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IBM Beats VMware At The Buzzer In Channel Madness: Round 1 Results

Jennifer Follett

Two matchups came down to the buzzer in Round 1 voting of the 2022 CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs. Here’s how it all played out.


After a busy week of Round 1 voting in the 2022 CRN Channel Madness tournament, the polls are closed and winners are gearing up for their next matchups.

While several channel chiefs came out strong to take early leads, two close contests came down to the buzzer. Here’s a look at Round 1 results and who’s moving on to the Solutions 16.

In the Cloud region, IBM’s Bob Lord orchestrated a come-from-behind victory that came down to the final morning of voting. In the end he won 51 percent of the vote over VMware’s Sandy Hogan, at 49 percent.

The Security region also had a closely watched matchup between CrowdStrike’s Michael Rogers and WatchGuard’s Michelle Welch. The two were tied as of our last update Monday, but Rogers surged in the final days and grabbed the victory with 62 percent of the vote to Welch’s 38 percent.

In the Hardware region, Richard Vaughn of Dynabook Americas, a tournament rookie but longtime channel veteran, had an impressive showing, winning 71 percent of the vote against Intel’s Jason Kimrey, with 29 percent.

In the Infrastructure region, Nutanix tried to defend its Channel Madness crown after global channel chief Christin Alvarez won the whole shebang in 2021, but this year’s competitor, Americas channel chief Christian Goffi, fell to Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s George Hope. Hope moves ahead after winning 63 percent of the vote to Goffi’s 37 percent.

Here‘s a look at the final scores.


Rob Rae, Datto, 61 percent vs. Steve Loeb, Eaton, 39 percent

George Hope, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, 63 percent vs. Christian Goffi, Nutanix, 37 percent

Oliver Tuszik, Cisco Systems, 22 percent vs. Shannon Sbar, Schneider Electric, 78 percent

Rob Cato, Lenovo, 65 percent vs. Jenni Flinders, NetApp, 35 percent


Kimberly King, Hitachi Vantara, 38 percent vs. Scott Mann, Scale Computing, 62 percent

Rola Dagher, Dell Technologies, 28 percent vs. Scott Lannum, HP Inc., 72 percent

Donna Grothjan, Aruba, an HPE company, 64 percent vs. Alvin Da Costa, Nvidia, 36 percent

Richard Vaughn, Dynabook Americas, 71 percent vs. Jason Kimrey, Intel, 29 percent


Jonathan McCormick, Intermedia, 27 percent vs. Kevin Rooney, Veeam Software, 73 percent

Kevin Ichhpurani, Google Cloud, 26 percent vs. Rodney Clark, Microsoft, 74 percent

Bob Lord, IBM, 51 percent vs. Sandy Hogan, VMware, 49 percent

Ruba Borno, Amazon Web Services, 33 percent vs. Jeff McCullough, SolarWinds, 67 percent


Michael Rogers, CrowdStrike, 62 percent vs. Michelle Welch, WatchGuard Technologies 38 percent

Frank Rauch, Check Point Software Technologies, 79 percent vs. Joe Sykora, Proofpoint, 21 percent

Lori Cornmesser, CyCognito, 71 percent vs. Karl Soderlund, Palo Alto Networks, 29 percent

Bob Skelley, Arctic Wolf, 40 percent vs. Kendra Krause, Sophos, 60 percent

Looking ahead to the Solutions 16, here are the Round 2 face-offs.

In the Infrastructure region, Datto’s Rob Rae will match up against HPE’s George Hope, while Schneider Electric’s Shannon Sbar will go head-to-head with Lenovo’s Rob Cato.

In the Hardware region, Scale Computing’s Scott Mann will duel against HP Inc.’s Scott Lannum, while HPE/Aruba’s Donna Grothjan will test the mettle of Richard Vaughn of Dynabook Americas.

The Cloud region will see Veeam Software’s Kevin Rooney take on Microsoft’s Rodney Clark, while IBM’s Bob Lord will face SolarWinds’ Jeff McCullough.

In the Security region, CrowdStrike’s Michael Rogers will go up against 2021 finalist Frank Rauch of Check Point, while CyCognito’s Lori Cornmesser challenges Kendra Krause of Sophos.

Voting in Round 2 opens at 10:00 AM ET on Thursday, March 24 and will remain open until Tuesday, March 29 at noon ET. Visit to cast your votes and choose your chief!

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