Scenes From VentureTech: 'Cake Boss,' Casino And Cloud

VentureTech Goes (6,230 Feet) Vertical

Ingram Micro's VentureTech Network held its Spring Invitational conference at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., recently, a hotel 6,230 feet above sea level. The event gathered solution providers and executives from Ingram and its vendor partners, including, from left: Ingram Micro's John Fago, Camera Corner's Rick Chernick, HP's Rich Papaioannou and Matt Smith and Ingram Micro's Mike Humke.

VAR Success Story

One of the conference's highlights was a case study presented by Exigent Technologies' president and CEO Daniel Haurey (pictured), who brought Buddy "The Cake Boss" Valastro with him. Exigent recently completed a major IT upgrade for Carlo's Bakery, site of the "Cake Boss" TV show.

The Cake Boss

The conversation with Valastro covered everything from B2B relationships to using IT to fuel explosive growth. The Cake Boss himself talked to the VTN community as an entrepreneur, an IT visionary, and a customer of Exigent, covering all the aspects of a technology solution sale. Carlo’s Bakery needed IT to help support e-commerce, better customer service, upselling goods, and management tools that empowered efficiency and productivity.

VTN Founders

VentureTech honored some of its founders including Ted Warner (with microphone) and Jane Cage (right), who along with Steve Harper, Peter McMahon, Larry Poirier (not pictured) shared their memories of starting the organization that became VentureTech about 20 years ago.

Presidential Welcome

Alan McDonald, CEO of AllConnected, spoke to his peers for the first time as Ingram Micro's new VentureTech co-president. McDonald replaced Jim Veraldi, ex- of Micro Strategies who joined Ingram Micro. McDonald joined fellow co-president Rob Bracey (not pictured), president of Quartet Service, to welcome attendees to the 34th annual VTN conference.

Profiting In The Cloud

VTN members Tim Norman and Timothy Pfeiffer shared with their peers how the cloud has impacted their IT business, STL Professional Services. The VAR has earned more than $24 million in recurring managed services revenue over the past 18 months. The pair said their Bloomington, Ill.-based business grew exponentially after they rolled out a private cloud services offering to their customers.

Speaking Of Cloud...

Renee Bergeron, Ingram Micro's vice president of managed services and cloud computing, told solution providers that they are in the best position to provide end users with an integrated cloud solution that truly meets their needs, but she cautioned that they need a clear strategy to close those sales.

Harris Poll

Harris Warsaw, vice president of general business, Americas, at IBM, posed this question to the VTN Community: Wouldn’t it be great to use recurring revenue to manage our businesses, and then the transaction revenues are just extra on top?

What's Next In 2012?

Paul Bay, executive vice president for Ingram Micro North America, shared the roadmap for Ingram Micro, covering plans for additional growth, investments, and hiring in 2012. He told attendees Ingram Micro will increase its investments for additional growth in managed print and professional audio/video solutions, as well as in people and systems throughout the year.

How Can I Serve You?

Author Keith Ferrazzi, author of ’Who’s Got Your Back,’ warned solution providers that avoiding conflict can ruin a company because fear prevents employees from telling their leadership what they need to succeed. His suggestion: Ask employees and customers ’How can I serve you?’ instead of ’What can you offer me?’

Casino For A Cause

VTN members and vendor supporters raised money in a casino night fundraiser for the Livestrong foundation. Pictured here, members of VentureTech's Lone Star Chapter proudly display their contribution to the charitable organization.

Card Sharks

From left, Jessica Cavanaugh of KnowledgeCentrix, Tom Reminga of Technology Resource Advisors and Jason Schmitt of Technology Resource Advisors look for a hot hand during a card game at VTN's casino night fundraiser.

Listen And Learn

Members of VTN's Heartland Chapter pose for a photo. Pictured from bottom row, left to right are: Doug Elliott, NMGI; Tony Morris, Results; and Greg Jacobs, Computer Systems. Pictured top row, left to right are: Jeff Gustafson, Computer Systems; Peter Horewitch, Common Knowledge; and Mike Marlow, Information Systems of Montana (a Pacific West chapter member).

Business Enablement

Maureen Lande of New York-based Maureen Data Systems takes notes in a business development workshop. VentureTech has long been an organization to offer senior VAR executives tips on how to improve their companies.


On the last night of VTN, Ingram Micro headed to a working equestrian center, Crooked Willow Farms, where they enjoyed some Western food and drink on a cool Colorado evening. Pictured here, Ken Klika of BCG Systems and David Prince of Databranch offer a toast.

Power Puffin' Girls

Left to right: Melanie McKowan of Ingram Micro and Valerie Gallagher of Xerox, enjoy a cigar at Crooked Willow Farms to close out the spring conference. The 2012 VTN Fall Invitational will be held Oct. 21-24 in Boston.