5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending April 7, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel including Trace3, Sonatype, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and The 20 MSP, along with Scale Computing channel chief Scott Mann.


The Week Ending April 7

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is leading solution provider Trace3 for a strategic acquisition that expands the company’s cybersecurity expertise and geographic reach.

Also making this week’s list are Sonatype for launching its first formal channel program, Hewlett Packard Enterprise for a major product debut in the data storage realm, and The 20 MSP for continuing its ambitious growth plans with three new acquisitions.

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And Scale Computing channel chief Scott Mann wins kudos this week for winning the CRN 2023 Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs—the first repeat performance in the tournament’s history.

Trace3 Expands Cybersecurity Heft With Set Solutions Acquisition

IT solution provider Trace3 this week closed its acquisition of Set Solutions in a move aimed at expanding Trace3’s cybersecurity capabilities as well as its geographic reach in the south-central U.S.

Set Solutions is the fourth acquisition in the history of Irvine, Calif.-based Trace3. CEO Rich Fennessy (pictured) described Houston-based Set Solutions as a pure-play cybersecurity solution provider with a key set of customers and about 84 employees, about 32 of whom are engineers.

For Trace3, the Set Solutions acquisition is an opportunity to bulk up its already strong security business with additional cybersecurity skills and customers, Fennessy told CRN.

The acquisition of Set Solutions, which has annual revenue of about $150 million, also gives Trace3 an expanded reach into what Fennessy called the “TOLA” region of the U.S., which includes the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.

“This is all about Trace3’s overall strategy to build on a national footprint and expand our capabilities,” Fennessy said. “If you look at the history of Trace3, we started 20 years ago as an infrastructure-focused company, and we’ve evolved into cybersecurity, cloud computing and data analytics. And what Set Solutions brings is more cybersecurity. We already had a $500-million-plus hybrid security business inside Trace3. We’ll add to that with the addition of Set Solutions.”

Sonatype Launches First Formal Partner Program To Boost AppSec Offerings In The Channel

Sonatype, a well-established player in securing software supply chains and the use of open-source software code in the enterprise, is now looking to work with partners in a bigger way with the debut of its first formal channel program, the company’s CEO and channel chief told CRN.

Sonatype’s new Partner Acceleration Program aims to standardize the vendor’s engagements with partners, such as resellers and systems integrators, and serve as a foundation to build on for working with more MSPs in the future, the Sonatype executives said.

The launch comes as Fulton, Md.-based Sonatype continues working toward its goal of going public with an eye toward 2024, CEO Wayne Jackson (pictured) said.

Founded in 2008, Sonatype has been working with enterprise-focused partners for years and derives 50 percent of its revenue through the channel, according to Bruce Gordon, senior vice president of global channel sales and alliances at Sonatype. With the launch of the new partner program, one goal is to increase that percentage, he said.

Key elements of the program include improved discounts for partner-sourced opportunities, based upon partner tier. “We want to invest more and incentivize more to our partners that are willing to invest with us,” Gordon said.

HPE Unleashes GreenLake File, Block Storage With Alletra Storage MP

Hewlett Packard Enterprise this week unleashed what the company called the “future of storage” with the launch of a new file storage offering and an expanded block storage service for its HPE GreenLake pay-per-use platform.

The new storage offerings are based on HPE’s new Alletra Storage MP platform, a modular file and block storage system that provides a single, unified cloud platform that can scale both performance and capacity on a single disaggregated architecture.

Company executives said the new platform is a “huge step forward” that simplifies data management with “intuitive cloud operations, helping customers store, manage and protect all workloads everywhere.”

The new HPE GreenLake Alletra Storage MP offerings qualify for HPE’s aggressive new storage commission plan that nearly triples the incentives for partners selling file and block storage from 6 percent to 17 percent.

HPE is calling HPE GreenLake for Block Storage, which the company said provides 66 percent better price performance, the “industry’s first disaggregated scale-out” block storage with a 100-percent data availability guarantee.

The 20 MSP Buys Three MSPs, Making 19 Acquisitions In Less Than A Year

The 20 MSP is continuing its aggressive acquisition spree, buying three more managed service providers this week and bringing the total to 19 acquisitions since late last year.

The acquisitions of Kansas City, Kan.-based UNI Computers; Naples, Fla.-based CyberSecure IT Solutions; and Oklahoma City, Okla.-based The Computing Edge give The 20 MSP an opportunity to expand its managed services reach into new territories, Tim Conkle (pictured), CEO of the Plano, Texas-based company, told CRN.

The 20 MSP’s acquisitions have typically been focused on metropolitan regions where the company has yet to build a presence, but that is changing, Conkle said.

“All these acquisitions are strategic in the sense of new markets and new expansion,” he said. “I think we’ll start to see, probably 12 months out, where we buy in the same markets and just stack on top and then start scaling those markets out.”

The three newly acquired MSPs bring an average of about $1.5 million in revenue, in addition to some really good people, to The 20 MSP, Conkle said.

The 20 MSP is still looking to expand into new areas, including in the Los Angeles market, Conkle said, and expects to unveil a few more MSP acquisitions in the coming couple of months.

Scale Computing’s Scott Mann Repeats In Channel Madness Nail-Biter

Scott Mann, global channel chief at Scale Computing, deserves a round of applause this week for winning the CRN 2023 Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs.

The victory is a repeat performance for Mann, who won the tournament in 2022, the first time in the contest’s nine-year history that a channel chief has won in back-to-back years.

The final round of this year’s tournament was a buzzer-beater as Mann held on to win with 50.1 percent of the votes cast against 49.9 percent for Ricky Cooper, VMware vice president who leads the company’s Worldwide Partner and Commercial Organization. The round was the closest final-round finish in the contest’s history.

“The channel to us is the beating heart of our organization, everything from the board down. Our entire plan is built around success with the channel,” a jubilant Mann told CRN. “It’s been that way forever. You look back on the history of Scale Computing, we’ve always had a strong channel presence. It’s an honor to be the first repeating champ, but the credit goes to all the Scalers out there.”

Even for a returning champion, Mann’s scrappy road to the victory was arduous as it wound through the tournament rounds against some of the biggest names in the channel, including Dell Technologies’ Rola Dagher, HP Inc.’s Scott Lannum, Dynabook Americas’ James Robbins, Nutanix’s Christian Goffi and then VMware’s Cooper.