Bixler says at one end of the spectrum nearly all of the big players in the business have yet to take the single global channel program plunge.
What's more, Bixler estimates, 70 percent of all channel programs are antiquated and need to be reworked to become simpler and easier for partners to navigate. Many partners are refusing to sign on to programs because they are too complex or require additional hires to manage them, he said.
Bixler said he will continue to be a channel force advising companies and working with partners. For his part, Equus Computer Systems'Toste says that's a relief. He sees Bixler as an anomaly in an era when executives are increasingly disconnected from partners.
"He's no Johnny-come-lately to the channel," said Toste. "He was there. He did it. He understood the problems and the opportunities. He was on top of it. You can have strong positioning and marketing, but at the end of the day it is about field sales execution. Gary had sales energy and made things happen."