Trace3 CEO: We’ve Been Called ‘Accenture Without All The Hassle’

‘We’ve seen the portfolio of solutions and services we sell every day grow exponentially as the needs of our clients have grown,’ says Trace3 CEO Rich Fennessy. ‘All this growth has been fueled by our belief that all possibilities really do live in technology.’


As Trace3 continues to grow and capture more market share, CEO Rich Fennessy said the solution provider is in a unique position to deliver more services.

He referenced a customer who recently described Irvine, Calif.-based Trace3 as “Accenture without all the hassle.”

“Now this will probably never show up as a marketing tagline but it does capture the unique relationship that we strive for everyday with our clients,” he told customers last week at Trace3’s Evolve conference in Las Vegas

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Trace3 was started 20 years ago from a $100 advance on a credit card, Fennessy said. Since then, the company has gone through three phases of growth, with the end result being the company has expanded its geographic footprint, scaled the business to support clients and expanded capabilities and expertise.

[Related: Trace3 President: Solution Providers Are ‘In The People Business’]

In fact, in the last three years Trace3 has more than doubled in size and has grown its team by more than half, with 1,200 employees today. Trace3 services more than 3,500 clients in 48 states. The firm currently does not serve any customers in North Dakota and Alabama, although Fennessy said its looking to expand into those states.

“We’ve seen the portfolio of solutions and services we sell everyday grow exponentially as the needs of our clients have grown,” he said. “All this growth has been fueled by our belief that all possibilities really do live in technology.”

He said historically, IT clients would look to consulting firms to come in and build new strategies and help them develop long-term business plans. They would then bring in VARs (value added resellers) to sell them product and help them deploy that product across the enterprise.

“Throughout our evolution as a company, Trace3 has always strived to go carve out a unique position in the marketplace,” he said. “We want our clients to call on us to bridge these two worlds. We want to assist in strategy development, and just as importantly, we want to connect strategy to execution to technology and truly partner with them to go drive superior business outcomes.”

While the company’s foundational values have remained steady, new solutions and services have been added over the last 20 years to better serve all clients.

“Clearly, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the needs of the enterprise and other SMB clients,” he said. “We have extended our portfolio of clients and we’ve had to evolve with that. Today, our portfolio of technology solutions are rich in key topics like cloud, cybersecurity, data intelligence and helping our clients modernize their hybrid IT environments.”

Their portfolio also includes professional services, assessment and advisory services, managed services management, consulting and overall project management services.

One such innovation solution is bringing a whole new experience to Detroit Lions games using the power of data. Through their partnership, Trace3 and the Detroit Lions are building out what they collectively called a war room at their NFL stadium to run game analytics.

“From the fans’ perspective, you’re going to see it through when you come into our doors at Ford Field, you’re going be able to have things that are coming to you in real time,” Ashton Mullinix, senior vice president of strategy and analytics for the Detroit Lions, told CRN.

“So whether it‘s a partner activation, whether it’s coupon or reward, whether it‘s a notification of where to go next, it’s going to really personalize the fan experience.”

The war room will be able to see data in real time through the Detroit Lions app and be able to personalize it to each person coming in to the stadium, “so we can direct them to things that they‘re interested in whether it’s highlights, whether it‘s different partner activations, different areas of the stadium they never been to before. We’ll be able to see where they‘re coming in and how to track them and kind of manage the crowd flow throughout the stadium.”

In the future, Fennessy said clients will see a lot of convergence happening with cloud, data and security. While they used to be all separate initiatives, they will come together as one strategy to drive business forward.

Over the next five years, Trace3 will be doubling down on services and consulting capabilities “because we believe that the typical IT enterprise is increasing in complexity versus decreasing.”

“We believe that through a services-led engagement, that is how we deliver the highest value to our clients and really helping them achieve business outcomes,” he said. “We will continue to grow our technology solutions portfolio. We will continue to grow our geographic footprint. We will continue to grow our partnerships we have in place today but also new emerging tech companies. We will continue to grow the size of the Trace3 team, especially our technical talent, because we know that is where we see real value in our client relationships and in our partner relationships.”