CompTIAWorld | FALL 2017 96 workforce and helping companies implement strong corporate culture, especially through philanthropic initiatives. The IT industry and channel are seeing millennials enter the workforce, and can build them up through career- pathing, company culture and employee values. Competition is fierce and if the little guys can’t compete in [those ways], they’ll lose the best and brightest to companies who can.” Making Lists Melissa Lyons, global channel programs manager at Sophos, has over seven years of channel sales and marketing experience in the security industry. She started at Astaro in 2010 and later joined Sophos through acquisition. Lyons is responsible for driving the global strategy of Sophos’ channel programs, and ensuring that partners around the world have the programs and support they need to succeed and grow. Lyons’ accomplishments in the channel have been recognized by CRN’s Top 100 People You Don’t Know But Should list in 2013, CRN in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 with her inclusion in CRN’s Women of the Channel list, and CRN’s Women of the Channel Up & Comers list in 2017. Lyons called being recognized as a ChannelChanger a huge honor. “Beyond just the pure excitement and feeling of accomplishment, winning the CompTIA ChannelChanger award makes me more excited and inspired for what’s coming next in my career,” she said. “In the channel and in IT, we’re seeing a shift in how customers consume data and access their network. Security has become even more important, especially due to new cyber-threats that are constantly emerging. I’m always striving to arm our channel partners with what they need to help their own customers protect against these threats and find a way to navigate through their daily security challenges.” Lyons stresses security as the future of the channel and IT industry as well. “Partners have a lot to juggle,” she said. “They need to be experts [on] an entire product portfolio; learn different vendor platforms and management systems; and close business. Add to this mix an ever-evolving threat landscape and new, smart technologies that are becoming more and more complex to secure, and it’s no surprise that the channel is and will need to continue to adapt to face security challenges head on. With new attacks such as WannaCry and Petya, it’s going to be even more important for end-companies to have an extensive, layered security program in place, to educate their users and create a security culture to avoid cyber-traps like phishing, and to have a response plan in place for any potential data breaches, network compromises or endpoint cyber-attacks.” On the eBooks Brandon Garcin is Continuum’s senior content strategist and is responsible for the creation and execution of a variety of resources designed to win new business and support existing customer accounts. He has authored more than a dozen eBooks that have generated thousands of downloads and has consulted with hundreds of Continuum partners to help improve their marketing and lead generation efforts through website optimization and content development. Garcin is also the host of The Weekly Byte, a video and audio series produced by Continuum that provides quick, digestible tips and best practices that MSPs can use to help their businesses succeed. Garcin is excited and grateful to be recognized as a ChannelChanger, and feels this is an exciting time to be working in tech and the IT channel. “Technology is playing a critical role in the daily operations of nearly every business today, and as both people and systems become increasingly connected there will be lucrative opportunities for service providers, VARs and integrators to bring solution expertise and guidance to their customers,” he said. “There are some very real and tangible challenges that must be addressed – including security and an evolving threat landscape, a growing skills gap in the IT labor force, and others – but we should expect to see tremendous growth in the channel in the coming years.” Last Word Brandon Garcin, Continuum Melissa Lyons, Sophos