Trace3 President Joe Quaglia On Expansion, Finding Talent, And TD Synnex

‘With my background on the OEM side and my background in distribution, my hope is that I can bring a set of skills and thought leadership to Trace3 from an IT services perspective,’ Trace3 President Joe Quaglia tells CRN.


Joe Quaglia has big plans to expand Trace3. The industry veteran, who spent almost 15 years at Tech Data before it merged with Synnex, has taken on the role as president of Trace3, a new position within the company.

“I actually knew Trace3 as a customer, they were a customer of mine [at Tech Data],” Quaglia told CRN. “I’ve gotten to know them over the years, and I’ve always had a high degree of respect for them. It’s a great culture, they have a great go-to-market and it’s a highly engineered, talented organization with some really talented people. It just fit my background and my skill set perfectly.”

With more than 34 years in the industry, Quaglia is focusing on growing the Irvine, Calif.-based company, which is No. 41 on CRN’s Solution Provider 500 list, through its customer base, new talent and geographical footprint.

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“We focus on being a next-generation technology solutions provider and finding the leading-edge answers to complex problems,” he said. “We bring that innovation and research to our clients. As technology and building solutions become more complex, our ability to bring thought leadership expertise and high-quality engineering to our clients is incredibly valuable.”

CRN spoke with Quaglia about the merger of Tech Data and Synnex to form TD Synnex, expanding Trace3 and what’s to come for the company.

Why did you leave Tech Data?

I decided to take some time off. I ended up becoming a senior adviser with American Securities and take a little bit of time and learn the private equity space. I ended up joining American Securities and built a playbook and a thesis for expansion in the IT services space. We ended up looking at hundreds of companies and narrowing it down to a few. We went really deep with Trace3 and ended up acquiring Trace3 back in October of last year.

How will your role at Tech Data help you in your new role at Trace3?

I’ve had the privilege of serving thousands of reseller partners and customers and over that period of time gotten to know many of them well. I know the space really well. With my background on the OEM side and my background in distribution, my hope is that I can bring a set of skills and thought leadership to Trace3 from an IT services perspective. At Tech Data I also ran global services and global security, which were two very big initiatives that we’re driving through our clients into the market.

What are your thoughts on the Tech Data/Synnex merger?

I think it’s great. Our industry is continuously consolidating, and there’s lots of value that both Synnex and Tech Data provided independently. But when you bring the two together it now gives a partner or a customer of theirs a look at the end spectrum of offerings from all of the OEMs to all of the solution sets. I think it’s good for the industry, I think it’s good for companies like Trace3. Obviously, they’ve got work to do to integrate the two companies and if they do that well it should add a lot of value to the partner OEM community as well as the customer community.

What are some initiatives you want to focus on at Trace3?

The first is to grow client engagement—this is where our client-first culture comes into play. We’re very focused, very determined and very purposeful on working with our clients, expanding existing [relationships] and looking at how we expand the company by acquiring net-new [customers].

The second part of our strategy is to grow our services maturity. We really want to position our services for scale. Our services consist of consulting services and professional services, which are generally install and implementation. The third leg of our services is around managed services. Our clients rely on us not only to bring the design phase of deploying offerings and solutions but also our ability to deploy them and then manage them at the same time.

The third piece of our strategy is to grow our talent and expertise. Everybody knows there’s a war on talent, but at the end of the day it’s still a people business. Our ability to acquire the talent, evolve our existing talent and expertise and enhance our teammate experience as well as leadership development is a key core strategy of ours as we go forward.

The last piece is really to expand our geographical footprint and our capabilities. Although we have a national footprint, our ability to cover the entire U.S. is a key strategic direction for us. We’re going to do that organically by investing in more salespeople and engineers as well as through M&A.

What differentiates Trace3 in the market?

We are focused on innovation, emerging technology and really bringing those technologies to our customers. We’re going to find the leading-edge answers and we’re going to help them solve some very complex problems. We also think that our ability to bring elite engineering to our clients is a differentiator. Our approach is client intimacy, working closely with them and geographically dispersing our infrastructure and our talent closer to the customer makes a difference.

What’s to come for Trace3 in 2022?

We’ve had substantial growth over the past two years. We have our new financial partner with American Securities that has been fantastic to work with because they’re all about growth. With the integration we’ll do with [our planned acquisition of] LaSalle [Solutions] and maybe even another acquisition this year, on top of organic growth, we’re looking to continue to expand and provide value not only to our vendors but to our clients.