Fishers technology services company acquires Carmel-based competitor

Fishers-based Ultimate Automation on Wednesday announced it has acquired Carmel-based Electronic Evolutions Inc.

The merger was announced Wednesday morning at Ultimate Automation's storefront at the Depot at Nickel Plate, 8594 E. 116th St., in Fishers.

The combined company has already changed its name to Ultimate Technologies Group Inc., with Ultimate Automation founder Will O’Brien and his wife, Tiffany, taking the helm. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

O’Brien launched his company as Ultimate Home Automation in early 2017 at Launch Fishers. The commercial audio-visual, automation and information technology systems provider began doing business later that year as Ultimate Automation and moved to its own office space.

In an incentive deal with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. reached in April, Ultimate Automation agreed to spend $1 million and add 31 full-time jobs by the end of 2021. The IEDC offered Ultimate Automation up to $325,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants based on the job-creation plans. The company had five employees when it made the incentive deal.

After acquiring Electronic Evolutions, Ultimate Automation, now known as Ultimate Technologies Group, has grown to 29 employees, O’Brien told IBJ.

Before the acquisition, Electronic Evolutions had 20 employees and Ultimate Automation had 12. Company leaders met with every employee to evaluate what positions they would be best for before eliminating three employees, O'Brien said.

Electronic Evolutions was founded as Escient Solutions in September 1985 as a residential home theater company. One of its early owners was Indianapolis entrepreneur and voice mail inventor Scott Jones. Longtime banking executive Mike Alley acquired the company in 2003 and changed the name to Electronic Evolutions,.

Daniel and Julie Knotts acquired and restructured the company in 2006 to focus solely on corporate and commercial enterprise technology clients. Customers include Roche, Amazon and Cummins.

When Ultimate Automation began operating in 2017, the two were local competitors, O’Brien told IBJ. In April, he reached out to Knotts to see whether he would consider selling the business. It turned out Knotts was already considering retirement, O’Brien said, and the two were able to strike a deal in which Ultimate Automation was able to add employees and customers.

The new company will be headquartered in Ultimate Automation’s Fishers space but will also utilize space at the Indiana Internet of Things Lab in Fishers. About half of its 29 employees will work out of the lab.

Eventually, O’Brien would like to see the company expand beyond Fishers.

“The sky is the limit; we’re growing at a rate of about 50 percent a year,” he told IBJ. “We don’t see any end in sight. We’ll always be hiring.”

During an event Wednesday morning where the acquisition was announced, Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness said Ultimate Automation is the poster child of what an entrepreneurial city should look like.

“You took an idea and brought it to fruition, and now, almost 30 people have a livelihood,” Fadness said. “That’s extraordinary.”

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