Three major digital infrastructure providers have announced a merger that will create a solutions powerhouse, with the real winners being their channel partners, Dell and Cisco.
AHEAD, Data Blue, and Sovereign Systems announced plans to merge their firms, creating a company with around $1.3 billion in revenue and a wide range of skills. All three firms specialize in modernizing digital business infrastructure and assisting enterprise clients transition to cloud computing, but each has its own area of specialty, and those areas complement one another.
AHEAD specializes in enterprise service management, DevOps, monitoring and analytics, and security. Data Blue covers managed services and provides deep networking expertise. Sovereign Systems specializes in cloud, VMware, and ServiceNow expertise. While all three firms operate in multiple industries, the combined company will be especially deep in healthcare, insurance, and financial services.
The geographic footprints of the three firms are also complementary. Data Blue, based in Atlanta, serves enterprises across the southeast and northeast U.S., while AHEAD, headquartered in Chicago, covers the midwest and mid-Atlantic.
AHEAD founder and CEO Daniel Adamany will be CEO of the combined firm, while Data Blue CEO Stephen Ayoub will become president and chief revenue officer. Headquarters will be in Chicago, where AHEAD is based, but the company said it would continue to invest in Data Blue and Sovereign offices in the south and midwest.
The one thing they haven’t agreed on is a company name. That will be announced in the next few months. All three companies will maintain their branding for the rest of the year.
The new company will focus on integrating on-premises and cloud infrastructure, built primarily on the Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure platforms. The three are also significant channel partners for both Dell and Cisco. AHEAD also partners with Nutanix, but then again, everyone partners with Nutanix.
The three companies are all privately held. AHEAD and Data Blue are owned by a private equity firm, Court Square Capital Partners. Managed providers like these three are popular targets of private equity firms for their recurring revenue.