Diamond Leaves ePartners, McCarthy Steps in as CEO

Software reselling veteran Howard Diamond has left ePartners Inc. and the company has promoted its former President, Michael McCarthy, to replace Diamond as CEO.

ePartners, a Gold Certified Partner with U.S. headquarters in Irving, Texas, announced the leadership change in late December.

Founded in 1992, ePartners has fueled its growth by acquisition more than most other Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) partners. In fact, Diamond came out of retirement in 2004 to manage ePartners' merger with another big MBS partner, EYT, where he'd previously served as CEO.

Diamond and McCarthy have worked together for years, first at CorpSoft Inc. of Norwood, Mass., then at Level 3 Communications Inc. of Broomfield, Colo., which bought CorpSoft in early 2002. A few months after that acquisition, Level 3 snapped up Software Spectrum Inc., another big large account reseller, merging its operations with CorpSoft's. Diamond and McCarthy both held top positions in the newly combined company, then based in Dallas (following a later sale, Software Spectrum is now known as Insight Enterprises Inc. and is headquartered in Tempe, Ariz.).

Diamond had been chairman and CEO of ePartners since August 2005; McCarthy joined ePartners as a general manager in mid-2006 and was named president in May 2007.

Diamond, who couldn't be reached for comment about his departure, has long been a major voice in the industry. He often said that value-added resellers need to play up their own domain expertise to prove their worth to customers rather than continually touting the vendor wares they represent. The real profit lies in customization, service and support more than in the underlying software components, he said. That contention may prove even more powerful in an age of Web-enabled software distribution, or Software as a Service.

He also advised partners to develop regional, as well as national, contacts at Microsoft. "What really ends up paying off for a company like ours are the relationships our local regions are able to develop with Microsoft's local regions," Diamond told RCP two years ago (see "Formula for Rapid Growth," April 2006). "The real go-to-market activity happens there."

About the Author

Barbara Darrow is Industry Editor for Redmond Developer News, Redmond magazine and Redmond Channel Partner. She has covered technology and business issues for 20 years.