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‘Serious Consolidator’ Sirius Computer Solutions Buys Advanced Systems Group

Advanced Systems Group , which has a strong artificial intelligence and cloud business, was founded 30 years ago by channel pioneer and ASG President David "Stosch" Sosnowski- referred to by a prominent M&A deal maker as one of the smartest guys in the channel.

Solution provider behemoth Sirius Computer Solutions is going back to the future playing the role of ‘serious consolidator’ in the channel with its acquisition of one of the most highly regarded solution providers in the country, Advanced Systems Group (ASG), sources told CRN.

Thornton, Colo.-based ASG, No. 244 on CRN's 2019 Solution Provider 500 list, with a strong artificial intelligence and cloud business, was founded 30 years ago by channel pioneer and ASG President David "Stosch" Sosnowski (pictured above).

Sosnowski, who in 1980 started with a single ComputerLand store and over the next 40 years built it into ASG, a leading-edge IT solution provider with a major Western U.S. presence.

[Related: MSP Consolidation: Gordon Flesch Expands MSP Business With ITP Acquisition]

ASG is Sirius' first acquisition since Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a private investment firm, last year acquired a majority equity interest in Sirius.

Before the Clayton, Dubilier & Rice deal, the $3.5 billion Sirius, No. 22 on CRN's 2019 SP500 list, was a serial acquirer buying at least seven companies from 2014 to 2017 culminating in the blockbuster acquisition of Forsythe Technology, which increased its revenue by 50 percent and catapulted Sirius to number 20 on the CRN SP500.

Executives of both Sirius and ASG declined to discuss the deal or its financial terms.

"Sirius is a serious consolidator in the channel," said Martin Wolf, founder and president of president of martinwolf M&A Advisors of Scottsdale, Ariz., one of the top channel investment advisory deal-makers. "ASG has technology-oriented people, and Stosch is a serious solutions guy. This is a great opportunity for Stosch's people."

Wolf, who has known Sosnowski since the early days of ASG, called him one of the smartest guys in the history of the channel.

"He started with a ComputerLand store selling desktops and luggables," said Wolf, who from 1989 to 1884 was president of ComputerLand's franchise and aggregation business. "I’m glad he is getting rewarded. At a time when people were selling $5,000 laser printers, David was envisioning the server business. He became a big Sun partner. That was a whole different language.”

ASG has a great operation and a long history, as well as both a very talented technical team and a geographical base that fits with Sirius' business, Wolf said.

Other Sirius acquisitions going back to 2014 include Brightlight Consulting, Varro, Avnet Inc.’s digital solution services, Force 3, thinkASG, and Continuum Security Solutions.

The acquisition brings Sirius – which over 2,600 employees, an additional 67 employees, according to the ASG LinkedIn profile. ASG has offices in Boise, Idaho; Salt Lake City, Utah; Seattle, Wash.; San Diego, Calif.; and Phoenix, Ariz.

Sosnowski in 1980 founded Virtual Enterprises, a ComputerLand franchise near Denver, and eventually expanded into eight locations.

ASG was founded a year later by Sosnowski and Executive Vice President John Murphy, and eventually became one of the country's largest channel partners of Sun Microsystems and a premier storage solution provider.

However, as Sun's business shrank with the decline of the Unix market to the point where it was acquired by Oracle in 2010, ASG transformed first into a data center infrastructure and relocation specialist and gradually moved into managed services and working with leading-edge technologies including the cloud and A.I. operations or AIops.

Sirius was established in 1980 as Star Data Systems, and went through several iterations before being renamed Sirius Computer Solutions in 1993. For much of its history, Sirius was one of IBM's top channel partners. The company currently has over 5,500 active clients from small businesses to large enterprises throughout the U.S.

Last April, Sirius Computer Solutions CEO Joe Mertens told CRN that the Clayton, Dubilier, & Rice deal would allow Sirius to grow both its security and services practices

“Our focus over the years has been very much a combination of both organic, as well as acquisition related growth,” he said. “I don’t see that changing so we will continue to focus there. We have also made very specific investments around security and services. We will continue there as well. Having a larger private equity firm, providing us with that support going forward will certainly accelerate our ability to grow and build in those key areas.”

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