Iowa Network Services Acquires Merit Resources, Creating a Partnership Between Iowa-Based Organizations to Expand Business Services

WEST DES MOINES, IA--(Marketwired - May 2, 2013) - Iowa Network Services (INS) has announced the acquisition of Merit Resources, a Professional Employment Organization (PEO) that provides a full complement of employment services to small- and medium-sized businesses and Senior Living Communities in Iowa and throughout the nation. Merit is one of only 4 percent of PEOs that are accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC). Merit operations and management will remain unchanged.

The acquisition of Merit reflects INS' continued commitment to expand service offerings and leverage network connectivity to the business community. Since 2007, INS has been diversifying operations. In 1987 the focus was exclusively on serving the Independent Telecommunications Companies with voice and long distance services. Twenty-five years later, INS has expanded product offerings to include the state's largest fiber optic network, digital video services, a data center, cloud, wireless, and a host of other related communications solutions.

"Our corporate mission statement clearly talks about simplifying operations for our customers. We have intentionally looked for businesses outside of our core communications services that enhance business productivity, mitigate risk and improve performance. The acquisition of Merit is no exception to that," said Ron Keller, President/CEO of INS. "Not only are we proud to be associated with Merit, we are excited to deploy their human resources (HR) outsourcing services to our Independent Telecommunications Companies and a whole host of small- to medium-sized businesses. We are creating a wonderful partnership between two well-established, successful, Iowa-based organizations."

Merit has been based in Des Moines, IA, since 1989 and is the largest PEO in the state. Today, Merit provides valuable HR solutions to more than 400 clients and 11,000 worksite employees across 40 states.

"We are excited to join the INS Family of Companies," said Joel Duncan, CEO of Merit Resources. "The combined suite of voice and data services that the INS communications group provides to business is compelling. Our cultures, target markets, and unrelenting focus on customer intimacy are closely aligned. Our clients and employees will benefit from the greater depth and resources in communication technology and talent from INS, while Merit will prove to be a valuable partner in providing HR services to the Independent Telecommunications Companies and hundreds of enterprise customers served by INS."

Merit has focused on "Making Employment Easy" for small- and medium-sized businesses. ESAC-accredited PEOs demonstrate financial stability, ethical business conduct and adherence to operational standards and regulatory requirements. Merit currently offers Bundled HR Services, Specialty Senior Living HR Services, Ala-Carte Recruiting, Employee Assessment and Time Attendance services through its 75 trained and credentialed HR staff.

About Iowa Network Services

Iowa Network Services (INS) Family of Companies is the only Iowa-owned and based company that offers carrier-class voice, data and business services. INS is privately owned by a group of 122 Iowa Independent Telecommunications Companies that has served rural Iowans since 1989. Telephony, core network transport, Internet, dedicated fiber, Internet Protocol video, data center facilities, network management, technical support services, information technology, and HR outsourcing are among the many products and services offered to communications companies and enterprise businesses nationwide. The INS Family of Companies includes Alliance Technologies, Inc., an information technology company; Alliance Connect, a statewide competitive local exchange company; and Merit Resources, a Professional Employment Organization. INS is also affiliated with iWireless, a statewide cellular partner with T-Mobile. For more information, visit

Contact Information:

Kristi Petersen
INS Manager-Marketing and Communications
Phone: 515-830-0425