Optiv Buys Conexsys, Continues Growth Strategy through Acquisition

Conexsys is the latest in a string of acquisitions Optiv has engaged in since its inception two years ago, and gives it a foothold in the Canadian market and the government vertical.

Kris Blackmon, Head of Channel Communities

November 13, 2017

2 Min Read
Optiv Security

Optiv Security announced today that it’s snapped up Conexsys, a Toronto-based security and networking solutions provider.

It’s been a busy couple of years for Optiv. The VAR-turned-MSSP has consistently made headlines since its formation in 2015 by the merger of Accuvant and FishNet Security, which was subsequently acquired by investment firm KKR in 2016.. Since then, Optiv has acquired a slew of companies in order to increase its market presence in key verticals and geographies.

The acquisition of Conexsys expands Optiv’s reach into the Canada and North American markets, as well as strengthens its foothold in the government vertical. Conexsys has served the Canadian government for over 30 years, according to a statement.

Conexsys will be able to bring holistic service offerings that offer comprehensive services, from strategy to deployment to management.

“Many Canadian organizations have magnified their investment and focus on cyber security but are finding it increasingly challenging to protect against the sophisticated threat landscape,” said Cheryl McGrath, Optiv’s country general manager for Canada. “Canadian companies need the right expertise from a partner that can bring clarity to the cyber security landscape, which can sometimes feel chaotic and complex.”

Growth through Acquisition

Since its inception two years ago, Optiv has engaged in a series of acquisitions as part of its growth strategy. Last year, the company gained identity and access management capabilities when it bought Advancive; third-party risk applications with the acquisition of Evantix; and more robust cloud offerings when it brought Adaptive Solutions into the fold.

It’s also snapped up companies in order to gain a more solid foothold in specific geographies, such as when it bought Comm Solutions earlier this year.

The Conexsys acquisition gets Optiv into the Canadian market, and it also strengthens its presence in government. As we’ve seen throughout 2017, many government agencies are woefully behind in terms of IT infrastructure and security measures. If Optiv can apply Conexsys’s Canadian government expertise to U.S. agencies, it could open big doors for the MSSP.

Optiv has leveraged packaged solutions to ease its transition from reseller to service provider, and its received an influx of cash from KKR. It’s a lesson for other resellers and MSPs to focus on comprehensive, hyperspecialized solution offerings if they’re looking to be acquired; equity firms are all about the recurring revenue.

Having big names on your board doesn’t hurt, either. Optiv announced earlier this year that it brought former FireEye and McAfee CEO Dave DeWalt and retired United States Army General and former CIA director David Petraeus onto its board, adding more heft to the company’s rapidly growing market presence. 

Today, Optiv occupies a top 10 spot in cybersecurity consulting firms with revenues that have increased by 15.5 percent to $373 million in the year following the KKR acquisition—not a bad place to be in an industry projected to reach $170 billion in the next three years.

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About the Author(s)

Kris Blackmon

Head of Channel Communities, Zift Solutions

Kris Blackmon is head of channel communities at Zift Solutions. She previously worked as chief channel officer at JS Group, and as senior content director at Informa Tech and project director of the MSP 501er Community. Blackmon is chair of CompTIA's Channel Development Advisory Council and operates KB Consulting. You may follow her on LinkedIn and @zift on X.

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