CRN Channel Madness Final Round: Tale Of The Tape

Title Time

The most exciting three weeks in the channel is coming to an end as the championship for the CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs is finally upon us. Voting is already underway as Verizon's Adam Famularo squares off against Sophos' Mike Valentine for the channel crown.

The road to the final has been well documented, as both Famularo and Valentine burned through their brackets with impressive wins over chiefs at IBM, Intel, NetSuite, VMware and more. But how well do we really know these chiefs? What are their personal channel philosophies? What about their favorite movie?

As part of CRN's 2015 Channel Chiefs project, we asked the honorees a wide variety of questions. Let's check out some of the answers for a closer look at each chief.

Voting for the championship round will remain open until April 8 at 10:00 AM ET. Visit to cast your vote.

What are your partner organization's top channel accomplishments over the past year?

Valentine: This past year, Sophos launched a simplified Partner Program in North America, enabling its channel partners to dramatically grow their business with attractive discounts, deal registration protection, joint lead generation and other programs. This program was designed to provide increased profitability for active partners, and equips the channel with incentive and a competitive edge to win.

Famularo: The expansion of indirect channel account access to include corporate and enterprise. The launch of the Verizon Partner Program in EMEA.

What is your advice to someone getting into the channel today?

Valentine: Value your channel relationships today, they will pay dividends tomorrow.

Famularo: For vendors considering the channel, my recommendation is to understand the complementary products and technology their customers are purchasing as well as the demand drivers of the marketplace. It is important to know what customers are looking for, and then to work backwards to determine what provides the best value to partners so they can assess their channel needs. For partners selling different products to different channels, it is crucial to identify key strengths of the value-add partner ecosystem.

What is your favorite movie?

Valentine: "The Godfather." Family comes in many different forms and family is everything.

Famularo: "Wall Street" was always one of my favorites, along with the "coffee is for closers" scene in "Glengarry Glen Ross."

How are you attracting the next generation of solution providers to your company's partner organization?

Valentine: Sophos is attracting the next generation of solution providers by providing them with a complete security solution that is simple to use, manage, deploy and sell. As the threat landscape evolves and becomes more complex, Sophos products are being developed to work together, and provide partners and customers with a solution that will share intelligence, allowing us to stop even the most complex of threats in a simple way. Today, we already offer a cloud solution that allows customers and partners to manage both their endpoints and their mobile devices from a single console, and that's just the beginning.

Famularo: Verizon delivers complete customer solutions from the network to infrastructure to network security. We attract partners by creating a program that allows them to sell solutions to their customers that leverage Verizon's leading products and services. The program is partner-centric, focusing on what is important to our customers and our partners.

Quick Hits:

Do you have an MBA?

Valentine: NO

Famularo: YES

Worked in a restaurant?

Valentine: NO

Famularo: YES

Worked for a solution provider before?

Valentine: NO

Famularo: YES

Use a tablet as your main device?

Valentine: NO

Famularo: YES

Play Golf?

Valentine: YES

Famularo: YES