Say hello to managed services acquisition number 18 for 2011. This latest deal involves BEAR Data Solutions Inc. snapping up LiquidIT, an MSP based in Las Vegas. With headquarters in San Francisco, BEAR Data’s offerings include virtualization, unified communications, networking, storage, staffing, and managed services. The company said the LiquidIT buy will help it grow its portfolio of services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In the MSP space, BEAR Data is expanding its current lineup of network and security services. Don James, chief executive officer of BEAR Data, said the company is moving into hosted IT services -- for Exchange and Sharepoint, for example. James added that an established partnership also lets the company provide Payment Card Industry compliance scanning as well as cloud-based security services.

LiquidIT also reinforces BEAR Data’s vertical market presence. LiquidIT focuses on such areas as healthcare, gaming and Web. 2.0. BEAR Data’s markets include education, financial services, government, healthcare, media/entertainment, oil/gas, technology startups, and Web 2.0.

The companies were acquainted with each other prior to the deal. BEAR Data and LiquidIT had worked together on some mutual projects over the past three years, James said. LiquidIT, launched in 2007, monitors and manages customers’ networks, providing 24x7 technical support, remote infrastructure monitoring, management and maintenance, security services, and Voice over IP technology.

While some recent MSP acquisitions emphasize a specific niche -- unified communication, for instance, BEAR Data’s acquisition seems to emphasize greater scale and broader service lines.

Meanwhile, the list of MSP-related mergers and acquisitions in 2011 continues to grow rapidly. Recent deals MSPmentor has spotted include:
  1. Trivalent Group acquired Innovative Software Strategies
  2. eCommerce Industries acquired FMAudit for managed print services expertise
  3. Peak Uptime acquired eMonarch
  4. mindSHIFT acquired ORBIT
  5. Carousel acquired OmniPresence (apparently the deal has yet to officially close though)
  6. Fraser Advanced Information Systems purchased PennLantic Corp.
  7. Ancero acquired Integrated Network Consulting Inc.
  8. Netgain acquired DLP Technologies
  9. Microholdings US acquired ConnectIT Networks Inc.
  10. Konica Minolta acquired All Covered, a national MSP that plans continued acquisitions
  11. Printelligent acquired DirectPointe’s managed print services business
  12. Fully Managed acquired HIT Business Solutions as part of a Canadian expansion plan
  13. mindSHIFT acquired Alpheon
  14. MBCSolutions merged with Britec Computer Systems.
  15. VODA Computer Systems Ltd. and Graycon Group Ltd. merging to serve six locations in Western Canada
  16. White Glove Technologies acquired Primus Networks
  17. Carousel Consulting acquiring Juma's IT consulting business
We’re also watching the following item: DirectPointe, based in Utah, has put its $8.2 million managed services provider business up for sale, MSPmentor reported earlier this year.

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