Cohesity’s New Channel Lead Ready to Accelerate Partner Growth
Still warming up his seat at Cohesity, Bill Lipsin, who officially took the top channel slot at the company on Oct. 21, is strategizing about how he’ll expand Cohesity’s channel community in line with the company’s future aspirations.
A veteran channel executive, Lipson replaced Todd Palmer, the former vice president, worldwide, channels, who worked at Cohesity for about two-and-a-half years. Palmer is now senior vice president, worldwide strategic partners and alliances with Hitachi Vantara.
Although not quite two weeks into his new job, Lipsin chatted with Channel Futures about his new role.
Channel Futures: With two rounds of funding under its belt – the most recent, $250 million in June 2018 and $70 million in 2013 – Cohesity, a leader in the hyperconverged secondary storage space, is on a growth path. How does that tie to hiring you?
Bill Lipsin: As the company continues to grow and look at the opportunities in front of us, it was determined to make sure that we evaluated the skills needed to get us to the next level. That’s how my hiring came about.
CF: Are there plans to change the channel team, and what percentage of Cohesity business goes through partners?
BL: Right now, all our business goes through partners. I’d say we’re channel-driven, and I use those words because one of the keys to our success to date has been the tight coordination and collaboration between our own sales teams and our partners.
You’re onto something because having done this for so many years, that’s often the area of conflict that partners feel when working with any vendor. Cohesity has taken a strong stance in working very closely with our partners, in a co-sell model.
CF: So how big is Cohesity’s channel team?
BL: I can’t give you numbers today, but it’s a pretty dynamic, it’s a growing team. We’ve doubled the team in the Americas in the last year and we’re in the process of looking at what we need to do for the rest of the world. We also work with our distributors (Tech Data in North America) for those partners who aren’t driving a lot of Cohesity business, to date.
Another point, we have HPE and Cisco, who are not just investors, but also key alliances and our partners purchase Cohesity through them as well.
CF: Talk about your objectives.
BL: At a high level, the areas we’re continuing to focus on are the midmarket and enterprise growth areas, including the government sector — that’s for both on-prem and cloud. Areas where we’re investigating – leveraging partner services as well as insuring that we go after that really explosive opportunity, the 80% of the data that’s not mission-critical, which is everything from backup and recovery to cloud integration, to test and development and analytics – and if you look at that overall market segment, that’s an almost $60 billion market.
What we’re trying to do is help our partners identify where the real initial sales are, such as backup and recovery, which is at the forefront, but file and object is right behind that, as well as some other areas that are getting attention from customers.
This is not just trying to do the same things over and over again, but how to start to redefine data management. People have always talked about some of the largest assets in the company as being people, and that’s true, but they also realize that …