100 People You Don't Know But Should In 2012 (Part 1)

The Channel's Unsung Heroes

It takes a village to run a successful channel program. Some of the players on vendors’ channel management teams get to be in the spotlight. This list isn’t about those executives. This year’s 100 People You Don’t Know But Should instead focuses on the many channel management executives who work just as hard toward the success of their partners but simply aren’t as well-known to the channel at large. They’re the ones putting together the terms and conditions of new partner programs, building out new incentives or growing channel-ready services. They’re working in the field to provide partner training or sales support. Or they’re evangelizing about the strength of the channel within their own organization. These are some of the unsung heroes behind successful channel partnerships.

Here's Part 1 of our list. For a look at more of the behind-the-scenes channel executives clearing the way for channel business to get done, check out Part 2.

Don Trimble, 8x8

Position: VP, Channel Sales & Operations

Highlights: Trimble drove a 10-fold increase in the hosted VoIP and cloud service provider’s partner recruiting efforts over the past year, which came hand in hand with an overhaul of the vendor’s channel program and services.

Debora Marrazzo, Adobe

Position: Manager, NA Distribution

Highlights: Marrazzo worked with distributors to launch Adobe’s Partner Connect, which adds new financial incentives for partners. She also is involved in the Channel Immersion Program, which educates senior Adobe executives on the role that solution providers play.

Becky Hacker, Adtran

Position: Channel Marketing Manager

Highlights: Hacker has had a hand in the development of every Adtran channel marketing program over the past 14 years, including Virtual Advantage Webinars, which aim to educate partners on Adtran solutions and help them tackle broader business challenges.

Tony Fernandez-Stoll, Advanced Micro Devices

Position: Director of Marketing, Americas Region

Highlights: Fernandez-Stoll manages all marketing functions for the Americas region, including demand-gen programs across distribution, retail, e-tail and commercial solution provider partners.

Rob Pollock, Aerohive

Position: Director, Channels

Highlights: Pollock is in charge of channel sales, program creation and management; VAR recruitment and retention; and overall channel performance at Aerohive, which was founded in 2006 and focuses on cloud-enabled Wi-Fi and routing solutions.

Max Peterson, Amazon

Position: Director, Business Development and Partners, WW Public Sector, Amazon Web Services

Highlights: Peterson leads efforts to build the public sector partner ecosystem of cloud-focused solution providers serving the needs of government and education customers worldwide.

Brian Pickering, Amazon

Position: Sr. Partner Manager, WW Partner Ecosystem, Amazon Web Services

Highlights: Pickering drives the systems integrator team for Amazon Web Services and is responsible for the management of partnerships with large systems integrators as well as hundreds of smaller channel partners.

Himanshu Patel, APC by Schneider Electric

Position: Global Strategic Marketing Manager, IT Channels

Highlights: Patel built the end-to-end channel marketing strategy for data center-focused partners in North America, including the development of marketing programs, messaging, learning paths and sales enablement tools.

Steve Lieberman, Apple

Position: U.S. Manager, Corporate Reseller Channel

Highlights: Lieberman joined Apple last fall as part of its effort to add channel-centric expertise to its management team. He oversees Apple’s overarching partner strategy, drawing on his 15 years of working in HP’s channel ranks.

Victoria Sanchez, Apple

Position: Marketing Manager, U.S. Channel Marketing, SMB/Commerical

Highlights: Sanchez is crafting Apple’s marketing message to woo partners targeting the SMB and commercial space. She joined Apple last July, having spent four years on Cisco’s SMB marketing team working with service providers.

David Roussain, AppSense

Position: VP, Business Development

Highlights: Roussain is building out the ecosystem around user virtualization technology with strategic moves such as the launch last fall of the AppSense Affinity Partner Program, which aims to put more pieces of the desktop virtualization story in place to help push customers down that path.

Frédéric Balaÿ, Archos

Position: SVP & GM, N.A.

Highlights: If you’re looking for a strong iPad alternative in the form of Android-based tablet PCs, give Balaÿ a call. He heads up marketing and sales in North America for Archos and has a strong partnership with SMB favorite D&H Distributing to extend the vendor’s channel reach.

Steve Reny, Autonomy, an HP Company

Position: SVP, Market Development

Highlights: Solution providers trying to figure out just where they fit in with HP’s ginormous software unit would do well to look up Reny. He’s the guy focusing on the products, processes and programs that make it easier for partners to do business with Autonomy.

Brett Shockley, Avaya

Position: SVP & GM, Applications and Emerging Technologies

Highlights: A former VAR himself, Shockley’s been there, done that when it comes to understanding the wants and needs of the solution provider community. Now he’s six months into a new role at Avaya, where he’s leading its burgeoning cloud charge.

Justin Moore, Axcient

Position: CEO

Highlights: Moore raised his channel profile this winter by touring through five cities with the HP/Axcient Cloud Road Show. His basic message to solution providers? If you want a (recurring) piece of the cloud-based backup and recovery pie, he’ll help you get there.

Mansour Karam, Big Switch

Position: VP, Strategic Alliances

Highlights: Karam is helping drive the adoption of the OpenFlow networking and communications standard and the buzzworthy software-defined networking movement, building out Big Switch’s strategic alliances and its partner ecosystem.

Jessica Couto, Bit9

Position: Director, Business Development

Highlights: Couto expanded Bit9’s channel program and brought in key partners. She is responsible for managing the company’s North America channel partners, including facilitating field engagement, sales enablement and joint promotions.

Bethany Madrid, BMC

Position: Manager, WW Partner Portal & Communications Manager

Highlights: Madrid oversees many of BMC’s channel communications efforts, including its partner portal, its e-mail marketing program and the vendor’s quarterly training programs.

Raelyn Kritzer, Brocade

Position: Director, Global Partner Marketing

Highlights: Kritzer spearheads initiatives to drive partner enablement, including the development of guided selling modules for partners to uncover new opportunities and providing new role-based content and applications to the channel via the company’s partner portal.

Ken Vanderweel, CA

Position: Marketing Director, Service Providers, Nimsoft

Highlights: Vanderweel guides CA’s Nimsoft channel strategy, including partnerships with a range of emerging, midmarket and large MSPs. He also cultivates relationships with established partners such as Ingram Micro and Fujitsu.

Chris Bondhus, Carbonite

Position: Director, Sales & Marketing, Small Business

Highlights: Bondhus drives go-to-market strategy as well as customer acquisition and retention initiatives for Carbonite, a fast-growing cloud backup and storage player. He also sets and manages performance metrics for the vendor’s sales team.

Sandra Flinders, Cisco

Position: Sr. Director, WW Services Partner Programs

Highlights: Flinders leads services partner programs and services channel strategy globally for Cisco and was the chief architect of the Cisco Services Partner Program, which offers performance-based incentives for partners selling Cisco services.

Suzanne Vereschagin, Cisco

Position: Director Finance, WW Partner Organization

Highlights: Vereschagin runs the global partner finance team responsible for distribution, channel programs, global and strategic partners, inside sales and partner-led sales. She also manages funding for the VIP and TIP incentive programs.

Nancy Binnie, Citrix

Position: Director, U.S. Public Sector Channel Dev. & Sales Ops.

Highlights: Binnie is responsible for Citrix’s public sector go-to-market strategy for its VAR, LAR and distribution partners and is tasked with increasing productivity and efficiencies to boost revenue in the federal and SLED markets.

Tim Stevens, Cloudera

Position: VP, Business & Corporate Development

Highlights: Stevens drives business development, strategic partnerships and market growth strategies, including partner ecosystem expansion for Cloudera, one of the hot Hadoop startups making waves in the big data space.

Matt Wilson, Comcast

Position: Director, Partner Management, Comcast Business Services

Highlights: Wilson runs all partner communications, master agent marketing support and recruitment and Comcast’s partner advisory boards. He was key to building out the benefits and support infrastructure of the service provider’s partner program.

Jessica Baker, Compuware

Position: Director, Global Partner Program

Highlights: Baker is prepping partner program enhancements to better enable Compuware solution providers, adding new support for those moving to the cloud. She recently launched successful MSP and cloud services initiatives that helped drive big revenue growth.

Michael George, Continuum

Position: CEO

Highlights: Known as a CEO who likes to get out and shake hands, George and his team have spent much of this year meeting partners ’by the hundreds’ through a multicity road show to drum up interest in its remote monitoring and management platform.

Joe Boone, D&H Distributing

Position: VP, Sales, Eastern Region, Computer Products Division

Highlights: Boone is responsible for computer product sales from Maine to Florida, overseeing a team of outside reps that supports hundreds of IT and retail partners. He works with vendors on special bid pricing to get partners the best possible deals.

Doug Byrne, D&H Distributing

Position: Director, Purchasing

Highlights: Byrne’s bringing outside-the-box revenue opportunities to the channel by uncovering consumer-focused products and other gear that now cross over into the workplace, a growing market driven by BYOD and mobility trends.

Shannon Kohn, Datto

Position: Marketing & Channel Relations Director

Highlights: Kohn played a key role in helping Datto double its partner base last year, a feat it aims to achieve this year as well. At the same time, Datto is adding new benefits for its authorized partners and upping its efforts to provide partner training.

Dave Johnson, Dell

Position: SVP, Corporate Strategy

Highlights: Johnson works side-by-side with Michael Dell on the development of short- and long-term strategy and is the chief architect of its current M&A approach. Blockbuster purchases such as Compellent and SecureWorks jelled under his watch.

Steve Schuckenbrock, Dell

Position: President, Dell Services

Highlights: Some 18 months into his role as the head of Dell Services, Schuckenbrock has been working to expand Dell’s operations and integrate its recent services acquisitions such as Make Technologies and Clerity.

Albert Ling, D-Link

Position: SVP, Channel Operations

Highlights: A 14-year D-Link veteran, Ling was named channel chief six months ago and finds himself in the unenviable position of reassuring partners that D-Link’s channel focus hasn’t waned, despite a rash of executive departures. He’s the harbor in the tempest.

Keith Woodard, Docuwise

Position: Director, Channel Sales

Highlights: Woodard spearheaded the launch last year of Docuwise’s managed print reseller program. Through the program, solution provider partners gain access to a turnkey, cloud-based managed print offering.

Fran Harrington, Eaton

Position: East Regional Sales Manager

Highlights: Known as a results-driven manager who leads by example, Harrington has turned her team of field engineers into channel managers, formalized an on-boarding process and training curriculum for the vendor’s field sales team and is now aiming to gain more midmarket traction.

Daniel Coetsier, EMC

Position: VP, Partners Global Services

Highlights: Laser-focused on giving partners opportunities to sell EMC services, Coetsier oversees the team of partner-facing services gurus that work with the channel on cloud and big data services. He also drives EMC’s efforts to design easy-to-consume channel programs.

Jeff Taylor, EMC

Position: VP, Global Channel Strategy & Operations

Highlights: Taylor’s driving EMC’s partner enablement efforts and has created new sales-oriented training. He is currently responsible for structuring channel operations and delivering predictive analytics to give EMC more insight into its channel business.

Steve Hammond, Emerson

Position: Director, Global Partner Marketing

Highlights: Hammond is the chief partner program architect who leads the design, implementation and structure of the company’s channel strategy. He’s the one who makes sure Emerson partners have the tools they need to succeed.

Marcy Campbell, Engine Yard

Position: SVP, Global Alliances

Highlights: Campbell is driving channel efforts for Engine Yard, a Platform-as-a-Service player in Ruby on Rails and PHP spaces. She is responsible for partner strategy and field execution for its primary channels, including solution providers, ISVs, distributors and service providers.

Tom French, Epson

Position: Director, Commercial Sales

Highlights: French has been expanding the workgroup printer lineup available exclusively to SMB-focused channel partners via the Epson ImageWay Partner Program, which offers increased margins, dedicated support, a free demo unit and no-charge evaluation units.

David Hallmen, Evault, a Seagate Company

Position: VP, WW Sales & Marketing

Highlights: Hallmen leads Evault’s sales and marketing efforts and manages its Cloud Connected Service Provider Program, which gives partners a path to recurring revenue from selling cloud-based data protection services.

Steve McChesney, F5 Networks

Position: VP, Channel Sales, Americas

Highlights: McChesney launched F5’s Vault program in March, which offers incentives, rewards and technical training resources specifically for channel partners selling the vendor’s security portfolio. It is part of the vendor’s broader Unity partner program, which also has been improved.

Mike Pickett, Fortinet

Position: Director, Eastern Channel Sales

Highlights: Rarely to be found at his desk, Pickett travels constantly, overseeing hiring, training and day-to-day support for the CAMs he manages. He meets with partners in the field on a weekly basis, serving as the eyes and ears for Fortintet’s senior channel management.

Bryan Wood, Fortinet

Position: Director, Western Channel Sales

Highlights: Like his counterpart in the East, Wood is a road warrior, managing a team of CAMs. He is credited with keeping Fortinet’s Western channel region sales running smoothly as he jumps in on special projects and clears the way for CAMs to help partners get what they need.

Prajesh Parekh, Google

Position: Channel Marketing Lead

Highlights: Parekh is in charge of the channel marketing efforts for Google Apps for Business, with the overarching goal of building and developing a best-in-class partner community.

Heather Kent, Hewlett-Packard

Position: Director, Americas Channel Marketing

Highlights: After launching HP’s Blue Carpet incentive program for partner sales reps in Canada, she was instrumental in bringing the program to U.S. channel partners. The program provides online access to sales training, certifications and spifs.

Rich Papaioannou, Hewlett-Packard

Position: Manager, SMB Channel Practices, Americas Channel Marketing

Highlights: Papaioannou has been helping to drive HP’s surge into the SMB space, particularly when it comes to getting channel partners to embrace the BYOD trend and uncover new opportunities in mobility.

Alex Dobson, Huawei

Position: VP, U.S. Sales, Enterprise Group

Highlights: Dobson is spearheading Huawei’s effort to expand its enterprise channel in the U.S. and worldwide. After launching a U.S. partner program this fall, Huawei in March introduced a global program as well.

John Rafferty, IBM

Position: Global Channel Sales Director, Systems & Technology

Highlights: Rafferty manages storage partner relations, specifically IBM’s Storage Infrastructure Optimization assessment, whereby IBM jointly with its partners performed 600-plus surveys in 2011 to analyze customers’ storage infrastructure needs.

For more People You Don't Know But Should, see Part 2 of our list.

For last year's list, see 100 People You Don't Know But Should In 2011