IT Partners Brings On Channel Vet To Lead Solution Provider Business


Tempe, Ariz.-based IT Partners named long-time channel industry executive Steve Tepedino president and CEO, charged with leading day-to-day operations and focusing on growth for the solution provider.

Tepedino started Monday at IT Partners, No. 424 on CRN's 2014 SP500 list. His appointment consolidates the president and CEO roles, previously held by co-owners Gary Johnston and Willie Hawileh, into a single position.

“Steve is a highly respected member of the IT community. He has worked with public and private customers across a number of industries and has helped mid-size and global enterprises drive greater value from their IT investments. Steve will bring this experience and vision to our customers, partners and employees. We all expect great things from Steve as we welcome him into the IT Partners family," Johnston and Hawileh said in a statement.

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Tepedino brings with him a long history working within the channel, most recently coming from Melillo Consulting, where he was president of the Somerset, N.J.-based solution provider. Prior to that, Tepedino started his own vendor and VAR management consulting firm Channel Saavy after a 22-year tenure at distributor Avnet, which has annual revenue of about $3.5 billion, where he was corporate vice president and president of Avnet Technology Solutions.

Tepedino said in an interview with CRN that his background on both the solution provider side of the channel as well as a birds-eye view of the industry from distribution will give him the know-how to help scale the business. IT Partners hopes to twice double the company's revenue. He said it is hard to predict how long that growth will take but expects it will accelerate as the company continues to scale.

"We're going to look at how to double this thing twice. The question is, how fast can we do that?" Tepedino said. "From a timing standpoint, the first doubling is really the hard one...because in the first doubling you're really installing a growth engine around value proposition that resonates with customers. When you’ve got that expanding to customers that that resonates with is easier."

To accomplish that, Tepedino said IT Partners will look how to add emerging technologies to their repertoire without straying too far from the infrastructure core that the company is known for in the region. In particular, he said that would include looking closely at big data, to drive business value for client's data, and cloud to more efficiently manage workloads.

"We're going to play with a bunch of stuff but it's all going to be spinoffs of infrastructure. They will be tangents, not giant leaps," Tepedino said. "Our goal is to really be the partner of choice for customers in this territory. It's one of my goals for this company. If you think of infrastructure in Arizona, you think of IT Partners," he said.

"The mantra going forward is we want to be a better partner by scaling for vendors and offering more detailed solutions oriented for our customers," Tepedino said. "We think that’s a winning combination."

PUBLISHED JULY 14, 2014