Japanese firm buys Omaha IT security provider Solutionary

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Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2013 12:00 am

Technology security provider Solutionary will remain headquartered in Omaha after it is acquired by Japanese telecommunications firm NTT Group in a deal expected to close in the third quarter of this year, pending regulatory approval.

The firm will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of NTT, the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., and Solutionary CEO Steve Idelman told customers in a letter that the firm's “entire team” of employees and management will stay in place. He said Solutionary will continue to grow and has plans to add 50 to 75 employees in Omaha through 2014.

Solutionary has about 175 employees in Omaha out of a total of about 300, including those in a Pittsburgh operations center. Terms of the cash deal were not disclosed.

Solutionary monitors a client's networks for breaches, assesses threats and uses technology to avert problems.

The NTT acquisition is expected to drive Solutionary's continued global expansion, improve its security intelligence capabilities and fuel its research and development work, Idelman said. He said the sale will allow the firm to expand its lineup of services, including cloud security offerings and real-time global threat research.

NTT Group will have access to Solutionary's ActiveGuard security services and analytics platform, and the acquisition will allow the firm to expand in North America, Idelman said.

“This partnership enables the combined organizations to deliver cutting-edge IT security services, solutions and analytics to a larger number of global customers, as well as to accelerate security research to protect our clients,” Idelman said.

The deal marks the third time Idelman has built and sold a company in Omaha.

In 1981 he founded outbound telemarketing firm Idelman Associates, which was acquired by Team Telephone and became part of WATS Marketing under First Data Resources. He later joined Idelman Telemarketing, founded by his wife, Sheri. The couple sold a majority interest in ITI to private investors in 1995.

Solutionary was founded in 2000 in Omaha by the Idelmans along with the firm's president and chief technology officer, Mike Hrabik; its executive vice president for operations, Christopher Rehberg; and Sheila Diamond, vice president of administration. The firm also has about 140 investors.

“As rewarding as it is to be successful in the business, it's probably more rewarding to be partners with those four people,” Idelman said. “This has been a great run for my teammates and me.”

Idelman, 66, a Chicago native, may be remembered by some for buying the Omaha Racers basketball team in 1990. The Continental Basketball Association team did not prove financially viable and left Omaha in 1997.

Solutionary has more than 600 clients in industries including financial services and health care, Idelman said.

In 2011 and 2012, the firm received top industry recognition when it was listed by IT research firm Gartner as one of six “leaders” in the Managed Security Services Provider industry, along with IBM, Dell, AT&T and others. Analysts said the firm has made big gains in market share and gets high marks from customers for flexibility in designing managed security services and in service delivery.

The company's revenue grew more than 35 percent last year, Idelman said, and several firms expressed interest in buying the business. “NTT really was just the ideal strategic fit for us.”

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