For the 2nd year in a row CRN recognized Quantum’s Steve Burrows, VP of America Channel Sales, as a who’s who of channel management; a leader who’s heading up a Partner program that solution providers depend on to run their businesses. This year CRN also recognized Quantum’s Andy Brinck, Senior Director for Channel Sales. Steve and Andy have been instrumental in navigating new business models, technology shifts and making sure Quantum partners succeed. Read on for more information about Steve and Andy as well as their thoughts on channel sales, yearly goals and channel sales advice.

Steve Burrows Quantum Corporation Vice President, Americas Channel

Bio and Background: Steve has been in the software and hardware IT industry for 20+ years, 15 of which have been with Quantum. During his time with Quantum, over 12 years have been spent either leading or supporting Quantum’s indirect channel sales organizations. Steve’s current organizational responsibility includes not only the independent channel, but also: direct marketers, distribution sales, inside sales and SMB/commodity sales. Steve also spent time in various marketing and program roles with ATL Products, EMC, ExperSoft and Research Information System (RIS).

Partner organization’s top accomplishments over the past year

Delivered and developed new routes to market based on new product introductions. As we extend our market leadership in the Media and Entertainment (M&E) vertical utilizing M&E partners, we executed on new routes to market for our more storage/data center partners. Those markets include: – Corporate video – Surveillance and security – Cybersecurity Developed a low-barrier-to-entry MSP program. This program requires no initial financial investment by our partners and allows them to offer OPEX-based back-up and archive solutions to their customer base. Implemented programs that allowed for customization by individual partners. This insured that our individual partners’ and Quantum’s strategies were more in alignment. Launched a program to specifically help our partners take advantage of Apple’s end-of-life on Xsan. This program allows our partners to show their customers a path to maintain their current Xsan workflow while adding features utilizing StorNext products. Doubled the number of channel managers YoY, continuing our commitment to the channel. Our branded business increased from 75% to 80%.

How partner community has grown over the past year? 

Expanding on our leadership in M&E, we have enabled our data center/horizontal partners to find and execute on new routes to market. YoY the product lines that enable our partner to focus on corporate video, cybersecurity and media and entertainment grew over 50%. Coupled with our increase in branded business through the channel, many of our partners have seen big increases in both revenue and profit with Quantum.

Key channel/partner investments made over the past year

We doubled the number of Channel Account Managers in order to better serve the partner community. We invested in messaging and programs that allowed the partner community to learn about and execute new routes to market in the install base. We took to the road in order to deliver this to executives, sales representatives and the sales engineering community. Dedicated inside sales team focused on partner training, opportunity development and revenue growth.

Plans for attracting the next generation of solution providers

Quantum is committed to making deals profitable and to being responsive and easy to work with. We offer partners differentiated technology and solutions to address their data center and scale out storage workflow needs, enabling them to expand their customer base. Solutions like Lattus object storage and Scalar LTFS tape offer innovative approaches to archive, The DXi-Series deduplication family provides industry leading disk based backup, vmPRO simplifies backup of virtualized environments, Q-Cloud and the MSP program offer affordable business-class cloud data protection, and StorNext combines high-speed content sharing with cost-effective data archiving.

Advice to someone getting into the channel today

Listen to the requirements and needs of the individual partners and find common ground on which to engage. Pick a few initiatives/objectives and consistently be -best in class-. Most importantly, be honest and open in all dealings with the partners.

Andrew Brinck Quantum Corporation Senior Director, Channel Sales

Bio and Background: With over 20 years of IT channel sales, sales and sales operations experience; Andy was hired 2 years ago at Quantum to establish the Scale-out storage channel strategy worldwide with primary responsibilities for the Americas and Federal channel. The current channel organization includes: the independent channel, system integrators and vertical market focused distribution. Andy has also spent time in various channel sales leadership roles with StorageWay, Omneon and Harmonic before joining Quantum.

Partner organization’s top accomplishments over the past year

Successful launch and ramp of StorNext Pro Solutions in April – high-performance storage systems product line specifically configured to meet the requirements of post-production facilities and smaller broadcasters for refreshing aging Xsan environments, meeting new 4K workflow demands and supporting end-to-end content production and archive. We executed on three key channel events to facilitate these launches including the establishment of a VAR council, dedicated Systems Engineering summit and our Elevate VAR event catering to executives and top sales and systems engineering leadership teams. • Based on partner requests our channel organization was successful in getting a new StorNext Pro Solution developed, StorNext Pro Foundation. StorNext Pro Foundation is a low-cost, integrated shared storage system designed specifically for smaller workgroups. This broadens Quantum’s reach with customers significantly as it addresses a new market segments. This product launched to instant momentum and success as it was designed based on direct input from our partners.

Single most innovative partner initiative in 2014?

This year our objective was to work with partners to grow the adoption of our StorNext appliances and Pro Solutions. We did this through frequent one on one partner engagement but also through multiple events including: • Channel event attended by over 300 partner reps at NAB • Established an M&E Partner executive council • National partner SE training event • National Summit in October In addition, we focused on enabling partners with key sales tools in kit form to help them prospect and expand their business, we segmented our channel communication by key industries and we expanded our pass to partner lead program significantly.

Key channel/partner investments made over the past year

Added as channel System Architect to accelerate ramp time of reseller engineering staff • Invested in Sales Engineer training • Increased Spiff and Sales Play programs designed to take advantage of key market opportunities • Expanded rebate program for key focus resellers for both our Gold and Platinum tiers • Expansion of our inside sales team and added responsibility for partner outreach

Plans for attracting the next generation of solution providers

Offering solutions that outperform the competition and meet customer needs for managing 4K workflows, refreshing Apple Xsan environments (StorNext is 100% compatible) and supporting end-to-end content production and long-term archive. Corporations are utilizing media more and more in the enterprise and we see an opportunity for our traditional data center partners to grow their footprint within their accounts by focusing on these video workflow solutions. Additionally, Quantum is 100% channel focused. We support our partners with a strong channel program that provides them with enablement tools, deal protection, high margins, incentives for driving meetings, making sales and overall growth.

Advice to someone getting into the channel today

Listen to the requirements and needs of the partner community, which includes everyone from the national and regional resellers to distribution and direct marketers. Establish strong relationships at all levels of your channel accounts and truly understand their business and their motivation. Communicate, communicate, communicate…nothing can ruin a relationship faster than failing to collaborate with your partners.

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