Birmingham-based IT solutions provider TekLinks, Inc., announced today that it has acquired Claris Networks; specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Established in 1998 and headquartered in Knoxville, TN, Claris Networks is a privately-owned provider of advanced IT services including cloud, managed, healthcare IT, and strategic consulting to small and mid-sized businesses in Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville, TN.
The acquisition strategically increases TekLinks’ presence in the eastern Tennessee market and significantly increases the size of the company’s managed services business. The companies’ combined recurring revenue bolsters TekLinks’ scalability and operational strength, and with offices located throughout Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida, clients of both companies will benefit from a deeper network of engineering talent and a broader portfolio of business IT solutions.
Earlier this year, TekLinks earned the distinction of being ranked in the Top 25 of Penton Technology’s eighth-annual MSPmentor 501 Global Edition, a notable list and report identifying the world’s leading managed service providers (MSPs). TekLinks was also named to CRN’s Tech Elite 250, an elite group of IT solution providers that have invested in the training and education needed to earn the most advanced technical certifications from leading vendors. The merger with Claris Networks also augments TekLinks’ commitment to recruiting, developing, and retaining some of the best IT talent in its footprint.
Claris Networks has also distinguished itself as a premier provider of cloud computing, managed IT, and engineering services. The company prides itself on a customer-centric service model, with an emphasis on certified support and data security. This year the company ranked 25th among MSPmentor’s North American list of MSPs, and in 2014 the Talkin’ Cloud 100 list ranked Claris Networks 51st among the world’s top 100 Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). Last year Claris Networks was also ranked 138th among CRN’s Fast Growth 150, a list recognizing the fastest-growing solution providers in North America.
Jim Akerhielm, CEO of TekLinks, Inc., said, “This partnership is exciting for a variety of reasons. Claris has demonstrated an impressive business model and an extremely focused sales structure; the company is also operationally robust, as evidenced in the explosive growth rate in their managed services business. Expanding our Tennessee footprint will also solidify our market presence in several key areas for potential growth. I look forward to seeing how our combined efforts and assets will enable us achieve service-delivery excellence for our clients. Together, we will continue to enrich the range of next-generation IT services and solutions that businesses rely upon each day to grow their success.”
“I could not be more excited for what this partnership with TekLinks means for our customers and employees,” said Larry Bodie, former CEO of Claris Networks and current TekLinks Senior Vice President of Tennessee. “This acquisition will enable us to better fulfill our dual missions: to provide the best service our customers will ever experience, and to be a place our employees love coming to work.”
Bodie also said that both he and Claris Networks’ co-owner Dave Sagraves will maintain partial ownership in TekLinks and significant leadership roles in the company.
David Powell, TekLinks VP of Marketing