Two independent solution providers say they aren’t intimidated by Bell Canada’s move into the small- and mid-market with its $67 million purchase of Montreal’s Nexxlink Technologies.
“”It’s tremendous that Bell is removing anybody that’s our competition,”” said Ken Killin, president of the Toronto-based
The deal, announced last month and subject to regulatory approval, “”validates the value the IT services business offers the marketplace,”” said Harry Zarek, president of Compugen Inc.
Also last month Xwave Solutions bought the Atlantic assets of Fujitsu Consult-ing Canada to expand its service delivery across the Maritimes and its annuity-based portfolio.
For all the bravado, Nexxlink president and CEO Robert Courteau thinks his competitors should beware.
“”When you have a powerhouse like Bell which decides to get into the marketplace, they have the resources to accelerate the development of our strategy.
“”With Bell as the mothership we will have the resources to accelerate acquisitions and product development to make sure we’re the leader in Canada in the market.””
Nexxlink will join Bell’s small and medium business division along with another acquisition it made this year, Charon Systems of Toronto. Bell and Nexxlink were in a bidding war over Charon only a few months ago.
Assuming all the approvals go through, the merger Courteau envisioned with Charon will become reality — although with a different controlling shareholder.
In buying Nexxlink, Bell marries a provider of integrated IT solutions with revenues of between $100 and $115 million and 1,000 employees that is strong in Quebec with Charon, which has strength in other parts of the country.
While the Bell deal vaults Nexxlink into another league if you count its new parent’s revenues and resources, neither Zarek nor Killin say they’re looking for a suitor to match the move.
Lured in part by Fujitsu Consulting’s staff of 90 professionals, Xwave sealed its deal following a “”period of discussions,”” said COO Paul Kent. It’s the first company Halifax-based xwave bought this year. The value of the purchase was not disclosed.
“”While in some respects the talent is similar to what we have, in other ways it will allow us to enhance the Xwave offering because it augments our talent pool as well,”” said Kent.
Not included in the agreement are the Halifax-based Fujitsu Consulting Business Services Centre and the Fujitsu Atlantic Delivery Centre.
Fujitsu Consulting’s senior business consultants developing IT systems and application maintenance staff will move to offices in Halifax, Fredericton and Saint John, N.B.
Strengths in these professional areas represent “”our calling card in that marketplace,”” said Michael Long, senior vice-president of Fujitsu Consulting in Calgary.
“”Xwave has some skills in that area, but their calling card is stronger in infrastructure areas, in technology areas.””