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2021 Channel Chiefs: The 50 Most Influential

In celebration of CRN’s 2021 Channel Chiefs, here are 50 leaders who drive the channel agenda and evangelize the importance of channel partnerships.

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Michelle Welch

SVP, Marketing, Channel

Welch was instrumental in managing WatchGuard's acquisition of Panda Security and the subsequent efforts to integrate the companies’ channel programs and make the newly combined product portfolios available to all partners.

Immediately upon closing the acquisition, Watchguard launched an early access program to get Panda’s Adaptive Defense 360 product into the hands of partners for rapid evaluation and training. Within a few months more than 25 percent of WatchGuardOne partners had deployed the product internally and had begun integrating it into their product portfolios.

Just four months after the acquisition Watchguard made the entire combined product portfolio available to all partners and developed an endpoint security specialization within the WatchGuardOne program, giving partners the training and expertise they needed to sell complete network-to-endpoint security solutions.

Under Welch, WatchGuard increased its active partner ecosystem by nearly 50 percent in 2020, both organically and through the acquisition of the Panda Security partner base. The WatchGuardOne program also recorded double-digit growth in year-over-year partner participation with an increasing number of partners turning to WatchGuard to fill more than one security need within their portfolios.

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