GlassHouse Adds a Wing

Storage consultant startup acquires fourth company since May

July 1, 2004

2 Min Read
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GlassHouse Technologies Inc. built another extension today. In its fourth acquisition since May, the consultancy acquired The Storage Group, a San Diego, Calif.-based firm headed by W. Curtis Preston.

GlassHouse CEO Mark Shirman says The Storage Group, a consulting company, adds expertise, around 50 customers, and a southern California presence to his company, which is headquartered in Framingham, Mass. Storage Group founder Preston, a frequent speaker at tradeshows and author of storage-related books, joins GlassHouse as VP of service development.

The Storage Groups four other employees will also join GlassHouse. So will its customer list, which includes, (Nasdaq:AMZN), Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU), Standard & Poor’s, and Turner Broadcasting System Inc.

Shirman says Preston’s role will be similar to his current job at The Storage Group. He’ll meet with customers, speak at shows, and write. Future books by Preston will be published under the GlassHouse brand. His Website, Storage Mountain, will continue to run.

Privately owned GlassHouse hasn’t had to dip into its $15 million in funding for its recent shopping spree (see GlassHouse Gleans $7.1M). Today’s deal cost GlassHouse no upfront money, CEO Shirman says, though he concedes there is “an upside in cash and equivalents” for The Storage Group employees. GlassHouse’s recent acquisitions of CycleBridge Technologies Inc., Source Consulting, and Sagitta Performance Systems were stock transactions (see GlassHouse Extends Vertical Reach and GlassHouse Acquires UK Cos).The CycleBridge acquisition in May also added a marquee name in Janie Tremlett, now a VP of corporate development at GlassHouse. The June acquisitions of U.K.-based Source and Sagitta were more about about volume addition of clients and consultants. The European companies added around 300 clients and 100 consultants, nearly doubling GlassHouse’s totals in both categories.

The buy raises speculation about whether other storage consultancies will become grist for GlassHouse's mill -- and possibly for likeminded competitors looking to bulk up storage advisory services, such as EDS, HP, and IBM. It also comes at a strategic time for GlassHouse, as the market for such services is still playing out (see Top Ten Private Companies: Early Summer 2004, page 9).

Shirman says he'd eventually like GlassHouse to expand into Europe but says his acquisition spree is probably over for now. “There’s not much else out there to acquire,” he says. “I don’t expect anything in the next 90 to 120 days.”

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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