Data#3 snaps up f5

Data#3 snaps up f5

ASX-listed Data#3 has acquired Brisbane-based Web development company, f5, in an effort to ramp up its Microsoft services business.

As part of the acquisition, the IT services company has inherited f5’s customer base, intellectual property, fixed assets and f5’s core permanent staff but not f5 contracted staff, Data#3 CEO, John Grant, said.

Ex-managing director of f5, Warren Wood, will head up the Microsoft Application Solutions business for Data#3.

Grant would not divulge how much Data#3 paid for the company, but said that it was paid for in cash and shares.

He said Data #3 decided to acquire f5 after one month of negotiations because of “their profile, their capability, their market position and their relationship with Microsoft. It is a comfortably positioned business with a lot of credibility and a lot of track record."

Data3# and f5 initially discussed the option of forming a partnership, but they both agreed that what needed to happen was for f5 to be embedded within Data#3 in order to get the best results out of the business partnership, Grant said.

“We’re a large Microsoft partner and have a substantial Microsoft large account reselling business, reselling the Lightning system," he said. "For two years we’ve operated a Microsoft solutions reseller organisation reselling Microsoft’s Attain product – the original Navision product. In the last 18 months we’ve developed a very influential Microsoft application services business.”

Grant regards the acquisition of f5 as the icing on the cake, complementing its existing Microsoft business perfectly.

"f5's accreditation as a Gold Certified Partner for Collaborative Solutions combined with Data#3's accreditation as a Gold Certified Partner for Enterprise Systems and our Microsoft Attain business provides the winning formula for our customers,” Grant said.

“I’d be very surprised if there is another Microsoft partner in Australia as comprehensive as we are.”

Data3# acquired the Navision business of accounting organisation, Stockford Limited, last year.

Grant said Data#3 has no other acquisitions planned for the near future.

“We’re not aggressively in the marketplace trying to grow by acquisition," he said. "We are trying to increase our geographic scale or enhance our capabilities in certain technologies.

“We’ve come back very strongly from a near death experience in 2000 and overcome significant issues as a result of the Powerlan Queensland debacle.

“We’ve almost squared the books over the last 12 months because of that transaction and we have a very solid business.”

For more on Data#3, see this week's issue of ARN.

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