LISA STRYDOM , Senior Manager , Channel and Alliances – Africa at Veeam Software , a company that develops backup , Disaster Recovery and modern data protection software for virtual , physical and multi-cloud infrastructures . Strydom talks about her current role and how she is working with channel partners on the African continent .
dDescribe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging ?
I am the senior manager : channel and alliances – Africa , Veeam , provider of backup , recovery and data management solutions that deliver modern data protection . We have a 100 % channel sales model , so I work with my team to drive the strategy across the channel , from our VARs and Veeam Cloud Service Provider ( VCSPs ), through our distributors and aggregators , and lastly , with our strategic alliance eco-system . It ’ s a great environment to work in as you ’ re dealing with a variety of organisations who in turn have their own strategies and challenges , so I would say this is where the challenges sometimes lie . But the fun part is creating a winning plan with each of these businesses to reach your end goal .
I ’ d love to see more investment in education in the IT industry , coming from collaboration between government and the private sector . We need more initiatives to tackle the skills shortage , particularly in South Africa , made worse by the recent “ brain drain ” of South Africans immigrating to other markets . I ’ ve noticed through my collaboration with the channel eco-system , that we can work together on these types of initiatives too , which is what we are currently doing through CSR and Women in IT initiatives .
Can you explain how your company works with channel partners ?
When we launched our first release of Veeam Backup and Replication back in 2008 , our strategy was to go exclusively with a partner network , and we ’ ve built up that network consistently over the last 14 years . Today , our business model remains the same and all our sales go through our extensive ecosystem of ProPartners or alliances . Globally , we have over 35,000 transacting partners and our success is a direct reflection of our partners ’ successes .
Our network is a mix of very different partner profiles and roles representative of the wider channel IT sector : VARs , VCSPs , Veeam Application Service Providers ( VASP ) providing professional services , alliance partners , systems integrators ( SIs ), global SIs , distributors and aggregators .
How do you ensure channel partners flourish in a highly competitive market ?
We believe that a multi-faceted network of partners with multiple competencies is essential for success . In a world that is evolving and transforming digitally at a rapid rate , we need to be capable of delivering solutions for the myriad demands that modern business processes place upon our end customers .
From a partner ecosystem perspective , our priority is to help our ProPartners to evolve towards a service model , encouraging them to work with other partners in the network .
Partners need to embrace hybrid cloud initiatives to address how to support their customers in this space on a consulting and technical level . Customers want partners with the skills to support them effectively and to support their choices of where they want to keep their data ( i . e . where it resides , on what , and so on ). Veeam wants our partners to be educated and ready to take these new and exciting offerings to market
Lisa Strydom , Senior Manager , Channel & Alliances – Africa , Veeam Software
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