Published: May 19th, 2016

Last year Edmonton-based F12.Net Inc. made one of the more strategy mergers in the channel with the Insite Computer Group deal. Just over a year later, F12 has acquired XCEL Professional Services Inc., a Calgary-based managed services provider (MSP).

XCEL is a numerous CDN Channel Elite Award winner and finalist and now will help F12 expand its offering in the tough Calgary marketplace that has been tested with the slowdown in the Oil & Gas sector. Xcel does have a satellite office in Edmonton.

F12 CEO Alex Webb described the acquisition as a fit with the company’s strategy of expanding by finding disciplined managed services companies who have found the secret of efficient IT support and high customer satisfaction. “XCEL’s team fits our culture; they are a humble, hardworking team who enjoy working with each other and value their customers. Simply put, we have long admired each other and the timing is right,” he said.

The XCEL acquisition complements F12’s hardware along with its flagship Service Plus solution, an all-inclusive hardware and software licensing program.

F12 ranked No. 67 on the CDN Top 100 list up from No. 83 from last year’s ranking with revenues between $15 to $20 million.

XCEL co-owners Ray Archer and Ryan Barker plan to join the F12 team as associate partners. However, Colin Knox, the Chairman of XCEL will be sticking to Passportal, a cloud-based password and identity management vendor he helped to found back in 2009.

Knox founded Passportal as an MSP, while still running XCEL. Passportal now has more than 1,000 channel partners across 30 countries.

One of the keys to this deal is that XCEL now gets access to the F12 data centre and all the solutions around it.

In March of last year F12 entered into a merger agreement with perennial CDN Top 100 solution provider Insite. At the time, Insite No. 93 on the CDN Top 100 Solution Providers list, while F12 Networks came in two spots lower at No. 95. Both reported revenue ranges of $5 to $10 million.