Nutanix's new channel chief brings more than 20 years of channel leadership, IT and computer industry experience.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

January 24, 2018

5 Min Read
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**Editor’s Note: Click here to see which channel people were on the move in December.**

Nutanix‘s new global channel chief plans to define more clearly the company’s channel strategy and update its partner program.

Rodney Foreman, previously with Informatica, has been appointed to vice president of global channel sales. He is responsible for all aspects of the software-defined enterprise cloud provider’s partner organization. He brings more than 20 years of channel leadership, IT and computer industry experience to the company.


Nutanix’s Rodney Foreman

Prior to joining Nutanix, he was Informatica’s senior vice president of business partner channel sales and alliances, and was responsible for partner relationships, creating and driving key program initiatives and sales execution within the company’s global network of business partners. Prior to Informatica, he led the global channel business at IBM for its cloud software business unit, which was the largest component of IBM’s software channel business — with more than 7,000 partners globally.

Foreman also held key positions at Compaq Computer and Dell.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Foreman talks about his plans in his new role and what attracted him to Nutanix.

Channel Partners: What made you decide to join Nutanix?

Rodney Foreman: I was immediately attracted to the company’s leading-edge technology that is in high demand in the market today. The products lend themselves to an indirect sales model and I jumped at the opportunity to develop a strategy for a business that’s transforming as a software company, and relies so heavily on its partners and channel. During my initial meeting with Dheeraj Pandey (founder, CEO and chairman), it was clear that we were on the same page with regard to an innovative channel strategy that separates us from the rest of the competition — and I knew this was the right choice for my next position.

CP: What is your take on Nutanix’s current channel strategy? Are changes needed?

RF: The company’s current channel strategy has, obviously, brought the company great results. Like any channel program or strategy for a software company, it must evolve over time so that the partners are equipped and enabled with the right tools to reach an even larger part of the market. I’m planning on building the channel program over time to keep it competitive and deliver consistent rewards for our partners so that they can build our business around Nutanix. As part of this strategy, we will introduce new and exciting incentives that reward the partners for opportunities that include new customers and competitive displacement.

CP: Will you be updating Nutanix’s partner program? If so, how?

RF: As part of my updates to the partner program, I will be taking a look at the tiered structure and definition, as well as the partner rewards for building skills and driving marketing campaigns. We will have a clearly defined, detailed, one-year strategy that we will share with the partners as well, which we’ll continue to update as …

… the program matures and evolves.

CP: Are there new and increasing opportunities for partners with Nutanix Enterprise Cloud? Can you give some examples?

RF: Partners are looking to deliver services beyond hyperconverged infrastructure into enterprise cloud, which will give customers the ability to introduce flexibility into their environments to migrate or switch between cloud solutions seamlessly and quickly. Our partners have many opportunities for innovation and expansion in enterprise cloud centers, especially around automation and orchestration, self-service portals and marketplaces, as well as DevOps and IT transformation. Many of these services and opportunities are available via Nutanix Calm, Nutanix’s advanced automation and orchestration solution for applications running in Nutanix clouds and public cloud services, like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

CP: What are the biggest challenges facing Nutanix and what will be your role and the channel’s role in addressing them?

RF: Nutanix has an outstanding product, but we’re faced with the challenge of creating new opportunities for the business around the globe, which involves getting the message to more customers and reaching more areas of the market. Partners are in a unique position to help us expand our [total addressable market] in a more effective and timely manner. As we transform to a software company and look to broaden our customer base, the channel becomes even more critical to establish new connections for us.

CP: How will your experience come into play in solving challenges Nutanix faces?

RF: Previously, I led the cloud software channel business, which brought in the most revenue and partners of any IBM indirect business. This experience provided me with the background needed to know what each partner in the ecosystem needs to be successful. With these tools on hand, I will lead Nutanix’s channel organization to have an advantage when working with resellers, system integrators and service providers. My experience in working with all types of partner across the globe will help us build a strategy and focus for each partner type and each country where we have a presence, which will help grow our business in the channel moving forward.

CP: What do you plan to accomplish during your first year in this new position?

RF: My one-year plan focuses on defining a global channel strategy for Nutanix, which expands on our current partner success to make sure we are delivering the program, tools and support our partners need to be successful in the market. We will leverage our existing partner base to obtain a larger market share and we need to better empower our current partners to execute and obtain new customers as well as to deliver value and successful implementations of Nutanix products.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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