100 People You Don't Know But Should (Part 1)

The Unsung Heroes Of The Channel

There are a lot of shining stars on vendors’ channel management teams. And then there are a lot of people who work just as hard toward the success of partners but aren’t as visible. Maybe they are behind-the-scenes players responsible for building a new cloud program. Or they might be high-level channel executives at lesser-known companies that offer high-margin sales opportunities to prospective partners. Or they aren’t part of channel management at all but are driving strategy or technology vision that impacts solution providers in the field.

Here's Part 1 of this list, which includes those building and running channel programs, designing special incentives, educating and training solution providers and evangelizing hot technology. They are the unsung heroes who put in the elbow grease to make channel partnerships work.

Also, be sure to check out part two of our list of 100 People You Don't Know But Should.

Todd Mottershead, Acer

Sr. Mgr., U.S.
Servers & Storage

Highlights: Instrumental in Acer’s push to compete with HP and Dell by entering the U.S. server and storage markets in a big way— with brand-new product lines earlier this year via a 100 percent indirect channel model.

Ed Van Siclen, Adobe

VP, Technology & Partner Solutions

Highlights: Driving Adobe’s channel strategy toward new partner business models as the company looks at ways to leverage SaaS and cloud computing, as well as how those new software delivery methods will impact solution providers.

Andrea Thomas, Adtran

Dir., Channel Development

Highlights: Part of a team putting a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the rollout of Adtran’s new partner enablement programs, which include enhanced deal registration, bigger margin opportunities, new tools, as well as financing and incentives for solution providers.

John Honning, Advanced Micro Devices

Sr. Mgr., WW Channel Marketing

Highlights: Developing a wide range of sales and marketing programs that drive Advanced Micro Devices’ global partner efforts around partner funding and demand generation.

Terry Wise, Amazon

Dir., Bus. Dev., Amazon Web Services

Highlights: Pioneering Amazon’s efforts to bulk up its cadre of cloud-focused solution providers, which are now putting their own services on top of the company’s cloud infrastructure and storage offerings.

Gordon Lord, APC By Schneider Electric

Dir., Channel Marketing & Programs

Highlights: One of the architects of a comprehensive program that aims to team solution providers together to give more customers the big payback from a power/cooling data center solution.

(Pictured with CRN Vice President and Editorial Director Kelley Damore at the 2011 CRN Channel Champions Awards)

Stuart MacLennan, Apple

Managing Dir., U.S. Commercial & Government Sales

Highlights: The man behind Apple’s under the-radar push to work hand in hand with solution providers to break into enterprise business accounts. Solution providers working with the vendor say he’s got their backs.

Warren Mead, AutoVirt

VP, Sales

Highlights: Bringing new online training and certification programs to partners and investing in the tools and support needed to help boost partner profitability, all while tripling AutoVirt’s channel team within the past two months

Tom Mitchell, Avaya

SVP, President, Avaya Go To Market

Highlights: Now in charge of overall go to-market strategy, including channel transformation, small- and medium-size enterprise and worldwide channels, and architecture and policy management for Avaya’s systems integrator and service provider channels.

Joe Sigrist, Avaya

VP, GM, Video

Highlights: In a role that was created specifically for him, Sigrist is bringing heavyweight video experience from Polycom to bear as Avaya’s first high-level video executive and is the face of the company’s efforts to beef up the video component of its unified communications strategy.

Susan DuRoff, BMC

WW Channel Operations Mgr.

Highlights: Designs, implements and manages channel programs, contracts and operations worldwide for BMC’s integrated enterprise and mainframe service partner programs. Also works with the partner community to make sure their needs are met by the company’s channel efforts, particularly as they move toward SaaS.

Laurie Potratz, Brocade

Sr. Dir., Americas Channel Sales

Highlights: Brought in last year as part of Brocade’s efforts to improve global channel support and coverage. Potratz leads the company’s Americas channel team and plays a key role in setting its go-to-market strategy.

Michael Denning, CA

GM, Security

Highlights: Leading CA’s identity and access management business, which is now focused on developing cloud-based security offerings such as the company’s recently launched Advanced Authentication Cloud Service.

Eran Orzel, Check Point

Head Of New Business Offerings

Highlights: Develops and manages Check Point’s push into new strategic sales models, including managed services and SaaS, and has managed the company’s solution provider partner program for the past five years.

Maria Cannon, Cisco

VP, Bus. Mgt. & Operations
WW Partner Organization

Highlights: Leads team responsible for partner enablement and partner experience that includes everything from scaling programs and promotions to providing a partner help line and talent portal; also runs a series of partner advisory boards that aim to improve ease of doing business with Cisco.

Susheel Chitre, Cisco

Dir., Cloud Go-To-Market, WW Channels

Highlights: Plays a key role in defining Cisco’s strategy for bringing cloud solutions to market through the channel and helped develop the Cisco Cloud Partner Program that was unveiled earlier this year at the Cisco Partner Summit.

Kris Zimmerman, Cisco

Collaboration Architecture Lead, U.S. & Canada Partner Organization

Highlights: Leading partners into new business models built on Cisco’s collaboration architecture that incorporate cuttingedge technology such as Cisco’s video, Cius tablet and Quad social networking offerings.

Simon Crosby, Citrix

CTO, Data Center & Cloud Div.

Highlights: As the founder of XenSource and Citrix’s resident virtualization guru, Crosby has spent much of the past decade evangelizing the powers of the technology and is now setting his sights on the role virtualization plays in the cloud revolution.

Craig Schlagbaum, Comcast

VP, Indirect Channel Sales, Business Class Services

Highlights: A passionate advocate of bringing service providers and solution providers together, he is now building out Comcast’s indirect channel strategy and overseeing the rollout of a brand-new indirect partner program.

Pat Donovan, D&H Distributing

Dir., Inside Sales

Highlights: Drives the distributor’s high-touch sales model with strategic initiatives such as the creation of its Licensing Desk and Specialists Team, which give channel partners easy access to specialized sales and technical representatives.

Tina Fisher, D&H Distributing

Sr. Dir., Purchasing

Highlights: Works with some of D&H’s biggest vendor partners to procure pricing discounts, rebates, special credit offerings, bundles and demo programs designed to help solution providers make headway in today’s hot technology markets.

Brian Bell, Dell

Exec. Dir., WW Sales, Dell Compellent

Highlights: Came to Dell in February through its acquisition of Compellent and is now focused on building up Dell’s growing channel storage business, telling partners earlier this year that the company wants ’to take our unfair share of the market.’

Bob Skelley, Dell

Exec. Dir., Global Certified Partner Progam & Channel

Highlights: Tapping into 12 years of channel experience to help turn Dell into a partnerfriendly outfit. When it comes to channel strategy, program development and resource implementation within Dell’s channel organization, he’s your guy.

Kerry Mertz, D-Link

Field Marketing Mgr., Channels

Highlights: Helping build strong bonds between D-Link and its growing base of channel partners, which has increased five-fold since changes to its Value In Partnership channel program added targeted discounts, a volumebased rebate scheme and extra benefits for specialized partners.

Curtiz Gangi, Eaton

Dir., IT Channel Sales

Highlights: Spearheads a national team of inside and outside sales representatives to expand Eaton product sales through channel partners who are striving to meet all of the power demands generated by the new data center.

Linda Connly, EMC

VP, GM, Inside Sales & SMB Div.

Highlights: Leading the charge into the SMB arena, where EMC sees big opportunity for both market-share gains and sales growth. EMC’s SMB market push is a channel-only effort and includes modifications to its partner program that make it easier for its channel to get trained and start selling.

Fred Kohout, EMC

VP, Global Channel Marketing

Highlights: EMC’s new head of channel marketing is scaling all the different parts of the company’s partner strategy. Kohout has set his sights on increasing the partner ecosystem, giving solution providers an array of new tools to work with, and enhancing marketing campaigns.

Jason Romsey, EMC

Sr. Dir., SMB Sales

Highlights: After 14 years with EMC, he knows the company’s sales strategy inside and out. Now he’s taking that expertise to the low end of the market as the newly promoted head of EMC’s SMB sales organization, where he’ll be helping partners position EMC products to smaller clients.

Terry King, Emerson

Sr. Dir., Channel Development, Liebert Div.

Highlights: Tackling the data center infrastructure market with a cadre of strong channel offerings that are aimed at giving solution providers all the tools they need to sell profitable power solutions.

Jack Johnson, Eset

Dir., Bus. Marketing

Highlights: Manages the company’s North America Channel Partner Program, which packs in a strong and winning combination of financial incentives, dedicated support and recurring revenue opportunities for Eset security solution providers.

Jason Clark, Fortinet

Dir., Channel System Engineers

Highlights: Oversees all of the engineers who are dedicated to the channel and is responsible for creating tools, such as the Awestruck live demo program, which helps partners teach their end users about the security products that can protect their networks.

Joe Sykora, Fortinet

Sr. Dir., Channel Marketing

Highlights: Manages Fortinet’s channel marketing budget, events and trade shows as well as the partner council, which the company depends upon for partner input on technology, channel development, support and business strategy decisions.

Jeff Ragusa, Google

Google Apps SMB Channel Lead

Highlights: He’s the man in charge of Google’s plan to deliver Google Apps through a channel of authorized partners, responsible for designing, managing and growing the company’s partner efforts around its cloud-based messaging and collaboration tools.

Ken Archer, Hewlett-Packard

VP, Americas Channels & Alliances, Technology Services

Highlights: An HP channel veteran who returned to the fold to lead a cultural transformation to make HP Services more channel-friendly. One big move: doubling the number of channel sales reps working with partners to close services deals in the field.

Steve Erdman, Hewlett-Packard

VP, HP Software

Highlights: Erdman’s channel, sales and software expertise is bringing more solution providers into what may well be the biggest sales and profit growth opportunity in the $126 billion behemoth’s arsenal. Erdman gets it: It’s all about the software, stupid.

David Twohy,Hewlett-Packard

VP, Americas, Channel Sales

Highlights: Another key player in the HP channel services sales transformation, look for him to play an even bigger role teaming with solution providers under HP CEO Leo Apotheker’s move to create new higher-margin, highervalue services that HP and its partners can bring to market.

Tanya Loughlin, Hitachi Data Systems

Mgr., Cloud Product Marketing Initiatives

Highlights: Directs the strategy and go-to-market planning for the vendor’s cloud initiative, which now includes a unified storage/server platform for building cloud infrastructure that goes head-to-head with offerings from HP and Cisco.

Louise Bishop, IBM

Bus. Dev. Mgr., NA System Networking, Global Bus. Partners

Highlights: She built a big channel business for HP ProCurve networking and now she has taken her considerable talents to IBM. She has the smarts and relationships to take the company’s networking business into the stratosphere.

Mark Register, IBM

VP, Software Bus. Partners & Midmarket

Highlights: IBM’s newly appointed software channel chief is striving to provide ’air cover’ in the form of resources and support to solution providers expanding into growth areas such as business analytics, cloud computing, highgrowth geographies and its Smarter Planet initiatives.

Jack Santoni, IBM

Exec. Dir., NA Growth Initiatives

Highlights: A true cloud evangelist who is helping bring IBM some serious cloud credibility and partner firepower. You can expect more solution providers to carry the IBM cloud flag as a result of Santoni’s leadership skills.

Carla Cicero, Ingram Micro

VP, Strategic VAR

Highlights: Directly responsible for more than $1 billion in business from some of the world’s biggest systems integrators, she’s lauded by partners for her contagious energy and heralded by her team at Ingram Micro as ’the conductor’ who keeps the trains moving.

Sandy May, Ingram Micro

VP, Partner Shared Services

Highlights: Known as a mastermind of operational excellence, she brings the distributor’s essential technical support and customer service offerings to life and also has a hand in many of the company’s partner initiatives and regional projects throughout North America.

Darrell Black, Intel

Dir., NA Commercial Channel

Highlights: Making sure that Intel’s channel commitment and programs are second to none, Black has made some big improvements to the company’s channel programs and services— all of which are putting more profit into partners’ pockets.

Tania Fox, Intel

Marketing Dev. Mgr.

Highlights: One of Intel’s secret weapons in the enterprise market, she is working hand in hand with partners in the field to make Intel an enterprise force. She’s got the channel, customer and market acumen that is making a difference.

Michele Campbell, Juniper

Dir., Global Channel Dev.

Highlights: Helps drive partner program development, capacity and planning for Juniper’s worldwide channel efforts, including responsibility for the company’s Partner Survey and popular Learning Academy online training portal for continuing education.

HoJin Kim, Juniper

VP, Partner Dev. & Operations

Highlights: Responsible for all of Juniper’s distributor relationships in the Americas, as well as some larger national partners. His team also handles all of the operations for channel offerings such as deal registration and special pricing.

Gerald Beaulieu, Kaseya

Dir., Product Marketing

Highlights: Making sure that Kaseya’s partners are up to speed on the managed service platform provider’s latest and greatest. His new mission: getting more MSPs to sign on to Kaseya’s new certification program. It’s all about getting more profit from the Kaseya partnership.

Gary Mullen, Kaspersky Lab

VP, Corporate Marketing

Highlights: Mullen is making sure that Kaspersky is a bigbrand security force to be reckoned with in small, midmarket and enterprise organizations. It’s the little company that could.

Sammy Kinlaw, Lenovo

Dir., Distribution Sales

Highlights: One of the key executives leading a channel renaissance at Lenovo, which has made big gains—adding 3,100 VARs over the past year—in part by courting SMB solution providers through its distribution partners.

Bruce Shaw, Lenovo

Exec. Dir., Think Products & SMB North America

Highlights: A P&L owner of $1 billion in annual revenue, he oversees planning, marketing, operations, pricing and supply/demand for all Think-branded products in North America and manages the region’s SMB business.

For more of CRN's 100 People You Don't Know But Should, see Part 2 of our list.