New Riverbed Marketing VP Sets Sites On Channel Growth


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Riverbed Technology's new vice president of marketing sees a golden opportunity to capitalize on the WAN optimization powerhouse's financial momentum and channel prowess -- more marketing, more touch and more VAR engagement, she says.

"I'm looking at our channel leverage and I see a lot of VAR partners out there and a lot of technologies that are very complementary to make a solution," said Carolyn Crandall in an interview with CRN. "Maybe it's an SAP migration, or virtualization, or the list goes on. We continue to look at those opportunities and see partnering with a lot of those VARs, while we also continue to have a very strong and aligned relationship with our large partners."

A 20-year channel sales and marketing veteran, Crandall joined Riverbed at the end of July from Seagate-owned i365, where she was senior vice president of worldwide marketing. Before i365, Crandall was vice president for global systems integrators at Juniper, and headed up two-tier distribution channels, channel marketing, channel product marketing and commercial market strategy in various roles at Cisco.

She has also appeared on CRN's list of the 100 Most Powerful Women of the Channel.

"I've always looked for where the best opportunities presented themselves, and I said let me take a look at the movers and shakers, and who's really in a growth spurt," she said. "I think all the places where I've had the most fun in the past was taking companies with run rates in the millions into the billions. I wanted to see who's growing and also who's powered through the recession and who has their eye on the cloud ball in the right way."

"Here's a company with great technology and doing well in the financial markets, but not as well known as they might be," she said of Riverbed.

Crandall joins Riverbed at a time of growth for the company, in revenues and especially in the channel.

Earlier this year, Riverbed expanded its worldwide channel program and also introduced two-tier distribution for the first time, through Arrow ECS and Avnet Technology Solutions. Its also continued to bolster its flagship line of Steelhead appliances, most recently with a virtual version built for VMware ESX and ESXi 4.0 environments.

Increasing Riverbed's visibility -- especially among enterprise and midmarket customers and the VARs that serve them -- will be the priority, she said. Look for Riverbed to increase its marketing spend, too, especially in areas like case studies, social networking, and, this fall, the launch of a new Web site.

"I have to say, Riverbed's a well-oiled machine," Crandall said. "It feels like the old dot-com environment where people are just really energized and having some fun. That lets me go right into more of the advanced strategy and see about how we can onboard our partners, and work with Arrow and Avnet on the solutions sell, as well as strategies to expand out coverage into the market."

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