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CGI Acquires HMB’s Professional Services Business To Expand Its Footprint

The acquisition not only enhances CGI’s Columbus, Ohio, and central Ohio business, it also gives customers access to a wider range of solutions to more quickly implement digital transformation initiatives, Dave Henderson, president of U.S. commercial and state government operations, tells CRN.

CGI Wednesday unveiled its acquisition of the professional services business of Harris, Mackessy & Brennan (HMB) as a way to expand its footprint to Columbus, Ohio, and the central Ohio market.

The acquisition, which closed Dec. 31 for an undisclosed amount, brings CGI a team of 165 consultants, a new commercial portfolio, and new relationships with the state of Ohio, said Dave Henderson, president of U.S. commercial and state government operations for Fairfax, Va.-based CGI.

The HMB professional services business brings a similar metro model to that of CGI, Henderson told CRN.

[Related: COVID-19 Accelerating Digital Transformation: McKinsey]

“Both organizations want to be close to their clients,” he said. “They are fairly well-centralized in central Ohio. We are focused on building talent in areas that are strategic for us. They also bring us high-end consultants. It looks like an organization that rolls up its sleeves and gets work done. They check all the boxes.”

With the HMB professional services business, CGI is also getting a team with solid cloud and application modernization skills as well as a deep understanding of the utilities business and strong relationships in that market, Henderson said.

“We see Columbus as a growth metro,” he said. “They will bring their skills to our portfolio in that region. HMB people can now access the global capabilities of CGI. They can access the CGI scale and be part of a more end-to-end provider. They will be the tip of the spear for CGI in central Ohio.”

This is CGI’s 89th acquisition since its IPO in 1986 and the 10th in the past two years, Henderson said.

“We’re very selective,” he said. “We really do believe it’s about finding the right companies and not just about getting more people or more revenue. It has to be the full package.”

CGI, which is ranked No. 12 on CRN’s 2020 Solution Provider 500, found the HMB professional services business via word-of-mouth from its own Columbus, Ohio-based team, Henderson said.

Going forward, 2021 will see CGI working to meet continually evolving customer needs, including issues related to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Henderson said.

“During the pandemic, we pivoted like our customers did to work from home,” he said. “In 2021, we’ll be chomping at the bit to get out and be in closer proximity to clients.”

A big focus of meetings in the new year will be on digital transformation, Henderson said.

“If in the past a client didn’t have strong digital capabilities for their employees and suppliers, it was exposed in 2020,” he said. “So we’re helping them accelerate their digital transformation in 2021. We’re embedded with clients to help them solve their requirements with global technologies and solutions, such as global digital agility with remote technologies we are using ourselves. There is still a lot to be done to make clients more agile.”

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