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Ex-IBM channel marketeers turn hired guns

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Some high-level ex-IBMers have ganged up to create a virtual channel marketing department that IT vendors can hire to either augment or replace their own marketing efforts.

The company they've created is called CTX Resources, and it's based in Westport, Connecticut, which is about 25 miles from IBM HQ in Armonk, New York. CTX has also opened an office in London and has a presence in Chicago.

The company was founded by Stephen Reid, who serves as president and who spent 17 years in various channel marketing and sales positions. Reid ran IBM's ISV Industry Solution Portfolio Program in the United States, which helped produce an incremental $200m in revenues for Big Blue in the small and medium business space. He also managed a successor SMB Advantage program for IBM's resellers that kicked an extra $300m to the coffers, and he spent $8m of IBM's money on joint marketing and sales efforts that Reid said produced $500m in extra revenues.

The other co-founder at CTX is Timothy Wheaton, who did a 26-year stint at IBM and led sales alliance relationships with key application software vendors such as SAP, Infor, and JDA Software that drove over $2bn in joint revenues on a global basis. Debra Thompson-Van, who was once vice president in charge of IBM's global channel strategy and market in her 25 years at Big Blue, is on the CTX advisory board, and so is Mark Ouellette, who did 33 years at the company and did turns as vice president of worldwide marketing for business partner sales, global sales operations, and worldwide SMB software sales.

These four executives plus a team of about a dozen associates in Boston, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Jacksonville (Florida), and London are ganging up to offer their mercenary marketing services to IT vendors that need help with their sales channels. The company is in the process of closing its first deals now.

A spokesperson for CTX says that the fees the company charges for its marketeering services varies depending on the project's complexity and time, but the idea is for these agreements to be short-term and less costly than hiring a full-time person to run your channels. The expectation is that an engagement will run from one month to under a year, and that they will cost on the order of six figures. ®

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