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Veeam Names New Channel Exec With Enterprise Focus Plans

Joseph F. Kovar

‘Veeam has an incredible opportunity with its alliances to have this big ecosystem and this incredible reputation throughout the channel. I would say more work needs to be done with the alliances. There are tier-ones that want to spend time with Veeam. I want to bring that connective tissue and build a true global program as I had done prior to Veeam,’ says Larissa Crandall, Veeam’s first-ever vice president of global channel and alliances.

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Data protection and management technology developer Veeam Software Thursday unveiled the hiring of a new top channel executive who said she will be focused on taking the company higher up the business stack into the enterprise.

Larissa Crandall one week ago left Santa Clara, Calif.-based Gigamon, where she spent four years building that company into a channel-focused organization, to become Veeam’s first-ever vice president of global channel and alliances.

Crandall, who previously held senior channel roles in companies like Scalr and Kaspersky Lab, also spent 14 years at national solution provider PC Connection.

[Related: New Veeam CMO: ‘We Are A Strong Enterprise Player’]

Crandall told CRN that the foundation for her new role at Columbus, Ohio-based Veeam springs from her time as a solution provider.

“A lot of what I spend time doing is being in the field and talking to solution providers, building programs for them and listening to them and executing strategy,” she said. “It gets me really thinking outside in my approach versus from the inside out.”

So far, Crandall said, she has not seen any surprises during her first week at Veeam.

“I’ve been following Veeam, and have admired the brand and technology for a long time,” she said. “I mean, even all the way back to when I was working as a solution provider, I think Veeam just has incredible brand reputation and channel reputation in the market.”

Crandall left Gigamon to go directly to Veeam.

“It was bittersweet for me to leave,” she said. “I built the entire channel ecosystem alliances there. My job there was to grow the channel contribution. I was there for four years. Gigamon was a very, I would say, channel-friendly organization. Not necessarily channel-first. My job was to increase the channel contribution. [We started at] single-digit partner-initiated, and we ended up blended, about 35 to 40 percent globally. So a huge amount of growth. I spent time pulling apart and rebuilding the program alliances, the ecosystem, investing, and left pretty proud of what I built.”

In Veeam, Crandall steps into a company which is already focused 100 percent on the channel, both in terms of its own solution providers and via its technology alliance partners. Therefore, one of her initial priorities at Veeam is to spend time with those alliance partners.

“Veeam has an incredible opportunity with its alliances to have this big ecosystem and this incredible reputation throughout the channel,” she said. “I would say more work needs to be done with the alliances. There are tier-ones that want to spend time with Veeam. I want to bring that connective tissue and build a true global program as I had done prior to Veeam.”

Veeam has the alliances and the tech stack that fit the needs of businesses looking at hybrid cloud security, Crandall said.

“So it’s my job to spend as much time as I can with the alliances to build programs and ultimately go through channels,” she said.

Veeam has done well with its alliance partners, and wants to bring even more synergy in all its global markets, Crandall said.

“A lot of the conversations that I’ve had since [last] Thursday was spending time with the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and APJ (Asia, Pacific, and Japan) and the Americas teams listening and understanding what some of the top partners are doing,” she said. “Are they spending time with Pure [Storage]? Are they spending time with AWS? Who’s their go to market? Where do they see Veeam connecting in their potential go to market? There are so many different flavors of partners these days. There’s MSPs, and there’s the traditional LARs (large account resellers), cloud providers, and hyperscalers. So it brings a whole blend of who do you connect with in each of the different partner ecosystems.”

Crandall said partner enablement is important to her, particularly listening to partners on what they need from a vendor, and particularly as Veeam increases its presence in the enterprise market.

“As we go up through the stack, and Veeam is going into the enterprise market, it‘s going to be extremely important for channel partners that Veeam has co-sold with for years to understand how they and how we resonate within the enterprise market,” she said. “Veeam still can be traditionally known in the SMB and midmarket. [Getting more into the enterprise] is one of my focuses. I just came from a very enterprise-centric selling motion. So that’s exciting for me. It‘s really fun.”

Crandall was the right person for her role as vice president of worldwide channel and alliances at Gigamon, said Ryan Morris, president of Blackwood, an Annapolis, Md.-based security and analytics solution provider with a focus on Federal, SLED (state, local, and education), and commercial clients.

“I like Larissa a lot,” Morris told CRN. “She was very good at Gigamon. When someone runs the entire channel effort for a vendor, they often like to do things their own way. Larissa wasn’t like that. She came in and listened to us, and made tweaks to the channel programs based on our needs.”

When Crandall joined Gigamon over four years ago, that company’s prior leadership had implemented several changes to its channel program, Morris said.

“But the Gigamon channel program had become so complex,” he said. “She came in, reduced the frivolous parts, and simplified the program considerably, and in the process magnified the impact of the channel for Gigamon.”

Because of his past experience with Crandall, Morris said he is open to learning more about potentially signing on with Veeam as a channel partner.

“She has a seat at my table,” he said. “We’ll talk about Veeam. It’s easy to talk when someone like Larissa is in a trusted role.”

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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