Microsoft All-Star New Signature Moves into Southeast With Purchase of 55-Person Firm

Top Microsoft partner New Signature has scooped up its second Microsoft partner within a month, acquiring a 55-person solution provider to bolster its presence in the Southeastern U.S., it announced Tuesday.
The addition of Atlanta-based Infra Science will give the Washington D.C,-based systems integrator more capabilities in its identity and access management practices, both of which lie at the root of the growing cloud-computing business, New Signature President Christopher Hertz told CRN.
“It’s an area that we had some capacity in,” Hertz said. “Now we have a ton.”
The deal also gives New Signature a stronger presence in the health care industry in the Southeast, which is only a fraction of what the company does in that vertical industry as it does in Canada, Hertz said. The health care industry in the U.S. is one of the most active in terms of IT investment.
w Signature has had a “smattering” of business in the Southeast, Hertz said. It’s a “huge and growing market,” reflecting the region’s population growth, especially down the East Coast from North Carolina to Florida.
He said New Signature and Infra Science began talking in May about a potential merger and were pleased with the good cultural, strategic and practical fit between the two organizations.
With the acquisition of Infra Science and its 55 employees, New Signature will now have about 250 on its payroll. In April, when private equity giant Columbia Capital invested $35 million in his company, Hertz said he expected the money would help boost New Signature’s headcount from 90 to at least 180 by 2017.
At least for now, the four acquisitions this year have propelled the company well past that number. About 150 of the 250 are based in the U.S.; the rest in Canada, according to Hertz.
“We found a lot of great partners to team up with,” said Hertz, adding that the Infra Science acquisition “starts to put us on the right path to being a dominant player in North America.”
The deal is one of several in a hot mergers-and-acquisitions market within the channel during the second half of this year.
New Signature, Microsoft’s partner of the year for 2015, received the $35 million capital infusion in April to help it expand outside the Northeast and increase its technical capabilities around Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online.
Last month, it acquired Canadian application developer imason, another Microsoft partner. In May, it added two more Canadian-based Microsoft partners, CMS Consulting and Infrastructure Guardian.
They, along with imason, were honored by Microsoft with its 2015 Canada Impact award for their combined efforts in transforming software solutions into fully managed services via Azure, Microsoft’s enterprise-grade cloud platform.
“Joining New Signature felt like a natural progression of our company and provides an opportunity to accelerate the success and momentum of our business,” Jeff Meyer, CEO and co-founder of Infra Science, said in a statement distributed by New Signature. “The two businesses share the same principles of what it means to be a successful technology company today. Together we have the opportunity to extend our geographies, expertise, and offerings to better serve our clients and partners.”
M&A activity within the IT channel has heated up in the second half of this year. Investors have especially valued bringing Microsoft partners on board since “Microsoft is hot again,” Hertz said.
As for the M&A prospects for the solution provider industry as a whole, Hertz said, “There’s a growing recognition within the channel that things … are changing rapidly.”