CRN Exclusive: Xerox Taps Tech Data Vet Pete Peterson for Global Channel Leadership Role

Xerox has snagged a longtime channel champion at Tech Data for a new role focused on driving best channel practices globally and growing business with multi-brand resellers.

The Norwalk, Conn.-based document technology vendor has turned to Pete Peterson to drive alignment and collaboration between Xerox's North America and international channel operations. As senior vice president of global channel strategy, Peterson told CRN that he'd focus on positioning Xerox's products, programs, and partners to drive market share growth among small and mid-sized customers.

"We have a new, fresh lineup of products, and opportunity with both new and existing partners," said Peterson, who started with Xerox two weeks ago and will have his hire formally announced on Thursday.

[RELATED: Partners: Massive Xerox Product Launch Will Drive More Device Refresh, App Adoption]

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The SMB print space is growing far faster than the industry as a whole, Peterson said, so Xerox is committed to both identifying and recruiting new partners as well as growing incrementally with existing partners. Xerox has invited dealers who are currently part of the company's channel program to events later this month in New York and London.

Xerox's pitch to prospective channel partners will focus on both the company's bevy of new products, Peterson said, as well as how they can be leveraged in a more strategic way. The largest product launch in the company's 110-year history featured 29 new printers and multifunction devices, including 12 smaller, tabletop A4 printers tailored to small and mid-sized businesses.

The company is working behind-the-scenes to put robust, sustainable incentives in place for channel partners around the product launch that go well beyond the deal of the day, according to Peterson. The foundation of Xerox's programs seems to be pretty positive, and the company is currently working to update and enhance them, Peterson said.

Peterson will report to Xerox Chief Commercial Officer Kevin Warren, and oversee infrastructure, operations, and channel program employees with global responsibilities. He will work alongside U.S. Channels Group President Darren Cassidy and European Channels Group President Diego Hervas to support their region-specific efforts and provide an additional set of eyes and ears.

Peterson said he'd been impressed in his brief time at Xerox by the senior leadership's focus on growing and enhancing the company's go-to-market channel strategy and execution.

The first 90 days at Xerox for Peterson will be spent soliciting feedback from channel partners, end customers and Xerox's geographic, product and channels leaders, he said. From there, Peterson said he plans to help Xerox build out and execute a growth plan for the future.

Peterson spent 19 years at Clearwater, Fl.-based distributor Tech Data, including well over a decade in senior sales and marketing roles. Since then, Peterson has briefly held sales executive roles at Brocade and Tessco Technologies.

Peterson's industry experience makes him a great fit for this channel strategy leadership position, according to Josh Justice, president of La Plata, Md.-based Just-Tech. Justice said he'll specifically appreciate the additional support Peterson can provide around the SMB market.

"Being a Xerox certified app developer, I have traveled the world and have seen many similarities with channel partners," Justice told CRN. "It makes sense to have someone working with channels globally, and I look forward to the exchange of best practices for partners."

Peterson's ability to ensure consistent best practices across Europe and the U.S. will benefit partners, according to Troy Tafoya, president of Fort Collins, Colo.-based Professional Document Solutions. Tafoya said Peterson would enjoy success in growing Xerox's channel if he can ensure there's good availability of the company's new products at a price point that allows partners to be profitable.

"A lot of what Xerox has brought into the United States, they've been doing in Europe for quite some time," Tafoya said. "Someone who can see what's working and what's not working in both regions will be good for Xerox and good for us."