UK tech company merging with Phoenix software firm, adding new global headquarters in Phoenix

This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal


Phoenix-based technology expense management software provider Telesoft Corp. is merging with Tunbridge Wells, England-based MDSL, a global technology expense management company.

The combined 350-employee company will be called MDSL and will be headquartered in Phoenix, keeping the executive team from Telesoft, said former Telesoft CEO and new MDSL CEO Charles Layne.

“We’ll now have a global scale and capability and a new global headquarters in Phoenix,” said Layne, an experienced local technology leader who joined Telesoft in April. “We’re continuing to invest in Phoenix to grow our business here.”

The merger deal, which closed July 20, happened after Telesoft majority shareholder Sumeru Equity Partners, the Silicon Valley-based spinoff of investment firm Silver Lake, acquired MDSL for an undisclosed price.

The two companies are similar in that they both offer recurring technology expense management software and managed services to enterprise companies focused on cost savings, control and compliance.

The difference is MDSL has worldwide capabilities, while Telesoft is more U.S.-centric, Layne said.

MDSL will now offer two distinct software platforms targeted for two separate market segments: one serving global enterprises with a pure software-as-a-service model; and the other serving U.S.-based organizations with a hybrid, on-premise license or managed services model.

“We know customers will experience continued, uninterrupted high-quality service as there is no requirement to merge technology platforms or move customers from one platform to another,” said Layne, who previously served as president and CEO of Signature Technology Group, a Tech Data Corp. company, where he worked since 2011. “This combination of two growing, innovative companies represents a joining of forces to create a market leader as opposed to a rescue of one by the other.”

The combined company now has about 315 enterprise customers around the world, he said.

MDSL provides a unified expense management platform in markets such as telecom, cloud services, the internet of things and financial market data.

MDSL customers include Adidas AG, BP PLC (NYSE: BP) and Unilever (NYSE: UL), while Telesoft serves enterprise and government clients, including General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM).

“The corporate office is staying here because 75 percent of the total revenue with the combined companies is from U.S.-based companies,” Layne told the Phoenix Business Journal Friday by phone.

The new MDSL merged executive team includes Chairman Ben Mendoza, the founder of MDSL and the only member of the exec team who will be in Tunbridge Wells, outside of London. MDSL Chief Technology Officer Simon Mendoza, Chief Financial Officer Tamara Saunders, Chief Operating Officer Daman Wood and Chief Architect (and Telesoft co-founder) Thierry Zerbib, all formerly with Telesoft, will remain at the Phoenix headquarters.

“We have been seeking a partner that shares our vision for TEM (technology expense management) across all of IT (information technology) spend and prioritizes the importance of guaranteed delivery and exceptional service levels for new and existing customers,” Ben Mendoza said in a statement. “We see SEP (Sumeru Equity Partners) and Telesoft as ideal partners because of our shared focus on innovation and customer care. As is the case with MDSL, Telesoft has a very loyal customer base and our markets are highly complementary. Having the financial backing of SEP will enable us to continue to deliver consistent and high quality services to our customer base. We will be stronger and even more capable together.”

MDSL, which started in 1995, has offices in North America, Europe and Asia.

“We’ll now have employees in Hong Kong, Japan, England, South Africa and the U.S.,” said Layne. “We will continue to see investment in support roles, sales and marketing.”

MDSL will be hiring 25 to 50 people in Phoenix in the next six to 12 months. Open positions are in managed service support, sales, marketing and finance.

MDSL will also be expanding its Phoenix office space by 50 percent and plans to move in January to a larger Phoenix office. The Telesoft office is now at 16th Street and Camelback Road.

“The cool part about the acquisition is we kept all their (225) people and Telesoft’s (125) employees,” Layne said. “Both companies are growing a combined 20 percent. It’s crazy how big we are now in Phoenix.”