Meet Okta's first Australian channel chief

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This article appeared in the November 2016 issue of CRN magazine.

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Meet Okta's first Australian channel chief

Reno Maglitto tells CRN about his achievements and challenges during the past six months as Okta's first local channel boss.

Journey

I started at IBM in 1996 where I was part of their graduate program. After a couple of years I moved into a channel role. I have probably acquired most of my channel knowledge at IBM. 

There was this thing called the 4 C’s: making sure partners had the capability, the capacity, the commitment and the communication to be proficient in your technology. It was a very good base to learn the discipline and how to be an effective channel manager.

I spent about 15 years at IBM and then I moved to Oracle. Again, in a channel management role. I then moved to RSA where I spent two-and-a-half years running the Aveksa practice, which was the RSA identity business. After the Dell acquisition I went back to IBM for a short period. 

When I returned to IBM, I very quickly understood that I probably wanted to be in a smaller organisation, one that was a lot more agile. Then the opportunity came up to be the APAC channel manager for Okta. 

Partnerships

Okta partners can resell our technology so there’s a very good margin to be made reselling subscription licenses. Okta partners can also make money reselling our packaged service offerings, including our enablement training services. 

We’ve got all the typical things that you would find in a channel program: funds, technical support, a proper onboarding enablement plan, links to certification. We’ve got all those necessary components in place. I’ve been busy over the past six months bringing on board the right partners to give us effective coverage of the market.

I’m the first channel and alliance manager. I’m effectively building the platform of partners for all the different sorts of partners: regional systems integrators, traditional resellers and large global system integrators.

Challenges

I suppose the key challenge has been around making sure our customers understand that Okta’s model is different to how identity was solved via an on-premises solution. I suppose the key challenge is making sure our partners understand there’s a different way of solving the problem via an IDaaS solution, as compared to doing it on-premises.

Achievements

Bringing on board the right type of organisations that really understand identity and access management – that’s probably the number one achievement. Number two is fostering the relationships with our top ISVs. The third thing is really engaging our own internal businesses to make them understand the value in working with their channel, that is, taking our field team and our technical support teams and pre and post-sales resources, and really engaging them into the partner ecosystem. 

Lessons learned

Activation is key. When you bring a partner on board, it’s critical you activate the partner as quickly as possible. That’s an investment you need to make as the vendor. 

You need to sit down with the leadership team and help them build a business plan that starts with the revenue. What sort of revenue do you need to drive out of this relationship for it to be of value? How much pipeline do you need to drive that revenue? How do you enable your sales, technical and marketing teams? How do you build effective marketing campaigns and tactics?

I feel fortunate that I’m able to build the business in the way I feel it needs to be built, leveraging all the skills and the relationships I’ve built over the years. I really just feel that I want to leave my mark in terms of helping Okta take that next step.  


Resume

July 2016 – present
APAC director of channel and alliances, Okta
Sep 2015 – June 2016
Security channel and alliance manager A/NZ Region, IBM
2013 – 2015
ANZ identity management and governance business unit manager, RSA
2011 – 2013
Identity and security lead business develop-ment and channel manager ANZ, Oracle
2010 – 2011
Channel manager ANZ, IBM Tivoli Software
2003 – 2010
Direct sales representative, IBM Tivoli Software
2000 – 2003
VAD manager, IBM HW
1998 – 2000
Hardware division sales rep and then channel manager, IBM

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