Riverbed Shakes Up Sales Team, Names New Global Channel Chief

massive partner program redesign

The San Francisco-based company said this week that Keith Hoskison, a former Aruba Networks and Cisco executive, has been appointed senior vice president, worldwide channels and strategic account programs. Hoskison replaces Randy Schirman, who had been running Riverbed's worldwide channel organization since October 2010.

Schirman will remain with Riverbed as senior vice president, service delivery.

[Related: Riverbed Revamps Partner Program, Focuses On Technical Certifications ]

Riverbed also confirmed this week the departure of Ian Whiting, senior vice president, Americas sales. Whiting, who had been with Riverbed just over a year, is now executive vice president of global field operations at flash storage software developer Fusion-io.

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Hoskison, for his part, will report to David Peranich, president of worldwide field operations at Riverbed, and will be tasked with driving new channel initiatives and programs and expanding Riverbed's relationships with service and solution providers.

Prior to joining Riverbed, Hoskison, who could not immediately be reached for comment, was vice president of strategic accounts at BMC Software. Before BMC, he was vice president of Americas at Enterasys, and, prior to that, he was vice president of worldwide channels at Aruba Networks.

Earlier in his career, Hoskison had an 11-year stint at Cisco, where he was vice president of channels and alliances, in addition to a number of other management roles.

Steve Inman, president of VistaOne, a Richmond, Va.-based solution provider and Riverbed partner, said Schirman leaving Riverbed's partner organization is a loss for partners but that he's confident in Hoskison's ability to hit the ground running.

"We'll miss Randy Schirman's direct role in guiding the Riverbed channel program to the point where we consider it the best in the business," Inman said. "We're excited, though, to have an executive with Keith Hoskison's experience and reputation step in and build upon the foundation that Randy and his team established."

Hoskison joins Riverbed just one week after the WAN optimization vendor redesigned its partner program, with the aim of moving from a volume- to a value-based partner rewards structure.

The new Riverbed partner program, which goes into effect on Jan. 6, will categorize and rank partners not their Riverbed sales, as done in the past, but not their ability to earn a new set of Riverbed technology certifications. Out of the gate, these certifications will focus on Riverbed's WAN optimization, storage delivery, application delivery and performance management solutions.

The program will also segment Riverbed's 2,100 worldwide partners as Authorized, Premier and Elite, rather than Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. Partner discounts range between 10 percent at the lowest-end Authorized level and 45 percent at the highest-end Elite level. Other benefits, such as deal registration are also based on partner ranking.