Strubel discusses his return to the channel, how the expanded Commvault executive structure will provide more assistance to partners, and what he intends to accomplish in his new role.
Commvault continues to build out a deep channel executive team to drive the company’s indirect sales going forward. Scott Strubel, most recently at NetApp, has joined Commvault as Vice President of Worldwide Channels, a global role with responsibility for Commvault’s ecosystem of resellers and distributors.
In 2017, Ralph Nimergood was the senior executive responsible for Commvault’s channel business. In early 2018, Commvault elevated Owen Taraniuk to run all Commvault sales activity as Head of Worldwide Partnerships and Market Development. Nimergood remained in a senior channels role, as Vice President of Indirect Strategy, Channel Sales. Taraniuk then brought in Andy Vandeveld, as Vice President of Worldwide Alliances at Commvault, and now Strubel, giving Commvault a plethora of senior executives in channel-facing roles.
“The message that we are intentionally sending to the market is that we have invested in an executive leadership team that has done what we need to do in other companies,” Strubel told ChannelBuzz. “We will take that great team of channels sales professionals and combine that with changes that will make it easier for partners to go to market with us, in order to accelerate growth. This is an investment in our partners, through making a major investment both in leadership and from a partner program perspective.”
Strubel explained how all these new multiple roles fit together to provide a deeper range of capabilities to partners.
“Owen was brought in to run all routes to markets – direct, service providers, alliances, system integrators, VARs and distributors,” he said. “Andy focuses on the strategic partnerships. I focus on resellers that do reselling and our distribution partners – in North America, that’s Arrow and Tech Data. Ralph and Andy and myself all sit on the same staff. Ralph is still a very important part of the organization, and will work closely with me. We have a 30 year relationship in the business. He will focus on services to our partners, and I will focus on how they weigh transaction volumes and sales, to increase simplification in what they are selling and improve sales enablement as our partners take us to market. The role of my organization is to help partners differentiate themselves and their offerings, and we will do more to help them understand the opportunities around specific verticals like health care, and compete in a way that reflects the changing nature of the market. We need to better help partners understand how things have changed significantly in the solutions they have to bring to market.”
While Strubel spoke with ChannelBuzz on his fifth day on the job, he said that at a high level, he knows the kind of things he wants to accomplish.
“Partners have long given Commvault a high score on how our solution works in customer environments, but have told us there are a lot of knobs to turn for their presales and SE organizations before they can put a solution into the customer environment. So we developed a greatly simplified and pretuned version of the Commvault Data Platform that can be installed in as little as 17 minutes, and we need to improve partner awareness of that. We can enable them to sell in one SKU into a hyperscale environment. We have made it easier for partners to position an appliance or reference scale solution to customers than before.”
More enhancements here are also on the way.
“We have committed to our partners that we will bring in, in the next two to three months, new simplified licensing models,” Strubel said. “That’s being received very favorably. We are taking simplicity to market in a big way.”
That same messaging will be stressing in Canada, where Bassam Hemdan is in the country manager role and David Bedjanic leads partner efforts.
“We will help partners in Canada understand this simplicity, and make it clear that Commvault has easy- to-administer solutions across all areas,” Strubel stated.
While it’s too early yet to determine changes that may come to Commvault’s channel program, Strubel said that simplification will also be a priority here.
“Ralph and myself will take a careful look at the program, focusing on simplification, personalization and making it an evergreen business partnership,” he said. “I think that a partner company develops an experiential bias toward any vendor’s solution depending on how easy they are to work with, and how profitable they are to work with. We will make sure that we are tuned in to providing those opportunities, even if we need to make changes to the way we take products to market, or ways in which we represent those through the partner program to our channel.”
Distribution will also be reviewed to determine how it can be enhanced.
“I’ve said repeatedly in prior roles that I believe strongly in the multiple types of value that distribution partners can bring to resellers and to me,” Strubel said. “There is a set of functions I will continue to outsource to distribution – creating swimlanes between what distribution will do and our internal people who work with partners. We will separate recruitment and enablement opportunities, and how we market through and with resellers. I look forward to meeting with the senior leadership teams of our distributors and talk about the current state of the business and where we want this to go.”
Having retired from NetApp, and then come out of it again has given Strubel a new perspective on the work that he does.
“In one year, I learned I was not ready to retire,” he said. “I decided to do this again and this opportunity sounded very exciting to me. I know what partners would like to see Commvault do better, and can act to execute on that. My goal in year one is to strengthen what is already a good partner ecosystem. We are going to better develop the partners we have now, and add new partners to make it easier for them to profitably help their customers with data management. I expect to pick up a lot of net-new customers in the coming year.”