EarthLink is buying two divisions from Synergy Global Solutions: its IT Solution Center, a 24-7 help desk and network operations center, and its cloud-hosted application business, according to Buffalo News.
EarthLink gets relationships with about 120 VAR's that laready sell the Solution Center and hosted application services. That's probably as valuable as the NOC itself.
"In addition to the Solution Center, EarthLink is acquiring Synergy's cloud-based application service which provides end-to-end hosted IT capabilities for the environmental services vertical market. This service already utilizes the EarthLink Cloud framework for hosting its cloud-based application service and features SuccessWare21® software." [marketwatch]
The fastest path to Cloud and Managed Services is via acquisitions, so expect more of them. If the company has a NOC or data center, contracted customers, and a channel (VARs or Agents selling services), it means gold.
CLEC, ILEC and some cable companies are realizing that just selling pipe isn't going to be enough. Managed services and Applications - OSI Layer 7 - si where the money will be in the future.
As an Agent, I'd start brushing up on how to sell managed services.