May 18, 2022
Bridgepointe Technologies‘ newly appointed chief strategy officer will drive organic growth for the company as it capitalizes on its investment from Charlesbank Capital Partners.
Scott Kinka, who worked with channel partners for a decade and a half in his job at Evolve IP, has joined Bridgepointe. He will oversee several areas of internal expansion including “product and technology training, partner systems and tools, marketing and lead generation, cross penetration of value-added services.” He’ll be tapping into the $100-plus million Charlesbank investment that Bridgepointe announced in January.
Bridgepointe’s Scott Kinka
“We don’t just want to put capital to work in M&A,” Kinka said. “We’re putting capital to work in the business strategically and organically. And that’s really where my focus is: organic growth.”
Kinka helped found Evolve IP in 2007. He served for a number of years as chief technology officer and later as chief strategy and innovation officer. The job brought him into contact with Bridgepointe employees and partners. He also got to know Carol Beering, formerly of Intelisys, who recently joined Bridgepointe.
Kinka’s tenure with Evolve IP gave him experience in the private equity world. Great Hill Partners made a majority investment in the cloud services company in 2016. Kinka said has vendor acquired 10 companies following that investment and doubled in size.
Kinka retired in February and remains a strategic adviser for the company. In the meantime, he watched with interest as firms like Bridgepointe received the attention of outside investment.
“After spending nearly two decades educating and selling through the channel, I’ve always thought that an eventual move to the channel side could be interesting,” Kinka told Channel Futures.
A Unique Strategy
Kinka said Bridgepointe’s business model attracted him to the company. He described it as a hybrid model. On one hand, Bridgepointe transacts as a technology solutions brokerage (TSB), leveraging direct supplier contracts and enabling sales partners, which it calls “IT strategists.”
However, Bridgepointe’s leaders stay away from the term TSB.
“I hesitate to call the others that are in this space competitors, because of the differences in terms of how we operate,” Kinka said.
For example, Bridgepointe conducts relationships with certain TSB partners for certain suppliers. Moreover, its IT strategists typically leverage the Bridgepointe brand – “branded feet on the street,” as Kinka describes it. Thus, Bridgepointe to some extent functions as a direct seller.
“Most of our partners carry a Bridgepointe card,” Kinka said. “I spent more than a decade as the front man in the market for a brand. So I think that and the ability to leverage Bridgepointe’s unique operating model and build thought leadership around our business as an IT consultancy are what were really interesting to me.”
And Kinka said Bridgepointe’s tight-knit relationship with its partners makes an attractive value-proposition.
“Because these are card-carrying, largely exclusive partners, our average revenue per account and cross penetration of products is beyond that of the standard TSB,” he said. “And that’s not a knock on the TSBs who cater to all kinds of partners. Out partners are just very focused on mid-market and enterprise business consultancy.”
He said the business model makes an attractive landing point for enterprise technology sales reps who are looking to make a career change. Certain salespeople don’t want to return to the office or have grown as much as they can at their vendor employer, Kinka said. Bridgepointe could emerge as an solid alternative, he said.
Bridgepointe’s Scott Evars
“We want to be the home for the individual contributor who’s looking to make that career change. And we’re uniquely positioned to make that easy. We have a unique lifecycle finance offering for new partners from startup bridge loans through investment and ultimately Partner (with a capital P) status with the firm.”
Kinka said Bridgepointe recently surveyed its IT strategists about what they need to grow. He said they overwhelming viewed automated marketing resources and systems as their top priority.
“We’re expecting to release a new portal towards the end of the quarter that will have a whole bunch of new capabilities in it, but our big push is going to be around giving the partner what they’ve told us they want the most, which is air cover in the form of content and systems that will help them market and identify opportunities,” he said.
Kinka said he will focus heavily on promoting the company’s brand. For example, he will function as Bridgepointe’s evangelist at industry events and online.
“For us, marketing doesn’t mean advertising,” he said. “It means acting like the consultancy that we are by providing unbiased technology content to help drive technology decisions.”
Bridgepointe co-founder Scott Evars praised Kinka’s abilities.
“Scott brings a wide range of skills and talent to Bridgepointe that is critical to ensuring our success as we rapidly grow. He’s a strong cultural fit and a natural leader who will play a key strategic role in helping us to triple in size,” Evars said.
Last month Bridgepointe announced the appointment of Carol Beering as vice president of integration. The role gives her responsibility for ensuring that partners Bridgepointe acquires experience a seamless transition. Bridgepointe has already used the Charlesbank funding to acquire multiple agencies and hand partners equity status.
Kinka will also play a role in integrating those companies.
“It’s one thing to grow your business in a grassroots way. But it’s another thing to grow your business at scale with external investment. It’s easy to buy companies, but not so easy to integrate them, make stakeholders happy and help them to grow organically,” Kinka said.
Kinka joins a list of high-profile executives from the vendor side who have moved to a private equity backed TSB or agency recently. Curt Allen and Eric Brooker recently joined Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Solutions, and Upstack has made several notable hires.
When asked if competition is shaping up between any of these private equity-backed players, Kinka pointed to the rising tide of the channel. He said he’s cheering for entire industry to succeed.
“We’re not competing against each other. We’re competing against the 75% of decisions that are still made outside of this channel,” he said.
Read more about:Agents
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like
Insight-SADA Deal Makes Tony Safoian Richest Man in the ChannelDec 04, 2023
AWS re:Invent Partner, Vendor News: Cisco, Salesforce, MoreDec 01, 2023
People on the Move: Comcast, Cisco, NICE, TPx, Barracuda, MoreNov 29, 2023
AWS re:Invent 2023 Partner News: Marketplace, Salesforce, Certs, MoreNov 29, 2023