Over the years Visual Edge IT has acquired 34 companies, bringing together independent copier dealers and managed services providers into one of the largest companies of its kind.

With locations from California to Maine, Visual Edge IT continues to be one of the dominant technology providers in the market, helping customers with print management, managed IT services, VOIP phones and more.

In this episode of What’s Happenin’, Visual Edge IT Chairman and CEO Austin Vanchieri discusses:

  • How big are they?
  • How did Visual Edge get to where they are today?
  • What technologies are they focusing on?
  • What are their expansion plans?

Watch the video to learn about all this and more.

Full Transcript Below

SOURCE Industry Analysts Inc.

Products Developed with An Extensive Network of Manufacturers and Tested Rigorously in All Their Intended Applications


what’s happening Andy here I am joined

today by Austin vancieri how are you

today Austin I’m great thank you thanks

for asking it is great to see you Austin

you have a a pretty pretty simple job I

guess right you are uh chairman and CEO

of the board uh for for visual Edge I.T

formerly visual Edge technology right

correct that’s my job that’s my day job

Beach Hub well that sounds like uh you

know top five dealer I’d say

um it sounds like kind of a a busy day

I’d like to spend some time with you

today thanks for coming on the show

um maybe check in and and see uh you

know what’s going on with visual Edge I

just saw Ramos uh David Ramos over at

the executive connection Summit it was

nice to see him out and about

um so yeah it just made me think maybe

we need to get you on here and check in

and see you know what’s happened and I’d

love to you know maybe hear about your

your background a little bit and then

jump into who is visual Edge and and

where are you out of and you know give

us some of the background before we uh

talk about where you guys came from and

how you got to where you are today sure

sure so uh my background uh is in

science I’m you know I’m a physics major

got a degree in physics then I got an

MBA in night school when I was working

at Xerox

went to I I went to Xerox let’s see how

does that work I graduated on Friday and

I started working for them on Monday in

one of their factories as a young

xerographer of all things

so I did start in the business although

I never sold a copier in my life

uh I went up to the manufacturing ranks

then they pulled me over to corporate to

take a look at me

you know the way big companies do it

they take your measure then you’re lucky

enough you find a sponsor

and I did all of that for about 15 years

and I was running their Manufacturing in

the U.S

you know basically making all their

machines and

working with the union and

supervising guys through a management


we made everything from this group you

know Xerox makes almost nothing now then

we made everything from the screw

machines that we made everything back in

the day yesterday to California

there was an opening there that they

sent me to

there was an interview but you know

basically I was moved to California to

work with one of their subsidiaries

and I became kind of a troubleshooter so

I became the president of that

subsidiary and then

they kept giving me

operations that were kind of troubled

could be desktop publishing it could be

oeming the Fuji Xerox desktop printers

into the US

a whole bunch of different things it was

the first word processors that they call

memory writers then

all of those things they gave me and I

built it into about a billion to


and then I got bored

I was actually the West Coast rep for

the Xerox Venture group so they would

send me

prospective guys to invest in all of

whom had sponsors I mean guys like Bob

Noyes were in my office with fellas that

had these reptical systems way ahead of

its time

uh so I saw that there was this Venture

community and it interested me

so after a bit I decided to leave

and go small so I ran into skipping

around a bit I ran into a guy named uh

dick kramlich

who uh was you know one of the top

Venture Capital guys very famous guy

he’s still on my board

uh matter of fact it was the last Equity

investor in the company

a few years back uh

and then we built visual Edge but in a

different way you know this term Mega


I don’t consider ourselves a mega dealer


so what we did was from the beginning

plan to do what I’m doing now it just

took me longer we just kept getting

interrupted we got interrupted in the 8

9 10 11 recession we got interrupted

with covid but we kept plugging along so

when we bought all the companies the

idea was to get enough

size 300 million or so

so that we could in fact have the

customer base that was needed to get the

interest we needed to fund what we

needed to do beyond the Acquisitions so

we bought I think 34 companies but what

most people don’t realize is

we bought three I.T companies right off

the bat

for the talent

because in the print companies we have

one print company we bought that had

very good VoIP Talent down in Texas and

they’re still our void concentration of

talent and we bought another company in

Michigan that had very good security

Talent and then we bought two other I.T

companies one of which is now our knock

Command Center in Indianapolis

and the other one that we bought is now

honchoing the East Coast I.T efforts so

we always had this idea of doing what

we’re doing now to become a national

total technology company with one brand

I’ll talk about the brand in a minute

because most people don’t know why I did

that you know it wasn’t just hanging I.T

on the end of the name which some people

think it was it was a little bit more

than that so we became a company that

was definitely going to be a managed

Services Company a managed security and

services company a total technology

company whatever the hell you want to

call us

that’s what we became visual Edge I.T

the idea of going after our existing

accounts worked I mean we now have sold

something in the relation to IIT to

about 5 000 accounts

that’s a big number

2200 of them are true managed Services

accounts with recurring Revenue

and going forward

we moved up market and started selling

to non

customers in other words new logos and

we’ve been doing that for a while

so basically we did transform ourselves

into I’ll call it a mini piece of CDW

you know CDW began did this from a VAR

standpoint right and now they’re in the

Enterprise space with what is probably

now a hundred million dollar MSP company

we’re not in the Enterprise space that

wasn’t the intention

and you know lots of folks lots of

pundits talk about

not penetrating your customer base

I never intended to have two companies

never intended to have two divisions

I was gonna butt my head against that

wall called how do you convince the

print company to become an I.T company

and I’m still budding my head against

that wall but we’re winning I’m bruised

a little but we’re winning

uh so that that is how we became

visual Edge I.T and I changed the name

not because visualized technology

doesn’t work in the space

the emphasis on the change of name was


I wanted a brand for all of the other

companies who had their brands up to two

years ago to join so now on all our

buildings 75 locations

six area GMS two regions visual Edge I.T

is on the building I left that up to

them if they wanted to retain the local

brand most of them didn’t want to after

a while you know after they bought in

they didn’t want to so we are supplying

anything connected to the network

to our customers and we’ve become a

knowledge based company what we sell is

know-how that’s what the office needs

now the printer is just another device

hanging on the network I tell my people

now it pays all the bills not

misunderstanding I love the business

but as it did in print it takes time to

build up the service business you know a

dealer might take 15 20 years to build

up his service Revenue so it’s half his


in the I.T space you don’t have the

printer Revenue you don’t have the

printer margin so you need to fund it


I I believe this is why Regional


have more of a tough time they don’t

have the initial income coming in from

the sale of a printer we do

someone like CDW or others had the VAR

profit coming in to fund the MSP


so we’re pretty unique you know we have

access to every it product soft and hard


and we have access to all the printers

we’ve got our service Revenue coming in

and so we could afford to become this

National technology Services Company

now I’ll take a breath well and and you

led us right up to where I’d like to be

right now which is talking about

um your coverage where you are today and

and uh who you are in the market um you

know I spent some time doing you know a

little bit of background before the

before our uh uh our show today and and

so you guys are um probably the only one

I can think of who is truly Coast to

Coast at this point where you’re

literally all the way in in California

at the in Southern California up to all

the way up to Maine the tip top of uh

the U.S

um maybe maybe I’m wrong maybe there’s

some others that are crossing uh the

country and that Coast to Coast as well

but I can’t think of them off the top of

my head so um your coverage is there it

seems unique right you no one else that

I can think of is is able to do that and

and so you offer

um consistency across the board as well

if I’m understanding this right so you

had all these different locations you

bought 30 34 locations that you bought

over the years

um they had a variety you have different

products and services and and now you

know um are they also on I.T are they

all selling VoIP are they all selling

have they all bought into all the full

portfolio or is this something that’s

being rolled out what’s the look across

the board for all these what used to be

independent companies but now they’re

all visual Edge companies

yeah so there there’s one product stack

one pricing scheme everybody uses the

same product stack

I remember your interview with Doug

at Marco where he was talking about

talking about putting companies together

right he was talking about getting

everybody on the same page and bringing

their I.T side and their print side


and the difficulties you run into just

in the administrative architecture of

running the business well imagine doing

that for 34 companies

that had 34 databases which now we have

down to three and the end of June will

be one

and the effect that has on people yeah

and trying to get it all together

and to be frank with you

uh we finished 19 at like 309 million

doing very well that’s where I wanted to


uh if we hadn’t had the slowdown in 20

and 21

I’m not too sure we would have done this

this well because that slowdown allowed


the play housekeeping with print

you know keeping things alive and to

really focus on the I.T talent because

that’s when we brought in about eight

medium to senior level Executives who

are pure I.T people

uh they also then besides the I.T

companies that we bought

they Infuse know-how into the company so

whether it’s uh Sacramento to San Diego

to Miami to Bangor Maine the only place

I’m not at that I wanted to be I never

found anyone

was Chicago and New York City

and I’m not too sure I regret that that

may have been a good thing when you

consider what happened to print because

most of our customers

being businesses that stayed open we did

see a decrease but we’re almost back to

normal now uh by way of Revenue but for

a different reason I mean we picked up

whatever we lost in France we picked up

in I.T

and so everybody’s selling everything we

have uh 40 Engineers supporting our


we have uh 50 BTA Tech guys married

locally to my print sales people BTA

print people they work as a team and

then I have 50 local Engineers who are

supporting them in the pre-sales area

and then we have a customer success

group old classic organizations that you

would expect for a matted services or

managed security and services uh

organization so we we can do it all we

have the experts

everybody knows where the experts are so

if there is a visual Edge connect is an

intermediate product right and in 13

months we now have 178 installations

it’s like it was like a rocket ship wow

it’s VoIP but more than that it’s

collaboration but it’s easier for a

print guy to understand

you can see from a phone on a desk if

somebody needs help basically if you get

trained to do it yep so that plus uh

help from the Specialists I mean think

about print

they needed solution Specialists because

the print guy didn’t know it sooner

sooner or later he did know it he

learned it but even now if it’s a

production deal they bring in a


so now every time we’re in front of the

customer we talk I.T and we have

handouts for them

uh and so I more than half my customers

in IIT are my print customers

but it’s the variety of sizes

the account levels are different in size

so so going forward you know we’re

evolving you’re evolving this from uh

you’re basically you’re using the copier

Heritage of of the companies that that

you’ve acquired over the years most of


um and you’re using that to kind of fund

your future which is

this this holistic office offering of

everything right B2B level not not so

much at the Enterprise but really

um you know the small medium-sized

businesses that maybe aren’t being

supported by a CDW or someone of that

nature somebody who needs Consulting who

needs somebody to come in there and you

know help me figure out what do I need

what do I need for phones what do I need

what’s the latest for managed Services

what’s the latest thing for

um for office equipment for regular

office technology you know that that

does change and it you know becomes um

use more you know it’s been used

differently over the last few years

especially with all the remote work

going on so so moving forward you know

looking into your your crystal ball in

the next couple years uh where where do

you see obviously the evolution more

towards managed Services

um are there going to be more

Acquisitions are you going to expand

into other areas you’re not you’re not

in all 50 states no one is uh do you

know do you see yourself ever getting to

that point or is that part of the goal

yeah I think we need to continue to


and learn how to service larger accounts

in addition to my own accounts as an


the rate the range of accounts

we have accounts that are 140 000 a

month with a couple of thousand

endpoints that we support it’s my

largest account

I have accounts that are fifteen hundred

to two thousand dollars a month and you

might say some companies say you have to

have twenty thousand dollars each it’s

got to be ten thousand dollars you have

to have a uh an assessment fee of

fifteen thousand dollars or it doesn’t

work what I’m telling you is if it’s my

account and they’ve been with me for 10

years and they’ve got 20 employees

and the service revenue from print

there’s 120 dollars a month if I can

sign them up for fifteen hundred a month

and I’m already there it’s a no-brainer

but that’s what coming together means at

the sales force and the service Force

so I think moving up Market

getting our act together over the next

12 months

having more of our business be I.T I can

attract more investment you know I’ve

been I’ve been funded by Aries Capital

Management now for five years I’m in my

sixth year they own a big piece of the


management owns a big piece of the

company so it’s not as though I was an

owner and I sold the whole thing 10

years ago and I’m still there right it’s

a little different so Aries has been

funding us

Aries has a big piece of the equity

piece of the company there are 350

billion dollars


they’re not a bank I mean they’re

they’re a huge private Equity Firm so we

need to bring in more money but not this

year I still need to learn how to do

this better

how to grow the IET into a more

significant piece of the business

because until it is let’s say

30 of the business

to the outside world I’m still a print

company you know what I mean by that

yeah yeah yeah so we have more to prove

we’ve got the team to do it

and as I tell my people all the time I’m

in I’m all I’m all in all the time I

mean that’s what this business is all


exactly exactly well awesome this has

been an absolute pleasure chatting with

you uh you shared an awful lot I’m glad

we got an opportunity to to sit down and

do this we need to do this again maybe

check in in six months and see see uh

see where things are at uh are you going

to be out and about is Grandma’s gonna

be out we’re going to see some visual

Edge people in any of the shows coming

up some of the uh associations or btas

having some stuff you guys gonna be out

there or yeah Ramos or brigner will be

at the btas or

the CDA meetings they changed their name

I don’t remember what it is now but we

go we sponsor these things uh I think I

think the Julian uh ride goes right

through my operation in Tennessee you

know I can’t believe I almost I almost

didn’t even bring that up and and that’s

my crew those are my people I

unfortunately had to um miss that day I

had to go fly south and and be with a

customer for for that part of the visit

but uh yeah I got all the pictures

they’re up on our website from from when

the when they rolled in you guys uh did

some amazing things that they made some

really great donations not just to us

but to some other local charities as

well we do we participate in the Kanata

event yeah you know I think we bought a

table this year although we couldn’t use

most of it because we got snowed in and

you know the mariana rivera thing with

Atlantic we do that with them so we try

to get out and about and contribute

awesome well you guys are always just

one of the the highlights of this

industry you’re a great uh you know just

a great example of of where a company

can go with uh with a little bit of

vision so uh with that I’m gonna thank

you for your time today and any last

shout outs to anyone before we before we

let you go it was my pleasure thank you

for having us great seeing you awesome

we’ll talk soon thank you appreciate it