Trace3 President: Solution Providers Are ‘In The People Business’
‘This industry will produce the inventions and these great solutions that we get to sell, but it still requires people to do it. I’m just in the people business,’ Trace3 President Joe Quaglia said at The Channel Company’s Best of Breed (BoB) conference in Atlanta.
Trace3 President Joe Quaglia has spent 36 years in technology with roles in distribution, private equity, and now as president of a solution provider, all of which taught him that good tech always comes back to people.
“We’re in the people business,” he said at The Channel Company’s Best of Breed (BoB) conference in Atlanta. “No matter which dimension or lens you are looking at it from. This industry will produce the inventions and these great solutions that we get to sell, but it still requires people to do it. I’m just in the people business.”
Quaglia was named president of the Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider in January, after studying the business through his role with American Securities, which is Trace3’s private equity backer. Trace3 -- which finished 36th in the 2022 CRN Solution Provider 500 -- is in the process of growing its managed services practices, with an eye on using the expanding segment to help Trace3 reach $4 billion in revenue by 2027, double the revenue it generated last year.
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To do that, it requires understanding the relationship the business has with its customers. A strategic partnership with customers, he said is not necessarily better than a transactional relationship, which becomes about “price and sharing your spend across a number of distributors.” However, Quaglia said when determining the direction Trace3 would go he chose to go the strategic route.
“I don’t know, in today’s world, as complex as it is, how do you not partner around the ecosystem to help your business to become more productive and bigger perhaps than what you can build yourself?” he said. “So from a strategic perspective, I was able to always treat the customer perhaps a lot more differently than I did in a transactional relationship, and there was a lot more value that you could extract.”
One area where Trace3 is finding success is in helping customers offset inflationary pressures, as well as labor shortages, through their managed services business. Whether helping customers shift from using large capital expenditures to manage workloads, towards the savings of operating expenditures, or staffing the customers’ help desks.
“We’re obviously being as frugal as possible,” he said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen. You just know you are going to have to anticipate it. What we’re also doing is coming out with solutions that we think our IT directors and CIOs from our clients are going to be faced with, in terms of budget pressures and how we can help them overcome those challenges.”