The Great Debate: Channels vs Direct for SaaS Companies

Hi, Everyone,

We are very happy to invite you to our next event - "The Great Debate: Channels vs Direct for SaaS Companies", debated by a top-tier panel with deep knowledge of the subject. This is a joint event of Israel Startup Network and the IGT Cloud Meetup groups - which will be held on Tuesday, February 11th, at 6 PM,hosted by Microsoft Ventures at Microsoft R&D Center, 13 Shenkar St., Herzlia, in the main building, in the large hall. Fahn Kanne & Co. - Grant Thornton Israel has graciously agreed to provide refreshments, as well as the moderator for the evening - Dror Yeger. A registration desk will be set up at the entrance. Please print out the Registration Form and bring it with you to the event. Parking is available in the area.

Agenda: 

18:00-18:30 – Registration and Networking

18:30-19:30 – Debate with Panelists on Each Side of the Issue

19:30-20:00 – Q&A with Panel

20:00-21:00 – Networking 

Panel: 

Ann Scheman

Ann Scheman's vantage point on routes to market for SaaS companies is currently influenced by her role as Emerging Channels Executive for IBM's Global MidMarket business, but is also a product of over 12 years of business development experience with startups both in Israel and abroad who have sought a route to market through IBM.

Dror Nahumi

General Partner at Norwest Venture Partners, Dror has 20+ years of operational, technology and entrepreneurial experience, having worked extensively in both the U.S. and Israel in various senior positions at leading global organizations. Dror most recently invested in and serves on the boards of Pontis, Seculert, SolarEdge and SundaySky. He has served as a board member of Veraz Networks since 2004, is a board observer for ConteXtream, and was a previous board participant for ScaleiO (acquired by EMC) and Unisfair (acquired by InterCall). Prior to joining NVP, he served as EVP and Chief Strategy Officer of ECI, responsible for ECI’s strategy, M&A, busdev and strategic marketing.  Previous positions included CEO of Axonlink, Pres of I-Link, and senior research engineer at AT&T Bell Labs - where he developed the speech coder that is now the standard for CDMA cellular in North America. 

Avner Algom

Avner is the CEO of the Israel Cloud Computing Association and the organizer of IGTCloud www.meetup.com/IGTCloud/  Avner has more than 20 years of experience in High Tech Management, Technology, BusDev, and Marketing & Sales in Israel, the US, Europe, and the Far East - with particular experience in developing channels for, among others, the financial industry, telcos, e-business, enterprise integration, and Cloud/SaaS-based technologies. Avner's specialties include developing and executing go-to-market plans for companies in the software industry. 

Robert Cohen (will participate via Skype from Toronto)

Robert is the Founder, CEO and Bus Editor of ChannelLine - whose vision is to make the business part of delivering technology services easy for everyone in the channel. He founded the 1,000 member “ChannelLine Advisory Council” who help develop the Trusted Business Advisor community and the XSellerator program. ChannelLine delivers short-term analyst forecasts, multiple online publications, channel marketing and channel events. Since 1980, Robert has worked with 500 Vendors, 35 Distributors, 1,000s of Channel Partners and 100s of Suppliers to the IT Channel to develop and implement strategic go-to-market programs. He has delivered 100s of Keynote speeches; has written 4 books including The Ad Game,  How To Profit from Direct Marketing, and How To Successfully Do Business In Canada; hosted business TV & Radio series; coaches & plays hockey; puts on Charity events with NHL Legends; and is writing a script for an educational TV program for kids. 

Gal Biran

Gal is the CEO of ChannelSmart, Israel’s leading Channel Development, Management & Marketing Agency. Gal brings over 15 years of Global Channel Management, Sales & Marketing experience. Prior to founding ChannelSmart, Gal was the VP Head of Global Channel Business at Alvarion, leading a global channel of over 1,000 Distributors & Channel Partners, selling $65m annually in 90 countries - with responsibility for the strategy, busdev, marketing and go-to-market execution of Alvarion's channel business worldwide. Prior to Alvarion, Gal worked in Microsoft’s OEM Division as BusDev for Windows Mobile, and Partner Manager for Software Vendors (ISVs), Strategic Partners, ODM’s and the System Builder Channel.

Dror Yeger, Moderator 

Dror is the Head of the Incentives Department at Fahn Kanne & Co. - Grant Thornton Israel. He works closely with Israel's largest and most innovative firms as well as startup companies across multiple sectors. He helps with business development and R&D strategy - aligning strategy to available funding programs, defining goals, operational and technological innovation, managing proposal preparation, and recruiting international partners. Dror also lectures at the Ort Braude College of Engineering where he developed a first-of-its-kind academic course: Managing Technology and Innovation. Dror is also a doctoral student; his research topic is on Business Model Transformation (BMT) of medium-sized firms locked in a growth setback stage.

We may have one more panelist to announce in the coming days.

We look forward to seeing you at this important event.

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