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Microsoft Dynamics Giants Combine in End-of-Year Merger

Two of the biggest partner companies in the Microsoft Dynamics channel merged in a deal announced Friday.

Edison, N.J.-based SBS Group and Columbus, Ohio-based Socius are combining to form Velosio, which will be led by the executive teams of both organizations.

The new company, which will have its legal headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, has 4,000 clients and more than 300 employees.

SBS and Socius were also Dynamics Master VARs, a business model Microsoft introduced in 2011 to allow a handful of large partners to recruit smaller partners who would sell Dynamics CRM and ERP solutions under the Master VAR's brand. By combining the SBS and Socius Master VAR networks, Velosio will have about 150 affiliates.

"The scale of the organization that we've assembled is unique in our space. It gives us the ability to scale in a lot of ways, much quicker than we could on our own," said Jeff Geisler, who was CEO of Socius and holds the same position at Velosio. "We really see this combination being a platform to help our four major stakeholders," he said in a reference to Velosio's clients, employees, affiliates and publishers, such as Microsoft, Sage and NetSuite.

The deal follows the acquisition in July of the 740-employee Tribridge, another Master VAR, by DXC, the services giant created earlier this year by the merger of CSC and the enterprise services arm of HPE.

Jim Bowman, president and CEO at SBS Group, who is now chairman and chief revenue officer for Velosio, said the new name reflects the organization's aim to grow fast. "We fully expect to have double-digit growth in the number of team members we have, revenue, you name it. We think there's a great opportunity in front of us," Bowman said.

One major potential source of that growth is the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Program. SBS Group's Stratos Cloud Alliance had been one of a dozen CSP Indirect Providers in the United States. Those companies facilitate the resale of Microsoft cloud subscriptions directly to customers by smaller Microsoft partners, who have been clamoring for the ability to set their own pricing and create their own service bundles rather than just pointing customers to Microsoft to transact the deals.

The Stratos Cloud Alliance differs from the other CSP Indirect Providers in that SBS specializes in facilitating Dynamics 365 subscription sales for non-Dynamics partners, allowing those partners to offer customers ERP and CRM products without building up expertise in those complicated businesses.

"With the addition of Socius' team with our team, we now have more resources that are available to work with partners in deploying Dynamics 365 and implementing it," Bowman said.

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 15, 2017