New INX Collaboration Chief: 'Days Of The VAR Are Going Away Fast'

Steven Reese is INX's new vice president, Collaboration and Secured Architectures, and will focus on how INX brings video, smart devices, Web services and Web portal integrations to customers. He also will zero in on INX's security offering across its data center, cloud and virtual desktop reference architectures.

Reese was most recently senior director of solutions management at Nexus Integration Services, a Valencia, Calif.-based solution provider and, like INX, a well-known Cisco Gold partner with data center, collaboration and other networking specialties.

"I love Nexus. Great organization. I was there five and a half years and they provided me a fantastic opportunity," Reese told CRN. "The move isn't a move to get away from Nexus; it's the next step for me. INX really provided me the opportunity to take next steps and not be running into a ceiling as it relates to growth."

INX's shares began trading on the Nasdaq Global Market Exchange in early September after the public VAR emerged from a long, painful financial restatement process earlier this year.

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INX is unique among solution providers, Reese said, for having broken away from the reseller-plus-services model many of its peers leverage and moving more into business systems integration and business architecture design. INX's VocalMash business unit, for example -- one of the areas Reese will touch -- integrates business applications with customers' Cisco-based voice and communication networks to make for seamless, easily adjustable infrastructure.

"My philosophy is that collaboration is a platform, not an activity," Reese said. "If you look at VDI and videoconferencing, and you look at all these different assets in the business, all are focused around getting information to people when they need it, how they need it, securely and ably. If you look at INX vs other players in the industry, we have assets that allow us to step away from mainstream VARs and focus on a strategic delivery framework."

Reese reports to Andy Cadwell, INX's senior vice president of sales and field operations. Part of Reese's charter, Cadwell said, will be to help drive INX's push toward client-centric architecture and solutions tailored to customer requirements -- such as the management and securing of mobile devices being brought onto enterprise networks -- rather than the specific endpoints marketed by vendors.

"We expect Steve to help take us into areas that are outside of traditional partner and vendor thinking," Cadwell said. "Customers are demanding different outcomes than what manufacturers are able to provide with their own solutions, yet manufacturers still believe that they provide the complete solution."

Reese sees the move toward business architecture -- as budgets shift away from IT staffs and into lines of business at many enterprises -- as the do-or-die for the channel. That will become even more apparent, he argued, as customer infrastructure is managed as an op-ex model, hosted and managed by a third party.

"The days of the VAR are going away fast," Reese said. "The solution integrator side is what's going to sustain, and the reseller side is dying. If you're a technology reseller trying to sell technology to a guy who cares nothing about technology, you're out."