Terry Greer-King is VP, EMEA Sales at SonicWall, a cybersecurity vendor that sells a range of Internet appliances primarily directed at content control and network security.Greer-King talks about his current job role and how SonicWall is working with distributors and solution provider partners, and developing its channel business across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?
I lead a large teamerry Greer-King, VP, EMEA Sales, SonicWall across the EMEA region focused on selling our companies solutions through an extensive network of channel organisations. To be successful we have to be providing high value solutions to end customers that are attractive for our channel partners to sell. Doing this requires understanding end customers requirements across multiple verticals and countries.
Can you explain how your company works with channel partners?
We have a number of distributors throughout the EMEA region and we work very closely with them to help recruit, engage and support a diverse and expanding channel. Our channel programme, ‘SecureFirst’ focuses on training and development through SonicWall University and we augment this with direct touch of both partners and where appropriate end users.
How do you ensure channel partners flourish in a highly competitive market?
Through education and support, their success is our success. This starts with guidance about where market opportunities exist through positioning within certain vertical markets. We look to help with winning business and ensuring the partner develops a highly profitable repeatable revenue stream.
What are the latest trends you see emerging across the channel?
Adaptability to change, cyber in particular is a rapidly changing and developing marketplace. The global pandemic has caused a massive increase in the drive to digital. As organisations change the way they work, interact and trade so channel partners who can adapt and assist with what are often major operational changes regarding technical platforms and architecture are enjoying success.
What is your management philosophy?
To understand and empower, having been chief operations officer for a security VAR really helps understand the differing needs and business model of a channel partner. I feel many vendors see things only from their perspective and sometimes confuse messaging with whats good for the end customer or indeed themselves as a vendor. Whilst we should focus on whats good for customers we also need to understand the differing drivers of a channel partner. Building long term, growing revenue is important and this requires thinking beyond shorter-term transactional business.
Central to my management philosophy is to ensure you have a team of highly capable people, all aligned and then let them do great things. Many talk about this but there’s a lot involved. Firstly, you need to understand the market opportunity and how best to align resources. This then drives an understanding of what is required in individual roles and team dynamics. This is where a partnership with HR is vital in recruiting, developing and motivating a team of high performing individuals, team performance if managed well is greater than the sum of its parts.
When you look back at your career, what has been the most memorable achievement?
Actually I was very proud to have taken two very differing security VARs, that had been acquired by a large hosting business, transforming them into one with a clear strategy and sense of purpose. Along the way I was promoted to chief operations officer of the group and was instrumental in the subsequent successful sale of the business.
What made you think of a career in technology?
I received little careers advice as a young person and have been looking for ways to help young people understand the world of technology and what careers can be built in recent years. With little guidance at the time my thoughts ranged from becoming a pilot to an architect. Liking design and technical drawing, I had good results in both maths and physics, my maths teacher was very pro engineering and suggested considering the rapidly growing market of electronics. Wanting to join the job market rather than spend more time in the education system I joined a large global organisation on a four-year engineering apprenticeship.
What do you think will be the hot technology talking point of 2022?
On the wider scale the accelerated drive to a digital world and virtual working, in terms of cyber and risk, and ransomware.
What are your personal interests and where do you like to spend most of your time after work?
Training and entering crossfit competitions, driving and maintaining two classic cars a VW Karmann Gia and a Jaguar E type. I also enjoy riding motorbikes and riding around the twisty country lanes in the UK and when travel is less restricted, I like touring Europe.Click below to share this article