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Imperva Snags Akamai’s Micheal McCollough To Lead Channels

McCollough says he’s looking to work more closely with the public cloud providers and help Imperva’s existing 500 channel partners deliver services and take advantage of the company’s acquisition of jSonar.

Imperva has brought on longtime Akamai global channel chief Micheal McCollough to scale the data protection vendor’s channel business and create new partnerships.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company has tasked McCollough with boosting Imperva’s transformation to a channel-first company by further developing and growing the Imperva Partner Ecosystem. McCollough replaces Jim Ritchings, who retired in February after leading global channels at Imperva for two-and-a-half years and previously serving as global channel chief for Trustwave and F5 Networks.

“I truly want to create the culture of a trusted advisor,” McCollough said. “My commitment is to listen, act, and hold the team accountable.”

[Related: Imperva To Buy jSonar, Adding To Database Security Firepower]

McCollough had spent more than six years leading global channels and alliances at Akamai, where he in January rolled out a new partner program that more than doubled margins for solution providers who deliver design and implementation services. Under McCollough, Akamai drove $1 billion of revenue via the channel, and delivered more than 70 percent of the company’s new business through partners.

At Imperva, McCollough said he’s looking to work more closely with the public cloud providers and help the company’s existing 500 channel partners deliver services and take advantage of the company’s October 2020 acquisition of jSonar. As more people move workloads to AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, McCollough said he wants Imperva to define security requirements and jointly go after the business.

From a services perspective, McCollough said he’s planning to examine whether Imperva has the right program and benefits in place to enable MSPs and MSSPs. Given the number of vendors in the security space, McCollough said he wants to ensure that Imperva is offering MSPs an experience that’s consistently and reliably simple.

As customers look to secure their database environment, McCollough said they need help figuring out how to leverage Imperva’s jSonar technology to become GDPR compliant. McCollough said partners therefore should look at provide consultation services to customers as part of the sales process.

Imperva is looking to sell exclusively through the channel in the future, McCollough said. The company’s international channel business is already quite significant, but Imperva has “quite a way to go” in North America due to having some pretty big customers in the region with direct relationships, according to McCollough.

Before transition a direct relationship to a solution provider, McCollough said Imperva needs to ensure it’s a win-win for both the customer and partner. Imperva is primarily focused on deepening its relationships with existing channel partners, but might add a few with certain vertical specialties, according to McCollough.

From a metrics standpoint, McCollough said Imperva’s planning to track the amount of new business that’s being brought by partners through a deal registration process. Partners generate roughly half of Imperva’s business in the Americas today and a much higher mark internationally, and McCollough said he’d love to see the channel bringing in virtually all of Imperva’s new business going forward.

McCollough also hopes to have partners take more responsibility around delivering services and support for Imperva’s products. The company has partners with that capability today, but McCollough said Imperva’s looking to create a more structured framework for partners to consistently deliver services on a programmatic basis.

Finally, McCollough said Imperva would like to better embed itself in partners’ technology stack and have the channel pursue more renewal, upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

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