David Jordan is Senior Director, Global Partner Programmes and Strategy, Thales Cloud Protection and Licensing Solutions, one of the leading organisations for cloud protection, cloud licensing, personal data protection, and business data protection. Jordan talks about his current job role and how Thales Cloud Protection and Licensing Solutions is working with the whole partner ecosystem (distributors, resellers, OEMs and MSPs) and bolstering its channel business in North America and globally.
Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?
My current role entails managing a global team of experts who together drive success for both Thales and our partners. To drive this success, we have created 24 by 7 access to easy-to-use sales and marketing tools, certification-level enablement supplemented by role play training, and the ability to share unique partner value proposition on the Thales website, including badging, attractive margins, discounts and rewards, and both personal and on-line support. Thales Cloud Protection and Licensing has built a best-of-breed global partner programme – with a participation rate of over 75% (meaning that more than 75% of our business is from, with, or through partners). The programme creates value for all of our partners. These partners include distributors and resellers in the sales channel, OEMs and MSPs, and technology partners who are part of the Thales Accelerate Partner Network ecosystem.
One of the more challenging aspects of my role is to ensure our partners are prepared to support customers and prospects who are going through digital and cloud transitions.
Can you explain how your company works with channel partners?
Building on the success of our global partner network, we launched the Thales Accelerate Partner Network in February 2020, taking the best parts of two programmes – Thales eSecurity and the acquisition of Gemalto, an international security company – to create a best-in-class network of partners.
To identify what would make the Thales channel programme stand out, we interviewed partners, channel account managers, product stakeholders, marketing experts and our sales team. The channel team researched innovative elements to introduce into the programme and we partnered with our IT and CRM teams to ensure every element of the programme was interconnected and structured in a way that would allow us to measure success.
With a new start, we are able to offer excellent content on our portal and serve it up at the right time during the sales process, using guided selling in conjunction with registered deals. This includes fresh sales and marketing tools, such as pre-built marketing campaigns and one-click co-branding of key collateral for demand generation, and a learning management system that enables partners to get sales and tech certified when and where it is convenient for them. Additionally, the team is piloting a rewards collection for partners who either exceed targets or that need help jump starting their business.
How do you ensure channel partners flourish in a highly competitive market?
Our best-of-breed model ensures partners have the training, tools and incentives that they need to be successful, but also helps them shift their business to align with future models. For example, we are introducing a new partner type in early 2022 called Cloud Partner that is structured to align with current market trends. The team and I will actively train these partners on how to sell into this market, how to become a service delivery partner and how to transition from a product seller to a service and solution provider.
What are the latest trends you see emerging across the channel?
I see several, including cloud, recurring revenue, services and marketplaces. There has been a significant digital transition underway, culminating in cloud and multi-cloud solutions. Enterprises have moved IT and data infrastructures to the cloud for distributed access by employees across their network, especially more recently with COVID and the instantaneous onset of working remotely. Another impact COVID-19 brings is an unsurprisingly long supply chain issue and chip shortage – another reason cloud solutions are accelerating.
What is your management philosophy?
My management philosophy combinesempathy, curiosity and empowerment. I believe understanding different perspectives is powerful. By understanding what is important to my colleagues that report to me, I can work on individual development plans and empower them to execute on these plans. Encouraging them to be sympathetic to our partners enables them to create clear and easy-to-use tools that address the needs of all types of personas and roles they interact with on a regular basis. Our portal uses segmentation and personalisation, which allows us to tailor experiences and align our training by role.
When you look back at your career, what has been the most memorable achievement?
My achievements have always been built on great teams. Whether it was early in my career and starting to build a small functional team, or later when I took on added responsibility (or even through mergers and acquisitions) this has been my most proud legacy. Executing projects that are memorable is only possible with a great team.
What made you think of a career in technology?
First of all, I am a geek. I love technology and consider myself an early adopter– participating in many beta programmes. I studied electrical engineering and started my career in development, then moved through roles in product management, product marketing and web, but have had the most fun working with partners. This background and passion means that I can help partners understand technology.
What do you think will be the hot technology talking point of 2022?
Data security, without a doubt. When you look at the new business models that emerged from the pandemic, such as remote work environments and accelerated cloud migrations, it created both opportunities and risk for companies. Data security dominated headlines last year: everything from ransomware to Zoom bombing. This was a year of enlightenment for how valuable and vulnerable data is. With the continued increase in security breaches, new regulations, extended or permanent shifts in where people work, and the acceleration of cloud solutions, data security will continue to be a focus and opportunity for channel partners in 2022.
What are your personal interests and where do you like to spend most of your time after work?
I love bike riding. Living in San Francisco has made for some of the most beautiful rides. I also enjoy visits to Napa and Sonoma to learn about new wines, and I am passionate about space travel and the impact it can have on our economy as a new industry.Click below to share this article