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Converge Technology Solutions On Buying Spree With Four Acquisitions In One Month

‘We can bring in data scientists and experts in cloud services, enhanced by expertise in Red Hat and VMware. We integrate new capabilities almost immediately. All the companies we acquire have access to all our capabilities. We bring them immediately into the entire Converge family,’ says Converge CEO Shaun Maine.

Converge Technology Solutions, a solution provider founded just over three years ago, closed four acquisitions in the past 30 days or so while also closing a sale of over $75 million of its shares as a way to fund further acquisitions.

The acquisitions, including those of companies in Canada and the U.S., are only the latest in a string of 17 acquisitions Converge has made since its founding in September 2017, said Shaun Maine, CEO of the Toronto, Ontario-based solution provider.

With those acquisitions, Converge has become a billion-dollar run-rate solution provider, one that in 2020 debuted on CRN’s Solution Provider 500 list at No. 50.

[Related: AHEAD To Acquire RoundTower, Kovarus, Creating $2.1 Billion Channel Behemoth]

The latest acquisitions are part of a three-stage program for building Converge Technology Solutions into the company it now is, Maine told CRN.

The first stage was to build broad coverage in the U.S. and Canada with solution providers with a strong presence in the midmarket, he said.

The second stage was to build a deep focus in key technologies including DevOps and artificial intelligence, and then to scale to be present in what Maine called every National Football League city.

“NFL cities are where our customers are,” he said. “NFL is focused on the biggest markets. We want to provide local services for those markets. So we buy companies in the $75 million to $100 million revenue size. Together we can build larger capabilities. We’re not in all the NFL cities yet. There are still about 10 to go.”

However, Converge has a pipeline of 84 potential acquisition targets that Maine has had conversations with.

“We try to buy VARs and turn them into cloud services providers,” he said. “In phase two, we built up these capabilities including AWS, Google Cloud Platform, [Microsoft] Azure, and artificial intelligence, all from our acquisitions. Now we have this wonderful platform in North America. And next quarter, we’re looking to start building the same in Europe.”

Converge on Dec. 2 unveiled the acquisition of Workgroup Connections, a St. Louis-based and Denver-based technology solution provider focused on leading-edge cloud, software development, and licensing services and solutions, Maine said.

Greg Berard, president of Converge, told CRN that Workgroup Connections has a strong focus on IBM’s distributed software, including its analytics, cloud, security , and automation software.

Converge followed that up with the acquisition of CarpeDatum, a Denver-based solution provider with a focus on analytics across every industry and around financial planning in particular, Maine said.

“We already had strong analytics capabilities in the Northeastern U.S.,” he said. “This will add analytics to the Western and central U.S. CarpeDatum is heavy on the consulting side. It looks more like an Accenture than a reseller.”

Next came the acquisition of Vivo Application Studios, a Regina, Saskatchewan-based developer of a proven Identity-Management-as-a-Service platform, giving Converge a strong software play and a way to build on its acquisition of blockchain technology developer Becker-Carroll in early 2018, Maine said.

While Becker-Carroll focuses on using blockchain technology to verify information in an irrefutable way, Vivo’s focus on the health-care market combined with the Becker-Carroll technology provides a trust ecosystem with privacy that allows health-care providers to build on Canada’s health privacy regulations or build a COVID-19 vaccine passport with proof that the holder was vaccinated, he said. Eventually, that kind of capability will be brought to the U.S. health-care market, he said.

The most recent acquisition, that of New York-based Vicom Computer Services, brings Converge a full-service, multi-cloud infrastructure provider with a big focus on the financial services market, Maine said.

Vicom is the fourth acquisition Converge has done in the New York market, following the December 2018 acquisition of Lighthouse Computer Services, a provider of analytics, hybrid cloud, infrastructure and security; the November 2018 acquisition of Essex Technology Group, a provider of cloud, cognitive and cybersecurity solutions; and the November 2019 acquisition of VSS Holdings, a provider of managed services IT portfolio management and consulting services.

“We’re really trying to dominate the New York financial market,” he said.

Maine said Converge has consistently focused on the midmarket because of its immense possibilities. He said the midmarket IT business is worth about $650 billion, compared with only $150 billion for the large business market, and yet remains underserved, which is why Converge has made it a priority.

“We can bring in data scientists and experts in cloud services, enhanced by expertise in Red Hat and VMware,” he said. “We integrate new capabilities almost immediately. All the companies we acquire have access to all our capabilities. We bring them immediately into the entire Converge family.”

For 2021, Maine said he sees increased movement by customers on their cloud journeys, with security issues now becoming their top priority.

“In the first half of the year, I don’t expect people going back to the office with the pandemic,” he said. “Work-from-home will be prevalent for the entire year. But we will see more face-to-face interactions as the year goes on.”

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