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SP500 Acquisition: SPS Buys Providea

October 23, 2012 | Telepresence Options
By Chad Berndtson, CRN

Strategic Products and Services (SPS), the Parsippany, N.J.-based communications and systems integration powerhouse, has acquired top video and managed services solution provider Providea Conferencing, the companies confirmed Monday.

Financial terms weren't provided. Providea, based in Camarillo, Calif., and founded in 1999, focuses on videoconferencing, cloud applications and managed services and is a well-known video and telepresence services partner of Cisco (NSDQ:CSCO), LifeSize, AT&T (NYSE:T), Masergy and others, including Polycom, from which it was named U.S. Partner of the Year for 2012.

It recently launched the Providea Gateway Service, an offering that provides a B2B connectivity service and removes integration costs and administrative headaches associated with connecting business-class video services to consumer-grade platforms like Skype and Google (NSDQ:GOOG) Talk.

SPS is one of the country's top Avaya Platinum partners and has extensive expertise in converged communications, contact center, IP telephony, unified communications, network infrastructure and mobility. It also specializes in Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT), Cisco, Extreme Networks, Motorola and other key vendors in the segment.

"Expanding our video and cloud-based competencies is an important step to enhance our UC portfolio and bolster our company's capabilities as a full UC and managed services provider," Jim Felicetti, SPS' COO, said in an email to CRN. "The Providea acquisition increases our scale, fortifies our knowledge base and extends out our reach for video conferencing, telepresence and private cloud solutions."

Providea will be a business unit of SPS, known as Providea Conferencing, an SPS company, and will report up to Felicetti. Providea President and CEO Todd Luttinger, whose new title hasn't yet been provided, will continue to run Providea's operations and 160 employees.

SPS, ranked No. 104 on the 2012 installment of UBM Channel's Solution Provider 500 and No. 79 on the 2012 CRN Fast Growth 100, was founded in 1988, and has about 500 employees and offices in more than 30 North American cities.

The company has had a healthy appetite for channel M&A, having now made five acquisitions of fellow VARs and systems integrators in the past two and a half years. Those included Jones Communications in March 2012, Imagine Technologies in December 2011, Spenser Communications in February 2011 and Consultedge in August 2010. SPS also recently launched an agent program for smaller solution providers that want to refer SMB business to SPS or leverage SPS' major vendor relationships to resell products. 

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