Former SAP Channel Chief Pat Hume has joined GFI Software, a fast-growing SaaS specialist that works closely with VARs and MSPs, The VAR Guy is reporting. Hume essentially becomes GFI Software's global channel chief, reporting to CEO Walter Scott. Hume's career move is significant on multiple fronts. It further solidifies SaaS companies that are building channel partner programs. And it serves as a wake-up call to software industry channel chiefs, many of whom have overlooked the growing managed services portion of the IT channel.

No doubt, some SaaS-centric channel programs are catching on. Prime examples include the Google Apps Reseller program,  the NetSuite partner channel, the Rackspace Cloud channel effort, and a range of online backup and SaaS security providers that work closely with VARs and MSPs.

GFI Software promotes SaaS tools for VARs and MSPs, including remote monitoring and management, email security, anti-virus and anti-spam capabilities. Those offerings are promoted under the GFI Max brand.

GFI's rivals include a range of traditional IT security software providers, plus a lengthy list of on-premise and SaaS-based managed services software providers.

We've reached out to Hume with some timely questions. What drove her decision to join GFI Software? And how does she expect to evolve the GFI Software partner program in 2011? As soon as we have answers we'll be sure to share them.

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