The channel-executive shuffle does not abate in this industry. In the past few weeks, both SAP and IBM have made significant moves within their organizations, both impacting the respective companies' SMB efforts.
For its part, SAP has tapped longtime channel maven Donna Troy to lead the German company's nascent initiatives in the small and midsize markets. Troy is a well-known figure in the channel with 25 years of experience running global channel and business development efforts, including her most recent stint at Network Associates and earlier posts at Tivoli and her own firm, Partnerware. At SAP, she takes on the title of senior vice president of SAP's global SMB business. In addition to growing market share and cultivating SAP's strategy in this potentially lucrative space, Troy will be tasked with developing and managing a global partner channel, according to SAP. She will report directly to Leo Apotheker, executive board member and president of global field operations at SAP.
SAP, whose enterprise sales roots are notoriously direct, has nonetheless begun to cozy up to the channel in order to move aggressively into the SMB market. The company says it now has more than 430 partners delivering vertical-industry solutions on top of its mySAP All-in-One midmarket offering, while crafting a 650-partner network for its small business solution called SAP BusinessOne. Apotheker says Troy will factor immensely into the continued growth of those channels.
"Donna Troy's expertise in managing international partner and business development programs will be a valuable addition as we enter our next phase of growth in serving our customers and partner network through the global SMB initiative," he said in a statement.
IBM, meanwhile, has restructured a bit, sending Mark Ouellette, formerly vice president of SMB sales, over to head up the entire software group's sales operations. He'll report to Donn Atkins, who heads IBM Software's vast direct-sales force. IBM has not disclosed the reason for the move, but it's probable that the company is looking to inject some new energy into its software group sales, which were quite lackluster as a whole in the second quarter.
Jim McDade will assume responsibility for shoring up IBM's SMB efforts, which have been gaining in sales momentum. According to Big Blue officials, McDade will focus for now on better integrating SMB's direct sales, telesales and channel sales organizations.