12 Solution Provider CEOs See More Cloud Opportunity In 2023
CEOs from ThunderCat, WWT, NB Technology, 3rd Element, Xperteks and other solution provider businesses weigh in on the cloud opportunity in 2023.
A dozen CEOs of some of the top solution provider businesses told CRN that even with an uncertain economy and moderated demand for digital cloud tools since the height of the pandemic, more opportunity exists for service providers and resellers to invest in cloud.
“Some of the thought process is integrated with the growing costs of hybrid workers, equipment, and cloud use and the challenge of staffing,” 3rd Element Consulting CEO Dawn Sizer said as part of CRN’s 2023 CEO Outlook special report.
The report features thoughts on 2023 not only from service provider CEOs, but the top executives of some of the biggest vendors in tech, including AMD, Cisco, Dell, Intel and VMware, as well as the CEOs of some of the top cybersecurity vendors.
Solution Provider CEOs On Cloud In 2023
The following are among the service providers who shared their thoughts on investing in the cloud in 2023 as part of the report:
*World Wide Technology CEO Jim Kavanaugh
*NB Technology CEO Moses Nueman
*Xperteks CEO Marcial Velez
*Insight Enterprises President and CEO Joyce Mullen
*Conduent President and CEO Cliff Skelton
Here’s how solution provider leaders view the cloud opportunity in 2023.
CEO: Moses Nueman
NB Technology CEO Moses Nueman said the biggest market opportunity his company will tackle this year is work-from-anywhere cloud technology.
The top priority for 2023 for Belmont, N.C.-based Microsoft partner NB is cloud technology sales training.
“The key technology investments we plan to make in 2023 is in Microsoft Cloud,” he said.
CEO: Tom Deierlein
ThunderCat Technology CEO Tom Deierlein said that his company continues “to explore the ever-evolving opportunities associated with SaaS and cloud in general.”
“That includes continuing to help our clients and prospects figure out what is best for their organization and their different applications including private clouds, public clouds, hybrid clouds, and multi-clouds,” Deierlein said.
The tier one partners for Reston, Va.-based ThunderCat – No. 65 on CRN’s 2022 Solution Provider 500 – include Google, NetApp, Cisco and Dell Technologies. Tier two partners include Cohesity, Micro Focus, SAP and Adobe.
And some of his company’s tier three partners are Morpheus, Proofpoint, IBM and Nutanix.
3rd Element Consulting
CEO: Dawn Sizer
3rd Element Consulting CEO Dawn Sizer said that the biggest market opportunities for her company this year includes “empowering hybrid workforces to circumvent staffing issues, helping solve tech sustainability issues with cloud and everything as a service offerings, and a slim but effective security stack.”
One of the toughest challenges of the year will be navigating conservative IT spending from customers feeling the effects of high inflation in the United States.
That conservative spending – customers moderating their spend with vendors after high demand for digital tools during the height of the pandemic – has been cited by Microsoft, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Zoom, Twilio, GitLab and other vendors who have engaged in mass layoffs this year.
“Some of the thought process is integrated with the growing costs of hybrid workers, equipment, and cloud use and the challenge of staffing,” Sizer said.
CEO: Marcial Velez
Xperteks CEO Marcial Velez said that in 2023 his company will continue to capitalize on helping businesses transform their IT operations with the cloud.
“The market opportunity is driven by the increasing demand for remote work and the need for businesses to provide their employees with secure and flexible access to applications and data,” Velez said.
“The use of remote work has been accelerated in” recent years, he said, “due to the pandemic and the growing trend for companies to have a more geographically dispersed workforce.”
New York-based Microsoft partner Xperteks is invested in the vendor’s Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) offering to help facilitate remote work with an internet connection, he said.
Xperteks – a member of CRN’s 2023 MSP 500 – is investing in growing its cloud backup and disaster recovery (DR) services along with data analytics, he said.
CEO: Nyasha Tunduwani
Real Impact CEO Nyasha Tunduwani said that one of the toughest challenges facing customers this year is “a lack of talent and skills to drive implementation of data, automation, applications, and infrastructure modernization projects.”
“The lack of talent and skilled resources means they are unable to take advantage of cost savings inherent in new applications, data architecture and cloud infrastructure,” he said.
For Seattle-based Microsoft partner Real Impact, investing in data and Azure practices is important to “stay ahead of the curve,” Tunduwani said.
Integrations between Microsoft SQL Server and Azure “will be a significant opportunity for us,” he said.
CEO: Ron Dupler
GreenPages CEO Ron Dupler said that his company is making two big strategic bets in 2023 – cybersecurity and cloud.
The company will continue “to prioritize a cloud-based FinOps offering for the mid-market with a focus on optimization,” he said. “There is still too much ‘cloud sprawl’ and we want to be sure our customers are fully leveraging the cloud investments they have made.”
World Wide Technology
CEO: Jim Kavanaugh
World Wide Technology CEO Jim Kavanaugh said that the company expects to continue “engaging with customers that are navigating their cloud strategy and how it relates to their digital transformation journey.”
“We have some customers who have shared that they want to shift everything to the cloud, even though it doesn‘t quite work that way,” Kavanaugh said. “There is a lot shifting to the cloud and the market is definitely moving toward a more cloud-centric position, but organizations need help with figuring out what their hybrid IT infrastructure really looks like.”
Maryland Heights, Mo.-based WWT – which is No. 10 on CRN’s 2022 Solution Provider 500 list and has strategic partners including Cisco, Dell Technologies, HPE, NetApp, Microsoft and VMware – will work with customers to help simplify the complexity of adopting cloud and deciding which cloud or clouds to choose and how to connect to it.
“We are seeing more opportunity to help customers digest and move forward with their journey to the cloud, their digital transformation strategy, as well as maintaining a secure environment across their enterprise,” Kavanaugh said.
President and CEO: Joyce Mullen
In 2023, Insight Enterprises President and CEO Joyce Mullen said, customers “need a partner who can guide them from IT‘s traditional support role to modern cloud and edge solutions.”
These solutions “inform real-time decision making and accelerate automation for greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness at scale,” Mullen said. “We‘re always looking at our business through a new lens and identifying innovative ways to do things better to deliver this, and that means continued investments in cloud, edge, data, AI and cybersecurity.”
Chandler, Ariz.-based Insight – No. 17 on CRN’s 2022 Solution Provider 500 – counts among its partners AWS, Dell, Check Point, Nutanix, HashiCorp, Intel, Microsoft, Google, Fortinet, Nvidia, Red Hat and Pure Storage.
CEO: Rich Fennessy
Trace3 CEO Rich Fennessy and his team are prepared to take customers through a “highly converging landscape” of data, cloud and security tools, “empowering them to achieve superior business outcomes through the power of technology and Trace3 provided services,” he said.
In 2023, Irvine, Calif.-based Trace3 – No. 36 on CRN’s 2022 Solution Provider 500 – will “build out a robust digital experience platform for our clients, as well as continue to invest in elite talent to support our cloud, security, data, collaboration, and management consulting capabilities,” Fennessy said.
If he has one message for vendors, it’s to “really hone in on their Cloud Marketplace strategies, and then actually walk the walk when they claim a channel-forward position,” he said.
Some of Trace3’s partners include AWS, AppDynamics, Cisco, Cohesity, Harness, Google Cloud, HPE, Lacework, Microsoft, NetApp, Lenovo, Nvidia, Snyk and VMware.
CEO: Rob Figliulo
SPR CEO Rob Figliulo said that cloud computing and artificial intelligence and machine learning are the two areas “ripe for transformation and growth in 2023.”
“Multi-cloud environments will be critical to maintaining your business edge and providing best-in-class service to all stakeholders in a cost-effective way,” Figliulo said. “What‘s interesting is that we’re seeing cloud computing as a pathway to innovation, and it‘s fueling the growth of other emerging technologies.
He continued: “For example, capabilities such as computer vision, natural language processing, ChatGPT and other generative AIs are allowing companies to harness the power of data like never before.”
Chicago-based SPR’s partners include Microsoft, AWS, Nintex, Databricks and Snowflake.
President and CEO: Cliff Skelton
The digitization of business processes made possible by automation, artificial intelligence, analytics and the cloud represents the biggest market opportunity for Conduent in 2023, CEO Cliff Skelton said.
“Through our market-leading business process as a service solutions (‘BPaaS’) – which are cloud- and mobile-enabled, with a focus on analytics and enhanced customer experience – we aim to help our clients create the agility and flexibility they need in their business models,” he said.
“We continue to prioritize investments in cloud-based solutions, analytics, artificial intelligence, intelligent automation and machine learning, through our own technology and by integrating solutions from leading industry partners,” Skelton said.
CEO: Geoff Haydon*
Geoff Haydon, CEO of Open Systems – a member of CRN’s 2023 MSP 500 – said that this year, his company is “focused on supporting the large number of organizations which use Microsoft for their IT and cloud infrastructure.”
“Together, we help these customers maximize their Microsoft investments to improve their cyber defenses and achieve their digital transformation goals,” Haydon said. “The demand for managed detection and response (MDR) services is growing quickly with these, and other, customers.”
Open Systems – which has offices in Redwood City, Calif.; Switzerland, India, Germany and Austria – recently rebranded its MDR division as Ontinue, starting a channel partner program for the division.
*After CRN concluded its CEO Outlook special report, Haydon became executive chairman of Open Systems and CEO of Open Systems division Ontinue.