Network Testing Tools Provider LinkRunner Names HPE Veteran Parrottino As CEO


LinkRunner, a private equity backed provider of highly regarded network testing tools, has named former Hewlett Packard Enterprise year veteran Mike Parrottino as its new CEO.

Parrottino, a passionate advocate for SMB partners who spent 23 years at Hewlett Packard and HPE, most recently vice president small and medium enterprise, said he is firmly focused on accelerating sales of the company's network testing tools through partners.

"It's a channel-led model," exclaimed Parrottino in an interview with CRN. "Our objective is simple: to accelerate growth through the channel by increasing partner profitability and getting more partners to sell and use the LinkRunner portfolio of products to troubleshoot wired/wireless networks."

Parrottino's appointment comes just 11 weeks after LinkRunner was formed in the wake of the sale of the network testing tool assets from Netscout to StoneCalibre, a Los Angeles private equity company. Terms of the deal for the 100-employee Colorado Springs, Colo. headquartered network testing tools business were not disclosed.

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LinkRunner - which has a distribution pact with industry behemoth Ingram Micro and specialty distributors Graybar and Anixter - is in the process of building out its sales and marketing plan -- including the launch of a LinkRunner website. LinkRunner also has a strong partnership with solution provider powerhouse CDW, No. 5 on the 2018 CRN SP500.

The LinkRunner network testing tool sales offensive comes with the need for top notch network testing tools greater than ever in a complex multi-vendor, hybrid cloud networking world, said Parrottino. "Every customer expects 100 percent up-time," he said. "Our tools help partners quickly identify and resolve network issues."

Among the most popular LinkRunner tools are the LinkRunner G2 Ethernet network tester; AirCheck G2 wireless tester and the OneTouch AT 10G Network Assistant. LinkRunner also has a LinkLive software-as-a-service cloud offering that provides partners and customers with network troubleshooting data analytics.

Rick Chernick, CEO of Camera Corner Connecting Point, which recently merged with Arlington Computer Products (ACP), said he is excited about the opportunity to partner with LinkRunner now that Parrottino is at the helm. "It's great to have Mike back in the channel," said Chernick. "He's a channel-savvy leader who I am sure is going to help partners be more successful. He certainly knows a lot of the resellers."

The LinkRunner network testing tools are "critical" for solution providers to quickly diagnose and fix networks in an era where 99.99 percent up-time is table stakes, said Chernick.

"These tools reduce downtime and free up resources," said Chernick. "An engineer can use these tools to fix a problem quickly versus digging sometimes for a full day to find out what the issue is. Without tools like this you have to spend many hours trying to determine what the problem is. This is going to save the customers money and allows us to get to the next customer quicker."

Chernick compared the network equipment tool set to diagnostic tools that help doctors quickly determine what is ailing a patient. "It is no different than a doctor using the right equipment to diagnose a patient," he said. "These kinds of tools are worth every penny."

Scott Dunsire, president of ACP, who worked with Parrottino at HPE, said Parrottino has both the sales leadership and financial acumen to take LinkRunner to new heights.

"Mike has a great understanding of market opportunities and what it takes to work with the partner community as well as satisfy end user customers," Dunsire said. "It's great to see him bringing his knowledge and experience to good use as the CEO of LinkRunner. Mike is great a building teams and also keeping a strong operational cadence with both customers and partners."

Dunsire said Parrottino knows how to get the most out of employees even in the most difficult circumstances. "Mike's personality, knowledge of the industry and the business and the credibility he can build with both customers and partners makes him the perfect candidate to lead LinkRunner. I couldn't be more excited for him."

Parrottino, for his part, said he is excited about the opportunity accelerate LinkRunner sales through the channel. "We're putting together a best in class sales and support organization with improved and enhanced partner programs to support our channel efforts," he said.