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Veeam tags Cisco exec as first Canadian channel chief

Veeam Software’s continued focus on Canada now includes a Canadian channel chief. The vendor has hired Damien Serjeant as its director of partner sales in Canada.

With 14 years of experience in the IT industry, Serjeant most recently served the last three and a half years as the general manager of Cisco Canada’s data centre practice. In that role he was able to double the data centre business of Cisco Canada, and he aims to bring that same success to Veeam over the next few years.

“We are properly building out a Canadian country format in which we are going to have one message that is going to be streamlined out to all of our partners and strategic alliances in Canada,” said Serjeant over the phone with CDN. “We see great growth in Canada, and my expectation is that we grow the business in Canada and double it in two years.”

Damien Serjeant

Serjeant echoed Veeam’s North American channel chief Kevin Rooney’s words from the company’s annual VeeamON conference earlier this year in stating that the enterprise is a big target for the software vendor. At the time, Rooney said that the Veeam product is ready for the enterprise, and it will be up to Serjeant to expand that product into Canadian enterprises. Currently, Veeam has roughly 9,000 customers in Canada.

To achieve this enterprise goal, Serjeant is relying on the company’s current partners and current enterprise customers, and he’ll be asking Veeam’s channel community to go back to some of these enterprise customers.

“I think we have proven ourselves and we’ve earned the right to go back in and go after new franchises within that customer install base itself,” said Serjeant. “We certainly have to show up and bring our solutions out to all segments of Canada, and we have done very well in SMB and mid-market, but the growth really is in the commercial enterprise spaces moving forward.”

As for the actual structure of Veeam’s Canadian channel, it won’t be too different than the current system the company has in place. Earlier this year, Rooney indicated that in the U.S., channel sales teams will be segmented by vertical rather than geography. The new U.S. segments are SMB, commercial, enterprise, and cloud. However, Veeam Canada president Jeff Goldstein at the time said that those changes wouldn’t be implemented in Canada due to its smaller market. That is still the case with Serjeant.

Serjeant uses a corporate reseller in Western Canada as an example of how it can differ across the nation. If that reseller has strong connections in that area, Serjeant will be looking for them to open up new doors for Veeam whether it be SMB, mid-market, or enterprise customer.

“It really differs across the country. I’ve worked with many larger partners and many boutique type partners that are offering point solutions and really getting deep into these integrations. I think it’s just one message – Veeam supports all hybrid cloud solutions and we want to be at the forefront of those discussions,” said Serjeant.

Ultimately, Veeam will rely on its partners to reach the bold goal of doubling the business in Canada over the next two years. This includes corporate resellers such as Softchoice, CDW Canada, and Insight Canada; major national partners like Longview Networks, OnX Enterprise Solutions, and Scalar Networks; and Serjeant will be leveraging his current relationships with alliance partners like Cisco, HPE, and VMware.

“If I look at the partner landscape for Canada, I think we’ve got really strong alignment with a lot of our corporate resellers, major national partners, and alliance partners. We are 100 per cent channel, we’ve got great integration with HPE and we have seen the benefits of that partnership in Q2. Then you look at some of the integration points with partners like Cisco, Pure Storage, and Nutanix, and just recently we announced the global support of IBM Bluemix. It is a great partner community, and Veeam has great partner relationships and I just wanted to be a part of that,” Serjeant said.