Today CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, announced its 2021 list of Channel Chiefs, and we’re excited to share that both Chad Lindsey, who is Sales Vice President, Americas Channels & Field Operations at Barracuda, and Neal Bradbury, who is Vice President of MSP Strategic Partnerships at Barracuda MSP, made the list.
The prestigious CRN® Channel Chiefs list, released annually, recognizes leading IT channel vendor executives who continually demonstrate outstanding leadership, influence, innovation, and growth. The 2021 Channel Chiefs are prominent leaders who have influenced the IT channel with cutting-edge strategies, programs, and partnerships. All honorees are selected by CRN’s editorial staff based on their dedication, industry prestige, and exceptional accomplishments as channel advocates.
Chad has been with Barracuda for about nine years and began leading the channel team in spring of 2020. This is Chad’s first year on the CRN Channel Chiefs list, and he was also recognized in September on CRN’s 100 People You Don’t Know But Should 2020. Neal has been a longtime leader on the Barracuda MSP team. This is his ninth year in a row on the CRN Channel Chiefs list.
To help channel partners, we asked these two channel chiefs to share their thoughts on the key opportunities and challenges to be aware of in the year ahead.
Q&A with Chad Lindsey & Neal Bradbury
What's the key to success for your channel partners in 2021?
Chad: I believe we should all embrace our new normal and continue to work together to find new and unique ways to deliver more value to our joint customers. It’s more important than ever for channel partners to communicate regularly with customers and be the trusted advisor in order to help them navigate through unprecedented times successfully.
Neal: Success means transforming your MSP business into a security-centric operation. Remote work is here to stay, and along with it, there is significant opportunity. Workers are using any device they can to remain productive, which present vulnerabilities if the appropriate security processes aren't in place. It is important for MSPs to prioritize protecting both the end-user and their data, whether it resides on the device or in the cloud. In addition, success will require MSPs to continually assess their (and their customers') security posture to identify and address gaps.
What will be the biggest challenges facing your partners in 2021?
Chad: Unfortunately, it appears that our world will not fully return to normal for the foreseeable future. To that end, I expect budgets and priorities will remain moving targets for many customers, which makes it difficult for our partners to predict business outcomes. Staying close to the customers and working alongside them to creatively solve problems and help them navigate these tumultuous times will be paramount to our partners’ success in 2021.
Neal: We will continue to see business adapt to the pandemic, with industries changing the way they operate to accommodate social distancing and health/safety protocols. Channel partners that seize the opportunity to meet their customers' evolving needs will thrive. As businesses continue to adapt to changes in the way people work, security threats around cloud-based applications and services, for example, will evolve. MSPs must focus on aiding their customers with these transitions and managing the risk created by this shift. While this will be a challenge for some, it will be rewarding for all.
Anne Campbell is the public relations manager for Barracuda. She's been with the organization since 2014, working on content and public relations for Barracuda MSP, the MSP-dedicated business unit of Barracuda. She started her career in newspaper and magazine journalism, and she brings that editorial point of view the work she does, using it to help craft compelling stories.