Mark Cook tells CPI why the channel should look to the IT services firm for its future expansions via M&A
IT services giant Getronics claims that with the launch of its new Investment Services Group, other channel players as well as customers can buy M&A advice "as a three to five-year service".
The $1.3bn (€1.1bn) Netherlands-based firm is itself no stranger to acquisitions.
This year it shocked the market by snapping up a US firm that was larger than itself, in the form of infrastructure MSP Pomeroy.
At the time, Getronics CEO Nana Baffour said the buyout gave the firm "a huge advantage over its European reseller rivals".
Now, its vice chairman Mark Cook (pictured) has told CPI that lessons learned from the mega-acquisition will be applied to the firm's new investment services play.
"One of the biggest lessons is around speed, pace and communications," he said.
"Our deal was struck on a Tuesday. We were all in New York. We then flew straight to Kentucky, where Pomeroy is based, and everything that we planned to make - operational improvements and efficiencies - started right then; almost on day zero.
"On communications, firms don't always get things right. Things can get leaked and put out of context. So, working out the right way forward there is also so important.
"We've been on this journey before several times, and when it comes to integration, it's not just about cost savings. Your biggest benefit actually is from increased sales, often from existing customers."
When asked why businesses should come to Getronics rather than the usual corporate advisory firms that handle M&A transactions, Cook said Getronics' IT day-to-day experience gives it several USPs.
"Even though we have this global footprint, we'll focus very much on the mid-market. So, we're not necessarily trying to compete with the Accentures and IBMs of the world," he said.
"The other thing is that we don't just do what McKinsey or a Bain do, we don't just advise on strategy or due diligence, we've got the operational expertise to actually deliver on what we identify.
"And in some cases, like in procurement, we will actually pin our commercials on having skin in the game. If, for example, we identify 30 per cent cost savings, we would actually pin our commercials to that for the customer.
"And then of course as we're a technology company, we can lock all that value into a three to five-year deal, wrap that up in a management services wrapper and deliver it back to the customer.
"I think it's fairly unusual bringing all those elements together."
Cook said that the Investment Services Group has been in the works for a year. It will focus on London and Manhattan, with Singapore being considered as an additional global centre.
The team will be fronted by "a dozen managing leads" with support drawn from the rest of the 9,000-headcount business.