2017 Channel Chiefs: How Have You Personally Helped A Partner Succeed?

A Helping Hand

The measure of any good channel executive can be as simple as the success of his or her company's channel partners. And while a partner's triumph is ultimately measured on a balance sheet, the road to success starts with the vendor and its channel program putting the solution provider partner in the right place to produce a positive bottom line.

As part of the 2017 Channel Chiefs, we asked the honorees to share an example of how they have personally helped a partner succeed in the last 12 months. Here are 10 of our favorites.

A10 Networks

Kirsten Young

VP Worldwide Channels

Working with a top-tier global solutions partner, I invested equipment and technical resources into the partner's technology labs for use by their prospects, customers and thousands of employees worldwide. These labs are used to train and educate, and also to demonstrate, test, and deploy A10 solutions integrated with complementary solutions and technologies.

As a result of these investments, this partner is able to expertly showcase the benefits of the entire portfolio of A10 solutions to its enterprise, service provider and government clients.


Mike LaPeters

VP, Global Channels

In mid-2016, a partner made several errors when quoting a $50,000 opportunity for an AlienVault end-user. An unfortunate set of events caused the end-user to ask to purchase from AlienVault directly.

I intervened on behalf of the partner and worked with the end-user to show the value added by the partner's expertise. Not only were they able to salvage the original opportunity, they increased the total value of the opportunity by 20 percent. My involvement turned an ugly channel conflict into a high partner value-add, and strengthened our relationship with both the VAR and the end-user.

Broadview Networks

Donna Wenk

SVP of Alternate Sales

I worked closely with a partner over the course of several months earlier this year to respond to, and win, a very large RFP for a nationwide retail chain. The work entailed a lot of research, demos, beta sites and development of new pricing, processes, reporting and tracking tools for the client.

We were able to work together and meet all the needs of the client and are now enjoying the success of turning up their sites.

Dell EMC

Gregg Ambulos

SVP, North American Channel Sales

I was gratified to work with a partner who noted that their existing portfolio of products was leveling off. We looked at their business models, go-to-market strategies and customer profile. Together, we revamped the GTM approach and enabled their teams with the right portfolio of products and solutions for their customers.

We trained them on our product set, solutions, certifications and on the best services to offer. Since then, the partner has seen a 15 percent CAGR and received repeated EMC Services Quality and Partner of the Year awards. They now rank as one of the top five revenue producing partners.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Terry Richardson

VP, U.S. Channel Sales

A large national partner was having difficulty achieving sustained growth with HPE. I worked with the most senior executives at this publicly traded partner and developed a co-investment plan that would provide HPE-dedicated sales, a technical headcount (the first time this has been done) and a focused marketing plan to drive growth.

This partner achieved growth and more importantly, developed new pipeline at a 5x rate.


David Petts

SVP of Worldwide Sales & Customer Success

One of our partners was engaging with us in new business areas related to our recent acquisition. This involves driving new business involving SIP and our CPaaS solution. The partner identified obstacles and process improvement opportunities within ShoreTel that would enable them to accelerate business. I set up a 'task team' inside ShoreTel to review the process flow, identify gaps and propose fixes. This was done collaboratively with the partner. Once completed it was rolled out across ShoreTel as the new way of working, ultimately benefiting all partners. This supported the original partner in completing several pioneering deals with us.


Steve Pataky

VP Worldwide Sales

I've been personally involved with a long-standing North American partner concerned about declining profitability. At this time, we reduced grey marketing on our products and named a strategy of doing more with our key partners, contributing to increased partner profitability. We figured that we needed to focus on what differentiated this partner from the rest of the channel, capitalize on markets where they have particular expertise and support them in go to market efforts.

We launched new initiatives, reinforcing them with our field organization. After one quarter, the profitability started to ramp back to levels that we all want to see.

Samsung Electronics America

Greg Taylor

VP, Sales

Earlier this year we faced a challenge with a major install. One of our channel partners sold and installed commercial displays in a new high-rise building. There were over 400 displays onsite and without notice, a flicker would occur sporadically on random displays. The client was becoming impatient as the building was nearing grand-opening.

I became involved, supported the partner and directly interfaced with the end-customer. We gathered engineering resources from all of the vendors to isolate the problem. There were ongoing update calls with various teams and as a result we isolated the problem and they opened on time.


Geoff Fancher

Vice President, Americas Channels

I often work with partners and aim to offer reliable and creative solutions to the challenges they face. Once, when a partner was having issues registering a customer, I jumped in and mediated the situation, creating a solution that benefited both the customer and partner while maintaining the integrity of the partner program.

Another time, a partner asked how to improve a relationship with a distributor, even though the deal wasn't with SimpliVity. I still assisted our partner with a solution because making sure our partners are successful in the channel is important to them and their relationship with SimpliVity.

WatchGuard Technologies

Coletta Vigh

Director, Channel Programs

Consistency in channel program requirements enables us to scale the program and focus resources on partners who are committed to their WatchGuard business. One transitioning partner expressed concern over whether the technical exam is fair and intuitive, and delayed fulfilling this requirement until they realized that we were committed. While discussing his concerns, I realized that I should never ask partners to do something that I am not willing to do myself, so I studied and passed the exam. The partner is now fully engaged and certified, and additional members of our management team are taking the exam, as well.