CSPs, Midmarket, Mergers and Acquisitions

BCM One Leverages Acquisition for Microsoft Cloud Push

Frank Ahearn

Leveraging existing business relationships, BCM One found a buyout target that expanded its headcount, enhanced its portfolio of Microsoft (MSFT) certifications and maintained its expertise in voice services.

Indeed, BCM One announced the CloudStrategies Group buyout in August. Financial terms were not disclosed. The two companies had been partners ahead of the deal, thanks to an introduction by Microsoft.

Founded nearly 25 years ago, BCM One has transformed itself over the years from a telecommunications reseller to a managed solutions provider. The company's core focus involves planning, deploying, designing and managing newer technologies as they roll out for clients.

BCM's involvement with Microsoft began progressing rapidly about two years ago, after the company’s executive team decided to “look long and hard” at the software giant. Eventually becoming a Tier 2 cloud services provider (CSP) with Microsoft, BCM One began deploying Office 365 seats for existing clients.

“We didn’t roll that out to our over 500 agents nationally,” said Frank Ahearn, founder and co-CEO of BCM One, during a ChannelE2E interview. “We were just doing it in-house. We wanted to make sure we did it right.” As more clients inquired about Office 365 and Skype for Business, BCM One turned to Microsoft about the possibility of augmenting its staff.

In response, Microsoft connected BCM One with CloudStrategies. The partnership allowed BCM to outsource its Office 365 and Skype for Business transitions to CloudStrategies. “It went really, really well,” Ahearn said. As time went on, he sat down in a meeting with Pete Zarras, founder of CloudStrategies, to discuss additional business opportunities between the two companies.

Both parties were interested in joining forces. “Six months later we finally got the deal done,” he said. “Microsoft is 100 percent behind the deal. They think it’s a great marriage.”

Looking Ahead

Now that the buyout is official, both remain in “business as usual” mode. One major change involves Zarras leading BCM One’s Microsoft practice internally. “Our salespeople opportunities will go through and flow through Pete as far as managing the bandwidth of the company’s staff,” Ahearn said.

After the acquisition, BCM One’s headcount jumped to about 115, with most employees based in New York City. Headcount will reach about 125 by “the holiday party.” The company is actively hiring for several sales positions. BCM One also has more than 500 agents selling its products and services across the country.

Going forward, BCM One may acquire additional businesses fitting into its culture and philosophy of “providing a world-class experience for clients.” BCM One will potentially pursue more outsourcing partnerships first, and may consider more M&A moves based on those potential relationships.

“We’re not looking to bite off more than we can chew, but we are looking at other possibilities,”Ahearn said. “Skype for Business is going to be huge. We already have Azure expertise, but we’re looking for more of that. So we’re not only looking for talent, meaning people out there who are looking to work for an organization that provides a world-class experience with every human interaction, but for companies that want to be part of something bigger to provide that same world-class experience for their clients.”

BCM One also plans to grow as a Microsoft partner through certifications with a goal of becoming a Triple Gold Partner. Before the acquisition, BCM One had certifications on the silver level. Now it has five certifications as a combined entity, including one Gold in Cloud Productivity, one Silver in Cloud, a Silver in Messaging, a Silver in Midmarket Solutions and a Silver in Small and Midmarket Cloud Solution.