Faces Of The 2017 Next-Gen 250

Staying Ahead Of The Technology Curve

Demand for IT services and expertise continues to grow across all categories of information technology, keeping a lot of solution providers busy. But the most successful solution providers today understand that there's real value to be offered – and money to be made – by developing expertise and services in the leading-edge technologies that are driving today's IT industry.

Cloud computing, the Internet of Things, big data analytics, software-defined networking, containers and advanced cybersecurity—these are the technologies that are altering the IT industry and even redefining how businesses implement and use information technology. And because many businesses rely on their solution providers to help them make the leap to these new technologies, solution providers who develop practices in these next-generation technologies are in demand.

The solution providers on CRN's annual Next Gen 250 list are selected through research, vendor and analyst interviews, and CRN editorial coverage. All of the companies on the nonranked list were founded in 2000 or later. Some are relatively young and were founded with the new technologies in mind while others have been around for a while and developed their next-gen technology skills and services alongside their "traditional" IT offerings. Only 20 percent (50 companies) of this year's NextGen 250 was on last year's list.

The following are snapshots of randomly selected 25 companies on the 2017 Next Gen 250 list.


Top Executive: Mick Bass, CEO

Location: Niwot, Colo.


Solution provider 47Lining helps data-driven business get the most out of their data by leveraging Amazon Web Services and software from Tableau, Looker, Qubole and other vendor partners. The company's areas of expertise include data warehousing, Internet of Things analytics, predictive analytics and machine learning. Recently 47Lining launched AWS Data Lake Foundation Quick Start, which helps customers quickly develop AWS-based data lake systems using AWS services such as Redshift, Kinesis, Athena, Elasticsearch and QuickSight.

Affirmed Networks

Top Executive: Hassan Ahmed, CEO

Location: Acton, Mass.


Affirmed Networks provides network solutions targeted toward service providers, including virtual mobile networks, subscriber management and service systems, networking probe and analytics solutions, and solutions around 5G and Internet of Things technology. The company is a pioneer in next-generation network slicing technology used to split single physical networks into multiple virtual networks.

Aponia Data

Top Executive: Jason Juliano, President, CEO

Location: New York


Aponia Data's forte is cognitive computing and predictive analytics software solutions, combined with a range of services in streaming analytics, information management and data governance, and compliance and risk management. Some of Aponia's services are built around IBM's Watson cognitive computing system.

Base2 Solutions

Top Executive: Ron Hopkins, President, CEO

Location: Bellevue, Wash.


Base2 Solutions tackles a range of tough IT problems including complex systems and integration, software development and quality assurance, and enterprise and embedded networks. The company's practices include DevOps and custom software development, information security, and systems engineering and design.

Blue Karma Security

Top Executive: Janine Bodwin, President, CEO

Location: Greenbrae, Calif.


Blue Karma Security offers a range of enterprise-level IT security solutions and services developed around encryption, data loss prevention, managed file transfer, security information and event management (SIEM), and next-generation firewall technologies. The company is a McAfee managed service provider.

Bridge Solutions Group

Top Executive: Doug Brochu, CEO

Location: Fort Lee, N.J.


Bridge Solutions Group is a supply chain technology solution provider and consultant specializing in designing and implementing order management and warehouse management systems. The company, winner of the 2016 IBM Partner of the Year: eCommerce award, partners with Celect, IBM, and Magento and Miraki.

Brown Pear Solutions

Top Executive: Jennifer Brown, President

Location: Tukwila, Wash.


Brown Pear Solutions offers a range of services and expertise in data center, private cloud and hosted private cloud, business continuity, virtualization (server, desktop and application), mobility, and cloud-based videoconferencing. Brown Pear, a certified woman-owned solution provider, counts Cisco, Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft and VMware among its vendor partners.


Top Executive: Akshay Sabhikhi, CEO

Location: Austin, Texas


CognitiveScale develops industry-specific machine-learning software, based on its Augmented Intelligence platform, for health-care, commerce and financial services customers. The goal is to boost the value from investments in big data systems such as data warehouses and data lakes.

Cumberland Group

Top Executive: Patrick Hiller, CEO

Location: Atlanta


Cumberland Group provides IT integration services and solutions, the latter in cloud services enablement, software-defined everything, converged infrastructure, physical data center services, user mobility, information security and always-on environments. Vendor partners include Cisco, Hortonworks, Nutanix, Red Hat, Rubrik, Turbonomics and Veeam.


Top Executive: Didi Gur, CEO

Location: San Diego


Evotek is focused on helping businesses with their digital transformation initiatives, offering IT systems and services for the data center (including cloud, converged infrastructure and virtualization), networking (application delivery and network virtualization) and risk management. The company partners with a wide range of vendors from A10 to Zerto.

Freeit Data Solutions

Top Executive: Wayne Orchid, President, CEO

Location: Austin, Texas


Freeit's focus is on data storage and virtualization technologies – more than 80 percent of Freeit's customers manage more than 1 petabyte of data within their organizations. The company provides services in data migration, cloud solutions, infrastructure assessment, solutions architecture, and system deployment and integration. The solution provider's vendor partner roster includes Nutanix, Splunk, Tintri, Veeam and VMTurbo.


Top Executive: Aater Suleman, CEO

Location: Austin, Texas


Flux7's mission is helping businesses get past the bottlenecks that traditional IT creates for developers tasked with digital transformation projects. Flux7 focuses on DevOps consulting and making use of cloud computing – primarily through a number of Amazon Web Services practices – to help customers transition to agile cloud infrastructures. Flux7 also provides expertise in container and Internet of Things technologies.

Fulton May Solutions

Top Executive: John Sikaras, Principal

Location: Oak Brook, Ill.


Fulton May Solutions provides IT consulting services to small and midsize businesses across the U.S. with expertise in such areas as managed IT security, mobile device management, and private, public and hybrid cloud systems. The company is a Veeam Gold cloud provider, Silver Microsoft small and midmarket cloud solutions partner, and Silver Cisco partner, among others.

Level5 Mgmt

Top Executive: Theon Paulino, President

Location: Boca Raton, Fla.


Level5 Mgmt bills itself as a full IT service provider offering managed IT solutions, private cloud/IaaS services, Hardware-as-a-Service, and IT governance and compliance solutions. Apple, Cisco, Microsoft and VMware are among its dozen-plus vendor partners.

Minjar Cloud Solutions

Top Executive: Vijay Rayapati, CEO

Location: Santa Clara, Calif.


A premier Amazon Web Services cloud consulting and MSP partner, Minjar Cloud Solutions leverages artificial intelligence technology and human expertise to help customers optimize their cloud systems for cost management, security compliance and cloud governance. The company also has a growing practice around Microsoft Azure.


Top Executive: John Castleman, CEO

Location: Waltham, Mass.


Mobiquity provides a range of digital engagement services that help customers deliver and continuously improve their digital experiences. Mobiquity's services include consulting, experience design, product engineering, cloud services and analytics. The company is an Amazon Web Services Premier consulting partner.

NextNet Partners

Top Executive: Phil Calzadilla, CEO

Location: Tempe, Ariz.


IT consulting company NextNet Partners' core business is developing network solutions for its customers, from foundational routers and switches, to wireless and software-defined networks, to network management, load balancing and WAN optimization. The company also provides a range of data center, collaboration and cloud computing solutions.

Noverus Innovators

Top Executive: Stephen Monk, CEO

Location: El Dorado Hills, Calif.


Noverus Innovators provides IT, cloud hosting and media services to its customers. The company offers 24-hour managed IT services to its Sacramento customers, and security, file sharing and data backup and recovery services. Vendor partners include Cisco, Citrix, Dell, HP, Microsoft, Trend Micro and VMware.

Numa Networks

Top Executive: Warren Hino, President

Location: Orange, Calif.


Numa Networks offers a broad range of managed IT (including data backup and recovery, infrastructure, and server and network solutions), custom IT and cloud computing services. The company's cloud computing services lineup includes Office 365 management, application hosting and server hosting. Numa Networks partners with leading vendors such as Microsoft and Cisco, along with smaller vendors like secure email provider Zixcorp.


Top Executive: Craig Hickman, Sales Vice President

Location: Bloomington, Ind.


Probleu is a managed service provider specializing in network infrastructure for small and midsize businesses. The company also provides a variety of IT solutions and support services for SMBs including help desk support, application and server management, and IT needs and security assessment. Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps and VMware are among ProBleu's software offerings.


Top Executive: Kishore Khandavalli, CEO

Location: Dallas


SevenTablets' forte is providing customers with a range of services and solutions around mobility with an emphasis on crafting mobile IT strategies, and developing and testing iOS and Android mobile applications. Mobile security, cloud application hosting and predictive analytics services round out SevenTablets' offerings.

Strictly Technology

Top Executive: Frazer Langley, CEO

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


Strictly Technology offers a range of IT solutions and services including system procurement, configuration and installation, as well as higher-level services like strategic consulting, infrastructure design, data and cloud migration, network optimization, and Hardware- and Software-as-a-Service. The company, a certified woman-owned business, serves customers in the business, government, education and health-care sectors.


Top Executive: Michael Ballard, President

Location: Melbourne, Fla.


TechRev is a software engineering services company whose forte is working with IBM's Rational development system, providing expertise in project management, software requirements and design, configuration and change management, and system administration. The company also provides cloud migration and deployment services specializing in SoftLayer Cloud environments.

Vaxxe Interactive

Top Executive: Mike Goodwin, President

Location: Knoxville, Tenn.


Vaxxe Interactive focuses on ERP applications (including Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics and SAP's Business One), IT life-cycle solutions and leading-edge application development services. Vendor partners include Dell, DriveSavers, Fortinet, Microsoft and VMware.


Top Executive: Greg Hough, CEO

Location: Irving, Tex.


Zthernet's specialty is providing enterprise-class IT services and support to small and midsize customers at lower cost. Zthernet provides desktop and local-area network solutions that connect to its own secure data center through a wide-area network – a model that the company said can reduce IT costs up to 40 percent. Help desk services and flat-fee managed IT support round out its offerings.