This week CRN© announced its list of 2017 Channel Chiefs, with Barracuda being represented by Ezra Hookano, VP of Channels and Neal Bradbury, Senior Director of Business Development for Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda. According to CRN, the executives on this annual list represent top leaders in the IT channel who excel at driving growth and revenue in their organizations through channel partners.
“The channel is an integral part of our go-to-market strategy – whether it is via our MSP partners where Neal has a proven track record for helping them build recurring revenue streams while safeguarding their customers’ virtual, physical, and hybrid IT environments, or through our traditional channel and cloud-focused partners where Ezra is leveraging his more than 25 years of indirect sales experience to drive success with midmarket and enterprise customers. It is inspiring to see the strides that are being made,” said BJ, Jenkins, president and CEO, Barracuda. “Together, Neal and Ezra make an unbeatable team when it comes to strengthening our position as the go-to provider of security and data protection for the channel, and we are honored to see them both recognized once again by CRN for their industry leadership.”
“The executives on our 2017 Channel Chiefs list have distinguished themselves by building strong partner programs, developing and executing effective business strategy and helping to advance the channel as a whole,” said Bob Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company. “They represent an extraordinary group of individuals who lead by example and serve as both invaluable advocates and innovators of the IT channel. We applaud their achievements and look forward to their successes in the coming year.”
Making CRN’s Channel Chief list is always a good reminder of the work that’s happening in the channel, and it provides a fun time to learn more about the folks responsible for our channel program. The Intronis team has put together some detailed info on Neal’s well-deserved recognition – which you can read more about here.
If you visit the link above, you’ll see that Neal has actually made the list for the fifth straight year, which is certainly something to be proud of and we’re thankful to have him as part of the Barracuda family as a proven leader within the MSP community.
While Neal joined Barracuda via acquisition in 2015, Ezra had quite a different path in that he rejoined the company in 2016 after a few years away – and we’re glad to have his 25 years of indirect sales experience back working in the Barracuda channel where he belongs. It’s inspiring to see the positive strides being made with our channel partners since his return, and to get his take on what’s next for the channel. Here are a few thoughts he shared during the channel chief process.
When asked about what the focus should be for new solution providers:
“I would choose a cloud platform and start developing expertise around it. Right now, there is a huge shortage of platform security specialists in the cloud, and no shortage of customers moving there. I’ve also noticed that many of the traditional VARs continue to show a hesitancy to move, and that means there’s a current opportunity to jump in that direction.”
Ezra’s advice to someone just starting out in the channel:
“Treat every channel interaction with someone as a potential 50-year relationship. Your company, product or service might change, but there’s a decent chance that if you work in technology – you will end up dealing with the same partners, who deal with the same end users. They can be your biggest asset if you establish trust, and your biggest hurdle if you deal in bad faith.”
These are just a couple of thoughts Ezra shared with us, however, you can find the full coverage of Ezra’s Channel Chief recognition here.
If there was one thing that stood out during the channel chief process, it was the responses we received when we asked a few VARs to vouch for Ezra’s work in the channel. Let’s just say they’re just as glad as we are that he’s back with Barracuda. As Mike Linton, VP of Sales at VLCM said when he was asked to be a channel reference for Ezra – “I’d love to. Ezra is the best in the industry.”