New Relic appoints new global channel chief as company gears up for AWS Re:Invent

New channel leader Riya Shanmugam talks with ChannelBuzz about how she intends to grow New Relic’s channel business and how their growing AWS channel will play an important role.

Riya Shanmugam, New Relic’s Group Vice President of Global Alliances and Channels

Observability provider New Relic, in attendance at the AWS Re:Invent show in Vegas this week, is making a pair of announcements. First, they have announced that Riya Shanmugam, Group Vice President of Global Alliances and Channels, has joined the company. She previously worked at Adobe, where she was most recently Senior Director, Global Customer/Partner Strategy, Adoption & Success, and at Google Cloud and IBM. New Relic is also emphasizing the strength of their partnership with AWS, which deepened extensively over the last year, and with promises of more to come.

Shanmugam’s predecessor had a similar job title, but without the global component, and she said that the difference is important.

“This is a new role with global scope,” she stated. “I report to the CRO, and have been tasked with revamping what we already have in alliances and channels and creating a more cohesive strategy across the globe as we reach our next stage of growth.”

Shanmugam said that she looks at the business with two key metrics.

“One is a consumption-based business with net-new logos as an indicator of growth,” she stated. “The other is alliances and channels. How do we increase consumption through alliances and channels, and how do we get net-new logos? What I’m doing in this new role is thinking about achieving growth with partners coming into our network and growing with us as we grow the business.”

New Relic has about 900 partners today. They are a mix of major CSPs, regional partners – which are the majority – MSPs, global SIs, resellers who are not service providers, and service providers who do not resell, MSPs, and lot of resellers who are also service providers, who are the ones who drive the biggest consumption growth.

“Resale partners who are also service providers are our sweet spot,” Shanmugan said. “Our strongest partners are resellers, MSPs and GSIs, but they don’t contribute as much to consumption-based sales as we would like.”

Shanmugan said her strategy for changing that is to start treating partners more and more as an extension of our team.

“In the two weeks since I started at New Relic, our partners can now have access to all content and enablement tools that our internal teams have access to,” she stated. “They all have access to the content that our internal teams have. This is the first step in recognizing that they are an extension of our team, which is the way that we have to think about them.”

Shanmugan said that this will apply to all partners, not just the ones at the top of the 80-20 pyramid.

“As a first step, it’s a level playing field, with everyone being encouraged to lean in and do more business with us,” she indicated

More changes are necessary and on the way, Shanmugan added.

“I met a lot with partners in my first two weeks here,” she said. “I come from a  school of thought where we have to be brutally honest with each other. There are still some obvious gaps. There’s a lot that needs to get done.”

New Relic is in attendance at he AWS Re:Invent show in Las Vegas, which started on Monday. The two companies are already strategic partners. Last year, New Relic announced a strategic collaboration agreement with AWS to integrate the New Relic observability platform with AWS and its ecosystem. This included the introduction earlier this year of an industry-first consumption pricing model for New Relic One, which ensures that AWS customers only pay for what they use. With AWS, they have launched approximately 90 quickstarts for AWS services, including Amazon CloudWatch Metric Streams, Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility), and Amazon EKS.

“There are a lot more opportunities where we can partner more together around our instant observability, such as New Relic for Startups with AWS Activate,” Shanmugan said. “Theres a lot more going on now. In the future, we will balance out more among resellers MSPs, and GSI in our AWS business. Today, it’s mainly service providers and resellers when it comes to volume of partners.

“There is a great opportunity for us as a company to lean in heavily into the AWS ecosystem,” Shanmugan concluded. “We are looking for our partners to evolve with us. We just went through this transformation to a consumption-based model. Now we are looking for partners to evolve with us in our journey as we go through this next phase of growth.”