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2nd Watch Brings In New CEO Amid Rapid Growth

Tech industry veteran Doug Schneider joins the MSP as it secures another round of venture caplital funding, this one for $10 million.

2nd Watch, one of Amazon Web Services' largest channel partners, installed tech industry veteran Doug Schneider as its new CEO to lead the company in the midst of rapid growth and market expansion.

The MSP, based in Liberty Lake, Wash., also said that it has secured another $10 million in venture capital that will be put toward sales, marketing and product development as well as expansion into new geographic markets.

Schneider told CRN that while 2nd Watch wasn't really in need of outside equity, the company "can rationalize taking in this additional capital" to ensure it continues its spectacular growth -- 600 percent in sales quarter over quarter in the third quarter -- without interruption.

Related: 2nd Watch Notches Record Q2 Gains

"We didn't want to have to slow down on our growth trajectory to take a pause next year to raise capital when it's knocking on our door," Schneider told CRN.

Exponential growth of the kind 2nd Watch has seen over the past year "doesn't continue forever," Schneider acknowledged, but "we are in the early innings in the development of the marketplace and the growth trajectory. We think there's just a tremendous opportunity to keep scaling this business."

Schneider takes the reins from the company's co-founder, Kris Bliesner, who will now focus on leading 2nd Watch's technical direction as its CTO.

The new CEO told CRN he was introduced to 2nd Watch through one of the company's recent investors, Columbia Capital. Schneider's previous position was as executive vice president and general manager at Melbourne IT, an Australian Web hosting company.

While taking the helm of a major MSP signals a new direction, Schneider has two decades of experience building and scaling companies that offer tech-based services to various business markets.

During the first Internet boom, he started a company in Colorado that provided businesses with high-speed dedicated Internet services. The company morphed into a co-location provider before being purchased by Verio. As president at Verio, Schneider helped take the company public. NTT Communications eventually acquired Verio for $5 billion.

Since then, Schneider has served as CEO at Transaction Wireless, All Call and Genea.

The way the cloud is transforming the industry reminds him of the early days of his career, he said.

"We were caught up in the midst of this whole crazy time when the Internet was coming for the first time, disrupting how telecommunications was done, but opening other paradigms for how you can run business," he said.

2nd Watch is now seeing a similar pattern unfold.

"We're seeing a more robust demand for the types of workloads we're being asked to help to migrate to the cloud and manage," he told CRN.

Not so long ago, most of the company's customers were interested in provisioning cloud resources solely for development and testing. Now, the company is signing enterprise customers migrating customer-facing workloads, retail and wholesale websites, and production workloads around ERP services that were traditionally run in private data centers. The MSP over the past year has also noticed the financial services industry take more interest in the cloud, he said.

Schneider told CRN that partnering with Amazon is the right move to enable the company to capitalize on the changes sweeping across the IT landscape.

"Our view, as we look at the world today, Amazon is the big granddaddy in the space of the public cloud. They continue to innovate at an incredible pace and in the right way. The needs we need to address for enterprise clients can get addressed in the Amazon cloud," he told CRN.

PUBLISHED OCT. 14, 2014

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