Corporate Technologies Group Inc.

Securing a 6-figure deal with AppDirect


  • Navigating the shifting channel landscape, aiming to introduce cloud to customers

  • Decoding cloud complexity, including complex licensing from providers

  • Balancing multiple priorities, limited time to build Microsoft expertise

AppDirect Resource

AppDirect Envision Session


Microsoft Hosted Public Cloud


  • Engaged AppDirect specialists to introduce cloud solutions to long-time customer

  • Introduced Azure Virtual Desktop, IaaS, alongside exploring additional licenses

  • Unlocked opportunities for MRR, a potential annual revenue of $13,000 or $156K annually

Since its 1999 inception, Brett Harney has propelled Corporate Technologies Group Inc to success through his visionary leadership. From its beginnings in selling telecom services, CTG has evolved along with the channel industry. The company has made a strategic shift towards cloud solutions, to cement its position as a leader in the channel. Harney's commitment to superior customer service remains a cornerstone of the company’s approach.

Filling technology gaps, driving customer value and deal growth

Harney talks about the pivotal role of the AppDirect catalog in diversifying their practice and streamlining the sales process. It enables his team to fill crucial gaps in customers’ technology stacks. Harney highlights a recent conversation with a CIO.

“Our team was going through the AppDirect technology wheel with the customer and could easily offer help in the areas they needed most. Right off the bat we were able to identify solutions for 80 percent of his technology needs, in that one phone call. Our conversations today are much more different than they were five, even three, years ago.”

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"Brett is someone I can be open and talk to because I know he’ll protect my best interest and always lead us in the right direction. If there's something that I can't vocalize that I need, he's willing to step in. Both parties—Brett and AppDirect—have gone above and beyond to help.”

Josh Kramer, System Administrator, Royal Chemical

Breaking new ground: CTG’s success with Microsoft

Most recently, a long-standing chemical manufacturing customer approached them for guidance in transitioning from private to public hosted cloud. Harney points out the AppDirect approach to support CTG in building its Microsoft practice is innovative.

“There are many partner options but it was only the AppDirect team who said, ‘We’re going to really embrace the Microsoft part of the solution and help you and your customer understand the value of the public cloud,’” Harney explains.

Harney and Brandon Fogliano, CTG’s Director of Technology, engaged AppDirect in this opportunity early. The team scheduled a workshop, or Envision Session, with the customer led by an AppDirect Cloud Solutions specialist.

AppDirect Envision Sessions

AppDirect interactive customer workshops, or Envision Sessions, bring customers a tailored, cloud-focused session with AppDirect cloud experts. Advisors maintain their role as the trusted technology advisor and primary point of contact, and AppDirect cloud experts manage discovery, engineering support, and meeting coordination. At the end of the customer workshop, your customers receive a proposal and we handle all the details.

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“Most customers—and advisors—don’t have time to understand the countless Microsoft licenses. And that's why we engage AppDirect as a partner. They provide that high-level expertise, and we maintain our role as an objective and trusted advisor. By leaning on AppDirect, we can benefit from their expertise and we don’t have to learn the intricacies of Microsoft deals, and that’s a huge win for us.”

– Brandon Fogliano, Director of Technology, CTG

First hand experience: Royal Chemical talks about Envision

The team arranged a customer workshop with Royal Chemical, a long-time CTG customer Royal Chemical. Josh Kramer, Royal Checmical’s system administrator, explained the necessity of transitioning to a cloud-based solution as the company’s on-prem servers were approaching the end of their lifespan. After hearing the team’s objectives, Harney engaged AppDirect to facilitate the technical conversations.

During the cloud workshop, AppDirect cloud specialists gathered insights about Royal Chemical’s business case, presented a solution framework, and quickly addressed the team’s questions.

“The approach was much more technical than sales oriented,” Kramer says. “I would 100% recommend it and actually already have! It was definitely worth the time. To be honest, it was what sold me on the transition to cloud.”

Since the workshop, the team is transitioning to Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) through Nerdio’s third-party deployment approach. This ensures efficient management and cost optimization of virtual desktops in the Azure environment. Royal Chemical is also considering the transition of Microsoft 365 licenses and storage virtualization, aiming to combine expenses into a consolidated view.

“There’s nothing worse than having to log into seven different portals for four different things. With AppDirect, I don’t have to worry about going into all these different portals to manage my technology stack– it beats everything. I appreciate having everything in one spot; from my invoices to subscription management.”

For Kramer, the customer workshop with AppDirect and CTG was an ideal opportunity to capture technical insights about Microsoft and the cloud.

Kramer explains that having a partner like CTG who has access to cloud experts and AppDirect is invaluable. “I couldn't be happier with the transition that we've done.”

For many advisors, having a partner that provides this level of cloud expertise and a focused approach to selling is paramount. Harney describes this competitive advantage ‘the path of least resistance.’ This is especially true on deals that are outside of an advisor’s comfort zone. Connecting end-customers with accurate information quickly is a non-negotiable for CTG and other advisors aiming to grow their wallet share and expand their cloud practices.

In total, the AppDirect customer workshop unlocked opportunities for increasing MRR by $13,000 or $156,000 annually.

“I can rely on AppDirect as a trusted partner, truly they’ve become an extension of our company.”

– Brett Harney, Chief Executive Officer, CTG

Unrestricted growth: Seizing opportunities without volume requirements

For many technology advisors, AppDirect offers a scalable route for their cloud practice without the need to master every technology or solution, or meet providers’ stringent volume requirements. This flexibility is crucial, particularly when the ultimate goal isn’t to become a Microsoft Partner. “The AppDirect team has effectively erased the volume requirements issue,” said Fogliano. “You can't understand how much that gives us the ability to expand our reach into accounts.”

“Working with AppDirect allows us to target low hanging fruit which we’ve never been able to do. I have been asking for a solid Microsoft partner for years, and every time we think we found one, something goes wrong but with AppDirect the process has been very smooth. It's really let us become a little more well-rounded in what we can sell and what we can call ourselves.”

– Brandon Fogliano, Director of Technology, CTG

A growth partnership like no other

For CTG, partnering with AppDirect means tapping into a wealth of potential. “There's no one else that we're doing this with. AppDirect is growing a business practice that we didn't have and that’s invaluable. AppDirect is truly helping us grow our business.”

For more details about how to engage customers in your next Microsoft success story, visit our website.

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