Brainware: Computex's Top Talent Sounds Off On The Secret To The Company's Success

CRN speaks with the top executive talent at Computex to get their perspective into the secret to the company's Brainware consulting methodology and success.

Computex: A Managed Services Superstar

Computex CEO Frank Vitagliano, who recently celebrated his first anniversary at the helm, has taken the Computex brainware and put it on steroids with a slew of new managed services offerings including managed security with advanced endpoint protection and full threat hunting and mitigation, and a managed public cloud offering that includes disaster recovery as a service with Microsoft Azure.

Next week, Vitagliano and the Computex team will celebrate the new expanded managed services portfolio at its first annual Accelerate sales kickoff. The two-day conference for Computex customers will feature keynotes by Vitagliano, Computex Chief Technology Officer Worth Davis, Computex Vice President of Cloud and Cybersecurity Faisal Bhutto and Computex Senior Vice President of Sales Matthew Brennan along with key executives from Cisco, Aruba and Cylance.

Computex, which was founded by Sam and Jason Haffar, who remain on the company's board of directors, is celebrating its 31st year in business. CRN asked some of the top executive talent at Computex about the secret to the company's success.

Matthew Brennan, Senior Vice President, Sales

Brennan, the former president of VirtualArmour, one of the country's top managed security service providers, joined Computex nearly a year ago and is driving significantly expanded security vendor partnerships and services offerings. Under Brennan's six-year tenure as vice president of sales and president at Virtual Armor, he grew sales 300 percent.

"One of my initiatives coming here was to add a more robust security portfolio and help the team add managed security services to the Network Operations Center."

What is the secret to the company's success?

"It's brainware. The high ratio of smart engineers for every salesperson is key to the success. We have super-smart sales engineers and have more of them than we do salespeople. Sales can not be successful without talented sales engineers. The 3-to-1 ratio of smart engineers to salespeople is a big difference between Computex and the competition."

Worth Davis, Vice President, Chief Technology Officer

One of the top technologists in the business, Davis has been the driving force behind keeping Computex at the top of the technology pyramid.

"We have gone through six rebirths with all of the major technology shifts in the business," said Davis, a 20-year CIO veteran and a former director of IT for $77 billion energy conglomerate Engie. "Technology changes rapidly. Every 18 months we reinvent ourselves. Anybody that wants to ride the laurels of what they have done is not the right person for Computex."

Davis, who spent 20 years buying IT in the energy business, is responsible for evaluating and vetting any and all technology offerings. "We look for technologies that are disruptive, that can open up new doors for us or that do something cool," said Davis. "We were one of VMware's first partners and one of the first partners for Pure Storage, Data Domain."

"We know what works and what doesn’t. We have seen many new product launches from major vendors over the years. Some change the industry, and others go down in flames. We protect our customers from making the wrong decisions. They depend on us."

What is the secret to the company's success?

"Our customers believe in the Computex brand and depend on us to provide them with a comprehensive technology solution. It is also responsiveness and focus on the customer. That is sometimes technology responsiveness or sales responsiveness. It is all about doing the right thing for the customer."

Faisal Bhutto, Vice President, Enterprise Networking, Cloud, Cybersecurity

Bhutto is the former partner and Chief Operating Officer of ENET solutions, one of the top managed service providers in the country, which Computex acquired four years ago.

Bhutto, who obtained his Cisco CCIE & MBA at the age of 25, has deep technology and vendor experience. He oversees the company's fast growing cloud and managed services portfolio with two network operations centers and more than 50 employees. He keeps his entrepreneurial spirit alive by actively seeking change and keeping the Computex innovation engine humming. He recently launched Computex’s Managed Security, Detection and Response operations which will further strengthen Computex’s Managed Services portfolio.

With a Bachelor's of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Houston and an MBA from University of Houston's Bauer College of Business, Bhutto has that rare blend of technology and business expertise.

Bhutto – who built the Cisco business at ENET – also works closely with Computex's technology team on the Cisco partnership and serves on the Global Partner Technology Advisory Board for Cisco.

What is the secret to the company's success?

"It’s our culture, no doubt! We are a very transparent organization that hold each other accountable our innovation and willingness to disrupt from within sets as apart. Just like our customers, we embrace our employees and are genuinely interested in their career growth and upward mobility. There are many examples in our company where someone started as an overnight NOC technician and now proudly displays a CCIE badge on his polo shirt. We have many smart, capable people that talk freely about ideas and feel the autonomy to execute to make it better for our customers."

Salim Gheewalla, Manager, Marketing, Vendor Alliances

Gheewalla, a four-year Computex veteran, oversees all of the company's marketing and vendor alliances, ensuring tight alignment between key vendor marketing initiatives and the company. Gheewalla, who graduated with a bachelor of science in supply chain and logistic from the University of Houston, works closely with vendors on market development funds and demand services.

What is the secret to the company's success?

"Our whole approach with smart sales reps and engineers and the technology is key. Our ability to go in and assess the customer environment and then provide a solution – all of it's done here. We don't outsource it. It's all here. We are the one company that can do it all for the customer. That is our secret sauce."

Richard Wedel, Vice President, Operations, Marketing

A 27-year Computex veteran, Wedel has been one of the driving forces behind Computex's rise to become one of the top solution providers in the country. Wedel's genius has been in his ability to align the company's sales, marketing and technical teams all on solving customer business problems. Key to that is tightly aligning the Computex go-to-market with the right technology vendor partnerships.

"I get to oversee the things that impacts our customers," said Wedel. "We are very picky about the companies we partner with. If you bring in partners that don't blend with the way we do business, it is difficult. Everything the marketing and the operations side focus on is all about establishing the customer experience."

What is the secret to the company's success?

"It's the customer experience. It is everything we do that gives us the ability to capture the customer year after year after year, whether it is in our managed services or our sales engineers orchestrating the designs of data centers or the engineering team halo jumping in and deploying inside of a CIO's time frame. We do what we say we are going to do. We deliver what we say we are going to deliver."

Jeni Zamora, Manager, Digital, Field Marketing

Zamora, an 11-year solution provider marketing veteran, joined Computex in March 2017 to beef up the company's digital marketing and brand strategy. Among her responsibilities is helping to drive the company's first annual sales kickoff event – Accelerate 2018.

What is the secret to the company's success?

"The people. We have very intelligent people. They are well known in the industry. They are the experts. There is a camaraderie here. Everybody helps everybody. You'll never hear, 'It is not my job.' Everyone is willing to step up and help from the CEO to someone in the warehouse.

"We drink our own Kool-Aid. The services and solutions we provide our customers we use ourselves. If we have an issue ourselves, we call the NOC. We get the same experience as the customer."