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Erik Young Recognized to CRN’s 2019 Channel Chiefs List

Erik Young Recognized to CRN’s 2019 Channel Chiefs List

This morning, CRN published their 2019 Channel Chiefs list of the 50 most influential executives that drive the channel agenda and evangelize the importance of channel partnerships. We are pleased to announce that Thrive’s very own, Erik Young, VP, Channel Sales, was recognized with this esteemed award.

Read his bio and interview below.

Channel Chief Bio and Background:

Erik Young is responsible for the success of Thrive’s Partner Program from on-boarding, client engagement and overall management and success of the channel partner sales and support team. Erik’s mission is to enable our partners to sell across our suppliers and products/solutions with ease, creating sage harbor for their revenue, with long term support and commitments for both our partners and their clients. Erik joined Thrive close to 2 years ago.

Erik has worked for Access Northeast, Xand & TierPoint. Erik has a B.S. in Business Economics from the University of Rhode Island.

Number of years in current role: 1.2 years

Number of years with the company: 1.2 years

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 17 years

Number of employees in channel organization: 3

Number of Worldwide Channel Partners: 3000

Number of North American Channel Partners: 3000

List your top products/services sold through North American channel partners: 

  1. Cloud
  2. Cybersecurity
  3. Networking
  4. Disaster Recovery
  5. Managed IT

Name your partner organization’s top accomplishments in the channel over the past year and specify the role you personally played in them.

Thrive has successfully entered into the 3 largest master agencies in the country in 2018; Avant, Intelisys and Telarus.

Describe how your partner community has grown over the past year either in average revenue per partner or overall expansion of your partner base or in specific market segments: 

In 2017, our channel community was comprised of about 20 regional partners. In 2018, we have nationalized the channel and grown our partner community to over 3000 partners nationally.

Provide one example of how you personally worked to help or solve a problem for a solution provider over the last 12 months.

As the VP of Channel Sales, I lead all partner development within Thrive and have personally taken each Master Agent and developed the business case and strategic alignment within the channel community to ensure success within the Thrive portfolio.

What one market force is having the biggest impact on your company’s channel strategy for 2019 and how are you accommodating for it?

The demand for Cybersecurity based solutions is having the biggest impact on Thrive’s Channel Strategy. Our ability to provide Security based solutions in a consultative fashion is allowing our Channel Community to leverage Thrive as the trusted advisor when it comes to Security based planning.

What’s the key to success for your channel partners in 2019?

2019 is the year that the Channel recognizes Thrive as the “Trusted Advisor” to increasing your Security Posture and allowing Thrive to guide you on your journey to the Cloud.

Do you expect your channel sales as a percentage of your company’s overall sales to increase, stay the same or decrease over the next 12 months?


Do you expect the number of channel partners you work with to increase, stay about the same or decrease within the next 12 months?*


Describe how your organization’s strategy around channel Market Development Funds (MDF) is changing in 2019 compared to last year.

Thrive intends to add more ‘educational value’ within the use of MDF for our strategic partners.  Thrive is doubling down in 2019 with these forward-thinking partners to ensure that our brand is a known leader in the Security & Hosting markets.

My organization’s 2019 budget for MDF compared to 2018 is:


What are your top channel goals for 2019?

  1. Increase overall percentage of company revenue that comes through the channel
  2. Migrate partners to cloud solutions
  3. Improve partner technical skills

Name the single most innovative initiative for which you and/or your team were responsible in 2018 and describe its impact on your partner community. 

In 2018, Thrive has introduced the Next Generation of a Managed Services Provider. Thrive’s ability to deliver a consultative based Security plan integrated with Cloud Hosting will allow our partners to position themselves as the Trusted Advisor.

What were the key channel/partner investments you made over the past year?

Key Channel Investments in 2018 consisted of in depth training for our partners that allowed them to become Expert Generalists in the eyes of their client. Training accompanied with Sales Promotions to help drive a cadence of identifying deals is the fuel that will continue to ignite the channel in 2019.

What’s the most important lesson you learned from your first job?

Most important lesson that I have learned is to build long standing valued relationships fueled with honesty and integrity. I have applied this lesson throughout my career and it has been most valuable to my success and to the success of the businesses I worked for.

What is the best business book you read this year and why?

Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles

This book can be applied to all aspects of your life for positive results. It is a must-have for anybody who sells anything or works for a company that has customers of any kind.

It reminds us that we are here to serve our customers. This book tells us how to have a vision of customer service we want to deliver, find out what our customers really want, then make a plan to satisfy both our needs and desires. We must always live up to our vision of the customer service we want to deliver.

Fun Facts:

I have in the past worked for a solution provider organization.
I am an extrovert.
I have recently done volunteer work.
I love roller coasters.
I have a great idea for a start up.