Box Canada leader Adam Drew reworks sales team, reaches out to Canadian channel

Adam Drew, who recently was named Box country VP for Canada, has reworked Box’s internal sales teams to improve vertical focus, and is looking to add high-value partners to further the company’s enterprise strategy.

Adam Drew, Box’s country Vice President for Canada

In early December, Box brought industry veteran Adam Drew on board as the cloud content management and collaboration provider ‘s new country Vice President for Canada. He has made some refinements to Box’s  Canadian Go-to-Market strategy, and recently talked with ChannelBuzz about how he sees Box advancing in Canada, and where the channel fits in.

Box is a fairly established player in the enterprise and government space in Canada.

“We’ve actually been here for a few years and established a lot in that time, with a staff of consultants and solution engineers, and with several partners established,” Drew said. “We have Canadian data residency with AWS, which we brought in shortly after they introduced a Canadian region in late 2016.”

The internal Box team is now around 20 Canadian-based people, and Drew said the plan is to grow that out more over the next couple of years.

“The majority are in Toronto, but we have taken a look at optimizing our coverage, and we have a team in Quebec and one in B.C.,” he said.

One big change Drew has overseen since his arrival is a reshaping of the internal assets to get that improved coverage.

“Our Go-to-Market strategy relates to having the right people in place who can speak to customers in their industry language,” he said. “We had some team issues in how we were covering customers. So I implemented some changes to the organization to focus more on industry verticals – financial services, retail and telcos, mining and manufacturing and others.”

Box positions itself at the upper end of the market in Canada.

“Gartner, Forrester and several others all recognize us as an industry leader, which we can leverage,” Drew said. “We have an incredibly robust enterprise grade security, and a strong data retention strategy. We’ve been very fortunate in that we have some of the largest financial services and insurance companies, manufacturers, and government as   customers. The biggest challenge we help them solve is doing things differently from a legacy perspective. Content management is one of the areas they need to evolve. They need to get away the monolithic systems of the last 5 to 10 years, and evolve into the digital era, and we can help them do that.”

Partners are an important part of this strategy,

“Our partner strategy has two parts,” Drew stated. “One is IBM, Deloitte and larger systems integrator partners who can help with digital transformation through consulting services, although we do have boutique players who we leverage as needed. We have a dedicated partner leader for those. The other part, which is a key one for us, is strong integrations with Salesforce, Netsuite, Office 365, Slack and others. We have over 1400 of these right now.”

Drew’s most recent role prior to joining Box was at Salesforce, where he was Regional Vice-President with responsibility for Enterprise Sales in Central Canada. Salesforce’s Go-to-Market strategy is primarily direct, but with a channel component. Drew’s other two major positions, at Oracle and Computer Associates, were with companies with similar models. Drew stated, however, that the channel has been a more significant part of the roles in which he had been involved at these organizations.

“90 per cent of everything I have ever done has been done with partners,” Drew said. “Partners are critical to our success. You have to have those relationships. A lot of transformation discussions have to happen, and leveraging partners who can help them there, whether it’s ones like Deloitte who specialize in massive transformation, or simpler ones with our niche partners, is critical.”

Drew indicated that Box is always looking for new high-value partners in Canada.

“The key is their ability to bring value and relevance for customers,” he said. “We will continue to be involved in a growing number of integrations and transformations, and we would be super-excited to talk to anyone who can bring value to customers on the topic.”