Ipanema Finds First U.S. Channel Exec In Former VCE Channel Manager

WAN optimization specialist Ipanema Technologies has tapped John "Jack" Milik, former senior manager of channels at VCE, as its first-ever U.S. director of channel sales. Milik's appointment represents the latest in a series of moves made by Paris-based Ipanema, which sells 100 percent through the channel, to build out its North American partner base.

Milik's title with Ipanema is channel director of cloud services, and he will be tasked with managing Ipanema's existing partnerships, along with driving partner recruitment. Ipanema told CRN it currently has 20 partners in the U.S., with ambitions to at least double that number by this time next year.

Milik will also help roll out Ipanema's formal U.S. partner program, which the vendor said is slated for launch in the first quarter of 2014.

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"I think this is just a tremendous opportunity. I have done a lot of startups, but the look and feel of this is just phenomenal," Milik told CRN. "The brand recognition that Ipanema has in Europe is well-known, if not better than any of our competitors, and we [believe] we are the best-kept secret in the States.''

Prior to joining Ipanema, Milik spent two years at Cisco-EMC-VMware joint venture VCE, where he oversaw channel strategy and development. Before VCE, Milik had a four-year stint at Cisco, where he ran the networking giant's Midwest data center practice and played a key role in the launch of both Cisco's Nexus and UCS product lines.

Milik also held several senior sales and channel leadership positions at startups including New Zealand-based Mako Networks.

Vince Arden, founder and CFO of Preferred Communications Systems, a Tinley Park, Ill.-based solution provider and Ipanema partner, applauded Ipanema's appointment of Milik.

"Anytime we can have a local presence helping us sell, it’s a good thing," Arden told CRN.

In his new role, Milik will be tasked with recruiting new partners to drive adoption of Ipanema's flagship application performance management service AppsWork.

Targeted largely at the midmarket and SMB space, AppsWork offers capabilities including real-time visibility into application performance, WAN optimization, and dynamic bandwidth control, or the ability to a redirect bandwidth in real-time from "recreational" applications like Facebook and YouTube to ensure there's enough for mission-critical business applications like Microsoft Lync or Salesforce.com.

AppsWork is hosted on Rackspace and delivered as a service. Ipanema's Vice President of Cloud Services Rogier van der Wal said partners often deliver AppsWork in a managed services-like model, meaning they take on the responsibility of managing their customers' applications through the AppsWork service portal and can re-adjust the business criticality assigned to each application on the fly.

Partners can also embed their own brand in the AppsWork service portal.

"[Partners] position themselves in a value-added role, and they sell additional monthly recurring consultancy services using the service portal and the reports they pull from it," van der Wal said, noting that 90 percent of Ipanema partners use this model.

Arden, for his part, said he is seeing good traction with the AppsWork suite.

"We have been actively [selling] AppsWork for the past four months, and we have already $22,000 on the books with a potential $40,000 sale as well," Arden said.

Ipanema in July also rolled out mobile access capabilities for its AppsWork service, allowing solution providers and MSPs to monitor clients' applications directly from their smartphones.