Top Gun 51 Profile: CloudCheckr’s Elissa Livingston Talks Cloud Management, Channel Strategy
Managing public clouds, especially from multiple providers, proves no easy task. As cloud adoption has grown, more vendors saw this challenge coming. They developed platforms to display information on spending, data security and protection, usage, outages, inventory and more, often in real time.
In fact, various research firms project the multicloud cloud management sector will turn into a booming market over the next four years. That comes as no surprise, given that end users are putting more workloads into different cloud brands (think Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure and others). Enterprises no longer want to entrust all their data to one repository.
For channel partners including managed service providers, and resellers and distributors, managing cloud on behalf of customers is indispensable. And demand will only grow. That’s one reason why channel-friendly cloud management vendors are crucial to partner success.
CloudCheckr ranks among the companies specializing in multicloud cloud management with a targeted focus on partners. Much of the credit for that focus goes to Elissa Livingston, vice president of strategic alliances. Livingston’s dedication to the channel and the opportunities made possible by the cloud earned her a place as one of this year’s Top Gun 51 recipients. Livingston has worked for CloudCheckr for almost four years, and been instrumental in helping the channel contribute half of CloudCheckr’s business.
In this edited Q&A, Channel Futures talks with Livingston about the ways she has enhanced the CloudCheckr channel, what’s different about the way the company engages with partners and what’s next.
Channel Futures: How long have you worked in the channel, in general?
Elissa Livingston: Seven years — first at an e-discovery managed services provider and now three-and-a-half years with CloudCheckr.
CF: How did you become involved in the channel?
EL: The CloudCheckr platform is built for cloud resellers, distributors and managed service providers, so the channel was an inherent focus of mine from the beginning. We built out a formal channel offering around the broadest and deepest cloud management platform to allow our partners to generate the most margin, engage their customers and deliver secure, well-managed cloud environments.
CF: Did you join CloudCheckr in that role or move into it?
EL: I’ve held several roles throughout my tenure with CloudCheckr – all related to channel development in some form. Eighteen months ago, when our customer-facing organization was experiencing rapid expansion, we began to specialize functions to prepare for our next growth stage.
As a result, I took on the task of formally defining and building out our strategic alliances organization. Now, I’m leading go-to-market strategy and initiatives with our most complex and important channel partners – including cloud IaaS providers, technology integration partners, and cloud resellers and service providers.
CF: What changes have you made during your time as CloudCheckr’s channel chief?
EL: I was part of the early team at CloudCheckr so in many ways got to shape our program from the ground up. CloudCheckr’s product development has always been heavily influenced by our channel partners’ needs. My work on the business side is done in parallel, leveraging the needs of our partners and their customers to form a tailor-made program for …