Ex-NetApp Exec Strubel To Focus On Simplicity As Commvault's New Head Of Worldwide Channels

For Commvault's new head of worldwide channels Scott Strubel, simplification is the key to helping channel partners grow their businesses.

Over the next few months,Commvault plans to introduce a significantly simplified licensing model to make it easier for solution providers to quote and sell Commvault offerings, Strubel said. The company will also continue to refine its Admin Console to make it easier for partners to implement.

"We want simplicity for partners," said Strubel, a former NetApp channel executive who joined Commvault as vice president of worldwide channels Tuesday. "If we focus on simplification of how partners work with Commvault, we believe we'll see an increase in transaction volume both for our software and our HyperScale appliance."

[Related: NetApp Channel Exec Scott Strubel Retires, Thomas Stanley Takes Over In Interim]

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Strubel, who left his role as channel leader for NetApp's Americas business in March, 2017, has a knack for doing what he says he will do, said John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider that works with both Commvault and NetApp.

Woodall, who has known Strubel for years, told CRN that a focus on simplicity is a great starting point for Commvault.

Simplifying the quoting process is a priority for Commvault's channel, Woodall said. "Commvault has a good offering that could benefit from operational efficiencies and simplicity," he said. "It's good for the channel's business, and helps stay interesting to partners."

And Strubel, an executive who really understands the channel business, is just the man for the job, Woodall said.

"He gets things done," he said. "In meetings, he wants straight feedback. He takes notes and follows up on the feedback. Not everybody is like that. He understands our business, how to do business with us, how to set goals that are measurable, and how to follow up on it."

The hiring of Strubel will pay off well for Commvault, Woodall said. "The data protection business has a lot of competition for mindshare," he said. "It's important for Commvault to have someone who understands what the channel is doing. And Strubel does."

Strubel was the third new partner-focused executive hired so far this year by Commvault, the Tinton Falls, N.J.-based developer of data protection software and appliances.

The company in January named Owen Taraniuk as its new head of worldwide partnerships and market development, and followed up in February with the appointment of Andy Vandeveld as the company's new vice president of worldwide alliances.

Strubel takes over for Ralph Nimergood, Commvault's vice president of indirect strategy for channel sales and chief of staff within the worldwide partnerships and market development group. Nimergood had been running channel sales and is remaining with the company. Going forward, both Strubel and Nimergood report to Taraniuk, with Strubel focused on channel sales activities and Nimergood focused on all the ways channel partners interact with Commvault, Strubel told CRN.

"Ralph will lead our shared services organization, and I will use that organization," he said. "That includes our partner portal and partner programs, which Ralph will build."

Strubel said he will be focusing on partner profitability and on co-selling opportunities at Commvault. His initial focus will be on simplifying how Commvault works with its channel partners.

Partners have been telling Commvault for a long time that the company has outstanding technology, but that technology is too complex, Strubel said.

"Maybe there were too many levers to pull and knobs to turn," he said. "But the latest version was downloaded by over 7,000 people who now average only 35 minutes until their first backup. So the idea that Commvault is complex is not true. We need partners to understand they can get to the first backup in under 35 minutes. We can prove they can drive a Rolls Royce without having to turn the engine."

Commvault is bringing on a significant sales, engineering, and delivery team for channel partners, he said. "To be a true partner-led company, we need to change the way we interact with partners," he said.