Meet the channel manager: Acronis

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This article appeared in the July 2015 issue of CRN magazine.

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Meet the channel manager: Acronis
Rose Old

Acronis channel business manager Rose Old has an all-channel resumé, including stints at Ingram Micro, Veeam, Express Data and Avnet. She was appointed as the Swiss data protection vendor’s ANZ channel head 18 months ago.

Journey

“My background started in distribution. I’ve worked with a couple of iconic brands – Express Data (now Dicker Data) and Ingram Micro – and that was a great foundation for me to fall in love with the channel. Then I really wanted to branch out into the vendor world, through the channel, and Veeam was a great stepping stone for my career. When I started, it was a business of three people. I then built up the programs, the ecosystem and support mechanisms for the sales and technical teams. 

“From there I moved into the Acronis post. I head up the channel business for Australia and New Zealand, which includes everything from distributors, systems integrators, traditional partners, hosting providers and MSPs. It’s a very diverse role but lots of fun – there’s never a dull moment.”

Products

“Acronis specialises in data protection through 100 percent software solutions. That’s been our core focus for all nine years that we’ve been in existence. Recently, we realised our cloud platform and it’s exciting for our channel because it’s a real ‘business engagement’ model. We’ve released backup-as-a-service, disaster-recovery-as-a-service is coming, and in the future we’ll be looking at data management for mobile devices.”

Program

“Today in Australia we have about 1,200 partners. They range from very small reseller partners through to large enterprise integrators. We’ve just launched a new partner program. It’s a two-tier [distribution] model with three levels – platinum, gold and authorised. 

“We sat down with our top partners to understand what the challenges with the old program were and what enhancements we could make to support the growth of their business.”

Partner tiers

“We only have five platinum partners, CompNow, Data People, Precision IT, Dimension Data and Insight. They really specialise in our technology, which are in three pillars: cloud; backup and disaster recovery; and mobility and access connect. [Platinum partners] hold competency in all three business units. The next level down is gold, where there’s a lot of systems integrators and professional services firms that are looking down that cloud route. 

“Then we have the very long tail of our business, who are all very active – our authorised partners. There are a lot of them. This transactional level is where we really lean on our distributors. Today, we deal with Ingram Micro, and they’ve been really great. The smaller partners require a lot of hand-holding, but that’s the foundation of our business and the transactional partners do generate a large amount of revenue for us.”

Events and awards

“At the Asia-Pacific and Japan level, we have the Acronis Partner Conference, usually around October or November. We fly our key partners there to run them through how we’re innovating and thank them with an awards program. 

“Last year, it was held at Sentosa Island in Singapore. Funnily enough, Microsoft and HP were having partner events during the same time as ours so we did bump into a lot of the Australian channel, which was good. The partners especially loved getting the chance to meet the founders of Acronis.”

Lessons learned

“Making sure you understand your partners and where they’re coming from – because every partner is different. The key things are listening and getting back to people in a timely manner.”   


Resume

Feb 2014 – Present  Channel business manager ANZ region, Acronis

Nov 2013 – Feb 2014  Business development manager (contract), Avnet Technology Solutions

Dec 2012 – Aug 2013  Manager, distribution & alliances ANZ, Veeam Software

Nov 2010 – Aug 2013  Manager, distribution and channel sales Australia and New Zealand, Veeam 

Oct 2008 – Oct 2010  National vendor manager VMware, Veeam, Novell, Redhat and CA, Ingram Micro

Jan 2006 – Oct 2008  Assistant Microsoft product manager, Express Data

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