Rita Loncar is a channel leader at Veritas Technologies. Veritas helps businesses accelerate their digital transformation by solving pressing IT and business challenges including multi-cloud data management and protection, storage optimization, compliance readiness, and workload portability — with no cloud vendor lock-in. Today, 86 per cent of Fortune 500 companies rely on Veritas to reveal insights that provide a competitive advantage. CDN recently had the chance to speak with Loncar.
CDN: Describe your current role.
Loncar: My role is to develop a channel strategy that enables our channel partners to be successful by providing our joint customers with solutions that help them solve their greatest data management challenges.
CDN: How do you define channels at Veritas?
Loncar: Channels are an extension of the Veritas sales team. In a global organization like ours, and certainly in a territory like Canada, it’s important to leverage the resources available to us. Distribution plays a big role in our market reach, and in the enablement of our channel partners. Our channel partners range from traditional, value-added resellers to managed service providers and system integrators, IT consultants, and our alliance partners.
CDN: Talk about your first role with a channel organization.
Loncar: I began my career in sales almost 20 years ago, and quickly realized the value of the channel. Trying to reach my customers and develop relationships over the phone was a challenge. I knew if I was able to develop deeper channel relationships, they would in turn help connect me with my customers.
I crossed over to the channel in 2012. I started managing the distribution community partners for Trust X Alliance, TechSelect, and Varnex. I’ve now dedicated years to meeting, recruiting, enabling, and building relationships with channel partners across Canada. I love working with our channel partners, and the feeling of satisfaction I get from solving customer challenges. That feeling is multiplied when I work with our channel partners.
CDN: Why should a young person consider becoming a channel manager, partner business development manager, or partner marketing manager?
Loncar: Today, more than ever before, there are great opportunities for those just entering the work force to make a difference in so many areas, especially in the channel. Whether in IT or another industry, a channel role provides an opportunity to understand both the customer and vendor perspectives of the business. If you can master those relationships and work within the ecosystem, you will be very successful.
CDN: What advice do you have as a channel leader when coaching others who aspire to have a similar position?
Loncar: Take every opportunity to learn and improve yourself. I always say, “I wouldn’t ask anyone to do something that I wouldn’t do myself.” In the channel we wear so many hats, which makes it important to understand every aspect of your organization and the market you are in. We are problem-solvers, sales people, trainers, alliance managers, mediators, and liaisons — all with a goal of providing the best experience for our customers.