10 minutes with David Devine, Channel Partner Program Manager, OVHcloud

What was your first job?

I started my career in a marketing role for a material handling equipment manufacturer. The general marketing responsibilities that came with the role exposed me to many important principles. I built their first company sales analysis database and developed the reporting function, creating various market intelligence reports. This taught me a great deal about the importance of learning from customer insights and making data driven decisions to shape the company strategy.

How did you get into Channel marketing?

I entered the IT Channel through a bit of a side entrance. Originally, I worked as a Product Manager for a global office label machine manufacturer. The role involved brand building and managing different channels to market. This exposed me to global resellers, distributors and independent resellers, with many being in the IT Channel.

The role really opened my eyes to the size and growth potential of the IT Channel. This initial exposure led to several product and marketing roles across a number of different resellers of various sizes.

I’ve now come full circle, taking the hands-on knowledge I built working for Channel resellers back to a vendor. Since early 2020, I have been responsible for managing the OVHcloud Partner Program in UK, Ireland and Northern Europe.

Best day on the job ever?

It’s really difficult to pin-point this to one particular day, it’s more about a journey. There is no greater satisfaction than seeing positive sales growth results from a partner. When you support and work closely with them over a period of time to help grow their sales, experiencing their journey and successes with them is what makes it all worthwhile.

Biggest thing that’s changed in the industry since you started?

The most fundamental shift I have seen in the industry is without doubt the growing influence of smartphones. Back in the day when apps started to become more prevalent, consumers had a better technology experience on their mobile phone compared to the workplace. We have now evolved in the workplace with a multitude of new technologies and approaches to IT that fulfil both user and customer expectations. Typical user experience and their associated knowledge about technology and applications has become a prominent voice, whereas in the past the technology alone would lead the way.

New IT consumption models have been created such as PAYG, which is in essence where we are today with many cloud services. This has really set the tone for the current day work from anywhere workforce. Nowadays a user’s digital experience utilises multiple devices to access different data hosted in a plethora of cloud services and cloud providers.

Best ever deal?

There have been lots of great deals that stand out for different reasons. However, there is a common thread. It’s not necessarily the size but how the deal is won.

The best deals are those that involve working closely with the partner to understand the customer challenges, pain points and the desired outcomes. A good approach is to co-create a solution where the partner presents a clear differentiation to improve customer value and loyalty.

I would define this as a win-win-win, for the partner, customer and OVHcloud.

How has the pandemic changed your priorities?

From a work perspective I’m not sure it has. At OVHcloud, it’s simply accelerated our market opportunities which is a privileged position to be in. On a personal note, like many people it’s been a great opportunity to work on getting that work life balance finely tuned.

Are you witnessing a skills shortage and difficulties recruiting people into the Channel?

Thankfully, due to our fortunate position of significant growth, we are not experiencing a shortage in recruiting talent. However, I do hear our Channel partners talk about their challenges in fulfilling some of their technical and sales roles. This is one of the reasons why at OVHcloud, we’ve invested in automating several of our tools/solutions, ensuring they are admin-light for our partners. In addition, within our Partner Program we extend our sales and technical resources out to our partners so we can work on solutions together. Our partners can leverage our knowledge directly with face-to-face conversations. We are only ever a phone call away.

Tomorrow’s world – your predictions?

Because of the pandemic we are now seeing organisations making hybrid working a permanent fixture. This not only impacts collaboration tools but results in all the daily processes of the workforce and customers moving to digital permanently. A significant portion of these processes will move to the cloud, for example Big Data applications, CRMs and AI. As a result, organisations will need to manage their ever-expanding data differently. Data sets will be managed in accordance with their specified needs in a sustainable way. Security, compliance, and sovereignty will be top of this list. There will be a focus on minimising and controlling costs. Leveraging the power of data across different applications through increased application integration and customisation will be crucial. 

Channel partners who extend their cloud offering with a choice of multiple public and private cloud providers, in a sustainable way – helping their customers address these complex needs and consolidate their cloud supply chain, will grow the fastest.

Then and now – the one thing you wish you knew back then?

No matter what the situation, even in the most challenging of circumstances, there is always an opportunity and a positive way forward and upwards. You just have to go looking for it!

David Devine is OVHcloud’s Partner Program Manager for Northern Europe. In this role, he is responsible for business development in the Channel across system integrators, value added resellers, managed service providers and consultancies. His key focus is to support partners create and implement a successful strategy to expand their OVHcloud portfolio.

David has over 15 years’ experience working in the Channel for multiple Channel resellers. Prior to joining OVHcloud, he held various senior marketing, product and business development roles, playing an active part in successfully shaping and growing the business.

Visit David’s LinkedIn profile here