OnX buys another U.S. service provider

There will soon be a southern flavour to some of the offerings of a Toronto-based date centre services provider following its acquisition of a Chicago company.

OnX Enterprise Solutions has expanded its U.S. footprint by buying Worknet Inc., a managed services provider.

It’s the second U.S. service provider the company has picked up, although Worknet has its own data centre.

OnX now has three data centres in North America, plus leases space in four others.

While Canadian-based companies won’t be offered services from the other side of the border, organizations here will benefit from OnX picking up some of Worknet’s expertise, said Terry Whiffing, OnX’s vice-president of operations, who is now interim general manager of the newly-created OnX Managed Services division.
(OnX Enterprise VP operations and manage services Terry Whiffing)
“The acquisition gives us access to a broader set of procedures and technologies and experiences in how we implement disaster recovery and testing,” he said in an interview Monday.

Also, while OnX does have a remote monitoring service, Worknet “was a little more advanced in the tools and processes” in their service, particularly by including asset management. That, too, will be adopted here.

On the other hand, there are two Worknet services that OnX hasn’t decided whether it will offer to Canadians: multi-tenant Microsoft Exchange-based email, and managed hosting of IBM-AIX applications.

As far as offering services from Chicago to Canadian companies, Whiffing acknowledged that could be troublesome to some customers who have let it known they are sensitive to where data is stored.

It understands these concerns because before the Worknet acquisition, OnX was offering managed serviced in the U.S. through a Los Angeles company six years ago, Whiffing said.

Whiffing estimated Worknet is about half the size of Onx, with about 100 customers in Chicago compared to OnX’s 200 in Toronto.

OnX offers cloud and managed services as well as professional services. Before the Worknet acquisition, it had a staff of 600, and annual revenue of more than $700 million. In addition to being a data centre operator, it assembles solutions for verticals. For example, it designs hardware, software and services solutions for the healthcare sector. Last month, it signed a deal to sell Hitachi Data Systems’ clinical repository information management package.
Through its Momentum division, OnX sells on-premise and hosted Web content management solutions. Customers have included Toshiba, Mercedes-Benz, Holt Renfrew and Shoppers Drug Mart.
It is majority owned by Los Angeles-based Marlin Equity Partners. Marlin has interests in a number of infrastructure-related and health care IT companies including Sycamore Networks, which makes optical networking equipment; Verisae, a software as a service provider for groceries; and Rivermine, a telecom expense management solution.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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