Frontline picks up Classic Blue integration

Frontline picks up Classic Blue integration

IBM has offloaded the systems integration side of subsidiary, Classic Blue, to Frontline Systems under a seven-figure deal.

According to IBM, the deal will allow Classic Blue to hone in on business resilience and continuity services. The sale comes almost 12 months after Big Blue announced its acquisition of the services provider to broaden its SMB business continuity services reach.

Frontline managing director, Steve Murphy, said the purchase gave it the ability to undertake IBM business, while also expanding its customer offerings. As part of the deal, the managed services provider will also partner with Classic Blue to provide disaster recovery and business continuity services to its customer base.

Murphy said the pair had first looked at partnering during the January acquisition.

"We were initially talking about taking on some of their services, but it became apparent that the [Classic Blue] systems integration component was more of a fit with our business than with IBM's," he said. "We wanted to skill up in IBM products and services, so it's a good fit."

Murphy said there was some pure product overlap in Sun and HP kit, but almost no customer crossover. Both had a broad base of customers. Frontline's existing client list includes government, banks and smaller organisations.

"It's a complementary deal - it represents a huge spike in pure product revenue," he said. "A large component is IBM which we don't do, so it gives us a whole new capability. And it's not just IBM, but also the disaster recovery and business continuity element Classic Blue is known for.

"I wouldn't have done it without the full partnership."

The integration will be effective from January 2. Six Classic Blue integration employees will join the Frontline team. No redundancies are expected.

Murphy said it would look for more opportunities to expand in the New Year.

"We want to make a fist of this one first, but we are looking to do things later on in 2007," he said.

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