New partner program among channel roadmap plans for Dell Boomi

Dell Boomi recently appointed David Tavolaro as their channel chief, and he discusses his strategy to expand the amount of business the iPaaS vendor does through partners.

David Talovaro, Dell Boomi’s new channel chief

Dell Boomi has intensified its channel focus with the recent appointment of David Tavolaro as its vice president of business development. Tavolaro indicated that the focus of his job is further expanding Boomi’s channel. His plans include the launch of a new partner program at some point later this year.

Boomi is an application integration cloud used for what Gartner classifies as Integration Platform as a Service [iPaaS]. Dell bought Boomi in late 2010, and has maintained it pretty much as an independent entity within the Dell family, in much the same fashion as the EMC federation partner companies like RSA and Virtustream that would later come to Dell as well. Its own channel program separate from the broader Dell EMC one is one aspect of this.

“Boomi connects one application to another, like Salesforce and Oracle,” said Tavolaro, who as Dell Boomi’s vice president of business development is effectively their channel chief. “Increasingly, however, more of what we are doing is solving business problems, as integration has become a business problem. The global systems integrators [GSI] and systems integrators [SI] are high growth markets for us. We help them solve an integration problem as more integrations take place, and they become more complex to work together. Boomi sits right in the middle of that.”

Tavolaro’s position, a new one created under Will Corkery, Dell Boomi’s VP of worldwide sales and business development, reflects the company’s decision to invest more resources in developing its channel at this point in time.

“The market is growing very quickly – and it’s a very complex market,” Tavolaro said. “Because that market is accelerating right now, it’s hard to stay on it from a direct standpoint. There’s a need for partners on the GSI and SI side. They are trying to solve the same integration problems. They are also coming to us, asking for an integration solution that they can offer clients.”

Tavolaro said that the Boomi technology is well suited to channel partners.

“Its cloud architecture takes a level of complexity out and makes it easy for them to manage their customers,” he indicated. “They refer the business to us, but we then work hand in hand with them. Our goal is to have them do all the end services. The product itself is not complex, and is purely visual configuration-based.”

Tavolaro comes from a channel background, having most recently been vice president, sales at Anexinet, a systems integration and technology management firm, for 11 years.

“Growing the channel is why I’m here,” he said. “We grew our partner network by 50 per cent last year, and now have over 230 partners. Over the last couple years at least 50 per cent of our business revenue has come through some kind of a channel, although that includes ISV and OEM.”

Non-traditional channel partners like ISVs and OEMs are important to Boomi, but so are integrators.

“Some of our integrator partners are small, focused consultancies around cloud companies like Netsuite and Salesforce who do integration work for their customers,” Tavolaro said. “A lot of the traditional channel doesn’t need the depth of the platform that we provide, but we are a good fit for ones who want a true enterprise integration platform. We are getting a lot of interest now from players that are functionally aligned around areas like human capital solutions and health care solutions, because we can build an integration that they can leverage in the market. The fact that we are a true ‘born in the cloud’ solution ourselves, which requires very little upfront investment, is also important to them. They can subscribe and be on the next day.”

This also includes Sis acting as MSPs, which Tavolaro described as an evolving market for Boomi.

“We are a tremendous opportunity for SIs who provide a managed service,” he said. “Boomi’s architecture fits well as a multi-tenanted one for managed service providers. That cuts out a lot of backend management time for those guys.”

Dell itself is a significant channel partner for Boomi, but one of the priorities this year is to better leverage some of the old EMC federation technologies, particularly Pivotal and the Virtusteam object storage cloud.

“We see the Virtustream and Pivotal relationships as a great channel opportunity for us,” Tavolaro indicated. “We are making plans this year to take better advantage of that. We know Virtustream in particular is a complementary solution, and are trying to work out how to go to market with it. It’s on my my list of things that are critical for us in 2017.”

Several other channel objectives are also on that list.

“My plan for channel expansion this year has several parts,” Tavolaro said. “We are taking feedback from our partner network and making changes to the partner program. That will be launched at some point this year.

“We have also invested a lot around partner enablement and onboarding, and will be realigning our partner portal,” he added. “We will also be doing a lot more in building and supporting the Boomi community to build a large community of Boomers out there. Part of this will be a lot more around training for all partners, and we have just added a new learning management system.”

Tavolaro also noted that in addition to himself they have expanded Boomi’s own channel team, growing that organization.

“We now have more people doing account management in the channel as opposed to being involved in acquiring, and that’s a new role for us,” he said.

Another priority is supporting the channel base around solution development, by making their own engineering investments in connectors and integrations, and by providing engineering support to partners building their own integrations.

“We have also done well in the channel overseas in EMEA and Asia Pacific, and we will try and formalize that and grow it into a full partner program,” Tavolaro said.