The Top 10 Mavericks Of 2011

These executives aren’t afraid to go off-book when it comes to finding new and creative ways to find channel success. Here, we honor The Top 10 Mavericks as part of CRN’s Top 100 Executives of 2011.

10. Jim Hare

Vice President, Worldwide Sales

Hare has been pointing partners to the gold mine that exists in regulatory compliance solutions. ’It’s not just about doing HIPAA. It’s really the execution in compiling that checklist -- requiring things like encryption, unified threat management firewall, disaster recovery. All of the sweet spots for IT service providers,’ Hare told CRN in June.

9. Mark Kroh

Vice President, North America Channels
Motorola Solutions

Kroh, chief architect of Motorola's PartnerEmpower solution provider program, has overseen the company's transition to a points-based system based on volume sales, customer satisfaction and vertical expertise. "Everything in this program is about helping partners differentiate themselves," Kroh told CRN in September. "We're differentiating the partner and having them create their own identities."

8. Jon Roskill

Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group

Roskill is the face of the Microsoft channel and an executive who's helping partners transition to monthly recurring revenue from selling the Office 365 cloud application suite, as well as newer products such as Windows Intune. "It is my opinion that Microsoft and our partners are being massively underestimated right now," Roskill said in July at WPC.

7. David Donatelli

Executive Vice President, General Manager, Enterprise Servers Storage and Networking for Enterprise Business

Donatelli brings feistiness to HP's channel: In March at HP's Americas Partner Conference, he urged partners to pressure Oracle on Itanium, and at the Discover conference in June he took a jab at Cisco. "We have a very bold ambition and that is to change the networking industry," Donatelli said at Discover. "That's because nothing has happened there in about 10 years."

6. Andy Monshaw

General Manager, Midmarket

Monshaw has been aggressively driving IBM's efforts to refocus its midmarket sales efforts through the channel. IBM is selling a series of hardware and software appliances exclusively through the channel, and so far this approach is having the intended effect, "All indications are that the strategy is working," Monshaw told CRN in May.

5. Blake Wetzel

Vice President, Business Partners Program

Wetzel, a cloud evangelist who is getting partners pumped up about delivering co-location and application layer services, is a key figure for CenturyLink, a company that expects computing to have a CAGR of $50 billion by 2013. "They’re working with the customers to bring the solutions together,’ Wetzel told CRN in July. "It is the major growth component we see.’

4. Dave Roberts

Vice President, Americas Sales Data Management
CA Technologies

When CA wanted to get the attention of managed service and cloud solution providers, the company brought in Roberts, a channel superstar who previously steered McAfee and Websense away from a direct sales culture. Roberts has already made headway in getting partners to embrace the recurring revenue model.

3. Mike Valentine

Vice President, Americas Channel Sales

Valentine, who joined Fortinet in 2007, says as long as he's with the company, channel recruitment and education will be a never-ending process. "You're never 100 percent satisfied but I believe that educating them and going broader and deeper is where we want to be," Valentine said in a 2010 interview with CRN.

2. Lanham Napier

CEO, President

Napier, who joined Rackspace in 2000 as CFO and took over the CEO role the following year, has fostered a culture that places enormous importance on customer service. Need proof? Look no further than the fact that the model he helped pioneer at Rackspace is called "Fanatical Support."

1. Jeremy Burton

Vice President, Marketing

The best and brightest technology marketer in the business, Burton is an original who is always definitive, never derivative. He’s able to take complex and arcane IT concepts and translate them into compelling reasons to make a big technology investment. He makes the technology business fun with his ability to mix it up with any and all comers on technology, channel and business matters. Burton, a former channel executive at Oracle and Veritas, joined EMC in March 2010 as its first-ever chief marketing officer, and he's already established himself as an executive who understands what makes the channel tick.