Channel partners are eager to breathe life into Trend Micro business now that the company has brought on a new channel chief, Stephen Mungall.
Mungall, named vice president of U .S. channel sales Wednesday, will be responsible for executing channel strategy in both the enterprise and small business for the Tokyo-based company, including managing partnerships and achieving growth goals.
Mungall said that one of his highest priorities is to establish better communication with the partner base, adding that over the next one to three months he plans to have more face time with the channel community and elicit feedback on areas of improvement.
"Communication is one that I'll definitely work on," he said. "We've had some brief discussions and gotten feedback on how we may be able to partner stronger going forward."
Other areas he plans to address include finding new ways to incent partners, as well as beefing up education programs and support, he said.
Mungall comes to Trend Micro after serving as vice president of channel sales at Lenovo. Prior to that, he was vice president of channel sales at IBM until the company sold its PC group to Lenovo. During his time at IBM, Mungall led an initiative that combined the inside and outside channel organizations into a teaming model.
Mungall's appointment at Trend Micro fills a channel vacuum created by the departure of former channel chief Cody Leser in the fall, who left after just one year with the company. Trend Micro executives were vague on the details surrounding his exit but said that Leser's leaving was a "mutual decision."
The role of channel chief has been filled for the past eight months by Tom Miller, executive vice president of U.S. sales and marketing.
"We are really in this transformative phase," Miller said. 'The CEO thought it would be a good move to put me in the sales leadership role and then draft the strategy."
Meanwhile, partners say that they're a little more optimistic following Trend Micro's protracted stint without permanent channel leadership.
Channel partners contend that the new chief will help the No. 3 security company gain traction in the channel and acquire a competitive edge in the market against security giants Symantec and McAfee.
"I think [a competitive edge is] something that they've been lacking," said Bob Venero, president and CEO of Future Tech Enterprise, a Holbrook, N.Y.-based VAR. "I will tell you, they've always been the second choice. I think that the way to get to the first choice is to have the channel be driving that for you -- if you have a very strong channel leader who understands the channel and can take that to the next level."
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