No. 88: Merger pushed company up in standings

Last year Concentrix Business Solutions, one of seven companies at the bottom of our 2004 Top 100 list, decided it had to grow significantly to survive.

Through a consulting company, the Markham, Ont., firm found a partner it knew well: BAASS Business Solutions of Thornhill, Ont., a fellow Accpac VAR. Soon, Computer Consulting Services (CCS) of London, Ont. also wanted in.

The result was a merger, sealed in January, that placed BAASS at number 88 on this year’s list thanks to their combined revenues.

The company has three offices and 50 staffers, including four hired recently.

The move is an example of the tensions in the industry that are forcing more companies to consider selling to or buying another firm.

“All three groups have known each other for 12 years,” said BAASS president Joe Arnone.

“Coming together didn’t create any culture shocks,” added Kevin Hollis, who had been Concentrix’s president and has become BAASS’s vice-president of business development. CCS president Nancy Cobban now heads the combined company’s London office.

The partners chose to use the BAASS name (which comes from the initials of the founders) because it has been in business for 18 years.

Looking at CRM, VoIP
One of the reasons for the merger is that Accpac now sells end-to-end solutions for business, Arnone said, so a larger company is needed to service clients.

In addition, the new company offers data conversion, disaster recovery and application development services, as well as IT services through a sister company.

With the merger out of the way, the company is also looking at expanding its CRM practice and getting into voice over IP. Arnone noted these two technologies complement each other, and so should be a good fit.

The merger is out of the way, but that doesn’t mean the company is finished expanding.

“It’s going to be harder for some of the smaller shops around town [meaning Southern Ontario] to compete,” said Hollis, “not necessarily on price, but on their ability to deliver the solution, and for a number of them there’s a great opportunity to maintain their clients by merging with BAASS.

“It’s not our objective to steal customers. We’d rather merge with partners. Our objective is to double in size again within three to five years.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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