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IT Lab adds Azure expertise with Sol-Tec acquisition

Firm makes its fourth acquisition in as many years as it continues to expand the depth of cloud support it can provide

Managed service player IT Lab likes to make at least one acquisition a year and has already notched one up for 2020 with a deal to pick up Sol-Tec.

Sol-Tec is a Microsoft Azure specialist that has been around since 1992 and has worked with HM Revenue & Customs, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education, along with a host of private companies with their transition towards public cloud.

The acquisition, the terms of which were not disclosed, also keeps the revenues ticking upward at IT Lab, with the overall business now generating £85m.

This latest deal follows IT Lab’s purchase of Mirus in August last year, Content and Code in September 2018 and Perspective Risk in May 2017.

Sol-Tec will add a lot more depth around Microsoft’s cloud propositions for IT Lab, being able to support Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365.

Nik Topham, CEO and founder of Sol-Tec, said: “IT Lab was the natural home for Sol-Tec. With its dedicated focus on Microsoft and the deep expertise already established across Modern Workplace and Dynamics 365, Sol-Tec’s exceptional Azure capability complements and strengthens the ability of IT Lab to help our combined clients truly leverage the power of the Microsoft cloud.”

Topham will remain with the organisation, working on the integration of the businesses along with Tim Wallis, chief digital officer of the IT Lab Group. Paul Collins, CTO of Sol-Tec, will also remain in post, continuing to look after the technical side of the Azure practice, working alongside Nick Isherwood, IT Lab’s product and service director for Azure.

The strategy behind IT Lab’s last four acquisitions has been to add more depth to its managed service offering to customers, with a specific emphasis on Microsoft. The firm has beefed up its security credentials and has its own security operations centre (SOC) and has implemented the Azure Sentinel tool.

Peter Sweetbaum, CEO of IT Lab, said Sol-Tec came with Azure expertise “in the design, deployment and configuration of secure and compliant Azure environments”.

He added: “We are incredibly excited to add Sol-Tec’s award-winning Azure expertise to our market-leading Modern Workplace and Dynamic 365 practices, further solidifying IT Lab as one of the UK’s leading Microsoft-focused cloud services and solutions providers. Having the ability to deliver the functionality that Microsoft cloud-centric services can provide, particularly at this pivotal and challenging time, is key for our clients.”

This is IT Lab’s fourth acquisition since it received the backing of private equity player ECI Partners, and Sweetbaum indicated that the Sol-Tec deal will not be the last.

“As a group, we will continue to look for exceptional businesses to become part of the group,” he said. “The common theme with the deals we have done since ECI’s investment, including Perspective Risk, Content and Code, Mirus and now Sol-Tec, is that we have consistently acquired exceptional businesses with amazing teams – all of which want to do great things.”  

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