Exclusive Group and Arcitura Education Team Up for Channel Partners to Profit from Cloud Skills Gap

New ‘Cloud Competency Centre’ leads with Cloud Certified Professional (CCP) programme in 30+ territories worldwide

PARIS, FRANCE – November 14th 2018 – Exclusive Group, the value-added services and technologies (VAST) group, today announced an agreement to become the only global provider of Arcitura Educations renowned, vendor-neutral Cloud Certified Professional (CCP) accreditation programme. The move underlines the unique value of Exclusive Group’s ‘Cloud Competency Centreand will enable thousands more channel partners to develop the skills necessary to meet evolving customer challenges around cloud transformation and convert significant additional revenues.

Channel partners cant afford to lose their market edge through a lack of cloud competency they need new skills to complement their experience and technology knowledge so that customers carry on seeing them as relevant to their future,said Andre Dieball, Global Director, Services at Exclusive Group. 70-80% of enterprises are experiencing cloud skills crises that risk crucial transformation projects going over time and over budget. These projects, collectively worth billions of dollars every year, need independent, vendor-neutral cloud skills that do not favour one cloud platform or vendor over another. The ability to become a trusted advisor in cloud matters is a fantastic opportunity for partners, which we believe the Cloud Certified Professional (CCP) programme is uniquely placed to enable.

Courses and examinations for the programme, composed of eight certified specialisms in fundamental and advanced cloud expertise, including Cloud Technology ProfessionalCloud Architect and Certified Cloud Security Specialist, are available from Exclusive Groups Cloud Competency Centre, part the Passport Global Services division. Courses are delivered globally either in-class or online across more than 30 territories worldwide. As well as benefiting from the value of developing cloud-related skills that are in-demand and for which there is a shortage, partners are invited to create an extra revenue stream by reselling the courses and exams to their own customers. 

“It is more important than ever to establish a clear, unambiguous and vendor-neutral understanding of cloud computing across organisations, project teams and professionals. Such knowledge puts everyone on the same page, thereby reducing risk and significantly increasing revenue potential. Through its Passport Global Services arm, Exclusive has established superior training and exam delivery capabilities that provide an optimal platform to empower professionals with proven, industry-level cloud computing skills and accreditations,” said renowned business and technology author and CEO of Arcitura Education, Thomas Erl.  “Our message is, don’t get left behind – buy into the Cloud Competency Centre now and take the opportunity, for yourselves and your customers, to acquire industry-recognised cloud computing skills and accreditations.”

Exclusive Group Transitions Leadership Team for Next Stage of Growth

Channel veteran Andy Travers joins as new SVP Worldwide Sales and Marketing to execute on growth strategy while COO Barrie Desmond announces his departure at end of year

PARIS, FRANCE – October 4, 2018 – Exclusive Group, the global value-added services and technologies (VAST) group, today announced Andy Travers as its new SVP Worldwide Sales and Marketing. The ex-Fortinet and RSA executive will be responsible for leading the next phase of Exclusive’s growth strategy to build the world’s biggest specialist VAD in cybersecurity and cloud transformation with targeted revenues of $10bn over the next 5 years.

The appointment coincides with the news that Exclusive Group’s current COO, Barrie Desmond, has decided to step down at the end of 2018 to pursue other interests. Affectionately dubbed ‘Disruptive Desmond’, he has played a key role in developing Exclusive’s go-to-market proposition, market positioning and sales growth over the last 7 years.

Andy Travers is a 25-year veteran of IT channel sales excellence, achieving success at reseller, VAD and global vendor organisations. As SVP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Travers will be responsible for steering Exclusive to unprecedented revenues, heading up strategic alliances with major vendors, developing key relationships with GSIs and taking executive control of global services. His previous roles include SVP and VP Sales positions on both sides of the Atlantic for Fortinet, as well as VP EMEA stints at F5 Networks and, most recently, RSA Security. 

Commenting on the changes Olivier Breittmayer, Exclusive Group’s CEO said, “Following our recent investment from Permira funds we set ourselves high expectations for executing against our new growth strategy. Andy has the skills and experience necessary to contribute to us achieving our goals and understands our unique culture and values having been in the orbit of Exclusive working with our vendors and channel partners for many years. We are delighted to have him onboard.

“Barrie’s decision to stand down at the end of the year is totally respected by myself and the board.  We’ve worked well together these past 7 years, architecting and driving the growth of this business and telling the story only we can tell.  It’s been a great journey together and we wish him all the best for the future.”

Commenting on his appointment Andy Travers said, “Exclusive has earned a worldwide reputation for doing what no other VAD has been able to do – delivering genuine value-add at scale. I’m joining at a pivotal time for the business as we commit to exploiting the global opportunities around cybersecurity and cloud transformation to reach another step-change in growth. The investors and management team have developed a winning strategy and now it’s all about the execution. I’m delighted to be joining and really looking forward to helping achieve the next phase of growth.”

Desmond and Travers will work closely together over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition.

Commenting on his decision to leave Exclusive at the end of the year, COO Barrie Desmond said, “My work here is done. We’ve had an incredible journey and built a VAD that continues to disrupt, grow sales at an extraordinary rate and expand its footprint at an astonishing tempo. Along the way we’ve reinvented Distribution and redefined value. But now it’s time for the next generation of disruptors to take on the challenge of growing the world’s largest specialist VAD.”

Exclusive Group Extends BigTec Cloud Transformation Portfolio with Global Elastifile Partnership

New vendor sign-up stretches the boundaries of digital transformation to bring new channel sales opportunities in hybrid cloud

PARIS, FRANCE – August 22nd2018– Exclusive Group, the value-added services and technologies (VAST) group, today announced Elastifile as the latest addition to its global BigTec cloud transformation portfolio. Elastifile’s enterprise-grade, scalable cloud file storage solution delivers on the promise of hybrid IT agility, moving customers beyond the restrictions of static, proprietary storage silos to enable dynamic cloud workflows with minimal deployment and management overhead.

“Cloud infrastructure transformation is, alongside cybersecurity, perhaps the greatest commercial opportunity for channel partners to lead customers toward a positive digital future, which is why Elastifile’s innovation aligns so well with our global BigTec vision,” said Martin Bichler, Group Vendor Manager at BigTec. “The global enterprise IT shift to ‘everything-as-a-service’ is accelerating the obsolescence of traditional data infrastructure, so end customers want their transition to new technology to be frictionless with clear ROI. Elastifile fits into our broad set of compelling BigTec solution offerings around enterprise hybrid cloud that are addressing significant demand across the channel ecosystem.”

The new global distribution contract significantly extends the market reach of Elastifile and follows the vendor’s initial BigTec EMEA agreement struck last year. The partnership will ramp-up partner recruitment internationally and accelerate market demand through a targeted go-to-market strategy and extensive package of technical support and services, including an ‘appliancized’, hyperconverged scale-out solution.

“With Exclusive Group’s evolution as the go-to global specialist VAD for cyber and cloud transformation, we feel we have found the ideal partner to support our channel growth objectives with service providers and VARs worldwide. The BigTec brand, backed by Exclusive’s global market reach and unparalleled specialist cloud competency, adds significant value and gives us a great market advantage.” said Bamiyan Gobets, VP International Sales at Elastifile. “There is tremendous opportunity for our resellers wherever customers want to cloud-burst peak demand, migrate workloads, or create true hybrid workflows that span architectures – be it supporting containers, VMs, on-premises infrastructure, or public cloud.”

Elastifile’s technology has attracted worldwide attention, earning the company ‘2017 Cool Vendor’ status from Gartner. Its unique cross-cloud data fabric enables infrastructure modernisation and truly dynamic cloud-integrated workflows via a breakthrough software-defined cloud file system with integrated data management and data mobility features. BigTec is equipping partners to position Elastifile’s solution to their customers, with full technical support and flexible financing options where necessary.

Exclusive Group Enters Irish VAD Market with NextGen Acquisition

Opens new territory in latest step to create the largest global specialist VAD in cyber and cloud transformation

PARIS, FRANCE & DUBLIN, IRELAND – July 10th2018– Exclusive Group, the value-added services and technologies (VAST) group, extended its global footprint into the Republic of Ireland with the acquisition of enterprise cyber VAD, The NextGen Group. Being situated on the doorstep of many of the world’s leading technology companies, in the data centre capital of the world, the acquisition of NextGen supports Exclusive Group’s plan to create the world’s largest global specialist VAD in cyber and cloud transformation.

“NextGen is an excellent business with a strong services capability and 10-year track record of success that fits perfectly with our ambition to fill the value and skills gaps in cybersecurity and cloud on a global basis,” said Olivier Breittmayer, CEO of Exclusive Group. “As well as being a good fit culturally, we also believe it to be a strong strategic move in terms of our journey to creating the world’s biggest global specialist VAD. Ireland is an important tech centre for large global enterprises and integration partners, and we look forward to working with Gerry Sheldrick and his team to build on their success as we continue to accelerate growth throughout the EMEA region and beyond.”

Formed in 2009 with offices in Dublin and Wexford, The NextGen Group is a value-added distributor in industry-leading network, security and digital solutions, with significant services and training capabilities. Several of its key vendor partners, including Palo Alto Networks and Proofpoint match the strategic global portfolio of Exclusive Networks, enabling significant synergies between the two companies and its reseller channels. As part of the acquisition, the existing NextGen management team will remain invested in key leadership roles in the new Exclusive Networks Ireland business as it targets accelerated growth in the Irish Market with an extended vendor portfolio.

“Exclusive Group’s global reach and resources open up many new opportunities for NextGen’s reseller partners and secures the future for our value-oriented commitment to the channel,” said Gerry Sheldrick, NextGen Group’s Country Manager. “This is a very positive move for everyone associated with the NextGen Group especially our loyal partners and end customers. Our two companies share a common outlook on the evolution of channel opportunities with best of breed technologies, and it’s very exciting to play a key role in the next chapter of the Exclusive story in Ireland.”

The transaction closed on the 3rd July. Advisors on the transaction included: Mazars, Goodwin, Mason Hayes & Curran and Peter Redmond.

Exclusive Group ‘Goes it alone’ to Build Global $10 billion Cyber-Sec & Cloud Specialist

Group marks new ‘Independence Day’ by completing investment transaction with Permira, maintaining its undiluted business approach and aggressive growth trajectory

PARIS, FRANCE – July 4th, 2018– Exclusive Group, the value-added services and technologies (VAST) group, today renewed its declaration of independence by completing a major investment transaction with funds advised by private investment firm, Permira. Rather than dilute its distinctive, value-oriented approach by consolidating with other major VAD players, this catalyst will enable Exclusive Group to extend its vision and create the world’s largest global specialist VAD in cyber and cloud transformation, with a target to reach $10bn annual revenue in the years ahead.

Olivier Breittmayer, CEO at Exclusive Group, said: “Cybersecurity and cloud are the leading business priorities in this age of digital transformation, both as separate disciplines but – even more so – joined together as a co-dependent whole.  Both sectors are becoming increasingly complex, and both suffer from a huge lack of skills & knowledge.  The Industry needs a VAD that can fill this gap and we aim to do that.  We believe we have the right and relevant focus; vendors, services and skill sets to build a compelling offer for channel partners and vendors to realise significant profitable growth.”

By pursuing a specialist focus in cyber and cloud, Exclusive Group is addressing the widening global shortage in skills and knowledge among channel partners and end-user organisations to enable the desired pace and success of digital transformation. “We have some of the best people in the world and by far the highest ratio of engineers of any distributor in our class,” added Breittmayer. “We also have the greatest track record of ensuring local, regional and global market success for disruptive technologies. Our strategy will see us continue to build out the strongest possible vendor portfolio in our ‘cyber super centres’ and ‘cloud competency centres’ – across all relevant segments – and expand our service offerings and global footprint to meet the demands of any project.”

Michail Zekkos, Partner in the technology team at Permira commented; “Exclusive Group’s unrivalled focus and commitment to cyber and cloud is very exciting and we are delighted to partner with the company. We believe that enterprise cloud and cybersecurity will continue to rapidly converge, creating a tremendous market opportunity for the company to enable that transition while positioning its channel partners at its forefront. Preserving the entrepreneurial spirit and independence of the business while continuing to innovate with speed and at scale will be key to executing on its next phase of growth.”

Exclusive Group Creates Northern Europe Powerhouse

Combines Nordics and Benelux sales regions to align global operations with key vendors and reseller partners, and support further organic growth locally

PARIS, FRANCE – June 4th, 2018 – Exclusive Group, the value-added services and technologies (VAST) group, is combining the operations of two of its most successful sales regions to create a new, dynamic and powerful presence across Northern Europe. The new region, which comprises the whole of the Nordics (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) and Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg), currently nets total annual revenues of around 350m€ and will be headed up by Kris Van Den Bergh.

“This move creates a northern European powerhouse that mirrors the operational organisation of our key partners and delivers the necessary critical mass to sustain further growth,” said Julien Antoine, VP of EMEA at Exclusive Group. “It also reflects the significant strategic importance of these territories to the Exclusive global business. We expect increased operational efficiencies and expanded services coverage to be realised immediately, while vendor and reseller partners are also set to benefit through enhanced penetration into northern European markets.”

Leading the new region is Kris Van Den Bergh, promoted from his previous role as Regional Director for Benelux. Ben Aelbrecht becomes General Manager for Belgium from his previous position as Sales Director. Assisting the transition will be Fredrik Armandt, who is departing the company later this year after nearly a decade leading the Nordics business to unprecedented success.

“We are very grateful to Fredrik who has built a tremendous platform in the Nordics, and leaves an outstanding team who are capable of fully exploiting its potential and achieving our high organic growth ambitions,” commented Van Den Bergh. “And in Benelux, strategic acquisitions have consolidated our strong market position as we reap the benefits of leadership across cyber and cloud transformation categories. I see great opportunities across the extended region, on both a global and local level, as our services, portfolio and geo-reach continue to expand.”

Exclusive Group Strengthens Global Operations

New VP Global Operations, Philippe Carlier, hired to optimise and transform service delivery as global projects and geo-reach continue to expand

PARIS, FRANCE – May 1st 2018 – Exclusive Group, the value-added services and technologies (VAST) group, is converting opportunities to optimise worldwide logistics for the largest GSIs and service providers with the appointment of international supply chain specialist Philippe Carlier as its VP Global Operations. Philippe has joined to build the future operational strategy and platform for the Exclusive Group business. He heads up a dedicated global team focused on driving new efficiencies and improvements across the delivery of innovative value-added services and ‘classic’ distribution.

“This strategic appointment is integral to the digitalisation of our business model as we seek to address new opportunities with the world’s leading IT partners and sustain our innovative edge in global markets,” said Olivier Breittmayer, CEO of Exclusive Group. “Philippe’s track record and vision made him the outstanding candidate. His challenge now is to address the growing market appetite for our global projects competencies, the increasing popularity of our vendor and service portfolio, and the expansion of our geographic reach – all within a highly efficient and optimised model.”

Philippe Carlier has over 25 years’ leadership experience in IT distribution operations, with a track record of transformational success in EMEA, North America and global theatres. He joins from Westcon-Comstor where he was Director of Global Supply Chain Services. Prior to this, he worked in senior-level strategic roles on both sides of the Atlantic for Ingram Micro and US Robotics.

“This is a great opportunity to contribute to a global success story, utilising my expertise in strategic supply chain management to influence further growth and boost bottom-line profitability,” said Philippe Carlier, VP Global Operations & Transformation at Exclusive Group. “I am looking forward to an exciting journey as we embrace the next phase of growth alongside our partners and major customers.”

Exclusive Group Secures Major New Investment to Fuel Growth Strategy

Deal is biggest investment ever in cyber/cloud value-added distribution; further growth planned as management team prepares to extend services, portfolio and global footprint.

PARIS, FRANCE – April 13th, 2018 – Exclusive Group, the value-added services and technologies (VAST) group, today announced significant new investment from funds advised by global private equity firm Permira to take a majority stake in the business. The transaction secures substantial funding and resources to fuel the next stage in Exclusive Group’s development and hyper-growth, with the existing management team, led by CEO Olivier Breittmayer, further focused on expanding service offerings, vendor portfolio and presence, operations and global footprint.

“This investment both validates and enables our trajectory to become the global specialist VAD for cybersecurity and cloud migration, extending our value-based service offerings and strengthening our global reach,” said Olivier Breittmayer, CEO of Exclusive Group. “We are delighted to welcome on board Permira and their renowned technology team, whose resources will be invaluable in the next chapter of the Exclusive story. This partnership preserves and builds upon the unique business culture and platform that our people have shaped over the last decade, and which holds the key to our continuing success.”

Exclusive Group’s unique positioning and business strategy is centred on a ‘global-local’ value model that exceeds both the scale of local VAD specialists and the general approach of global broad line distributors. This has brought unprecedented success for more than a decade by targeting two core markets (cybersecurity and cloud) with very high growth profiles. The resulting strong organic growth and astute strategic acquisitions have seen a doubling of revenues every two years, culminating in total sales for 2017 of 1.75bn€ (up 38% from 1.27bn€ in 2016).

Michail Zekkos, Partner in the technology team at Permira said: “The escalating threat landscape and the increasing complexity of underlying infrastructures continues to position cybersecurity as one of the fastest growing and resilient segments of global IT spend. In a market that is characterised by structurally high product velocity, we believe that the role of value-added services and technologies, occupied by Exclusive at the centre of the demand generation channel, will become ever more critical in years ahead. We have been following the success of Exclusive for many years and look forward to support them as they consolidate their unique position in the market.”

The transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in the next few months.

Advisors on the transaction included:Morgan Stanley, Natixis Partners, White & Case, PWC, Fidal KPMG and Goodwin Procter.

Exclusive Group Grows Annual Revenues by 500m€ – Doubling Revenues Every Two Years

Global specialist VAD for cybersecurity and cloud transformation beats 2017 target with 1.75bn€ revenues thanks to strong organic growth and bedding-in of acquisitions

PARIS, FRANCE – March 6th 2018 – Exclusive Group, the value-added services and technologies (VAST) group, has today announced its best financial results to date; firmly establishing it as one of the largest cyber and cloud transformation distributors in the world. Having achieved total sales figures for 2017 of 1.75bn€ (up 38% from 1.27bn€ in 2016), the Group is now established as the go-to VAD for cyber and cloud migration on a global scale.

“These results continue our record of doubling revenues every two years, and this has been possible through our unique value-centric model, the strength of our portfolio and our ability to convert and integrate strategic acquisition opportunities,” said Olivier Breittmayer, CEO of Exclusive Group. “Once again we are outperforming the market, with almost 40% year-on-year growth, and have invested significantly in services and scale to underline our position as the global specialist in cloud and cybersecurity transformation.”

Other financial highlights (2017):

  • The results combine strong organic growth (16% YoY) with extra revenues coming from acquisitions made last year in Benelux (January, TechAccess) and the US (July, Fine Tec)
  • BigTec has increased revenues to more than 200m€; addressing the runaway enterprise demand for cloud transformation on a global basis
  • Exclusive Capital and ITEC Exclusive Global Services both continue to grow in line with their geographic expansion, engaging more partners to deliver premium-based services
  • Seven of Exclusive Group’s global regions now have annual revenues in excess of 100m€. Of these, the UK is largest.
  • Worldwide, Exclusive Group is now trading with 10% more reseller partners than in 2016. This reflects the increased importance of relationships with cross-border service providers and SIs.

“Over these last few years we have utterly disrupted the fast-growth, value-adding end of distribution by perfecting our approach to market penetration and acceleration,” added Breittmayer. “Now we seek to evolve our business to expand this success across the market, becoming even more relevant to high-volume transactions that demand optimum scale and fulfilment efficiency.”

Alastair Edwards, Chief Analyst at Canalys, commented: “As the complexity of the IT industry grows, distribution’s role at the centre of the channel becomes more, not less, critical. Yet with many of the largest global players in a state of consolidation, there is an increasing need for a specialist like Exclusive, which can offer scale and geographic reach, combined with a specialised solution portfolio and high levels of expertise, to support both channel partners and vendors. One of the biggest challenges facing the IT sector overall is a shortage of skills, particularly in security, hybrid IT and digital. Exclusive’s impressive growth demonstrates its success in meeting this need, as well as its aggressive acquisition strategy. Now, to achieve its ambitious goals, Exclusive needs to take the next step upwards in its evolution. This will require management focus and resolve, but if successful will elevate Exclusive to become a global force in cyber security and cloud transformation.”

NuMeRu Inspires Channel Surge in Datacentre Transformation at Exclusive Group

Enterprise hybrid cloud made easier than ever thanks to best-of-breed BigTec vendor bundle and associated value-added services

PARIS, FRANCE – January 15th 2018 – Exclusive Group, the value-added services and technologies (VAST) group, today unveiled NuMeRu, a complete datacentre transformation bundle of solutions, services and go-to-market support for BigTec channel partners. NuMeRu is an integrated datacentre stack designed to make it simple to migrate from complex legacy datacentres, creating new opportunities for partners to convert customers to enterprise hybrid cloud with fast ROI and affordable financing. Comprising disruptive, next-generation technologies with premium technical and professional services, a range of financing options and out-of-the-box marketing campaigns, NuMeRu is a turnkey solution that combines market-leading offerings from Nutanix, Mellanox and Rubrik.

“NuMeRu takes its cue from the open standards principles of next-generation vendors who value interoperability over locking customers into proprietary technology, and we have surrounded this with specialised technical, financing and marketing resources to maximise partner success,” said Martin Bichler, BigTec Vendor Manager (EMEA & APAC). “NuMeRu is a fully integrated stack with a single, comprehensive service wrap. It is more than just the sum of its parts too; offering further easy integration with other complementary solutions from the BigTec portfolio to increase deal sizes and customer longevity.”

The constituent parts of NuMeRu are each market-leading solutions in their own right. As a unified whole, they provide the complete foundation for datacentre transformation; a flexible and scalable basis for enterprise hybrid cloud supported.

  • Nutanix (Nu)
    • The world’s most advanced hyperconverged compute, virtualisation and storage platform.
  • Mellanox (Me)
    • Flexible, SDN-based Ethernet cloud networking for blistering datacentre performance.
  • Rubrik (Ru)
    • A unique cloud data management solution for instant backup, recovery, search and analytics.

The service wrap for NuMeRu is delivered by Exclusive Group’s PASSport Global Services division, with tiered support levels and other technical and professional services providing extra revenue and margin opportunities for partners. Flexible financing and leasing plans to help spread purchasing costs and overcome buying constraints are executed by Exclusive Capital.

“We are confident the NuMeRu solution will help satisfy the hi-demand we see for solutions that bring the true Cloud experience to the privacy of the enterprise datacenter, with real freedom of choice concerning platform, hypervisor and hybrid cloud integration,” said Jan Ursi, Senior Director Channel & OEM at Nutanix.

“IT departments are desperately seeking ways to manage their data without the need to patch together inefficient solutions from outdated legacy infrastructure,” said Karl Driesen, Head of Sales, EMEA at Rubrik. “Rubrik’s cloud data management solution allows BigTec partners to offer their customers a way to easily and quickly manage all their data on one platform.”

“Hyperconverged systems and disruptive, next-generation datacentre technologies all need a fast and reliable network,” said Darrin Chen, VP Worldwide Channels at Mellanox. “Our Spectrum switches provide this fundamental, easy and sustainable network to ensure the potential of Nutanix, Rubrik and other vendors in the BigTec portfolio.”

“The adoption of hybrid cloud is a phenomenal opportunity, and NuMeRu ensures that all channel partners now have a compelling proposition for customers that de-risks DC transformation and accelerates their path to greater agility, scale and other benefits,” said Barrie Desmond, COO of Exclusive Group. “NuMeRu also underlines the strategic value of the BigTec vendor portfolio, which is driving extraordinary global growth among our partner community.”