Acquisition Adds to Eagle Point Customer Base
HERMITAGE, Pa. — The acquisition of a Pittsburgh-based information technology company will give Eagle Point Technology Solutions an opening into the greater Pittsburgh market.
Eagle Point announced Tuesday its acquisition of Western Pennsylvania Technology, or WPATech, for an undisclosed amount. It comes at a time when the IT managed-services industry is undergoing a consolidation and Eagle Point is looking to grow organically as well as through partnerships and acquisitions, said its president, Mark Robertson.
“We want to make sure that we’re leading in that and are being the consolidator versus being consolidated into,” he said. “As we welcome WPATech, we believe that their experience and expertise in IT consulting and networking solutions along with their proactive support and maintenance expertise will greatly enhance our ability to serve the Pittsburgh region’s technology needs.”
For five years, Eagle Point served Hermitage as well as parts of Youngstown and Ashtabula County, Robertson said. The company is a seedling sponsor for the eCenter@LindenPointe and has enjoyed consistent gains in business since opening.
Competition is higher in Pittsburgh, but he said the company will continue to target small- to medium-sized businesses and will leverage the 20-plus years of combined corporate experience that the management team at Eagle Point has, along with nearly 45 combined years in information technology and business systems.
“We have a strong background in understanding what businesses need outside of just IT,” he said.
While desktop and network support are primary services offered by Eagle Point, the company is putting a greater emphasis on security this year, he said. As stories and reports of companies being hacked make their way into the news cycle, more small- to medium-sized businesses are looking for IT security support.
“For a small business owner, being compromised can be devastating to your business,” Robertson said. “In 2019, that is one of our biggest focuses. We changed tool sets at the end of 2018 to get more focus on security while still providing all the traditional managed services.”
Eagle Point will serve some 35 customers from WPATech’s portfolio and will bring on a full-time staff member from the company, who will specialize in desktop server network support. WPATech operated a Pittsburgh office and a Champion office, neither will be taken over by Eagle Point.
Management from WPATech will not transition over to Eagle Point, though its former co-owner, Brian Abercrombie, said he is “comfortable and confident” in the transition.
“They have the same goals and objectives in mind,” Abercrombie said. “They know the relationships we’ve built with our clients here in the Pittsburgh market and they know where their areas of profitability lie to continue to support those clients.”
Abercrombie and his partners started WPATech in 2006 to focus on small businesses in the greater Pittsburgh area, providing commodity IT support and services. The staff of five – three managers, one full-time employee and one working contractually – often served customers in their place of business, which gave the company a competitive advantage, Abercrombie said.
For 12 years, the company “never had a bad operating year,” but eventually got to the point where it needed to either form a partnership or find a successor to serve their 30-plus client portfolio, he said.
“It’s a business model that the only way to generate income and remain profitable is to keep operating costs low and provide value-added services,” Abercrombie said. “We were the individuals providing those services, so it was our time.”
While other IT managed-service providers that are more commoditized and work remotely can be more lucrative, he said there is still a market with customers who want to know the name of the person they are working with. Most of those customers are family-owned and operated businesses.
“There’s still customers and clients out there who appreciate that and are willing to pay for it,” he said.
Abercrombie, who is now chief technology officer at TriState Capital Bank, said he and other former WPATech management will be available to their former customers on a consultant basis. One partner, Cory Eiler, is now president of BreadWorks in Pittsburgh, which was a WPATech customer.
Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.