Exclusive Group Further Advances Global VAD Reach with Acquisition of SecureWave in Israel

An Exclusive presence in ‘Silicon Wadi’ and new access to another key EMEA market add to the global advantages of acquiring one of Israel’s leading independent cybersecurity VADs

PARIS, FRANCE & TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – February 19th 2019 –

Exclusive Group, the value-added services and technologies (VAST) group, today announced it is acquiring SecureWave, one of Israels leading independent cybersecurity VADs. The move adds another advanced economy to the worldwide market penetration of the Exclusive Group, establishes an in-country presence within one of the worlds most significant innovation hubs, and expands the Groups service reach to the benefit of its global customers and partners.

This acquisition is about more than just filling in the gaps of our EMEA footprint it represents a fantastic opportunity to tap into a significant new local market and use our in-country presence to extend relationships with Israeli-based technology innovators,said Olivier Breittmayer, CEO at Exclusive Group. In SecureWave we feel we have identified a like-minded VAD business with a committed and successful team who understand value. And as well as similar business principles, we also share some of the same cybersecurity and cloud transformation vendors in our portfolio, enabling our partners to gain immediate benefits from this acquisition.

Tel Aviv-based SecureWave is situated in the area known as Silicon Wadi’ – home to a high concentration of some of the most influential technology businesses in the world. Its major vendors include Fortinet, Nutanix and Infoblox all of which are strategic to Exclusives cyber and cloud transformation portfolios and it trades with around 250 reseller, systems integrator and service provider partners. SecureWaves current CEO Moran Gerassi who becomes Country Manager for Exclusive Networks Israel and other key management will remain in their roles to ensure continuity and execute on an accelerated growth plan for the business.

“On behalf of SecureWave’s staff and partner community, we are delighted to join Exclusive Group on its journey as the world’s biggest global specialist VAD in cyber and cloud,” said Moran Gerassi, CEO at SecureWave. “I look forward to working closely with Exclusive teams and partners around the world as we combine efforts to address new global and local opportunities and pursue our next phase of growth together.”

Exclusive Group Acquires Canadian VAD To Expand Presence Across North America

Laurent Daudré-Vignier takes helm as SVP North America as acquisition of Vancouver-based Fine Tec Canada increases global footprint and complements existing US operations.

PARIS, FRANCE & VANCOUVER, CANADA – February 7th 2019 – Exclusive Group, the value-added services and technologies (VAST) group, today announced the acquisition of leading Canadian cybersecurity VAD, Fine Tec Canada, to complement its existing US presence and expand global coverage to the whole of North America. The deal coincides with the appointment of Exclusive Group veteran Laurent Daudré-Vignier as SVP North America to oversee and grow operations across the region. Together this enables vendor, GSI and reseller partners with a complete solution for North American value-added distribution services, and boosts the company’s aggressive global growth trajectory.

“Our success in North America to date has been critical to executing our global strategy, and our intention has always been to build on our US presence with the addition of a leading specialist VAD in the Canadian market,” said Olivier Breittmayer, CEO at Exclusive Group. “We are focused on growing our regional presence, and will benefit from Laurent’s outstanding leadership experience in this area. Fine Tec Canada has a strong local reputation for cybersecurity value-added distribution, with a committed and like-minded group of individuals who will be right at home among our team.” 

Headquartered in Vancouver, one of Canada’s primary technology centres, Fine Tec Canada operates throughout the country’s vast interior working closely with over 100 reseller partners. Its main vendor partners include Fortinet – a core strategic partner for Exclusive Group. As part of the acquisition, key management including current CEO Jeff Wu – who becomes Country Manager for Exclusive Networks Canada, reporting to Laurent Daudré-Vignier – will remain in their roles to ensure continuity and execute on an accelerated growth plan for the business. 

“Exclusive stands apart by demonstrating unique value both within local markets and on a global scale, and I am delighted to head up our enlarged North American operations as we target continued growth across this region,” said Laurent Daudré-Vignier, SVP North America at Exclusive Group. “I look forward to working with the Fine Tec Canada team and bringing them into the Exclusive family. As the 10th largest economy in the world, Canada represents a huge market opportunity for our partner base and we are confident in the success we can achieve over the coming years.”

“This is fantastic news for the Fine Tec Canada team and partner ecosystem, and demonstrates the global attractiveness of our unique VAD proposition,” said Jeff Wu, Founder and CEO at Fine Tec Canada. “In particular, our growing community of reseller partners stands to enjoy significant opportunities arising from access to the wider Exclusive Networks vendor portfolio and comprehensive range of value-based services. We also believe there is huge scope to leverage the worldwide capabilities of the Exclusive Group to win more major international projects.”

The acquisition of Fine Tec Canada comes 18 months after Exclusive Group’s acquisition of its US-based VAD namesake, Fine Tec – a separately owned and staffed organisation, but with similar business models, operating principles and vendor portfolios. 

 

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.