Internet Solutions (IS) today announced it has acquired a majority stake in SYNAQ, a local managed Linux service provider, for an undisclosed sum.
According to Wayne Speechly, Executive for Communication Services at IS, the acquisition boosts IS' ability to address the growing need for managed communication services in the SME market, through the delivery of robust hosted Linux and open source technologies, while SYNAQ will benefit from access to IS' world-class infrastructure and gain a strong base of support for African and international expansion.
Founded in 2004, SYNAQ are experts in the provisioning of Linux and open source software-based solutions on a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis, targeted mainly at the SME market. “Initially we provided support and maintenance for various hosted Linux email services and also developed the first anti-spam SaaS solution in South Africa,” explains Yossi Hasson, Managing Director at SYNAQ.
“However, as the hype around Linux settled and its adoption as an enterprise-ready solution increased, we diversified and added the development, deployment and hosting of email branding, archiving, disaster recovery and continuity, and collaboration solutions, as well as the provisioning of other cloud-based Linux applications to our product and service offering,” he continues.
Speechly explains that the decision to acquire a stake in SYNAQ was driven largely by the rapidly increasing adoption of hosted services by SMEs. “The corporate governance, legal and regulatory requirements around the management and storage of data and information, especially email, are driving the adoption of hosted services,” he says.
“While IS has always catered to the SME market with our access and hosted Exchange services, we needed the flexibility and adaptability that a smaller, specialist Independent Software Vendor like SYNAQ could offer, especially with their Linux and open source-based solutions,” continues Speechly. “This flexibility means that we can now adapt quickly to market changes and offer bundled solutions to meet specific needs. It also gives us great flexibility in terms of our price points, due to the less onerous licensing fees associated with Linux and open source software.”
Speechly also explains that Linux offers a dynamic development platform, with strong local support for cloud-based applications. “As Linux and open source has historically not been IS' area of expertise, it made more sense to acquire a company that has the skills and track record to cater to the growing demand for these services. Furthermore, there are also important synergies between the stability and capabilities of IS' tier-4 data centre network and the stability of the Linux platform. This combination will allow us to effectively deliver applications from the cloud and meet any level of demand for hosted services.”
From a SYNAQ point of view, Hasson explains that the acquisition by IS will give the company the ability to scale and grow at a much faster rate. “When it comes to the development and deployment of cloud-based applications, infrastructure is key, and IS offers the most advanced infrastructure and capabilities in the country,” he says. “We are now also better positioned to expand and grow into other markets, as we now have strong backing and support, and can tap into the African and global footprint of IS and their parent company, Dimension Data.”
Hasson also believes that IS' acquisition of SYNAQ affirms the growing demand for professional Linux and open source-based services, and the ability to provision these platforms from the cloud. “It is clear that the market is changing and that there is a demand for these types of services, so we are very excited for what the future holds,” he concludes.
Speechly also points out that the acquisition was not only an investment into Linux and open source technologies. “IS is also making an investment into the SYNAQ management team,” he states. “We have been impressed with their operation and the growth of the company, and we are now backing them, with our full support, to do great things in the market,” he concludes.
SYNAQ's operations, structure, management and staffing will remain unchanged following the acquisition and the company will continue to serve their current customers from their Johannesburg head office.