6 Deals That Have Reshaped The Channel In 2017

Rackspace's Datapipe Acquisition Further Heats Up Hot Year For Channel M&A

Rackspace on Monday announced an agreement to acquire Datapipe in a blockbuster deal uniting two of the world's largest managed services providers.

The largest acquisition in San Antonio, Texas-based Rackspace's history looks to create an MSP juggernaut with a global data center footprint, broad customer base and deep alliances spanning all hyper-scale cloud operators.

The combined entity will see annual revenue of $2.4 billion, and employ roughly 6,700 people.

Rackspace's Chief Strategy Officer Matt Bradley told CRN that Datapipe's infrastructure, custom-built automation tools, public sector customers, extensive certifications and high-skilled employees would launch Rackspace's managed cloud portfolio to another level.

The Rackspace and Datapipe combination is the latest in a series of major channel M&A deals shifting the managed services landscape in the cloud era. Here are some other notable acquisitions in 2017.


Last week got started with HPE picking up Boston-based managed services and consulting powerhouse Cloud Technology Partners. Hewlett Packard Enterprise said it purchased the Amazon Web Services premier partner to bolster its hybrid IT prowess.

With CTP under its umbrella, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based tech giant will be better positioned to help end users migrate, innovate and operate in the cloud. The 200-employee solution provider has experience leveraging IoT, big data and machine learning to help its customers build new and disruptive cloud solutions.

DXC Buys Tribridge

DXC Technology doubled down on its Microsoft Dynamics 365 enterprise resource planning practice through its acquisition in July of Tampa, Fla.-based Tribridge, No. 165 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500.

The first-ever acquisition for Tysons, Va.-based DXC, No. 11 on the CRN Solution Provider (SP) 500, is intended to enhance its practices in health care, state and local government, consumer packaged goods, and professional services.

Tribridge, a six-time Dynamics 365 Worldwide and U.S. Partner of the Year winner, will become part of DXC Eclipse, an IT application, infrastructure and consulting business purchased in October 2015 for roughly $300 million.

Contegix Buys BlackMesh

Application management services provider Contegix announced its acquisition of cloud services provider BlackMesh in June, its third acquisition since private equity firm Strattam Capital bought a controlling share of the company in November.

A few weeks after the Strattam Capital deal, Contegix merged with Reading, Pa.-based MSP Distributed Systems Services. Contegix later acquired Admo.net Web Services, a Kansas City, Mo.-based cloud and managed services provider in a move to increase its cloud computing, hosting capabilities and data center resources.

Key to the deal for Ashburn, Va.-based BlackMesh is the company's specialization in web content management application hosting and secure compliance solutions, its presence in the Washington, D.C. area, and its work in the government arena.

HTC Buys Ciber

In an unexpected twist to its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in May, troubled IT consulting firm Ciber said a $93 million bid from HTC Global Ventures had won a U.S. Bankruptcy Court auction to buy the company.

Ciber, No. 43 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, announced Troy, Mich.-based HTC's winning bid in a court filing, and the companies won approval for the deal before a bankruptcy court judge.

HTC's $93 million bid vastly exceeded the $50 million "stalking horse" agreement Ciber reached with Paris-based Capgemini in April when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Rackspace Buys TriCore

Rackspace agreed to acquire TriCore Solutions, an application management specialist with global reach, in May. At the time, it was the largest deal in the company's history.

Rackspace said TriCore would help move its capabilities up the enterprise stack, the latest of several strategic shifts for the cloud hosting and managed services provider based in San Antonio, Texas.

TriCore focuses on managing enterprise applications – particularly mission-critical Oracle E-Business Suite and SAP solutions. The Boston-based solution provider offers technical support, monitoring, provisioning and custom development services to integrate those systems with other workloads.

Deloitte Buys Day 1

Global services giant Deloitte saw an opportunity in March to supercharge its practice by purchasing government-focused Amazon Web Services partner Day 1 Solutions.

Deloitte, No. 18 on CRN's Solution Provider 500 list, acquired the McLean, Va.-based company after a series of investments in cloud services meant to enhance its ability to deliver digital transformation to clients.

Day 1, which focuses on public sector IT, in recent years has branched beyond the state, local and education space into servicing federal government customers.