6 Channel Chiefs Making Their Mark

Building The Next-Gen Channel

CRN's Channel Chief Roundtable, held at the XChange Solution Provider conference in March, featured six top channel executives with more than 100 years of combined experience leading channel sales transformations. These six executives hold the role of channel chief at some of the largest and most respected companies in the technology and telecommunications services industries. Here is a look at their responsibilities, background and where they have made the biggest impact.

Janet Schijns

Title: Vice President, Medium Business and Channels, Verizon Enterprise Solutions

Schijns leads the team responsible for developing and delivering business technology solutions for medium businesses. Before joining Verizon, Schijns was a vice president in the Enterprise and Government Business at Motorola. Schijns also was the founder and CEO of The JS Group, an international consulting business focused on driving strategic growth for technology companies.

Years With Company: 2 years, 6 months

Years Involved With Indirect Sales: 19

Most Innovative Channel Initiative: Building out a next-generation machine-to-machine (M2M) model driving significant services and recurring revenue for partners.

Craig Schlagbaum

Title: Vice President Indirect Channels, Comcast Business Class Services

Schlagbaum manages Comcast's indirect channel partner team and the overall indirect channel program for Comcast Business Services. Prior to Comcast, Schlagbaum managed the indirect channel team for Level 3 Communications.

Years With Company: 2

Years Involved With Indirect Sales: 23

Most Innovative Channel Initiative: Driving the cultural and strategic shift to embrace channel partners within Comcast Business Services.

Mike Kozel

Title: Vice President of Partner Management, SAP Americas

Kozel helps oversee a global partner partner network of 12,000. Before joining SAP, Kozel spent 20 years in a number of positions at IBM, including vice president of global business partner strategy, setting the agenda for IBM's business partner route to market plans, channel and portfolio mix.

Years with Company: 3

Years Involved With Indirect Sales: 25

Most Innovative Channel Initiative: Helping drive a cultural shift at SAP from direct sales to indirect sales, with partner sales growing 45 percent in 2012 and the company well on its way to a goal of 40 percent of revenue coming from partners by 2015.

Frank Rauch

Title: Vice President, Americas Partner Organization, VMware

Rauch is responsible for all indirect routes to market for the Americas, which include solution providers, corporate resellers, public sector partners, systems integrators and distributors. Prior to VMware, Rauch was Americas vice president and general manager of Enterprise Servers, Storage, and Networking Channels for Hewlett-Packard.

Years With Company: 1

Years Involved With Indirect Sales: 11

Most Innovative Channel Initiative: Building out VMware's SMB partner initiative with select programs, including additional market development funds and an initiative for matching partners with inside sales reps.

Richard McLeod

Title: Senior Director of Worldwide Collaboration Channel Sales, Cisco

McLeod is responsible for the global collaboration channel strategy, sales and practice development for Cisco's $4.5 billion collaboration business sold through partners, including unified communications, collaboration and TelePresence.

Years With Company: 11

Years Involved With Indirect Sales: 20-plus

Most Innovative Channel Initiative: Helping partners capitalize on the growing cloud computing market opportunity. Cisco now has more than 70 cloud provider partners globally and nearly 50 partners providing hosted collaboration solutions.

Tony Anderson

Title: Director of Indirect Marketing, Enterprise Group Americas, Hewlett-Packard

Anderson provides marketing support for HP's key channel partners including VARs, distributors, direct market resellers, HP's Alliance and OEM partners. Before joining HP in 2007, Anderson ran worldwide sales operations for Brocade and Quantum.

Years With Company: 6

Years Involved With Indirect Sales: 10

Most Innovative Channel Initiative: Helping develop and implement a new, simpler and more profitable HP PartnerOne program.