Big Switch Networks, the next-generation data center networking company, has appointed Claudio Perugini as its vice president of worldwide channels charged with expanding its global partner program.
Perugini’s channel and sales experience in the networking industry spans more than 30 years. Most recently he was executive vice president of worldwide sales at LightCyber, which was acquired by Palo Alto Networks in February.
Prior to LightCyber, he spent nearly five years at Gigamon as vice president of sales for the Americas. He began his career as a founding member at Fluke Networks, a division of Danaher, where he spent more than 25 years.
At LightCyber, Perugini contributed to the company’s overall growth and resulting acquisition, evidenced by a two-and-a-half times increase in bookings. He also was responsible for the buildout of LightCyber’s worldwide sales and engineering teams to support growing demand.
In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Perugini talks about what he plans to accomplish in this new role.
Channel Partners: How is this position different from your role at LightCyber?
Claudio Perugini: At LightCyber I owned all worldwide sales responsibilities; at Big Switch, [chief revenue officer and VP] Mike Hoffman leads worldwide sales. Here, my focus will be in defining and managing our reseller channel strategy, with a continued focus on VAR recruitment.
CP: What do you think of Big Switch’s current channel strategy? Are changes needed?
Perugini: The current program at Big Switch has supported it to this point. With the company’s accelerated growth and deepening relationships with strategic partners, now is the time for us to recalibrate our channel program to better support the demand and growth we are experiencing. We will relaunch the program in [the third quarter] with a continued focus on scaling Big Switch and rewarding those that drive business through the program.
CP: How do you plan to expand Big Switch’s global channel program? What will be the process and timeline?
Perugini: We will target key markets throughout the world and establish a distribution network that will enable us to onboard VARs quickly. The process will be a combination of my and my colleagues’ past experiences with programs, feedback from existing and prospective partners, and QA-like scenario testing that will allow us to identify any holes in the program that can cause conflict. The goal is to build a program that blends our strategic alliances and the independent VARs in a fair and rewarding model. We expect the timeline to take a few months and expect to roll out the program in [the third quarter].
CP: What do you want Big Switch partners to know about you most?
Perugini: My 30-plus years in sales have been fruitful in large part from the partnerships that were developed with our resellers and distributors. It is my belief that a strong ecosystem of partnerships is a key enabler of overall success.
CP: What do you hope to accomplish in your first six months to a year in your new position?
Perugini: To finalize and roll out the program, then be continually in the field, constantly recruiting VARs and monitoring their feedback, so adjustments can be made when needed.
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