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Tanium Snags Channel Vet Todd Palmer To Drive Partner Sales

Palmer and existing channel chief Tom Herrmann will jointly lead Tanium’s global partner business, with Palmer overseeing resellers and distribution and Herrmann spearheading technology partnerships.

Tanium has hired Palo Alto Networks and NetApp veteran Todd Palmer to lead the company’s global channel sales team and support reseller and distributor relationships.

The Emeryville, Calif-based endpoint visibility and control vendor has tasked Palmer with preparing the company’s updated Partner Advantage Program for launch by reviewing all the elements and testing the program with solution providers, said Chief Revenue Officer Thomas Stanley. Existing Tanium global channel chief Tom Herrmann will now be responsible for building our relationships with technology partners, he said.

“We just have a massive opportunity that we need to get after now,” Stanley told CRN. “Bringing on Todd is quite frankly doubling down on our investment with partners.”

[Related: 10 Things To Know About Tanium's First-Ever Partner Program: Exclusive]

Palmer and Herrmann will jointly lead Tanium’s global partner business, with both executives reporting directly into Stanley. Palmer started with Tanium in early April, according to Stanley.

Stanley and Palmer worked together at NetApp during the late 2000s and early 2010s, where Palmer served as Americas channel chief and Stanley led relationships with global system integrators and alliances partners. Stanley said he’s impressed by Palmer’s deep relationships in the channel, strategic expertise, deep execution skills, character, personal accountability and ability to work well with others.

“What you accomplish is important, but how you get there is extremely important as well,” Stanley said. “He was just an obvious fit in my mind.”

Since leaving NetApp, Palmer has spent three years as Palo Alto Networks’ Americas channel chief, over two years as Cohesity’s global channel chief, and nearly a year leading strategic partners and alliances at Hitachi Vantara. At Tanium, Stanley said Palmer will be responsible for aggressively hiring people around the globe to work with partners and help them make Tanium’s offerings more real in the market.

“This is a talent-based business,” Stanley said. “So hiring the right talent is one of the big things I’m holding him accountable for.”

Palmer will also be heavily involved in working with Tanium’s marketing team around partner messaging, Stanley said. Tanium’s channel organization is split roughly equally under Palmer and Herrmann, Stanley said, with more of the corporate team reporting into Herrmann and more of the field team reporting into Palmer.

Herrmann, meanwhile, will be responsible for tightening Tanium’s relationships with analytics, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CMDB (Configuration Management Database) vendors to provide customers with more visibility as applications move into the cloud, Stanley said. This is similar to Herrmann’s role at VMware, where he spent nine years leading global strategic alliances.

Freeing Herrmann up to work in the broader technology ecosystem and create more holistic solutions around Tanium’s product will allow the company to better serve large enterprise and government clients, Stanley said. Herrmann will be working with larger systems integrators (SIs), advisory partners, cloud providers, telcos, ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) and other tech partners in his new role.

“We want partners to know how serious and committed we are about winning with them both in the long-term and right now,” Stanley said.

While at Palo Alto Networks, Palmer exceled at making things predictable for the channel, setting expectations around how much money solution providers could make, and putting in protections for the company’s most strategic partners, according to a Palo Alto Networks partner who didn’t wish to be identified.

Palmer set and enforced rules that were good for the company’s large, existing VARs, requiring that solution providers have a certain amount of revenue, technically certified personnel, and demo gear in place. By churning or eliminating the lower-tier partners just passing through, Palmer made it so that Palo Alto Networks’ most valued partners weren’t having to compete with one-off, fulfillment partners.

The perks and benefits under Palmer were clear and predictable, the solution provider said, with non-registered partners getting a 10 percent discount and registered partners getting a larger discount. This margin protection and lack of exclusions allowed Palo Alto Networks’ most committed partners to make more secure investments around the company.

“When Todd ran the channel, it was a pretty clean program,” the solution provider said.

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