MetTel, an emerging business service provider, is acquiring Staples' IT provider subsidiary Thrive Networks, a move that immediately enhances its managed services and support solutions.
Expanding its cloud service presence is a key focus of this deal.
Thrive currently provides two main services: Multi-tenant Hosted Exchange, which makes email, calendaring and contact management platform accessible anywhere on any device; and Dedicated Hosted Servers.
In addition, MetTel will have an even broader managed service offering that will now include network management and monitoring, virtualization solutions, data protection and a cloud service that includes email, file sharing and data back-up.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
It appears that MetTel isn't going to make any big changes to Thrive.
According to the company, all of Thrive's 71 employees, including over 50 engineers, will continue to operate out of the network operation center in Tewksbury, Mass., and the management team of Thrive, including CTO Dylan O'Connor, will continue to be responsible for managing the business.
MetTel CEO Marshall Aronow told FierceTelecom that its acquisition of Thrive will enable it to help its own customers meet their goals to consolidate their services with one provider.
"A lot of our enterprise customers would like to continue the kind of consolidation and get one throat to choke to manage their desktop," he said.
Aronow added the other big developments are the consolidation of its Unified Communications services and helping retail customers meet Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance requirements.
"The other big trend we see is Unified Communications consolidation and the whole PCI security trend," Aronow said. "A lot of our retail customers are behind the eight ball on that so we see in Thrive the chance to continue to offer the consolidation and outsourcing of managed desktop that they don't want to pursue and the expertise to offer a hosted suite, a UC product, and most importantly, the PCI security product."
Over time, MetTel will be able to cross-sell Thrive's products to its customer base.
O'Connor said becoming part of MetTel is a better fit for Thrive's own growth strategy.
"Thrive has spent the last seven years as a Staples company, where we have been building and priming for scalability and developing products that we think are enticing to the market and internal operating procedures that support high scalability," he said. "I think our struggle with Staples was that we weren't a fit for the direction they were moving in, but it's nice to be part of the arsenal that MetTel is bringing to bear over the next couple of years so we can grow the business and leverage some of those scalable infrastructures and procedures we built."
Acquisitions are just one part of MetTel's growth strategy. The service provider announced in August that it was increasing its presence in the Canadian market with the addition of four regions. Earlier in 2012, the service provider began offering service in Puerto Rico.
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