Avanade Buys eConnex for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consulting

Avanade Buys eConnex for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consulting

Avanade Company LogoAvanade, the IT consulting firm and managed service provider (MSP) backed by Microsoft, has acquired eConnex to gain more Microsoft Dynamics CRM consulting expertise in Europe. Plus, Avanada has named two key executive appointments.

First, the eConnex acquisition. eConnex offers Microsoft Dynamics CRM consulting services to healthcare and hospitality customers across Europe. The company was founded in 1996 and achieved Microsoft Gold status in 2006 and President's Club status for Microsoft Dynamics in 2010. Financial terms of the Avanada-eConnex deal were not disclosed.

The Microsoft channel certainly is in transition as a growing number of customers carefully evaluate their on-premise, cloud and mobile strategies. But Dynamics CRM -- both on premise and in the cloud -- seem to be growing businesses for Microsoft and its channel partners. During Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2011 in July, it was clear that business applications such as Dynamics CRM, Exchange, Lync and SharePoint continue to be growth opportunities for Microsoft and its partners.

No doubt, Avanade has bet its consulting and managed services businesses on Microsoft-related technologies. But that's because Microsoft was an early investor in the company. In addition to buying eConnex, Avanade is evolving its executive team.

Howard Kilman is now Avanade's chief leadership officer (CLO). This is the first I've heard of  a CLO within the CXO executive suite. In a prepared statement, Avanade CEO Adam Warby said: "In this newly created role, Howard's charter will be to work with our executives and HR team to broaden our current leadership development program and maximize our investments for developing leadership capabilities across the business."

Meanwhile, Aziz Virani fills Kilman's former post: Avanade's president of the North America region. Virani was Avanade Vice President of Global Technology & Organization. He built the company's incubation and innovation organization and helped the company build solutions, services and engineering assets to boost Avanade's customer delivery approach.


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