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Is Collabrance for Sale?

Remaining a Privately-Held Company in the IT Channel

A Message from Our Founder, Tony Golobic CEO & Chairman of GreatAmerica Financial Services

My answer is, “Of course not, Collabrance is not for sale – and we have absolutely no intention of selling it in the foreseeable future.” You may be a bit skeptical, or think that every business is for sale at the right price, right? Here, that’s simply not the case. Let me explain.

A few years ago, I had a conversation with our Collabrance sales leader, Hannah O’Donnell, about private equity in the IT space. She said, “You would be surprised how often I get asked if we are for sale.” The more I thought about her comment, it became clear to me this is the reality managed service providers (MSPs) are accustomed to when choosing a vendor to partner with in the IT space. A large percentage of IT vendors and specifically Master MSPs are owned by private equity. In the years since, and as Collabrance has evolved, this reality has not changed. 

The shifting sands of private equity can mean frequent changes in Master MSP ownership and changes in strategic direction, giving MSPs and subscriber customers a sense of uncertainty.

Collabrance is a wholly owned subsidiary of GreatAmerica Financial Services, a family-owned company in business for over 27 years, with over 600 employees and over $2.4 Billion in assets. GreatAmerica is primarily a commercial equipment financing company focused on a handful of vertical markets. Because of the tight industry focus of the company, our leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve services and add value to their respective channels. 

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Image Above: Tony Golobic by quote on wall in GreatAmerica Building,
"Today is the best day ever, and tomorrow will be even better!"

Our resolve to be a standard-bearer in the IT space can be explained in our history. In 2008, our leaders saw managed services growth in the IT space and the imaging channel flattening out. To help our partners in the imaging channel, we decided to build a 100% Midwest-staffed Master MSP. Since we had the resources, staff and were well known for excellence in customer service, the thought was to build a Network Operations Center (NOC) and Help Desk and supporting infrastructure so our imaging dealers could be in business in the managed services space within 60 days with virtually no upfront investment. 

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Image Above: Collabrance located in the 3rd floor of the GreatAmerica Building.

Today, being a 100% Midwest-staffed facility continues to be a strong differentiator. While we are still very involved in the imaging channel, we have since successfully expanded to work with many MSPs across the country. The IT industry has noticed Collabrance’s achievements, too: we’ve received recognition from MSP 501, MSSP Alert, Data Blue Diamond, N-Able Super Elite, and the Channel Pro SMB Forum. 

We didn’t start GreatAmerica or Collabrance to build it, sell it, and then walk away with a lot of money. We were and are building this special company to last way past my lifetime - and hopefully be a part of the companies we work with for generations.

At GreatAmerica, and in turn Collabrance, success, growth and the relentless pursuit of excellence is in our DNA. We’re motivated by our customers’ success and the autonomy that comes from being a part of their journey.

 
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Image Above: Technicians at Collabrance Help Desk and NOC located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

So you see, we constantly look for ways that we can help our customers become more successful and keep them for a lifetime. Especially ways within our points of excellence.

“While Collabrance has experienced record-setting revenue growth in the past 12 months, we stay true to our number one priority and mission of helping our customers achieve greater success,” said Greg VanDeWalker, Senior Vice President of IT Channel and Services. “Collabrance will continue to innovate and evolve to proactively meet the needs of our customers.”

Our ancillary services have helped our customers who, in turn, have rewarded us with their trust and loyalty. And it’s clear we’re successful in our mission – Collabrance totes a 98% customer satisfaction rate.

Collabrance is a for-profit entity that strives to add enterprise value to GreatAmerica: but we also serve a higher purpose as a strategic partner. We help each other become more successful.

It is so satisfying when someone from our imaging group or our IT group sends a GreatAmerica lead to Collabrance. Or Collabrance finds an MSP who really doesn’t know how to fold financing into their offer and Collabrance can help make that connection with the GreatAmerica representative.

Our mission at GreatAmerica and Collabrance is Helping Our Customers Achieve Greater Success. Collabrance was founded to build upon the foundation of your existing business by providing necessary value that helps you exceed your own expectations. When you have that type of goal in mind, selling isn’t a priority.