Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Nov 22

Meet Channel Futures’ Top 20 Communications & Collaboration Channel Leaders for 2022

By | Managed Services News

This is our fourth Channel Leaders of the Year list highlighting some of the biggest names in the industry.

Remote work has forever changed the face of business. These 20 communications and collaboration leaders are stepping up to move the channel forward.

This is the fourth in a series of Channel Futures Channel Leaders of the Year lists. We are unveiling them one-by-one until the end of the year. They include senior partner executives in cloud, security, networking and connectivity, EMEA, managed services, distribution and cloud.

These leaders have earned a reputation as partner-friendly, customer-focused and future-minded. Some of them have been putting their mark on the industry for decades; others are rising stars. These leaders will determine the future of the channel as they redefine the partner-supplier relationship.

We’ve chosen these leaders based on their company’s market share, growth potential, strength of partner network, scope of partner program and the individual’s impact on the partner ecosystem. Partner feedback played a key role, with special attention on how these individuals supported and advocated for their agent, VAR and MSP partners.

These leaders will be eligible for our 2023 Channel Futures Influencer of the Year Award, as well as the Channel Futures/Channel Partners Circle of Excellence Award.

See our slideshow above for our list of 20 EMEA channel leaders of the year for 2022. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Then, check out our other 2022 Channel Leaders lists:

Nov 22

More Partner M&A: Bluewave Buys Advisory Firm iSymplify

By | Managed Services News

iSymplify’s owners will stick around at the combined company.

Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Group is expanding with the acquisition of iSymplify, the technology advisory firm and contact center expert

St. Louis-based iSymplify has agreed to terms with New Jersey-based Bluewave, marking Bluewave’s sixth acquisition in a year. The agency’s owners, Lorie and Brad Burkemper, have accepted roles as Bluewave managing partners. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The deal brings in an established agency that has helped deploy more than 50,000 cloud seats, according to Bluewave. It also cements a foothold in the greater St. Louis area. Bluewave will retain iSymplify’s office, bring its total number of cities with an office up to five. Moreover, it now employs close to 100 people.

For iSymplify, joining forces with Bluewave helps it grow and do more for its customers.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
Burkemper, Lorie_bluewave

Bluewave’s Lorie Burkemper

“After almost 15 years of growth, we considered many options to expand our capabilities and better support our clients’ evolving technology needs,” iSymplify founder and president Lorie Burkemper said. “Joining like-minded Bluewave allows us to further invest in our team and clients around solution consulting, expense management, and high-touch account management, as well as gain access to more robust processes and systems to provide clients with better insights and data to drive the best technology decisions.”

iSymplify Background

Burkemper founded iSymplify in 2013 following a career on the vendor side of the channel. She worked for seven years in account management at Verizon and three years in client development at Cybera. Her husband Brad joined the company in 2014.

iSymplify has gone on to win awards from vendors like Vonage and Tierpoint. It has also won awards from the tech solutions brokerage Telarus (including a 2021 Platinum Award).

Lorie Burkemper has also earned recognitions in the St. Louis business community, including one of St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owners. In addition, she co-founded the St. Louis-based Women in Tech Connect group.

Riding the Bluewave

Bluewave emerged early in 2022 with a $75 million growth investment from Columbia Capital. The company has sought to use M&A to bring together complementary partner types, including a mobility expense management provider, and now a contact center expert in iSymplify.

Penland, Seth_Bluewave

Bluewave’s Seth Penland

Bluewave intends to unify the acquired companies under a single platform and philosophy that emphasizes managing the customer’s entire technology life cycle.

“Our goal is to help businesses scale their operations efficiently and effectively while seizing innovation with the guidance of our best-in-class industry advisors,” Bluewave founder and CEO Seth Penland said. “We are excited to welcome the iSymplify team and expand our presence in the greater St. Louis area. Together, our joint resources expand our capabilities and emphasize our commitment to clients who need first-class technology advisory services.”

Bluewave has made two options available for owners of companies it requires. Its “ambassadors,” which include the leaders of recently purchased Virtual Telecomm, hold equity in Bluewave but don’t work with it on a day-to-day basis. Its managing partners, which include the Burkempers, will work in a daily role.

Agent M&A

Consolidation is occurring across the technology advisor (agent) channel. For example, Minnesota-based Renodis recently acquired 12 Points Consulting in a move that enhances its hospitality-focused equipment and managed solutions. Then there’s West Coast-based Bridgepointe Technologies with purchases of Canon Group and RealCom. And Upstack, whose backing from Berkshire Partners and other investors has helped it buy more than 25 agencies, continues to announce deals.

 

Nov 22

Meet Channel Futures’ Top 20 Communications & Collaboration Channel Leaders for 2022

By | Managed Services News

This is our fourth Channel Leaders of the Year list highlighting some of the biggest names in the industry.

Remote work has forever changed the face of business. These 20 communications and collaboration leaders are stepping up to move the channel forward.

This is the fourth in a series of Channel Futures Channel Leaders of the Year lists. We are unveiling them one-by-one until the end of the year. They include senior partner executives in cloud, security, networking and connectivity, EMEA, managed services, distribution and cloud.

These leaders have earned a reputation as partner-friendly, customer-focused and future-minded. Some of them have been putting their mark on the industry for decades; others are rising stars. These leaders will determine the future of the channel as they redefine the partner-supplier relationship.

We’ve chosen these leaders based on their company’s market share, growth potential, strength of partner network, scope of partner program and the individual’s impact on the partner ecosystem. Partner feedback played a key role, with special attention on how these individuals supported and advocated for their agent, VAR and MSP partners.

These leaders will be eligible for our 2023 Channel Futures Influencer of the Year Award, as well as the Channel Futures/Channel Partners Circle of Excellence Award.

See our slideshow above for our list of 20 EMEA channel leaders of the year for 2022. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Then, check out our other 2022 Channel Leaders lists:

Nov 22

The CF List: 2022’s 20 Top Next-Gen Firewall Cybersecurity Providers You Should Know

By | Managed Services News

Check Point, Cisco, Sophos and VMware are here. See who else made it and why.

Next-generation firewall (NGFW) is a critical part of the fast-growing global cybersecurity appliances market. And the shift to remote and hybrid work has increased demand for more deployment options.

A traditional firewall typically provides inspection of incoming and outgoing network traffic. However, NGFW cybersecurity includes additional features such as application awareness and control, integrated intrusion prevention and cloud-delivered threat intelligence.

According to Industry Research, the global NGFW cybersecurity market totaled nearly $4 billion in 2021 and should reach nearly $8 billion by 2028.

Our latest CF List focuses on NGFW cybersecurity. Analysts with Omdia, S&P Global Market Intelligence and Forrester weighed in on NGFW market trends and what it takes to be a successful provider.

NGFW Security Key Component in Network Architecture

Fernando Montenegro is senior principal analyst at Omdia, which shares a parent company with Channel Futures (Informa).

Omdia's Fernando Montenegro

Omdia’s Fernando Montenegro

“Firewalls remain a key component in network architecture, and many organizations rely on them for securing outgoing connections,” he said. “We do see NGFW vendors branching out to other areas such as secure access service edge (SASE) so that they can better support low-latency access for remote users and branches. In those cases, secure web gateways and zero trust access are key use cases.”

The expectation of a cutting-edge NGFW provider is that they’re adding capabilities on multiple dimensions, Montenegro said. Providers are doing more in terms of bringing more intelligence to bear on inspecting traffic, and they are adding more service coverage on the firewall itself.

“They are working in supporting multiple form factors, not only traditional physical appliances … but also virtual form factors including virtual machines, containers and more,” he said. ‘[And] they are making sure the NGFW integrates with broader threat detection, investigation and response (TDIR) architecture, be it security information and event management (SIEM), extended detection and response (XDR), etc., as well as integration with the customer environment, such as identity management and more.”

Customers want NGFW to do what it promises without adding too much “heartburn” to teams, Montenegro said.

Supporting a Hybrid Workforce

S&P Global Intelligence's Eric Hanselman

S&P Global Intelligence’s Eric Hanselman

Eric Hanselman is chief analyst with 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. He said ransomware and advances in attack automation that criminals use have shifted security spending.

“Email scanning and DNS reputation screening have become must-haves in the security portfolio,” he said. “Ransomware has created a shift in mindset for security professionals, as the cost of compromise has increased dramatically. Our Voice of the Enterprise, Information Security study shows a dramatic increase in successful attacks, almost doubling from 10% in 2021 to 18% reporting being victims this year. Traditional approaches to remediation aren’t working, forcing enterprises into reactive strategies. While 7% thought that they’d pay a ransom if compromised, for those that were compromised, 22% indicated that they’d paid.”

2 Prominent Market Strategies

David Holmes is senior analyst at Forrester.

Forrester's David Holmes

Forrester’s David Holmes

Not only are threats continuously evolving, but organizations are also suffering from the security skills gap more than ever,” he said. “Organizations are struggling to find and retain anyone today.”

Forrester recently highlighted two industry strategies in play to counter the skills gap, Holmes said.

“Check Point Software Technologies, the granddaddy of firewalls, has changed their strategy to prioritize automated prevention with the assumption that there isn’t talent at the customer site to do sophisticated detection,” he said. “So their firewall and associated software have to do it. And one can respect that approach given the situation. The other main strategy, followed by many of the other firewall vendors like SonicWall and WatchGuard Technologies, is to integrate better with the MSP and MSSP market, with the assumption that a trusted third party is actually going to be doing to the configuration, incident response and remediation.”

We’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of 20 top NGFW providers. It’s based on analysts’ feedback and recent news reports. The list is by no means complete. It includes a mix of well-known providers as well as lesser-known ones making strides in NGFW.

Nov 22

More Partner M&A: Bluewave Buys Advisory Firm iSymplify

By | Managed Services News

iSymplify’s owners will stick around at the combined company.

Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Group is expanding with the acquisition of iSymplify, the technology advisory firm and contact center expert

St. Louis-based iSymplify has agreed to terms with New Jersey-based Bluewave, marking Bluewave’s sixth acquisition in a year. The agency’s owners, Lorie and Brad Burkemper, have accepted roles as Bluewave managing partners. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The deal brings in an established agency that has helped deploy more than 50,000 cloud seats, according to Bluewave. It also cements a foothold in the greater St. Louis area. Bluewave will retain iSymplify’s office, bring its total number of cities with an office up to five. Moreover, it now employs close to 100 people.

For iSymplify, joining forces with Bluewave helps it grow and do more for its customers.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
Burkemper, Lorie_bluewave

Bluewave’s Lorie Burkemper

“After almost 15 years of growth, we considered many options to expand our capabilities and better support our clients’ evolving technology needs,” iSymplify founder and president Lorie Burkemper said. “Joining like-minded Bluewave allows us to further invest in our team and clients around solution consulting, expense management, and high-touch account management, as well as gain access to more robust processes and systems to provide clients with better insights and data to drive the best technology decisions.”

iSymplify Background

Burkemper founded iSymplify in 2013 following a career on the vendor side of the channel. She worked for seven years in account management at Verizon and three years in client development at Cybera. Her husband Brad joined the company in 2014.

iSymplify has gone on to win awards from vendors like Vonage and Tierpoint. It has also won awards from the tech solutions brokerage Telarus (including a 2021 Platinum Award).

Lorie Burkemper has also earned recognitions in the St. Louis business community, including one of St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owners. In addition, she co-founded the St. Louis-based Women in Tech Connect group.

Riding the Bluewave

Bluewave emerged early in 2022 with a $75 million growth investment from Columbia Capital. The company has sought to use M&A to bring together complementary partner types, including a mobility expense management provider, and now a contact center expert in iSymplify.

Penland, Seth_Bluewave

Bluewave’s Seth Penland

Bluewave intends to unify the acquired companies under a single platform and philosophy that emphasizes managing the customer’s entire technology life cycle.

“Our goal is to help businesses scale their operations efficiently and effectively while seizing innovation with the guidance of our best-in-class industry advisors,” Bluewave founder and CEO Seth Penland said. “We are excited to welcome the iSymplify team and expand our presence in the greater St. Louis area. Together, our joint resources expand our capabilities and emphasize our commitment to clients who need first-class technology advisory services.”

Bluewave has made two options available for owners of companies it requires. Its “ambassadors,” which include the leaders of recently purchased Virtual Telecomm, hold equity in Bluewave but don’t work with it on a day-to-day basis. Its managing partners, which include the Burkempers, will work in a daily role.

Agent M&A

Consolidation is occurring across the technology advisor (agent) channel. For example, Minnesota-based Renodis recently acquired 12 Points Consulting in a move that enhances its hospitality-focused equipment and managed solutions. Then there’s West Coast-based Bridgepointe Technologies with purchases of Canon Group and RealCom. And Upstack, whose backing from Berkshire Partners and other investors has helped it buy more than 25 agencies, continues to announce deals.

 

Nov 22

More Partner M&A: Bluewave Buys Advisory Firm iSymplify

By | Managed Services News

iSymplify’s owners will stick around at the combined company.

Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Group is expanding with the acquisition of iSymplify, the technology advisory firm and contact center expert

St. Louis-based iSymplify has agreed to terms with New Jersey-based Bluewave, marking Bluewave’s sixth acquisition in a year. The agency’s owners, Lorie and Brad Burkemper, have accepted roles as Bluewave managing partners. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The deal brings in an established agency that has helped deploy more than 50,000 cloud seats, according to Bluewave. It also cements a foothold in the greater St. Louis area. Bluewave will retain iSymplify’s office, bring its total number of cities with an office up to five. Moreover, it now employs close to 100 people.

For iSymplify, joining forces with Bluewave helps it grow and do more for its customers.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
Burkemper, Lorie_bluewave

Bluewave’s Lorie Burkemper

“After almost 15 years of growth, we considered many options to expand our capabilities and better support our clients’ evolving technology needs,” iSymplify founder and president Lorie Burkemper said. “Joining like-minded Bluewave allows us to further invest in our team and clients around solution consulting, expense management, and high-touch account management, as well as gain access to more robust processes and systems to provide clients with better insights and data to drive the best technology decisions.”

iSymplify Background

Burkemper founded iSymplify in 2013 following a career on the vendor side of the channel. She worked for seven years in account management at Verizon and three years in client development at Cybera. Her husband Brad joined the company in 2014.

iSymplify has gone on to win awards from vendors like Vonage and Tierpoint. It has also won awards from the tech solutions brokerage Telarus (including a 2021 Platinum Award).

Lorie Burkemper has also earned recognitions in the St. Louis business community, including one of St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owners. In addition, she co-founded the St. Louis-based Women in Tech Connect group.

Riding the Bluewave

Bluewave emerged early in 2022 with a $75 million growth investment from Columbia Capital. The company has sought to use M&A to bring together complementary partner types, including a mobility expense management provider, and now a contact center expert in iSymplify.

Penland, Seth_Bluewave

Bluewave’s Seth Penland

Bluewave intends to unify the acquired companies under a single platform and philosophy that emphasizes managing the customer’s entire technology life cycle.

“Our goal is to help businesses scale their operations efficiently and effectively while seizing innovation with the guidance of our best-in-class industry advisors,” Bluewave founder and CEO Seth Penland said. “We are excited to welcome the iSymplify team and expand our presence in the greater St. Louis area. Together, our joint resources expand our capabilities and emphasize our commitment to clients who need first-class technology advisory services.”

Bluewave has made two options available for owners of companies it requires. Its “ambassadors,” which include the leaders of recently purchased Virtual Telecomm, hold equity in Bluewave but don’t work with it on a day-to-day basis. Its managing partners, which include the Burkempers, will work in a daily role.

Agent M&A

Consolidation is occurring across the technology advisor (agent) channel. For example, Minnesota-based Renodis recently acquired 12 Points Consulting in a move that enhances its hospitality-focused equipment and managed solutions. Then there’s West Coast-based Bridgepointe Technologies with purchases of Canon Group and RealCom. And Upstack, whose backing from Berkshire Partners and other investors has helped it buy more than 25 agencies, continues to announce deals.

 

Nov 22

Cisco Giving Channel ‘Everything’ in Partner Lifecycle Services Expansion

By | Managed Services News

Denzil Samuels shared how Cisco prioritized getting partner executives involved in PLS and how that paid dividends.

Cisco Systems is giving partners the keys to the kingdom with the expansion of its Partner Lifecycle Services initiative.

Cisco as of earlier this year was already following the road map for its Partner Lifecycle Services, which offer resources and train partners to provide deeper and more profitable solutions for their customers. The IT giant back in May made its Partner Lifecycle Services Support (PLSS) available, and continues to track on schedule with its planned updates. That’s according to Denzil Samuels, global channel and partner leader for Cisco Services (CX).

Samuels, Denzil_Cisco

Cisco’s Denzil Samuels

Next March, Cisco will make PX Cloud, a window for partners into Cisco’s CX Cloud portal (based on digital approval to view certain customers’ data), generally available to eligible partners. At the same time, Cisco will give partners Success Tracks ‘Enhanced Access,’ giving them co-sell abilities, access to additional accelerators, and multiple net new APIs beyond what the company announced at its recent Partner Summit. Then in July, Cisco will give partners PLS Success Tracks that they can co-deliver to end customers. Samuels said that means Cisco is making its entire CX portfolio that it has been selling directly customers, available in a customized manner for channel partners.

“That means anything the partners want to do with our portfolio is available for them,” Samuels told Channel Futures. “… We’re giving them everything.”

Partner Experience

Moreover, Cisco at Partner Summit made its PX (partner experience) Cloud APIs generally available for partners. Samuels said Cisco has offered API’s on PX Cloud in limited availability – mainly to a select number of its larger partners – but that access is about to expand.

“What we’re basically saying is, ‘If you want to sign up for that API access by PX Cloud, now you can. Because we’ve tested it. We know it works. We know the data’s sound,” Samuels said.

Samuels said that when Cisco launched PLS, his teamed had hoped to convince 500 to register their interest in learning about eligibility criteria, smart bonding and PLS workshops. Moreover, he had hoped that at least 25 partners would indicate their interest in smart bonding. However, the initial partner response exceeded his expectations, with nearly 470 partners coming on board in the first three months.

Samuels shared details about the CX Cloud and PX Cloud platforms, how smart-bonded partners are supporting customers differently and why Cisco revamped its PLS workshops to foster C-suite engagement.

See the eight slides above to learn more about Cisco Partner Lifecycle Services.

 

Nov 22

More Partner M&A: Bluewave Buys Advisory Firm iSymplify

By | Managed Services News

iSymplify’s owners will stick around at the combined company.

Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Group is expanding with the acquisition of iSymplify, the technology advisory firm and contact center expert

St. Louis-based iSymplify has agreed to terms with New Jersey-based Bluewave, marking Bluewave’s sixth acquisition in a year. The agency’s owners, Lorie and Brad Burkemper, have accepted roles as Bluewave managing partners. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The deal brings in an established agency that has helped deploy more than 50,000 cloud seats, according to Bluewave. It also cements a foothold in the greater St. Louis area. Bluewave will retain iSymplify’s office, bring its total number of cities with an office up to five. Moreover, it now employs close to 100 people.

For iSymplify, joining forces with Bluewave helps it grow and do more for its customers.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
Burkemper, Lorie_bluewave

Bluewave’s Lorie Burkemper

“After almost 15 years of growth, we considered many options to expand our capabilities and better support our clients’ evolving technology needs,” iSymplify founder and president Lorie Burkemper said. “Joining like-minded Bluewave allows us to further invest in our team and clients around solution consulting, expense management, and high-touch account management, as well as gain access to more robust processes and systems to provide clients with better insights and data to drive the best technology decisions.”

iSymplify Background

Burkemper founded iSymplify in 2013 following a career on the vendor side of the channel. She worked for seven years in account management at Verizon and three years in client development at Cybera. Her husband Brad joined the company in 2014.

iSymplify has gone on to win awards from vendors like Vonage and Tierpoint. It has also won awards from the tech solutions brokerage Telarus (including a 2021 Platinum Award).

Lorie Burkemper has also earned recognitions in the St. Louis business community, including one of St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owners. In addition, she co-founded the St. Louis-based Women in Tech Connect group.

Riding the Bluewave

Bluewave emerged early in 2022 with a $75 million growth investment from Columbia Capital. The company has sought to use M&A to bring together complementary partner types, including a mobility expense management provider, and now a contact center expert in iSymplify.

Penland, Seth_Bluewave

Bluewave’s Seth Penland

Bluewave intends to unify the acquired companies under a single platform and philosophy that emphasizes managing the customer’s entire technology life cycle.

“Our goal is to help businesses scale their operations efficiently and effectively while seizing innovation with the guidance of our best-in-class industry advisors,” Bluewave founder and CEO Seth Penland said. “We are excited to welcome the iSymplify team and expand our presence in the greater St. Louis area. Together, our joint resources expand our capabilities and emphasize our commitment to clients who need first-class technology advisory services.”

Bluewave has made two options available for owners of companies it requires. Its “ambassadors,” which include the leaders of recently purchased Virtual Telecomm, hold equity in Bluewave but don’t work with it on a day-to-day basis. Its managing partners, which include the Burkempers, will work in a daily role.

Agent M&A

Consolidation is occurring across the technology advisor (agent) channel. For example, Minnesota-based Renodis recently acquired 12 Points Consulting in a move that enhances its hospitality-focused equipment and managed solutions. Then there’s West Coast-based Bridgepointe Technologies with purchases of Canon Group and RealCom. And Upstack, whose backing from Berkshire Partners and other investors has helped it buy more than 25 agencies, continues to announce deals.

 

Nov 22

More Partner M&A: Bluewave Buys Advisory Firm iSymplify

By | Managed Services News

iSymplify’s owners will stick around at the combined company.

Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Group is expanding with the acquisition of iSymplify, the technology advisory firm and contact center expert

St. Louis-based iSymplify has agreed to terms with New Jersey-based Bluewave, marking Bluewave’s sixth acquisition in a year. The agency’s owners, Lorie and Brad Burkemper, have accepted roles as Bluewave managing partners. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The deal brings in an established agency that has helped deploy more than 50,000 cloud seats, according to Bluewave. It also cements a foothold in the greater St. Louis area. Bluewave will retain iSymplify’s office, bring its total number of cities with an office up to five. Moreover, it now employs close to 100 people.

For iSymplify, joining forces with Bluewave helps it grow and do more for its customers.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
Burkemper, Lorie_bluewave

Bluewave’s Lorie Burkemper

“After almost 15 years of growth, we considered many options to expand our capabilities and better support our clients’ evolving technology needs,” iSymplify founder and president Lorie Burkemper said. “Joining like-minded Bluewave allows us to further invest in our team and clients around solution consulting, expense management, and high-touch account management, as well as gain access to more robust processes and systems to provide clients with better insights and data to drive the best technology decisions.”

iSymplify Background

Burkemper founded iSymplify in 2013 following a career on the vendor side of the channel. She worked for seven years in account management at Verizon and three years in client development at Cybera. Her husband Brad joined the company in 2014.

iSymplify has gone on to win awards from vendors like Vonage and Tierpoint. It has also won awards from the tech solutions brokerage Telarus (including a 2021 Platinum Award).

Lorie Burkemper has also earned recognitions in the St. Louis business community, including one of St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owners. In addition, she co-founded the St. Louis-based Women in Tech Connect group.

Riding the Bluewave

Bluewave emerged early in 2022 with a $75 million growth investment from Columbia Capital. The company has sought to use M&A to bring together complementary partner types, including a mobility expense management provider, and now a contact center expert in iSymplify.

Penland, Seth_Bluewave

Bluewave’s Seth Penland

Bluewave intends to unify the acquired companies under a single platform and philosophy that emphasizes managing the customer’s entire technology life cycle.

“Our goal is to help businesses scale their operations efficiently and effectively while seizing innovation with the guidance of our best-in-class industry advisors,” Bluewave founder and CEO Seth Penland said. “We are excited to welcome the iSymplify team and expand our presence in the greater St. Louis area. Together, our joint resources expand our capabilities and emphasize our commitment to clients who need first-class technology advisory services.”

Bluewave has made two options available for owners of companies it requires. Its “ambassadors,” which include the leaders of recently purchased Virtual Telecomm, hold equity in Bluewave but don’t work with it on a day-to-day basis. Its managing partners, which include the Burkempers, will work in a daily role.

Agent M&A

Consolidation is occurring across the technology advisor (agent) channel. For example, Minnesota-based Renodis recently acquired 12 Points Consulting in a move that enhances its hospitality-focused equipment and managed solutions. Then there’s West Coast-based Bridgepointe Technologies with purchases of Canon Group and RealCom. And Upstack, whose backing from Berkshire Partners and other investors has helped it buy more than 25 agencies, continues to announce deals.

 

Nov 22

More Partner M&A: Bluewave Buys Advisory Firm iSymplify

By | Managed Services News

iSymplify’s owners will stick around at the combined company.

Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Group is expanding with the acquisition of iSymplify, the technology advisory firm and contact center expert

St. Louis-based iSymplify has agreed to terms with New Jersey-based Bluewave, marking Bluewave’s sixth acquisition in a year. The agency’s owners, Lorie and Brad Burkemper, have accepted roles as Bluewave managing partners. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The deal brings in an established agency that has helped deploy more than 50,000 cloud seats, according to Bluewave. It also cements a foothold in the greater St. Louis area. Bluewave will retain iSymplify’s office, bring its total number of cities with an office up to five. Moreover, it now employs close to 100 people.

For iSymplify, joining forces with Bluewave helps it grow and do more for its customers.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
Burkemper, Lorie_bluewave

Bluewave’s Lorie Burkemper

“After almost 15 years of growth, we considered many options to expand our capabilities and better support our clients’ evolving technology needs,” iSymplify founder and president Lorie Burkemper said. “Joining like-minded Bluewave allows us to further invest in our team and clients around solution consulting, expense management, and high-touch account management, as well as gain access to more robust processes and systems to provide clients with better insights and data to drive the best technology decisions.”

iSymplify Background

Burkemper founded iSymplify in 2013 following a career on the vendor side of the channel. She worked for seven years in account management at Verizon and three years in client development at Cybera. Her husband Brad joined the company in 2014.

iSymplify has gone on to win awards from vendors like Vonage and Tierpoint. It has also won awards from the tech solutions brokerage Telarus (including a 2021 Platinum Award).

Lorie Burkemper has also earned recognitions in the St. Louis business community, including one of St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owners. In addition, she co-founded the St. Louis-based Women in Tech Connect group.

Riding the Bluewave

Bluewave emerged early in 2022 with a $75 million growth investment from Columbia Capital. The company has sought to use M&A to bring together complementary partner types, including a mobility expense management provider, and now a contact center expert in iSymplify.

Penland, Seth_Bluewave

Bluewave’s Seth Penland

Bluewave intends to unify the acquired companies under a single platform and philosophy that emphasizes managing the customer’s entire technology life cycle.

“Our goal is to help businesses scale their operations efficiently and effectively while seizing innovation with the guidance of our best-in-class industry advisors,” Bluewave founder and CEO Seth Penland said. “We are excited to welcome the iSymplify team and expand our presence in the greater St. Louis area. Together, our joint resources expand our capabilities and emphasize our commitment to clients who need first-class technology advisory services.”

Bluewave has made two options available for owners of companies it requires. Its “ambassadors,” which include the leaders of recently purchased Virtual Telecomm, hold equity in Bluewave but don’t work with it on a day-to-day basis. Its managing partners, which include the Burkempers, will work in a daily role.

Agent M&A

Consolidation is occurring across the technology advisor (agent) channel. For example, Minnesota-based Renodis recently acquired 12 Points Consulting in a move that enhances its hospitality-focused equipment and managed solutions. Then there’s West Coast-based Bridgepointe Technologies with purchases of Canon Group and RealCom. And Upstack, whose backing from Berkshire Partners and other investors has helped it buy more than 25 agencies, continues to announce deals.

 

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