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Cobalt Iron Adds Sales Stars Ahead Of Partner Push

‘This team is committed to helping our partners be successful and not taking the approach of sitting around and waiting for the partners to produce before we do anything for them,’ says new vice president of channel sales John Reilly.

Data protection and back-up provider Cobalt Iron is ramping up its sales organization with plans to unveil what it promises is an innovative, new channel program and along the way it has added all-star talent to its roster.

While the Lawrence, Kansas-based company recently said that it hired Nutanix stand-out Rodney Foreman as chief revenue officer, last week it announced the addition of former Xerox Vice President of U.S. Channel Sales John Reilly, who will work as vice president of channel sales for Cobalt Iron.

“This is an exciting time to reshape the landscape of data protection,” Reilly told CRN. “Frankly, with Rodney’s help, with the team’s help, we are building out a channel program and an operational design that is simple, repeatable and easily operationalized by the various types of partners across the channel landscape, whether that be MSPs, solution integrators, etc.”

Foreman previously told CRN he plans to launch a new channel program before the end of the year. Reilly, who has worked his way up the sales ladder at HP, and HPE, was most recently responsible for national, e-tail, VAR and office super store partners with Xerox. His years of experience will now be turned to creating a channel focused organization inside Cobalt Iron.

“We fully intend on investing with our partners and making sure up front that our partners are successful out of the gate and co sell with us, our solutions architects, our end user sales people and bringing the value that our channel partners can bring and the scale that they bring to make us hugely successful … This team is committed to helping our partners be successful and not taking the approach of sitting around and waiting for the partners to produce before we do anything for them.”

[RELATED: Cobalt Iron’s Rodney Foreman On Leaving Nutanix And ‘Innovative’ Partner Program Ahead]

Cobalt Iron does not have the name recognition of its rivals in the space so job one, said Reilly, is going to be upping the company’s profile.

“Frankly, allowing partners to understand the opportunity that’s in front of them is priority one for us. Priority two is helping partners understand that this innovative program that we’ll launch … has got to be integrated into the process in such a way that they understand that they’ll be able to drive more opportunity, and a better value proposition, at less cost to them.”

Reilly said the company’s “enterprise-class SaaS solution,” which integrates with the industry’s leading cloud providers, gives partners recurring revenue in the back up and data protection space, without the hardware expenditures that some competitors demand, Reilly said. Additionally, he said the company’s AI/ML capabilities takes the manual, data-entry tedium away from front-line IT workers and lets them focus on higher value tasks.

“We are the most automated, most efficient back up protection out there,” he said. “What we’ve tried to do is look at where all those competitors fall short, and ideally bring data protection to the next level and redefine the way that people think about it.”

Reilly will report to Foreman in his new role. Prior to his role at Cobalt Iron, Foreman was vice president of global channel sales at hyper-converged infrastructure pioneer Nutanix, helping craft a new Partner Charter. Foreman also spent 20 years at IBM and IBM Global Services from 1996 to 2016, where he held various channel roles such as director of channel sales for IBM’s cloud and smart infrastructure sales.

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