Aptum sells legacy WAN business to Beanfield Metroconnect to focus on core portfolio

Beanfield, whose business is the local fibre services that no longer fit into Aptum’s core business, becomes an Aptum reseller, contributing to Aptum’s increased focus on the channel since their 2019 restructuring.

Susan Bowen, Aptum’s President and CEO

Managed hosting and cloud services provider Aptum has divested part of its legacy portfolio, agreeing to sell their WAN business to Beanfield MetroConnect, in order to further its strategy of managing data as infrastructure that it embraced with its rebranding away from Cogeco Peer ONE last year. The divestiture will allow Aptum to focus on its core business, and concentrate its investment there.

“We’ve sold our core network, the legacy business put in place over the years under Cogeco, to Beanfield,” said  Susan Bowen, Aptum’s President and CEO. “It lets us focus on the core of our strategy, and it lets Beanfield deepen their presence in the Montreal market. That’s good for the customers that we serve collectively.”

Bowen emphasized how the WAN network business was fundamentally different from the managed services the company is now focused on.

“Although we owned a metro network in Toronto and Montreal, we didn’t own it in the rest of the globe,” she said. “It’s a very different business. Beanfield MetroConnect is local colo fibre service. That’s what they do. Our focus now is global, and on the level above that.”

The WAN business was historically once more significant to the company’s predecessor, but as it grew its data services business, the WAN networking became comparatively less important.

“It had become relatively small to us,” Bowen said. “Less than 15% of the business is part of the sale. It’s because of the transformation over the last couple of years.”

Bowen emphasized that Aptum decided that they would be stronger without the WAN business. That is why when Beanfield approached them about buying the asset, they were receptive.

“Being a standalone company, it is important that we don’t get distracted,” she said. “It was important not to hold tertiary solutions we knew we wouldn’t invest in. That lets us reserve capital for relevant acquisitions, or to invest in products. It means we can focus all of our attention on enabling Aptum’s multi-cloud solutions and focusing on the global managed services infrastructure market.”

That focus has led, over the past months, to Aptum launching multiple solutions for its data centre and hybrid multi-cloud customers. These include: Aptum Hybrid Cloud Manager, a multi-cloud management platform; a managed detection and response security offering, in partnership with Alert Logic; and Managed Amazon Web Services.

The deal also provides strong benefits to Beanfield MetroConnect, and strengthens the relationship between Beanfield and Aptum.

Beanfield is a connectivity and fibre solutions provider based in downtown Toronto, and Toronto has been their main focus, but they expanded into Montreal in February, buying fibre-based telco Openface in what they indicated then was a strategy to grow their presence in that city.

“This lets Beanfield deepen their presence in the Montreal market,” Bowen said.

Beanfield MetroConnect and Aptum have had a corporate connection since October 2019, when Digital Colony Capital, which is part of the Digital Colony organization that purchased Aptum from Cogeco earlier last year, made a significant investment in Beanfield. Until now, however, Aptum and Beanfield had not had a direct relationship. With the WAN sale, Beanfield also becomes an Aptum reseller, part of the increased emphasis that Aptum has played on developing its partner ecosystem since its restructuring.

“We now have a channel relationship with them, and they weren’t a partner at all before,” Bowen stated.

This is part of Aptum’s intensified focus on the channel and channel programs, she added.