More Partner M&A: Bluewave Buys Advisory Firm iSymplify
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.
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“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.”
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.
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.
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.