2016 Channel Chiefs: The 50 Most Influential

2016 Channel Chiefs: The 50 Most Influential

Leading-edge solution providers are taking the first steps toward transforming themselves into strategic service providers. And forward-thinking channel chiefs are giving them a hand.

Here's a look at the 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs of 2016, an elite group drawn from the larger pool of Channel Chief honorees each year that represent the cream of the IT channel crop – leaders who drive the channel agenda and evangelize the importance of channel partnerships.

All Channel Chief honorees are selected by CRN's editorial staff on the basis of their professional achievements, standing in the industry, dedication to the channel partner community and strategies for driving future growth and innovation. The complete 2016 CRN Channel Chiefs list is featured in the February 2016 issue of CRN and online at www.crn.com/channelchiefs.


Terry Wise, VP, Worldwide Partner Ecosystem, Amazon Web Services

The AWS Partner Network includes tens of thousands of consulting/systems integrator and technology/ISV partners and grew more than 50 percent during the past 12 months. In 2015 AWS doubled the investments provided to partners in such benefits as technical training, marketing funding and proofs-of-concept.

APC by Schneider Electric

Rob McKernan, SVP, Global IT Channels

To enable partner growth, APC has focused on providing its diverse IT channel partner community with better support, profitability programs, enablement tools and overall experience. The number of partners within the Channel Partner Program increased 18 percent in North America and generated 10 percent-plus revenue growth.

APC by Schneider Electric

Shannon Sbar, VP, North America Channels, Global Channel Alliances

APC launched a new Channel Partner Program that included refreshed training resources, enablement tools and incentive programs. Also new are a customized coverage model that better supports regional solution providers and a 24-hour support line dedicated to IT channel partners.


Eran Farajun, Executive VP

Over the past 12 months, Asigra partners grew significantly in enterprise accounts, especially in highly regulated areas such as health care and finance. Increased enterprise penetration is due to company initiatives to incentivize partners to become domain specialists in order to fully support specific customer requirements.


Brooks McCorcle, President, AT&T Partner Solutions

McCorcle and her team launched multiple portfolio and program additions throughout 2015 to help resellers transform, innovate and grow their businesses. In AT&T Partner Exchange, this included the Mobility Employee Sponsorship Program, Investment Development Funds, Certification Achievement Program, Enablement Playbook and more.

Barracuda Networks

Michael Hughes, SVP, Worldwide Sales

Barracuda's Intronis acquisition is expected to greatly expand Barracuda's channel reach with the addition of nearly 2,000 MSPs and a purpose-built platform designed to streamline how MSPs service the data protection needs of their customers.


Thierry Benchetrit, Director, North America Channel Sales

Bitdefender introduced a new, more flexible and partner-friendly market development fund program in 2015. During the year the company's partner base almost doubled in size with revenue growing more than 100 percent.


Jessica Couto, VP, U.S. Channel Sales, Marketing

Carbonite has continued to invest in its strategic partnerships with major distributors and national service providers. Carbonite started 2015 with about 5,800 active resellers. By the end of the third quarter, the company has more than 7,700 active resellers.

Cisco Systems

Wendy Bahr, SVP, Global Partner Organization

Cisco combined its product and services channel program teams to improve alignment and drive simplification. The partner Emerging Solutions Ecosystem was integrated into the Global Partner Organization to drive scale and growth. The Global Customer Success team was also integrated into the Global Partner Organization.

Cisco Systems

Rick Snyder, VP, Global and Strategic Partner Organization

Cisco created a skill development program for its partner account managers designed to evolve their business skills, deepen their understanding of partners' business needs and better understand emerging IT industry trends. The initiative ensures that partner account managers can address new line-of-business buying centers and map technology solutions for partners.

Comcast Business

Craig Schlagbaum, VP, Indirect Channels

Comcast continues to invest in partner enablement tools such as the Sales Force partner portal and the Comcast Control Center. The company also built a partner recruitment team to focus on recruiting new partners to the program and improving the on-boarding process.


Ralph Nimergood, VP, Worldwide Channels, Alliances

CommVault launched the PartnerAdvantage Service Advantage designation, allowing partners to build tailored services practices around CommVault technology and monetize the extensive professional services opportunities. The vendor also redefined its partner reward structure to increase earnings opportunities when aligned to CommVault-specific objectives.


Rob Rae, VP, Business Development

Datto's partner community grew by 29 percent in the last year. The provider of business continuity and disaster recovery products won 85 industry awards, all channel-focused, in 2015. International revenue grew 68 percent during the year.


Cheryl Cook, VP, Global Channels, Alliances

In the past year, Dell's channel program accounted for more than 40 percent of the company's overall revenue. This was possible due to incentives implemented to encourage Dell sales makers to work more closely with channel partners. Channel revenue went up double digits in each of Dell's top 10 markets.


Jim DeFoe, VP, Americas Channels

Dell invested $125 million in new and enhanced PartnerDirect programs and incentives to drive partner and customer value. The incentives have enabled some partners to achieve growth rates of as high as 600 percent year over year and others reporting rebate increases of more than 60 percent in the first half of 2015.


Frank Vitagliano, VP, Global Channel Programs, Strategy

Dell financed more than $5 billion with 2,000 partners and thousands of North American and European customers in 2015. The company grew its global line-of-business registrations by more than 200 percent and put together 800-plus demand generation campaigns that resulted in 40,000-plus leads for North American partners.


Herve Tardy, VP, GM, Distributed Power Quality Division, Americas

Eaton grew channel sales through IT distribution by 9.6 percent in 2015 and average revenue per partner grew 22 percent in 2015, fueled by the company's market momentum and initiatives to position Eaton for fast-growing, emerging infrastructure markets.


Curtiz Gangi, Sales VP, U.S. Channels, Data Center Segment

Eaton expanded its certified partner network in 2015, launching validated solutions for converged and integrated infrastructure, data center services and new capabilities around virtualization. This meant a concentrated effort with partners focused on re-certification. Partners leveraged Eaton's field sales and engineering organization on a consistent basis.


Gregg Ambulos, SVP, Global Channel Sales, Operations

More than 60 percent of all EMC product sales in the first half of 2015 were derived through the partner community. In 2014 EMC rolled out the new Business Partner Program and in 2015 the emphasis has been on continuing to build out the program.

Extreme Networks

Bob Gault, Executive VP, Worldwide Sales, Services, Channels

Extreme Networks has more than 2,700 global partners. In 2015 the company introduced the MonitoringPlus Managed Services and ResponsePlus Managed Services as additions to the ExtremeWorks portfolio that help partners participate in new consumption models and evolve their business for future growth.


Joe Sykora, VP, Americas Channels, Enhanced Technologies

Average revenue per partner and deal sizes increased significantly due to Fortinet's full suite of security software that allow partners to sell an end-to-end integrated solution. The year also saw the introduction of dedicated practices focused on financial services, health care and education.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Scott Dunsire, VP, GM, Americas Channels, OEM, Inside Sales

Dunsire’s team was responsible for the design and implementation of a cohesive co-selling program that was well received both within HP and HPE and by partners during 2015. The effort provided clarity about the specific areas dedicated to indirect/channels sales.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Kerry Bailey, SVP, Worldwide Indirect Sales

With the successful launch of the Cloud28+ initiative in EMEA, HPE has brought together a community of more than 147 partners and service providers to serve enterprises and the public sector to adhere to European Union security and data privacy cloud services.

HGST, a Western Digital Brand

Nigel Edwards, VP, Worldwide Sales

HGST has increased its marketing efforts to identify and recruit new partners, committed additional MDF to spend in the channel and hired more staff to help partners achieve their goals. HGST has made multiple technology acquisitions in recent years to address the rapidly changing storage market.

HP Inc.

Jos Brenkel, Head, Global Sales Strategy, Operations; SVP, PPS Worldwide Sales

Along with the new company launch, HP Inc. launched the new Partner First channel program. The program offers expanded product tracks and a new integration track for a broad range of partners including VARs, systems integrators, service providers, and ISVs.

HP Inc.

Stephanie Dismore, VP, GM, U.S. Channels

More than 80 percent of HP Inc.'s U.S. printer and personal systems revenue flows through the company's channel partners, and the company encourages end-user customers to purchase through the channel.


Marc Dupaquier, GM, Global Business Partners

IBM created the One Channel Team focused on evolving IBM business partner capacity and increasing recruitment of ISVs, cloud service providers and managed service providers. IBM has seen significant growth in these types of partners.


Maurits Tichelman, VP, GM, Sales

Intel's worldwide partner program remains at just less than 150,000 partners. But in 2015 Platinum-level membership was up 12 percent worldwide while in North America Gold- level membership was up 17 percent and Platinum level was up 6 percent.


Sammy Kinlaw, Executive Director, North America Channel Chief

Lenovo continued its ongoing "channel-first" commitment. The company brought in $256 million in incremental revenue through the channel year over year. And the company moved System x revenue from dominant direct fulfillment to channel fulfillment.


Phil Sorgen, Corporate VP, Worldwide Partner Group

Microsoft has expanded its Cloud Solution Provider program to 131 markets and added Azure and CRM Online to the available services. Surface channel distribution was extended to almost 5,000 resellers worldwide and the vendor added two programs to the Surface Enterprise Initiative.


Bill Lipsin, VP, Worldwide Channels

NetApp has invested heavily in its services enablement organization to help partners deliver their services. The company is spending aggressively to enable partners to take services on their own paper, training partners to do installs and helping partners build a profitable services organization.


Craig West, VP, Channel Sales

The number of VARs and systems integrators building NetSuite Cloud ERP practices has grown to well more than 375 worldwide. Through the Vertical Velocity Program launched this year, partners gain exclusive rights to specific industry micro-verticals such as food and beverage, restaurants, outdoor retailers and more.


Chris Morgan, VP, Americas Channel, Distribution

Startup Nutanix is building a partner community that is potentially narrow in numbers, but deep in engagement. Key partners are expanding their depth of knowledge, understanding and ability to sell Nutanix hyper-converged systems. Partners enjoy significant margins and see double-digit quarter-over-quarter transaction growth.


Bill Swales, Group VP, North America Alliances, Channels Sales

Swales' organization is executing a number of initiatives that will transform Oracle's channel over the next 12 to 18 months. A focus has been pivoting the partner community to the cloud, including an innovative online partner sales enablement initiative called "28 Days of Cloud."

Palo Alto Networks

Ron Myers, VP, Worldwide Channel Sales

In 2015 more than 12,000 partners took more than 40,000 training courses for company products with 8,000 partners earning a Palo Alto Networks certification. The company also created a new Inside Channel Business Managers team to help scale channel partner support.

Red Hat

Mark Enzweiler, SVP, Global Channel Sales, Alliances

In 2015 Red Hat worked hard at providing partners with a deep bench of skills related to the OpenStack open-source cloud computing platforms. Those efforts span the company's entire partner ecosystem including solution providers, regional systems integrators, ISVs and others.

Ruckus Wireless

Sandra Glaser Cheek, VP, Worldwide Partner Sales

The channel remains Ruckus Wireless' primary route to market. In the past year, the company has expanded its channel leadership with several key hires including a new global channel vice president, new vice president of global strategic partners, and a new global channel marketing leader.


Rodolpho Cardenuto, President, Global Channels, General Business

SAP has more than 13,300 partners worldwide, up from 11,900 in 2014. Those partners are an essential part of developing, co-innovating, reselling, implementing and hosting SAP solutions. Eighty percent of SAP's customers are SMEs, the majority of which are managed by SAP partners.


George Hope, VP, Global Channels

SimpliVity's partner community saw rapid expansion in 2015 with 700 partners in 60 countries. Contributing 100 percent of revenue, channel partners helped SimpliVity achieve sales booking growth of 50 percent quarter over quarter, with more than 50 percent of revenue coming from outside North America.

SolarWinds N-able

JP Jauvin, SVP, GM

SolarWinds N-able's top investments included its Elite and Super Elite Partner Summit, which attracted top MSPs from around the world. It held more than 40 road shows in 17 cities worldwide and its significant product innovations included the expansion of the company's technology portfolio through acquisitions.


Mike Valentine, SVP, Worldwide Sales

Sophos executed strategic recruitment efforts to bring new partners into the Sophos Partner Program. The company's base of partners in North America grew 25 percent while the number of active partners (with six or more transactions in five months) increased 29 percent.

StorageCraft Technology

Mike Kunz, VP, Worldwide Sales

StorageCraft experienced exponential growth in channel partners focused on managed services, both in the number of partners and average sales per partner. The company added more sales engineers to the channel team and revised its cloud services pricing model, enabling partners to be more profitable.


Stephen Thomas, Americas Channel Sales Leader

With the operational separation of Symantec from Veritas in October, the new Secure One Partner Program was created to drive partner recruitment and engagement. Key elements of the program include enhanced deal registration, simplified solution competencies and growth accelerator rebates.

Time Warner Cable

Jim Delis, Group VP, Channels

Over the past year Time Warner emphasized its cloud and managed services solutions within its NaviSite product offerings in the channel. In 2015 the company expanded its reseller program by increasing its sales team, bringing on new partners and beefing up support structures.

Toshiba America Information Systems

Richard Vaughn, Director, Channel Sales

Toshiba's public sector and SMB/midmarket businesses achieved strong growth during 2015 through focused partners and the development of custom go-to-market strategies. Tremendous growth was seen with some of the vendor's largest existing partners.


Adam Famularo, VP, Global Channels

Since opening up its enterprise and corporate accounts to the channel, Verizon has seen significant growth in channel sales coming from those segments. Top members are doubling or tripling their revenue within the Verizon Partner Program.

Vijilan Security

Gary Mullen, Chief Marketing Officer

Vijilan entered the North American market in 2015 with a channel-centric strategy. While the first-year objective was to secure 30 partners, the vendor surpassed that goal in less than 90 days and as of Dec. 2 had 75 partners in its partner program.


Frank Rauch, VP, Americas Partner Organization

VMware's partner sales have grown in multiple ways, including helping existing partners drive sales in mobility, software-defined data center and recurring revenue. The company also has recruited partners who have switched away from competitors' solutions in favor of VMware solutions.


Charles Tomeo, VP, Worldwide Channels

Webroot's SMB business follows a 100 percent partner-driven strategy. The company added more than 3,000 new MSP partners globally in the past year. The new business resulted in more than 1 million new business endpoints and double-digit, year-over-year growth.


John Corley, President, Channel Partner Operations

Xerox recently unveiled plans to split into two companies to better pursue growth opportunities. One will focus on selling document technology such as printers and copiers, and the other on business process outsourcing. Xerox's managed print services channel business grew 20 percent.