By Raj Patel, Senior Director of Corporate and Field Marketing –
Each year, CRN, a division of the Channel Company, names the top executives in channel management to its list of Channel Chiefs. Judges make selections based on experience, program innovations, channel-driven revenue and public support for the importance of IT channel sales. This year, our vice president of marketing and alliances, John Gentry, was named a Channel Chief. We sat down with John to find out more about what this award means for Virtual Instruments and, more importantly, for its partners and customers.
Raj Patel: Congratulations on being named a Channel Chief. What does Virtual Instruments’ channel program look like today?
John Gentry: Virtual Instruments is consciously moving away from the simple fulfillment partner model, where we work with a number of partners on single transactions. In its place, we’re focusing on working closely with national partners for more significant and repeatable business. We’ve delivered sales and training to more than 100 channel sales and services teams and deployed VirtualWisdom technology in World Wide Technology’s advanced technology center. In the last few years, these developments have been one of my top priorities, and it’s exciting to see them come to fruition.
RP: Are there any specific accomplishments that you’re proud of on the channel front?
JG: One of the most innovative initiatives the team has accomplished was integrating our Virtual Wisdom infrastructure performance management (IPM) platform directly into the reference architecture for EMC’s VSPEX channel offering. This was EMC’s first platform with built-in infrastructure.
RP: How does Virtual Instruments provide its channel partners with training and education?
JG: Our channel training program, VI University, really helps our channel partners stay abreast of new developments. Some of its features include 24/7 on-demand, self-paced training, virtual classroom training from a live Virtual Instruments instructor, including remote lab access, in-person training sessions, and on-site training at the customer’s own facility. The no-cost accreditations provide participants with base knowledge and augment our certification program.
If you are getting into the channel today, you can’t do it halfway. You have to be fully committed, and we want to make sure our channel partners are equipped with the most effective and thorough training and services to enable them to be competitive in the ever-evolving technology industry.
RP: Why is this type of training for channel partners so important?
JG: Our partners need to be able to deliver solutions that guarantee the performance and availability of mission-critical applications. They also need to be able to design, implement and support solutions that decrease risk and accelerate data center transformation initiatives, application and infrastructure rollouts, virtualization and cloud adoption. The more comprehensive and up-to-date training we offer them, the more we can give our partners a competitive advantage in those areas that produce tangible results.
Interested in becoming a partner? See the benefits our channel partners gain through Virtual Instruments.