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MSP Consolidation: Gordon Flesch Expands MSP Business With ITP Acquisition

Gordon Flesch Company, or GFC, a 60-plus-year-old technology solution provider that entered the MSP business seven years ago, has more than doubled its headcount and greatly expanded its services capabilities with its ITP acquisition.

Office technology solution provider and MSP Gordon Flesch Company on Tuesday made a significant expansion of its managed services practices with the acquisition of fellow Madison, Wisc.-based Information Technology Partners.

The acquisition more than doubles the headcount of Gordon Flesch Company, or GFC, from 30 people to 70 people, and brings it some unique services capabilities it can offer to its large midwestern client base.

GFC was founded in 1956, and has grown to be a major provider of office technology solutions from South Dakota to Ohio, and counts Canon, Ricoh, and Lexmark among its primary vendor partners, said Jeff Dotzler, vice president of the company's GFConsulting Group.

[Related: Selling An MSP Business? Here’s Everything You Should Know]

Both GFC and ITP are family-owned businesses, and declined to discuss the acquisition price.

GFC started its own MSP practice from scratch about seven years ago with a focus on the Continuum MSP platform, Dotzler told CRN.

"ITP gives a big boost of momentum for us," he said. "We're now working with a company that has figured out where the potholes are and how to avoid them."

ITP Owner Paul Hager told CRN that his organization brings GFC a couple of important unique capabilities that will help it quickly expand its MSP business.

They include Tier-1 Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider status as well as a well-established hyper-converged infrastructure practice built around two key partners, San Jose, Calif.-based Nutanix and Indianapolis, Ind.-based Scale Computing, Hager said.

"As our reach into the Microsoft cloud stack grows, it will be better for all of us and our customers," he said.

ITP was founded in 2003. Hager joined the company about 10 years ago, and five years later purchased it. Going forward, he said, he will be GFC's director of solutions responsible for pre-sales to delivery of services across the Midwest.

ITP is GFC's third acquisition in the last year. The company in September acquired a Canon dealership in Iowa, and followed up in December with the acquisition of a Canon dealer in Indiana. ITP, its third acquisition, is the first of an MSP, Dotzler said.

The two companies have known each other and competed for many of the same customers in the Madison, Milwaukee, and Appleton areas, where both have offices.

"There were a few deals that went one way or the other over the years," Hager said.

Dotzler said that there are synergies in the deal that spring from having offices in those three cities as well as from working with many of the same vendors including Continuum and Autotask.

This could include some office consolidation, but will not include a big change in personnel, he said.

"Gordon Flesch's goal in any acquisition is to find the right spot for as many people as possible," he said. "We've looked at this and we don't see a lot of overlap. There's not enough redundancies to expect big changes. ... We'll be looking at best practices in both organizations and applying them across both systems. Our go-to-market strategies are similar."

GFC's growth as a managed service provider, which is now being accelerated with its ITP acquisition, comes at a time when its print business is still growing in a market that overall is not, Dotzler said.

"That market in total is not growing," he said. "But our share is continuing to grow organically, with acquisitions, and with our close relationships with two market leaders, Canon and Ricoh. The market is seeing a drop in printing pages and devices, but we are continuing to grow. It's no secret that at some point there will be a challenge when the overall pie stops growing."

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