Appsense's new boss has declared his love for the channel and insisted the firm's $70m cash injection from Goldman Sachs is not putting the company under undue pressure.
The virtualisation firm signed up new chief executive Scott Arnold in May this year, as channel sources claimed investor pressure from new partner Goldman Sachs drove a top-management reshuffle. Sources said the big investment had led to a more aggressive sales force as the company worked hard to meet increased growth targets.
Arnold said the cash boost from the investor has only been good for the company, and that no undue pressure has been placed on his firm.
"Frankly, they set no higher standards for the company then we set for ourselves," he said. "My goal as CEO is to dramatically grow the value of the business... It is hard to say anyone would have higher aspirations than Goldman Sachs, but I don't feel like there is any undue pressure and I think they have been a terrific partner."
Arnold said that he aims to grow the business dramatically, and said he had his eyes on growing its value to $1bn – although he did not set a timeframe for his goal.
After his first five months at Appsense – having joined from market research business MarketTools – Arnold said he was pleased with what he found at the business, and was planning on simplifying product marketing to customers and the channel.
"There are some things we can improve on... I don't think we have done as good a job of communicating how [product] flexibility can be used by the channel to create value for customers," he said.
"Sometimes because we haven't done that, it can come across as complex. That is a real area of focus for us... It's in both ours and the channel's interest to help customers get value as soon as possible from our products."
"We make no mistake about it – as a leader in our space [some of our products] command a premium. As we do that, it gives the channel a chance to make more money."
Arnold added that he has implemented a "100 per cent Appsense" initiative which he claimed would see the vendor become its own best customer by using its own products. He said not only does this help in being able to sell their offerings, it also gives them a better idea of the challenges customers face.
Globally, between two thirds and three quarters of Appsense's business goes through a channel partner, and Arnold was keen to stress his commitment to resellers.
"The channel is a huge part in the way we go to market, we provide real expertise to complement their expertise. The amount of business we do direct with customers is really not that large... that means I love the channel!"
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