Focus, Build on Relationships and Stand For Something


Wade Brower is co-founder/co-owner of CRN Fast Growth company IP Pathways.

When we founded IP Pathways in 2007, we spent a great deal of time debating the services we would provide, the solutions we would focus upon, the manufacturers we would represent and how we would procure the manufacturer’s hardware and software. Those decisions helped shape our company into the Fast Growth organization we are today.

VARs minimally procure hardware and software through distribution channels, resell this hardware and software to end customers and provide services to these end customers. We had been customers of VARs previously but had no idea of the complexities these VARs dealt with behind the scenes.

The first decision we made was to have laser focus. We started the company at the beginning of the virtualization boom and felt that data center consolidation would become huge so we decided to focus there. To us, that meant focusing on data storage, virtualization platforms and core networking.

We then selected Tier 1 manufacturers of data center consolidation hardware and software and began forming relationships. We met with the manufacturer’s sales, technical and channel management teams and also their distribution partners. We learned about enablement programs, best practices and partner requirements. There were many programs to assist us in building a successful data center practice and by building relationships we were afforded the opportunity of participating.

As we studied other successful VARs and worked with manufacturing and distribution, we kept coming back to a common theme. To be successful, a VAR needs to know what they do, how they do it and they need do it very well. We decided to make server and desktop virtualization our specialty and built the engineering organization around those technologies.

We also were urged to make our manufacturing selections wisely and to then stay loyal to those decisions. We didn’t make manufacturing decisions based on marketing or sales projections, rather we made selections based on what we felt were the best-in-breed Tier 1 solutions. As an example, we felt VMware was the gold standard in both server and desktop virtualization so we built our practice around VMware technologies. We became experts in the VMware portfolio of solutions.

That enabled us to build more trust with our partners but more importantly we were able to build internal best practices and methodologies that could become repeatable. Doing so has led to an extremely high customer satisfaction level. We focused, became experts and formed relationships.

Fast forward to today and we have evolved and grown. We strive for an end state of happy customers, happy manufacturing partners and happy employees and we have a set of core values that guide our every day. We believe that if we hold true to our core values, we will achieve our end state goals and this will then make for a successful organization.

These are the core values by which IP Pathways lives each day:

  • Do Whatever It Takes For The Customer
  • Be an Engineering Driven Organization
  • Associate With and Represent Only Best-In-Breed Technology Hardware and Software Solutions
  • Be A Leader In Technology Thought and Innovation
  • Become the Technical Expert In Whatever We Do
  • Embrace Face-to-Face Communication With Our Customers, Co-Workers and Vendors
  • Be Creative and Open-Minded
  • Be Passionate and Determined
  • Get In Over Your Head and Love Every Minute Of It
  • Build A Positive Team and Family Spirit

    At the end of the day, we believe that the keys to building a fast growth VAR to be focused, to build on relationships and to stand for something.