At the beginning of this year (January 1, 2021), Network Solutions & Technology (NST) acquired Certus Technologies. NST is a New York-based firm and Certus is located in New Jersey. This acquisition gives NST a presence in New Jersey, along with its other three offices located in New York, Long Island, and Tennessee. NST is currently looking to expand through more mergers and acquisitions, but they’re very specific in the criteria that they look for in existing companies. Certus Technologies fit their ideal characteristics in a few ways.
I sat down with Matt Brown and Evan Berk on The MSP Show to discuss the acquisition and the state of things for MSPs in general. One of the things that both Evan and Matt really highlighted was the fact that the organizations both meshed so well. That was the most important part of the deal for both parties. Both organizations share similar beliefs and values. Moving forward, it makes company culture a much better fit because all the people involved in both companies understand each other and are on the same page with the way they handle the business flow, deal with clients, and productively work.
The similar company cultures and the fact that both companies prioritized their staff and client services made the acquisition far more enticing for both parties. Both companies also use similar technology stacks, which also made the process far less difficult.
The similarities made this a great partnership because the principals at Certus Technologies aren’t retiring or leaving the business. They want to maintain involvement for years to come. The ability to combine networks and clients, gives NST the ability to expand their service offerings. For Certus Technologies, it provided a way to scale. Both companies get to maintain their own identities and their culture is so similar that it actually benefits both companies. It’s a win across the board.
In January, NST sent a letter to Certus Technology clients to discuss the merger and what it will mean for clients so that they could get acquainted with the new developments and feel confident going forward. In part, the letter discussed similar values and technologies and said that they, “ensure a smooth transition and integration for both team members and clients alike. NST offers additional services that will expand current offerings, including Physical Security Solutions, Web Development, Management, and Telephony.”
How MSPs Can Prepare for the Future
During our discussion, we examined the competitiveness of the mergers and acquisition landscape for MSPs currently. Matt Brown talked about the market when he was first in talks with Certus, about a year ago and said, “If I remember correctly, there were four acquiring companies to every seller.” For MSPs, it’s a competitive market and there are a few things to know if you want to grow your business.
Funding will be key in any kind of growth or scalability. It’s increasingly difficult to obtain funding through traditional or SBA loans. In a situation where you are open to an acquisition, you want to make sure that both companies are compatible. It’s not simply about funding. For the principal owners, there needs to be a great understanding of where the new entity is going and what that means for all the employees. In NST’s case, the previous owners of the companies they’ve acquired often stay on. As Matt discussed in the interview, he believes this is because he always brings value to the companies he acquires. He looks for businesses with similar cultures and mindsets and technology stacks to make the transition far more beneficial.
If you’re looking to scale your business or prepare for possible merger and acquisition scenarios, contact Ulistic to see how improving your digital marketing presence can help.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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