April 5, 2024
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Santa Barbara IT company purchases Ventura firm


Santa Barbara-based CIO Solutions acquired Ventura County-based Compass Consulting in a deal that closed last week. 

CIO Solutions specializes in IT management and technology consulting for businesses and the acquisition of Compass Consulting will allow CIO Solutions to expand the reach of its services. Previously, CIO Solutions had clients in Ventura, but the acquisition gives it more clients in the area and a much larger footprint in the county. 

“We would have done it probably a year ago and we’d probably do it a year from now,” CIO Solutions CEO Eric Egolf said to the Pacific Coast Business Times. “I don’t think there were specific market conditions that led to this so much as timing made sense for them and us.”

The two companies began discussing the deal in February. Now that the agreement is final, CIO Solutions’ client roster grew from 250 to over 300 after absorbing Compass Consulting’s clients. 

CIO Solutions had 92 employees prior to the deal and now has 100 employees, according to the release. There will be no layoffs as a part of the acquisition and Compass Consulting CEO Darin Selfridge will stay on as well, pivoting to virtual chief information officer. 

“Darin is an unbelievable leader and operates very similar to us. Good person, down to Earth and his people reflect that,” Egolf said. “To me, that’s huge. That’s more valuable than anything else you can put on paper.”

The Compass Consulting purchase is the second acquisition CIO Solutions has made. Its first came roughly five years ago when it acquired San Luis Obispo-based TekTegrity, doubling the company’s size. That acquisition took three to four years to fully integrate, though Egolf expects Compass Consulting to be 80-90% integrated within the next six to 12 months. 

“Our strategy is definitely local, ingrained in the community,” Egolf said. 

CIO Solutions self-financed the deal and all other terms of the acquisition are confidential. The company headquarters remain in Santa Barbara. 

Existing Compass Consulting clients will get their security operations upgraded to the CIO Solutions Network Operations Center. The Compass Consulting team will have more Citrix experts and a support department that addresses clients’ needs on their first call, among other additional services. 

There are no current plans to change the pricing of its service, according to the release. 

For some time, Compass Consulting’s name will change to Compass Consulting Powered by CIO Solutions. Eventually, the Compass operations will all be under the CIO Solutions name. 

Both companies previously branded themselves on their ability to adapt to the needs of their clients, something that Egolf believes will only improve due to the acquisition. He expects additional jobs to be created as well. 

“What we’ve seen in the past when we acquire companies, usually because we have expanded services, it will create more growth too,” Egolf said.  

CIO Solutions works with many medium-sized businesses, with its more notable clients being the city of San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria School District and OK Produce. 

CIO Solutions has been doing business on the Central Coast since 1986. 

email: jpiazza@pacbiztimes.com