Blancco names ex-NetApp channel exec Jim Elder VP of Global Pathways

Blancco’s channel leadership role under Elder has been expanded to include technology partners and more control of OEM relationships.

Jim Elder as VP of Global Pathways, Blancco

Today, data erasure and mobile diagnostics vendor Blancco, which more recently has been extending their portfolio and capabilities to address the entire customer lifecycle, has formally announced the appointment of Jim Elder as VP of Global Pathways. Elder was recently Channel Chief of the Americas Partner Organization at NetApp, and before that had partner-facing roles at SanDisk, Hewlett Packard, AMD and IBM.

The VP of Global Pathways role is new – Elder’s predecessor in the channel leadership role was a Director of Channels – and he said the new title has significance.

“It reflects some important changes and philosophies that we as a company are working through as we grow,” Elder told ChannelBuzz. “It includes resellers, OEMs and GSIs, but also technology alliance partners, which is new for this role, and all our business development work with other partners. While OEMs were part of this role before, it has been strengthened so that we really own the overarching OEM relationship. We have been making tremendous strides with them as we move from treating them like customers, who we sell to, to treating them as partners in a ’sell with’ motion and pulling that management into channels.”

That, Elder said, also shows the significance of the new job title.

“Channel isn’t just resellers and resale,” he said. “Pathways reflects this broader change in how we work with partners.”

This strategy was put in place before Elder joined Blancco four months ago, and is intended to broaden Blancco’s business beyond the data erasure that has always been their stock in trade to cover the entire customer lifecycle. The goal is to double their enterprise business in this way by 2025.

“We are working with large PC OEMs, from where we are thought of at the end of life of an asset to being used more broadly across the sales cycle,” Elder said. “We want the OEMs to include us even when they first ship out.”

Elder indicated that while their flagship Blancco Drive Eraser has traditionally been an end-of-life product, it has broader application than that.

“In the enterprise, any time an employee leaves the organization may want to redeploy the laptop, in the middle of its lifecycle,” he said. “We also have other products like Blancco File Eraser that you could use every day, to sanitize the recycle bin in Windows, for example.”

Blancco is committed to a channel-first strategy. Today, Elder said that a little more than half of their business goes through channel partners.

“Our goal is to double our enterprise business over the next three years,” he noted. “A high percentage of our new business is channel initiated. I expect that we will hit our commitment to hit 70% of our enterprise deals going through channel partners within three years.”

Elder also emphasized that the channel first commitment is not just a talking point.

“Jon Mellon [President of Global Sales, Marketing and Field Operations at Blancco] and I worked together closely at one of my prior employers, and he had a true commitment to a channel-first strategy then,” Elder said. “In every opportunity, we are looking at ways of leveraging partners, including bringing a partner into areas that had formerly been direct.”

Elder outlined his plans going forward.

“Coming out of a storage background, I had never thought of data erasure,” he said. “I just wanted to sell more storage, without any focus on the relevance of a good data sanitization process. Over my career, I’ve  worked at a lot of big companies in partner-facing roles, and I would like to turn these into strategic alliances  that we can scale immensely through OEM and GSI relationships. I believe that my skillset can help accelerate those joint Go-to-Markets. We have some really strong relationships with strong Indians GSIs, especially where they manage device as a service-type environments.”

Elder noted that Blancco’s partner base globally has more that doubled the number of transacting partners over the last two years.

“We also have a great set of partners in Canada, which is growing,” he added.