Channel programs News

CRN Channel Madness: Are Brackets About To Be Busted?

Jennifer Follett

Three executives have found new life in their match-ups in the CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs, while several other channel veterans are in danger of breaking brackets across the channel with early departures. With less than 24 hours remaining in Round 1 voting, here's a look at the scores as of Tuesday morning.

In the Infrastructure region, HP's Sue Barsamian is surging in her contest against Extreme's Bob Gault. Barsamian has broken Monday's tie and now is leading 56 percent to 44 percent.

Cisco's Bruce Klein has gained four points but still trails F5's Jim Ritchings 39 percent to 61 percent.

His compatriot at Cisco, Edison Peres, gained two points but still lags behind APC By Schneider Electric's Shannon Sbar 29 percent to 71 percent.

And Eaton's Herve Tardy continues to hold off SimpliVity's George Hope 55 percent to 45 percent.

Moving on to the Hardware region, there has been a big lead change in the battle between Intel's Maurits Tichelman and Sophos's Mike Valentine. Tichelman Monday morning enjoyed a narrow lead but Valentine surged throughout the day and now commands a significant advantage, 66 percent to 34 percent, in what is now the most heavily voted match-up of the tournament.

Dell's Cheryl Cook dropped one point but maintains a healthy lead over EMC's Gregg Ambulos 57 percent to 43 percent.

A major upset continues to brew as her colleague at Dell, Frank Vitagliano, sits on the verge of elimination. NetApp's Thomas Stanley gained two points and leads longtime channel vet Vitagliano 64 percent to 36 percent.

And HP's Jos Brenkel gained three points, but still trails Ruckus's Ron Gill, who leads 57 percent to 43 percent.

In the Cloud region, Axcient's Justin Moore has stepped on the gas. He was down 12 points Friday morning vs. Amazon's Terry Wise and had pulled up even Monday morning but now is leading 53 percent to 47 percent.

VMware's Dave O'Callaghan extended his lead by one point against Comcast's Craig Schlagbaum 69 percent to 31 percent.

AT&T's Brooks McCorcle has picked up one point against VMware's Frank Rauch to lead 57 percent to 43 percent.

And NetSuite's Craig West picked up one point but continues to trail Verizon's Adam Famularo, who is up 55 percent to 45 percent.

Rounding out the tournament in the Software region, Microsoft's Phil Sorgen continues to roll in his battle against FireEye's Steve Pataky. Sorgen extended his lead by two points and now sits ahead 54 percent to 46 percent. The two were tied early on.

The battle of the Marc(k)s continues to rage, as IBM's Marc Dupaquier and Red Hat's Mark Enzweiler go head-to-head in what is now the second most popular contest in the tournament. Enzweiler picked up five points in his efforts to chip away at Dupaquier's lead but still trails 46 percent to 54 percent.

Microsoft's Jenni Flinders added one point to her lead over Palo Alto's Ron Meyers, now sitting at 62 percent to 38 percent.

And Citrix's Tom Flink added three points to widen his lead over SAP's Kevin Gilroy 55 percent to 45 percent.

So that's where things sit as we near the end of Round 1 Channel Madness voting. There's still time to cast your votes, as polls remain open until 10:00 AM ET on Wednesday, March 25. Then get ready for Round 2, where the CRN Solutions 16 will meet head-to-head, starting Thursday, March 26. Visit to cast your vote and choose your chiefs.


Jennifer Follett

Jennifer Follett is the Executive Editor for CRN where she has been covering the IT solution provider channel for 20 years. She currently oversees CRN magazine and, the website for the industry’s leading channel publication. She can be reached at

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