Advantage buys Nspire Technologies, establishes Wellington beachhead

Advantage buys Nspire Technologies, establishes Wellington beachhead

Purchase of network engineering specialist adds 15 staff to Advantage's existing 45.

Brad Pearpoint (Advantage)

Brad Pearpoint (Advantage)

Credit: Supplied

Managed service and security service provider Advantage has bought Nspire Technologies, opening a beachhead into the Wellington market.

Advantage managing director Brad Pearpoint said the deal, which closes at the end of November, was all about growth, both through increased geographical reach and a broader the range of services both could offer customers.

Advantage has traded from Palmerston North for over thirty years and began targeting Auckland three and a half years ago. However, it also wanted to grow its business in the capital. 

The question was whether to do that organically or through acquisition. Through a "happy coincidence", Nspire's owners were looking to move on, Pearpoint told Reseller News.

"There are some huge synergies between the way our two businesses operate," he said. 

The companies shared the same partnership model with what were generally very long-term customers, he said. The cultures of the two companies and the way Nspire interacted with its staff internally were also very similar.

From that point of view the deal was a "natural fit", Pearpoint said.

"The icing on the cake is we do a lot of security where as they are focused on networking. This means we have an ability to overlay our security services and expertise across their existing set of customers and products to bolster their security posture."

Nspire also serviced a lot of central and local government clients while Advantage had been on central government panels for a while and was looking to grow that part of its business.

"It gives us a natural way to kickstart security services into central government," Pearpoint said.

"It gives us an instant reach into Wellington is the key thing. It gives us a physical location for our staff to work out of, so currently we have a lot of Wellington clients at Advantage and we travel up and down from Palmerston North." 

In terms of scale, Nspire brings another fifteen staff, taking the combined total to over 60.

"They are all high level engineers," Pearpoint said. "It's not a sales- or admin-heavy organisation. It's really a pure engineering business."

Advantage's back end systems would now be used to support the Nspire team as well. 

"They have some of the best capability in the country around networking there." said Advantage general manager Luele Driescher. 

The acquisition created an opportunity to better use Nspire's highly experienced people.

Pearpoint said the two organisations would continue to operate separately for the near term. 

"They have a good business now and we don't want to break it," he said. 

"Their clients and staff are happy and they work great and do an excellent job and we don't want to change any of that. Our goal is to help grow that and support with things like security to help underpin their services."

While Nspire implements firewalls, for instance, it does not deliver micro-segmentation and security incident and event management (SIEM) like Advantage. Those services would now bolster Nspire's and vice versa.

Nspire would help Advantage tackle projects that otherwise would have to be put off or delayed.

"I've already started using them," Driescher said. "I'm on my third engagement with them designing some infrastructure and some switching so it is very very handy to be able to pull out those resources as and when we need to."

Clients and staff have already been informed of the sale and the response had been strong, in part because many were seeking to consolidate their vendors and rationalise their supplier bases anyway.

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