Presidio CEO Bob Cagnazzi’s 5 Big Bets On AWS, Cisco And Services

From AWS and Cisco Webex to Everything as a Service, here is where Presidio CEO Bob Cagnazzi is placing his biggest IT bets in 2021.

Presidio’s 5 Big IT Bets In 2021

Presidio CEO Bob Cagnazzi understands where the IT industry is heading better than most, having led some of the country’s most successful solution providers over the past three decades.

The industry expert knows exactly where New York City-based Presidio needs to place its bets in 2021 and beyond to fuel growth in the new IT world created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID has really solidified the themes around digital transformation, around agility, around client experience, worker mobility and the security that goes along with everything,” said Cagnazzi, who’s led Presidio for nearly a decade. “So when you look at that theme, we are in an era now where the technology products to the clients are sometimes less important than the outcome.”

In an interview with CRN, Cagnazzi breaks down some of Presidio’s largest and most strategic IT bets aimed at driving massive growth.

Cisco Webex Will Recapture IT Videoconferencing Mindshare

Although videoconferencing competitors like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have turned up the heat on Cisco Webex during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cagnazzi said Presidio is still placing its bets on Cisco to lead the market. He said the IT videoconferencing market was “very much business-oriented” before COVID-19 made videoconferencing a consumer market as remote work and remote learning swept across the globe.

“COVID changed things in that conferencing is now really consumerized. It’s become very much a consumer product, right? Businesses that did not have this type of platform before did not perhaps have the sophistication in their IT organization or in their user base. They looked at what they believed was easier solutions to consume,” he said. “Microsoft Teams has the benefit of a large Microsoft install base. So they had that advantage. But I do think the investment and changes that Webex has made and rolled out, like with Webex Teams recently, are beginning to capture that mindshare back.”

Cagnazzi said “security is incredibly important” in the videoconferencing market, which will give Cisco a huge advantage.

“I know Zoom and some others have made security investments as well, but Cisco’s one of the largest security organizations in the world. So who’s going to have better security than Cisco? What you’ve seen in those investment areas is that clients are looking to the combination of security, customer experience and the features—and Cisco’s really ramped up on the feature side as well recently,” he said.

‘AWS Is Critical’ To Presidio’s Hybrid Cloud Future

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing many businesses to rapidly invest in the cloud, Amazon Web Services is becoming a very strategic partner for Presidio in 2021 and beyond.

“AWS has been a fantastic partner for us. We’ve seen great growth with our AWS relationship and that’s part of our hybrid cloud strategy. AWS is a critical part of our hybrid cloud strategy,” said Cagnazzi. “We’ve seen expansion of our services around that in addition to an expansion of our revenues.”

Presidio has invested so much into its AWS practice that the company achieved Premier Partner status in February within the Amazon Partner Network. Cagnazzi said Presidio is continually adding to its more than 600 AWS certifications across DevOps, solution architect, security, big data and SysOps to build and manage complex cloud architectures for customers.

‘We Consider Ourselves An X-As-A-Service Provider’

Presidio has been doubling down on its sales and marketing resources around offering Everything, or “X,” as a Service as more and more customers demand consumption-based IT.

“When you talk about Cisco’s as-a-service offerings, Pure Storage has as-a-service offerings, Dell has as-a-service offerings, etc. and we have as-a-service offerings as well, but we also consider ourselves an ‘X’-as-a-Service provider or integrator,” said Cagnazzi. “All these as-a-services need to be integrated into a suite that can be managed and secured. By management, I’m not just talking performance management, I’m also talking about usage management, financial management, etc. It has to be integrated so it’s one seamless offering to the client. We’re doing a lot of that as well along with our services. So we’re putting it together where a client get a seamless Desktop-as-a-Service, all the way back to Application-as-a-Service experience.”

Big Bet On Two Types Of Acquisitions

Presidio has acquired several solution providers over the years, including cloud consulting specialist Coda Global in 2020 to boost its cloud business, as well as Ireland-based Arkphire earlier this year to significantly increase its global footprint.

“We are always looking at acquisitions,” said Cagnazzi. “So our two [M&A] tracks are: a services company that delivers scale and/or IP that are important in cloud, security and managed services. Then the second is geographic-based integrators or organizations that can give us a greenfield footprint in a geography that we are not in today, whether that’s domestic or international.”

Cagnazzi said the company, backed by private equity firm BC Partners, looks at value services organizations around cloud, security and managed services that have top-notch IP or scale that can help Presidio grow. “For example, Coda’s been a phenomenal acquisition with a fantastic team around that entire cloud transformation, digital transformation suite—from strategy development, application re-platforming, cloud-native application development, DevOps services, professional services, managed services,” he said. “We look for those types of service providers: security, managed services and cloud that we think add value to our offering suite and our clients.”

Presidio is also looking at acquiring companies that can expand its geographic reach.

“The other category is, ‘Where do we have white space from a geographic standpoint?’ Because we can acquire a best-in-class provider that may be narrow in their scope of solutions they offer, but we can round out our solutions around them and then they’ll grow at an accelerated pace,’” he said, adding that having more global offices is key to growth. “It’s very important for many of our clients who are multinational.”

Becoming A Customer-Outcome Solution Provider

The global COVID-19 pandemic has solidified themes around the critical need for digital transformation, agility, worker mobility, security and the overall client experience, said Cagnazzi.

“So when you look at that theme, we are in an era now where the technology products to the clients are sometimes less important than the outcome,” he said. “The outcome is, ‘How are you driving a digital transformation organization? Can we transform the client experience? How are we transforming our operational processes? And how are we transforming our business models?’ The key is, ‘How do I utilize digital to make my customers have a better experience when they’re dealing with me—whether it’s on the purchase side or support side in any way shape or form.’”

Helping transform a customer’s operational process and business model to create greater efficiency, speed and agility to help it go to market faster is critical, he said.

“It is about those outcomes today. Those outcomes are around agility, strategic relevance, cost optimization and security,” said Cagnazzi. “How are we helping clients create these multi- and hybrid cloud platforms where the underlying infrastructure almost becomes irrelevant, the underlying OEMs almost become irrelevant. How are we securing that entire platform and offering clients these different services in an as-a-service and secure way?”