CRN Channel Madness: Quarterfinal Winners And Losers

On To The Field Of Four

After starting out with 32 channel chiefs, we are now down to four. Voting has closed in Round 3 of the inaugural CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs, shutting the door on the Enterprise Eight and setting the stage for the Field of Four.

The Enterprise 8 featured two blowouts, a nail-bitter and a back and forth slugfest that played out until the final buzzer.

Let's take a look at who won the Round 3 matchups to represent the Cloud, Software, Hardware and Infrastructure regions in the Field of Four.

We'll also preview the big Field of Four matchups. Round 4 voting in CRN Channel Madness opens April 2 at 4:00 PM ET and will remain open until April 6 at noon ET. Visit to cast your votes and choose your chiefs.

Cloud - Round 3

Frank Rauch, VMware vs. Adam Famularo, Verizon

This was a classic heavyweight bout, with blows being traded back and forth until the final bell. Adam Famularo, vice president of global channels at Verizon, ultimately prevailed, holding off a last minute surge to beat out VMware's Frank Rauch 53 percent to 47 percent. Rauch, vice president of VMware's Americas partner organization, stumbled out the gate, quickly falling into a 74 percent to 26 percent hole. But Rauch, who was the top tournament vote getter coming into the Enterprise Eight, climbed to get within 16 points of Famularo with only two hours left to go in the voting.

Ultimately Famularo prevailed, securing a six point victory when voting closed. He's arguably been the hottest chief in the tournament, evidenced by the surging amount of votes he received in the hours after Round 3 voting opened. Famularo will look to continue riding the Verizon partner support wave as he represents the Cloud region in the Field of Four.

Software - Round 3

Marc Dupaquier, IBM vs. Jenni Flinders, Microsoft

Voting was a little more one-sided in the Software region matchup, as Marc Dupaquier, general manager of global business partners at IBM, punched a Field of Four ticket with a 66 percent to 34 percent win over Microsoft's Jenni Flinders. It was a swan song of sorts for Flinders, vice president of Microsoft's U.S. Partner Group, as CRN just broke the news that she will be leaving the software giant after 15 years.

Dupaquier has now eliminated two Microsoft channel chiefs on his way to the Field of Four. He'll lean on his 20 years of channel experience and a savvy social media campaign as he represents the Software region.

Hardware - Round 3

Mike Valentine, Sophos vs. Ron Gill, Ruckus

The blowouts continued in the Hardware region as Sophos Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales Mike Valentine handily beat Ron Gill, vice president, Americas, enterprise sales at Ruckus. After impressive wins over chiefs at Dell and HP, Gill quickly fell in the first hours of Round 4 voting and never recovered, ultimately losing 69 percent to 31 percent.

The 38 point win was Valentine's largest margin of victory in the tournament. Valentine will bring 30 years of channel experience to the table as he represents the hardware region in the Field of Four.

Infrastructure - Round 3

Jim Ritchings, F5 Networks vs. Shannon Sbar, APC by Schneider Electric

Things got a tighter in the Infrastructure region, where Shannon Sbar of APC by Schneider Electric took out F5's Jim Ritchings with a 55 percent to 45 percent win. Sbar, vice president, channels at APC, orchestrated two major upsets before setting her sights on Ritchings, senior vice president of worldwide channels at F5, in the Enterprise Eight. Ritchings was hot off big wins over Cisco's Bruce Klein and Eaton's Herve Tardy but just couldn't muster up enough support to get past Sbar.

Sbar will look to keep the momentum rolling as she represents the Infrastructure region in the Field of Four.

A Look Ahead: The Field of Four

Marc Dupaquier, IBM (Software) vs. Adam Famularo, Verizon (Cloud)

Adam Famularo has only been at Verizon for a year, but if his performance so far in the CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs is any indication, he has the support of Verizon partners. Famularo was the top vote getter in Round 3 and he needed it to get past VMware's Frank Rauch, who held that title in the first two rounds. Famularo beat Netsuite's Craig West and VMware's Dave O'Callaghan before disposing of Rauch to punch his ticket to the Field of Four.

Things don't get easier for Famularo though as he'll have to beat IBM's Marc Dupaquier to get into the tournament's championship round. Dupaquier showed he has the support of IBM's giant partner base, taking out two Microsoft channel chiefs on his way to the Field of Four. His win over Jenni Flinders was particularly impressive, beating out the departing Microsoft chief by 32 points.

The million dollar question -- will Dupaquier's savvy social media tactics provide enough of a boost to get past the surging support behind Famularo?

A Look Ahead: The Field of Four

Shannon Sbar, APC by Schneider Electric (Infrastructure) vs. Mike Valentine, Sophos (Hardware)

APC's Shannon Sbar may have drawn the toughest path to the Field of Four, but it didn't matter as she gutted out three major wins to get to Round 4. Sbar had to take out Cisco's Edison Peres and HP's Sue Barsamian just to get into the Enterprise Eight. She then rode that momentum to take out F5 Networks' Jim Ritchings.

Sbar will square off against Sophos' Mike Valentine who is riding high after an Enterprise Eight statement win. Valentine posted the largest margin of victory in the round knocking off Ruckus' Ron Gill by 38 points. To get to Gill, Valentine took out Intel's Maurits Tichelman in Round 1 and then staged a late Round 2 comeback against NetApp's Thomas Stanley, who was hot off of an upset over Dell's Frank Vitagliano.

The big Round 3 win shows the support Valentine has in his corner, but does he have enough to get past Sbar, who so far has shown that no task in this tournament is too tall?

The Field of Four

Round 4 voting in CRN Channel Madness opens April 2 at 4:00 PM ET and will remain open until April 6 at noon ET. Visit to cast your votes and choose your chiefs.