Melbourne-based Cisco Premier partner Xlate Group has entered into the US market through a merger with SolarWinds partner Loop1 Systems.
Loop1 is based in Austin, Texas, and provides enterprise IT services specialising in IT management software vendor, SolarWinds. Financial details of the merger haven't been disclosed.
In September, Loop1 tripled the size of its European operation through the acquisition of UK-based network management and support supplier, and fellow SolarWinds partner, Kenson.
At the time, Loop1 co-founder Bill Fitzpatrick, hinted at growing its international business. Besides Australia, Xlate Group also has a presence in Singapore and Sri Lanka.
Xlate CEO, Anthony Bettanin, told ARN the merger will create the first global SolarWinds partner with coverage across all major regions.
“That will put us in a very unique position to provide Cisco services to a sophisticated customer base who are already doing a lot of monitoring of their mission critical environments,” Bettanin said. “Loop1 is very much focused on SolarWinds, and has a lot of customers using Cisco, but they don’t have the expertise to provide those Cisco services.
“From an Xlate perspective, we wanted to expand our SolarWinds skills. It became apparent the two organisations were very compatible in terms of geographic footprint, cultural alignment and core values.”
Once the merger is complete, Bettanin will assume the role of COO of the combined organisation and will relocate to Austin, Texas with Xlate managing director, Luke Woolmer, taking on the role as Loop1 president. Fitzpatrick will retain his position as CEO of the group.
As the two companies come together, Bettanin said it will be adopting the Loop1 brand across the entire group with more than 100 employees globally and revenues exceeding US$30 million.
“We will have more SolarWinds certified professionals than any other organisation, globally,” he said.
A cornerstone for the success of the merger will involve the company-wide integration of the Cisco Webex unified communications (UC) platform including Calling, Teams and Meetings.
In December, Xlate embarked on a company-wide Webex implementation project in an effort to help lure potential customers into seeing the benefits of the UC technology.
The merger with Loop1 is expected to see Xlate take up at least 50 Cisco deployments. Some of Loop1's customers include Disney, Starbucks, Bank of America and the US Department of Defence.
“We see a huge opportunity for organisations moving away from on-premises unified communications to the cloud. The ability to show customers what we’ve done with the Xlate Group and soon-to-be combined with Loop1, will just accelerate our ability to take that solution to market,” he said.
Xlate general manager of operations, Mark Boyd, said taking the steps to implement the technology within its own organisation has knocked down some of the barriers between themselves and their customers.
“We didn’t want to lose relevance with our customers and we wanted to be seen as thought leaders in the UCaaS market,” he said.
In undertaking the project themselves, Xlate also saw a reduction in hardware maintenance and costs, and reduced complexity for their customers that were reaching out to the team.
“We had two racks worth of tech that was approaching five years old and it was starting to fail, and we thought if we’re going to sell Cisco Webex, why not implement it ourselves?” he said.
“Keeping it integrated into one Cisco unified comms platform has made us more omni-channel with our customers through chat and meetings and has improved our resolution time for customers as well.”