New Curvature CEO Placing Bets On More 'Partner, Channel-Centric' Strategies


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Solution providers can expect third-party maintenance provider Curvature to adopt a more channel-oriented sales strategy following its merger with SMS, newly appointed CEO Peter Weber told CRN.

Weber, named this week as the combined company's new CEO, said his background in managed, cloud and data center services at SevenSpace (acquired by Sun Microsystems) and later Carpathia (acquired by QTS) underscore the indirect selling opportunities Curvature sees in those areas. Resellers, systems integrators, SaaS providers, IT outsourcers and distributors all present potential avenues for expanded partnership.

"We haven't gotten to it yet, but now we're getting to more partner, channel-focused strategies. That's probably one of my areas of particular strength," said Weber. "I believe in it."

[Related: Curvature Taps Former Carpathia, SevenSpace Exec Peter Weber As New CEO]

Partners that recognize customer demand for offerings Curvature, No. 85 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500, provides but lack the ability to deliver them at a broader scale will be a significant priority, he said.

"The core of that is basic. If we have categories of partners whose customers need and care about what we do, invest in that partner. Or if that category of partner isn't prepared and doesn't want to invest in that customer, then that's a great fit for us," said Weber.

Weber came aboard as executive chairman of the Curvature board of directors shortly after the SMS deal closed in late February. The agreement was supported by $57 billion private equity firm Partners Group, majority owner of the $545 million combined company according to a previous CRN report.

With that financial backing, the resources Curvature and SMS now share and their global market presence, Weber sees now as an ideal time for the company to "double down" on enhancing its sales muscle through the channel.

The core elements of an indirect selling program are already in place, he said, particularly on the front end. Curvature has a sales and marketing team of more than 400 employees and anticipates it will add 100 new positions in the next 12 months. Channel partner resources and support, particularly around marketing, is where Weber expects much of the investment to go.

"It's not just having somebody knocking on the door of partners. There's implications once you establish a partnership," he said. "Channel marketing – you've got to get pricing together, collaborative marketing together. You're maybe even selling with each other and going to have pipeline together. There's a lot on the back end that needs to be invested in."

The leadership change at Curvature follows a global rebranding that company unveiled in July. The IT asset life-cycle service provider, which has since moved its global headquarters to Charlotte, N.C., told CRN at the time that it would make significant investments in branding and digital marketing amid a push to expand its international foothold.

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