U.S. firm buys Ontario VAR to build up MS business

California-based Tectura Corp. has added an Ontario Microsoft reseller to its list of recent acquisitions in a quest to become a leading Microsoft solution provider for mid-market customers.

Tectura, a San Mateo integrator of

international mid-market systems, has bought Burlington-based Options Software & Consulting Inc., whose strengths are in service management, CRM solutions, project accounting, distribution, financials and analytics.

Tectura executives said the deal will boost its plans for the Canadian marketplace.

John Matterson, executive vice-president of North America for Tectura, said Options gives it “”that ability to go after the market more aggressively in Canada”” that Aston Business Solutions, a Tectura acquisition made last week, has been weak in doing.

“”We certainly are looking for a global reach,”” said Matterson, adding the California integrator also bought Cosmo Consult of Germany in May, and has purchased several companies stemming back to January.

A partner for Microsoft Business Solutions products like Navision, Solomon, Axapta and CRM applications, Tectura has 50 customers in Canada. Worldwide, Tectura has 4,000 customers and offices across Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia.

“”The CRM business that (Options has) developed in Canada is something we think we’ll be able to roll out throughout North America.””

Matterson described joining forces with Options as a “”cultural fit that makes a lot of sense for us.””

The appeal of purchasing Options, in the past honoured for excellence in Microsoft’s Great Plains software, was also based on a workforce armed with “”huge skills”” and the company’s recent naming as Microsoft’s global partner of the year, Matterson explained.

“”One of the things that is coming together quite nicely with (Tectura) as it goes through all the acquisitions is that we’re building fairly large experienced disciplines within each of the Microsoft product lines,”” said Options’ president David Savel, who will take responsibility for Canadian operations, although his title hasn’t been established.

Although Options typically has focused on the Great Plains product line, it has “”picked up some Navision resources”” through the opportunity to work with former employees of Aston Business, and will benefit from Tectura’s strength in Axapta and classic Microsoft products, Savel explained.

Savel said Options has developed global expertise in field service management and the power-generation utility area. Connecting with Tectura’s truly global network, Options no longer has to cut separate partnering deals with firms around the world to complete its implementations, he added.

Tectura has set up two task forces to take care of emerging challenges typical of acquisitions, so the rest of the work force can concentrate on dealing with customers.

The other order of business, Savel explained, is to decide whether to pursue opportunities, for example, revolving around intellectual property or Axapta and Navision resources.

“”We truly are now consultants in the best sense of the word,”” because Tectura is now confident about recommending to clients the best product line, he said. “”So that’s huge, especially from a sales standpoint.””

The deal came together last October in Spain when Tectura CEO Terry Petrzelka and Savel —— who were part of a Microsoft advisory council and have known each other for several years —— “”started exploring the potential of putting our organizations together,”” having realized they shared the same focus of establishing credibility in all of Microsoft’s product lines.

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