CRN Exclusive: Dataprise Taps Rackspace Exec As Its New COO

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Managed services provider Dataprise hired IT industry veteran Todd Mitchell as its new chief operating officer.

The move comes as Rockville, Md.-based Dataprise – No. 354 on the CRN Solution Provider 500 – seeks to evolve from a regionally-dominant growth player into a national MSP. The company wants to dominate in a fragmented industry, and Mitchell said his focus will center around preserving Dataprise's service delivery excellence at scale.

"I think about the future. I think about when we're a $100 million company, and there's a process and rigor that needs to exist," Mitchell told CRN. "Think of a growth apparatus. If you don't start laying down that foundation early, it becomes unwieldy as you double and triple the size of your company. As we get to $75, $100 and $150 million, the framework, know-how, and apparatus will already exist."

[Related: The 2018 Managed Service Provider 500: Complete Listing]

Mitchell joins Dataprise with more than 18 years of experience guiding IT businesses through various growth stages, most recently serving as vice president of strategy and operations at Rackspace.

There, he helped the managed cloud vendor grow its VMware business from $550 million to $700 million in a two-year span and drove single-digit growth in its previously-flat managed hosting business. Mitchell was also able to work with a wide variety of end customers in his nearly four years at Rackspace – a "great training ground" for the MSP space, he said.

Prior to Rackspace, Mitchell spent three years as general manager of Internet Services and, before that, drove $5 million in organic revenue growth as president and COO of Site5 Internet Solutions before that.

It's that focus on growth that drew Mitchell to Dataprise, which he said is experiencing high double-digit revenue growth. The MSP's private company status, high customer retention rate and culture all factored into the decision, as well.

As COO, Mitchell plans only to make minor changes Dataprise's service delivery strategy, which features a fixed-price model that he believes will be a key growth driver on its quest to become a national presence. But customer engagement will be a key priority as will increased usage of company intellectual property as a core component of its service differentiation and hiring strategies.

"We have a ton of intellectual property we've developed over the last 20 years that allows us to deliver service in a far superior manner than any of our competitors," Mitchell said. "It's an internal system we've homegrown. We do all the R&D and development. It's used by the vast majority of our staff. It handles everything from time entry to knowledge base, ticketing system and even more than that. Having that as a core component will allow us to grow much more rapidly."

Dataprise is a 12-time member of the Inc 5000 list of fastest-growing companies and once again appeared on CRN's MPS 500 list in 2018, offering an array of services that include RMM, NOC, managed security and IT helpdesk offerings.

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