Each year CRN magazine, an international publication dedicated to news about the IT reseller market, publishes its list of the most influential women in the indirect IT sales channel. This year the list includes six women executives from SAP: Diane MacMillan, Carrie Maslen, Annie Neubrech, Meaghan Sullivan, Sona Venkat, as well as Susan Reynolds, who was named in the magazine’s Power Elite 100.
Eric Duffaut, president of Ecosystem & Channels at SAP, says the recognition underscores SAP’s commitment to its ecosystem: “Partners are critical to the company we are and, even more, to the company we want to be. Our indirect channel enables SAP to expand its reach across all market segments and categories.”
The importance of talented professionals
For this reason, it’s important to have talented professionals serving in this area. “Partners are a real force multiplier and an accelerated growth engine for SAP,” says Duffaut. “We continuously look for the best available talents to further accelerate our ecosystem strategy execution and we are thrilled to have these six exceptional women leaders recognized for their contribution to our growing channel business.”
Next page: Recognizing influence and achievement
CRN’s annual list recognizes nearly 300 female executives across vendor channel organizations, distributors and solution providers for their accomplishments over the past year, and the far-reaching impact they are having on the technology industry going forward. This year’s Women of the Channel were chosen by the editors of CRN based on their achievements as executives and the amount of influence they wield over the technology channel. These women represent a changing trend in a traditionally male-dominated industry, according to CRN.
“We honor and congratulate this list of influential women who are dedicated to supporting the mission of the channel,” said Robert Faletra, CEO, UBM Tech Channel, publisher of CRN. “For years, we have identified and celebrated the women who have made an indelible mark on the technology industry through unmatched innovation and razor focus on meeting the needs of the IT channel community.”
Women of the Channel: special feature in June
A special feature of the Women of the Channel is in the June issue of CRN magazine and expanded coverage of The 100 Most Powerful Women of the Channel will be featured online at www.crn.com.
Next page: SAP’s Women of the Channel
In their applications for CRN’s Women of the Channel, each executive was asked, “What advice would you give to young women aspiring to succeed in the workplace?” The following are the responses each woman gave, sage words for any professional seeking to make a meaningful impact in her career.
Diane MacMillan, Senior Marketing Director
First, knowledge is power. Continually expand your knowledge and skills. The more you have, the better you are positioned to add value and be an expert in your position. Second, build your personal brand and a network to support it. Infuse your personal brand with hard work, leadership, and professionalism. Build relationships along the way— and never burn bridges. And finally, have a plan. Build a short-term and long-term career plan, including how that plan should evolve with your goals, passions, and life roadmap.
Carrie Maslen, Vice President, Global Indirect Channel Development
First, I advise young women to fine tune communication skills, especially verbal communications. In particular, I recommend finding a mentor to coach on speaking styles, in addition to practicing presentations, volunteering for opportunities to present, and joining Toastmasters or a similar group to get comfortable with public speaking. My other piece of advice is not to worry about titles, but rather to do their jobs well, and ensure that they are learning and delivering tangible contributions and results. The title will come, along with recognition and respect.
Annie Neubrech, Vice President, Partner Recruitment, Enablement & Programs
Observe and learn from other people. Self-reflect often. Learn patience and tolerance. Value loyalty and integrity. Treat all people alike and with respect regardless of title. Be likable and sincere, but maintain a professional work persona. Have boundaries and don’t compete in or get caught up in politics. Avoid creating and being part of drama. Mostly, keep perspective on the overall life of your career. Don’t let your career control your life. My biggest advice, however, is to have no regrets. I encourage women not to set aside or deprioritize family for work or their manager.
Next page: SAP’s Women of the Channel (continued)
Susan Reynolds, Vice President, Global Distribution
My perspective on “the best advice” continues to evolve. Today I encourage aspiring leaders to look at their portfolio of projects and test whether they have enough revolutionary or contrarian efforts in the mix. When I look back, I have few regrets when I pushed to test new ideas. Even when an idea failed, it directionally drove the next steps in the strategy. My regrets arose when I kept charging down a well-trodden path and then had to backtrack because I missed an important turn.
Sona Venkat, Vice President, SAP Business One Marketing
I have a few long-standing pieces of advice for women getting started in their careers:
1) Do not be afraid to speak and voice your opinion. You are just as smart as anyone else in the room.
2) Become an expert on an area that is rising in importance and learn it better than anyone else.
3) Speak with conviction, poise, and confidence. Train yourself so that the words “um” and “uh” never cross your lips.
4) Learn to take criticism and failure with grace. Accept responsibility, learn from experience and move on.
5) Be true to who you are. Anything else just comes across as either artificial or trying too hard.