Insight Investments Rebrands Solutions Business to Avoid Confusion

Differentiating yourself in a crowded marketplace is difficult, but imagine trying to do it with the same name as one of the most successful companies in all of IT reselling and consulting.

Until this week, this was the challenge of Insight Investments LLC of Costa Mesa, Calif. Founded in 1987, the one-time remarketer of used computing gear has grown into a diversified if not powerful force in computing. In 1990, it created a financing division and then in 2000 it launched a data-center consulting and integration division. Afterward in 2003, the company opened the doors to a system exchange division that remarkets off-lease equipment to schools and small and medium businesses across the country.

As it grew, Insight Investments opened six offices around the U.S., and attracted blue-chip enterprise customers including Honda, CBS, JPL, Lockheed Martin. Today, its consulting and integration arm counts VMware, Cisco, EMC and others in its solutions portfolio, and it offers customers everything from managed services to infrastructure solutions to resource management.

For all its success, however, the company operated in the shadows of another Insight — the massive direct marketing reseller known as Insight Enterprises of Tempe, Ariz. That Insight, of course, is the $5.1 billion powerhouse that sells hardware, software and service solutions to business and government clients in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

For years, the two companies have operated in a parallel universe of sorts. On occasion, they have even received purchases orders intended for the other. While they have not always coexisted easily, they have managed to go to market peacefully despite the confusion that their shared name created. That said, the status quo has never sat well with Insight Integrated Systems President Richard Heard. Seven years ago he set out to change the California company’s name. But he could not find one that represented the company’s image and market position — until now.

On Thursday, the company launched its new identity, Red8.

Why Red8? For starters, it was available, Heard told Channel Partners, at least outside the world of fine dining. (The Wynn Resort in Las Vegas has an Asian-inspired restaurant called “Red 8″). Moreover, the name fit the company’s mojo. Red, of course, stands for passion, excitement and success, while the number “8″ has historically represented balance, prosperity and structure. In addition, he noted, it’s a good number in technology. There are, after all, eight bits in a byte. What is more, Red8’s corporate offices occupy the eighth floor of a building in southern California.

“We see this as an opportunity for our identity to catch up with our execution,” Heard said. “Anyone who knows us is aware of our skills and vision.”

Heard says Red8 will help customers try to make sense of their legacy systems as they invest in cloud solutions.

“Customers with legacy systems have followed a ‘leave-no-vendor-left-behind’ strategy and find themselves with one of everything. They have tried to glue things together to make their data centers work. But their legacy platforms have become expensive to manage, vulnerable to security risks and slow and awkward to use. They bring us in to re-platform their hardware and software systems. Our job is to help advise them and leverage these capabilities,” says Heard.

So long as Red8 can help customers capture and secure their data, and then put it to use to create a competitive gain for their organizations, Heard figures his company will continue to attract customers for a very long time. Only now, however, he just wants them to put “Red8″ on their checks and not “Insight.”

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