Red Hat's New Channel Chief Brings Maturity To Cloud, Open Source Partner Program

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D. Martin VCE
D. Martin

The move by D. Robert Martin to take over the channel chief role of Red Hat after over a decade's worth of channel experience with VCE and Cisco Systems marks a new level of maturity for Red Hat's channel business.

Red Hat on Tuesday said Martin has taken over as vice president of North American partner sales for the company.

Martin, who started his new role on Monday, is a four-plus-year veteran of VCE, and since the third quarter of 2013 spearheaded that company's strategic initiatives for indirect business, including channels, ISVs, systems integrators and OEMs. Prior to that, he spent several years in Cisco's channels team.

[Related: Cisco, Red Hat Deepen Cloud Relationship With 'Journey To The Open Cloud' Program]

Martin steps into the new role about three months after Roger Egan left Red Hat as vice president of North America channel sales to take a new role at open source startup Docker.

Martin told CRN that he was not running away from VCE, where he said channels are playing an increasingly important role.

"I am coming to what I think is a really good opportunity," he said. "With my skill sets and background in the channel community, as well as my background at Cisco, and where Red Hat is today, I think I provide a unique set of skills that they were looking for that makes it a great marriage for both of us."

Martin also brings to Red Hat a new level of maturity the company needs to continue its growth as a top supplier of technology for building open source solutions and clouds, said Bradley Brodkin, president and CEO of HighVail Systems, a Toronto-based solution provider and partner to Red Hat and Cisco.

Brodkin said Red Hat had a good channel program under Egan, and that he looks forward to working with Egan again at Docker. However, he said, Red Hat's solutions have rapidly advanced, and the company has needed a new way to look at how its channels can evolve to keep up.

"Red Hat needs to go to another level," he said. "I sit on the Red Hat partner council. The council has been trying to push Red Hat on the channel side. The company is seeing the need for change."

NEXT: Helping Red Hat Mature Its Channel Business

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