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He held channel exec roles at Ingram and Palo Alto Networks
February 19, 2021
One of Microsoft’s largest ISV partners, AvePoint, has put together a channel team led by channel veteran Jason Beal. AvePoint, set to imminently become a publicly traded company, last week announced that it recruited Beal from Palo Alto Networks.
AvePoint’s Jason Beal
As AvePoint’s new head of global channels, Beal’s job is to build out the company’s first broad partner program. While AvePoint has some channel relationships, it has historically provided its SharePoint and Office 365 management tools directly to enterprises.
But with the growth of Teams and the entire Microsoft 365 stack, AvePoint has experienced more demand for its tools. It also sees a broader addressable market. AvePoint has begun expanding into small and midsize organizations, many of which are extending their Microsoft 365 and Teams footprints. Smaller shops have similar migration, management and governance requirements that larger enterprises face.
To address SMBs, AvePoint launched a platform for managed services providers (MSPs) in 2019. AvePoint Elements lets MSPs offer migration, backup and management of Office 365 and Microsoft Azure tenants.
Here’s our list of channel people on the move in January.
Looking to finance its expansion, AvePoint decided to pursue an IPO by going down the special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) route. Apex Technology Acquisition Corp., a SPAC put together by technology investors Jeff Epstein and Brad Koenig, agreed to acquire AvePoint. Apex, whose shares started trading on the Nasdaq a year-and-a-half ago, and AvePoint, announced the deal in November.
It is on pace to close next month, at which point AvePoint will become a public company. Such arrangements, which have become increasingly popular, are often referred to as “reverse IPOs.”
AvePoint CEO Tianyi Jiang told Channel Futures at the time that his company needed to “step up” its channel efforts. Jiang said he was in the process of hiring a channel team.
Besides serving as a senior channel exec at Palo Alto Networks, Beal spent nearly a decade at Ingram Micro. During his tenure with the large distributor, Beal was involved in the launch of Ingram Micro Cloud.
“Jason Beal has expertise in building world-class ecosystem programs with processes, resources and operational capacity,” said Janet Schijns, CEO of channel consultancy JS Group. “He will be able to harness the evolving Microsoft channel including their nontransacting partners that are joining the ecosystem by the thousands. And he knows how to provide the level of support and partner engagement that the AvePoint ecosystem will need to be successful.”
Beal told Channel Futures that he believes AvePoint has significant growth prospects.
“This a company that has incredible R&D capabilities, a proven track record with their Microsoft partnership, and they are right at the heart of the megatrends — the move to the cloud, digital transformation and remote collaboration,” Beal said.
AvePoint is making significant investments in the channel, Beal said. Besides Beal, Tony Lanni is rejoining the company as senior VP of channel marketing. Lanni was chief evangelist for AvePoint before he took on a five-year role as VP of global demand generation at BlackLine.
Since arriving at AvePoint in December, Beal said the company has expanded its channel headcount. It has hired channel system engineers and partner success managers. Beal said AvePoint’s distributors are in recruitment mode for more MSPs.
“That’s we’re having triple-digit growth on a not-so-small base of the business,” Beal said. “Managed service providers are bringing us a ton of new logos or new customers, even SMBs, and then all the way up in various customer segments.”
Read more about:MSPs
Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.
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