SOURCE: Avanade

Avanade

April 23, 2010 11:11 ET

Avanade to Acquire Ascentium Microsoft Dynamics CRM Practice

Acquisition, When Complete, Will Make Avanade a World Leader in Dedicated Microsoft Dynamics CRM Services

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - April 23, 2010) - Avanade, a business technology service provider, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Microsoft Dynamics CRM assets of Ascentium Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiary, Ascentium Federal, Inc. Approximately 90 Ascentium CRM professionals will be offered employment at Avanade as part of the acquisition, most of them located in Baltimore, Md., and Bellevue, Wash. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"Avanade's interest in this acquisition reflects our commitment to the Microsoft Dynamics platform and its ability to help companies around the world achieve powerful business results," said Adam Warby, CEO, Avanade. "As we at Avanade celebrate our 10th anniversary, it is a fitting time to emphasize our market leadership, commitment to and investment in the business benefits the Microsoft platform delivers to our customers."

This strategic acquisition is intended to bring together Avanade's strong technology capabilities, global reach and Dynamics CRM expertise with Ascentium's dedicated Dynamics CRM team and deep specialization. Upon close of the deal, Avanade becomes a world leader in the provision of dedicated Dynamics CRM services, offering customers more deployment options, scalable systems and broad skill sets in CRM solutions.

"When Ascentium made the decision to refocus the company, we began to look for a home for our Dynamics CRM practice that would mirror our commitment to our customers and our people," said Mark Barrett, CEO, Ascentium CRM practice. "We found both in Avanade. Avanade is known for its expertise in Microsoft technologies; it also has a long record of focusing on its customers and investing in its people."

"Avanade and Ascentium are valued partners in delivering Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions to our customers and helping them get the most from their investment," said Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions at Microsoft. "Both companies bring unique and powerful capabilities that demonstrate the real-world benefits of Microsoft Dynamics."

The traditional model for buying and managing IT systems is rapidly changing. Enterprise software, such as CRM, is increasingly being delivered as a cloud-based service. Avanade recently launched Avanade Online Services (AOS), its software-as-a-services offering for Microsoft enterprise solutions. Dynamics CRM is the first solution offered on AOS. Avanade now is able to offer customers the power of choice -- whether to deploy Dynamics CRM on their own internal IT systems or in the cloud as a service through AOS.

"The decision to acquire the assets of Ascentium's CRM practice is a result of a strategic and deliberate look at how we can grow our business in ways that provide maximum value to our enterprise customers," said Aziz Virani, executive vice president, Global Technologies & Solutions, Avanade. "Expanding our CRM reach will allow us to bring the benefit of Dynamics CRM to more companies around the world, on-premise or as a service."

In 2009, Ascentium was named the Microsoft Dynamics Outstanding Reseller of the Year. That same year, Avanade was named to the 2009 President's Club for Microsoft Dynamics® and to the Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle.

The acquisition is expected to be completed within 90 days, subject to closing conditions.

About Ascentium
Ascentium The Experience Agency™ delivers unmatched user experiences and innovative business solutions by fusing strategic account planning, innovative emerging technologies and world-class creative to create multichannel connections between consumers, brands and businesses. With offices in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and London, Ascentium provides innovative, multi-channel, business impacting results for some of the world's top brands. In 2009, Ascentium was singled out by Forrester Research as the agency with the "highest client satisfaction" on the Forrester Wave™ of Top Interactive Agencies.

About Avanade
Avanade provides business technology services that connect insight, innovation and expertise in Microsoft technologies to help customers realize results. Avanade's services and solutions help improve performance, productivity and sales for organizations in all industries. The company applies Microsoft expertise from its global network of consultants, drawing on the right mix of onshore, offshore and nearshore skills, which together are designed to help deliver results faster, at lower cost and with less risk. Avanade, which is majority owned by Accenture, was founded in 2000 by Accenture and Microsoft Corporation and serves customers in more than 24 countries worldwide with more than 9,700 professionals. Additional information can be found at www.avanade.com.

Avanade and the Avanade logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Avanade Inc. Other product, service, or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. ®2010 Avanade Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Forward-Looking Statements

Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements in this news release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. 

These include, without limitation, risks that: Avanade and Ascentium will not be able to close the transaction in the time period anticipated, or at all, which is dependent on the parties' ability to satisfy certain closing conditions; the transaction might not achieve the anticipated benefits for Avanade; Avanade's business could be negatively affected if the company cannot expand and develop its services and solutions in response to changes in technology and client demand; the management consulting, systems integration and technology markets are highly competitive and Avanade might not be able to compete effectively; Avanade's business could be negatively affected by economic and political conditions and the effects of these conditions on its clients' business and levels of business activity; Avanade's work with government clients exposes the company to additional risks inherent in the government contracting process; clients may not be satisfied with Avanade's services; Avanade could have liability or its reputation could be damaged if it does not protect client data or information systems or if its information systems are breached; Avanade's business could be negatively affected by legal liability that results from providing its solutions or services; Avanade's results could be adversely affected if its clients terminate their contracts with the company; liabilities could arise if subcontractors or other third parties with whom the company partners cannot deliver their project contributions on time or at all; Avanade's results of operations may be adversely affected by the rate of growth in the use of technology in business and the type and level of technology spending by its clients; Avanade's profitability may suffer if it is not able to maintain favorable pricing rates and utilization rates or if the company cannot control costs; Avanade's global operations are subject to complex risks, some of which might be beyond its control; Avanade's business may be adversely affected if it is unable to keep its supply of skills, including those personnel currently employed by Ascentium, and resources in balance with client demand; Avanade may be unable to achieve its business objectives if the company cannot manage the organizational challenges associated with the scope of its operations; Avanade has only a limited ability to protect its intellectual property rights, and its services or solutions could infringe on the rights of others or it could lose its ability to use the intellectual property of others; Avanade's ability to attract or retain business may depend on the company's reputation in the marketplace; loss of the company's significant corporate relationships with Accenture and Microsoft could reduce its revenue and growth prospects; Avanade has a limited ability to set its own independent strategies, and its business strategy and direction may be dictated by Accenture's overall business strategy; Avanade relies on Accenture for the majority of its revenue, and the loss of that revenue would have a significant adverse impact on Avanade's results of operations and may affect its ability to continue to operate; Avanade's global delivery network relies on Accenture, and the loss of that network would increase Avanade's operating expenses; Microsoft has certain minority rights, and may exercise those rights to protect its own interests, which may not align with Avanade's; and Avanade is committed to using Microsoft-related technologies, and the company's inability to use those technologies would adversely impact its results of operations. 

Statements in this press release speak only as of the date they were made, and Avanade undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statements made in this news release or to conform such statements to actual results or changes in Avanade's expectations.

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