Storage VAR MTI Acquires Collective Technologies

By acquiring Austin, Texas-based Collective, MTI picks up a nationwide consulting business that’s focuses purely on services and has no hardware reselling arm, said Thomas Raimondi, president and CEO of MTI, Irvine, Calif. The deal was valued at $12 million.

"This is our first pure-play consulting acquisition," Raimondi said. "No hardware resale. One-hundred percent pure services, with a broad-based practice."

Collective has about 95 consultants led by CEO Ed Taylor, who after the acquisition will run MTI's North American services division. All of the consultants are expected to join MTI. Collective's revenue has been around $18 million to $20 million per year, Raimondi said. MTI last had a revenue of $155 million, of which about $140 million came from services, he said.

Collective also brings designations and practices that Raimondi said will enhance MTI's storage-centric business, which is based heavily on EMC. The storage vendor holds an equity stake in MTI.

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With Collective, MTI picks up Microsoft Gold partner status, which it previously didn’t have, and becomes a Microsoft national integrator partner. Collective also brings MTI deep Microsoft Exchange and messaging expertise plus strong Symantec backup software experience, he said.

The funds for the acquisition came from a $20 million round of funding MTI closed late last year that included $5 million from EMC. Raimondi said the funding in part was intended for acquisitions.

Before acquiring Collective, MTI interviewed about 20 prospective acquisition companies over the past year, Raimondi said. MTI's last of four acquisitions was done in the late 1990s.

MTI is finished with acquisitions for now, Raimondi said. "We have most of the pieces we need with what we have grown internally and with Collective. We will spend the next couple of quarters integrating Collective, and then we'll see how to proceed [with acquisitions] based on customer needs."