She most recently served as the ScanSource-owned tech service distributor's vice president of partner experience and enablement.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

January 11, 2024

4 Min Read
E78 Partners
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Customer experience (CX) expert and channel sales leader Kristy Thomas is taking her skills to the partner side.

Professional services firm E78 Partners has hired Thomas as vice president of enterprise solutions. Oak Brook, Illinois-based E78 has used funding from private equity firm Further Global Management to buy multiple technology advisor agencies and create a technology division. Thomas will work in the technology solutions business unit at E78 and assist customers in platform transformation and enablement.

Thomas joins E78 after working at Intelisys. She most recently served as the ScanSource-owned tech service distributor's vice president of partner experience and enablement. She left the company last week.

The appointment marks a first foray into a partner organization for Thomas after predominantly working at vendors and TSDs. She led cloud communications at Masergy, contact center at Vonage and western sales at Talkdesk before developing Intelisys' CX program.

She worked for a brief time at Switch, which possessed a small agency business, but she said this is her first time working at a company with a core partner model.

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"I'm so excited about it. It's a great progression, going from the supplier side of technology solutions for the majority of my career –both operations and sales – then to Intelisys where I built education and enablement programs for emerging technologies, and now taking everything that I've experienced over the years and applying it into this more strategic role," Thomas told Channel Futures.

What Is E78 Partners?

E78 initially focused on financial advisory services, but it has expanded to offer business transformation and technology solutions divisions. The company added those practices to provide more wide-ranging services to chief finance officers (CFOs) and chief information officers (CIOs).

Thomas said the focus on the C-suite drew her to E78 Partners. She said she trained Intelisys sales partners on how to engage with the top executives at their customers.

"What I've always focused on is aligning with the C-suite on any type of major enterprise technology transformation project. That's really one of the core differentiators. They're deep and wide with the C-suite," Thomas told Channel Futures. "If you look at the historical relationships channel partners have, it maybe goes up to the CIO. This is CEO, CFO, CTO and CIO. That entire C-suite buying committee are stakeholders."

Thomas talked about buying committees and technology value creation in a recent interview with Channel Futures.

Familiar Faces

Thomas has for more than a decade known former Profit Enhancement Systems executives John Cataldo, John Buccola and Scott Marrone, who sold their business to E78 in 2022. Cataldo and Marrone now serve as executive managing director and managing director, respectively, and Buccola serves as its chief technology officer.

Profit Enhancement Systems sold solutions from Masergy when Thomas worked at the provider, winning top UCaaS partner with Masergy. Profit Enhancement Systems also partnered with Intelisys.

“We are delighted to have Kristy join the E78 team," said Cataldo, who leads the technology solutions business unit. "Her deep industry experience and drive to support clients from a FinOps and technology transformation makes her a perfect addition."

E78 also purchased Intelisys platinum partner MacroNet.

Leaving Intelisys

Many leading executives have departed Intelisys in the last year. That includes senior vice president of partner success Michael Sterl, who played a key role in recruiting Thomas to Intelisys in 2021.

Thomas said Intelisys experiencing "an inflection point" gave her an important chance to consider her next step.

"There are a lot of changes happening in the TSD community, and there's been a lot of change terms of the leadership team at Intelisys," Thomas said. "Change is a good time to reflect and think, 'Is this an opportunity for you to start a new chapter in your career?'"

The answer was ultimately yes. Moreover, she said leaving at the beginning of 2024, removed from another fast-paced events season at Intelisys, would minimize disruption.

"It was a really good transition point for me, and I think Intelisys will do great," Thomas said. "There are still great people there. We obviously have these individuals that are left, but it's the people behind everybody else that really make that organization strong. And there's still a lot of good talent there."

Hybrid distributor ScanSource, which owns Intelisys, announced on Monday that Bob Farbak will lead sales at the TSD.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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