We’ve come a long way…what started with a couple of guys sitting in a bar scheming about starting their own business has grown into a three-time Inc. 5000 award recipient with a mission to support our national security by securing the most vulnerable members of our supply chain. As we consider our journey from that bar until now, we’re grateful to be part of a true American success story, built on hard work, grit, and occasionally being too stubborn to fail.
The road has been difficult at times and our success was far from guaranteed. However, we’ve always approached every challenge as an opportunity. And every time, it has opened new doors and incredible possibilities. We’ve weathered recessions, pandemics, and personal tragedies to build a company that puts its team first and is genuinely passionate about our work.
We’re incredibly proud of the team we’ve built at C3. It truly has been the best part of this journey that we can provide opportunities for people to grow, achieve their goals and develop great relationships with each other. Countless times we’ve been gratified to see our team rally around members to celebrate personal and professional successes, or to support them when they face life’s inevitable challenges. We’re also thankful for our loyal client base that has stuck with us through all the ups and downs of a fast-growing company. Their loyalty assured us that we were on the right path and building something special. Now, we are embarking on our next chapter with new partners who share a common vision and values.
When you make the Inc. 5000, you get approached with all sorts of investment offers. Some are genuine, some are a bit questionable, and some, well, who knows. Throughout the years, even for the very few companies that got to an introduction, the answer was always a very firm, “thank you, but we have a clear vision of where we are going and there is no interest.”
That changed this summer. The M/C Partners team, a private equity firm with deep experience in our sector, reached out and articulated a thesis that was nearly identical to ours. Their knowledge of the industry and the mission was comprehensive and much more advanced than everyone else, except for the very few that are deeply committed to this space. We even joked in an early meeting that they had hacked into our systems and stole our deck. Not only was their vision in true alignment to ours, they also offered a compelling strategy to achieve those goals. And soon, they introduced us to the team at Steel Root, the perfect complement to our portfolio. Together, we’ll now embark on the mission of building a truly complete solution that can meet the challenges of CMMC to small and midsized companies at scale.
We couldn’t have found a better partner in Steel Root. The business fit is obvious: we share the same mission of securing the Defense Industrial Base with compliant solutions built around the Microsoft Government Cloud. They have done amazing work building a deep, robust solution that, frankly, fills key gaps in our offering. Conversely, we will bring a breadth of experience and close relationship with Microsoft that will only accelerate their already impressive growth.
However, the fit is more than products and business models. As we’ve gotten to know the leadership team, we’ve been amazed how we each approach the market from opposite directions and yet are so aligned in both our purpose and philosophy. Steel Root’s commitment to community and fostering a caring, compassionate culture mirrors the ideals we have at C3. Whether it’s funding a STEM scholarship, or laying wreathes at Arlington National Cemetery for Wreaths Across America, together we will lead the new company with a shared, values-centered approach that prioritizes our team, serves our clients, and contributes to our community.
C3 and Steel Root are not alone in this new journey: M/C Partners’ investment will accelerate our go-to-market strategy and meet the urgent need of our clients. As a firm, they have a 25-year track record of successful investments in technology firms in general, and MSPs in particular. M/C Partners is much more than just a financial investor. Even in this short time together, they have continually provided wisdom and strategic insight while respecting our “front lines perspective” of the market.
Finally, we can’t begin to describe how excited we are to announce that Marc Pantoni has signed on as CEO to lead us in this new chapter. We got to know Marc through the diligence process and even as he was picking through our business, he continually shared his experience and wisdom. Technically, it was several days of a very detailed examination of our business, but for us, it was a masterclass in how to build and run an MSP.
As we start this next chapter in our story by merging and pursuing our shared vision together, the combination of Steel Root, M/C Partners, and C3 will deliver on the promise of a fully integrated solution that meets today’s security and compliance challenges. While the combined company will retain the C3 Integrated Solutions name, the Steel Root platform is central to new company’s position as the first in the industry to offer a platform approach to CMMC compliant managed services. This will be a new company that includes and blends together the strengths of each group, creating a new entity that will be much greater than the sum of its parts.
Today’s launch is just the beginning of the many possibilities ahead. Like all mergers, we know we’ll encounter challenges bringing our teams together, aligning solutions, and becoming one voice. But like every other challenge we’ve encountered, this opportunity will open even more doors and new possibilities. We hope you’ll join us on this adventure: we invite you to reach out, ask questions and learn more about our plans for the future.
We’ve come a long way. We’re excited to get started on this next chapter, and we hope you are too.
Bill Wootton, President
Kevin Lucier, EVP Business Development
James Lucier, SVP, Customer Success
Jason Tierney, CTO
Watch Bill Wootton, C3’s President, and Ryan Heidorn, Steel Root’s Managing Director discuss their merger.
Read the Steel Root blog here.
Learn more about the details of the merger from our joint press release.
Bill Wootton is the Founder and President of C3 Integrated Solutions, a full-service IT provider based in Arlington, VA that specializes in securing our nation’s Defense Industrial Base through cloud-based solutions and industry leading partners. Bill is passionate about bringing cyber-awareness, and cyber-maturity to the nation’s Defense Industrial Base, working with clients to help them achieve CMMC and NIST 800-171 compliance by providing MSP, security and Office 365 integration services.