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The Reign of the Channel: Methodologies, People, and Progress

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Summary
I'm excited to share how the diverse and powerful channel team at AppDynamics is using this time to embrace a new era of digital business.

In October of last year, I shouted from the rooftops about what an epic 2019 fiscal year the Partner channel achieved. The AppDynamics Partner channel provides solutions that extend integrations and maximize the value for our mutual customers. Our partners, working side-by-side with the AppDynamics channel team, drove an incredible year. I couldn’t be prouder. With that momentous growth, we were poised to “crush it” again this year. What we didn’t foresee was how COVID-19 would disrupt all aspects of global business.

Global disruption has not slowed us down. Instead, we have met these new complexities and challenges head-on. And, working in tandem with our partners, we are emerging as a more effective organization, internally and externally, with fine-tuned processes, an agile, diverse, and adaptive team, and a hunger to be the best in the industry.

The numbers don’t lie. Over three-quarters of AppDynamics’ business for the past twelve months is either from our partners or from deals where we worked jointly to land opportunities. And our channel-sourced business doubled year-over-year. The numbers remain strong, and I’m super proud of what we have accomplished!

Embracing organizational methodologies and efficiencies

Achieving breadth and depth of strength across our channel requires fundamental beliefs. In my October article, I discussed our channel sales process called BEPIC. While we have been practicing our BEPIC methodology for only a couple of years, it is now fundamental and ingrained in our DNA.

In recent years, as a team, we have reworked the details of our channel structure—from organizational alignment, to team structures, and even down to compensation models—removing complexity and inefficiency along the way. Processes across the channel ensure there is clear guidance, standards, and best practices designed to grow the business and develop relationships with our partners.

We have taken advantage of the past few months of remote working and sheltering-at-home to practice and train the worldwide channel organization on the nuances and intricacies of the BEPIC process, as well as share best practices across the team. I firmly believe in practicing to perfection and coming prepared for every meeting.

It’s all about people

But process is not complete without people to drive and fine-tune it along the way. At heart is our belief in One Team and One Channel. Since October of last year, we have added 25 percent to our channel organization worldwide. But it’s not merely a factor of adding warm bodies to the mix.

I want people with hustle, grit, determination, and passion; those individuals and leaders who are the best of the best—people with the character and heart to go beyond what is expected. Sharing and collaboration of best practices and strategies are core to a successful team and individual growth. And I couldn’t be prouder of the results. In fact, we regularly recognize those who exhibit and embrace our ideals. In the last six months, we have promoted over 10 stellar individuals to drive leadership across the channel organization further.

A perfect example of this type of leader is Rebecca Javens who joined AppDynamics three years ago as a Channel Account Manager coming from 15 years of technology solution sales at Cisco. At AppDynamics, Rebecca was quickly promoted to Director, Americas West, and then promoted again recently to VP Americas, a tribute to her knowledge, high standards, and drive to make our One Channel organization the best of the best.

She was recognized as a Cisco “Women of Impact” honoree for the Cisco Sales Academy Program Alumni Group in 2020. She continues to be a passionate member of the AppDynamics community through her giving back with active participation in Women @ AppD, Women of Sales, and other organizations.

Rebecca not only represents an ideal work ethic; she continues to develop others within the organization to achieve more and push further. Her continued mentoring and drive make others in the team better versions of themselves, which, in turn, solidifies the foundation of our One Channel organization.

I’m proud to also share Rebecca’s inclusion in not only the CRN 2020 Women of the Channel list but also being selected as a CRN Power 100 channel executive. Rebecca exemplifies my definition of grit and hustle—one who works hard, claws their way along toward success, and brings incredible value to the team and the organization. THANK YOU, Rebecca.

We have a diversity of character, culture, thought, ideas, strategies, and personality, with each individual contributing to the greater whole—the One Team. When you hire the best of the best, this type of diversity comes naturally, bringing energy and dynamics to all aspects of the organization.

Huge potential

So, while this era of the global pandemic has our focus on friends, family, first responders, front-line support, and more, I believe we need to strategize for the future and the “new normal.” And this is precisely what the AppDynamics channel organization and our partners are doing.

As I mentioned, we are using this time to fine-tune our best practices internally, as well as pivot to embrace this new era of digital business by focusing on digital initiatives, virtual meetings, and campaigns designed to drive the industry forward.

It’s all about execution of strategies, methodologies, and tactics, something which Gartner clearly accentuated in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring. Gartner positioned AppDynamics not only as a leader but also placed us the highest in “ability to execute.”

Global momentum may have slowed, but it has not stopped. And I believe the AppDynamics channel team, in tandem with our partners, are going to continue to crush it in the coming years, driven mainly by our BEPIC process, our One Team/One Channel belief, and by our diverse and powerful team lighting fire and passion across the global channel.

Gardner Johnson

Gardner Johnson is the Vice President of Worldwide Channels at AppDynamics. He is a 20-year veteran of software sales but discovered his passion for channels 10 years ago while leading North American Channels at BMC. He then joined AppDynamics in 2015 and helped to build the AppDynamics channel from the ground up. Over the past 2 years following Cisco's acquisition of AppDynamics he has focused on redefining the channel programs, partner engagement process, and practice build activities to better position partners to capture recurring revenue. Gardner lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two daughters. He loves the outdoors and through hiked the Appalachian Trail after college. The Johnson family can be found most weekends boating, skiing or fishing.