The Top 10 Next-Gen Channel Leaders Of 2011

Who are the channel executives that are breaking new ground? These trailblazers are showing solution providers the way to new and profitable business models.

From CRN’s Top 100 Executives, here’s a look at the Top 10 Next-Gen Channel Leaders Of 2011.

10. Theresa Caragol

Vice President, General Manager, Global Business

Caragol began her tenure with Ciena six years ago. She recently led a nine-month initiative to overhaul Ciena's channel program after the completion of the Nortel MEN asset acquisition. Caragol's new program is "value-based" and rewards partners on a range of criteria in addition to how many products they sell. The improved program was designed based on feedback from partners and is aimed at providing them with streams of high-margin revenue.

9. Mike Kunz

Vice President, Sales

Kunz has more than 16 years of experience in product management, business development and sales. He is credited with forming partnerships with IBM, Dell, HP, SnapAppliances, LiveVault and other storage vendors and system builders. His focus is on providing solutions to partners that boost their business and offer long-term revenue and growth opportunities.

8. Bob Skelley

Global Certified Partner Program, Channel Executive Director

Skelley had run a successful channel program at EqualLogic and brought that with him when he came to Dell with the acquisition. Much of his influence has been within training and building partners' desire to invest with Dell. Training is done specifically to help partners become more skilled and to encourage them to build business around Dell solutions. Various tools and resources are available, including online as well as instructor-led classes, that support solution providers as they sell Dell products and solutions to their customers.

7. Dean Darwin

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Channels
F5 Networks

Darwin joined F5 in 2005 and has led the company's certification overhaul as well as channel teams globally. F5, which calls itself the "Swiss Army knife" of the data center, has a new, modular program in which solution providers can download the training modules they are directly involved in as well as ones they may want to learn about.

6. Robert Fuller

Vice President, Worldwide Channel Sales

Fuller has more than 15 years of channel development service, which he relies upon to drive Rackspace sales through channel partners. He has been integrally involved in redefining the overall strategy of Rackspace’s channel partner program. Fuller has experience on both sides of the aisle: Before coming to Rackspace, he was president of Cycle Planning, a channel consulting company focused on developing, executing and measuring channel programs for high-tech companies.

5. Tom Mitchell

Senior Vice President, President, Go To Market Strategy

Mitchell is in charge of channel transformation efforts and is responsible for the architecture and policy management for the reseller, system integrator and service provider channels. He has been active in increasing the vendor's market share in areas including cloud computing. At a press conference in late spring, Mitchell noted that Avaya invests $20 million a year in partner training programs.

4. Stephen Cho

Channels, Business Development, Google Enterprise

This Fulbright scholar develops Google Apps reseller, solutions and services partners worldwide. He supports managed service providers that use Google Apps as a way to get in the customer's door -- and then provide additional services and solutions. Partners now include more than 2,000 VARs, IT consultants, large professional services firms, global systems integrators, ISPs and telecom providers and a broad range of SaaS vendors and cloud service providers.

3. Jason Andrew

Vice President, Channels
BMC Software

In his 16 years at BMC, Andrew has made deals with some big names, including Cisco,, Dell, Netapp and others. He also has formed alliances with system integrators such as VAR500 companies Wipro, TCS and Infosys, as well as roughly 330 solution providers worldwide. He is focused on guiding partners to use their relationships and become messengers for BMC products, helping their customers leverage cloud computing.

2. Ron Huddleston

Vice President, Global ISVs, Channels

Huddleston has led his company’s major shift toward partner-led implementations, as well as toward the development of partner-centric technologies. Huddleston helps provide Salesforce partners deliver social, mobile and open cloud computing solutions using the Platform-as-a-Service.

1. Craig West

Vice President, Channel Sales

Craig West came to NetSuite in September 2002 and has held a number of channel management roles within the company, including driving strategic channel direction and day-to-day tactical execution for all partnering operations in the Americas for more than three years. His leadership at NetSuite, a SaaS based ERP software and CRM company, has helped the vendor achieve notable year-over-year gains, significant partner growth and successful execution of its vertical industry solutions strategy for partners.