Kevin Rhone

Kevin Rhone

Senior Partnering Consultant Kevin Rhone helps ESG clients strengthen their partner-centric strategies, programs, and go-to-market efforts. Active in the information technology industry for more than 25 years, he has extensive operating experience, global-scale expertise, and extreme focus when it comes to devising robust channel-partnering strategies. Prior to joining ESG, Kevin spent several years as a consultant to senior executives at Microsoft, Cisco, Dell, Citrix, and other companies concerning their partnering go-to-market strategies, programs, and execution. As an affiliate of Amazon Consulting/PartnerPath, Everything Channel/IPED, and The York Group International, he has helped both leading and emerging technology vendors.

Recent Posts by Kevin Rhone:

Dell EMC Partner Summit - Excitement…New Benefits… and a Little Transformation Math!

We came into Dell EMC World Partner Summit expecting a healthy dose of enthusiasm and energy, as personified by Scotsman and President, Global Channels John Byrne and his goal of becoming the #1 Channel company in IT. Well, that was delivered in spades, or should I say kilts, on the opening day of Dell EMC World in Las Vegas, when Partner Summit kicked off with The Red Hot Chili Peppers and the most rock-and-rolling bagpipers this side of the Atlantic.

90 Days Later – the New Dell EMC Partner Program is firmly in place

After getting the crowd of about 1,000 top Dell EMC Partners from around the world up on their feet and ready, John first recapped the highlights of the first 90 days of the new, combined Dell EMC Partner Program, brought together under the binding premise of “Simple. Predictable. Profitable” in order to drive growth, profitability, and deeper ongoing customer relationships through the Channel.

Topics: Digital Transformation Dell EMC Partner Summit Dell EMC Partner Program

2017 Channel Acceleration Awards - Part 2

OK, we’re back… If you are just joining this series, you can check out the previous post and award winners here! If you are back for more, here we go...

Topics: Microsoft channel Digital Guardian pure storage esg channel acceleration awards

2017 ESG Channel Acceleration Awards - Part 1

One of the really cool parts about my job is that I get to see, meet, and hear from lots of experienced, focused channel leaders who are constantly trying to pull all the levers at their disposal: technology and product sets, program elements and options, resources and teams… in order to earn and receive more than their fair share of time and attention from IT partners of all types. And that’s not just any old IT partners, but the same ones who all the other b channel leaders are trying to gain time and attention from. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

Topics: channel Citrix trend micro Actifio esg channel acceleration awards

…and they wonder why IT partners aren’t seeing blue skies in the cloud

 

Our vendor clients tell us they have a problem: How do I get my partners to sell more of my cloud solutions? Recent announcements by the big cloud providers may point to some reasons why.

#1: On day one of the recent re:Invent conference, Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS) sent a warning shot to the room full of IT partners: 

"The reality is we are going to direct business to our partners who are committed and who really understand the platform because our customers want partners who understand the details of our platform," he said. "I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't have other partners, that you should dump your other partnerships, but I am saying that I think a strategy of hedging is the wrong one for this time.”

Translation: Nice to see you, but you better get on the AWS train or risk being marginalized!

Topics: channel cloud channel partner

In Politics (as in Channel Partnering), It’s All Personal

OK, so here we are at the end of a too-long, too-painful election process. No matter who your candidate was, or whether you are depressed, elated, nervous, excited…or some combination of all of the above, lets’ talk about how we move forward and reflect on what we've learned.

Topics: channel channel partner

Is gamification in your training and sales enablement vocabulary?

There is a new way for vendors to encourage channel partner engagement with their products, and it’s called gamification.  When I first heard this term I was like, game-if-a-what?  Now it’s a term that has been accepted as sales enablement lingo, but usage (or implementation) seems to be a mythical as the jackalope.  

Topics: channel

Partner portals — love that dirty water

Nobody wants to dive into a dark, murky river, and if I had a nickel for every time I heard that a partner portal is only for good deal registration, I’d be rich. There was a time when deal registration was the soul of the portal, and everything else around it was broken, obsolete or hard to find.

12 years ago I remember working on my first partner portal. I thought it was funny that it was basically a gated website that contained much of the same information as the company’s public-facing site. Sure, we would put up sales enablement tools, deal registration, link to an LMS, and post details about the partner program but that was really it.

Topics: channel partner partner portal mdf

OMG! It’s ODM!

TLAs (three-letter abbreviations) have now crept into every facet of our lives, and there’s one that is having a major impact on the IT channel.

It’s the early impact that ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) products are having on the way customers think about their data center hardware purchases, and as a result, how channel partners are now adjusting their sourcing and go-to-market strategies.

Topics: channel partner ODM

Channel Partner Battle Royale

I’m not talking about the latest UFC event, but the conflict channel partners deal with each day when it comes to solving customer problems – Do I sell a pre-configured integrated computing platform (ICP) like so many of my competitors? Or, do I differentiate my business by creating a Best-of-breed stack on my own that shows unique value to my clients? Our latest research (Channel Partner Transformation: Selling Cloud Services) shows, channel partners are pretty split in between the two options. But they do realize that end-users are responding to vendors' education and outreach about ICP solutions, and 4 of 5 partners believe that over 25% of their revenues will come from ICP solutions within 2 years, if not sooner.

That is good news for vendors like VCE, NetApp, EMC, Cisco, HP, Oracle, IBM, Dell, Microsoft, and VMWare, as they have invested heavily in the development and marketing of joint solutions over the past few years. But partners feel strongly that if the vendor community can enable the community of distributors to provide top notch sales support and technical services around ICP solutions, it would help the channel partner community accelerate their transition to selling these solutions.

Topics: Cloud Computing IT Infrastructure ICP channel partner integrated computing platform

The Age of Extinction or Evolution for Value-added Distributors?

You probably saw my last blog, channel-partner-transformers-the-age-of-extinction/index.html" target="_blank">Channel Partner Transformers: The Age of Extinction, about the drivers channel partners need to evolve their businesses. Well anything that impacts them will impact the community of value-added distributors, as well. In our latest research, Channel Partner Transformation: Selling Cloud Services, we specifically asked channel partners, “How can value-added distributors better assist or augment your organization’s current capabilities as it builds out its Cloud Services portfolio?”

Topics: Cloud Computing channel partners cloud services Public Cloud Service