10 Solution Providers That Made A Difference In 2014

VARs Strengthen Communities With Time, Money, Expertise

From large-scale charity events to holiday toy drives to paid time off for volunteering, solution providers gave back to their communities in a multitude of ways.

Denali Advanced Integration organized a 400-person 5K (3.1-mile) race, raising $60,000 for Seattle Children's Hospital, while Dimension Data participated in a bike ride to raise money for multiple sclerosis and Perficient got involved in St. Louis Rams community events.

Other solution providers leveraged their technology expertise, with Exigent Technology leading an IT products and services drive for a New Jersey nonprofit. Meanwhile, Bluewolf developed a curriculum for high school students to visit the company offices and learn about how technology can solve business problems.


Bluewolf has for several years invested 1 percent of its resources in digital literacy, professional development and mentorship programs for youth.

The New York-based company, No. 156 on the 2014 CRN Solution Provider 500, partners with nonprofits to offer children both life skills and technology training through its Pack Mentorship Program.

Earlier this year, the company's San Francisco office partnered with nonprofit First Tee and developed a six-hour curriculum where high school students would come into Bluewolf's regional office and learn about how technology can solve business problems.

The program kicked off less than a month after it started developing the curriculum.

In addition, Bluewolf's Pack Pro Bono program supports nonprofits in their search for cloud-based technology.


CDW makes time, money and expertise available for philanthropic endeavors.

The Vernon Hills, Ill.-based company, No. 8 on the CRN Solution Provider500, matches up to $2,000 of charitable donations for each employee. The company gives grants to nonprofits located near its 10 U.S. facilities focusing on children's well-being, education and literacy, health care or military and veteran matters.

CDW also offers employees one paid Community Service Day off per year, benefiting organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the American Cancer Society, Chicago Cares, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement and the American Red Cross.

CDW also provides technology products to community-focused nonprofits.

Denali Advanced Integration

Denali Advanced Integration raised $60,000 for Seattle Children's Hospital in October with the Denali Dash 2014 Run For a Cause.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company, No. 91 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, organized and hosted the 5K (3.1-mile) race, which attracted more than 400 people. Some 100 technology executives attended an event on the night before the race, with vendors Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, VMware and EMC stepping up as key sponsors.

Denali has donated, on average, $250,000 to $300,000 every year to charities in each of the three cities where it has offices: Seattle; Portland, Ore.; and Dallas. Seattle Children's Hospital has been a primary beneficiary, with Denali raising $110,000 for it over the past two years.

Dimension Data

Dimension Data raised more than $130,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society with the two-day Bike MS: City to Share Ride.

The New York-based company, No. 13 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, drew more than 7,000 cyclists from all of the world – including 130 Dimension Data employees – to the 160-mile round trip race from Cherry Hill, N.J. to Ocean City, N.J.

The company has brought in more than $300,000 over the past five years through its participation in MS rides.

Dimension Data participates in more than 500 philanthropic initiatives annually focused on social issues, environmental issues and ethics. Employees receive a day of paid vacation each year to volunteer for a charity of their choice.

Exigent Technologies

Exigent Technologies CEO Daniel Haurey (pictured) nominated The Center in Asbury Park, a New Jersey-based nonprofit, for a donation of IT products and services.

Haurey, who's also president of Ingram Micro's VentureTech Network (VTN) Big Apple Chapter, spearheaded the gathering, integration and deployment of thousands of dollars of technology equipment and services by Big Apple Chapter members.

Solution provider donations to The Center--– which supports people living with HIV/AIDS and their caregivers -- include PC monitors, UPSes, a SonicWall firewall and an EnGenius wireless access point.

Vendors also donated desktop computers, network attached storage, antivirus software and backup software.

VTN's ongoing "Big Apple Chapter Cares" program helps local philanthropic organizations upgrade their technology infrastructure throughout the year.

Insight Enterprises

Insight Enterprises' philanthropic efforts helped it earn a recent spot on the Phoenix Business Journal's "Best Places to Work" list.

The Tempe, Ariz.-based company, No. 14 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, offers employees up to two paid days off for volunteering with a charitable organization of their choice. Insight also has a 501(c)(3) dedicated to assisting its employees in times of need or crisis.

Insight was ranked the eighth best place to work among Phoenix-area companies with more than 1,000 employees. The rankings are determined by a confidential employee survey that considers worker benefits, culture, communication, policies and the mission of the respective companies.

Oxygen Technical Services

Solution providers don't need to have a massive war chest to demonstrate a big heart.

The more modest-sized Oxygen Technical Services of Winnipeg, Manitoba, created a walking club that donates a dollar to charity for every kilometer an employee walks, company President Brian Oleksiuk said during Tech Data's October TechSelect partner conference.

Five male Oxygen employees also participated in Movember, which raises money to increase awareness of men's health issues such as prostate cancer.

Oxygen also typically makes a donation to a community organization shortly before Christmas.


Perficient dove into philanthropy in a big way in 2014 by becoming the official community sponsor of the St. Louis Rams in June.

The St. Louis-based company, No. 66 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, now leads the way on the Rams' Staff Days of Service Program, which was capped off by a playground build at a residential treatment center for severely disabled children.

Perficient also helped repaint the bleachers, fencing and goal posts at the local Boys' and Girls Club as part of the Rams Hometown Huddle in October.

Perficient's community contributions, though, go far beyond the Rams. Two company employees built an app that allows Big Brothers Big Sisters to automate the scheduling process for its Sports Buddies program.

SBS Group

For the eleventh consecutive year, SBS Group supported an organization during the holiday season.

Employees of the Edison, N.J.-based company collected, sorted, wrapped and packaged toys for children during the weekend of Dec. 13-14.

In 2013, the drive netted more than 75 toys for The Support Center for Child Advocates, a Philadelphia-based group that provides legal assistance and social service advocacy for abused and neglected children.

Other philanthropic endeavors undertaken by SBS employees include food drives for local shelters, Wacky Bowling for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and a plane pull to support the Special Olympics.

World Wide Technology

World Wide Technology (WWT) supports community and nonprofit organizations through scholarship awards, youth development, project support and other community activities.

The St. Louis-based company, No. 12 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, is most interested in projects that support children or family services, improve education or address human needs and services. Specifically, WWT aims to use technology to open classrooms to the world and bring knowledge to students in new ways.

Employee volunteerism is also encouraged at WWT, with workers donating more than $500,000 and 3,800 toys to The Ronald McDonald House, the St. Patrick Center and Hurricane Isaac and Sandy-related charities during the final three months of 2012.