New Pure Storage EMEA Channel Leader Details Jump from Veritas – Channel Futures

Geoff Greenlaw says he wanted to join a high-growth company after 18 years at Veritas.

EMEA channel leader Geoff Greenlaw has explained why he has jumped to Pure Storage after 18 years at Veritas.

Greenlaw joined Pure six weeks ago as VP, EMEA & LATAM channel sales.

Pure Storage's Geoff Greenlaw

Pure Storage’s Geoff Greenlaw

“Eighteen years is a long time in anyone’s life,” he said. “I’ve done so many different roles during my tenure at Veritas and I really wanted an opportunity to join a high growth company. I’m not saying Veritas wasn’t, but Pure absolutely delivers on that No. 1 goal of mine. I also wanted to join a company with a very similar DNA and sales-focused culture. A 100% channel-centric culture.

“I also believe that there’s a real opportunity to make a difference in EMEA, with the knowledge and the network that I have from our existing partner community. Because the synergies between the two companies are quite similar in terms of our partner base, and the distributors that we engage with.”

Greenlaw said he wants to double down on four areas he sees as critical to success in the channel. He calls these areas “the four ‘Ps.’”

“It really starts with the partner. How do we ensure that our partners are driving profitability? How are we ensuring that we maintain our 100% channel-centric model?

“No. 2 is the program. How are we ensuring that the program meets the needs of the EMEA business? And that EMEA is getting its fair share of voice?

“No. 3 is around process — ensuring that it’s really easy for our partners to do business with us.

“Then No. 4 is coming back to people. Making our Pure employees the best that they can be with a clear vision and mission and strategy for the channel organization.”

Greenlaw said he needs to work on the last focus area in particular.

“I have not built yet, after six weeks in the door. But investing in our people and building individual development plans, managing top talent, to focus in on the best and brightest talent to ensure partners can benefit from that.”

Demanding Partner Commitment

Greenlaw was speaking to Channel futures at Pure//Accelerate Tech Fest in London. Attending the event, Wendy Stusrud VP, global partner sales, said Pure wanted to focus on “the partners that want focus on us.”

Pure Storage's Wendy Stusrud

Pure Storage’s Wendy Stusrud

“We want to work with partners that see the value and understand the value prop of Pure. [They] understand how to position it in front of the customer in the right way that it’s not just fulfilment. So when a partner comes to us and wants to create a partnership, we talk a lot about how we build the business together. For us, the focus on Geoff’s team is working with partners that want to build that Pure practice … because for them, selling Pure is also a differentiator.”

Greenlaw said the first thing he looks for in a partner is a growth mindset.

“We’re growing 50% year over year. So we need partners that are willing to scale with those that add that level of course, if not more.”

Another qualifier is technical and sales capability, he said.

“Are they willing to invest in technical sales capability with our accreditations? Ensuring that we can deliver proof of concepts and post service implementation as well?”

The third partner characteristic is commitment.

“Is the partner willing to be committed with us at an exec level, at a technical level and on the shop floor with sales?” he added.

Avoiding Supply Chain Problems

Greenlaw also said Pure has escaped many of the supply-chain problem experienced by competitors. Indeed, the vendor has won business from competitors due to its shorter lead times.

“COVID has contributed real opportunity for Pure because our industry has suffered greatly from lack of components and manufacturing delays. We moved to multi-site supply chain centers and manufacturing centres [pre-pandemic]. That was way ahead of its time compared to any other competition. As a consequence, our competitors are typically talking three to six months lead times on technologies. The maximum we are is six weeks.”

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