AppSmart Buys MicroCorp as Channel Convergence Strikes AgainAppSmart Buys MicroCorp as Channel Convergence Strikes Again
It's yet another move by this acquisition-hungry company.
December 7, 2020
AppSmart expanded Monday with the acquisition of master agent MicroCorp, advancing its mission to be a channel-led, one-stop shop for all B2B technology services, the company announced. AppSmart didn’t reveal the purchase price.
Privately-owned MicroCorp is the latest company to join AppSmart since December 2018. At that time parent company AppDirect purchased NeoCloud and WTG to form AppSmart. Other acquisitions followed, as Telegration and CNSG integrated into AppSmart.
AppSmart’s Renee Bergeron
“MicroCorp is one of the largest master agents in the U.S. joining the AppSmart family. We’re excited about what they bring to the company, including a top-notch team,” said Renee Bergeron, senior vice president and general manager, AppSmart. “There’s cultural alignment and also vision alignment. MicroCorp is a company that’s been investing for years in building innovative, proprietary technology which is a platform that provides self-service for agents. That’s very much in line with what AppSmart is all about.”
Bergeron refers to eeko Hero, the MicroCorp marketplace, launched earlier this year in April.
MicroCorp’s Karin Fields
“When we were approached by AppSmart, we already felt that the wave of how businesses would procure all of their technology would be in a more Amazonesque type way,” said MicroCorp CEO Karin Fields. “The timing [for an AppSmart acquisition] just seemed right. The culture that Nick and Dan have developed with AppSmart and AppDirect is very aligned with our culture. And, where they’re going and where they see the future of how people will be buying is exactly what we believe. We’re ecstatic.”
Nicolas Desmarais and Daniel Saks co-founded AppDirect in 2009. Nicolas Desmariais is chairman and co-CEO and Daniel Saks is president and co-CEO.
The entire MicroCorp team joins AppSmart, effective immediately. That includes Fields and Phil Keenan, president, who brings experience with resellers, software and infrastructure as well as telecommunications.
AppSmart’s provider portfolio and focus on providing the best advisor experience through automated tools and MicroCorp’s proprietary technology platform, post- acquisition, cements AppSmart as one of the largest telecommunications master agents in the U.S.
However, the AppSmart marketplace is about more than telecom. It offers business services including connectivity, wireless/mobility, software, infrastructure, energy, managed services and devices to a broad range of industry verticals.
“Today businesses want to work with fewer partner who can integrate solutions for them,” said Bergeron. “We’re seeing resellers and MSPs dabble in connectivity. We’re seeing telco agents move into the software space. But the big problem for these partners is the supply chain. It hasn’t evolved. Distribution still focuses on software and infrastructure and master agents focus on connectivity. So, partners who want to work across a broader spectrum of technology have to work with multiple supply chains. That’s the problem we’re trying to solve. We want to be the supply chain for partners regardless of the type of technology the need to provide to their customer – software, infrastructure, connectivity and wireless.”
Partners and Convergence
AppSmart is on the forefront of bringing a converged IT and telecom portfolio to partners. While some partners sell a mix of IT and telecom product, there’s more room for …
… transformation in the channel.
“Channel partners are evolving and have been for a couple of years -shifting from software on-premises to software in the cloud, from infrastructure on-premises to infrastructure in the cloud. The beauty of our environment is that it’s constantly changing, and the next transformation is about expanding beyond the set of solutions they provide today to providing adjacent solutions,” said Bergeron.
What’s ahead for MicroCorp partners?
“This deal supersizes us,” said Fields. “It enables [partners] to offer more products and solutions to their existing customers and to attract new customers. We’ve always been more network-centric and we don’t have a lot of applications that our partners can work with. This [deal] opens up a much richer portfolio where partners can talk to their customers about everything technology.”
She expects that some partners will gravitate to AppSmart easily, others will have a learning curve. And some partners will need time to transition. “But, more of our partner base comes from the MSP, solution provider side of the house versus the traditional partner side of the house,” said Fields.
MicroCorp has actively been recruiting MSPs, technology consultants and a new breed of partner for several years.
The integration of MicroCorp into AppSmart will take place over the next couple of months while the team identifies best practices. At the same time, AppSmart will work to focus on the customers. “That means we’ll continue to innovate at the customer level, at the technology level and we’ll be rolling our new and exciting functionality around the marketplace,” said Bergeron.
The company is rolling out self-service quoting for agents. The experience for self-service software and IaaS has been upgraded. There’s a new dashboard for agents as well as other tools. “We’re driving our technology vision to help our advisors be successful in growing our business and we’ll continue to do so,” she said.
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