DataPro Solutions Inc., of Spokane Valley, says it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire the sales and technical-support assets of Spokane-based WindStar Group Inc., a computer systems vendor and consultant, and plans to formalize that arrangement next week.
DataPro, which provides document-management software systems for businesses, would broaden its information-technology offerings through the acquisition, says Doug Johnston, the companys president. The transaction would allow the 44-year-old company to beef up its client base by about 30 percent and expand its reach in the Inland Northwest and on the West Coast, he says.
We have plenty of opportunities to expand our market area now, Johnston says. There are clients within the Inland Northwest that we hadnt had any product offering for.
WindStar, which opened here in 1994, sells, installs, and supports computer systems and software. It also designs and implements technology upgrades and conversions and provides other data-systems related services, such as disaster recovery, training, and software planning.
One example of what DataPro says it would gain from the asset acquisition is the authorization to provide clients with what are called IBM midrange systems, Johnston says. Those computer-networking systems are more powerful and secure than conventional small office servers or PCs, he says. Theyre used often by emergency-response operations, such as 9-1-1 call centers, he says.
DataPro already has clients in other Northwest cities, such as Seattle, Portland, and Missoula, Mont., but hopes to attract more business in those areas, Johnston says.
Although the sale hasnt been completed, since April 14 some of DataPros and WindStars staff members have been working together at DataPros offices at 6336 E. Utah near Felts Field municipal airport, he says. DataPro had employed 18 people before the agreement, and now employs six of WindStars staff members, raising its total work force to 24, Johnston says. He declines to disclose how many employees WindStar had previously and how many positions he expects would be eliminated because of the acquisition. Johnston did say, though, that some positions would be cut in the sales and administrative-support departments.
If we can deliver more with less, thats a good business model, he says.
Jim Barry, who is president and co-owner of WindStar, couldnt be reached for comment. Johnston says Barry would work for DataPro as a consultant, but not as a salaried employee. Barry has decided to scale back his workload, Johnston says. He says Alex Bulat, who has an ownership interest in WindStar, now works for DataPro as a senior account manager.
A relationship between DataPro and WindStar grew after those companies, along with Spokane-based Contineo Technologies Inc., formed an alliance nine months ago, he says. The trio, which calls its effort the Technology Alliance Portal, works together to provide a broad range of information-technology services to common clients.
It became clear to Jim quickly that (the asset deal) was a good thing, and we took the next step, Johnston says.
DataPros facility on Utah Avenue, which has 5,500 square feet of floor space, would house the new combined staff, and WindStars offices at 1011 E. Second would be vacated, he says.
Subscribe today to our free E-Newsletters!SUBSCRIBE