Technology advisors working with AppDirect can white-label ADCom's VEEUE managed services platform.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

August 1, 2023

4 Min Read
AppDirect Buys ADCom Solutions, Touting Managed Services Chops
ANDREI ASKIRKA/Shutterstock

B2B subscription commerce provider AppDirect has acquired carrier and hardware-focused managed services provider and long-time AT&T partner ADCom Solutions for an undisclosed sum.

AppDirect, which has gained notoriety in the channel for its B2B technology marketplace and its acquisition of different service and cloud distributors, announced the intriguing move on Tuesday. Many of AppDirect’s acquisitions and investments have surrounded distributors that bring back-office support and a base of residual commissions. While ADCom possesses an agency practice, AppDirect pointed out that it is buying the Georgia-based company’s network operations center (NOC) and VEEUE platform

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AppDirect’s Renee Bergeron

“Continuing to bring value to the channel is paramount to what we do at AppDirect. This means seeking out people, processes and tools to help us achieve this goal,” AppDirect COO Renee Bergeron said. “The addition of ADCom Solutions’ NOC and VEEUE platform to our diverse catalog gives our advisors access to a new managed services portfolio and provides them with the solutions they need to thrive in a changing business landscape.”

According to AppDirect, the deal will give its network of technology advisors (agents) the ability to leverage the VEEUE solution. According to ADCom, the VEEUE solution leverages ServiceNow and Zenoss to give partners a view into any device with an IP address. VEEUE stands for “visual end-to-end user experience.”

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ADCom’s RJ Chapple

Moreover, the companies stated that customers of 35-year-old ADCom will not see any disruption to their services.

“We’re excited to join forces with the AppDirect team to continue to deliver relevant, high-touch managed solutions to customers, strategic providers, partners and advisors moving forward,” ADCom President RJ Chapple said. “AppDirect’s investment, market-leading vision, B2B platform expertise and development teams will accelerate our time to market with new enhancements that add significant value to the customer experience. The future shines bright with this announcement for all parties.”

Partners can white-label the VEEUE platform in addition to using AppDirect’s own network operations center, according to AppDirect CEO and co-founder Nicolas Desmarais.

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AppDirect’s Nicolas Desmarais

“AppDirect is committed to offer our technology advisors a comprehensive set of services and solutions to meet the demands of their customers and increase profit,” Desmarais said.

AT&T Relationship

In addition to its resources in managed services, ADCom has built a strong relationship with AT&T. The company describes itself as a “founding member of AT&T’s Alliance Channel” and an AT&T Solution Provider Champion for 15 straight years. AT&T in its latest awards for the Alliance Channel recognized ADCom at the gold level, right next to AppDirect.

Regulatory Approval

ADCom’s George Johnson and William Johnson on May 24 filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to transfer control of ADCom to AppDirect. They noted in their application that although neither ADCom nor AppDirect fit the description of a facilities-based carrier, ADCom does provide “point-to-point telecommunications on a private carriage basis.”

The letters to the FCC note that AppDirect is acquiring 100% of outstanding ADCom shares. Moreover, a board of directors is expected to consist of the Nicolas Desmarais and AppDirect general counsel Mark Liu.

AppDirect sent a 13-page document to the FCC to support the application the ownership structure of both ADCom and AppDirect. The document provides a fascinating glimpse of the inner workings of a privately held player in the channel.

The document shows that Nicolas Desmarais holds 12.9% equity in AppDirect, the second most equity of any individual. Moreover, he holds 40.84% voting power. His father Paul Desmarais Jr., chairman and co-CEO of Power Corporation of Canada, holds the most equity at 14.25%. However, the elder Desmarais possesses 5.96% voting power.

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Source: June 15 Letter from Charles Hudak and Henri Shi to the FCC

One of the noticeable shifts from the last disclosure AppDirect made to the FCC about its structure (in conjunction with its 2019 acquisition of Telegration) is that co-founder Daniel Saks’ equity has decreased slightly from 11% equity and 32% voting power. Saks moved from co-CEO to president in 2022.

The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau on July 28 released a letter granting the application.

 

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email James Anderson or connect with him on LinkedIn.

 

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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