By: Dann Anthony Maurno
Last week, Naperville, Ill.-based professional services firm Sikich LLP announced its largest acquisition to date; that of Brockman, Coats, Gedelian & Co., BCG Systems, Inc. and BCG Wealth Advisors, LLC (known collectively as BCG & Co.), based in Akron, Ohio and with an office in Atlanta, Georgia. It is the kind of deal that sets Sikich up for growth – by geographic reach, by vertical expertise, by breadth of IT services, and even within the Dynamics product line.
With annual revenues of more than $18 million, BCG & Co. represents the largest ever acquisition for Sikich. BCG & Co. offers audit and assurance, tax, technology and wealth management services – very much in line with Sikich’s offerings, but its technology practice is especially key to Sikich strategy.
Last August the company acquired Massachusetts-based Altico Advisors, which was at $8 million in revenue. At the time, Jim Drumm, partner-in-charge of Sikich’s technology practice, said the company’s 10-year plan is to grow its technology services practice from $60 million to $250 million by expanding on both east and west coasts.
Complementary in the cloud
Both Sikich and BCG are Tier 1 Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs), which was key to the new acquisition.
Strategically, BCG & Co.’s CSP status was essential to this acquisition, “but moving forward that won’t be as much of a criteria since we’ve got that capability,” says Drumm. Sikich is eyeing larger ERP solution providers for acquisition that are not CSPs. “As long as they have experience running Dynamcis AX, NAV or GP on Azure or in the cloud, it will be a good fit.”
He says of BCG & Co. that it will allow Sikich to expand its cloud capabilities across ERP platforms in Microsoft. “Right now, BCG primarily does Dynamics GP and we do Dynamics NAV and AX, and that will begin to give us more expertise on that side.”
On the topic of Microsoft’s April announcement that it was retiring 12 of its Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) competencies in favor of cloud competencies, Drumm says he agrees with the initiative and SIkich is fully on board. “It will be an all-cloud, all-mobile world. On-premise solutions are just in the past.
The Dynamics + productivity tools opportunity
Tier 1 Microsoft CSPs are expected to create unique offerings of solutions and services, and Drumm feels that BCG & Co. has a firm grasp upon the combined value proposition of the Dynamics and productivity offerings.
“They’ve done quite a few large Office 365 deployments, and that was attractive to us,” says Drumm. “They know how to size, scope and scale those Office 365 implementations really well, and they’ve got a solid team with the skill sets necessary to do that successfully.”
Sikich views Dynamics and the productivity tools as increasingly hand in hand, “and Microsoft wants it that way,” says Drumm. “So when we go in and talk to [a prospect], from a bundled perspective we’ll talk about Dynamics NAV or Dynamics AX on Azure, bundled with Office 365, Power BI and our own API” in engineer-to-order and supply chain applications. Between the BCG & Co. bundled offerings and those Sikich offered already, “we have a very unique set in each of the Dynamics product lines where it’s deployed in the cloud.”
Finally, the acquisition expands Sikich’s vertical reach. Sikich is experienced in several industries including agriculture, healthcare, professional services, and retail, as well as in manufacturing and distribution. BCG & Co. has complementary competencies in manufacturing and distribution. And, says Drumm, “their CPA and wealth management side brings a great deal to the table. It opens a lot of opportunity to us.”