Data centers like those managed by Pomeroy IT Solutions form the technology backbone of Fortune 500 businesses.
Just outside Cincinnati, Ohio sits the unincorporated community of Hebron, Kentucky. Home to the Cincinnati International Airport and the United States Playing Card Company, Hebron also serves as the headquarters of Pomeroy IT Solutions.
From regional offices throughout the US, Canada, and Europe, Pomeroy manages the outsourced technology needs of a diverse client roster that includes Verizon, Lowe’s, P&G, Yum Brands, and Waste Management. The bustling firm today bears little resemblance to the company’s humble origins as a computer retail store in 1982. Pomeroy now boasts thousands of employees and a headquarters campus that includes a 170,000 square foot distribution center.
Acquired by Platinum Equity in September 2009 in a public-to-private transaction, Pomeroy recently undertook a strategic integration with a new Platinum acquisition, OAO Technology. The strategic fit was excellent, bolstering Pomeroy’s IT services portfolio and creating a powerhouse provider of IT outsourcing solutions.
Q&A with John McKenna, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for Pomeroy IT Solutions:
What was the underlying strategy for acquiring OAOT?
OAOT was, essentially, two distinct transactions. There was the initial acquisition into the Platinum portfolio, which was based on OAOT’s merit as a solid company that had potential for growth. Then there was the process of understanding the great complements between OAOT and Pomeroy. When we started that conversation, the result quickly became obvious. So we brought the two companies together to see what could be done.
How has the integration gone?
The OAOT folks were excited to be part of Platinum to begin with. They saw that Platinum is interested in the growth of an asset and isn’t just a carve-up shop. And because both Pomeroy and OAOT are in IT, we have very similar cultures and personalities.
What did OAOT add to Pomeroy?
First, OAOT gave Pomeroy a strong presence across Western Europe and Canada. It immediately presented an opportunity to reach out to our existing customers and talk about our new international capabilities. Second, OAOT’s staffing business was a perfect complement to our own, making it stronger and with broader reach. A perfect mix.
How has it been received by customers?
OAOT is very client-centric, providing IT services primarily through relationships with IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Pomeroy also serves IBM and HP in the hardware and software space. So it was an opportunity to offer existing customers even more services as well as to expand into new territories.
How has Platinum helped?
The operating committee brings a healthy balance in terms of forest versus trees. We work day to day on the trees, and the committee gives us a chance to look up, take a deep breath, and talk about the forest. Also, Platinum’s M&A arm is fantastic. They’re a growth vehicle outside of our day-to-day business, coming to us with opportunities to position ourselves for growth. It’s fabulous collaboration.
What’s next for Pomeroy?
Our relationship with Platinum is helping us bolster our service portfolio. We’re stepping up in terms of the IT services value chain, and Platinum recognizes our need to grow with our clients. We’re also an old brand, and we’re working with Platinum to shift away from some older, less-than-positive perceptions. We’re a local company headquartered in Cincinnati with a global footprint. We have a strong client portfolio and we’re attracting and retaining high-caliber people. It’s a good situation. “Our combined businesses are positioned for growth in the very competitive IT services marketplace.” —Chris Froman, CEO, Pomeroy IT Solutions