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Teksys bulks up with Tech MS acquisition

Gains virtualization specialist

Teksys has snaffled the assets of a smaller rival reseller called Technology Made Simple, usually better known as Tech MS. Terms are undisclosed.

Tech MS has a drawer full of badges: it is a Microsoft Gold Partner, an HP Platinum partner and a partner of VMWare and Citrix. The West-London based firm has been growing fast. It ranked 24th in a "recent" Sunday Times Tech Track 100 - according to Teksys. (We couldn't find it - maybe it is on the 2008 list, which is published next week?) Annual revs stand at £8M.

But times are tough - otherwise Teksys would not be able to go asset cherry-picking.

Teksys boss Alan Watkins said he made the acquisition after "dialogue with Tech MS's banks", but confirmed that the company was not in administration. He expects that the "majority of their staff will be coming with us".

Teksys is based in Fleet, Hants and was reviewing a London office "irrespective of this [acquisition]". So, Watkins intends to maintain a London office, although something more central than Greenford, where Tech MS is based, is an option.


Teksys is finalising accounts for the year to June-end, and expects to come in at £25m-£26m revs. Watkins is optimistic that Tech MS will bulk up revs by rather more than a third, courtesy of upselling across the combined customer base. Tech MS is particularly good on virtualization, while Teksys is a big Microsoft shop, carving out niches in managed services and software asset management.

Watkins and his business partner, Kevin Lewis, like buying and building companies - they bought Teksys in January this year from British channel stalwarts Sean Frohlich and Simon Ogden. Watkins, who was a founder of Cisco in the UK, thinks the credit-starved channel will present many more acquisition opportunities in coming months. And, since he and Lewis are funding roll-ups out of their back pockets, presumably at bargain basement prices.

He is positioning Teksys very much at the mid-market, gunning for customers who "don't culturally fit with BT", or other very big organisations. And is keen on the new tech business models that are emerging for this market.

."We can make sure that our customers have the technology that they need and that we don't load them up with the technology that we don't need...We are embracing software-as-a-service and managed service. For us, it gives us annuity revenues and predictability on where your margins will come from." he said.

Not that Teksys has any real choice in the matter: "Any channel situation is a route to market for the vendor," Watkins said. "If you don't adapt to what they are doing, consistently, then you end up being more of a dinosaur than you would like to be." ®

Teksys press release

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