I migrated to Australia as a mum, before embarking on an 11-year journey through IT distribution which started with Tech Pacific. I also spent a short time at another (now-defunct) distributor called Express Data.
The reason I chose to start in distribution was to gain an understanding of the IT industry here in Australia; to look at vendors and understand the landscape. I then moved into the world of resellers with Data 3’s Licensing team, which lasted for four years (specifically, Enterprise clients). In 2007 I transitioned into Vendor land as Business Development Manager at Symantec. While there, my role evolved to Strategic Account Management and then to run the sales team across Queensland and WA. But, when they made the decision to separate the information management business and security business, I took the opportunity to take on Veritas’ channel for ANZ. I did that for just over four years – meaning that, all in, I was at Symantec-Veritas for 11 years.
In April 2019, Belinda Jurisic was promoted from Veeam’s ANZ channel leader into an APJ channel role, based in Singapore. This prompted me to have conversations with Shaun McLagan (Vice President APJ at Veeam) and Gary Mitchell (MD at Veeam Australia), ultimately providing the fantastic opportunity to take over leading Veeam’s ANZ channel business.
Insights garnered along the way
Technology has been changing so fast and has been largely influenced by people’s reactions to different events. The Queensland floods highlighted how important technology was in protecting peoples’ information and prompted us to ask ‘How can we help?’. We were working in an industry where we didn’t realise we could actually help people – it’s not like being a doctor or similar. But when it comes down to it, information is the lifeblood of any organisation, so working with technologies that can preserve that information and bring it back after a crisis, has been an eye opener for me. I genuinely feel that we are helping people enrich their lives through technology.
Right now, I see a major challenge for the partners – customers are getting more tech savvy. Consequently, much of the value that partners have been offering is being taken away. Customers are doing a lot more of their own research, including looking at how they’re going to buy and their buying cycles. It’s become really challenging for partners to overcome this. They are looking at new ways to become valuable to their customers, and starting to focus on different ways that help customers achieve outcomes.
My team is helping partners by educating them about different offerings that they can take to market to add this value. It’s become less about technology and more about selling the outcome that the customer is looking for. By building joint solutions together, we can help solve customers’ problems. Whatever the situation, we’re helping our partners from a profitability standpoint, by building a program that looks at ways we can help partners be more profitable through selling Veeam solutions.
Where does channel need to gain expertise and or support?
We pride ourselves on offering enablement to partners. This includes sales-oriented enablement involving technologies, presales and advanced training where we work with partners to deliver solutions that represent a joint go-to-market.
We recently introduced the Veeam Accredited Services Provider Program for partners who want to gain extra skills to do deliveries in more-complex environments. With customers looking to consume technology differently and with many moving into cloud, we’ve given partners another level of certification and accreditation to help take their customers on that journey. We believe that the more accredited your partners are and the more in-depth training they have completed regarding the technologies and solutions they provide, the more they’re enabled to sell and become regarded as a trusted advisor for that customer.
Do you charge for accreditation?
The standard accreditations are free but when you move into higher-end, in-depth architecture, we do charge for taking the exam. Occasionally, we offer free training and exams to upskill partners: it’s usually when we are bringing out a new product version. But if you want to invest in training, we recognise it’s showing commitment that you actually want to partner with Veeam.
How can Veeam help the channel?
Veeam is dedicated to a 100% channel-centric business mode, with no direct sales. Everything we do is through partners. We’re always looking at ways for partners to differentiate themselves in the market. Whether that involves giving updates on what the market opportunities are, or having thought leadership conversations around the move to cloud – we educate partners on how they can help customers. For example, when we’re given feedback from customers we aim to build partner skills out to help their customers and help themselves too.
What positive and negative effects are Covid-19 having on demand?
From our partners’ perspectives security, 2FA and related tools and services growth has been off the charts. We also played a big part in protection because customers and partners were all working from home with all their information on OneDrive. All that data syncing backwards and forwards needs protection. Elsewhere, projects like Teams deployment and Office 365 (now Microsoft 365), were brought forward, so there was a big surge requirements to support these projects. The downside was other projects were put on the backburner.
Plans for back half 2020
We operate according to the calendar year but look at it in two halves. We will soon have a planning session with the team which will looks at partner priorities and how we align to them. This involves making sure our development programs are right for partners and that they’re up to speed with everything they need from Veeam.
We’re also ensuring that partners and key resale alliances with the likes of Cisco, HPE, NetApp and Lenovo remain robust. We’ll ensure that distribution partners are all up to date with everything new coming up, this includes the launch of Nutanix Mine, and Back up for Microsoft Azure.