Blue Coat Names New Americas Channel Chief7:00 AM EST Wed. Nov. 14, 2012
Just in time for its partner conference this week, Blue Coat Systems has a new Americas channel chief in place.
Barry Davis, a former HP, ArcSight and Citrix executive, has joined the company as vice president of Americas channels sales, where he'll be overseeing the company's partner relationships in the region.
Davis was most recently vice president of business development at cloud infrastructure specialist Egnyte, though he spent about a year and a half at ArcSight as vice president of general business and partner sales, before and then following ArcSight's acquisition by HP in 2010. He also spent 10 years at Citrix, where he was vice president of business development before exiting in 2008, and among other highlights, Davis founded and led Citrix's strategic alliance and partner program.
Davis, who officially started at Blue Coat last week, reports to Eric Cross, vice president of field operations, Americas. WAN optimization and Web security are Blue Coat's specialties, so Davis' experience in both areas made him a particularly appealing candidate, Cross told CRN.
"We're excited to have him join the organization," Cross said. "He has a wealth of experience in extending, enhancing and evolving overall go-to-market strategies around partner ecosystems. His knowledge of our partner ecosystem, having worked with a lot of our key premier and elite partners, is a definite advantage."
Davis is on hand at Blue Coat's partner conference, which kicked off in Las Vegas Tuesday. His purview is Americas channel sales, but Blue Coat also wants to leverage his experience working with global systems integrators and other alliance partners, Cross said.
Cross has been Blue Coat's acting Americas channel chief since the departure of former America channel sales boss Laurie Usewicz, who resigned in May. Blue Coat's channel executive structure has changed much in the past year and a half, with the elimination of the worldwide channel chief role in favor of decentralized leadership specific to geographic region.
Cross said Blue Coat doesn't expect additional changes following Davis' appointment.
"We feel very confident in the organization we have today, and there's an opportunity for Barry to bring in an innovative approach," Cross said. "We do not anticipate any wholesale changes."
NEXT: An Environment Of Change In Blue Coat Community, Partner Program
Change has been constant in the Blue Coat community over the past year. In August 2011, Blue Coat ousted then-CEO Mike Borman and appointed Gregory Clark as its new chief executive. Then in December came the announcement that Blue Coat would be taken private by investment firm Thoma Bravo following 11 years as a public company.
Earlier this year, Blue Coat made significant changes to its partner program, notifying about 27 percent of its roughly 2,400 partners that they would be demoted from higher-level partnering tiers of its Channel Advantage Program or cut from the program entirely. According to Cross, Blue Coat plans to more strictly enforce program requirements.
Blue Coat also recently added new channel resources, including marketing, engineering and support, an updated PRM system and a content syndication platform, plus back-end rebates for new product and service sales by Blue Coat partners.
On the flip side, Blue Coat plans to lower the services margins it offers to partners. Cross acknowledged criticism from the partner community about the move, but said Blue Coat's margins were significantly higher than industry averages and that partners need to be focused on new business.
"When you look at partners investing in Blue Coat and focused on net-new customers, the feedback has been more positive," Cross told CRN. "For the partnership community focused more on a surviving, renewal base of customers, it hasn't been as well received."
Blue Coat is expected to confirm more partner program updates during the conference this week. The company will also continue to make incremental investments in support and services, as well as R&D, and launch a number of new products in WAN optimization and Web security over the next three months.
PUBLISHED NOV. 14, 2012