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Channel Chief: Gregg Lalle at ConnectWise

Channel Chief: Gregg Lalle at ConnectWise

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Gregg Lalle, SVP, International Sales and Strategy at ConnectWise, explains his management philosophy and his career highlights.

Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?

My role as SVP, International Sales and Strategy at ConnectWise, involves building the business unit, managing sales and strategy and looking after our pre- and post- sales experience in support of our Regional Directors in EMEA and APAC.

Managing three continents across multiple time zones is one of the biggest challenges, and it requires a serious amount of flexibility and effort to accommodate meetings and maintain relationships. It also requires regional efforts and localised initiatives on the ground – but that’s the nature of working for a global organisation and I wouldn’t change it!

Can you explain how your company works with channel partners?

Until recently, we would have described our ConnectWise platform as being a sell-to product. The model was pretty straightforward. We sell it to the VAR or the MSP, and they use it to run the operations of their outsourcing business.

Since acquiring Continuum in Q4 of 2019, our model has changed and we’re now offering a robust sell-through strategy. The net result is that not only can ConnectWise help our channel partners secure their environments, we help them secure their customers’ environments too – it’s a win: win.

How do you ensure channel partners flourish in a highly competitive market?

Knowledge is key. We offer our channel partners education, communication tools and incentives on the products that support their growth. Without a doubt, being equipped to address the need for a robust cybersecurity solution is a top priority. We plan with our partners how to be more secure and have the right product set, at the right price. All these aspects help them to get started so they see a sustainable revenue stream and support them in the next critical battle.

At ConnectWise, we realise that people learn from one another. We have a vibrant community with IT Nation and ConnectWise University, which offers free education and is widely recognised as a platform to help channel partners get a return on the investment that they make on the software.

What are the latest trends you see emerging across the channel?

Cybersecurity is on the front page of the news every day, with a new ransomware attack occurring every 14 seconds. According to a recent Vanson Bourne Survey, 91% of SMBs would consider moving to a new IT service provider if they offered the ‘right’ cybersecurity solution. It is important that MSPs feel confident approaching and communicating with customers about their cybersecurity strategy.

Another big trend emerging across the channel is remote working. At the start of the pandemic, everyone was forced on to Zoom-like platforms, which helped companies set up quickly. But it’s not a sustainable long-term solution for companies to use freeware. Businesses suffer if there are setbacks in communication tools, so it is crucial that they find the right partners that are able to put a comprehensive strategy together.

What is your management philosophy?

I’ve always instilled the philosophy of ‘lead by example’. I enjoy working hard, and although I have chief responsibilities around strategy and execution, I’ll do anything. The management structure is now more lateral and lends itself to a view that we are all colleagues working towards a shared mission. The best ideas come from listening and aggregating, and then putting the knowledge behind it. Collaborating and ensuring everyone is invested, working towards a common goal – is the key to success.

When you look back at your career what has been the most memorable achievement?

There has been a collective of brilliant moments in my career. I’ve just turned 50, so it’s a body of work that feels less of an achievement and more of a way of life. I was given the advice, ‘Find what you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ I am fortunate to have this in my role: I am able to work with wonderful partners and help them deliver services that change the trajectory of their business. I am grateful for working for an unbelievable company that’s grown considerably over the last 10 years.

What made you think of a career in technology?

Technology always changes. You can be smart, but you have to keep learning to stay smart. The fact there is something new every day, means the industry continues to intrigue and excite me.

I believe I’m in a career which is going to change things for the better. If you take any industry and look at the evolution of where we need to go, the pervasive nature of technology is going to be the remedy to raising the global standard. If we want massive changes in healthcare, education, banking – this is how we will achieve it.

What do you think will be the hot technology talking points of the next 12 months?

Discussions will remain around security, Machine Learning, virtual reality and AI. Businesses will continue using automated tools to drive efficiency. And many changes such as remote working, forced to the forefront by the pandemic, are here to stay across all industries. This could potentially change the labour structure too as organisations now have the flexibility to have remote workers anywhere around the world.

What are your personal interests and where do you like to spend most of your time after work?

When I’m home, it’s really important to see friends and family, making up for lost time. Besides that, I enjoy getting outdoors, when I can, to sporting events, outside concerts, cooking and fishing. A little bit of everything keeps life interesting.

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