Former Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) and Computacenter man Neill Burton has popped up at enterprise software vendor BMC, vowing to massively grow the firm's UK channel.
Burton joined the firm as its vice president for channel and alliances for the UK and Ireland earlier this month. He left HDS in March after two years and before that he spent 10 years at Computacenter.
BMC – whose technology product portfolio ranges from mainframes to cloud and mobile – employs more than 6,000 staff globally who serve 20,000 customers across 120 countries. In its fiscal 2013, its revenue reached $2.2bn (£1.32bn).
Last May, the firm was taken private in a $6.9bn deal led by investors Bain and Golden Gate, a move Burton said attracted him to his new job.
"If you'd asked me a couple of years ago ‘do you want to go and work for BMC?' I'd have said ‘maybe not' because I knew it 15 years ago," he said, adding that his previous employer CA Technologies regularly competed against BMC when he worked there up until 2000.
"But it was bought... and that transition from public to private has been an interesting one. BMC was seen as a good leader in a market that is growing and quite cheap, so they bought it.
"Then [the investors] put their mark on it and one of the reasons they needed people like to me join was because one of the things Bain are doing is saying ‘if you want to grow in line with our expectations, you need an indirect strategy. You don't have an indirect strategy. You don't have a loyal base of reseller partners.'
"It's not the only thing they told them... but it was one of the things that needed to be addressed."
Burton said less than 10 per cent of BMC's UK business goes through the channel at the moment, but added that over the coming few years, he hopes to grow that figure nearer to 50 per cent.
"That requires a cultural change, not just an organisational change and me coming in and recruiting a few partners," he said. "When you look from the outside at BMC, what needs to be done is quite straightforward, it has just not been done before."
He added that while he was considering his next move over the summer, he was very keen to make his own mark on a firm's channel business – something he hopes to do at BMC.
"I was on the market for six months. I spoke to a lot of people and was offered some great jobs with some great companies – Oracle and Microsoft – all the people you'd expect," he said. "But the thing that drew me to this one was... probably with all [the other offers] it was ‘come in and run something somebody else has made'.
"Although they were big roles and very flattering job titles, I thought to myself, I think I'd be a little bit restricted in doing that. With this one, you've pretty much got a clean piece of paper to create this indirect business from scratch. It will be quite fun."
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