Former EqualLogic Exec Joins LeftHand As Channel Chief

Shea, who until January was an area vice president of EqualLogic, also oversees the channel business of Boulder, Colo.-based LeftHand.

Shea left EqualLogic in the wake of EqualLogic's acquisition by Dell early this year.

Shea said he left EqualLogic, not because of any fears that Dell would change EqualLogic's channel-friendly status, but because he did not want to be part of a large corporation.

"I'm a small company guy," he said. "I have nothing bad to say about Dell at all. They were wonderful. They made us and#91;EqualLogic employeesand#93; feel welcome. Everybody I met was very professional."

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When word came down that Dell would acquire EqualLogic, Shea said he didn't believe it at first. "Mainly because of Dell's history of not doing acquisitions," he said. "I thought it was just another rumor. And my second thought was, boy is Joe Tucci going to be pissed."

Tucci is chairman, president, and CEO of storage heavyweight EMC which counts on its reseller relationship with Dell for about one-third of its Clariion midrange storage revenue.

Since leaving Dell/EqualLogic, Shea took time of to decide what to do next, and a couple of weeks ago he decided to join LeftHand, a developer of iSCSI software and storage appliances.

LeftHand continues to contribute to the growth of the iSCSI business, and is working closely with companies like VMware to integrate storage with server virtualization, Shea said.

LeftHand is also 100-percent channel, except for a small group of major accounts that buy products direct, Shea said. However, those accounts are serviced through the channel.

"The channel is at my core," he said. "I am a channel person. And at the rate of our growth, it has to be through the channel."

Larry Cormier, vice president of marketing at LeftHand, said his company currently works with about 425 solution providers, and has picked up about 145 of them since EqualLogic was acquired by Dell.

LeftHand is growing its channel presence, and currently has 25 open channel sales positions in North America, Cormier said. The company recently split its central/west territory into two stand-alone territories to better manage growth, and just last year opened in the European, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region.

Cormier said LeftHand's sales are being driven in large part because of the increasing adoption of server virtualization and the need to integrate it with storage.

Before, 80 percent of our deals were driven by new Microsoft applications," he said. "Today, 80 percent are being driven by server virtualization. We work with VMware, and we're certified by Citrix, and will be by Microsoft for Hyper-V."