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SADA Systems Named Google’s Top Reseller—Again

SADA CEO Tony Safoian says winning back-to-back awards was all about rapidly evolving the business in an industry with a pace of disruption that doesn’t allow partners to rest on their laurels.

For the second year in a row, Los Angeles-based SADA Systems has been named Google Cloud’s top reseller, a distinction resulting from daring decisions and major investments in its Google practice following the 2018 accolade.

In sports, it’s hard to win back-to-back championships, but in the cloud game, the pace of market disruption makes repeat titles especially challenging, SADA CEO Tony Safoian told CRN.

“In our market, the landscape, technology, competitive forces change dramatically year over year,” Safoian said. “To deliver the kind of numbers needed to win it again is something I’m extremely proud of.”

[Related: Nutanix CIO On Joining Board Of Google Partner SADA Systems]

After being named Google Cloud’s Reseller Partner of the Year for 2018, SADA did anything but rest on its laurels. The next year was marked by significant plays that propelled SADA’s entire Google business to new heights

The process started with what appeared a major gamble—divesting from a large and successful Microsoft practice to allow an exclusive focus on Google across G Suite and Google Cloud Platform.

When SADA earned the 2018 accolade, reselling G Suite was its largest revenue driver. By the time of the selection process in 2019, the GCP business had surpassed that of the productivity software one by achieving 400 percent annual growth.

That was an important milestone, as Google has increasingly prioritized taking share from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

“Nobody is confused about the fact that the biggest total addressable market is really about the platform and infrastructure space,” Safoian said. “It was important for us to demonstrate to our customers, to ourselves and to Google we’re not just a one-trick pony with G Suite and Maps.”

To effectively scale the GCP practice, Safoian hired Miles Ward, who had previously been Google Cloud’s director and global lead for solutions, as SADA’s new CTO. Recruiting an esteemed former Google Cloud manager “was one of our biggest statements,” Safoian said.

Technical leaders like Ward pull talent into the company's orbit, Safoian said, which made it easier for SADA to further bolster the expertise of its staff.

SADA then boosted its international presence, opening new offices in Toronto, one of the world’s fastest-growing tech hubs that has also seen major Google investments.

To stay atop Google’s channel globally, Safoian said it’s critical to focus on supporting regional sales leaders by understanding their unique challenges and needs in going to market.

“We have to be No. 1 or No. 2 in every submarket in North America to maintain the title and that has a lot to do with local investment,” he told CRN.

A sales manager in New York or Texas doesn’t think about global markets, but just about how they are enabled to deliver revenue in their own patch.

“You have to do that in many markets concurrently,” Safoian said. “It’s very much about the ground game.”

And a successful channel partner has to make sure it continues adapting to new market conditions—especially in times of unprecedented change.

While GCP was SADA’s largest growth engine last year, “everything goes in cycles,” Safoian noted. That’s especially true in the context of the global coronavirus pandemic, which has changed the paradigm to mobile work.

“At least for the time being, G Suite is back on top of everybody’s mind,” Safoian said.

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