Channel chiefs, MSP, Security Staff Acquisition & Development

Continuum Chief Revenue Officer: Rocket Scientist Masters Sales

Aptean’s Chief Revenue Officer Bob Kocis
Bob Kocis

Look across the IT channel, and you'll find thousands of technology entrepreneurs and engineers who never quite mastered sales. Perhaps Robert Kocis can lend a hand.

Kocis joins Continuum next week as the company's new chief revenue officer. At first glance, his resume is filled with sales and channel expertise. But take a closer look and you'll discover Kocis earned his degree in engineering. And his background involved selling very complex engineer solutions, some of which fit the proverbial "rocket scientist" category. That blended background -- across technology, sales and the IT channel -- should serve Kocis well at Continuum.

Among the additional data points to know:

1. Channel Focus: While at PTC (1998-2014), Kocis worked directly with executive leadership an took control of the company's struggling partner program. As part of the career move, he demanded complete autonomy to rebuild the partner program. PTC's leadership agreed, and a global partner initiative grew from 30 members to 500.

2. Global Focus: Kocis' experience includes building channel partner programs across emerging markets, Russia, Vietnam, Latin America Asia and other regions.

3. Recurring Revenues: During his time at Ansys, I believe 75 percent of the company's sales involved recurring revenues.

Joining Continuum

Kocis heard about Continuum employment opportunity about four or five months ago. He ultimately joined the company for a range of reasons including:

  • Continuum's executive leadership.
  • The opportunity to join a "pure channel" company.
  • The opportunity to navigate a range of IT industry shifts, including security, consolidation, M&A and plenty more.

As he gears up to officially join Continuum next week, Kocis is preparing to develop a global sales plan for CEO Michael George and the company's board of directors. The company already has a healthy footprint in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. But a deeper push into the U.K., the Nordics region, Benelux and a few others could follow soon...

Listen First

Still, it's too early to make firm predictions. Kocis says he'll be in listen mode over the next few weeks -- working to understand the Continuum partner base, and finding new ways to help them drive profits. The core priority: Always focusing on recruiting and retaining the right partners, which essentially reduces MSP churn.

"I've got scar tissue and I've also made a lot of good decisions over the years," he tells ChannelE2E. "I think my experience, and my commitment to listen to the partners, will help me to put together that plan for Michael and the board."

Kocis will be based in Continuum's Pittsburgh, Pa., offices. But we sense he's about to become a road warrior for the company -- and its partners.

Meanwhile, the chief revenue officer (CRO) title is becoming increasingly popular across the IT channel — particularly in MSP-centric circles. ConnectWise (Adam Slutskin), Datto (Brooks Borcherding) and Infrascale (Bill Falk, a Kaseya veteran) each have CROs driving their growth initiatives. The latest addition includes Neverfail CRO Chris Wiser.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.