Accepting the Challenge to be ChannelChanger

CompTIA rewards the next wave of leaders who are making an impact in the industry early on – the ChannelChangers.

If you had asked me eight years ago how I was going to change the channel throughout my career, I probably would have responded with a blank stare and asked, “What channel are we talking about?” When I was in school, I wasn’t aware of how many opportunities there were to build a career in the channel or even in IT. Fortunately, I stumbled into IT when job hunting right out of college and got introduced to the channel. I was quickly drawn to our partner strategy and what leveraging partners could mean for our business’s reach and growth. We could rely on IT experts outside of our organization to deliver our value and sell our solutions to prospects that we hadn’t been and maybe never would be able to reach. It seemed like a no brainer.  

Fast-forward a few years to me being recognized as a CompTIA ChannelChanger and future leader of the IT industry. I couldn’t be more excited for what lies ahead. This is an exciting time to work in IT. Cloud computing is transforming how IT solutions, services and support are being delivered, and while this is creating massive opportunities for those in the IT space, it also requires change from the channel and vendors that work with the channel. So, while receiving this recognition is an honor and a testament to what I’ve been able to accomplish so far in my career, I also see it as a challenge to tackle what’s next in the evolving market and continue to help partners navigate through this next shift.  And I, like many young leaders, thrive under pressure, and welcome the challenge.

So what’s next for me on my journey to change the channel?

With my current role at Turbonomic, I’m focused on building channel programs that support our partners and easily align to the way they are going to market. As the demands of customers change, our programs need to adapt and set our partners up to successfully deliver our solutions in an effective and profitable way. The partner-selling motion is also pushing vendors like us to open up additional revenue streams for their ecosystem by allowing partners to deliver their own services. This helps us scale, and helps our partners increase their footprint within their customer accounts.

To be successful at my job, and understand how our partners need to be enabled, it’s also essential that I stay close to the changing trends in the IT Industry. One way to do this is leveraging communities such as CompTIA. CompTIA helps me stay connected to what’s happening in the industry and allows me to network and build relationships with other channel executives and partners who are all part of this change.

For any young leader, it’s important to expand your network and get to know people in and outside of your organization who can help you grow. The CompTIA ChannelChanger award has opened up doors for me to meet new contacts in the industry who share my goal of successfully navigating the next evolution of the channel. CompTIA does an excellent job of recognizing the ChannelChanger winners, and the award has given me the opportunity to connect with several other leaders in the industry that I otherwise may not have met.

Building a career in the channel, you realize early on that it’s a tight-knit community.  Everyone knows each other and they’re all open to sharing experiences across organizations and working together to make an impact. If you don’t take advantage of the communities that bring channel executives together, you miss out on the chance to not only build a name for yourself in the industry, but also on the chance to learn from your peers. Organizations should be encouraging their young leaders to get more involved, because it keeps them ahead of the changing trends and gives their young IT pros an opportunity to shine – with their name attached.

Is it worth pursuing the ChannelChanger title?

Absolutely. CompTIA has found a way to reward the next wave of leaders who are making an impact in the industry early on. It’s not only a way to highlight your accomplishments but is built to identify young leaders who are willing to rise to the challenge of helping the channel grow and shift with the market and reach future achievements that have yet to be imagined. It’s a way for you to elevate your visibility in the channel, build out your network and get connected to resources that can help you lead the change. Are you up to the challenge?

Click here to learn more about ChannelChangers and here to nominate.

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