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Meet Brian Hartwell, OpsRamp's New Channel Chief

Brian Hartwell joins the hybrid cloud management startup after building partner programs at Rubrik and Nimble Storage

The new channel chief for emerging hybrid cloud management specialist OpsRamp told CRN on Wednesday he's ready to drive forward the company's recently implemented partner program to scale the business across large enterprises.

Brian Hartwell, who last led channels at Rubrik, joined the San Jose, Calif.-based startup this week in the newly created position of vice president of worldwide sales. His hire comes a few months after OpsRamp launched its first channel program to capitalize off its success with MSPs and recruit more resellers.

"I feel I understand the reseller community and the driving needs to both maintain an extreme focus on partner profitability and ease of doing business," Hartwell told CRN.

[Related: 10 Products That Will Shake Up The Hybrid Cloud Market In 2019]

Hartwell, a lawyer by education who has worked in sales roles at a number of tech companies, built out a channel and distribution network at Nimble Storage before that company was acquired for $1 billion by HPE.

Hartwell said he's had a long career of working with all types of ecosystem partners, from traditional resellers to services providers to systems integrators to OEMs. In his last position at Rubrik, a storage and data management specialist, he focused on driving alliances with platform vendors, OEMs and storage and networking partners.

The OpsRamp model of delivering hybrid-cloud management through a Software-as-a-Service interface offers a unique opportunity for channel partners focused on multi- and hybrid-cloud solutions, he said.

"Few, if any, companies are capable of successfully delivering this type of SaaS platform," Hartwell told CRN. "We provide customers with a model for managing environments as a service, which changes margins dramatically."

That "robust IT operations platform" allows IT services providers to consolidate tools and take in recurring revenue as the market for operations, analytics and AIOps grows at a rapid clip.

Hartwell said he's "looking to onboard and build longstanding relationships" with cloud-focused partners of all stripes.

The OpsRamp platform is being adopted by both SMBs and large enterprises managing complex environments, he said.

The startup is aggressively looking to win "large, complex organizations," Hartwell said, noting the current pipeline shows 80 percent of opportunities coming from customers that saw over $1 billion in annual revenue.

To bring up to speed new partners, OpsRamp offers online training modules and hands-on training through shared implementation engagements. Its professional services group constructs statements of work with partners and then looks to hand off those accounts.

OpsRamp's channel push got started in earnest last year, when Mike Munoz joined the company as its chief revenue officer and proposed a strategy of opening the platform to a broader base of partners.

Munoz brought on Denny Riley as global vice president of channels and partnerships and tasked him with laying a foundation for reaching a 50 percent goal of sales through the channel.

Riley will report to Hartwell.

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