Sunday, April 7, 2013

WESTBORO — Zensar Technologies, the India-based technology company that bought Westboro-based Akibia Inc. two years ago, is officially dropping the Akibia name more than two years after the two companies merged.

But executives say the Westboro business will play a vital role in one of their business units — infrastructure management services — and they see potential for expanding the local operation.
"This is going to be the hub," said Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, chief executive officer and vice chairman of Zensar Technologies, the global software services provider that purchased the former Akibia Inc. in November 2010.

Zensar, which has 7,000 employees worldwide, announced last month it was taking the final step in the acquisition by dropping the Akibia name and attaching the Zensar brand to the local operation.
Although the Akibia name is now history, Zensar executives said Westboro is central to their infrastructure management unit, which helps companies with a range of services from modernizing data centers to protecting against security breaches.

The company's target for growth next year is 15 percent over this year, and the local operation could grow along with the global business, said Dr. Natarajan, who recently visited the local facility.

"We see Westboro as an opportunity, because as we expand our presence on the East Coast, we would look at the Westboro location as a place where we could have support people," he said.

The infrastructure management services unit represents about a third of Zensar's total revenue and is seen as critical to its long-term growth strategy, according to company officials.

The company employs 165 people between its Westboro facility and a separate location in Northboro.

In addition to the rebranding, the company also announced that Vivek Gupta was appointed as chief executive for the global infrastructure management business, and Doug Fallon was appointed as vice president of sales.

Mr. Gupta and Mr. Fallon will work out of the Westboro office. Akibia's president and chief executive officer, Tom Tucker, will complete his day-to-day management at the end of this month. He will serve on the board of directors.

Mr. Gupta, a 27-year veteran of Zensar, has served in a number of positions around the globe, most recently in Chicago. He said he has been based here for the past six months.
Before the acquisition, Zensar was looking to expand what it could offer its clients around the world. The company provided services such as software development and testing, and it was creating from scratch an infrastructure management service.

"Within a matter of years, it became a fairly substantial part of our business, and our customers were asking for more," Mr. Gupta said.

Zensar officials believed they could not reach their goals in that field as fast as they wanted to, so they began looking for companies to acquire that would complement what they already provided their customers, he said.

Akibia was an attractive choice, because of what it offered customers in terms of hardware maintenance, data security and regulatory compliance. The combined companies can provide a range of supporting services to business around the world, Mr. Gupta said.

Under the agreement that the two companies reached, Zensar offered to acquire all of the outstanding stock of Akibia, which became a new business unit within Zensar, according to the announcement at the time.
Since then, sales representatives felt Zensar was a better known brand than Akibia, so the company decided to unify the different operations under a single name and avoid confusion, Mr. Gupta said.
Even as the merger process arrives at its conclusion, officials are optimistic about operations at Akibia's old home base.

Dr. Natarajan said Westboro is a good place for an IT company to do business. He said the Boston area is one of the "hotbeds of innovation in the US," along with Silicon Valley and Raleigh, N.C.
In the next year or two, Zensar might seek to identify recent college graduates in the Westboro area for possible training. The company aggressively develops local talent in other locations, such as the U.K. and South Africa, and it could do something similar in this area, Dr. Natarajan said.

"We would like to see Westboro as the next hub in terms of expansion, adding people, training people and making them part of our global workforce," he said.

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