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Gilroy To Manage SAP's North America Channel Operations

SAP says the former HP channel chief brings channel, SMB and distribution experience to the job.

Channel veteran Kevin Gilroy is taking the reins of SAP's North American channel operations, holding the title of vice president of North America channel for SME (small and midsize enterprise).

Earlier this week SAP confirmed to that it had hired Gilroy. Wednesday Patricia Hume, who oversees all of the company's SME indirect channel operations, provided more details about Gilroy's new position within the company and what his duties will be.

Gilroy's hiring is the latest evidence that SAP, perhaps better known for selling large-scale ERP and CRM applications used by global corporations, is putting more emphasis on the channel. Early last year the company announced that all new SME business in North America, whenever possible, would be conducted through the channel.

SAP also has been devoting more resources to the channel. And last month the company loosened some restrictions it had on channel partners selling to companies with more than $300 million in annual sales.

Gilroy, who started this week, will be responsible for managing SAP's relationships with its channel partners in North America, including recruiting new channel partners and managing partner enablement initiatives such as training, Hume said. He will report to Tom Cooper, SAP senior vice president of North American SME operations, as well as to Hume.

Gilroy replaces Steve Smith who is taking over as head of sales for SAP's North America western region.

Gilroy is best known for his 24-year career at Hewlett-Packard, including serving as the giant company's channel chief and then leading global SMB operations until 2005. Since then he has held several jobs, including serving as CEO of OnForce and managing Arrow's Enterprise Solutions Computing group.

"He has a tremendous amount of experience in SMB markets [and] channel experience through his work at HP," Hume said. His experience at Arrow "was another highly compelling reason" for bringing him on board, given that SAP is increasing sales through both volume distributors such as Tech Data and value-added distributors, she said.

Scott Campbell contributed to this article

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