Would-be empire builders

Stuart Turk, the CEO of On The Go Technologies, is quite blunt about his vision: “I want to create an empire, but strictly in IT.”On The Go has acquired four well-known VARs and system integrators since 2003.
Its first catch was Compuquest, a government, health care and banking systems integrator. Early this year the company nabbed Helios/ Oceana Ltd., also of Mississauga, a solution provider for the entertainment and broadcast industries.
The company also established multimedia services division called Go Motion+Design in January.
Turk said that he will continue building his empire organically and through acquisition.
One of the keys to his strategy is maintaining the leadership and staff of acquired companies. For example, he’s kept all of Infinity’s employees.
“They caught us at the right time,” said Frank Abate. “We looked at the landscape and we are profitable, but we were also in need of a drastic change. Coincidently, we had some business issues with many leases coming up for renewal at the same time.”
On The Go needed a services arm, which is a strength of Infinity. Randal Kalpin, a director at On The Go and founder of Compuquest, said the company likes to reinvent itself. “It is a problem with other companies who do not change and Frank (and John) were bold enough to see that and change,” Kalpin said.
“We acquire company founding fathers,” Turk added. “We will not acquire a company without its founders coming on board. We need their relationships, the continuity and their vision.”
Frank Abate said joining On The Go was more along the lines of a real partnership. “The last thing On The Go wants is to lose upper management because if you lose that all you’ll have is a customer database and some receivables,” he said.
He believes that with this acquisition On The Go will be a Top 30 Solution Provider, and he is looking to make the Top 10 the year after.
With this acquisition, Turk pegs On The Go, which is a public company listed on the OTCbb, to be between a $32- to $35-million company.
Turk and Frank Abate both believe the future growth will come outside of Canada, mostly in the U.S., but with some international business.
“We look for niches or strong verticals that no one goes after,” Turk said.
Currently, On The Go has channel authorizations for Alias, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, IBM and Hewlett-Packard.
With the four divisions, Turk said it enables the company to service customers in many ways.
For example, Helios/ Oceana sold one of Infinity’s data centre customers with Alias software.

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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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