News & Updates

AppDirect Leaders Renée Bergeron and Emanuel Bertolin named 2024 CRN Channel Chiefs

By Ideas @ AppDirect / February 5, 2024

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AppDirect is excited to announce that two of its senior leaders have been named to the 2024 CRN Channel Chiefs list. Released annually by CRN, the list showcases the top leaders throughout the IT channel ecosystem who work tirelessly to ensure mutual success with their partners and customers.

Renée Bergeron, Chief Operating Officer, and Emanuel Bertolin, Chief Revenue Officer, are thrilled to receive this recognition of their commitment to delivering an industry-leading advisor experience and driving growth and innovation in the channel.

This is the first time two senior AppDirect channel leaders have been recognized as CRN Channel Chiefs in the same year. This prestigious recognition reflects their dedication to fostering strong relationships, driving innovation, and enhancing the advisor experience within the IT channel ecosystem. This is Renée’s third time being named to the list, after being included in 2023 and 2022.

Renée and Bert’s insights on channel-shaping trends

Emanuel and Renée’s unique and complementary go to market and operational approaches were instrumental in being named this year. We sat down with them to discuss their personal channel philosophy, the major channel-related accomplishments they’re most proud of over the past year, and their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities facing advisors in 2024.

Relationships are the key to success for advisors and their partners

When asked about their channel philosophy, both Renée and Emanuel believe that relationships are vital to enabling advisors to thrive.

As Renée explained, “my mission as the AppDirect COO is to create the ideal relationship-based dynamic, where the marketplace isn’t an end unto itself, but a means of creating winning relationships between our providers, advisors, and their end customers. Advisors play a key role in driving technology for their customers and we stand by them, helping them pick the right technology to solve their customers’ business problems.”

Emanuel added, “The channel thrives on relationships, whether they’re vendors, distributors or partners, peers, or competitors. So building those relationships is how channels will be effective. I believe that for advisors, technology can give them a competitive advantage, but the relationships they build are their core strength—and that’s where we can support them, with a strong mix of technology and a lot of nurturing around our relationships.”

“AppDirect constantly ups the ante to enhance our advisor community.” —Emanuel Bertolin

AppDirect’s focus on advisor success—A winning strategy

Being named to the CRN Channel Chief list is based on Renée’s and Emanuel’s individual achievements and those of AppDirect.

Emanuel pointed to the strategic acquisitions of TBI and AdCom as ground-breaking achievements. “This is allowing advisors to broaden their engineering bench strength and capitalize on the growing managed services market through our robust Network Operations Center (NOC) and VEEUE Monitoring Platform." 

He emphasized the company's commitment to innovation and an advisor-focused growth strategy: "AppDirect constantly ups the ante to enhance our advisor community.”

For Renée, 2023 was all about enabling advisors. “One of our biggest areas of focus was the advisor experience—making sure we provide all of the tools our advisors need if they want to self-serve, and supplementing all these tools with the people and the competencies they need if they want to talk to someone who can help them find the right solution. We’ve invested heavily in broadening our catalog so that whatever problem they’re trying to solve, we’ll have the technology and the competencies to support that.”

“Every time we add a solution to our catalog, we think of that entire lifecycle to make sure we can support the advisor and make sure their end support can be successful with the solution.” —Renée Bergeron

Top challenges facing advisors in 2024—Increasing complexity and capital to finance future growth

Renée believes that one of the biggest challenges advisors need to address is the growing complexity of their customers’ technology environment. “That means that when they’re selling a new technology to their end customers, they have to figure out how to customize that solution as well as integrate it with all of the other solutions their customer already has.” She adds: “Those are skill sets we’ve invested in heavily in the past years, so we can work with advisors to deliver the customization and integration their customers need. That’s how advisors will be able to ensure that their end customers are getting value from the technology, and adopting the technology as well.” 

She shared how AppDirect responds to this challenge: “Every time we add a solution to our catalog, we think of that entire lifecycle to make sure we can support the advisor and make sure their end support can be successful with the solution.”

Emanuel points to an entirely different, but vital, area of concern for advisors: getting the capital they need to support their growth. “I think a lot of advisors are struggling with financing their expansion opportunities. Accessing capital is quite difficult for advisors because historically, there hasn’t been a lot of understanding from traditional banking around the value of the revenue streams that advisors have developed. There are no hard assets. With AppDirect Capital, we understand the value of these revenue streams and the residuals that have been developed, and we provide an opportunity for advisors to capitalize on their work". 

"They can use upfront cash to grow their business by expanding into new markets, hiring additional sales resources, which are really difficult to finance when you have a residual-based business," he added. "So AppDirect Capital provides a really strong solution to the challenge of capital for growth.”

Renée and Emanuel’s recommendations for advisors in 2024

With their combined 40+ years of experience working in the channel, we asked Bert and Renée to provide their insights into where advisors should invest their efforts in 2024.

Emanuel pointed to sweeping changes in buying behaviors as something advisors need to pay attention to. “If advisors really want to increase their ROI it’s important that they think about the changes that are happening in the buyer experience,” he said. “It’s clear that buying behavior has shifted to a digital experience, so if you want to be effective and relevant as an advisor, you have to start thinking about how you provide a digital experience and still leverage those relationships that you’ve developed with the end customer to preserve a strong ROI going forward.”

Renee’s top recommendation is for advisors to seize the opportunity to cross-sell in response to their end customers’ preferences. “Advisors’ customers want to deal with fewer and fewer partners who can bring them end-to-end solutions,” she explained. “This presents a wonderful opportunity for our advisors to expand beyond the set of solutions that they’ve sold historically and adopt a wider breadth of solutions. In doing so, they’ll increase the wallet share of their end customers and contribute to increased loyalty, making them indispensable to their customers.” 

She added, “There’s no better place to cross-sell than with AppDirect, with our broad catalog bringing all of the connectivity solutions, wireless, software, IaaS, and energy.”

The 2024 CRN Channel Chiefs list will be featured in the February 2024 issue of CRN® Magazine and online at

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