June 26, 2018

C Spire acquires TekLinks in bold move to solidify its reputation as one of the nation’s top cloud and managed services providers

Ridgeland, MS and Birmingham, AL - C Spire announced the acquisition today of Birmingham, Alabama-based TekLinks, a highly regarded and rapidly growing resell, cloud, managed and professional services provider.

Terms of the transaction between the two privately-owned companies were not disclosed, but C Spire said it expects to complete the acquisition and merger integration process within the next 60 to 90 days.

Founded in 2001, TekLinks is a nationally recognized service provider with primary operations in three states – Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. Many of its eight offices operate in fast growth markets in the Southeast U.S., including Birmingham, Huntsville, and Nashville.

TekLinks is one of only 16 firms ranked among the top cloud service providers, managed service providers and value-added resellers in the U.S. and has just completed a successful growth and acquisition phase and deeper expansion into the key vertical market segments of health care and financial services.

In 2016, the company bought Nashville-based Guidant Partners, a leading managed services firm. In 2015, TekLinks acquired fast-growing cloud services player Claris Networks, based in Knoxville and in 2013, the company merged with health-care managed services provider ClinicAnywhere formerly ETG.

"We're excited about becoming part of a company that shares our long tradition of passionate focus on superior customer service, 'best in class' IT expertise, and the delivery of outstanding services.," said TekLinks President Don Monistere. "With this combination, C Spire is poised to lead the next wave of professional and managed IT services for companies."

Monistere will maintain a significant leadership role in C Spire after completion of the merger integration process as General Manager of C Spire Business Solutions. “In pursuing this transaction, it quickly became evident that the two companies were very much aligned in terms of team culture and strategic focus. I am incredibly excited about the future of the combined teams," said TekLinks CEO Jim Akerhielm.

The acquisition is the latest in a series of moves by C Spire that signal an accelerated and expanded focus on innovative voice, data, IT and cloud solutions for businesses across its footprint and around the country. "We share the imperative of putting customers first, providing world-class service and great overall value," said C Spire President Stephen Bye.  "We are excited to build upon the strength of the two teams as we come together as one, never losing sight of our customers. Allen McIntosh will continue to have a key leadership role on the Business Solutions team working very closely with Don."

Last fall, C Spire launched an initiative to bring fiber-based 1 Gbps fiber-based ultra high-speed internet access to up to 250,000 small and medium-sized businesses in Mississippi. The company continues to expand its voice, data, managed and cloud services for government agencies and private businesses and operates several Uptime Institute-certified data centers.

Bank Street Group served as the exclusive financial advisor to C Spire in connection with this transaction.

January 1, 2018

Direct Access to Azure and AWS

Birmingham, AL - We're excited to announce the availability of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect and Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute connectivity through TekLinks' multiple data centers. TekLinks' clients can now directly access AWS and Azure cloud services over a private, enterprise-grade network connection. With Azure ExpressRoute and AWS Direct Connect, clients will experience low-latency connectivity, enhanced network security, reliable network performance, and reduced data transfer costs.

These two options will provide connectivity between a customer’s network and an Azure ExpressRoute or AWS Direct Connect location. TekLinks customers can privately access Azure ExpressRoute and AWS Direct Connect through high-performance, SLA-backed connections via the TekLinks’ five data centers located throughout the Southeast. Azure ExpressRoute and AWS Direct Connect provide a private, low-latency alternative to connecting over the public internet or backhauling from a corporate data center. The Azure and AWS cloud services platform offers compute power, database storage, and content delivery to enable hybrid-IT solutions.

"Direct access is increasingly important to business leaders who are looking to advance their cloud strategies by incorporating public cloud services into their existing architectures," said TekLinks President Don Monistere. "We're excited to combine the Azure and AWS options with TekLinks’ data centers to enable our clients to deploy hybrid cloud architectures and gain higher levels of security and performance."

August 16, 2017

TekLinks Responds to Recent Cyber Attack

Birmingham, AL - A cyberattack was recently discovered that affected a limited number of customers, reports IT service provider, TekLinks. The threat was identified, researched and promptly remediated by the company.

"We regret any inconvenience or alarm this has caused our customers. We immediately contacted our customers who may have been impacted by this threat, and promptly resolved the reported issue," says CEO Jim Akerhielm. "Customers who have not been contacted, were not impacted."

TekLinks infrastructure was not breached and there is no evidence that any files were actually exfiltrated or viewed during the attack. The incident combined two common cyberattack strategies: a brute force attack on an external customer server, and ransomware. Brute force refers to a trial and error hacking method that attempts to decode encrypted data such as passwords or PINs. Ransomware is software designed to lock data in exchange for a ransom to release the data.

"This incident targeted a small number of our customers," says Akerhielm. "We are proud of our technical team who identified this threat and remediated the situation quickly. While there is no guaranteed protection for internet-based systems, we are continually focused on ways to improve threat detection and response."

June 21, 2017

TekLinks Earns Two New Rankings

Birmingham, AL - MSPmentor has named TekLinks No. 20 among the world’s most progressive 501 Managed Service Providers. The 10th annual list includes organizations from around the world and from diverse technology and business backgrounds. Also, the Birmingham Business Journal ranked TekLinks the No. 34 largest private company headquartered in metro Birmingham. The ranking is based on total revenue for 2016.

The 2017 MSP 501 list is based on data collected by MSPmentor and its partner, Clarity Channel Advisors. Data was collected online from Feb. 16 through May 15, 2017. The list recognizes top managed service providers based on metrics including recurring revenue, growth and other factors.

"TekLinks is a thriving business, and we're thrilled that is evident in both local and world rankings," says Don Monistere, TekLinks President. "Our dynamic team constantly strives to be better than we were yesterday, which is why ranking in the No. 20 spot among the world’s best MSPs is so rewarding. We are grateful! And we love our Birmingham community – the future is bright here! The companies we are ranked with make us proud to call Birmingham home."

According to BBJ, key takeaways from the Birmingham list include:

  • On average, the top companies on the List reported 2016 revenue of $255.6 million and 185 local employees.
  • Employment trends were mixed among companies with comparable data; only about 39 percent of the top businesses reported an increase in local employees, while 13 percent reported no changes.
  • Despite mixed signals for employment growth, most companies are confident that local hiring will improve in the near future. 82 percent of poll respondents confirmed their plans to add new employees to local offices in the next year.
  • Industrial and construction companies accounted for the bulk of revenue on the List; heavy industry companies reported a total revenue of $8.6 billion, while construction and design companies accounted for more than $6.5 billion.
  • The finance and professional services industry showed the strongest revenue growth in the past year with a total increase of 12.6 percent from our prior List.

June 7, 2017

TekLinks Climbs to No. 164 in Annual Ranking of Service Providers

Birmingham, AL - TekLinks has again been named to CRN's 2017 Solution Provider 500 list, this time moving up 10 spots to No. 164. The SP500 is CRN’s annual ranking of the largest technology integrators, solution providers and IT consultants in North America by revenue.

TekLinks’ ranking improved in 2016 to 174 from 187 in 2015.

The SP500 is CRN’s predominant channel partner award list, serving as the industry standard for recognition of the most successful solution provider companies in the channel since 1995.

"The entire TekLinks team strives for excellence daily," says President Don Monistere. "We are thankful to not only have our hard work recognized by being named to the SP500 list but it is especially nice to see us move up to No. 164! We will continue to strive to improve at TekLinks and provide our customers the quality of service they so richly deserve."

TekLinks is a nationally recognized managed and cloud services provider serving the Southeast U.S. The Birmingham-headquartered company is one of 11 IT companies to be ranked on all three top industry lists for their lines of business (solution provider/value-added reseller, managed service provider, and cloud service provider). TekLinks owns and operates three data centers with strategic alliances with many others across the nation to provide services to its customers.

The complete 2017 Solution Provider 500 list can be found online here and a sample from the list will be featured in the June issue of CRN Magazine.

"CRN's Solution Provider 500 list spotlights the North American IT channel partner organizations that have earned the highest revenue over the past year, providing a valuable resource to vendors looking for top solution providers to partner with," said Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company. "The companies on this year's list represent an incredible, combined revenue of over $318 billion, a sum that attests to their success in staying ahead of rapidly changing market demands. We extend our sincerest congratulations to each of these top-performing solution providers and look forward to their future pursuits and successes."

CRN is a news source for solution providers and the IT channel, providing current technology news, IT vendor and product reviews. It is a brand of The Channel Company.

April 28, 2017

TekLinks Named No. 1 Healthcare MSP in the World

Birmingham, AL - ChannelE2E has ranked TekLinks the world's No. 1 managed services provider (MSP) for the healthcare industry. Overall, TekLinks ranked No. 2 on the Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs list for the second consecutive year.

The list identifies and honors the top 100 managed services providers in healthcare, government, financial services, manufacturing and additional vertical markets.

Rankings are based on ChannelE2E's Q1 2017 readership survey.

"Being named to this list is an honor that has taken a lot of work and dedication to the healthcare market," said TekLinks' Vice President of Managed and Cloud Services Chris Hoscheid. "We're grateful for ChannelE2E recognition of our deep knowledge in this field and the special care we show our clients."

TekLinks is a national leader in cloud computing, managed services, engineering services, and value-added resale. The team of expert engineers and business professionals are passionate about building valuable relationships and getting things done right. Their mission is, "We make IT work for business." TekLinks is headquartered are in Birmingham, Alabama, with large offices in Tennessee including Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Nashville.

"After Nines Inc. congratulates TekLinks on this year’s honor,"" said Amy Katz, CEO of After Nines Inc. "MSPs across the globe are zeroing in on vertical market opportunities. Competition is intensifying. The best-of-the-best surfaced in this year's report."

ChannelE2E, powered by After Nines Inc., tracks every stage of the IT service provider journey — from entrepreneur to exit. Through exclusive blogs, research and crowdsourced databases, our content guides VARs, MSPs, CSPs, ISVs and the broader IT channel through the five stages of business: Startup, growth, sustained performance, pivot and exit. ChannelE2E also tracks the top IT automation tools and technologies that drive partner profitability.