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Q&A: Carousel Execs On The Cisco Partnership And How OpEx Models Are Changing The Channel

Leaders of Carousel Industries talk with CRN about its new Cisco partnership, selling managed services over products, and the challenges of cloud OpEx models in the channel.

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Carousel Execs Talk Partnerships, Acquisitions, Sales

Fresh off forming a new partnership with Cisco and acquiring Atrion, red-hot solution provider Carousel Industries is targeting the $1 billion revenue mark as it shifts its focus from hardware to services. Last year, for the first time in Carousel's 24-year history, service revenue outpaced product sales.

"We have customers saying, 'No more CapEx. I want to buy everything OpEx. That's just the way I'm going to buy going forward,' " said Jim Marsh, chief revenue officer and co-owner at Exeter, R.I.-based Carousel, ranked No. 64 on the CRN 2016 Solution Provider 500 list. "I would say a minimum of 50 percent [of our clients] are having that conversation -- 'Get me out of IT.' "

Carousel CEO and co-founder Jeff Gardner and Marsh recently shared their thoughts with CRN about managed services, the need for Cisco, how Avaya is still Carousel's "fastball," the importance of being privately held, and why size and scale matter in the channel. Here is an edited excerpt of that conversation.

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