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Red River Acquires Fellow MSP CWPS For Cloud, Services Capabilities

‘Acquisition is a big part of our growth. Over the last six years, we've grown organically very well. But we saw the IT industry changing so rapidly that we knew we couldn't invest fast enough to grow organically,’ Red River Chairman and CEO Rick Bolduc tells CRN.

Red River, a solution provider and MSP with strong experience in the government, commercial and education markets, Friday unveiled its fourth acquisition in three years with the purchase of MSP CWPS.

The acquisition of Chantilly, Va.-based CWPS fills a couple of geographic and technology holes and will be a contributor to future growth, said Rick Bolduc, chairman and CEO of Claremont, N.H.-based Red River.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Red River's growth strategy stems from a combination of organic and inorganic growth, Bolduc told CRN.  

[Related: Cloud Power: MSP InterVision Buys Infinity To Build Hyper-Scale Cloud Business]

"Acquisition is a big part of our growth," he said. "Over the last six years, we've grown organically very well. But we saw the IT industry changing so rapidly that we knew we couldn't invest fast enough to grow organically."  

The company's prior three acquisitions all contributed to that growth, Bolduc said.

Red River in December acquired Texas consultancy Ambonare as a way to increase its presence in the Lone Star State and gain expertise around application development, cloud computing, DevOps and Docker, along with mobile and web application development, software product engineering, cloud migration and application modernization.

To boost its position in the fast-growing software space and gain a foothold in the Western U.S., Red River in June 2017 acquired Sacramento, Calif.-based Natoma Technologies.

The company in October 2016 acquired Boston-based Accunet, which brought a strong Dell EMC technology partnership, as well as a strong commercial business, combined with an expanded geographic presence throughout much of New England, as well as a couple of other smaller offices across the country.

"Part of our long-term strategy was to build cloud services capabilities," Bolduc said. "Our last two acquisitions brought us cloud management and application development. Cloud services is a natural play for the managed services environment. With the last two acquisitions and this one, we are leap-frogging the competition to get to where the industry is going."

Jason Waldrop, CEO of CWPS, told CRN that his company serves as some or all of the IT department for hundreds of clients with services ranging from help desk to full managed services. The company has over the past few years also built out expertise in cloud platforms like Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

"Many of our customers are growing allergic to big data center recapitalizations and want to turn that to an operating expense," Waldrop said. "We have the expertise to do that."

CWPS has been profitable every year since the 1990s, and was an early AWS partner, but more recently built its Microsoft expertise with the help of that vendor after seeing strong interest from customers looking to move to Office 365 and then move their enterprise applications to Azure, Waldrop said.  

The decision to sell to Red River comes as CWPS looks at how best to grow its business, Waldrop said.

"We're at that awkward size," he said. "We're too big to be small, and too small to be big. As our customers grow, we feel the need to find a partner who could help us grow faster than the industry."

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