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Eplus has seen its share of evolutions. Founded in 1990, the company started out like many VARs, making most of its money simply reselling and leasing computer hardware. After the '90s ended and the Internet
exploded, ePlus ventured beyond hardware and into software solutions and professional IT services.
And when the industry went through another upheaval with the advent of virtualization and cloud computing, ePlus transformed itself yet again. In fact, ePlus has adapted to market changes and new technologies so quickly that it's hard to identify the nearly $700 million company year to year--beyond its successful track record, of course.
"We've changed a lot. We've moved from being a box pusher to a service integrator," said Mark Melvin, chief technology officer at ePlus. "The data center has become a huge focus for us."
Melvin said ePlus' numerous transformations were vital to the company's success. "It's getting tougher and tougher to be a server-only, storage-only or networking-only VAR," he said. "You can get away with it for a while, but not for very long because these days all the technology is tied together and there are fewer vendors."
In that respect, ePlus made big investments in data center and virtualization-related competencies and certifications. The solution provider today boasts many of the top partner levels and certifications in the industry with many leading vendors, including Cisco, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and VMware. "I think we've chosen our partners and certifications pretty well when you look at our competencies," he said.
Today, ePlus' conversations with clients have been elevated from RFP-level discussions to strategy discussions with high-level executives, Melvin said. "We're having business transformation discussions now, not product-level discussions. We don't want to just solve one problem. We want to transform our clients' businesses for the next 20 years."
By Rob Wright