NinjaOne’s New Channel Chief On Plans For Partner Program Relaunch

NinjaOne, a developer of MSP platform technology, has hired its first channel chief and is preparing for a major revamp of its channel program.

NinjaOne Thursday said Joe Lohmeier became its new vice president of worldwide channels in late 2022 to continue the growth of the company, which until late 2021 was known as NinjaRMM. Lohmeier is the first channel chief for the company.

The move comes only a couple of weeks after NinjaOne appointed former Datto, Casana and Pica9 CTO Robert Gibbons to be its CTO.

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Lohmeier has had a long channel career. He has held executive channel positions at VMware, Cisco Systems and Avaya and most recently was Vyopta’s worldwide vice president of sales and channels. Before that, he was Avaya’s global channel chief.ADVERTISEMENT

NinjaOne is making the right move in finally bringing in a dedicated channel chief, said Tom Lawrence, owner and president of Lawrence Systems, a Southgate, Mich.-based solution provider and MSP that has worked with NinjaOne since mid-2021.

“A company’s channel chief has the task of integrating everything and making [it clear to] partners about where the company is going,” Lawrence told CRN. “It’s important. The channel chief is setting the tone of where the company is going and how it will grow. I like seeing how NinjaOne is showing it is ready to grow and is not sitting on its hands. It’s exciting.”

NinjaOne has proved to be a good partner in the channel, said Lawrence, who also serves on the vendor’s Partner Council.

“We migrated to NinjaOne in late 2021 because we started focusing on the co-managed services market,” he said. “We needed an IT team focused on granular management. NinjaOne could do it. NinjaOne also has a more modern feel compared to others in the market. As a late-comer to the market, it had no ‘technical debt’ to deal with, which makes it easier for us to attract new customers.

Lohmeier actually joined NinjaOne at the end of 2022 and since then has quickly built up a global channel team. This includes Ken Rosko, who in March joined as NinjaOne’s area distribution and channel lead after stints at Cisco, VMware, Avaya and Vyopta.

“We’ve built out various channels leads and channel managers, and so we’ve aggressively been building that footprint team to offer that support,” he told CRN.

The timing was right to learn about NinjaOne and understand how the company closed out 2022, Lohmeier said.

“I wanted to get the hires done and assess what the partner ecosystem looks like today for NinjaOne, where are our global or regional gaps,” he said. “Also, I wasn’t coming into NinjaOne to force in a VMware model or a Cisco model or any model I worked with before. I wanted to understand what unique offering NinjaOne brought to the customers, the client community, and what that meant for our partners and resellers.”

At the same time, NinjaOne was building its communications team and looking to build a new partner portal and partner enablement program, Lohmeier said.

“Second quarter is a perfect time for us to work on the back-end systems, see where we were going, and what we were doing with technical enablement and sales enablement,” he said. “We wanted to work on the ease of use of supporting NinjaOne for the partner ecosystem. So we just felt we should have one quarter to assess and build up the team and have a good landing place when we did announce our investment in the channel and our future state.”

NinjaOne is growing fast, Lohmeier said. The company now has about 1,000 employees compared with about 400 when he first started the interview process last October, and also has over 11,000 customers.

To support that growth going forward, Lohmeier said he plans to make significant changes to improve how NinjaOne works with the channel.

“We’re now revamping the partner portal for enablement and ease of use,” he said. “We’re building a program with a great deal registration so that the partners can be profitable not only on recurring revenue up front, but on the renewals as we go forward, too. So we’re building a value program for them.”

Partners have a choice who they do business with, Lohmeier said.

“So not only do I have to have a great platform and a great differentiated technology,” he said. “Partners have choice and, frankly, so do we. We’re going into that partner ecosystem and fine-tuning it so that we are easy to do business with and can help our partners regardless of whether they are MSPs, distributors, integrators. We’re bringing value to their businesses.”

That help is a two-way street, Lohmeier said.

“We’re offering a differentiated solution for them, but we’re also helping us,” he said. “We’re growing so fast. To give us the scale and reach maps to the vision of customer satisfaction and growth that our leadership team sees. I want us to be aligned to partners’ channel motions, have ease of doing business with us.”

This includes providing partners with the tools to be successful, Lohmeier said.

“So many of them have such professional services organizations, engineering, technical architects,” he said. “We’ll let them be able to self-propel through our program. But also, for those that want to align and really lock arm and arm with us, we’ll do that as well.”

Lohmeier also said NinjaOne currently has a very small distribution footprint, Lohmeier said. “But we are looking to expand that footprint,” he said.LEARN MORE: Professional Services 

 Learn About Joseph F. Kovar


Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at [email protected].


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