Channel Chief Conversations: RingCentral, Rackspace, VMware, More

This gallery recaps some Channel Partners interviews with channel chiefs, including those from Rackspace, RingCentral, Dropbox, Google and more.

Channel Partners

June 22, 2016

  • Channel Chief Conversations: RingCentral, Rackspace, VMware, More

    Over the course of the first half of 2016, we’ve talked with channel chiefs from some of the biggest names in the telecom and IT channels.

    Some, such as Blake Wetzel and Zane Long, are well-known faces making moves to new businesses (Rackspace and RingCentral, respectively). Others, such as Google’s Murali Sitaram and VMware’s Frank Rauch, have been leading their companies’ respective partner programs for a couple of years now — and are people partners should know as these businesses make even deeper dives into the channel.

    In this gallery, we offer portions of the conversations we had with them and link you to the full discussions. It’s a great one-stop shop to help you get to know these channel leaders and their programs.

    Follow senior online managing editor Craig Galbraith on Twitter. 


  • Channel Chief Conversations: RingCentral’s Zane Long


    Earlier this year, RingCentral appointed Zane Long, former VP of Vonage’s Global Strategic Partner Group, as its VP of global channel sales. Last week, the company announced it is targeting enterprise growth by launching new room video-conferencing services, expanding into new countries and hiring veteran industry talent.

    “With the market potential of UCaaS in the multibillions, I knew that I wanted and needed to be working with the market leader in UCaaS,” he said. “With 300,000-plus customer accounts and growing, as well as an expansion upmarket and partnerships with leading carriers and distributors, RingCentral is leading the way.”

    Read more of our Q&A with Long here.

  • Channel Chief Conversations: Rackspace’s Blake Wetzel


    This month, Blake Wetzel became Rackspace’s new channel chief. Prior to that, he was VP of CenturyLink Channel Alliance. In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Wetzel talked about why he left CenturyLink, his plans to accelerate Rackspace and the buzz he’s created among partners.

    “There will be changes,” he said. “I think there’s a great foundation at Rackspace. I hope to bring the expertise that I developed at CenturyLink in my seven years there and working with all different types of partners.”

    Click here for more insights from Wetzel.

  • Channel Chief Conversations: Google’s Murali Sitaram


    In July 2014, Google named former Cisco collaboration VP Murali Sitaram director of its global partner strategy and alliances. Earlier this year, Sitaram sat down with Channel Partners for a wide-ranging conversation, from his channel plans to the outlook for Android and ChromeOS, to advice for solution providers looking to go global.

    “We want to make sure that every channel partner out there knows that we’re channel-friendly,” Sitaram said. “We, in fact, cannot make a customer successful without a channel partner in some form or the other, unless you’re very small, in which case we just do everything automatically.”

    Here is where to read more about Sitaram and Google’s channel program.

    **Editor’s Note: Google will will make its Channel Partners expo-hall floor debut at Channel Partners Evolution, Aug. 14-17, in Washington, D.C.**

  • Channel Chief Conversations: Juniper Networks’ Matt Hurley


    Channel Partners recently sat down with Matt Hurley, Juniper Networks‘ VP of global channels and channel chief, to discuss Juniper’s new security initiatives, as well as his vision for the company’s partner program.

    “We’re very proud of where we are right now,” he said. “We’re winning awards, non-pay-to-play type awards, and we’re really excited about that. And our partners, most importantly, are giving us great feedback: ‘We understand now how we interact with you. We know where to go.’”

    Read more about Hurley’s channel thoughts here.

  • Channel Chief Conversations: Avaya’s Steve Biondi


    Early this year, Steve Biondi, VP of Avaya’s Global Partner Organization, spoke with Channel Partners about the company’s as-a-service and midmarket push, the end of PBXes and desk phones, channel changes on the horizon, and more. A nearly $50 billion addressable market awaits Avaya and its partners in contact center, fabric-based networking, customer care, cloud, UC enterprise, professional services and UC midmarket, he said.

    “Avaya’s solutions are seen as enterprise-class, enterprise-ready from a UC and contact-center standpoint,” he said. “We’ve taken a lot of time and effort to make these offerings much more consumable to the midmarket, from both a price standpoint and from an implementation ‘standing-it-up’ standpoint.”

    Read our full Q&A with Biondi here.

  • Channel Chief Conversations: Dropbox’s Hank Humphreys


    Dropbox is making a huge push in the channel. Its service is being used in 8 million businesses every day and its partner count is growing at an exponential rate. Hank Humphreys, Dropbox channel chief, spoke with Channel Partners about his big goals for the channel.

    “So, we’ve added 150,000 paying customers in three years and we’re adding to that tens of thousands of new customers every quarter,” he said. “That’s an opportunity we’re passing on to the channel. And so to support that with multi-tier distribution, we’re putting margin into the ecosystem – which we feel is best in class – allowing some really good upfront margin.”

    This is where to learn about why Humphreys thinks Dropbox is ready to take off in the channel.

  • Channel Chief Conversations: VMware’s Frank Rauch


    Channel Partners recently sat down with Frank Rauch, VP of VMware‘s Americas partner organization. Rauch said partners are doing well with VMware’s Workspace ONE platform. The company recently added new NSX pricing packages and business-case enablement to help partners grab a piece of an estimated $12.5 billion in network-virtualization sales by 2020, up from $2 billion this year.

    “VMware really has channel in its DNA, meaning it’s where we started and it’s where we are today,” Rauch said. “ We’re very, very much dependent on the channel to be able to go to market — not only with the legacy VMware products, but also to be the launch pad for more nascent technologies.”

    Get the full Q&A with Rauch here.

  • Channel Chief Conversations: Intel Security’s Richard Steranka


    Richard Steranka, VP of Intel Security‘s global channel operations, briefed Channel Partners at the company’s recent partner summit on changes to the company’s portfolio and partner program strategy. One current focus: Ensure Intel Security recognizes smaller partners that demonstrate commitment to the company’s new platform approach.

    “The overall partner program has been through an evolution,” Steranka said. “It was a very centric around what I like to refer to as the ‘volume model.’ It recognized partners based on their annual bookings. So the big are always big.”

    Read our complete conversation with Steranka here.

  • Channel Chief Conversations: Riverbed’s Karl Meulema


    Riverbed Technology wants to help its partners transition to and profit from increasing demand for as-a-service and managed-service offerings. Karl Meulema, Riverbed’s SVP of global channels, spoke with Channel Partners about what Disrupt 2.0, the theme of its latest partner conference, means to its partners, and how it is changing along with its customers.

    “Partners need to be able to address their customers’ needs in more than one way,” he said. “And some of our customers will continue to prefer to have a solutions-selling type of partner whereas there [are] others who really want much more of a managed-services or as-a-service model.”

    Learn more about Meulema’s plans for the Riverbed channel in our Q&A here.

  • Channel Chief Conversations: Samsung Business’ Greg Taylor and Richard Hutton


    In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Greg Taylor, VP of channel sales for Samsung’s B2B business, and Richard Hutton, director of demand generation and channel marketing, talked about rapid growth in the enterprise market and increasing partner enablement.

    “For all intents and purposes, Samsung B2B business is 100 percent channel-focused,” Taylor said. “We do all of our revenue back through one of our channel partners. We’re involved with the majority of the broadline and many of the specialty distributors across the United States, which then in turn provide sales and support, logistics and financing for all of our channel partners.”

    Want the full scoop from these Samsung channel leaders? Get it here.

  • Channel Chief Conversations: SolidFire’s Mark Conley


    Mark Conley, SolidFire’s director of channel sales, recently talked to Channel Partners about his company’s recent acquisition by systems manufacturer NetApp. He said the NetApp deal will have a major impact on the storage industry.

    “For the channel side, we were striving for legitimacy with the biggest resellers, and we found that once we got the NetApp brand behind us — resellers really like NetApp, and they want them to win and they see SolidFire as a key bit of ammunition for their arsenal,” he said.

    The full Q&A with SolidFire’s Conley is here.

  • Channel Chief Conversations: Druva’s Scott Siragusa


    Channel Partners asked Scott Siragusa, VP of business development and channels for Druva, for some details about its partner program and current offerings. The company is among the fastest growing data-protection vendors.

    “Our PartnerSync partners are excited about the opportunity to develop cloud offerings and to partner with the leader in the space,” he said. “The ability to sell a solution that can help their customers and deliver a recurring annuity stream is a key component of our program.”

    Click here for our full conversation with Druva’s Siragusa.

  • Channel Chief Conversations: RingCentral, Rackspace, VMware, More

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