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New Signature's 2015 Acquisition Tear Continues

New Signature, the Microsoft U.S. Partner of the Year for both 2014 and 2015, acquired yet another Microsoft ecosystem player this month in its venture capital-fueled quest to be the premier Microsoft partner in North America.

The acquisition of Atlanta-based Microsoft partner InfraScience this week adds 55 employees, bringing Washington, D.C.-based New Signature to 250 employees.

"Our aspiration is to be the go-to partner for Microsoft across North America," said New Signature CEO Jeff Tench in an interview.

Tench joined the company as CEO in April as part of a $35 million cash infusion from Alexandria, Va.-based Columbia Capital. New Signature quickly took that capital to Toronto for a shopping spree, buying professional services firm CMS Consulting and cloud specialist Infrastructure Guardian in June, then snapping up application developer imason inc. last month.

New Signature had built a strong geographic presence in the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast over its first dozen years. Tench said he and New Signature Founder and President Christopher Hertz immediately started looking to the Southeast as a logical adjacent territory for an acquisition.

"We talked to a lot of folks within the Microsoft ecosystem and every time we had a conversation, folks would mention two or three companies, and every time they talked about InfraScience and how great they were," Tench said.

For his part, InfraScience Co-Founder Jeff Meyer, who is now president, Greater Southeast, for New Signature, knew New Signature by reputation. "InfraScience is a company that's been in business about 12 years, almost exactly the same timeframe as New Signature. We kind of grew up together in the Microsoft ecosystem, and we knew of each other in the last few years, up on stages accepting awards for various different districts and regions," Meyer said. The companies started talking over the summer, closed the deal just before Thanksgiving and announced it Monday.

With additional offices in Charlotte, N.C., Durham, N.C., and Tampa, Fla., InfraScience completes the Eastern Seaboard puzzle for New Signature. "We have a contiguous territory effectively up and down the East Coast, including Eastern Canada," Tench said. He added that the company has employees in over 25 states and several countries and will continue to pursue business opportunities outside that territory when it makes sense.

With their deep focus on the Microsoft stack, both firms have a lot of technological overlap, Hertz said. However, InfraScience brings deeper expertise on identity and access management, said Hertz, adding, "Essentially, identity rules everything when it comes to the cloud."

InfraScience also has a more developed health care practice than New Signature did. "We've been working the health care industry for eight years," Meyer said. "We've acquired a lot of health care clients and specific expertise and some solutions that are unique to the market."

Meanwhile, New Signature has fully developed SharePoint, application development and managed services practices that InfraScience didn't previously offer that can now be extended to the acquired company's customer base.

While New Signature's management remains aggressive, Tench suggested that the torrid pace of acquisitions may tail off a bit in 2016.

"We're carefully considering where we go next. But we've got an awful lot to do within our existing markets and a lot more business to grow there, as well," Tench said. "I would say it will be a bit more balanced probably as we look at 2016 between organic versus inorganic investment."

A Busy 2015 for New Signature
Date Event Company Type HQ
April 22 Gets $35 million investment from Columbia Capital Venture capital Alexandria, Va.
June 1 Acquires CMS Consulting Professional services Toronto
June 1 Acquires Infrastructure Guardian Cloud governance and operations Toronto
Nov. 2 Acquires imason inc. Application development Toronto
Dec. 1 Acquires InfraScience Regional solution provider Atlanta, Ga.

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 02, 2015