Datacom acquisition strategy sees double

Datacom acquisition strategy sees double

Coincides with decision to rebrand all Queensland operations under the Datacom masthead

Datacom has acquired two integration businesses in Queensland as part of plans to further strengthen its position in the Sunshine State. The news coincides with the decision to rebrand all of its Australian subsidiaries under the Datacom masthead.

The new purchases are Townsville-based infrastructure player, Agire, and Brisbane-based professional services firm, Syncroplex Systems. Former NetOptions managing director and now Datacom's Queensland chief, Clarke Hobson, said the two very different companies fitted into its strategy of offering a stronger support and services team to Queensland customers.

"We want to be the regional partner of choice. Queensland is a big state; people don't appreciate its size," he said. "To service customers in this state, we need to have a fully manned, Queensland-based operation."

Hobson said Agire's strong Sun Microsystems infrastructure skills and its northern Queensland foothold were a major factor behind the purchase.

"Their weakness was in the Wintel space - they needed to improve their skills in blade servers, storage and virtualisation," he said. "At the same time, we didn't have Sun skills in Brisbane, so there were benefits both ways."

Agire founder, Joe Droguet, has come on-board as head of Datacom's Townsville practice. Its four staff have been retained.

The Syncroplex acquisition, meanwhile, was prompted by the company's strong professional services customer base including financial, architectural and law firms, Hobson said. This presented new opportunities to sell Datacom's managed services and software development capabilities.

"Our motivation was increasing our client base in quick time. Syncroplex had a strong business in professional services," he said. "Their customer base is almost all IBM, while historically we have been strong in the HP space. This gave us access to new customers as well as raises the level of our relationship with IBM."

Syncroplex's two founders, Mark and Owen Hile, will stay on to help transition the business across but would eventually exit the industry, Hobson said. However, its other full-time staff had been kept on and more were being recruited.

The two acquisitions should add $10 million to Datacom's annual bottom line of $145 million, but Hobson said he already had an aggressive growth plan in place.

He pointed out that since its acquisition of NetOptions in 2005, Datacom's Queensland team has grown from 46 to 70 staff.

"The reason we didn't change the NetOptions name to Datacom straightaway was because nothing was different. We have waited until now so we can show customers that we're a very different company," he said.

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