New York-based tech giant IBM has acquired Salesforce consultancy 7Summits from private equity firm Sverica International Management, LLC.
As an independent IBM subsidiary, Milwaukee-based 7Summitsand its headquarters will remain in Milwaukee under the leadership of its chief executive officer Paul Stillmank.
Founded in 2009, 7Summits leverages the Salesforce platform to help companies solve complex business problems by designing and developing digital experiences and intelligent workflows.
The acquisition unlocks several synergies for both companies, Stillmank said, adding that by combining 7Summits’ Salesforce applications with IBM’s industry expertise, the companies can develop purpose-driven communities across a variety of industries.
“I get to still run 7Summits as I have been, but I have access to a massive portfolio of technology, artificial intelligence and cognitive systems that I didn’t have, but needed to propel what we’re doing for our customers forward,” Stillmank said.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition also expands IBM’s portfolio of Salesforce services and experience design capabilities, further advancing the company’s hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence strategy, IBM said in a statement.
"7Summits is part of a broader IBM investment strategy in services and ecosystem partnerships to enable our clients' digital transformations through hybrid cloud and AI," IBM Services senior vice president Mark Foster said in a statement. "Salesforce plays a critical role in transforming customer, employee and partner lifecycle processes into intelligent workflows that deliver accelerated business outcomes."
Despite the economic impact of COVID-19, 7Summits grew its business by 30% in 2020, which is part of the reason why the company landed on the radar of not just IBM, but other large companies who became 7Summits clients last year, Stillmank said.
Also attractive was the company's ability to build virtual spaces allowing businesses to collaborate remotely, making its core products even more desirable amid the pandemic and serving as evidence that 7Summits was recession-proof, Stillmank said.
“I think that got more companies to pay attention to who we were,” Stillmank said. “Our performance just being outstanding given the rough environment this year got us a lot of attention.”
With 7Summits remaining in Milwaukee, Stillmank expects IBM to make additional investments to the company’s headquarters located in the Third Ward. Because 7Summits’ facility has the look and feel of an IBM iX design studio, Milwaukee stands to benefit from the acquisition, Stillmank added.
“That’s huge for Milwaukee where they didn’t have one,” Stillmank said. “They’re now looking at this as an extension of their footprint in this market, another synergy.”
7Summits has 200 employees across 30 states and serves customers across the globe. Some of its top clients include Harvard University, Mitsubishi Electric, Snowflake, Daltile, Boomi and Tenable.
The company has gained several accolades in its history, including being named Best Place to work both locally and nationally last year and making the Inc. 5000 list five times with 2020 marking the second consecutive year.
Stillmank, a keynote speaker at BizTimes Media’s M&A Forum in 2020, shared the company’s rapid growth strategy with BizTimes prior to the event.