CRN Exclusive: New Relic Hires Channel Veteran To Recruit Partners, Spur Channel Sales Of Its Digital Performance Software

New Relic has hired Todd Osborne, a former channel executive at CTERA Networks, Virtual Instruments and Oracle, as the APM software company's new channel chief.

Osborne, officially the company's vice president of alliances and channels, will be tasked with recruiting new solution providers to join the company's recently launched New Relic Navigators Partner Program and increasing the share of company revenue generated through the channel.

Osborne started working at the San Francisco-based New Relic earlier this month.

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"There's a tremendous opportunity in this next wave of growth for New Relic," Osborne said of the company and its channel partners, in an interview with CRN.

New Relic develops a digital performance monitoring and management platform that IT management, business operations and development teams use to monitor and measure the performance of applications and IT infrastructure.

While New Relic has largely relied on direct sales since its 2008 founding, the company has been working with a limited number of strategic consultants, VARs and systems integration partners who help implement its Digital Intelligence Platform software, especially in cloud deployments, said chief marketing officer Robson Grieve in an interview.

John Gray, New Relic's previous channel chief, left in May to take a post with cloud monitoring software developer Datadog.

In September, at the company's Cloud Migration Partner Summit, part of its FutureStack customer conference in New York, the vendor launched the New Relic Navigators Partner Program in a move to recruit more partners who help customers with their cloud migration and digital transformation projects.

The channel program provides assistance in the form of cloud migration best practices, partner training and enablement, enhanced revenue sharing for resellers, and packaged marketing support, among other services.

With the program in place, New Relic "really needed to put a leader in place" to take the channel operations to the next level, Grieve said, and grow partner sales and manage partner development.

Osborne has been working as an independent consultant this year after serving as head of service provider and channel sales at CTERA Networks through 2016. Before that Osborne worked at Virtual Instruments for five years, including several years as the company's senior director of global partner sales and alliances

Between 2005 and 2010 Osborne worked at Sun Microsystems in various capacities, including managing the system company's OEM sales, and was director of global strategic alliances at Oracle in 2010 after the database and software company acquired Sun. Earlier he was manager of International channel development at StorageTek.

New Relic doesn't disclose how much of the company's sales are generated through the channel or involve a partner, but executives acknowledge that the volume of resale business today is limited.

One of Osborne's more immediate tasks is aligning New Relic's channel efforts with the vendor's sales organization, getting partners more involved in customer account planning and holding more joint meetings in the field with partners and customers.

He also will focus on recruiting additional partners to the New Relic Navigators Partner Program, seeking systems integrators, resellers and consultants who can work with New Relic's technology. He added that he has no specific numerical targets for how many partners he plans to recruit.

"It's much more of a quality of experience rather than a quantity of partners," he said.

New Relic is also looking to expand internationally and the company is seeking channel partners to help with that initiative.

Grieve and Osborne are attending this week's Amazon Web Services re:Invent conference where they are meeting with prospective partners, including those who work with AWS cloud platforms, as well as current partners and customers.

Osborne will work to move the partner program forward to support different partner models, including partners who resell the product, those who assist with customer sales and support (but leave deals on New Relic's contract), and those that provide consulting and managed services around New Relic's software.

Three industry trends are the key sales drivers for New Relic's software, Osborne said: Efforts to modernize and integrate applications using new DevOps technology and processes; improving the customer experience through digital transformation projects; and the migration to public, private and hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Osborne is seeking solution providers who are building practices in those areas and who have the expertise and capabilities to help customers be successful with those massive initiatives.

"These partners are out there driving these projects, delivering those experiences for their customers," Osborne said. His goal is to help them "leverage New Relic as part of those customer engagements."