Ron Dupler Has Taken Blue Mantis From Price-Driven Product Reseller To Next Generation Services Provider
‘Resilience and ability to adapt and change is really huge based on the market we are in,’ says Blue Mantis CEO Ron Dupler, who is stepping aside as CEO effective January 1, but will remain as chairman with a seat on the board of directors. ‘The key was the team of talented people at Blue Mantis and their ability to embrace change and continue to drive into the future.’
When Ron Dupler took the helm as CEO of GreenPages nearly 20 years ago, the company was a small regional reseller competing on price with 95 percent of its annual revenue coming from product sales.
Today, that Portsmouth, New Hampshire company, which was renamed Blue Mantis earlier this year, is a next generation services-led cybersecurity and cloud powerhouse, No. 143 on the 2023 CRN SP500, with a global footprint and a managed services business that is winning new customers at a rapid clip.
“It’s been a long journey,” said Dupler, who effective January 1 is handing the Blue Mantis CEO reins to President Josh Dinneen. “We have gone through several reinventions, surfing the waves of change within the industry. When I started as CEO the value proposition the business had been built on had become commoditized. We had a proud heritage and good people but it needed to be reinvented.”
The first reinvention in the early days was moving from a product reseller to an advanced integrator with robust professional services helping customers adopt the game changing VMware server virtualization and other emerging technologies aimed at helping customers drive big productivity gains and cost savings.
With the advent of the hyperscalers, Dupler brought Blue Mantis firmly into the cloud computing era and then with the ever-changing threat landscape into the cybersecurity market.
Today, Blue Mantis is admired for its impressive cybersecurity, cloud and managed services portfolio and its high-level strategic consulting prowess with CEOs, CIOs and CISOs.
As to what separated Blue Mantis from the many technology solution providers that fell by the wayside as they attempted to reinvent themselves over the last two decades, Dupler said it comes down to setting a “clear vision” with a team of employees who are committed to the mission.
“Resilience and ability to adapt and change is really huge based on the market we are in,” he said. “The key was the team of talented people at Blue Mantis and their ability to embrace change and continue to drive into the future.”
Dupler, who will move into a chairman role and remain on the Blue Mantis board of directors, said he sees a bright future ahead for Blue Mantis which is providing critical services to customers grappling with ever complex technologies like AI and automation.
“Technology is becoming increasingly powerful and transformative to busineses,” he said. “But adopting these technologies while maintaining and meeting cybersecurity mandates is increasingly challenging for customers, who are relying on companies like Blue Mantis to help them through that journey. So the opportunity we have moving forward is really infinite in terms of where this company can go. We have a really strong team of executives and employees that have a lot of runway to grow this organization. We are backed by a top notch private equity firm in Abry Partners. We are going to continue to scale forward and create value across our ecosystems for our clients, team members, partners and our investors.”
Looking at how far the channel has come in the last two decades and the road ahead for solution providers, Dupler said: “The bottom line is the channel has never had a better opportunity with technologies like AI and automation. Technology has never been more powerful and transformative. Customers need help adopting these technologies especially with the risks inherent in the cybersecurity threat landscape. It is a really ripe market for the channel as customers move to adapt to the new digital era.”
As for what he is most proud of as he steps into the chairman role, Dupler said: “The thing I am most proud of is the company we built, what the company is today, the team we have in place and the environment we created. We took great care of our clients. We are known as a thought leader and a high quality organization that always acted with integrity. We have built a great team and culture that will continue long beyond me.”
Dupler said he considers himself “lucky” to have been a part of the technological changes that have reshaped corporate America during his tenure.
“As technologists in corporate America, we are fortunate to live in the times we do,” he said. “We have seen tremendous change in human endeavors and humanity driven by technology. It is fascinating what has happened and what is coming down the pike. I always tell our team - ‘What we do is really important. It is the difference between success, failure and life or death for the businesses we serve. We help customers adopt technology and embrace change. I feel we are all fortunate to work in an industry that is so dynamic, so exciting and so important to the mission of the people we serve.”
Dupler, 63, said he is looking forward to spending more time with his family. He just celebrated his 40th anniversary with his wife, Gail, with a trip to Italy, and is also looking forward to spending time with his three grandkids and his sons, Ronnie, 38, who works in the technology business as a recruiting director, Nate, 35 and Eric 32, who run a home remodeling business.
“When you are the CEO of a dynamic technology company it is a huge commitment,” Dupler said. “It’s time to kick back a little and enjoy life. I am really extremely proud of what we have accomplished and really excited about the future of Blue Mantis with Josh leading the team.”