100 People You Don't Know But Should (Part 2)

Channel Stars Step Out Of The Shadows

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.

Part two of this list continues to examine 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, in case you missed it, check out part one of our list of the 100 People You Don't Know But Should.

Dan Wensley, Level Platforms

VP, Partner Dev. & Marketing

Highlights: A channel veteran who has built Level Platforms into a bulletproof channel power, now he’s helping partners move from MSPs to Cloud Service Providers with offerings such as Level Platforms Managed Workplace Cloud Edition.

Jason Mattox, Liquidware


Highlights: A thought leader in desktop virtualization, he’s now guiding Stratusphere, a virtual desktop infrastructure planning and user experience monitoring tool; and ProfileUnity, which handles migration of Windows native user data to Citrix XenDesktop, VMware View, and Windows 7 environments.

Chance Hoover, McAfee

Channel Enablement Mgr.

Highlights: Focused on driving the programs needed to enable and train the McAfee channel, as everincreasing security threats and the evolution of new use models such as cloud computing and mobile devices are keeping solution providers on their toes.

Bill McAlister, McAfee

VP, Inside Sales

Highlights: Working diligently behind the scenes at McAfee to make sure that the company’s inside sales team works with the channel and that it views solution providers as friends— not foes.

Greg Lissy, Microsoft

Dir., SMB Channel Strategy

Highlights: Doing the blocking and tackling to make Microsoft’s SMB Cloud Champions club a big success in the channel by offering resources, incentives and training to partners that are committed to the cloud.

Phil Sorgen, Microsoft

Corporate VP, U.S. Small & Midmarket Solutions & Partners

Highlights: Provides the vision and leadership behind Microsoft’s SMB channel efforts, ensuring that the vendor and its partners are meeting the needs of their small-but-powerful clients, a market that includes some 6 million businesses.

Fred Studer, Microsoft

GM, Information Worker Products

Highlights: You know all those really popular Microsoft applications? This is the guy responsible for their U.S. revenue and P&L performance. That means when it comes to Office, SharePoint, Outlook and Exchange, he’s the one calling the shots on go-to-market strategy, marketing and sales.

Alex Castaneda, Motorola

Dir., Global Programs & Operations

Highlights: Has made big gains getting partners to look at Motorola’s strong lineup as more than just a series of point products to focus on full-fledged, industrial-strength mobile solutions for vertical markets. It’s all about highly specialized solution sets.

Kevin Kirkpatrick, N-able

Mgr., Partner Dev.

Highlights: If you’re looking to make your move into managed services, Kirkpatrick is a great resource. He’s got the inside scoop on how to build a profitable MSP business, and he’s more than willing to share his blueprint for success, as seen in any number of N-able training and education events.

Todd Palmer, NetApp

VP, Americas Channel Sales

Highlights: Has put NetApp on the channel fast track, and the numbers speak for themselves. For fiscal 2011, NetApp sales were up 30 percent with at least 75 percent of sales coming from partners. On top of that, NetApp had record $1 million and $5 million-plus deals for the year.

Amede Hungerford, NetSuite

Sr. Dir., Channel Marketing

Highlights: Instrumental in driving channel partner recruitment efforts, as well as launching a Partner Resource Center to bring partners the sales and marketing tools they need to succeed. Oversees event marketing, demand gen and all other aspects of marketing strategy.

Raj Dhingra, Ncomputing


Highlights: Dhingra is a man on a mission: provide simple, affordable virtual desktops to markets that can’t afford full VDI deployments across SMB, education and enterprise accounts—and work with channel partners to get there.

Juan Carlos Cerrutti, Novell

VP, NA Sales

Highlights: Now that Novell has been acquired by The Attachmate Group, Cerrutti has been named part of Novell’s new leadership team, tapped with taking charge of its commercial strategy, all sales channels and customer satisfaction in the U.S. and Canada.

John Delk, Novell

VP, Strategic Accounts, Partners & Alliances

Highlights: Another member of Novell’s new leadership staff, he is responsible for managing the teams in charge of strategic accounts, service providers, global alliances and the Americas partner organization.

Tim Brien, OKI

Dir., Managed Print Services

Highlights: Helping partners succeed in the fast-growing managed print services market with robust infrastructure tools, a critical OKI differentiator. Look for him to bring more enterprise-class tools/automation offerings to the managed print services market.

Treb Ryan, OpSource


Highlights: He has created a cloud blockbuster with OpSource’s VCE partnership offering, bringing a full VCE public cloud play to the market. VCE provides cloud building blocks and OpSource provides its cloud stack of user controls, provisioning, management and administration.

Nick Kritikos, Oracle

VP, Partner Enablement

Highlights: You can’t argue with results. Partners are flocking to Oracle’s PartnerNetwork Specialized Program. And Kritikos is rewarding them with exclusive benefits including a Partner Premier Web site, which allows partners to showcase their expertise to prospective customers.

Kevin O'Brien, Oracle

Sr. Director, ISV & SaaS Strategy

Highlights: He’s pulling together an ISV and SaaS product portfolio for Oracle that is second to none. It’s all about bringing the same rigorous technical review and testing to validate partner offerings that have made Oracle’s database the favorite of Fortune 1000 companies.

Julianna Benedick, Panasonic

Dir., Marketing

Highlights: She’s one of the big reasons why Panasonic’s rugged laptops and Toughbook H1, the company’s rugged mobile clinical assistant for the healthcare market, continue to gain momentum in the channel. Great products. Great channel program. Great marketing.

Patty Morrison, Panasonic

Marketing Mgr.

Highlights: Morrison is making sure that solution providers get all the resources the 100- percent-channel-strong vendor brings to bear for its channel program, including considerable market development funds and marketing muscle.

Birger Steen, Parallels


Highlights: He was recently tapped as the desktop virtualization vendor’s new CEO, and expectations are running high that he will take the profitable $100 million company to the next growth level. He oversees day-today engineering sales, partner relationships, support, marketing and deployment services.

Bill Britts, Quantum

EVP, WW Marketing, Service & Bus. Dev.

Highlights: Making Quantum channelstrong, he has doubled down on VARs, working to provide more technical and sales resources to partners along with detailed product road maps and competitive data, all aimed at giving them the ammunition they need to win.

Ilya Zeldin, Quest Software

Global Partners & Alliances

Highlights: Playing a key role in Quest’s push into the managed services provider market, where the company promises increased revenue and profits— all under one contract, one usage report and one invoice each quarter and managed by a single account manager.

Chris Rajiah, Rackspace

Vice President North American Channel Sales

Highlights: Upstart Rackspace sees the opportunity for real growth in managed hosting, cloud hosting and e-mail and apps, and it’s looking to Rajiah to drive that business via referral and reseller partners.

Scott Crenshaw, Red Hat

VP, Cloud Business Unit

Highlights: Red Hat is in the midst of a huge cloud computing middleware portfolio explosion, and he’s the one pushing the buttons. The company recently unveiled Infrastructureas- a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service offerings and launched a new PaaS partner program.

Tammy Gillis, Research In Motion

Mgr., Partner Sales Training

Highlights: Wondering what’s the best way to sell a BlackBerry device to a customer? She’s the one with the answers. Channel readiness is Gillis’ middle name, and she is making sure that channel partners have the training and tools they need to succeed.

Gene Bonacci, RES Software

VP, Channels & Strategic Alliances

Highlights: Bonacci is tasked with building effective channel, sales and product integration strategies to drive growth for the desktop management software vendor in the commercial and federal markets.

Tim Mackie, Riverbed

Sr. Dir., WW Distribution & Global Resell

Highlights: He’s credited with leading a global distribution strategy that has positively impacted the company’s alignment and responsiveness within the market, all while positioning Riverbed for the scalability of tomorrow.

Dan Sanchez, Ruckus

Inside Sales Mgr.

Highlights: Said one colleague: ’This guy comes in at 6 a.m. and leaves at 7 p.m. Every day. He helps partners come up with the bill of materials for quotes to customers, helps with site surveys, special pricing, training, everything. This is why the channel partners dig him.’

Mike Rosenbaum, Salesforce.com

VP, Force Platform Operations

Highlights: He’s the guy bringing it all together for Salesforce by building up the partner ecosystem around its Force.com development platform and the programs that support ISVs who are selling software based on the platform in the company’s AppExchange marketplace.

Pete Richardson, Samsung

Sr. Mgr., Printer Marketing

Highlights: He has gotten VARs to stand up and take notice with a new B2B printer lineup and aggressive promotions to channel partners—think $100 spif off a $250 blackand- white printer for starters. He’s also driving marketing through distribution partners to non-managed B2B partners.

Carrie Maslen, SAP

VP, Channel Development

Highlights: Described as a ’powerhouse’ that drives thought leadership within SAP’s channel management team, she’s working hard to make good on the vendor’s promise to push all sales to SMB customers exclusively through channel partners.

Annie Neubrech, SAP

VP, Channel/Customer Experience

Highlights: Playing a key role in SAP’s channel renaissance, Neubrech was described by a colleague as one of the people without whom SAP ’would not be anywhere close to where we are today in the area of channel development and revenue.’

Jeff Zobrist, Siemens

Dir., Global Solution Partner Program & Operations

Highlights: Is in charge of Siemens PLM Software’s training efforts and partner operations. Zobrist recently spearheaded the vendor’s new Partner Rewards Program, a ’frequent flyer’ program for the company’s partner sales representatives.

Ted Hulsy, SonicWall

Dir., Channel Marketing

Highlights: Manages worldwide channel marketing for the security vendor, driving home its message that SonicWall helps partners build more profitable security practices. The company is now piloting its MSP Advantage Program, which includes a Hardware-as-a-Service component.

James Lyne, Sophos

Sr. Technologist

Highlights: He’s a mathematician and a cryptographer who evangelizes on today’s key security problems and threats. He also explores the future threat protection landscape that security and technology requirements will demand.

Rick Hofmann, Symantec

Sr. Dir., NA Partners

Highlights: Has established a strong and loyal partner base in North America that is teaming with the company to break into cloud, mobile and virtualized environments, Look for major new initiatives and incentives focused on those fast-growing markets.

Sue Smith, Symantec

Sr. Dir., Channel Programs

Highlights: Leading the charge to bring Symantec solution provider partners new opportunities, her next big move is bringing the Symantec channel into the hot eDiscovery market with a comprehensive data protection, eDiscovery and archiving platform.

Rob Moyer, Synnex

VP, Cloud Computing Programs

Highlights: Synnex brought him in earlier this year to lead development and management of its CloudSolv program as well as its mobile application plans in its bid to ensure vendors and channel partners aren’t blindsided by disruptive technologies.

Chuck Bartlett, Tech Data

VP, GM, Advanced Infrastructure Solutions

Highlights: Has brought Tech Data solution providers into the high-margin data center business through strong partnerships with Cisco, IBM, HP, Avaya and other vendors. Data center is now a $6 billion business for the company.

John O'Shea, Tech Data

VP, HP Solutions

Highlights: Helping Tech Data solution providers successfully navigate the biggest channel program in the business: HP’s margin-rich PartnerOne program. Expect a big PartnerOne mobility push with HP’s TouchPad tablet.

Russell Rosa, VCE

Area VP, Americas Channel

Highlights: He helped make Cisco a channel force with his outstanding inthe- trenches sales skills. Now he’s putting those talents to good use in the fast-growing cloud computing market with VCE. Don’t bet against him. He gets the channel and knows how to get it done.

Frank Seiferth, VCE

Sr. Dir., Channel Sales & Services

Highlights: Built the award-winning channel enablement program for training engineers at EMC. A channel superstar who is destined to finally give VCE the channel enablement tools necessary to win in the marketplace.

Melinda Beecher, ViewSonic

Sr. Mgr., National Channel Marketing, Americas

Highlights: The driving force behind what remains one of the perennial powerhouse channel programs in the business, she listens closely to partners and then responds with wellthought- out channel programs.

Adam Hanin, ViewSonic

VP, Marketing

Highlights: Taking the big, powerful ViewSonic brand and flying into the biggest new market opportunities—such as tablets and digital signage—and making sure that channel partners can come along for the ride.

Dan Brodeur, VMware

Sr. Dir., Corporate Resellers & Distribution

Highlights: Doing the basic blocking and tackling to make sure that partners are taking advantage of all the tools that VMware has to offer to provide a market-leading $11 drag of total sales for every $1 of VMware software sold.

Paul Murphy, VMware

Dir., Americas SMB Sales

Highlights: Taking VMware into the SMB cloud management market with justacquired Shavlik Technologies’ portfolio of on-premise and SaaS-based management solutions. He’s razor-focused on how SMBs manage, monitor and secure their cloud and virtualized IT environments.

Roberto Paschetta, Websense

Sr. Dir., Training

Highlights: Created Websense’s Triton Olympian certification for each of its technologies, the company’s highest-level technical certification available to partners. Olympian gives partners validation for committing to extensive training.

Tom Gall, Xerox

Value Channel Marketing Dir.

Highlights: At the head of the vendor’s push to educate partners on ’the new Xerox’ and its pledge to work more closely with solution providers, particularly in the SMB market. Is cultivating interest among MSPs in adding managed print and BPO services to their portfolios.

Maurice Saluan, Zenith Infotech

Sr. VP, Sales

Highlights: Spends a huge portion of his time out in the market evangelizing the many benefits of hybrid cloud solutions and educating channel partners on how they can make money selling these solutions.