The CEO of one of the UK’s fastest-growing IT solutions providers has revealed that mainland Europe is in her sights following its maiden US acquisition.
Xalient has roughly trebled its US headcount to 100 with its purchase of Colorado-based identity and access management (IAM) consultancy Integral Partners LLC.
The deal boosts the Leeds-based outfit’s total headcount to 260.
‘We see identity as fundamental to zero trust’
Founded in 2015 with a mantra of disrupting the traditional markets for secure networking, Xalient counts Kellogg’s, Avis and Keurig Dr Pepper among its clients. It bagged private equity investment from Volpi Capital in October.
Talking to IT Channel Oxygen, founder and CEO Sherry Vaswani said the acquisition would mean that some 75% of Xalient’s revenues are now generated from the US (up from 55-60% last year).
Identity management is “fundamental” to having a full end-to-end zero trust story, Vaswani said when asked about the rationale for the deal.
“Giving users access to applications based on who they are, rather than the fact they are sitting on a network or VPN because they are trusted, is the first step. Then there’s the SASE element,” she said.
“We see a real connection between identity, networking and security. There’s lots of talk about zero trust. Everyone is badging themselves as that because it’s hot. But we’re finding that the penny drops for customers when we help them join the dots.”
Xalient sees managed services as one of its key strengths but has mainly worked only with Okta in this space. Integral’s strengths in professional services and partnerships with the likes of SailPoint, CyberArk, BeyondTrust and Saviynt will therefore present potent cross-sell opportunities, Vaswani said.
“They do some managed services, but it’s nothing of the scale we’ve got at the minute, so the plan is to join forces on that front,” she explained.
Next stop, mainland Europe
Xalient was recently ranked by the FT as one of Europe’s fastest-growing firms after revenues shot up from £5.3m to £32.3m over a three-year period.
With a few exceptions (noteably Computacenter), transatlantic IT solutions providers have tended to be US companies that have acquired their way into the UK, rather than vice versa.
Vaswani, however, stressed that Xalient had had a US operation from “day one”.
“We won the Kellogg’s contract and Keurig Dr Pepper, so we’ve always seen ourselves as British-headquartered but very focused on the US,” she said.
“Most of our delivery in the earlier years has been done from the UK. We’ve been building operational capability in the US, but this is another 60 people who are very customer facing.”
“We might be looking at other [acquisitions] in mainland Europe in a similar space,” Vaswani continued.
“We’re only looking for really good-quality businesses that have a strong reputation and customer base and good cultural fit. We got all that with Integral and will keep looking. If another one crops up, we’d snap it up but outside that we want to focus on what we’ve already got and really look at the synergies we’ve achieved with Integral.”