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July 30, 2020
PlanetOne signaled its growth ambitions with its latest hire. The master agency on Thursday said Chris Werpy is its new chief operating officer. He will work with CEO Ted Schuman and the rest of the executive team to create a strategic vision for the next three years.
PlanetOne’s Chris Werpy
Werpy worked the previous 13 years at Masergy, most recently as senior vice president of solutions and services. He has spent the majority of his career in sales engineering and is very familiar with the channel. He worked his first deal with PlanetOne in 2012.
“I’ve been associated with the company and actively working prospects, partners and opportunities with them for the better part of eight years,” Werpy told Channel Partners. “There is a known quantity there, but it’s always been a company that I’ve been attracted to from a culture perspective.”
PlanetOne founder and CEO Ted Schuman said his company is growing its C-suite. Meantime, some of its peers are “scaling back operations and moving the goalposts.”
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PlanetOne’s Ted Schuman
“Our numbers are growing and our forecast is full speed ahead. Werpy’s arrival is perfectly timed and a clear signal to our partners and preferred providers just how serious we are about scaling their success, adding more solutions expertise to our bench, and elevating our service excellence,” Schuman said.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Chris Werpy Joins PlanetOne Executive Leadership Team as COO
— PlanetOne (@PlanetOneComm) July 30, 2020
Werpy praised his new employer’s business model. Werpy said PlanetOne has created sustained growth and is looking to scale.
“What you’ve seen in the last few months and what you’ll continue to see for the next few months is investment. The right type of dollars invested back into the business to help support their partners,” Werpy said.
The company in March announced two hires. One was Max Schuman, national alliances manager, who came from Masergy as well. The company signed BullsEye Telecom and Granite Telecommunications during the spring. That all came as PlanetOne and its agents mitigated the massive COVID-19 disruption.
“I think the channel is very well-positioned right now. There’s never been a time in which the channel can be more useful — can be more beneficial,” Werpy said.
Werpy praised partners for helping customers “keep the lights on” when business turned to remote work en masse. Although most businesses had already drafted remote access policies, those policies didn’t envision every single employee signing in from home. Partners helped them solve the problem of reaching max capacity.
But now Werpy said partners need to look beyond the work-from-home era. The new phase will value the strategic advantages technology can give customers in a “work-from-anywhere” environment.
“The second phase now is, are they productive? Are we still able to collaborate? Do we have the right tools that they’re connecting to? Are we securing the workloads and workflows that are now all over the place? And even at the very basic level, how are we managing identity access and management?” he said.
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“That’s the one people are going to start to harbor on. How do we take this theoretical concept of zero-trust and apply it in such a way that it’s useful?” Werpy said. “There are a lot of technologies out there that are great, but how do you implement them?”
Werpy said the new position lets him go back to his design engineer roots, citing an abundance of resources and creative energy in the company. He said he will look to add to PlanetOne’s momentum.
“I get to see if I can put a little nitrous into the tank,” he said. “This is already a car that’s flying down the highway.”
Read more about:Agents
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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