Management Led Investment Group Buys UBM Tech Channel


An executive management investment group, led by UBM Tech CEO Robert Faletra, has acquired UBM Tech Channel, the parent of CRN, for an undisclosed sum.

The first move by the new management group was to change the name of the company to The Channel Company in recognition of its position as the No. 1 source for channel information, enablement and demand generation for technology solution providers and vendors. UBM will remain a minority investor in the new venture.

Faletra, who will become CEO of The Channel Company, said the deal is aimed at allowing the new independent company to be more nimble and agile in delivering prescriptive sales and marketing solutions for technology solution providers and vendors in the cloud era.

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Faletra said customers can expect to see a stepped-up pace of innovative new channel products and services aimed at driving sales growth for technology solution providers and vendors.

“This is all about moving faster to meet the needs of our customers in the cloud services era," said Faletra. “Moving forward, you will see a focus on solutions that allow suppliers to build bigger stronger channels as well as help solution providers find new customers and build a larger revenue stream.”

Faletra said a good example of the kind of services that customers can expect to see in the future is SharedVue Social, a new social media platform for technology vendors and their partners to drive sales leads with content-rich social media posts. SharedVue Social was launched just last month. "Solution providers must double the number of customers they are serving in order to drive the same amount of revenue in the cloud era," he said. "They can't do that without new marketing services from The Channel Company that change the game."

Faletra said the acquisition marks a new era for the 33-year-old business, which started as a media company producing the world's largest U.S. trade newsweekly for technology solution providers and has since been transformed into a full-service resource for technology vendors to recruit, enable and engage with technology solution providers.

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"Our objective always has been and will continue to be the premier provider for enabling technology partnerships,” said Faletra.

Based in Framingham, Mass., The Channel Company will own and operate all of the businesses and related products formerly owned by UBM Tech Channel in North America, including the full suite of CRN media properties including crn.com and CRN Tech News, a daily news app for the IT channel available both on the iPad and Windows 8-based devices; the market-leading XChange solution provider conference, Best of Breed (BoB) conference and MES event portfolio; the SharedVue through-partner marketing software platform and services; the channel sales services business; the IPED research, consulting and education business; and the renowned solution provider database.

“All the employees, brands, products and services that vendors and solution providers have relied on to help them reach their goals will continue on with The Channel Company and will be an integral part of our growth plan to bring more products and services to the channel ecosystem,” said Faletra.

The executive team and employees who have made The Channel Company the premier provider of channel products and services remain in place, including Executive Vice President Dan Dignam, a 15-year company veteran who oversees sales and operations and strategy; Senior Vice President Lisa Mackenzie, a 20-year company veteran who oversees the events and IPED groups; and Chief Financial Officer Rob Wiseltier, a 5-year company veteran who oversees all financial operations.

"For 33 years, we have been the trusted authority for channel growth and innovation," said Faletra. "As we launch The Channel Company, we are looking forward to bringing our unmatched talent, services and commitment to drive a new era of channel partnership, innovation and growth for our current and new customers looking to build profitable channel businesses."