Getting the right channel pitch

Getting the right channel pitch

Adobe channel and sales manager, Craig McGregor, has a long history in the IT industry working for the likes of Sun, Microsoft and Oracle. He spoke to Julia Talevski about landing a multimillion-dollar deal and his childhood dream of playing test cricket for Australia.

What was your first job?

Straight out of university I worked for Digital Equipment Corporation, who got taken over by Compaq, which was then picked up by HP. I started with them under a two-year graduate program. After that I went into a sales and account management role.

How did you progress to where you are today?

After the sales account manager role at Digital I went to Oracle and spent four years there working in account management. I then spent eight years at Sun, starting as a partner manager before moving into a management role. My last role at Sun was managing systems integrators and software vendors. I then joined Microsoft and looked after the OEM business there, with a particular emphasis on the local system builder channel. About 12 months ago I moved to Adobe, where I manage the channel. We have about 1300 partners across A/NZ.

What do you like about your current job?

It is the people I work with. Adobe has a great culture around teamwork and focuses on the customer and partner. We're very channel-centric. Being the channel manager, it is great to work for an organisation where there are no complications around whether we are going to do that business direct, or through the channel. I can just get on with driving it. I also love working with partners and seeing them grow and develop. It is really rewarding when a partner has their Adobe business grow significantly.

What is the biggest achievement of your career?

Very early on in my career as an account manager at Oracle, we signed a multimillion-dollar services agreement with Optus that was the second largest deal Oracle had done globally. It was the largest in the APAC region. I was the lead sales person on that. It was a team effort and something we had worked on for 12-18 months. I look back on that with fondness.

What do you dislike most about the IT industry?

The focus on the quarterly numbers. It is really important and we need to deliver that information back to the company and its shareholders, but I think occasionally it can get in the way of doing more strategic things that have a longer term ROI. The constant challenge is getting that balance right between delivering what you need to on a quarterly basis as well as ensuring long-term sustainability.

What will be the 'next big thing' in the industry?

One of the things I see as really crucial is the proliferation of rich Internet applications. Adobe is quite strong on that and we are releasing a few technologies that are going to give people the ability to take an application they are using on the Web via a browser and turn that into a desktop application. Our solution is called Adobe Air. That is going to provide people with the ability to work offl ine as they have traditionally done online and will make that experience much more appealing. We are going to be a forerunner in that and there are going to be some signifi cant developments coming out from Adobe.

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