Managed services News
ConvergeOne Rebrands As C1: ‘It’s Sharper, Cleaner, Has More Of A Punch To It’
Joseph F. Kovar
‘When you acquire that many businesses over a relatively short period of time, there’s always opportunity for further cultural and ways of working integration. And I think we’re picking up some of that now on the backside and working really hard to create what we like to call a ‘One C1.’ So one way of working, one culture. And as part of that, we’re investing both in the training and development of our existing people and selectively investing in bringing in new people,’ says C1 CEO Jeffrey Russell.
Building On A Strong Foundation
ConvergeOne in October rebranded itself as C1. Part of the reason is that customers and vendor partners already shortened its name to C1, and “C1” rolls better off the tongue, CEO Jeffrey Russell recently told CRN in an exclusive meeting.
However, Russell said, the real reason stems from the fact that it was time for a change to reflect the transformations the managed service provider has made, particularly in the last year or so.
ConvergeOne, ranked No. 35 on CRN’s 2023 Solution Provider 500, was founded in 1993 as a Eagan, Minn.-based solution provider, but really started growing in 2018 when it was acquired in a $1.8-billion all-cash deal by Luxembourg-based CVC Capital Partners’ Fund VII as part of a strategy to build a platform MSP with a mandate to acquire other MSPs to build a national presence.
And build it they did, with over 20 acquisitions over the years, several of which happened after it was acquired by CVC Capital Partners, Russell said.
The rebranding of ConvergeOne as C1 comes as it looks to take stock in what it has built so far while preparing for the future, Russell said.
The company has almost completely changed its executive team starting with Russell himself, who joined C1 as CEO in January of this year after 25 years at Accenture including a stint as president of Accenture in Canada. He has brought in at least six new top executives.
C1 is also in the process of tightening its operations in the wake of all those acquisitions, Russell said.
“When you acquire that many businesses over a relatively short period of time, there’s always opportunity for further cultural and ways of working integration,” he said. “We’re now working really hard to create what we like to call ‘One C1.’ So one way of working, one culture. And as part of that, we’re investing both in the training and development of our existing people and selectively investing in bringing in new people.”
As ConvergeOne, C1 didn’t do a good job of sounding the trumpet about its capabilities, Russell said.
“We are in the business of doing large scale transformation, but I think we haven’t replicated those transformational stories like we can. … We have tended to do it in more isolated pockets. We need to start taking it much further across the market,” he said.
On top of all the other changes going on at CI, the company is now investing in a new facility in Hyderabad, India, Russell said.
“We’re scaling [it] from scratch to well over 500 people going into the new year,” he said. “It offers world-class development, delivery, and support capabilities, and supports some facets of our own business processes as well.
Here’s more of CRN’s interview with Russell.