Integris acquires Clearwater managed service provider – Tampa Bay Business Journal – The Business Journals

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New Jersey-headquartered information technology firm Integris has acquired a 28-year-old Clearwater managed service provider, Network People.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the acquisition means the Clearwater firm will expand under new management, said Rashaad Bajwa, CEO of Integris. It’s also a sign of the growing private equity interest in the IT space.
“Our intention is to further invest in Tampa,” Bajwa said in a statement. “We have already hired additional staff to leverage Tampa as an entry point to grow our IT and cybersecurity practice across Florida.”
Network People’s founder Nate Freeman knew Bajwa for many years and respected the company, he said. The acquisition stemmed from the two leaders finding aligned respect, people, culture and operations between the two companies, Bajwa said.
“This combination is a natural fit for our vision as it will bring our clients expanded resources and skills, and it will put our employees on a fast track for growth,” Freeman said in a statement.
Freeman told the Tampa Bay Business Journal that he has watched the regional managed service provider ecosystem evolve through decades of involvement. Integris’ views on technology trends are well-suited for the industry, he said.
Service providers like Network People and Integris are also seeing the power of consolidation. It provides access to a larger workforce and the ability to negotiate with vendors to get the best pricing, Freeman said.
Network People was founded in Clearwater in 1996 and grew into a team of 23 employees who managed 150 clients. Now under Integris, Network People will operate out of its Clearwater office and plans to expand its space as the team grows, Bajwa said.
The Network People acquisition was Integris’ ninth portfolio addition in four years, and it marked the company’s expansion into an 11th state. Integris, backed by private equity firm Frontenac, is actively seeking to continue a string of managed service provider acquisitions, according to a release.
The Tampa Bay area hosts an ecosystem of managed service provider channels through companies like automation startup Rewst, Tampa vendor ConnectWise and Texas’ NinjaOne. Private equity and venture capital heads are turning to the IT industry after grabbing attention through deals like Thoma Bravo’s billion-dollar acquisition of ConnectWise in 2019. Integris’ interest in Network People is a sign of this trend, Freeman said.
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