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Channel Chiefs (L-V)

Scott Dunsire
Vice president, U.S. business channel sales
Channel Achievements:Lexmark has been a leader in creating programs targeted at penetrating the small-business market.
2002 Channel Revenue:80 percent to 90 percent of sales
Change From Previous Year:Up 5 percent to 10 percent
Channel Program Budget:Increase planned for 2003
Advice To Other Channel Executives:"Never underestimate the power of the channel. Solution providers are entrepreneurs, and they will find products/services to sell. Channel people are survivors."
Worst Channel Experience/Decision:"Eliminating key supportive roles for solution providers. We underestimated needs of solution providers in regard to support."
Reports To:Bruce Dahlgren, vice president and general manager, North America, printing solutions and services division



'You need to listen to partners every day, you need to stay predictable and you need to be clear on what you can and cannot deliver' -- Allison Watson, Microsoft
Vice president, worldwide partner sales and marketing group
Channel Achievements:In her short tenure at Microsoft, Watson has helped refocus more than $500 million of incremental investment in the channel, smoothing over rocky relations sparked by Microsoft's consulting services strategy.
2002 Channel Revenue:96 percent of sales
Change From Previous Year:NA
Channel Program Budget:$1.5 billion for fiscal 2003, including a $500 million incremental spend over the previous year
Advice To Other Channel Executives:"The key to a successful channel model is a mutual commitment to getting a job done well and getting it done right in a constantly changing environment. This means you have to think long term and stay open to change. You need to listen to partners every day, you need to stay predictable and you need to be clear on what you can and cannot deliver."
Worst Channel Experience/Decision:"In this short time frame [at Microsoft, my worst experience thus far is telling partners we have great new programs and resources on the way but not being clear about when we will have them realized in the marketplace."
Reports To:Lindsay Sparks, vice president, worldwide SMB

Leonard Iventosch
Senior director, worldwide channels
Channel Achievements:After years of insisting that its partners refrain from selling competing products, Iventosch scrapped that policy for a program that also features channel-neutral compensation and bigger solution provider discounts.
2002 Channel Revenue:40 percent of sales for fiscal year ended April 30
Change From Previous Year:Slightly higher
Channel Program Budget:Spending increased more than 100 percent this year.
Advice To Other Channel Executives:"The most critical factor for channel success is to have executive support and sponsorship. For example, what we are achieving at Network Appliance is changing the company's business model, leveraging the channel to move the top line. This requires a change in attitude, affects our corporate culture and requires new processes that will lead to success with our channel partners."
Worst Channel Experience/Decision:"My worst experience was at my previous employer, Data General, where I did not gain executive support for a very vibrant channel program that needed to be implemented."
Reports To:Ed Deenihan, senior vice president, worldwide sales

Mike Menegay
Senior vice president, channels, North America
Channel Achievements:A former ComputerLand franchise owner, Menegay has extended the vendor's technical training and certification programs and addressed past issues with channel conflicts.
2002 Channel Revenue:About 80 percent of sales
Change From Previous Year:Up 19 percent
Channel Program Budget:Up 36 percent this past year, including a 300 percent increase in personnel and new technical support resources
Advice To Other Channel Executives:"We expect the security market landscape to look significantly different in the next five years. %85 It is important for executives to invest in the right growth areas and in those partners who bring brand recognition and product leadership and innovation."
Worst Channel Experience/Decision:"One of my worst channel experiences was probably back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Working on behalf of a location reseller franchise, the company did not have tremendous success because the company's parent brand failed to listen to its resellers' input. Without direct ongoing communication, the company was unable to keep up with the changes in the competitive landscape."
Reports To:Greg Nurre, executive vice president and general manager, North American sales

Nancy Reynolds
Vice president, North America channel sales
Channel Achievements:Reynolds is renewing partner programs and piloting a Demand Agent effort with advisory council and Platinum partners.
2002 Channel Revenue:More than 40 percent of sales
Change From Previous Year:NA
Channel Program Budget:Investment will grow "substantially," said Reynolds.
Advice To Other Channel Executives:"Hire talent. Hire senior, experienced channel sales individuals to call on your partners."
Worst Channel Experience/Decision:"As a Novell employee for 14 years, it was really tough to witness Novell's change as we moved away from the channel to a more direct model and did not adapt our channel programs accordingly. Novell needs partners today, and we need a balance. That is the direction we are moving in today. And it comes from the top down."
Reports To:Carv Moore, president, Novell North America

Craig Schlagbaum


'Always treat your partners as your customers.' -- Craig Schlagbaum, NTT, Verio
Vice president, channel sales and marketing, enterprise hosting and broadband
Channel Achievements:Since joining NTT/Verio last April, the former Qwest and IBM executive has helped implement a channel-neutral sales model.
2002 Channel Revenue:30 percent of NTT/Verio's hosting and broadband services revenue
Change From Previous Year:Up 35 percent
Channel Program Budget:"Our channel budget has grown 100 percent since 2001," said Schlagbaum. "We expect it to stay unchanged in 2003."
Advice To Other Channel Executives:"Always treat your partners as your customers."
Worst Channel Experience/Decision:"Consolidating multiple partner programs into one combined program."
Reports To:Isabel Ehringer, president, enterprise hosting; and Mike Stewart, president, broadband services

Kenneth Muse
Vice president, North America sales channels
Channel Achievements:The Oracle veteran is figuring out ways to include more partners in the "Oracle Economy" and has created new programs, such as the Applications Affiliate Program.
2002 Channel Revenue:NA
Change From Previous Year:NA
Channel Program Budget:Budget is flat for 2003, but resources will be allocated differently.
Advice To Other Channel Executives:"I believe it's very important to be as consistent as possible with your partner community. Changes are fine, so long as it's not a continuous reinvention and re-creation of a program."
Worst Channel Experience/Decision:"I guess the worst experience was trying to deliver a conceptual product to be sold through the channel. My first mistake was thinking this net new conceptual product could be sold through the channel. The channel is great at selling tangible, actual products. A concept is harder to sell."
Reports To:Keith Block, executive vice president, North America

Ryan Slack
Senior director, business solutions program, PCS division
Channel Achievements:Slack is leading the charge for the telco's wireless data partner program, and he's looking to the IT channel for insight and leverage. Slack led a similar transition in Sprint's wireline business.
2002 Channel Revenue:NA
Change From Previous Year:NA
Channel Program Budget:About five times what was spent six months ago; increase planned for 2003
Advice To Other Channel Executives: "I truly believe that almost all sectors of the IT value chain should focus a lot of energy on how wireless is going to impact their business."
Worst Channel Experience/Decision:"We would have been better to wait a couple of more months and tightened up the program before launching it."
Reports To:Jed Dodd, vice president, sales and distribution, PCS division

Gary Grimes
Vice president, partner management and sales
Bill Cate
Director, U.S. channel architecture and programs
Channel Achievements:Under Grimes, Sun has made its sales representatives more accountable for the success of partners. Cate has focused on fine-tuning the iForce program, including the introduction of specialty designations.
2002 Channel Revenue:NA
Change From Previous Year:NA
Channel Program Budget:NA
Advice To Other Channel Executives: Grimes: "Probably the most important thing I've learned in my 30 years working in sales and with partners is the value of listening and,equally important,acting on given feedback, whether it is positive or constructive [criticism." Cate: "I would advise another channel executive to simplify their business process."
Worst Channel Experience/Decision: Grimes: "I don't know that there is a worst channel experience or worst decision, but rather a point where we recognized that some of the needs of our partners weren't being met with our current channel model." Cate: "I would say the current economic climate has been particularly tough on the industry and really forced companies to differentiate themselves from their competition. It's been particularly important that programs we develop for our channel partners are simple, help them achieve their goals and recognize their commitment."
Reports To: Grimes: Bill Cook, vice president of U.S. sales; Cates: Grimes

Allyson Seelinger
Vice president, North American enterprise and consumer channels
Channel Achievements: As Symantec extends beyond its consumer roots, Seelinger is leading the security vendor's charge into the value-added channel.
2002 Channel Revenue: NA
Change From Previous Year: NA
Channel Program Budget: Resources for VARs slated to grow.
Advice To Other Channel Executives: "The hardest part of being a channel executive is balancing the needs of all the various channels with one another and with the customers. An empathetic, conscientious channel executive, of course, wants to keep all facets of the channel happy and growing wildly at all times, and sometimes hard choices need to be made that make that goal nearly impossible. Where possible, it helps to break down the program promotions by channel so that everyone feels like they get something in the end."
Worst Channel Experience/Decision: "About five years ago, I went on a sales call to meet with a key potential partner in the Midwest. We went in with what we thought was a reasonable product/promotion strategy. After hearing our pitch, the potential partner basically kicked us out, saying that our competition provided a much better price, promotion and margin package. This experience drove home the lesson that we needed to provide a compelling set of benefits [to show that were industry-leading."
Reports To: Steve Messick, vice president, North American sales and marketing

Dave Smith
Vice president, Americas sales and service
Channel Achievements: Smith helped 3Com dig down deep into its channel roots with two new rebate and discount programs
2002 Channel Revenue: 95 percent of total sales
Change From Previous Year: No change
Channel Program Budget: Investment grew 60 percent in the current fiscal year and should grow another 30 percent to 35 percent in the next fiscal year
Advice To Other Channel Executives: "Be consistent in your channel programs. Don't let the pressure of quarterly revenue numbers detract from an emphasis on good, solid channel programs that allow solution providers to be profitable. Solution providers won't be forgiving if you divert business by going direct. Solution providers today have great executive relationships. They can drive business as well as direct-sales representatives [can. Utilize their expertise."
Worst Channel Experience/Decision: "The greatest challenge I face when dealing with the channel is explaining why a solution provider is no longer qualified to sell your product, or making the decision to limit distribution. Several years ago, 3Com made a business decision to limit its number of distributors. From a list of 15 partners, we reduced the number of distributor partners in the U.S. market to three. Throughout the process, there were many tough discussions. But in the end, it worked out well for 3Com and its distributor partners. We found that discontinued distributors were eventually acquired or are no longer
Reports To: Steve Messick, vice president, North American sales and marketing

Don Foster


'It takes time and patience to build a channel: Create a vision and execute.' --Don Foster, Veritas

Vice president of partner sales, Americas
Channel Achievements: Moved to formalize the Veritas certification program
2002 Channel Revenue: NA
Change From Previous Year: Expected to grow
Channel Program Budget: Investment grew 60 percent in the current fiscal year and should grow another 30 percent to 35 percent in the next fiscal year
Advice To Other Channel Executives: "Three answers here: A loyal channel is a terrible thing to waste. Only work for companies with great products and strong corporate integrity. It takes time and patience to build a channel: Create a vision and execute. As a marathoner, I find many similarities. You plan a 26.2-mile strategy, but what works is to break it down into many smaller races, excel at each one, and soon you're done."
Worst Channel Experience/Decision: "Presenting on stage after Joe Womack when he was vice president of channels at Sun. He was tremendous."
Reports To: Mike Coney, vice president of U.S. sales

Jeff Volpe
Vice president of sales, ViewSonic
Channel Achievements: Few vendors have been as consistently pro-channel
2002 Channel Revenue: Traditionally, more than 99 percent of total revenue
Change From Previous Year: Up about 1 percent
Channel Program Budget: Investment should grow roughly 15 percent in 2003.
Advice To Other Channel Executives: "I would advise manufacturers to be consistent with their programs and true to their word with channel partners. Market changes require adjustments in go-to-market plans, but solution providers need reliability and consistency from a manufacturer in how they do business and the direction they take with the channel. ... In addition, manufacturers must deliver value, through ease of doing business, access to information, marketing tools, product and great account management. Solution providers want and need quick access to information and people. Finally, as a manufacturer, you must stay focused on the changing needs of the channel. Programs and infrastructure must be developed with input from the channel and designed to support the channel."
Worst Channel Experience/Decision: "Everyone makes mistakes or has major challenges at some point as they move through their career, but one specific instance does not stand out to me. However, the challenges I have faced have taught me that not soliciting and listening to input from the channel can result in a program or product being less successful than it could have been."
Reports To: James Chu, founder and CEO

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