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SHI Acquires Corporate Training Group, Looks To Improve Customer, Internal Training

SHI International has worked with Corporate Training Group for about 15 years to train customers and its own personnel, and hopes bringing CTG in-house will add flexibility and scale to its training activities and boost its professional services.

Solution provider SHI International this week said it acquired Corporate Training Group in a move to better provide training to customers looking to better take advantage of SHI's professional services activities.

Corporate Training Group will also help SHI improve its internal training, said Ed McNamara, senior director of communications and marketing for the Somerset, N.J.-based solution provider.

Both companies are women-owned, privately held organizations. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

[Related: Boom In AWS Business Driving SHI's Growth So Far In 2018]

SHI is one of the top 10 solution providers in the U.S., with a goal of reaching $10-billion in revenue in 2019. SHI was ranked number 8 in CRN's 2018 Solution Provider 500 list, and was ranked an Elite 150 MSP in CRN's 2019 MSP 500 list.

CTG was founded in 1991 as a provider of training for IT professional, end users, and business users. It provides both live and self-paced training, with training done on-line and on-premises. It is a long-time member of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners, or IAMCP, McNamara told CRN.

SHI has partnered with CTG for about 15 years, both to train SHI's customers and its own people.

Despite the long-term partnership, SHI decided it was important to acquire CTG for several reasons, McNamara said.

First, he said, rather than making a lot of acquisitions, SHI is very active in re-investing in the company, including its staff. "We've been working with CTG for 15 years training our people," he said. "It's a known brand in our organization."

Second, McNamara said, SHI has a large customer base, especially on the volume licensing side. "Customers traditionally underutilize training resources," he said. "So now we can better identify where those resources are underutilized."

The third is the expansion in the scale and scope of SHI's professional services business, McNamara said.

"Customers ask us for training on the technology they have deployed and are utilizing," he said. "Including training with our services allows us to broaden our portfolio of offerings."

McNamara admitted that SHI could have continued contracting with CTG rather than acquire it. "But as professional services activates grow more complex, having the training in-house is key to better response to customers' requirements," he said. "It's important to have that alignment and ability to quickly respond."

While CTG likely partners with SHI competitors on customer training, McNamara said he did not know the extent. However, he said, SHI probably will not cut off those relationships despite now owning CTG.

"We never try to cut anybody out," he said. "This is IT. Everybody partners and competes with each other. SHI's history is to not cut people off. But it will be on a case-by-case basis."

Lisa Eyerkuss, president of Corporate Training Group, is now working with SHI's human relations organization to grow its internal training program. Rob Eyerkuss, director of sales and strategic alliances at CTG, is becoming SHI's senior director of the Corporate Training Group within SHI's Enterprise Solutions Group.

SHI is not very active in mergers and acquisitions.

SHI early last year acquired eTelligent Solutions, a developer of a platform for management and analytics related to technology procurement, deployment, and asset management.

The company in 2016 purchased Eastridge, an 18-person Microsoft solution provider as a way to provide more support around Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365, and Azure offerings.

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