CRN Channel Madness: First Round Winners Revealed

The votes have been cast, the polls are closed and the results are in for Round 1 of the first-ever CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs.

Some chiefs who had been trailing throughout the week refused to go quietly. Others never really found their footing and are left to spend the off-season reevaluating their game plans.

We started with 32 of the industry's most influential channel chiefs. After more than 50,000 votes, let's find out which ones made the Solutions 16 to move on to Round 2.

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In the Infrastructure region, we start out with two big upsets as both representatives of networking kingpin Cisco failed to advance.

Cisco's Bruce Klein fell to F5's Jim Ritchings. Ritchings came out strong and never looked back, winning 59 percent to 41 percent

Shannon Sbar of APC By Schneider Electric handily defeated Cisco's Edison Peres, 69 percent to 31 percent.

HP's Sue Barsamian faltered early but came on strong throughout the week to win her match against Extreme's Bob Gault 54 percent to 46 percent.

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

Moving on to the Hardware region, brackets were busted across the channel as Dell's Frank Vitagliano could not hold off NetApp's Thomas Stanley. Stanley took this one 62 percent to 38 percent.

Sophos's Mike Valentine continued to surge through the final minutes to defeat Intel's Maurits Tichelman 67 percent to 33 percent. The two were neck-and-neck early on in the competition.

Dell's Cheryl Cook started strong and stayed that way throughout her matchup with EMC's Gregg Ambulos. She closed it out 57 percent to 43 percent.

And Ruckus's Ron Gill came big to oust HP's Jos Brenkel 56 percent to 44 percent.

In the Cloud region, a come-from-behind victory puts VMware's Frank Rauch into the next round and leave's AT&T's Brooks McCorcle wondering where it all went wrong. McCorcle led all week but Rauch refused to yield in the end, winning 52 percent to 48 percent. This one turned out to be the most heavily voted match-up of the round.

Axcient's Justin Moore played hard all week. He was down 12 points Friday morning vs. Amazon's Terry Wise but pulled ahead in the second half for the win, closing it out 54 percent to 46 percent.

VMware's Dave O'Callaghan proved to be a formidable foe for Comcast's Craig Schlagbaum. O'Callaghan wins this one 71 percent to 29 percent.

And Verizon's Adam Famularo brought his "A" game against NetSuite's Craig West winning 55 percent to 45 percent.

And now on to the Software region, where we have the hardest-fought battle of the round. Microsoft's Phil Sorgen faced off against underdog FireEye's Steve Pataky. Sorgen surged ahead Monday morning, Pataky tried to claw his way back in the final minutes but it came down to the buzzer. Sorgen defeated Pataky with 50.1 percent of the votes to Pataky's 49.9 percent. This one came down to just 9 votes.

In the battle of the Marc(k)s, IBM's Marc Dupaquier's efforts to rally fans on Twitter must have given him the edge in his match-up against Red Hat's Mark Enzweiler. Dupaquier's the victor here in a close one, 51 percent to 49 percent.

Microsoft's Jenni Flinders stuck to her game plan and sent Palo Alto's Ron Meyers packing, 62 percent to 38 percent.

And SAP's Kevin Gilroy came on strong at the end but could not overtake Citrix's Tom Flink, who established an early lead and closed it out 54 percent to 46 percent.

Now we say goodbye to Round 1 and look ahead to Round 2, where the Solutions 16 will face off starting Thursday, March 26 at 10:00 AM ET.

Let's look at the match-ups.

In the Infrastructure region, F5's Jim Ritchings will battle Eaton's Herve Tardy, while HP's Sue Barsamian tips off against Shannon Sbar of APC by Schneider Electric.

In Hardware, NetApp's Thomas Stanley will find out what Sophos's Mike Valentine is made of, while Ruckus's Ron Gill takes on Dell's Cheryl Cook.

The Cloud region will see if VMware's Frank Rauch has anything left in the tank as he goes up against Axcient's Justin Moore, while Verizon's Adam Famularo faces off against VMware's Dave O'Callaghan.

And in the Software region, IBM's Marc Dupaquier goes up against Microsoft's Phil Sorgen, while Citrix's Tom Flink tries to take down Microsoft's Jenni Flinders.

We've got an exciting week of match-ups ahead as the Solutions 16 face off in Round 2. Voting opens Thursday, March 26 at 10:00 AM ET. Visit to cast your votes and choose your chiefs.