After 20 years in business, Switchfast Technologies was acquired on May 21st, 2021 by Ascend Technologies which is backed by private equity firm M/C Partners. Switchfast was a managed services provider headquartered in Chicago offering services to small and medium businesses.
Want to talk about the impact of the acquisition?
Ascend Technologies acquisition of Switchfast Technologies was its third Chicago acquisition, and fourth to date. I do not expect them to make more acquisitions unless it is by Thrive which is also owned by M/C Partners.
We considered Switchfast to be our closest and friendliest competitor. We had a lot of respect for Switchfast Technologies employees and leadership and wish them all the best. Though I do not believe in acquisitions in our managed services space, I have tremendous respect for what Switchfast has accomplished.
If you were a Switchfast Technologies client, you most likely experienced a high level of service and care from a partner focused on helping you reach your objectives where it was business growth, user productivity, eliminating cybersecurity threats or business expansion.
Even though there are hundreds of other managed services providers in the greater Chicago area, I would consider XL.net and very few others to be of Switchfast Technologies caliber.
I have not seen national providers like Allcovered, Thrive, MindSHIFT to be able to offer even similar levels of service. That is because small and medium business want personal service, they want to know the people that are supporting them by name, and they want those people to know their business.
When service is provided by a centralized call center so much is lost. I believe that is the reason that small and medium businesses stay away from any national service provider, not just IT ones.
We have identified the managed services providers of 734 small and medium businesses in Chicago, and only 7 are using national providers. What we have observed is that the national providers have shifted their focus on larger companies that do not expect the human touch, and commoditized product offers.
I used to get a call or email once a month by a private equity company looking to purchase XL.net. Every time I have told them XL.net is not for sale. Now, I had calls and emails at least once a day from a private equity firm.
Heck, I get more calls from private equity firms than from robo dialers offering extended warranty on my car!
And from speaking with other service providers, they are having the same experience. I have had friends across the country that have sold because they were caught at a tough time, and private equity presented an easy way out.
I see no end in sight, but it has been a great opportunity for XL.net to help more people.