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SHI Acquires N.C. Microsoft Partner Eastridge

Microsoft's massive licensing partner, SHI International Corp., has acquired the professional services piece of a much smaller Microsoft partner this week to bolster SHI's post-sales services capabilities, especially around Office 365 and other Microsoft cloud products.

The deal for the 18-person professional services division of Winston-Salem, N.C. area-based Eastridge closed on Monday and was announced midweek. The amount that the global technology provider paid for Eastridge wasn't disclosed.

Travis Hargett, Eastridge's co-founder and president, joins SHI as managing director of services sales, reporting to Hal Jagger, SHI's vice president and general manager of corporate sales. The corporate division in SHI covers SMB and midsize customers.

Eastridge had been part of the SHI Elite Partner Program, performing deployment work and other projects for SHI customers that had bought Microsoft licensing for Office 365, Azure, SharePoint, SharePoint Online and Dynamics CRM.

"We were definitely familiar with them. It was really a good match because they were really able to add in their services alongside our expertise on the program side," said Ed McNamara, director of communications and marketing at SHI, in an interview.

The acquisition comes as Microsoft is pushing its partners to increase customer usage, or consumption, of Office 365 and other cloud product licenses.

McNamara said SHI's revenues around Microsoft products increased in 2015 by 12 percent. "Microsoft is our No. 1 partner, and we're their largest channel partner," he said. With that kind of growth, he added, "there was really a sense that we needed reinforcements."

Eastridge was one of a few partners in the SHI partner program providing services around Microsoft cloud products, McNamara said. The SHI partner program covers many other types of partners, such as those doing asset reclamation, and other geographies.

It's not immediately clear if adding 18 employees in North Carolina to a $6 billion company will provide the type of capacity that SHI will need to support its growth in Microsoft cloud services, or if SHI will need to continue to work with other partners.

"This was a fast and efficient way for us to increase our capacity in post-sales support," McNamara said. "Eastridge is going to be able to help us [deliver] on behalf of the customer more quickly."

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 25, 2016 at 3:52 PM


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