Dimension Data's Cloud VP Jumps To Security Startup Cryptzone, Launches Partner Program

Cryptzone is betting big on the channel, expanding its partner program and bringing in top channel talent with the addition of former Dimension Data Vice President Tina Gravel.

Based in Waltham, Mass., Cryptzone is a growing network security startup that provides context-aware data protection and user access for both infrastructure and applications.

Gravel, who had served as vice president and general manager of cloud services for Dimension Data since February 2014, joined Cryptzone at the beginning of August as senior vice president of strategic alliances and channel partners. Gravel also has held top channel leadership positions at Nirvanix and Verizon Terremark.

[Related: Sources: HP Taps Former Verizon Terremark CEO As New Enterprise Channel Chief]

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Dimension Data, No. 10 on CRN's 2015 Solution Provider 500 list, declined CRN's request for comment on Gravel's departure and how it will impact the company's cloud services business.

Cryptzone also named Scott DeSilva as director of North American channel sales. DeSilva has been with Cryptzone since 2013 in regional channel roles and has held channel leadership roles at Workshare, Intellext and Adobe Systems.

While Cryptzone has worked with a small number of partners in the past, Gravel will now be responsible for ramping up the company's presence in the channel, starting with the official rollout of its enhanced partner program this week. The program will be a standard tiered program with "rich" margins, Gravel said in an exclusive interview with CRN, but declined to comment more specifically on the details as the program structure is still evolving.

For Cryptzone, the goal of the program launch and big investments in executive appointments is to make its channel "as big as possible and as large a percentage of revenue as possible," Gravel said.

"That's my goal -- to grow the channel. ... We expect it to be very large in the future," Gravel said. "We're investing. If you're going to have a channel and alliance program, you have to invest in it. ... [Cryptzone] has been very supportive so far," she continued.

In particular, Gravel said she will drive investments in education and partner enablement tools such as MDF. While the technology is "game-changing," Gravel said, just like the cloud in years past the technology is so new to the market that the company will invest to help get the word out.

"It's so different and something that is new enough that it's going to take a lot of missionary work in the channel to get folks to understand it and get it propagated into the channel," Gravel said. "[For partners] it's a perfect fit. If you look at all the different systems integrators, the outsourcers, they're all looking for things that will disrupt, things that will add and will help their clients."