Avnet Stays in Services Hunt With Latest Buy

Tony Vottima Avnet

Tony Vottima, Avnet services chief

Distributor Avnet Inc. is proving once again that its appetite for acquisitions to feed its services ambitions remains strong. The company this week said it was buying Seamless Technologies Inc., a 21-year-old Morristown, N.J., systems integrator focused on cloud transformation services as well as automation, virtualization, integration, and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practices.

The purchase of Seamless for an undisclosed sum marks the first Avnet buy since it combined all of its services capabilities in May under the Avnet Services umbrella, a segment within the company’s rapidly growing Avnet Technology Solutions unit. The services group announcement capped a 15-month targeted acquisition spree that has seen ATS expand its services capacity and capabilities, particularly in solution sets built around IBM Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. technologies.

With the Seamless Technologies acquisition, Avnet gains a services organization with a robust cloud practice generating $14 million in revenue last year. According to Avnet officials, Seamless has developed intellectual property and software that speeds integration and deployment of large-scale private cloud and IT infrastructure environments.

“This latest acquisition adds a critical component to our expanding services portfolio, with private cloud, virtualization and data center automation services that broaden and deepen our suite of solutions for our customers,” said Tony Vottima, senior vice president and general manager for Avnet Services in the Americas. “Seamless Technologies’ domain expertise in financial services, healthcare, and insurance will complement our SolutionsPath strategy and enable our partners and customers to achieve their business goals.”

Avnet Services’ unveiling comes at a fortuitous time in the market. IDC estimates spending on IT services will balloon to $674.9 billion this year, with a four-year CAGR of 4 percent going forward. This has led Avnet to beef up ATS’s services capacity and capabilities through acquisition, particularly in the past 15 months, with the stated goal of augmenting partner services efforts in a variety of disciplines.

In January, the distributor snapped up TSSLink Inc., an 8-year-old San Jose, Calif.-based consulting, tech support and IT outsourcing firm specializing in storage and virtualization solutions with additional capabilities in IT audit and compliance, disaster recovery and business-continuity planning.

Avnet made five similar buys in the past year, bolstering ATS’ profile and the portfolio. In November 2012, the company bought Genilogix LLC, a Pittsburgh-based software and services provider and one of only 11 Hewlett-Packard Co. Software Elite Enhanced Partners. The acquisition came three months after Avnet bought Sewickley, Pa.-based Pepperweed Consulting, a 16-year-old HP Software Elite Partner that focused on partnering with other HP resellers to deploy and manage systems built around HP IT Performance Suite, Converged Cloud and Insight software.

Even as it was boosting its HP chops, Avnet was rounding out its IBM Corp. services capabilities. Last fall, Avnet acquired BrightStar Partners Inc. and BSP Software LLC, its associated software-development arm. BrightStar, of Rolling Meadows, Ill., is an IBM Premier Business Partner, IBM Value Added Reseller and IBM Independent Software Vendor focused on business analytics for business intelligence, financial performance management, enterprise score-carding and data warehousing. The software unit provides tools that extend the functionality of IBM Cognos software.

In March of last year, Avnet purchased Ascendant Technology Inc., of Austin, Texas, a $90 million-a-year software integrator and consultancy that developed its own methodologies in support of IBM applications and tools. The deal added 500 technical and business professionals to the Avnet Technology Solutions unit.

Avnet also acquired asset-disposal specialist Canvas Systems in January 2012. The Norcross, Ga., equipment lifecycle management and refurbished equipment sales firm was folded into Avnet Technology Solutions.

“Recent services acquisitions have been well-received by our partners,” said Vottima. “The addition of these new service offerings supports our long-range vision of solutions distribution, delivering technologies, services and solutions that provide high business value and accelerate hardware, software and services sales.”

“Our capabilities span presales through implementation, training and managed services, which create new opportunities for our suppliers and reseller partners,” he added.