MTS Allstream has bought a Quebec-based Cisco System integrator to increase is ability to deliver network and unified communications solutions to customers.

The Winnipeg-based telco bought VisionIP Technologies of Montreal for an undisclosed price.

“This puts a stick in the ground and says Allstream is serious” about the province, said Howard Bowles, the company’s vice-president of sales for Eastern Canada.

Allstream has no problem in Western Canada and Ontario with promising customers that its has staff to design, install and support Cisco gear, but in Quebec it couldn’t say the same.

“When you go to meet customers and propose Cisco solutions, they ask what are your delivery capabilities,” said Bowles. “Bottom line is customers are very bright and they could see we had some weaknesses.”

However, he said, it takes a good deal of time to train staff in many of the Cisco certifications. The acquisition of VisionIP, which has about 25 employees, almost all of whom are Cisco-certified, solved the problem. The company is also a Cisco Silver Partner.

“It demonstrates to our [Quebec] customers we are committed to delivering high quality of service,” Bowles said.

He wouldn’t say what MTS paid for VisionIP, nor how much revenue it has.

The company concentrates mostly on mid-sized businesses, although it also has some federal government contracts. Its specialties include wired and wireless network design and monitoring, integration and security.

“We are very excited to join forces with MTS Allstream to become part of an organization leading the way in unified communications solutions,” Pierre-Luc Poulin, VisionIP’s president, said in a statement.