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128 Technology Nabs Mark Vella To Head Partner Relations: Exclusive

Channel veteran Mark Vella is joining 128 Technology as its vice president of business development and alliances, the startup told CRN.

Networking software startup 128 Technology has crowned a new channel chief.

Five-year-old 128 Technology has brought on Mark Vella as vice president of business development and alliances. In his new role, Vella is being tasked with growing partnerships with technology partners, solution providers and MSPs.

Vella, a channel veteran with more than two decades of experience, is taking over for Brian Norris, 128's former vice president of solution providers, who is now serving as vice president of finance and investor relations for the firm.

[Related: 128 Technology Using 'Super Powers' In Battle With 'Complicated' SD-WAN Vendors]  

"We've had some really early success with partners. I want to put some more structure around that and focus on partner enablement and expand on the partner ecosystem," Vella said.

Former channel leader Norris last July said that the company was going to grow its partner community of 25 by at least 50 percent as more solution providers learn the value in 128 Technology's network software platform and SD-WAN technology. With about 40 partners today, the company has hit its goal. The next step is to expand relationships with its partner base and boosting productivity, Vella said.

Burlington, Mass.-based 128 Technology specializes in software-based routing and SD-WAN solutions, so partners that can bring hardware into the mix to build a complete offering for end customers are critical, Vella said.

"We play a part in an end to end solution and the surrounding ecosystem and having an interaction with these partners is very important to our success," Vella said. These partners will include vendors such as Palo Alto Networks AWS, and Azure, as well as MSPs and system integrators.

128 Technology does all of its business through the channel today, the company told CRN. The channel program is structured to address needs of specific partner types, including a separate tier for agents and master agent partners, a tier for MSPs, and a tier for system integrators. 128 plans to further develop the channel program over the next year, Vella said.

For partners looking to differentiate a routing or SD-WAN offer, 128 is building out a managed solution that MSPs can take to their customers, he said.

Vella is no stranger to partners. Prior to his latest appointment, he was Avaya's vice president of channels and SPSI alliances where he was grew and maintaining partnerships with an ecosystem of more than 2,000 channel partners and system integrators. Vella also served as vice president of alliances and channels for Oracle Communications, vice president of sales and business development for software firm Benu Networks, vice president of worldwide business development and channels for Acme Packet, and director of EMEA strategic alliances for Juniper Networks.

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