12 top channel analysts, master agents and distributors select executives in forefront of partner advocacy for inaugural list

CHICAGO – July 15, 2019 – Nitel, a leading next-generation technology services provider, is pleased to announce that Taylor Castranova, vice president of sales and account management, has been named as one of the premier leaders in the indirect IT and telecom channel by Channel Partners and Channel Futures editors in consultation with a distinguished group of analysts and master agency and distributor executives.

Castranova joined Nitel in July 2017 with more than a decade of channel sales and account management experience. Since then, she expanded Nitel’s account management organization and realigned Nitel’s channel management function. As a result, the customer experience has improved and partners enjoy robust support, positioning them for greater success.

To compile the Top Gun 51 list, launched this year in tandem with the annual MSP 501, Channel Partners and Channel Futures editors invited those who know channel executives best — distributors, master agents and industry analysts — to nominate leaders who exemplify channel advocacy and leadership.

We received nominations from analysts Anurag Agrawal, founder & chief global analyst, Techaisle; Diane Krakora, CEO of PartnerPath; and Jay McBain, principal analyst, global channels, Forrester. Master agents Avant Communications, MicroCorp, PlanetOne, TBI, Telarus and WTG weighed in, as did distributors Ingram Micro, Tech Data and Pax8. (Note that all nominations are strictly confidential.)

We defined a channel leader as possessing integrity, knowledge and confidence, the ability to inspire others, commitment and passion. He or she must be adept at recognizing the increasing diversity of partner types, revenue models and partner and customer journeys.

Those tasked with selecting the Top Gun 51 were asked to consider three criteria for selection:

  1. Advocates for the channel model with internal leadership. Proof points: Minimal or no house or named accounts. Product or service has “channel friendly” features and meets advertised claims for end user functionality. Few operational roadblocks to success within partner program.
  2. Is committed to partners’ business success: Proof points: Has increased the percentage of revenue coming through partners during tenure. Can show data to support innovative programs for, for example, use of MDF funds, training and certifications. Provides effective enablement.
  3. Works to earn trust: Proof points: Considered ethical and honest by partners. Is transparent about direction of company and limitations of product or service. Minimizes risk of engagement.

“We’ve built a great team that is committed to the success of our partners,” said Castranova. “I look forward to continuing the momentum we’ve built with our valued partners and can’t wait to see what this team can achieve in the future.”

“We are proud of Taylor for receiving this recognition as a result of her accomplishments and dedication to the channel,” said Rick Stern, CEO, Nitel. “Her experience and leadership have allowed us to better support our partners, providing them the attention, resources and tools they need to achieve their goals.”

“Taylor is driving Nitel’s next growth phase through the expansion of the indirect channel salesforce, broadening the partner base, and the development of elite partner and customer support teams for best in class customer experience,” added Ron Grason, President, Nitel. “She is a highly valued member our executive team as we continue to elevate our brand in the mid to large enterprise space. This award is well-deserved.”

Channel Partners and Channel Futures congratulate Nitel’s Taylor Castranova on being named to this list and will recognize the #TopGun51 at a gala banquet during Channel Partners Evolution, held this year September 9-12 in Washington, D.C.

We will also invite three special award winners — Channel Innovator (thought leadership, innovation); Lifetime Achievement Award; and Rising Star (chief in the role less than two years) — to the keynote stage for a panel discussion.

“Today’s channel leaders must be futurists, accountants, technologists, marketers and evangelists,” says Lorna Garey, editor in chief of Channel Partners and Channel Futures. “We wanted to recognize these executives based on insights from within the community itself. I want to thank all of the master agents, distributors and analysts who helped us assemble a list that includes well-known names along with rising stars across a diverse range of companies.”

The complete 2019 Top Gun 51 list is available at Channel Partners.

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