Sage Channel Chief Set To Retire, Program Management Changes On Tap


Sage North America channel chief Tom Miller will retire at the end of March after nearly four years in the job, the company said late Monday.

The company also is reorganizing is channel operations in the wake of Miller's upcoming departure, and Joe Langner, Sage's executive vice president of midmarket and CRM solutions, will assume overall responsibility for the company's channel programs.

Miller, vice president of channel management, was already a channel veteran of 28 years when he joined Sage in June 2009. He came from Microsoft where he had worked in the company's channel organization for eight years.

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In a brief interview Miller touched on his accomplishments at the company and said his plans following his departure include spending more time with his grandchildren.

"Now is a really good time for Sage, not just as far as Sage is concerned but also for its partners," he said. When he joined the company Miller's original intention was to stay about two years.

During Miller's tenure the company has greatly expanded its program offerings for partners for training, marketing assistance and hiring aid. Workshops on business plan development and resource prioritization have been popular, for example, as have programs that help partners transition their businesses to a cloud-computing model.

The company is now revving up an opportunity-scoring initiative that helps channel partners identify and evaluate potential sales opportunities.

"My goal is to continue with all the efforts [Miller] has been working on," Langner said in an interview. "We're also looking to expand our partner footprint."

But a number of moves made by Sage North America in recent years have made Miller's job challenging. The company rebranded a number of its products in 2011 and 2012, a move that upset many partners that were heavily invested in older brands such as MAS 200 and 500. Last year the company launched a new subscription pricing plan and changes to perpetual license prices that angered some partners. And at the annual partner conference in August, the company announced plans to phase out some aging products.

Under the planned reorganization of channel programs and communications, led by Joo Sohn, director of partner programs, will come under Kevin Rooker, vice president of sales management and operations. Partner development and strategy, led by senior director Ed Kless, will come under Sohn's jurisdiction.

Channel growth management leaders "will align" to regional sales vice presidents, according to information provided the company, including Tim Sullivan, western U.S.; Rick Burtt, central region; Rachel Roselli, west region; Mike Wingrove, Canada and eastern U.S.; Brent Pieterick, Canada and Latin America; and Joe Carroll, east region.

Sage ERP X3 channel recruitment and enablement is under Donna Armstrong, sales vice president for Sage ERP X3.

PUBLISHED JAN. 15, 2013