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Microsoft NSI RBA Consulting Acquiring Ratchet

RBA Consulting, a Microsoft National Systems Integrator, signed a definitive agreement this month to acquire fellow Minneapolis-area firm Ratchet Inc. in a deal expected to close this week.

The move would give RBA a foothold in digital marketing, which is the specialty of Ratchet, a firm with 42 employees, $5 million in 2010 revenues and a Midwest-heavy client base that includes Chicago-based Navistar and Fortune 500 companies in Minnesota.

"We have been monitoring the direction of our industry and determining the best path to define new growth opportunities for our company which include expansion into the digital marketing and mobile technology service areas," said Mike Reinhart, RBA president and COO, in a statement. "In order to keep up with the rapid pace of the market, we needed to align with a firm that already has deep expertise, a strong reputation and solid client relationships. Ratchet brings these attributes and aligns well with RBA's culture."

The plan is to make Ratchet a wholly owned subsidiary of RBA. Ratchet President Martin Davis will become general manager of digital marketing and report to Reinhart. Ratchet employees will continue to report to Davis, who worked at RBA's predecessor, Born Information Services, before founding Ratchet in 2004.

The combined company would have 225 employees and expected full-year 2011 revenues of $35 million. A long-term company branding strategy is under review.

RBA is one of 34 Microsoft NSIs, an elite category of U.S.-based systems integrators that merit dedicated national resources from Microsoft's U.S. subsidiary. Founded in 2006, RBA has practices in Minneapolis, Denver and Dallas.

RBA's Web site lists 10 Microsoft competencies, including gold competencies in portals and collaboration, content management, application lifecycle management, data platform, server platform and application integration, and silver competencies in business intelligence, unified communications, Web development and software development.

The Ratchet acquisition gives RBA deep experience with mobile and social applications while enhancing its Web applications business.

Posted by Scott Bekker on August 30, 2011 at 11:58 AM