All this week we've been highlighting the channel’s most influential people -- those forces in the industry who inspire, stimulate and make a powerful impact on the reseller and solution provider ecosystem. Here's a recap of all 12 of our category award winners.
We've highlighted the channel’s most influential people -- those forces in the industry who inspire, stimulate and make a powerful impact on the reseller and solution provider ecosystem. This is not just another list of those who “influence” by virtue of their position, title or market size. As we unveil our Second Annual 2012 Channelnomics Channel Influencers Awards, we honor those who have earned praise through deeds and actions, no matter how big or small their organizations or job titles.
Our 2012 Channelnomics Channel Influencers Awards recognize the contributions and impact of both vendor and solution provider executives and leaders who positively guide channel decisions and play a role in reseller buying habits. Winners were selected from hundreds of highly detailed and passionate nominations in 12 categories submitted by Channelnomics' readership beginning in November and voted on by a blue-ribbon panel of objective evaluators. Channelnomics’ editorial team served as the final arbiter.
Associations and Channel Groups
Senior Vice President of Events and Education
CompTIA’s role as an IT advocacy and training organization is helping members grow their businesses and be best-in-class through education. The face of that effort is Events and Education SVP Kelly Ricker. Starting with a skeleton crew just two years ago, Ricker built a team and a program that is among CompTIA’s most successful and valued efforts to date. Under her guidance, the education program boasts 63 high-quality training courses, 33 how-to guides and a member resource library with hundreds of tools, white papers, articles and other key channel media. The events she’s organized have given hundreds of channel executives first-hand experience with materials and industry thought-leaders to their maximize sales and marketing and create more efficient operations. In 2012, Ricker’s unit at CompTIA hosted 175 face-to-face training courses at 109 live events. The organization added Executive Certificate Programs in August that are already popular with channel execs. Ricker's work is paying off: Nearly 90 percent of CompTIA education participants say the training had a “positive or very positive impact on their business” this year.
Vice President of Sales
Momentum Telecom had a momentous year in the telephony channel, and Jamie Minner was at the forefront of it all. From the company's acquisition of CommPartner to the launch of its retail services line and notable expansion of partner program, Minner has championed quality and automation for the VAR partner market and a hosted VoIP reseller program that really works. His team is on the hunt for ways to help Momentum’s resellers upsell and generate profits by promoting a more nimble channel agreement with increased residual commission percentages. In the latter half of 2012, Minner's team hired indirect channel managers to oversee sales in Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Nashville and Miami. His group created management tools for partners and new products. Minner’s approach to the telecom channel -- backing a solid, reliable implementation process and developing a seamless workflow to overcome porting challenges -- has inspired Momentum’s partners to re-evaluate how they’re selling telephony. Minner pushes channel managers to gather comprehensive information before the sale, a strategy that ensures the partnership is a good fit for both parties.
Senior Vice President for U.S. Marketing and President of TDMobility
Tech Data Corp.
As SVP for U.S. marketing, Joe Quaglia wears many hats at Tech Data -- but it’s his tireless work as president of the distributor’s TDMobility unit that earns him mention in this category. Under Quaglia’s direction, TDMobility provides Tech Data’s channel of 60,000 resellers with a complete platform of wireless services, including a one-stop shop for hardware, software and mobility solutions. TDMobility is firmly centered on channel enablement. Quaglia and his team are focused on removing barriers and simplifying processes for entry into the mobile market. It's no small wonder, then, that TDMobility reseller participation has grown 73 percent and associated revenues jumped 277 percent in the past year. Clearly the channel enablement services championed by Quaglia have helped Tech Data, its vendors and especially its partners profitably grow their businesses.
Corporate Vice President of the Worldwide Partner Group
When it comes to shepherding 640,000 partners through the obstacles of a world moving quickly to the cloud, Jon Roskill is the man at Microsoft. For partners building new cloud practices, Roskill helps them make the transition through incentives, training and other programs that pave the path to profit. As a result, he’s made partnering with Microsoft in the cloud a solid choice for the resellers in his care. To get it down, Roskill spends countless days on the road talking to partners and strategizing on what Microsoft can do to help them win deals and grow their business. Internally, he keeps partners at the top of Microsoft’s list of priorities, winning them better programs and incentive dollars. Roskill’s mantra is “use the cloud to sell the cloud.” The result: Microsoft has one of the industry’s leading partner program and a record number of partners making the leap into the cloud. More than 15,000 partners joined the Cloud Essentials program in one week since one-click registration started, and Roskill expects more than 100,000 partners will join by the end of 2014. On Roskill’s watch some 5,500 partners are actively selling Microsoft cloud services every month. Perhaps more telling, on Roskill’s watch Microsoft partners earn $8.60 for every dollar Microsoft makes. That’s making the cloud math work for the channel in a big way.
One to Watch
Founder and CEO
En Pointe Technologies
Bob Din has been a change driver at En Pointe, taking the organization from a pure hardware reseller to a software reseller and then remaking it once again into a full-fledged cloud services provider. Din’s foresight and vision for the potential of the cloud culminated in a spin off of En Pointe’s cloud group into dinCloud, with cloud-based offerings in management, service desk, communications, desktops and servers. dinCloud is racing from little-known start-up status to a key cloud player with relationships with the likes of Microsoft, Trend Micro, and NetApp. And dinCloud was recently tapped as distributor Ingram Micro’s first hosted virtual desktop provider.
Vice President of Sales
Mike Cullen brings strong leadership, prolific sales experience and noteworthy market insight to the task of running N-Able’s global sales strategy. As a result, he’s cultivated one of the managed services industry’s top-performing sales organizations, one that is driven by Cullen’s contagious desire to make managed services a flourishing business for thousands of N-Able partners worldwide. Cullen travels the planet spreading the gospel of managed services -- in the form of his own “Mike’s Blueprint for Success” -- and giving solution providers the strategies, tactics and, more importantly, the confidence to transition to the MSP business model. Last year alone, Cullen hosted more than 40 in-market events globally, and assisted thousands of MSP partners with initial sales presentations and business-building events and outreach. His zeal for all things MSP is a big part of the reason N-Able’s partner network has grown to serve more than 77,000 SMBs. And in 2012, the number of MSPs switching to N-able’s RMM platform from a competing provider jumped more than 200 percent, another testament to Cullen’s passionate powers of persuasion.
Ones to Watch
Mark Cattini has remained acutely aware of the inexorable ties between Autotask’s success and the success of its channel partners since he took the helm of the company in 2010. A frequent speaker to IT service providers, MSPs and VARs around the world on the topics of cloud services and mobile technologies, he’s used his bully pulpit to share actionable insights on the growing importance of edge applications for SMBs, the implications of the shift in SMB technology consumption away from CapEx to OpEx, and the trend towards greater IT outsourcing among both SMB and enterprise businesses.
Internally, Cattini insists Autotask’s open-platform technology efforts are in lock-step with the needs of the market and the company’s channel partners. These efforts, along with a keen focus on Autotask’s international expansion, have driven incredible growth for both Autotask and its partners. The company experienced 165 percent growth in new business since 2010, and it continues to invest more than 50 percent of revenues back into product development and innovation. With clients in more than 55 countries and continued expansion on the agenda, Cattini has Autotask well positioned through its investments in personnel and infrastructure to better meet the needs of the channel, its partners, and the SMB businesses they serve.
Director of Partner Community
An experienced MSP executive in his own right, Dave Sobel has made significant impact on the MSP community since joining Level Platforms a year ago. Already he’s serving as a valued conduit between Level’s executive team, its MSP partners and the wider channel community. And he’s a proven and willing mentor for service providers getting their feet wet in the MSP space and looking for advice on technology, sales and marketing. His guided, step-by-step process for partners to effectively deploy mobile device management, for example, has been used by numerous partners to deploy MDM and has helped position Level as a leader in MDM for managed services providers.
Senior Vice President of Worldwide Channel Operations
With a decade of experience at the security vendor, Gavin Struthers, is now the man in charge of McAfee’s entire global channel strategy and operations. In that position, he’s become well known for keeping the company focused on making strategic investments, driving partner innovation, differentiation, growth, and profitability, and ensuring that partners continue to be trusted security advisors for their clients. Struthers brings to the larger table his experience as vice president of channels, alliances, and specialist sales in the Asia/Pacific region where he was responsible for business development and implementing product go-to-market strategies for McAfee’s channel partners and alliances across APAC. Since taking on the global role a year ago, Struthers has been unapologetic about giving solution providers the hard truths about alignment and customer entanglement: that in order to capitalize on a near $30 billion market, they’ll need to focus on fewer vendors and specialize in quality solution delivery. In fact he’s made that part of his five-sided plan of attack for McAfee resellers including fewer vendors, a focus on solutions, strategic planning and execution, team performance enablement and leveraging the McAfee profitability stack. His work is already paying dividends. The top 25 McAfee partners have fully embraced his growth formula principles and are growing more than 30 percent year over year.
One to Watch
Vice President of Global Channels
With more than 15 years of strategic planning, enablement, operations and management experience Emmanuelle Skala is spearheading global channel strategy and programs at Sophos that empower partners and increase engagement among the partner community. During her time at the channel-centric security vendor, Skala created a new solution partner track and tri-level certifications that have expanded the reach and number of Sophos partners, and helped these solution providers increase their skill sets. On Skala’s watch, Sophos has also made significant investments in partner enablement and empowerment programs including a fully overhauled partner portal, new global partner conferences and roadshows, and increased MDF and rebates for partners.
Vice President and General Manager of Global Channels
When Dell wrapped up its banner 2012 in the channel before more than 600 partners in Austin, Texas, it was Greg Davis who stepped to the microphone first to welcome the solution providers and pay tribute to their work on behalf of the vendor.
Indeed, in the past five years, Dell has transcended its direct-sales roots and become a full-fledged, valued and trusted member of the channel community, and Davis has been at the tip of the channel spear every step of the way.
Davis has done yeoman’s work not only changing reseller attitudes about Dell, but fine-tuning the company’s PartnerDirect program into a formidable channel force. Under Davis’ direction, PartnerDirect has blossomed to more than 51,000 registered partners in North American and 130,000 globally, more than 3,600 of them certified in Dell solutions.
Ramping up partner skills across Dell’s growing portfolio of packaged IT solutions has become a mantra for Davis and his team, who have made significant investments in training content -- all of which is available free to partners. The curriculum has grown from basic technologies to more complex solution sets and now encompasses basic sales and marketing and the use of social media. Dell expects partners to take advantage of all of it.
The effort is paying off: The 25 U.S. partners who invested the most in the vendor’s training are growing between 70 and 80 percent a year, according to the company. But even this not nearly enough to satisfy the hard-working Davis, who continues to beat the drum for more partner training, better partner enablement and, especially, a unification of Dell’s disparate channel programs into a cohesive reseller-facing entity to ease interactions and maximize partner profitability.
President of Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas
Jeff Bawol is leading a renaissance at Avnet, turning the distributor’s Technology Solutions services unit into a powerhouse of focused services to augment partner capabilities and help demonstrate what the technology distribution model will look like for years to come.
Under Bawol’s direction, ATS made six acquisitions in the past year, bolstering the profile and portfolio of its rapidly expanding services arm, which provides human resources and technical support to solution providers that are either developing a professional services practice or don’t have capacity to meet market demands. The unit launched an educational program to enable its IBM business partners in the U.S. and Canada to obtain the certifications needed to increase their solutions expertise.
Bawol’s team is positioned to grow converged system sales involving Cisco Systems Inc.’s data center technologies as well as Oracle Corp.’s Health Sciences solutions. All of this effort is driven by Bawol’s goal is to help partners prepare for and target two of the most important areas of growth for the channel: services and cloud computing. In fact, Bawol’s team launched Avnet Cloud Solutions specifically to create off-premises cloud solutions in high-demand workload categories, such as productivity and collaboration; backup and disaster recovery; test and development; security; application hosting and management; remote management and monitoring; and data center as-a-service.
The efforts are paying off for both Avnet and its reseller partners. ATS has seen impressive growth in financial services, energy and utilities, and retail vertical markets despite an overall sluggish enterprise IT market.
One to Watch
President of Ingram Micro North America
Ingram Micro Inc.
Paul Bay’s energetic, hands-on leadership at Ingram Micro has had significant influence on the strategic direction of the distributor, as well as the go-to-market channel strategy of many of the IT industry’s most established and emerging brands. Known for his work-hard-play-hard (and sometimes harder) let’s-do-this attitude, Bay is relentless when it comes to doing right by Ingram Micro’s channel partners, vendors and associates. He’s set a fast, focused and accountable pace at Ingram that centers on achieving market excellence. Bay’s mantra: Focus on the customer so you don’t have to worry about the competition. That guiding principle permeates much of Ingram’s efforts in divisional strategy and cloud services aggregation. In part due to Bay’s high-energy leadership, Ingram Micro’s Advanced Computing and Advanced Technology Divisions are growing SMB sales by record double digits.
Senior Vice President for Worldwide Channels
Cisco Systems Inc.
For all the fits and starts in the IT economy over the past year, Edison Peres has kept a laser focus on the design, enablement and management of Cisco’s resale channel business. Peres and his team are driving channel sales, marketing strategies, programs and engagement especially in new market opportunity areas such as managed services and cloud computing, as well as in more traditional spaces like professional services and architectural sales.
Perhaps the best example is the ever-evolving Cisco Cloud Partner Program, which merged Cloud Provider and Cloud Services Reseller roles and the current Managed Services Channel Program into a single Cloud and Managed Services Program (CMSP) to simplify partner engagement and accelerate customer opportunities and the new Partner Plus program to provide greater preference, investment and support for channel partners focused on growing their business with mid-sized customers.
Through it all, Peres’ team has remained committed to supporting and encouraging partners as they evolve their business models to meet changing market dynamics and continue to differentiate in their ongoing efforts to help partners profitably monetize the cloud and managed services opportunity.
Under Peres’ forward-thinking direction, the cloud program has more than 4,000 partners in the United States, Canada, Israel and Asia Pacific and is rewarding resellers by the quality and value of the partner-to-customer relationship, not simply the volume of services sold.
One to Watch
Senior Director of Global Channel Strategy and Programs
A 20-year veteran of the channel sales and marketing game, Johnna Bowley has served as a driving force in building and enhancing Riverbed’s formidable partner program over the past five years. In the past year alone, Bowley and her team enhanced the Riverbed Partner Network program with innovative partner tools, resources and profitability programs across all of the channel-friendly vendor’s product portfolio, which spans opportunity-laden areas such as WAN optimization, edge virtual server infrastructure, application-aware network performance management, application delivery, Web content optimization and cloud data protection. Bowley has zeroed-in the Riverbed Partner Network on five key areas: capacity, competency, engagement, marketing and profitability. As a result of her efforts, the company, which does 95 percent of its business through the channel, has seen a 10 percent jump in its partner population in the past year. And most of those partners are now taking advantage of the enhanced capacity-planning tools, online learning for sales and certification, and new marketing resources Bowley championed to drive demand and expanded profitability.
Senior Vice President of Global Indirect Channels
SAP spent much of 2012 recasting and retooling its channel efforts to become and even more channel-friendly vendor and seasoned channel veteran Kevin Gilroy has been walking point for most every step of the campaign. Gilroy’s stated goal is to expand the SAP partner ecosystem beyond its current 12,000 global resellers to as many qualified partners as possible, as well as to enhance the operations of all partners in their ecosystem, including VARs, SIs, OEMs, developers, distributors, and volume resellers. To do that he and his team are working to help manage existing partnerships and strengthening SAP’s offerings through platforms such as SAP’s Partner Service Delivery (PSD) program, through which SAP provides partners with trusted advisors across all areas of their business to offer guidance and assistance. Gilroy also spearheaded a social networking campaign dubbed “Everyone is a Recruiter,” through which SAP encourages employees to use social outlets to discover and attract new potential partners.
Gilroy’s efforts are already visible at a vendor that attributes 30 percent of its overall software revenue to the channel and is pushing hard to get to 40 percent. In the past year, SAP has added 500 new partners, many of whom are eagerly eyeing a projected doubling of SAP’s addressable market from $106 billion in 2011 to $235 billion by 2015 across five market categories: applications, mobile, analytics, cloud, and database and technology. Gilroy and his team have been busily screening and vetting partners so that they’re up to the task, and Gilroy himself remains more dedicated than ever to improving SAP’s channel efforts through every outlet available.
One to Watch
Senior Director of Worldwide Partner Community Events
If the there’s a human face on Microsoft’s “Winning Together” channel engagement strategy, it has to be Kati Quigley, who manages the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, an event that has become a prototype for partner support in the industry. Quigley manages to bring together 16,000 partners for WPC, which on her watch has transitioned from a singular on-location event to a year-round web-based global digital experience. Indeed, her team now delivers the clearest expression of the opportunities Microsoft can offer the channel by significantly improving the partners’ understanding of the Microsoft software product roadmap.
Quigley is the Microsoft channel brand ambassador for WPC and the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners, a channel association responsible for generating more than $10 billion annually in partner-to-partner driven revenue. And she manages and facilitates partner dialog and feedback through the IAMCP and the Microsoft Partner Advisory Councils to make sure the software maker has a well-structured year-round engagement strategy to mold the company’s channel relationships.
VP, Professional Services & Data Center Practice
CIO and Senior Vice President Operations for IT
Hogue and Munawwar have been working tirelessly to transition En Pointe from a product business to a professional services group and are already seeing impressive results in the form of enhanced deal registration, more margins, and more integration with the business.
For his part, Hogue has masterfully taken En Pointe’s original professional services and consulting team and turned it into a more mature engineering team split into units: a pre-sales engineering team to support product sales; and a services/implementation team billable for on-site and customer facing work. His work as a change agent in the organization stands as an object lesson for other partners in how to address the evolution of the channel space by moving into a more value-added capacity – no small feat indeed, especially at a company that has traditionally been mostly product-sales based.
Hogue’s efforts to make En Pointe a more solution oriented systems integrator have seen the organization grow to nearly a 1:1 ratio of engineers to sales reps. This results have been increased margins for the product business and stronger relationships with customers. And since it’s no longer simply transaction focused, En Pointe no longer has to compete on dollars -- they can show true value for the products that they sell. Fellow service providers take note.
Munawwar, meanwhile recognized early on the sea change in the market moving toward cloud computing and communications. He championed what has become a robust, cloud-based unified communications offering in the form of the En Pointe Collaboration Solution. Munawwar managed to grow ECS by driving the organization’s relationship with Cisco Systems and by recruiting and working with Westcon distributor and other large telco service providers.
His work across all of the engineering, billing, and sales teams of behalf of ECS was no easy feat in an organization trying to shift its mindset from product to service orientation. But Munawwar’s efforts have paid dividends. With the Westcon relationship secured, En Pointe has started marketing ECS to Westcon partners and the cloud service is currently on track to add 20,000 more seats to its capacity in the near term.
General Manager of Data Management
Mike Crest has purpose-built his entire organization within CA Technologies around the channel as a means to bring value to partners well beyond traditional channel programs. In fact, while building on the strong heritage of CA’s ARCserve solutions, Crest was at the forefront of ensuring channel exclusivity for the vendor’s SaaS-based backup and recovery solution while maintaining margin and competitiveness for channel partners.
In a world where many vendors look first to disintermediate the channel when it comes to SaaS, Crest and his team developed a solution that mapped to all aspects of the channel, ensuring partner latitude and control over the entire customer experience. This channel-first approach has enabled partners to deliver a comprehensive solution encompassing public and private cloud coupled with on-premises disk and tape-based data protection solutions.
Spearheading aggressive and innovative programs for the channel, Crest continues to bet his business on elements such as deal registration, rebates and promotional programs. And he has spearheaded the introduction of complementary CA Technologies solutions, such as Nimsoft for the channel, to make sure partners get a greater share of proceeds in in high-growth markets.
As such, Crest has been highly influential within and well beyond CA Technologies by bringing key solutions and a channel-led market coverage model for the mid-market, leading to a significant channel-first approach across all regions.
One to Watch
Vice President of Americas Channel Sales
Few can touch Leonard Iventosch’s reputation built on his extensive experience and a proven successful track record in the storage channel at companies like Isilon and NetApp. Since landing at EMC less than two years ago, Iventosch has played a key role in getting the storage vendor’s direct and channel sales leadership teams to work more closely together than ever before to provide a truly partner-friendly experience at a time when the vendor’s Velocity partners program has become critically important for extending EMC’s reach and finding new customers.
Under Iventosch, EMC’s Americas channel has thrived as a result of his laser focus on what is most critical to partners: ease of doing business, opportunities for increased profitability, technology leadership, service delivery, training and support. For example, Iventosch has taken the lead in the development and implementation of EMC’s Enterprise Select go-to-market strategy, which lets partners sell into every market segment -- a significant and positive change in EMC’s sales culture that illustrates a commitment to providing more sales opportunities to the EMC partner ecosystem.
Check back Monday to see our overall winner of the Channelnomics 2012 Influencer of the Year Award winner.