Managed Services Merger Update: Why Graycon and VODA United
Earlier this week, Graycon Group Ltd. and VODA Computer Systems Ltd. announced their merger. But what triggered the managed services combo, and which markets will the resulting company (known as Graycon) serve? I got an update a few minutes ago from Graycon Founder Douglas Gray (pictured). Here are the details.
Fact is, Graycon wasn’t actively pursuing an M&A strategy. The two companies discovered one another in November 2010, after VODA pursued an SMB engagement and discovered Graycon was already in the account. Soon after, Graycon and VODA executive leaders were on the phone with each other, discovering some potential synergies between the companies. Generally speaking, VODA is a VAR that has recently pushed into services. Graycon is more of an IT service provider; the company has roughly 400 customers that outsource entire IT operations — on-premise server management, co-location, cloud, etc. — to Graycon.
“We weren’t looking to get on the M&A trail but this great business combination sort of fell into our laps,” said Gray. “At the end of the first phone call both sides saw the potential of the deal. We believe in karma and this opportunity seemed to be surrounded by good karma.”
All of VODA’s 30 employees have joined Graycon, and the VODA name will fade away over the next few months, said Gray. The combined company has about 140 to 150 employees with six offices across Western Canada, he added.
Graycon’s mission is counter-intuitive. The company wants to make IT super boring for customers. Specifically, Gray wants to ensure SMB CFOs have a predictable, planned IT spend while forgetting about the day-t0-day IT operations. “We want to make IT like electricity. It’s just there, with no surprises.”
To deliver on its vision, Graycon continues to evangelize a completely outsourced IT strategy. Some customer engagements involve a Graycon employee working on-site at customer offices; other engagements involve project management, service desk, co-location and cloud activities, Gray added.
Side note: Thanks to Stuart Crawford from Ulistic, an MSP marketing company, for pointing out the Graycon-VODA deal to me earlier this week.