Issue 4 2022

www.acquisition-international.com • Issue 4 2022 The Italian Artificial Intelligence Startup Factory: Creating Startups Through Innovation SkyRunner, LLC: One Machine, More Freedom Established in 2020 ago in Milan, Italy, FoolFarm Spa has been recognised as the Leading Artificial Intelligence Venture Builder and is the leading European venture studio in the AI blockchain and cybersecurity sectors. Furthermore, FoolFarm has been advertised as ‘the start-up factory,’ as it fosters a platform for the birth, growth and development of start-ups, a factory located within one of the oldest Italian industries in the post-industrial environment Milan.

2 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2022 From our Editor Welcome to the April edition of Acquisition International Magazine, bringing you the latest news, features, and success stories from businesses all over the world. April showers bring May flowers however, we’ve already had some sunshine to encourage new growth – both for our plants and our own personal development. This growth can be seen through our new collection of businesses that are switching up the pace in their industries. This issue is here to guide you through some innovative ideas and superb businesses as they continue to succeed. AI Magazine is truly proud to present these companies with prestigious accolades as they take the stage. FoolFarm is a specialist in AI blockchain and cybersecurity – it is well known and highly respected for its strategic problem solving platform. Its support acts as a buttress for businesses as they venture out into pastures unknown. With its revolutionary technology it has found a way forward that benefits all parties. Established to make a difference to all kinds of businesses, FoolFarm has been growing at an exponential rate for the good of the wide corporate and start-up world. We are excited to showcase some creative, intelligent, and progressive companies as they share their supreme concepts – for inspiration and motivation that leave us all hopeful for the future. We wish you all the best for the month ahead and we look forward to welcoming you back to the next issue of AI Magazine. Sofi Bajor - Editor Contents 4 News 6 The Italian Artificial Intelligence Startup Factory: Creating Startups Through Innovation Foolfarm Spa 8 Dialogue Cloud Communications Platform Secures Success Anywhere365® 9 The Secret to Improving ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SOFTWARE Ecosystems Cloud Services Solutions 10 Best Zero-Energy Home Construction Firm - Arizona Capstone Homes 11 Most Innovative Cloud & Hosting Solutions Provider 2022 - Canada Stage2Data 12 Tools Of The Future 21strategies No information contained on or in this website constitutes investment advice or an offer to invest or to provide management services and is subject to correction, completion and amendment without notice. Neither AI nor any of its associated entities are authorised to give financial advice of any nature nor are they regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Prior to making any investment, AI recommends that any prospective investor should consult with its own investment, accounting, legal and tax advisers to evaluate independently the risks, consequences and suitability of that investment. AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility. Editorial Team Sif Brookes, Senior Editor Sofi Bajor, Editor Daniel Long, Writer Gabriel Muers, Writer Rebecca Scotland, Writer Ashley-Francis Cox, Writer Amelia Walker, Writer Design Team Daniela Levinte, Graphic Designer Lauren Baldwin, Junior Graphic Designer 13 Front Runners in Health and Safety Education First Aid Associates 14 Most Comprehensive Installation Management Company - Northern Ireland Fusion Heating Ltd 16 2022 Award for Innovation in Interactive Technology & Experiences - UK Quintessence 17 Most Influential Entertainment Production Specialist (USA): Nicole Bernardi Innovative Entertainment 18 The People-Focused Business. Personio 20 Making The Technological World Accessible the dot. Consulting 21 Beautiful and Bespoke Prestige Architects 22 Finding the Synergy Between Building and Biosphere DeMello & Associates

Acquisition International - Issue 4 2022 3 28 12 21 23 Pallet Perfection 48forty Solutions 24 One Machine, More Freedom SkyRunner, LLC 26 Pictures Worth A Thousand Words Meero 28 Award Winning Cloud- Based Communication CallTower 30 Security Services: Managed IT and Cyber-Security Services: Protecting Businesses SIRKit Ltd. 31 The Firm Combining Accounting and Law Enslin Olivier Incorporated 32 Digital Data Stream Secures Success Minnovation Technologies 33 Winners’ Listings

4 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2022 News: from around the world OPENCAST TURNS 10 AND PLANS FOR NEXT DECADE WITH NEW HYBRID HQ AND CITY HUBS Independent technology consultancy Opencast is 10 years old this month – and is planning for the next decade with a move into a new HQ designed for hybrid ways of working post pandemic, as well as opening three new city hubs – in London, Leeds and Edinburgh. Opencast Software started up in 2012 after its co-founders Mike O’Brien and Charlie Hoult (pictured, top left) had met at the gates of the school where their respective twins attended. The pair set out on a mission to create a new way of doing technology consulting based on clear values and an approach that puts people first. Charlie and Mike, who remain co-chairs of the company, bootstrapped the new business without venture funding and grew it entirely on revenues from consulting work. Today the company is over 260 strong and aims to employ close to 500 people by the end of 2022 to meet a sharp rise in demand for its services across government and business. Welcoming the 10th anniversary landmark, Mike said: “Charlie and I started the Opencast business in 2012 with a mission to challenge the traditional consulting model by putting people at the heart of all our thinking. From start-up through to today’s rapid growth, we have lived and breathed that mission. We’re confident that the plans we have in place put us in a good position for the decade ahead of us.” Like other businesses operating during the pandemic, Opencast has had to adapt to new ways of working, with its entire team moving to working remotely from home following lockdown in March 2020. Lockdown meant the closure of its offices, and those of its clients, with the delivery of work by people dispersed across the UK. Lockdown has also led to the emergence of a much more nationwide Opencast team, as new people joining the business no longer need to work from its headquarters in Newcastle. Today around a third of the people working for the business are based outside of the North East. With careful planning and support, including meetings online and a plethora of communities on Teams, Opencast has ensured that remote working has been no obstacle to it continuing to deliver great services for clients or maintaining its company culture. Right place, right time Following the end of lockdown, Opencast has had to consider the best way forward for its people to continue to deliver their work for the business. Extensive discussions and planning have led to the creation of a new flexible ‘hybrid’ policy that does not impose a requirement to be in an office but rather be led by the principle of working in the right place at the right time to deliver impact most effectively. The focus of its efforts has been on helping people have maximum impact and flexibility through a ‘4H&C’ model giving people the option to choose where they work based on what works best for the work they and their team need to do – whether that is at home, HQ, hub, host or on the client’s site. Explaining the new approach, Opencast chief people officer Cate Kalson said: “At Opencast the empowerment lies with our people to make hybrid working work in practice. Hybrid working for us is not about being in the office between certain hours or set days. It’s about our people being at the right place at the right time, to deliver their work, with their clients and their team. “We’ll be working hard in the coming months to ensure that we listen to our people, and also our clients, about how the new arrangements work as well as they possibly can – maintaining maximum flexibility throughout.” New hybrid HQ and city hubs Coinciding with its 10th anniversary, this month Opencast completes its move into a new hybrid headquarters in Hoults Yard, Byker – just yards away from its old offices. The new HQ (see photos) has been designed after extensive consultationwith theOpencast team. Designedby xsitearchitecturewith Studio Kind, the space offers improved technology, more sustainable energy consumption, a mobile app for desk and room booking, and meeting and events spaces allowing people to get together, collaborate across hybrid teams and host social events for Opencast communities and broader networks. In addition to the opening of its new HQ, in April Opencast is building its national presence with the opening of three new city hubs – in London, Leeds and Edinburgh. All three hubs are located in buildings operated by Spaces, part of the Regus group. The new hubs offer Opencast people living in or near those locations – as well as anyone from its team visiting and needing a place to work – the option to work from those spaces, with access 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The company has existing communities in each of these locations and is actively growing its teams located in these regions. The Spaces partnership means that Opencast people will be able to work out of 48 other Spaces locations across the UK too, so everyone has a convenient, comfortable not-from-home working option. The company is planning to open further hubs in other locations in as it grows further, led by the emerging place-based communities of Opencasters across the UK. Opencast people working near the new hubs have welcomed the move, which will offer them the opportunity to have somewhere other than home to work, and to reconnect with colleagues face to face. Edinburgh-based agile delivery manager Darren Horobets-Farley said “Looking at how fast it is moving it’s hard to think that Opencast is only 10 years old. It is hard to keep up with all the changes sometimes, but I love every minute of it. Roll on another 10 years! Looking forward to the opening of the new Edinburgh hub space. It will be a welcome change to get back to meeting some other Opencasters face to face, especially in the gorgeous surroundings of Edinburgh city centre. Add to this the fact that my wife will finally get some peace and quiet around the house again!”

Acquisition International - Issue 4 2022 5 Global recruitment software provider, JobAdder, is partnering with bias-free hiring platform, Diversely, to roll out a new integration which will help hiring teams source and secure diverse talent. With UK vacancies showing no signs of slowing down and employers struggling to source skills, rethinking recruitment approaches and ensuring diverse and inclusive recruitment practices has become a necessity for hiring managers and recruitment teams. Once the new integration is rolled out, users will be able to track five demographics during the hiring process: gender, race, ethnicity, age. Diversely primarily focuses on the sourcing stage such as job board selection, diversity and inclusion goals and short-listing. This way, customers will be able to self-report on who is being hired, enabling full life cycle reporting. The integration also helps clients with rewriting job ads for cultural sensitivity and identifying job boards that address socio-economic divides. While some platforms offer blind CV hiring, Diversely completely rewrites CVs, with only the most relevant elements of the profile retained. The solution also enables employers to see if there are traditionally underrepresented elements in the profile. The algorithm is also able to pull skills out of the profile and use them to rank applicants when there are hundreds or thousands of candidates. Martin Herbst, CEO of JobAdder, commented: “As a recruitment management platform, it’s our main goal to help our audience achieve their goals and while there is no easy fix when it comes to solving the UK’s dearth of talent, it’s clear that change is a necessity. While reskilling and upskilling are both extremely important in overcoming the ongoing skills shortage, businesses should also acknowledge the fact that interviewing and onboarding can be very different experiences for minority applicants. Taking action on this will not only diversify application pools but also encourage more people to apply, increasing the number of candidates and producing immediate results for hiring teams.” “In a bid to help hiring firms take action, we have partnered with Diversely, who share our goal of saving teams time and money when it comes to finding talent and increasing the amount of diverse talent appearing on shortlists. The experts are also committed to helping recruiters to be recognised across their industry as leaders of equality, diversity and inclusion – making this a perfect partnership for us and our clients.” JobAdder announces Diversely partnership to boost diversity in recruitment

6 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2022 Feb22250 The Italian Artificial Intelligence Startup Factory: Creating Startups Through Innovation Established in 2020 ago in Milan, Italy, FoolFarm Spa has been recognised as the Leading Artificial Intelligence Venture Builder and is the leading European venture studio in the AI blockchain and cybersecurity sectors. Furthermore, FoolFarm has been advertised as ‘the start-up factory,’ as it fosters a platform for the birth, growth and development of start-ups, a factory located within one of the oldest Italian industries in the post-industrial environment Milan. or FoolFarm Spa, the company is dedicated to start-ups, firmly believing that this area drives the change from traditional venture capital scenarios to the new disruptive venture, building innovative solutions in the venture capital sector. “Our home is based in the heart of post-industrial Milan, where dreams are planted and become realities: a unique 500+ square meters innovation hub, conceived as a factory, a place to create, build and transform dreams into great realities. All these make us a place to be and work if you want to innovate the world,” boasts Founder and CEO Andrea Cinelli, a serial startupper with a millionaire exit behind it through the sale of its previous Startup, Inventia (inventiaid.com) which it sold in 2020 to the multinational group CRIF. FoolFarm specialises in AI, blockchain and cybersecurity and is renowned for being a strategic, technological and financial platform for venture building. The company aims to create almost 30 new Start-ups in next 5 years from scratch based on a validated industrial process that lasts 36 months and is separated into six phases. For FoolFarm, this is the key to its success. FoolFarm incubates and invests in deep-tech technology companies globally, providing highly regarded operational support to entrepreneurs and corporations. The reason for this is to support its clients in building market-leading companies from scratch. Traditionally, FoolFarm tends to develop start-ups that respond to significant problems with big solutions. Therefore, within the next few months, the company will be launching a new fundraising process to build an entity alongside FoolFarm by moving the Dual Entity model. Infact FoolFarm is building its own investment fund called FoolCapital aimed at raising 25 million euros and which will invest in the Foolfarm deal flow and not only with the ambition of becoming the first investment fund aimed at investing in Startups created within Venture. Builder. Andrea expands on this notion, stating, “This new entity will aim to raise around 25 million over the next few months to F support FoolFarm’s five-year deal-flow by offering investors a new way of investing in new start-ups by diversifying the risk. FoolFarm has a success rate of 75%, therefore an excellent opportunity to invest safely and in start-ups that are ‘hammered’ in our factory for at least 36 months. In this next capital raising path that will start in March 2022, we will have a big four, KPMG, who will be our advisor.” FoolFarm has selected the topical ‘venture building model’ is due to it being the best investment model. Essentially, this model creates more effective and successful start-ups without wasting time and talent while guaranteeing investors a decent investment opportunity. Andrea elaborates on this and explains the importance of this model, stating, “In Europe, over 90% of start-ups die within the first five years of life due to lack of investments, but even more often due to the inadequacy of a team or team the CEO. At Foolfarm, this does not happen. We want to create solid start-ups based on solid intellectual property, and therefore, our motto is ‘One Start-up, One Patent, created with solid and adequate management.” FoolFarm mainly operates within three markets: AI, blockchain, and cybersecurity. These sectors tend to have an explosive annual growth between 40% and 80%. Because of this, within the next five years, FoolFarm aims to build over 40 new start-ups – 40 new projects that are intended to change the market and the lives of individuals. “Here, we change the world and people’s habits by adapting to trends and anticipating them through the serial creation of start-ups. Therefore, it will allow us to become part of the life of people and companies and anticipate the natural cycles of birth, growth and development of products on the market, always remaining on the crest of the wave,” explains Andrea. FoolFarm creates start-ups from scratch and is established as a deep tech venture builder that sets new businesses through its 36-month

Acquisition International - Issue 4 2022 7 The Italian Artificial Intelligence Startup Factory: Creating Startups Through Innovation validation method. Essentially, the company’s strategy is to patent the idea of a start-up from the very start and classes itself as a cross between an incubator, a venture capital and a software house. Currently, FoolFarm builds at least six start-ups a year and is constantly developing intellectual property and patents to do so. “In 2021 alone, we released over four patents including the famous Data Pulverization patent based on Homomorphic encryption - a form of encryption that permits users to perform computations on its encrypted data without first decrypting it,” Andrea explains. FoolFarm is founded and led by investors, serial entrepreneurs and passionate individuals who are open to innovation, driven by lean start-ups and experts in AI, blockchain and cybersecurity technology, user experience and digital marketing. At FoolFarm, its business approach is significantly different from traditional firms that use incubators and accelerator methods. Andrea adds to this, stating, “We do not limit ourselves to supporting already formed start-ups, but we are co-founders of all our initiatives. We’re fully committed to finding new ideas and opportunities that together with a great product, technology and team, can disrupt potential markets.” Before anything is started, the first step in creating a successful startup begins with a deep market analysis where the company aims to identify potential ideas and opportunities for growing markets. “It can be new ideas, proven businesses within other markets or optimisations for current broken business models. Our potential ideas are defined and exposed to more analysis and critical thinking processes to develop a shortlist that will be tested and validated with our world-class advisors. Once our mind is clear, and we know the strategies for product development, technology and go-to-market, we move on to create the prototype. We’ve got a culture of makers, and our formula is about mixing it with our passion for entrepreneurship,” explains Andrea. FoolFarm is meticulous and invests resources in specific products that push the company forward to gain metrics and insights from the market. To obtain enough tractions, a significant number of resources are used. Therefore, the company holds a series of investments to build its team and business while making the product and independent business. To stay afoot in the industry, Andrea and her team at FoolFarm operate by technological waves to anticipate trends that will dominate within three to five years. Utilising this innovation ensures the company’s success and overall grand reputation as a leader in the industry. Andrea adds to this explain the examples of this technology, stating, “Last year we focused our attention on voice-based technologies and data security using blockchain technologies as a system to enable decentralised trustability models. This year we are instead addressing the issue of NFTs and their non-standard applications to bring this revolutionary technology beyond its current borders. In particular, in May, we will launch a new start-up named Fragmentalis. This revolutionary start-up will be based on our data pulverisation technologies to create a new IT security and data protection model, more respectful of the customer and his ownership.” For now, the future of FoolFarm is strong and evolving rapidly, surpassing industry standards of quality, innovation and even concerning potential trends and competitors. Simply, there isn’t a business in the world that can match the efforts of FoolFarm, and that is precisely the reason for its innate recognition as the Leading Artificial Intelligence Venture Builder in Italy. Company Name: Foolfarm Spa Contact Name: Andrea Cinelli Web Address: Www.Foolfarm.Com Contact Email: [email protected]

8 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2022 Feb22054 Dialogue Cloud Communications Platform Secures Success Customers expect the best of the best when it comes to the service experience but providing this level of service requires a holistic experience. The team at Anywhere365® have revolutionised business communications. In 2022’s Global Excellence Awards from Acquisition International, the team were named Most Innovative Cloud-Based Contact Centre Platform 2022 – Europe. For the second year in a row. o one has unlimited time on their hands, so making the most of what resources you have is crucial to achieving success. The use of digital solutions is intrinsic to this approach and is where Anywhere365® thrives. The company’s entire approach is due, in no small part, to the way in which they believe that digital transformation for customer engagement centers can be achieved through a focus on the full dialogue experience, instead of only the customer experience. Customer inquiries are peaking, and companies are struggling to manage all their conversations. But adding more bodies to a contact center means higher budgets and increasingly complex organizations. It doesn’t improve the ‘warehouse of time’ for a company or its customers. Just like focusing on technology as a solution will in many cases waste – not win – time. Gijs Geurts, Chief Executive Officer, Anywhere365® explains: “We always want to be at the forefront of technology. Not because of technology, but because it’s our mission to maximize the potential of every perishable minute in any dialogue. We enhance communications productivity by speeding up valuable interactions, not warming up more seats. By delivering first time right answers, not time-consuming end points.” Anywhere365® has thrived because it fully leverages the Microsoft Ecosystem. Their Dialogue Cloud platform drives both customer experiences and workforce productivity through the use of their client’s incredible store of data. This data has immense power in the right hands, but must be carefully handled to secure the best possible results. The companies that have adopted this approach have been able to incorporate dialogues which have enhanced service desks, contact centers, account sales teams and other heavy communicators. Reducing unnecessary dialogue saves time for both company and customer. To do this, Anywhere365® draws on every available source to drive an omnichannel experience. Their low code Dialogue Studio, for example, enables the platform to integrate with any API-based tools for intelligence and bot automation. Users can simply drag and drop nodes without codes to a canvas. In the 21st Century, companies operate with hundreds of potential customers and it can be difficult to N keep the proper information at their fingertips. This knowledge can be used by AI bots to give customers the right information at the right time questions to a live agent, based on their skills and geography to name but a few. Since its inception, Anywhere365® has proven to be an invaluable resource. With more than 2,000 clients in over 60 countries and working with 30+ businesses that are members of Fortune 500 Global, it’s clear that many trust the Anywhere365® Dialogue Cloud platform to deliver exceptional results. The secret of the success has been the development of a program which offers an easy path to adoptability. Insteadof takingMicrosoft Teams to the contact center, Anywhere365® takes contact center capabilities to every Teams user in a company. This decision is what has driven many companies forward, as their staffs have been able to adapt to this familiar layout with ease. Agent adoption rates are unparalleled. To maintain the high standards that people have come to expect, the Anywhere365® team are always investing in ways to improve and develop their leading solutions. In the rapidly moving digital landscape, it’s not enough to settle. Technology is constantly evolving, and opening up new opportunities, and businesses are always looking for ways to enhance their results and improve their efficiency across the board. As the world continues to change, the need for an approach to business communications which is as efficient as possible is clear. The team at Anywhere365® have thrived by finding new ways of inducing efficiency. It’s an ongoing task, but one they are certain to continue excelling at. Their dream of a unified contact center solution has finally come true. Company: Anywhere365® Name: Hans Kramer, Chief Marketing Officer Email: [email protected]

Acquisition International - Issue 4 2022 9 Named by CIO Review as one of the ‘Ten Most Promising ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SOFTWARE Consulting Services Companies’ in 2019 and 2020 and a ‘Top Cloud Solution Provider’ by APAC CIO Outlook, Cloud Services Solutions has been named Most Innovative Cloud Solutions Provider of 2022. Recognised for providing global advisory services for its clients to measurably improve the performance and efficiency of their ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SOFTWARE ecosystems, Cloud Services Solutions serves the international market with offices across America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Feb22131 y utilising cost-effective ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SOFTWARE application solutions, and strategic consulting services, clients of Cloud Services Solutions can improve their performance processes and increase efficiencies. For CLOUD SERVICES SOLUTIONS, the innate goal is to remove the hassle and confusion often found within ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SOFTWARE Cloud Systems and provide an ecosystem that will improve all aspects of a business’s organisation. Moreover, the service CLOUD SERVICES SOLUTIONS offers can be utilised from higher education, government agencies and commercial clients, to name a few. Chief Executive Officer Stephen Roche explains the details of the services provided at the company, stating, “We ultimately cut down on time involved in the investigation, selection and implementation process by dealing only with vendors that fit our client’s needs. In addition, we advocate for our clients through vendor sales and negotiations, allowing them to save thousands. We provide Cloud ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SOFTWARE for every area of need, including financials, human capital, implementation and/ or upgrade, and management and planning. From start to finish, we handle the selection of vendors, the facilitation, and implementation of your ecosystem, and any necessary training to ensure you understand the ins and outs of your new Cloud ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SOFTWARE.” Additionally, the company can remove the complications from the vendor selection process by using CLOUD SERVICES SOLUTIONS’s vendor assessment matrix. It can do so through its vast experience, which has allowed the company to learn that when selections are based on facts, not emotions, clients can save both time and money. Through innate attention to detail, deep industry expertise, and care for it’s clients, CLOUD SERVICE SOLUTIONS achieves results for clients that exceed expectations. Moreover, because of its product-agnostic approach, CLOUD SERVICES SOLUTIONS can support clients in selecting the right products for their inevitably unique needs and requirements. With the company’s collective experience of over 20 years managing ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SOFTWARE projects, costing over $5 million, CLOUD SERVICES SOLUTIONS clients trust the company’s experts, who have carefully developed 10-steps that businesses should follow to have a successful ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SOFTWARE rollout. Essentially, CLOUD SERVICES SOLUTIONS’s system is proven, time-tested and optimised to save its clients time and money in the long run. B Since its establishment, CLOUD SERVICES SOLUTIONS has served a diverse range of clients internationally, and is heavily prominent in continents such as the America’s, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Stephen adds to this, saying, “Our international team of ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SOFTWARE experts enables us to meet the needs of our clients in both a proactive and comprehensive manner. Clients choose to work with CLOUD SERVICES SOLUTIONS because we take a holistic approach to human capital management. We help our clients walk through the entire process, from choosing the right software to selecting the best implementation partner. This level of service and expertise translates into cost and time savings for our clients.” For CLOUD SERVICES SOLUTIONS, the team is imperative to the company’s success, not just internally but for the professional outcomes of the company’s clients. Therefore, to join the team, CLOUD SERVICES SOLUTIONS is particular and requires candidates to have at least ten years of global experience – a necessity that ensures the company will always provide innovative solutions – commitment and dedication in the name of the brand and for the client’s overall needs. Part of what makes CLOUD SERVICES SOLUTIONS stand out from its competitors is its ability to provide offices across the world, featuring an international team across the globe that can serve a variety of cultures–a baffling challenge to potential competitors but a significant advantage for CLOUD SERVICES SOLUTIONS. Stephen expands on this, enthusing, “We find that our international presence and attention to detail from a cultural perspective gives us a competitive advantage. In addition, daily, we utilise the talents of our staff to be the best possible advisory experts and client advocates possible.” While the challenges of Covid-19 have posed many difficult hurdles for businesses across the industry and the world, CLOUD SERVICES SOLUTIONS has found that its team is incredibly resilient and has adapted to the industry’s shifting environment significantly well. CLOUD SERVICES SOLUTIONS is looking forward to the new year with plans to expand into the European and APAC regions. As the pandemic slows, CLOUD SERVICES SOLUTIONS has seen several projects that have been initially put on hold and have begun resurfacing – resuming projects with clients happily and imminently. Company Name: Cloud Services Solutions Contact Name: Stephen Roche Contact Email: [email protected] The Secret to Improving ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SOFTWARE Ecosystems Cloud Services Solutions

10 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2022 Best Zero-Energy Home Construction Firm - Arizona company that builds new custom homes located in the picturesque communities of Flagstaff and Prescott, Capstone Homes is an Arizona architect with an environmental drive behind it. Fundamentally, it has developed each and every one of its processes to allow it to operate with the highest levels of efficacy and ecological diligence, treading lightly in the environment in which it works and making itself a cornerstone of the sustainable bespoke housing movement. Utilising the latest in low energy construction methods such as zero-energy ready homes, Capstone Homes takes pride in being one of the most reliable builders in its region. Additionally, its custom floorplans included in its signature, in-house collection boast design-build programs that rival anything on the market; using the finest of new home construction techniques and processes, it offers full customization and the ability to build on lots of any character or type. Inviting clients to choose from a curated collection of floor plans from which they can draw ideas and information, Capstone Homes works with its clients to identify what they want from a build, from the aesthetic preferences to the requirements made necessary by their lifestyle. Critically, no matter how big or small the job, or how specific the request, Capstone Homes promises it will be able to rise to the challenge as it has done so many other times, breathing life into its client’s visions. From comfortable family homes to modern house designs and grand estates, it sticks with its client from the word go. Having made itself a friend to many customers over the years, it finds that it and A Capstone Homes is a bespoke housing provider operating in and around Arizona. Having developed an exemplary method of boutique housing creation, one which works by way of customizable templates that a client can tailor to their heart’s content, it combines the latest and greatest developments in sustainable home design to create the spaces of the future. Implementing only the most ecologically friendly techniques, materials, and attitudes, it seeks to bring its clients’ home design dreams to bear whilst not damaging the surrounding area. Company: Capstone Homes Contact: Janell Wilson Website: capstonehomesaz.com Dec21641 the client develop a true rapport over the course of a build, and as the largest home builder in Northern Arizona, it is pleased to have maintained this personable and friendly service despite its growth, giving credence to its own internal sustainability as a business. Nominally, as a business setting itself apart from the ‘traditional triangle’ of its industry – one that involves owners, architects, and contractors from different firms – it makes itself the one-stop-shop for bespoke home creation and brings everything a client needs into one place, something they each have come to appreciate. A personal designer, sales associate, options coordinator, and project manager, its exemplary team work hard to make the best first impression. Therefore, despite labour shortages, supply chain delays, and material cost increases, and other challenges, its core priority over the last 18 months has remained its clientele and their happiness, continually providing its award-winning expertise, support, and service. Its team is in constant communication with a customer and always reachable through whatever means of contact is the most comfortable for them. Thusly, it has developed a process that not only creates a beautiful build at the end, but allows clients access to an enjoyable and stress-free experience in which they are looked after by the experts, and it looks forward to bringing this to many more clients in the coming year. Company: Capstone Homes Contact: Janell Wilson Website: capstonehomesaz.com

Acquisition International - Issue 4 2022 11 Most Innovative Cloud & Hosting Solutions Provider 2022 - Canada or over a decade, Stage2Data has provided impeccable cloud solutions with data centres residing in both Canada and the USA. Due to its incredible sales and supports teams located within its head office in Oakville, Ontario, Stage2Data has consistently delivered superior professional services to its customers. Chief revenue Officer, Stephen Pyott, describes the company’s efforts, stating, “We understand that all businesses are in different phases of growth and maturity and as such, we can tailor our service offerings to suit not only the requirements but also the budget of our customers. In the process, we become trusted advisors to our customers and work towards long-standing relationships of excellence and trust.” For Stage2Data, most of its customers include professional industry sectors such as healthcare providers, law firms and construction, civil engineering, real estate companies and public sector, to name a few. Stage2Data is renowned for delivering optimized ‘Software-asa-Service’ (SaaS) solutions, which comprises of, but is not limited to, Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Network Recovery-as-a-Service (NRaaS), Business Continuityas-a-Service (BCPaaS), Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS), File Archivingas-a-Service (FAaaS) and Cyber Resilience-as-a-Service (CRaaS). “Our mission is to solve business problems for our customers and to deliver value at every turn with our SaaS solutions. Our solutions not only give our customers and partners access to the latest innovations but also comes with superb customer service and after-sales support,” explains CEO and President Petrus Human. Stage2Data is most notable for its flagship NRaaS solution, a term coined by the company and is an entirely unique offering to the market. This unique failover and recovery solution can be implemented for the entire network infrastructure and, in the event of a site failure, it restores the entire site (including the servers and network) while maintaining public and private IP addresses throughout the entire failover. In addition to its reputable solutions, Stage2Data is known for its impeccable customer service. Stephen adds to this, stating, “customer satisfaction is our most important core value, closely linked to our aim always to provide quality products for a quality price. These core values have served us well over the years, and we remain steadfast in our commitment always to uphold these values.” Keeping these core values in line with its incredible product solutions, Stage2Data attributes a lot of its success to its dedicated and ambitious management team, a team that is significantly passionate F about what they do. This passion also drives all its services. “Our staff is our strength, and they understand that, in turn, our customers are central to everything we do,” ads Petrus. Like many others in recent years, Stage2Data has gone through complex challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, most notably, from an operational perspective. Stage2Data found that the most challenging aspect of the global pandemic was to ensure its workforce remained healthy and to protect staff, clients, and visitors from contracting and spreading the virus. With the addition of government-mandated Covid-19 screenings, Stage2Data saw an opportunity to innovate and implemented a tool that could help organizations automate the entire screening process. Stephen explains the company’s efforts during the pandemic, stating, “We onboarded a pre-screening SaaS solution for workplaces, resulting in huge benefits for our customers. For example, Minto Group, one of our customers that benefited from this pre-screening tool, implemented it at all its sites in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. The SaaS solution not only saved time and automated and streamlined the entire manual pre-screening process, but also ensured compliance with government regulations.” In addition to serving satisfied customers successfully, Stage2Data has developed a strategic partnership with Cohesity, a leader in hybrid, multi-cloud environments. The innate collaboration has supported the company immensely, allowing Stage2Data to strengthen its superior cloud data management offerings in North America. Combining Cohesity’s multi-cloud data management platform with NRaaS has been a game changer in the North American data protection industry. Following this success, Stage2Data plans to expand its data center facilities to the West Coast of the USA and throughout Canada, ultimately extending to Europe in 2022. Petrus adds to this: “On top of this expansion, we are planning to launch new SaaS offerings to the market for customers and partners that focus on cyber security. Overall, our goal is to keep improving our service levels, enhance our product offerings and build on our excellent customer service to ensure we remain the preferred provider for North American SaaS solutions.” Regarded as Canada’s Most Innovative Cloud & Hosting Solutions Provider of 2022, Stage2Data is making a significant impression on the industry, the marketplace, and all its customers’, who are happily and successfully utilizing the ingenious innovations brought forward by the Stage2Data team. Recognized as one of North America’s fastest-growing and most trusted cloud solution providers, Stage2Data is on a mission to identify the best possible solutions and offer optimal results to its customers. Working with best breed technology partners to deliver enterprise-quality services to the market, Stage2Data is regarded as Canada’s Most Innovative Cloud and Hosting Solutions Provider of 2022. Company: Stage2Data Contact: Robert Kellerman Email: [email protected] stage2data.com Web: www.stage2data.com Feb22200

12 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2022 Feb22272 Tools Of The Future Organizations make better decisions when they can understand the depth of the data available to them. In Acquisition International’s 2022 Global Excellence Awards, the team at 21strategies were awarded the title of Most Innovative B2B Deep Tech Solutions Company 2022 – Germany for their work leveraging AI for precisely this purpose. We dig a little deeper to uncover how they did it. he human race has barely tapped the surface of the power of AI and deep tech. In the right hands, it could revolutionize the ways in which we think and work, opening up exciting new possibilities. Many see AI as a replacement for people, but the team at 21strategies see it as a resource that can help their clients move more quickly and agilely than ever before. Their vision is one where humans share the planet with smart machines, which are able to execute cognitive tasks at machine speeds. By outsourcing the thinking to AI, humanity will be able to understand the world in a totally different way. Instead of working from uncertain assumptions, businesses can establish tactical and strategic decision superiority. The tech stack they offer as Enterprise AI learns from descriptive, contextual models, taking even the most limited data and building an effective solution from it. Mainstream models of AI require massive amounts of data to achieve comparable results. The challenge of building these next-gen AI solutions is what the 21strategies team specialize in. Modeling such solutions, however, T demands a detailed knowledge of the domain in which it is taking place. As such 21strategies provides f three domains, namely the supply chain, national security and capital markets. This strong focus means that the products they offer are consistently high achievers across all sectors. Their product, HEDGE21, for example is tailored to make optimal decisions when and how to hedge currency or commodity risk. It also addresses any corporation with supply chain challenges such as currency exposure or commodity spread risk. The team’s other innovative product, TACTICS21, however is an AI training platform. This does not train clients, but educates the AI in the making of tactics and optimal decisions at engagements in complex environments. Such a resource is a powerful tool in the world of national security. The world of AI is naturally disruptive, but the 21strategies team have positioned themselves in sectors which appreciate consistency. The creative ideas and concepts that the team champion are not yet appreciated because many do not understand them. As such, whilst the team are shaping the future, the very concept of how invaluable next-gen AI could be remains a mystery for the majority of people. That said, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a shift as the way in which we work shifts towards digitalization and hyperconnectedness. Such a dynamic environment places new pressures on businesses to work with increasing data streams, and is the ideal place to deploy next-gen AI solutions. With so many variables to consider, from economic woes to political shifts, the ability of AI to hedge bad and worst case scenarios to an optimal solution is an invaluable resource. The success of the 21strategies team has been through their way of constantly interrogating the ethical, legal and societal ramifications of operating such a high class of AI. This shifting dynamic is what drives the team forward. Their plans currently span the next seven years, following a grand vision which will be achieved through agile strategy. 2022 will see the HEDGE21 product enhanced, with TACTICS21 introduced to the broader public through a big red-carpet event. This expansion will allow the business to grow to its next round of funding. When thinking of the future, it pays to look at the people who will shape it. When we look at the team from 21strategies, we see a business which is defining the way in which we look at AI in business for many years to come. Company: 21strategies Name: Yvonne Hofstetter Email: [email protected] Web Address: https://www.21strategies.com

Acquisition International - Issue 4 2022 13 First Aid Associates, having earned accreditation as ‘2022’s Leaders in First Aid Training Services’ for the UK, has already started off the new year well. Having pulled through the challenges of the pandemic – being unable to run in-person training and events being cancelled – this first aid and mental health educator looks forward to making itself the health and safety partner to many more clients. With courses applicable to professionals across a myriad of industry verticals, and medical coverage for events that goes above and beyond the call of duty, it is easy to see how it has made itself the turnkey solution for so many. Feb22297 roviding a variety of first aid and mental health courses, First Aid Associates has made a name for itself with clients across all manner of sectors. Nominally, its clients range from primary schools to UTCs, dental practices, and engineering firms, but all of them share a dedication in providing better and safer environments for the people they themselves serve. Many of them also take advantage of First Aid Associates’ Medical Cover. With events ranging from small 5k runs to large music festivals, it promises that its medical cover will give the client and their attendees the peace of mind they require to enjoy the event to the fullest. Additionally, its efforts have made it the one-stop-shop and turnkey solution for existing clients. So often, it finds that when a new client brings it on board, either for teaching its courses or for its medical cover, the client will come back to it time and time again, making it their trusted solution to preserving people’s wellbeing, and for teaching people how to do this. It also achieves new clients through word-of-mouth referral. This is an invaluable part of what has allowed its business to grow, and something it extends its thanks out to its P clients for, as it is by their confidence in its services that it is able to continually grow and better itself. Contactable through its website and Facebook page, it has pulled through the difficult times of the past 2 years by way of its tenacity and teamwork. Fundamentally, its team have worked hard to continue to serve its clients with the excellence they have come to expect, despite so many clients hitting roadblocks such as events being postponed or even altogether cancelled. Said clients have appreciated its ability to work with them during this difficult period, and it was eventually able to get back to face-to-face training in June of 2020, when it made sure clients felt comfortable, assuring them that all of its equipment had been appropriately sanitised (as it always had been), and continues to maintain these strict hygiene controls, and looks forward to welcoming many fresh faces to its courses across the coming year. Company: First Aid Associates Contact: Steven Wilson Website: https://www.firstaidassociates.co.uk/ Front Runners in Health and Safety Education

14 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2022 Feb22274 Most Comprehensive Installation Management Company - Northern Ireland At Fusion Heating Ltd, individuals within Northern Ireland are honoured with excellent services for their installs, services and repairs to central heating boilers and systems. Provided by the Most Comprehensive Installation Management Company, Fusion Heating is led by an impeccable team with an array of experience from gas engineers, plumbers, electricians, builders, and joiners – establishing itself as a one-stop-shop for Northern Ireland’s central heating needs. t Fusion Heating Ltd, the company successfully installs new heating systems in as little as one day, minimising the disruptions to its clients and securely providing unparalleled services across Northern Ireland. Recognized for being the leading energy services contractor for Irish individuals, the company employs approximately 100 full-time team members and generates an annual turnover of over £10 million – a justified achievement that is highly regarded in the industry and proof of its utmost appreciation and trust by the people of Northern Ireland. Due to its vast accomplishments, the broad range of services and diversely talented professionals working for the company, Fusion Heating tends to work closely with both the private and public sectors to install, service and repair central heating systems. In addition to this, the company also offers a complete domestic electrical contracting service along with fitting full bathrooms. Because of this, Fusion Heating has obtained two of Northern Ireland’s largest housing associations, Choice Housing and Radius Housing. Adding to this, Fusion Heating is strongly supported by gas network operator Phoenix Natural Gas and often collaborates with Social Housing - local housing associations, Phoenix Energy Services and private homeowners. Moreover, Fusion Heating has been awarded large volume contracts through public procurement exercises. Sales and Marketing Manager Ashton Reid discusses the establishing principles of the company, stating, “We have strong brand awareness and excellent customer service. To that, our out-of-hours service has a skilled and qualified workforce. At Fusion Heating, we guarantee A-rated boilers and hydrogen ready boilers with a ten-year boiler warranty. In addition, we look after all your paperwork and install it within one day – no mess, no fuss.” Furthermore, Fusion Heating is regarded for the range of schemes available for vulnerable customers with the company and is expanding all over Northern Ireland. Fusion Heating is immensely keen to offer support to as many eligible customers as possible across the nation through NISEP and the Affordable Warmth scheme. Homeowners interested in upgrading their heating to a more energy-efficient system are encouraged to contact Fusion Heating for advice and information on their services and products. A Relevant to this, Fusion Heating works hard to inform clients on getting their boiler regularly serviced at least once a year to ensure that the item is working properly, safely, and efficiently. It should be added that Fusion Heating provides this service for only £50. For Fusion Heating, the company is heavily invested in apprenticeship development. Because of this, it has received several awards for its commitment to apprenticeship development at a high level reaping the overall and continuous benefits in succession planning over the past decade. Overall, Fusion Heating has founded a culture that contributes to the success in terms of increased employee engagement. However, like many businesses in the construction industry, Fusion Heating has experienced several challenges over the past few years, such as skills shortages in Northern Ireland. Additionally, these issues snowballed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They caused increased absences, loss of productivity, and the review of operations and risk assessments to ensure it complies with Covid-19. For the future, Fusion Heating is interested in expanding its customer base outside of the greater Belfast area. By 2022, it is keen to target additional rural locations to provide customers with more energy-efficient solutions. Moreover, Fusion Heating is continuously looking to hear from domestic experienced heating engineers in Northern Ireland to add to their ever-increasing workforce – keeping up with the demand and the surging additions of clients across the nation. Company: Fusion Heating Ltd Name: Ashton Reid Email: [email protected] Web Address: https://fusionheating.co.uk/ Address: Unit 14 Maryland Industrial Estate, Ballygowan Road, Belfast BT23 6BL

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