Pivot3 Hires Former Acronis Exec Mark Maisano As Its New Channel Chief

Hyper-converged infrastructure technology vendor Pivot3 has named a new channel chief charged with accelerating the company's business by building closer ties to its channel partners.

Mark Maisano, who four weeks ago became Pivot3's vice president of channel sales, told CRN that he was attracted to the Austin, Texas-based company by its 100 percent dedication to the channel.

"Pivot3 at the core is all about the channel," Maisano said. "The company is investing more in driving its value via the channel. I joined because I felt I could really make a difference. Pivot3 executives made it clear that they were driving the channel. That's what I was most impressed with."

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Nutanix, SimpliVity, Pivot3 Are Tops In New Forrester Hyper-Converged Report]

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Maisano spent the last year-plus at Acronis where he served as vice president of global distribution. Before that, he was senior director of worldwide distribution at Seagate Technology and its former EVault cloud storage unit.

As Pivot3's new channel chief, Maisano said he plans to increase his company's footprint and reach in the channel, and continue building on its reputation as a trusted vendor partner.

"We will build a strong channel reach to help partners move further into the data center and expand their enterprise solutions," he said. "For instance, Pivot3 today is really the only hyper-converged infrastructure solution that can handle video surveillance."

Pivot3's channel program is already pretty solid, Maisano said. For instance, he said the number of deals registered by channel partners in the second half of 2016 grew 275 percent versus the first half of 2016.

"We will invest in making sure our channel program is dynamic and fits our partners' different markets," he said. "We don't think one size fits all."

Maisano is a good hire for Pivot3, said Mike Braico, CEO of InData Consulting, a Valencia, Calif.-based solution provider and channel partner to Pivot3 for about six months.

Braico said he and Maisano had met twice in the last four weeks and that Maisano has a really good channel background.

"He understands the channel, and understands the value of channel partners," he said. "One of the things he made clear in our meetings is his commitment to the channel and distribution, and to making sure, he has in place the right rules of engagement with partners. And he made it clear Pivot3 is not building a giant sales force, but instead will build sales with channel partners."

Pivot3 has done a lot to enable the channel to expand its business, Braico said. For instance, he cites the ability to install high-end Nvidia graphics cards in the Pivot3 hyper-converged infrastructure appliances for use in virtual desktop infrastructure deployments.

"Everybody always wanted high-end graphics for VDI, but the technology wasn't there," he said. "Now it is. Nvidia in the Pivot3 appliance lets us build high-end graphics packages for engineering and video conferencing companies."

Stewart Sonneland, CEO of Strategic Integrators, a Spokane, Wash.-based solution provider which last year started working with Pivot3 after Pivot3 acquired NexGen, said he met Maisano last month at a conference for key Pivot3 partners.

"I was very impressed with his background," Sonneland told CRN. "More important, he seemed to fit in with Pivot3 management's commitment to the channel. We now have visibility with Pivot3 at the C-level, which helps a lot in putting deals together and closing them."