Minnesota channel partner Renodis is using M&A to ramp up its competencies in 5G, hospitality and utilities, among other growth areas.
The St. Paul-based telecom and mobility management provider wrapped its fifth acquisition last week in the form of Eric Ryan Corporation. The 20-year-old company’s inorganic growth strategy first started in 2018 but has ramped up in 2022. The agency is planning to announce two more deals by the end of the year.
Renodis’ Craig Beason
“We don’t want to grow faster than we can handle,” Renodis CEO Craig Beason told Channel Futures. “We’ve got our eyes set on getting over $100 million dollars in top line revenue with a healthy EBITA to the bottom, and I think we have a good plan,”
Beason founded the agency in 2002. At the time he held no telecom experience, other than working in a carrier’s HR division. Nevertheless, Beason said he saw an opportunity to build a telecom service model. As he saw it, business customers would benefit from someone managing their POTS lines from install to end-of-life.
Twenty years ago telecom centered around frame relay, before MPLS came into the picture.
“Telecom’s not a sexy space for enterprise clients. It’s kind of a means to the ends – the janitorial component. I felt at the time that there was a message around building and managing the lifestyle stack of the services,” Beason said. “I felt like enterprises didn’t do a great job with it. Carriers didn’t do a good job supporting it. I thought that the enterprise market would pay to have an expert come in to manage the life cycle, as well as the advisory services that go with that.”
Life Cycle Management
More and more agents brand themselves as holistic providers of technology services. That means expanding beyond vendor sourcing to walking the client through the entire life of the technology. Beason said Renodis was one of the first firms to take this approach.
“I’ve always said that this is where it’s going to go. The customers and the carriers are going to require agents to do more than brokering the services. There’s a lot of value in brokering the services. But unfortunately, as the market and the climate get that much more competitive, you’ve got to be able to offer more value-added services around it,” he said.
However, building such a practice doesn’t occur overnight, Beason said.
“I can build a website overnight and say I do it, but it’s a lot more involved than just working off a spreadsheet. If you’re doing a small client and bill $50,000 a month, maybe you could pull it off. But when you get to the enterprise, they’re looking for just a different level of tool sets and products,” he said.
Beason and his team built the practice from the ground up. He was a newly married young man when he started Renodis. His pregnant wife had recently taken voluntary severance. Cash was scarce. Growth came slowly but surely.
“Every year, every extra dollar went right back into building out products, tools and hiring people to be able to slowly morph into that outsourced model,” he said.
Beason said Renodis spent 2009 to 2013 building its in-house technology to enable itself to fully manage telecom. At the end of that stretch, a CIO approached them about the offering. The CIO wanted to help Renodis make the platform “enterprise-ready.” Moreover, they wanted to become…