something different to our team that we don’t have expertise in,’ he said.