Bluehawk Networks, Preston Data Merge For Cloud, Services Expansion

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Bluehawk Networks, an IT services and remote services solution provider, has acquired Preston Data Solutions in a deal which brings it a data storage practice and the ability to expand its cloud services and Dell business.

Bluehawk Networks, Campbell, Calif., in December merged with Issaquah, Wash.-based Preston Data in an all-stock deal worth an unspecified amount, said Bruce Lichorowic, president and CEO of Bluehawk.

With the merger of Preston Data, Bluehawk expands into the storage business and grows its Dell business, Lichorowic said. Preston Data partnered with Dell's EqualLogic storage business and with Dell's services arm, and also worked with other storage vendors including Xsigo and CommVault.

Preston Data also brings offices in the Seattle and Portland areas, as well as experience as a licensed Dell reseller in Canada, Lichorowic said, opening the possibility of Bluehawk opening a Vancouver office in the near future.

The two companies knew each other through their participation in Dell's partner advisory council where Lichorowic and Kevin Paxton, president of Preston Data, sat next to each other, Lichorowic said.

Bluehawk is a Dell Authorized Services Provider for Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, Lichorowic said. "We are a unique blend," he said. "We're not only a Dell reseller, but we also offer managed services for Dell customers. This isn't something you can do without taking two companies and smashing them together. We couldn't have done this on our own."

Preston Data, along with a couple other recent mergers and acquisitions, is helping Bluehawk get ready to be a cloud services provider, Lichorowic said.

Bluehawk in March of 2010 merged with Vistanet IT, a managed IT services partner. "Vistanet IT complemented what we were doing, and let us go into our Dell installed base to offer managed services," he said.

The company in April 2010 acquired Kailea Networks, developer of an IT service management application, InSite, native to the platform. Kailea also brought Bluehawk IT operations management, service management, and network and server management capabilities.

Together with Preston Data, Bluehawk is ready to move into cloud services and service desk-related offerings, Lichorowic said. "All the mergers and acquisitions we did, the single focus was that we could sell VMware and servers and storage and services all to the same part of the customer, the IT department," he said.

Bluehawk has a couple other possible acquisitions on its radar screen, Lichorowic said. "But we're a bit bloated now," he said. "We need to digest our other mergers. What happens is, you merge and merge until the systems break. You find that QuickBooks is not big enough, or that you need a new accounting program. Everything gets stressed."

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