After a year of retrenching and refocusing on its core businesses, EarthLink has returned to the M&A arena with a small summer deal. The service provider has bought Boston Retail Partners, a management consulting firm that specializes in the retail vertical.
The deal adds to EarthLink's ability to serve the enterprise marketplace by adding more technology strategy and consulting expertise to its portfolio. BRP has been active in helping retailers to upgrade from legacy connectivity and technology toward what is being called 'unified commerce' by some. It's a sector that EarthLink has long had a presence in, and by buying BRP they hope to make further inroads.
Earlier this year, EarthLink sold off much of its IT services assets to Synoptek. With the purchase of BRP we can see that they are being quite specific in what services they'd like to specialize in, and they are looking beyond the normal bounds of a service provider and perhaps further into the domain of the systems integrator. BRP has 40 employees and is based in Boston.