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Dell Boomi’s New Channel Chief Has Global Expansion on His Mind

Q&A

Lynn HaberEarlier this month, Dell Boomi got its first channel chief. David Tavolaro was named vice president of business development — assigned the job of growing the company’s global partner channel and overseeing its go-to-market strategy.

We interviewed the new channel chief to get a more in depth look at what Tavolaro sees ahead for Dell Boomi and channel partners.

CP: Tell us about Dell Boomi’s channel and how much of the company’s revenue is driven by partners.

David Tavolaro: We’ve seen tremendous growth over the last four to five years, double-digit growth every year, and from my perspective the channel is a key component of that growth and it drives at least half of our business in one way or another.

Dell Boomi's David TavolaroThere are several components that we focus on in the channel; for example, the global system integrators (GSI) and regional system integrators (RSI), or about 230 partners. In that GSI and system-integrator space, those are the guys who are out there talking about digital transformation and leading digital transformation for their end clients, and for their organizations. They’re looking to partner with Boomi so they have an integration platform solution to bring to their clients. So these partners are out there modernizing applications or they’re moving applications to the cloud.

On the other side of our channel are ISVs and OEM relationships — folks like Salesforce and Netsuite.

CP: Why hasn’t Dell Boomi had a channel chief?

DT: There always has been a channel and Boomi has channel in its DNA. Will Corkery had the job of vice president of sales and business development and now we’re splitting the responsibility — he’s focusing on sales and I’m focusing on business development. There’s a whole team that I’m lucky to inherit and we’ll be adding more resources this year.{ad}

As we continue to grow, a higher percentage of our business will be channel business. And, depending on how you look at it, we’d like to see 60-65 percent of our business go through the channel.

The whole Dell EMC relationship is an opportunity for Boomi because some of the other companies in that portfolio, i.e., VMware, Pivotal, RSA, Virtustream — all of them are working in the cloud. We see them as a new channel for us and we’re working with them as a channel, putting together solutions with the Dell EMC side of the house to go to market with those guys.

CP: So will there be solutions announced this year as a result of you working with the Dell Technologies companies?

DT: Yes, there will be. It’s one of my tasks for this year.

CP: What about the existing partner program? Will that remain the same or should partners expect to see some changes to the program this year?

Tavolaro: We do have an existing partner program – Boomi Partner Program – but we will be doing some things to further it this year, such as …

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… around partner management. We never had a separate organization to manage existing partners. They’ve been doing new partner development and account management. We’ll make an investment there.

We’ll also be building out some new things on our partner portal. We launched some new things in our partner community and that’s something we want to focus on — such as sharing information with our partners through that community. We also just bought a new learning-management system that we’re going to make available to the partner community.

Some other enhancements: We’re going to be looking at the tiering of the program, the benefits and the commitments at those different levels, and we’ll most likely make some changes there to benefit our partners. We’re going to do some things around learning management. We have a goal to get a lot of people trained in Boomi technology and a big piece of that is the partner community. And Boomi is also considering having a Boomi Partner Summit.{ad}

Partners can look toward the June-July-August timeframe to see some of the changes.

Another big part of what I’m doing from a channel standpoint is, we’ve had a lot of success overseas in EMEA and APAC, and we’d like to make that more programmatic and create a complete global channel. So we’re going to leverage a lot of best practices that led to success globally and build that out in a consistent manner.{ad}

CP: How does the Boomi Partner Program play with other partner programs on the Dell EMC side of the house?

DT: We do operate independently and there’s a reason for that. In a lot of cases we’re focused on the application side of the equation, so a lot of our partners are solution providers or SaaS companies. So our interaction with the rest of Dell EMC is going to be with those channels as targets for us. And there could be circumstances where we take a Pivotal solution and Boomi solution or Virtustream solution and put those all together and provide that to our channel partners.

CP: Do you think this might be confusing for partners from the various Dell EMC companies?

DT: I don’t think so. We’re going through a partner diagnostic right now and if you look at our 230 partners, there’s not a ton of overlap with partners being Dell partners or in the legacy EMC program.

CP: Is your goal to grow the number of partners in your program?

DT: We don’t look at partners from a numbers standpoint only — it’s more around capabilities. So we’ll be bigger next year, but if you look at some of the things we’re trying to do, a couple of key areas with our partners [include] industry-specific solutions with SI guys who are industry consultants, and larger GSIs within their industry practices like health care, logistics, and, human capital.

The other piece that’s very exciting is managed services. We’re looking to work with partners where we are the integration platform for their go-to-market offering to their customers.


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