Commvault channel changes signal doubling-down on commitment to partners

New global channel chief Owen Taraniuk pledges more global expansion, more expanded strategic partnerships like the one announced last year with Cisco, and changes that will make it easier for partners to become proficient with Commvault.

Owen Taraniuk, Worldwide Partnerships and Market Development, Commvault

Two weeks ago, Commvault made some extremely significant changes to their channel organization. The new Head of Worldwide Partnerships and Market Development is Owen Taraniuk, who has spent much of his career in the Asia Pacific region, and who joined Commvault in October 2015 as Vice President of Asia Pacific and Japan. Ralph Nimergood, who had run the channels organization previously, remains on the channel team. He now becomes Taraniuk’s Chief of Staff, and will lead the development of a new global shared services group within the Worldwide Partnerships & Market Development Group.

This kind of change has the potential to alarm some partners, especially given that Nimergood, one of the most seasoned veterans in the industry, was very well known to the channel. Taraniuk, with his extensive Asia Pacific resume, is much less well known in North America. Taraniuk emphasized however, that the change isn’t about shaking things up, but rather about scaling them out. He stressed that this will mean more resources for the channel, and with that with the expanded management team, Commvault will be able to do more to grow its channel business globally.

“This is a story of growth,” Taraniuk told ChannelBuzz. “The company is looking to double down on the channel. These changes are intended to increase the amount of resources that will be available to expand out channel.”

A key part of the expanded strategy is growing Commvault’s global channel presence, and leveraging Taraniuk’s experience in Asia, which also includes a stint as Vice President of Asia Pacific and Japan for the Enterprise Content Division at EMC, is a part of that.

“We will have a much more global approach than we had before,” he said. “We have done a good job of building our roots in the partner community, but we can grow faster by scaling other relationships more effectively. We need to take a more global role around both partnerships, and product and solutions offerings.”

Taraniuk said that Nimergood’s new role increases the amount of executive resources available for channel management.

“His new role leading the new global shared services group within the Worldwide Partnerships and Market Development Group will enable us to better align resources we have and ones we plan to hire and develop, around experience, interface and process,” he stated. “A shared services model will let us better leverage those resources, including messaging content and other tools. It includes a lot of things we want to build on now.”

Taraniuk also said that the change wasn’t a reflection on Nimergood’s work at Commvault.

“Ralph has done a terrific job, and has deep experience in indirect business,” he stressed. “Ralph and I work extremely well together, and did when I was in my previous role. Ralph’s new position as the Chief of Staff reflects the fact that the organization will be larger than it was before, and that the investments in additional executive horsepower and additional resources make it more complex to manage.”

So what kinds of changes are partners likely to see? Commvault made what it considers to be a major accomplishment last year when they expanded their partnership with Cisco by being added to Cisco’s global price list. Taraniuk said that he sees this as a portent of the future.

“I think that there will be many more of those type of relationships,” he said. “The Cisco relationship is very significant, both for us and for Cisco. We are discussing expanded relationships with others, like Microsoft, Oracle, HPE, Infinidat and others.”

Taraniuk indicated that he wants to significantly expand the type of routes Commvault takes to market, as well as their number.

“We need to gear up the consumption, as-a-service model better,” he said. There’s a huge opportunity there for existing partnerships, and a new opportunity for others.”

Taraniuk also emphasized that Commvault needs to be easier for partners to do business with.

“We need to enhance the simplicity of what we offer, and better equip partners to compete,” he said. “We will look at our approaches to enablement, and how partners can interact with us in a timely way. We will be looking to make significant enhancements around the consumability of our enablement offerings. We need to refine those for sure and make them highly tailored for partners. We will lower the bar on what is required to be highly proficient with Commvault.”