MSPmentor 250: Eight Former Members — Where Are They Now?
The times they are a changing. Our fourth-annual MSPmentor 250 list is set to debut the week of August 1. The MSPmentor 250 will help you to rapidly build a Rolodex containing managed services experts, entrepreneurs and executive names. But there are big changes to this year’s MSPmentor 250. In fact, here are eight well-known industry names who didn’t make this year’s edition…
1. Jason Beal, formerly director of services sales, Ingram Micro North America: Beal made the shift from Ingram Micro North America to Ingram Micro EMEA in late 2010. But he certainly left his mark in the managed services industry. Beal helped to influence the Ingram Micro Seismic managed services strategy and the more recent Ingram Micro Cloud strategy. Before his leap from North America to Europe, Beal also worked closely with Renee Bergeron — a mid-2010 Ingram recruit who became VP of Managed Services and Cloud Computing. These days, Beal is senior director, software and services, Value Division in EMEA. But if you look closely enough you’ll still spot Beal at several North America channel events each year.
2. Greg Donovan, formerly president and CEO, Alpheon: Confident. Opinionated. Forward-thinking. Donovan successfully focused Alpheon‘s managed services business on the health care vertical. And he was rewarded for that focus. By early 2011, mindSHIFT — a national MSP that’s now branding around cloud services — acquired Alpheon. More recently, Donovan has exited the company… Last we saw Donovan was enjoying a relaxing vacation, though we’re watching to see where he surfaces next.
3. Bob Godgart, formerly CEO, Autotask Corp.: Godgart transitioned his CEO title to Mark Cattini in December 2010 and exited day-to-day operations at Autotask in May 2011. Godgart had a successful decade-long run at Autotask, taking the company from $0 to an estimated $20 million in annual revenues. The big question going forward: Has Godgart fully exited the managed services market? Not really. He remains chairman of Autotask and also chairman of CompTIA — the Computing Technology Industry Association. The grapevine says Godgart is kicking around a new business idea — something that may blend the channel with social business networking…
4. Sam Gutmann, formerly CEO, Intronis: Gutmann successfully built Intronis into one of the MSP industry’s best-known online backup brands. But by November 2010, the Intronis CEO title shifted from Gutmann to Kent Plunkett. Generally speaking, we’ve heard it was a smooth transition. At the time, sources told us Gutmann and Plunkett attended the CompTIA Breakaway conference in August 2010 — the goal was for Plunkett to quietly get a look at the MSP industry before officially becoming CEO of Intronis. Mission accomplished. Gutmann remains chairman of Intronis.
5. Rob Leon, formerly VP of operations, Spam Soap: Leon was one of the key team members who built Spam Soap into a well-known anti-spam provider to VARs and MSPs. Spam Soap also became one of McAfee‘s most strategic SaaS partners. Leon left Spam Soap in 2011 — and we’re watching to see if he surfaces elsewhere in the managed services market. Hmmm… In the meantime, Leonard Dimiceli — another well-known Spam Soap leader — has been heading up Spam Soap’s channel initiatives.
6. Gary Read, formerly CEO, Nimsoft: The first time I interviewed Read in 2008 he had a simple message: “Nimsoft is different,” he told me. Boy was Read right. Read successfully positioned Nimsoft as a midmarket provider of managed services software. Nimsoft gained traction with MSPs that needed to manage midsize data centers and complex environments that run VCE (VMware, Cisco and EMC). By 2010, CA Technologies came calling and acquired Nimsoft for more than 10X annual revenues. I openly worried that CA would suffocate Nimsoft’s culture. Instead, Nimsoft has thrived under CA’s ownership. Read eased out of Nimsoft in April 2011, replaced by CA’s Chris O’Malley. Last we heard, Read planned to celebrate Independence Day 2011 with a major bash… though we haven’t had time to check in for an update.
7. Lane Smith, formerly CEO, Do IT Smarter: Smith helped to pioneer the so-called Master MSP business model — where an experienced MSP offers hosted services, managed services and educational guidance to peer VARs and aspiring MSPs. Smith has also championed best practices across the managed services market, having worked closely with MSPAlliance and other industry influencers. Do IT Smarter was acquired in 2010, and Smith exited the company in mid-2011. We suspect he’ll continue to work in and around the managed services industry… Stay tuned.
8. Bob Vogel, formerly Chief Marketing Officer, Autotask Corp.: Within the halls of Autotask, Vogel was known as a direct marketing wizard. Working closely with former CEO Bob Godgart (see #3, above), Vogel helped to focus Autotask’s brand, hosted strategy, and automation software on the MSP industry. By December 2010 the wheels of change were turning inside Autotask. The company hired a new CEO, and Vogel soon shifted to a PR role — managing media relations for the successful Autotask Community Live 2011 event in May 2011. In June, Vogel confirmed plans to exit Autotask and start B2 Marketing, which assists VARs, MSPs and IT service providers.
Note: We’re not suggesting that the eight folks above have lost their touch. On the contrary: Each has previously qualified for the MSPmentor 250, and each has greatly influenced the managed services industry. Amid their career shifts — and dozens of additional executive changes across the industry — you’ll see scores of new names on the fourth-annual MSPmentor 250 when it debuts the week of August 1, 2011.