Michael Hughes, Barracuda’s Channel Chief and SVP of Worldwide sales is a rare bird. So rare in fact that out of 271 channel chiefs named by CRN this year, Hughes was named to their 2014 Channel Chiefs: 20 to Watch list. According to CRN, this list recognizes an elite subset of channel executives who are poised to make their mark on their channel organizations and on the industry at large this year. I recently caught a glimpse of Hughes soaring through the office, so naturally I interrupted his flow to ask him the following questions about Barracuda’s five-star channel program. In typical fashion, he was happy to talk about Barracuda’s channel — here’s what he had to say:
After great success in the channel and as a company in 2013 through the IPO, various award victories and continued channel growth, how does Barracuda continue to improve its channel program in 2014?
We are focused on two things: enabling our existing partners with programs, sales tools, campaigns and training to help them engage customers in new ways, and finding solution providers that want to build businesses in new, fast areas like storage, application delivery and network security by solving customer issues with solutions like Barracuda Load Balancer ADC, Copy file sync & share service and Barracuda Firewall. We know there is significantly more opportunity in the data protection space where we need to build awareness around our backup and archiving capabilities. By enabling and recruiting, we can continue to build significant business for our partners.
Why should solution providers be excited to sell Barracuda?
We have seen a number of partners around the globe build significant multi-million dollar businesses as service providers because customers are looking for trusted relationships and answers on how to easily solve technical problems. Specifically, the Barracuda NG Firewall and Barracuda Backup offerings were designed with the service provider model in mind, and are ready to solve problems while scaling and still having the ability to be managed from a single pane of glass.
This might go without saying, but how important are your channel partners?
Barracuda is a company dedicated to our partners and we depend on their services and expertise to meet the needs of the customer. I have talked to many partners over the years that remind me how important Barracuda is to their business, which I always appreciate, but quickly reciprocate the comment knowing that we are nothing without their help.
To view CRN’s coverage of the 2014 Channel Chiefs, please stop by the following links: