Top 100 solution provider expands into Quebec through acquisition

Toronto-based Scalar Decisions Inc. has acquired 3vis, a Montreal-area solution provider that specializes in digital entertainment creation and media.

This deal has been in works for approximately 15 months and the financial figures from this acquisition were not disclosed by each party.

This deal will give Scalar roots in the Quebec marketplace for the first time. The solution provider, which ranks No. 15 in the recently released CDN Top 100 Solution Providers list, also has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, and London.

Scalar president and CEO Paul Kerr told CDN that the 3vis acquisition furthers the company’s goal to become a national solution provider. Kerr hopes that 3vis can help Scalar expand out east, while the company focuses on new areas in Alberta and the prairies.

“We see three main benefits from this acquisition: it expands our business in the entertainment and media space, it expands our business in the Quebec market and we become the first point of leverage for the customer. We primarily do hardware infrastructure and 3vis does software; there is no overlap with customers,” Kerr said.

He added that in the past, Scalar lost customers because they wanted the type of software solutions 3vis provided. Kerr believes the 3vis solutions will blend with the hardware infrastructure the company provides for several movies and TV shows in the entertainment field.

Scalar’s StudioCloud managed services offering provides the digital media industry with an on-demand solution and 3vis will be integrated into StudioCloud to enhance the portfolio with a range of applications and services specific to entertainment and media. Scalar also plans to offer compute and software licensing as part of the StudioCloud on a pay-per-use basis.

Sylvain Plourde, co-founder and CEO of 3vis, said there is a lot of common value both companies could provide customers through a partnership. Also, Plourde thinks the acquisition of his company is a sign of what is happening in the channel today.

“As a reseller you have to constantly reinvent yourself to properly service your customers. What I was doing as a reseller 10, 20 years ago is different than what I do today. The role of the reseller is not what it used to be. I used to recommend solutions and today we are more of a company that facilitates the information that is out there,” Plourde said.

Cloud computing has impact on the channel in the last few years, and this deal is an example of this, Plourde said.

“It combines the strength of Scalar’s hardware knowledge and the fact that they have the only cloud solution that works for this (digital entertainment and media) market today, while we specialize in software (video game apps, 3D, animation, and creative finishing). It’s a lot better if both of us join as one company. The goal is to serve the customer better,” Plourde said.

Kerr said that the fact that both companies were Canadian made for an easier deal. “We have a Canadian focus. We are not looking to go to the U.S. The Canadian market has more than enough opportunities for us. You see companies going mostly to the U.S. and then their focus becomes U.S. and to me that’s a distraction. We are focused on Canada and we are committed to the customer in Canada,” Kerr said.

Kerr believes the 3vis acquisition will have a similar outcome as the one Scalar did in Vancouver. That target was approximately $7 million and today it’s now closer to $50 million. The plan is to keep all 3vis employees on board and integrate them into Scalar. Kerr said the plan is to be patient in the Quebec market and establish credibility with customers and then build over time.

Kerr told CDN that he and his team plan to do more acquisitions this year.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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